In yesterday’s blog entry, I ran down a list of movies so bad, they actually hurt.  They hurt because, at the time I paid the ticket price to sit in a theater and watch them, I was far less jaded and a long way from the embittered, hyper-critical viewer I am today.  The five movies I listed were special because each, in its own way, contributed to forever ruining the movie-going experience for me.  As a result, nowadays, whenever I take in a movie, I go in with tempered expectations.  But still, there are times when I can’t help myself, when I’ll see a movie and think “Hey, this looks pretty good!”, even (shockingly!) look forward to a movie with a certain amount of excitement.  Most of the time, I come away disappointed.  Some of the time, however, I come away with a range of negative emotions: anger, frustration, irritation, and the occasional depression.  You would think I’d learned my lesson by now.


The trailer is amazing.  Girls!  Guns!  Spectacular visual effects!  And Zack Snyder at the helm!  All undone by a tiresome, meandering story and an ending clearly inspired by another big screen disappointment, Brazil (file that one under “Movies I Hated That Everyone Else Loved”). I really, REALLY wanted to like this movie but, ultimately, came away disappointed and even a little sad.    What could have been…


I don’t get it.  Same director.  Same writers.  Same cast.  The sequel should have been as good (or close to as good) as the original, Meet the Parents, a film that stands as one of my favorite comedies (somewhere between the brilliant Trains, Planes and Automobiles and the movie I’ll reference in the next paragraph).  It was, instead, a stupid and tired retread of the endless stupid and tired American Pie movies.


I wasn’t the only one to declare this sequel to the 2009 box-office smash an uninspired dud, but I was surprised by the fact that much of the criticism leveled against this movie  focused on its repetitive nature.  It was, many felt, more or less the same movie as the original. I would emphatically disagree.  The first movie was actually funny whereas this movie was surprisingly laugh-free.  And I hear they’re making another one.  Given the law of diminishing returns, I fear that watching the third installment may cause irreperable brain damage.


Perhaps more maddening than the movie itself were the critics who proclaimed this sequel superior to the original.  Uh, no.  I leave the details to our guest film reviewer, Cookie Monster (Spiderman 2) but suffice it to say this movie was nowhere near as good as the first Spiderman movie.  While X-Men 2 improved on its very good predecessor, Spiderman 2 followed up the webslinger’s first big screen foray with a cheesy, silly, at times frustratingly ridiculous outing.


What do you mean YOU’RE not surprised.  Look at the trailer:

Sadly, it made absolutely NO SENSE.

What do you mean YOU’RE not surprised?!

26 thoughts on “October 4, 2012: And a few recent big screen disappointments!

  1. I am rarely disappointed by movies I actually see in a theater (except for those noted yesterday). Usually I go in expecting less, and getting more (perhaps because of my previous experiences, also as noted yesterday). However, with the cost of tickets going up, the HORRID 3D effect for every action movie (in our area we rarely get a choice – it’s 3D or no D), the noisy audience, the expensive popcorn, the chance of picking up bedbugs, and now the fear of getting gunned down by some lunatic, I’m just waiting for DVD.


  2. I’m a bit surprised you stopped at five movies. All too often it seems movies don’t live up to expectations. Or even vague hopes. The last Batman movie was an example of that. I really tried to like it, but within hours of the viewing my brain was dissecting it, ruining my best efforts to believe I had gotten value for money.
    Still, that last one is a bit of a shock. That is the kind of flick I go into with a MSF3K attitude. It looks like the kind of movie to sit around with friends, and make rude comments through. Doubly so since talking won’t ruin things, as you read the subtitles. So, is tomorrow the movies much better than I hoped category? Or should that be movie singular? Inquiring minds want to know…

  3. @ Deborah Rose – Having an ‘MST3K attitude’ is a good way to go into any movie these days…heck, it’s just a good way to go through life! Works well in traffic jams, in long lines at the bank/store/post office, or any other difficult and/or annoying situation you may find yourself in. Sometimes you just have to look life square in the face and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.


  4. @Joe:


    What do you mean YOU’RE not surprised. Look at the trailer:

    Sadly, it made absolutely NO SENSE.

    What do you mean YOU’RE not surprised?!

    I’m not sure the trailer made any sense either…why are they hunting big CGI worms???

    And on a completely unrelated topic, I learned tonight from my Canadian associates that Saturday is Canadian Thanksgiving (but I’m not entirely sure what that means). Since I’ll be wandering around, I’m wondering if the tours and tourist sites will be closed? Will I be forced to eat turkey? And what IS the proper Canadian greeting? Happy Thanksgiving? Happy Canadian Thanksgiving? Guess I need to go look at Wikipedia…

    @Sparrow_hawk and sylvia:

    Last night was a wash, dinner-wise (stayed in the hotel-room fixing an urgent customer problem), but tonight Doug the Rep and I visited Calabash Cafe. This place struck me as a nice blend of Jamaican and Cuban influences. Doug the Vegan had a nice choice of well seasoned dishes, while I went with the Oxtail (curry I think). I loved the spices and plantains…reminded me of my time in south Florida and the Cuban dishes there. I got pictures 😉

    Tomorrow night it’s Campagnolo’s, and I’m looking forward to it (especially since we got the design in contract signed…a reason to celebrate). I’ll take more pictures 😀

  5. @ Deni – Sorry your daughter is having a hard time with her back. She should be enjoying this time in her life and not be in such pain. I hope the doctors can find some relief for her that will not affect the baby. Tell her others are praying for healing and comfort for her.

  6. Speaking of good movies. Red Cliff was spectacular. Despite being overly long it never actually felt long and the ending was so deep. ‘There are no winners, only losers’ I think that was his words, the words used against Cao Cao before you know.

    Haven’t seen many Chinese movies. Just really this movie has the feel of a ridiculusly huge budget movie but actually its more because the actors get paid a lot less than standard Hollywood ones(Naturally). And in reality the budget was a modest 80 mill(Seems more like a 300 mill one at times).

  7. @jeffw – we await your pixies. Love the name Calabash Cafe. Calabash is Hawaiian for like a large mixing bowl or container. Words using Calabash are: Calabash cousins – not by blood, but by association really good friends.

    Re Compagnolo and celebration…wooohoooo! NICE.

    @Das – yeah….the dangers of going to the movies. Bad enough for the bugs and high prices, but the kookoos….too much.

    @Deni – sorry to hear your daughter is having it rough. Agree it is worrisome that they want to fill her with all kinds of chemicals while she is expecting.
    Although, not full and satisfying relief….the alternating cold and heat should help.

  8. A TV series that recently disappointed me: “Perception” (TNT network in USA). Yet another “normal” cop/eccentric consultant pairing. “Castle” does it better.

    @JeffW–Wish we weren’t leaving Van tomorrow. Would like to meet you. BTW, at least two shopping malls, Lougheed Centre /Burnaby and Guildford Towne Centre /Surrey will be open on both Sunday (Canadian Thanksgiving) and Monday (the legal holiday). At either, stop off and introduce yourself to Beth (see below).

    There were banners at Granville Island for Monday’s Turkey
    Trot: Run, Walk, or Stroll. And if you have a full free day, call the nice folks at Vancouver Whale Watch /Steveston (see further below).

    @Joe and other Vancouverites–We had a great time, or at least I did. Went on a great whale-watching cruise today (Thurs.) with friend and fellow SG fan Beth Baisch. Look for her to post photos at in a few days.

    Husband should not have come; his back pain, which delayed our trip from August, flared AGAIN after we arrived. But he enjoyed several conversations with Beth and talked hunting with Colin Cunningham, so all is good.

    I’ve already called a B&B on Bowen Island, a quiet location NW of the city, to be penciled in for next June. Stayed there in 2007, hit it off with the owners, want to take Husband there.

    Anyone resident in the Lower Mainland have suggestions on how to become a Summer Canadian, one to four weeks each summer? Rent on the US side and commute? Continue using hotels? Sublet from an actor who’s moving to LA temporarily?

  9. @dasndanger

    Is there a chance of picking up bedbugs at the cinema? Yikes! I admit that’s not something I’ve thought about before … I will now!! 🙂

    I don’t mind 3D, loved it for Toy Story 3, (yes, I cried) but the annoying t*ts who constantly talk and giggle inanely at everything their favourite character/actor/actress does and says on the big screen is bloody annoying.

    Clearly someone LOVED Robert Downey Jr at the Avengers screening I attended; to the point where they didn’t shut up during the entire film! Gone are the days where you could turn around and politely ask folks to be quiet!

    There really is something to be said for buying DVD’s and watching it at home, with snacks and the ability to scoot to the loo whenever necessary. (Course, I take my own sweeties into the cinema, I wouldn’t pay over -inflated prices for a bag of Maltesers.)

  10. Joe, how about a list of movies you expected to hate and ending up liking?

    @deni, i had problems with sciatic (sp?) nerve with one of my pregnancies. It was awful. Has your daughter tried a chiropractor yet? Or massage?

  11. @sylvia:

    I’ll probably do a post later next week (Thursday/Friday), since right after I get home on Sunday, I fly to Detroit for two days on Monday. I’ll send a link on the Chicagoland Foodie Tour group when I’m done.

    And tomorrow I’ll be shopping for Macarons! 😀


    Sorry to have missed you (you would think my customers would be more considerate and schedule their meetings so I could meet with my Stargate and Foodie friends…the nerve 😉 ). Maybe next year…or perhaps if you all make it to Chicago? We have a foodie group and everything :-D.

    Hope your hubby’s back feels better…for me, it’s my knees. I can walk and hike just fine, but the pounding I give them on the treadmill gets them sore; especially the treadmill here at the hotel…feels like I’m running on concrete.

    Safe travels to y’all!

  12. Deni: Is the pregnancy causing the pinched nerve? I ask because Lauren must have been in great shape before this. Praying for her! Like I tweeted, my SIL had to take Ambien while pregnant and my niece (although premature from other issues) is doing great! Little Alyssa is turning three at the end of this month. They made me Godmother!!! They way Alyssa’s parents both smoke, I could be raising her in a few years. 🙄 I’m planning piano, karate and ballet lessons for her. It will be fun having a girl.

    Das: I can’t stand the 3D movies either. I wear glasses, so it’s basically wearing two sets of glasses. Fortunately, they show the movies in non-3D here. I’ve heard about bedbugs in theaters and I pray they never become mainstream here!

    I saw Spiderman 2 and Meet the Fockers but not the other two. Yes, I have to agree. They weren’t the best flicks but I’ve seen worse.

    JeffW: Have a safe trip!

  13. I tried to watch assault girls a few months back but couldn’t get past the first 10 minutes. I think I actually rewound the film and started over to try and figure out what the heck I was missing, and then gave up and moved on. A very resent theatrical disappointment was the cold light of day. Went in expecting your average action adventure and ended up wanting to walk out about ½ way through. Unfortunately one of my two friends in attendance was enjoying the film and she would have left the movie rather then have us waiting in the lobby for it to finish. I go to the movie weekly so I have seen my fair share of disappointments. What made the cold light of day special was the fact that about ¼ of the way through the movie I didn’t care about the main character, and by ½ way I was bored and really didn’t care how the movie ended I just wanted it over.

  14. @Sylvia and Ponytail: Thanks so much for your kind words. The poor girl had an Ambien last night (at her OB’s insistence) and had a horrible night, but she managed to sleep a little (unlike me). Mr. Deni’s sleeping in her room, so he’s complaining a bit (big baby…), and the house is pretty much a wreck, but she’s feeling better today! She took four Tylenol instead of two, and voila, much better! She went to PT this morning and they only did light massage for fear of making things worse again. She’s still carrying herself very stiffly, but hopefully she’ll be able to relax a bit today. I’m missing the Star Trek convention in Orlando tomorrow, and I’m NOT happy about it! xo

  15. polyp0124 wrote (on 10/2/12):

    Analysing the number of o’s in Joe’s “smooooth sailing” would be a fun project. My hypothesis: the project’s progress is inversely proportionate to the number of o’s in “smooth sailing,” especially when accompanied by “No, really!”

    😆 😆 😆 Some people search for the meaning of life, while we search for the meaning of Joe’s o’s. 🙂

    @ Lewis – (from 103/12) – Thanks for the tip! 🙂

    @ Slyvia – I know it’s highly unlikely that anyone will come in a theater again with guns a’blazin’, but it has put me off of going to big openings. Not saying I’ll never go into a theater again, but all things considered I have no problem waiting for DVD.

    @ Susan Bowden & Tam Dixon – The bedbug thing isn’t going to be a problem everywhere. We live at the shore, summer playground for NY and Philly. Philly was recently rated high in bedbug infestation. Bedbugs have been a big problem in Europe, and sometimes they hitch rides in the luggage of summer workers and vacationers. Just down the street from me there’s a house used by the local McDonald’s to house foreign workers, and two years ago all the mattresses were out on the curb for trash pick-up. Not sure it was because of bugs, but it wouldn’t surprise me. There was a boarding house closed down right in the center of our little resort city because it was so infested with bedbugs (a real slumlord ran the place – he had it packed with at least a couple dozen Turkish students in a place that should have housed maybe 5 or 6).

    So we have had problems locally, and that makes me a bit more cautious about where I sit in public places (I tend to avoid fabric chairs, for instance). Not just because of bedbugs, but also because of lice (I have long hair, otherwise I wouldn’t be too concerned). I know it sounds a bit paranoid, but it’s not like I’m OCD about it. I don’t carry bug spray or my own chair covers with me, or refuse to sit in a fabric chair – I’m just aware of the possibilities and try to pay attention to the things with which I may come in contact. I’ve never had a problem, but then again my house is full of spiders *shudder* , so if a bedbug did find its way inside, I don’t think it’ll last too long. 🙂


  16. @Tammy Dixon: Lauren’s back is super strong, so much so that it’s causing the problem to worsen. She says she did it years ago at a water slide, but please, we all know she did it at judo or jiu jitsu. 😉 She’ll never admit it, but we’ll just tell everyone that’s how it happened, never mind the facts. She took 1/2 an Ambien last night, still couldn’t sleep, took the other half and got really weird, fell asleep for a few hours, woke up having to pee and didn’t go back to sleep until early this morning. She said the Ambien pretty much knocked her out, but she hated the way it felt, so who knows if she’ll have it again tonight.

    Have to take Cody to the vet for shots today, haven’t even showered! Every time I start something, the phone rings, the dogs need to go out or Lauren wants something. My son’s off to Paris today and I’m stuck here? Wait, something’s wrong with this picture. I took Lauren to PT today and had the brilliant idea to take Riley and Cody for a ride as long as we were going. Cody pooped in the car while Riley looked at him in disgust (like she never did it, please…), so I just thanked my lucky stars for the cargo mat and cleaned it up when we got home. Just as I finished that, it was time to pick Lauren up again… Still have to wash the dog bed because after he pooped, he stepped in it, oy, puppies. I look like one of the lawn guys working in this terrible heat/humidity, must shower! Hey, at least Cody’s cleaned up! xo

  17. @Das

    Hey, I think your approach is entirely sensible! I kinda worry about the crap we pick up from public transport, (buses) cuz those are fabric seats. I swear most of our colds come from lurgies on the bar/bell. (Antiseptic gel)

    I never used to worry about such things as a kid, now I’m accutely aware of all the nasty creepy crawlies that try to invade your home. We have spiders too, the black *incredibly* large house spiders that creep along the walls, making sure they scare the bejesus out of everyone at the last possible moment. What happened to the harmless ‘daddy long legs’?

    Thanks for the explanation though – I appreciate it! 🙂

  18. I have low standards and am easily amused. I’m never disappointed, because if a movie bores me, I can always take a nap. But then some of my favorite flicks include Phantom of the Paradise, Shock Treatment, and Lust in the Dust. The Magic Christian tops them all.
    I hate romantic comedies and chick flicks. Give me an oddball musical any day.
    My favorite piece of mis-cast dreck: The Razor’s Edge, with Bill Murray. Don’t ever watch it.
    Don’t listen to me, I used to host Bad Movie Nights.

  19. I too was really disappointed by Sucker Punch.

    I have regular viewings of ‘good bad’ movies. Things like Frankenfish, Dinocroc vs Megashark, Dead Snow (Nazi Zombies…how could it not be awesome!)…stuff like that.

  20. @Deni Sorry to hear Lauren is still hurting. Ah, Cody. The Wacky Adventures of Riley and Cody. Hope you get the poop smell out.

    I enjoyed Meet the Fockers.

  21. Dude I could tell you Assault Girls would be lame just from that poster; it’s part of that HK film tradition of having a really cool movie poster showing kick ass chicks that will turn out to be about three ninja girls looking for love or fighting over a cute boy who is also a ghost. Michelle Yeoh did one of these fightin’ trio chick filmsl that totally ended my Yeoh admiration.

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