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Added by VierasTalo on 30 Jan 2013 11:45
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Underwhelming Cinema

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People who added this item 483 Average listal rating (343 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.7
Religulous (2008)

I expected to see poignant criticism against the hypocrisy of some religious folks. What I got instead was about 90 minutes of Bill Maher insulting these people while his editor rubs the knife in by cutting away too fast for the other people to answer. I guess this is funny if you find the man funny, but I find it difficult to see what's funny about some guy who acts like he's doing "it" whatever that is for the common good only to take every single jab possible at his opponents and have no particular interest in, you know, having any debate about the subject.
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People who added this item 5896 Average listal rating (3892 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.8
Inception (2010)
I appreciate Chris Nolan's work to no end. He speaks for physical filming instead of digital filming, mostly refuses to use CGI and can write screenplays that captivate the mind. But then he makes something like Inception, where he lets his wildest dreams run true, not restraining himself for one moment, only to notice that in the end, he has written himself into a hole and the only way to get out of it is to fill every scene in the movie with expositionary dialogue about how all the dreamscapes function. Oh, and all the dreams are basically modern action movies. And Cillian Murphy has mind training so he can summon body guards into his dreams. So his body guards are human dudes with bad aim. Because that's totally what I'd summon in a dream instead of, you know, fire-breathing dragons or some crap like that. Since I'm an adult. Sigh.
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Watching three hours of muddled digital cinematography with occasional creepy moments is not my idea of fun or what I'd define as an artistic experience. I know I've said I believe Lost Highway is Lynch at his worst, but really, Inland Empire is it. This is a mood piece for which there can never be a mood for.
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To dive into a film which many have called the best of all time and most of all the most disturbing of all time and find nothing more than an extremely preachy showcase of editing and musical scoring skills is disappointing to say the very least of things. Ellen Burstyn gives a role far too good for the rest of this film, as all else of it is just a one-note bullet train on the way to "Don't do drugs mkay"-ville. The ending montage, despite sounding and looking fine, becomes in the hyper-preaching context almost a parody of itself as the "horrible" things that happen to the bad people who are bad because they do drugs which are bad just get worse and worse.
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People who added this item 860 Average listal rating (530 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1

Here's a movie that's really popular for some reason. Again, I have no idea why. This half-witted representative of the new wave of French horror starts by doing a lot of things right. The first 40 minutes are intriguing despite not being terrifying at all. Then... I guess it descends into what someone who really likes Roman Polanski-movies thinks torture porn should be? It's very pretentious and not even in an amusing way. The introduction of the cultists is also just a bafflingly clichéd explanation for all this.
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This movie is so full of artificial cutesy imagery that I can't help but feel sickened by it. More disturbing however is the absolutely ridiculous and disrespective fashion in which this portrays people with mental illnesses as slightly kooky and quirky peeps just looking for some love, brah.
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People who added this item 865 Average listal rating (531 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6

How is Dracula canon? I can understand appreciating the first fifteen minutes of the film, with it's Transylvanian castle scenery and atmosphere oozing with horror, but then the rest of the film takes place in a London living room where British people speak about how horrible vampires are. "Horrid indeed chap, tally ho now" they repeat until the terrible climax, where everything turns out great for everyone except the lead villain who is offed off-screen. Because that's a climax right there.
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People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.2
Coriolanus (2011)

This kind of sucked. In the vein of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, the story is set in our time, however in this one I must doubt that it is not set in our world. Rome is an independent state in a constant state of war with a neighboring country, and is headed by Fiennes himself, but he is banished by his own people and forced to seek refuge in the neighbor's arms, where his nemesis, played by Gerald Butler, takes him in with open arms and launches his own attack on Rome. Despite sporting a great cast, the film is such a mess I found it an utter pain to sit through after the first fifteen minutes. There is a constant, depressingly gray color scheme, making the visuals of the film very reminiscent if City 17 of all things. When you combine that with the dialogue, directly lifted from the original play, you have a jarring contrast between the visual and the audio. All the actors deliver their lines as if they had sticks up their asses, in proper theatrical prose, making the otherwise action-based output seem very absurd. Butler is especially bothersome, as he seems to be directly lifting from his role in 300. All this eventually led to me feeling as if I was watching the video of one movie while listening to the audio of another.
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Essentially a less comical remake of writer Eric Roth's script of Forrest Gump, Benjamin Button is a film with a mood most magical, but a story most silly and seen before. I do believe that it is possible to relate with a character who ages backwards. I just don't think it's possible with this film. This Curious Case never builds to an emotional peak or a grand discovery. It's a cold, analytical story from beginning to end. In some films, such would be an achievement, but here, we already know what it will be going in. A story about a man who ages from being 80 to being 0 can have no happy ending. A good film, and a good story, should always attempt to transcend it's humble origins. This movie does not rise above what we expect of it in any way. Director David Fincher manages to create a very nice mood, as if that of a fairytale, but he never makes any use of this athmosphere. Brad Pitt, and the rest of the cast, seem very depressed and outright sad to be in this film. I know they're supposed to be depressed in a way, but that doesn't mean they would always have to have their voices so low you have to turn your volume to the max to hear their incoherent babbling. The major issue with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is that you can read the synopsis of the film and know what the message will be, and the movie never manages to rise above this supposition the viewer makes, instead just delivering 2½ hours of what we already know - that it's very depressing to live your life backwards.
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People who added this item 789 Average listal rating (406 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.8

I like modern Hollywood musicals. Really! At least the good ones... Like Chicago. That was a really good musical. So when Rob Marshall is like "Hey, I'm gonna remake 8½ into a musical adapted from a Broadway play adapted from 8½ and Daniel-Day Lewis will star" I'm like "Well OK I guess" secretly wishing that maybe they wouldn't fuck it up but they totally do. All the musical scenes happen in Guido's head, his crisis is a result of childish and unintelligible behavior of no sense, and I have never seen a film objectify women as feverishly as this does. Also, it's a friggin' remake of 8½. That's not what you want to remake. Especially into this mess.
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People who added this item 4063 Average listal rating (2746 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.2

Die Hard has so much good. Rickman, Willis in a huge hangover. The witty dialogue. Die Hard has so much fodder. Every scene with Argoyle and the cops. Die Hard has poor action. There, I said it. I don't think it ever becomes exhilirating. Nor intense, despite Willis's excellent performance. It just doesn't make my palms sweat. That's sort of a big problem with a film this survival-oriented.
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People who added this item 852 Average listal rating (450 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3

There's a lot of promise in Wristcutters. The thought of a limbo for all those who committed suicide is great for a passive-aggressive, melancholic film. To have it end with both the main characters - who have become lovers as the film went on, being resurrected - is bullshit. The opening also drags a lot. It feels like hours, as we follow the main character carry out this sad existence in this hapless limbo. I mean, I get the point with a lot less. It also has remarkably little humor for what essentially is a comedy.
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People who added this item 3318 Average listal rating (2256 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
There's this certain point in any movie that poses as a parody at which if the filmmakers don't change up the act or end the film the jokes will become tedious and non-existant and I will as a viewer start viewing the movie more as the product that it tries to mock rather than as a parody all the way to the end. Kick-Ass goes over that line wearing a jetpack and never turns back, continuing onwards in a linear straight line, never checking the fuel meter to see that the fuel has ran out several miles ago. Everything starts of well enough, portraying the same type of restrained storytelling as is present in the comic. But then by the end we literally get the aforementioned jetpack and other things equally outrageous. What happened here? My guess is that quite frankly you can not film the comic as it is. You need to cut and change things. However in doing so, you should aim to keep not only the parodic tone, but the more subtle moments in the story. Now everything that wasn't parody, action or generally hilarious, has been cut out. Kick-Ass feels more like a series of scenes made out of "teh awesum", and without this good red line (in the comic the character of Kick-Ass himself) keeping it all together, everything just falls apart like an IKEA chair without nuts and bolts.
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 0
A movie where Turkish Santo and Turkish Captain America take on an evil homicidal kung-fu wielding Spider-Man should never be this boring.
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People who added this item 2001 Average listal rating (1225 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Hugo (2011)

Scorsese tries to pay homage to the magic of cinema. For about fifteen minutes of footage in Hugo, he succeeds. The rest is not good. He should have made a traditional biopic about his subject, because the fifteen minutes we get of that movie here are awesome. The rest is an average children's fairytale where kids find out about the true magic of movies, which apparently is that if you believe in movies hard enough all sorts of magical shit will happen in your life too. Because that's what I want kids to be learning. Also, Sacha Baron Cohen is an awful actor and he should not be in films like this.
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People who added this item 589 Average listal rating (373 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Monsters (2010)
A resounding disappointment. I like the premise of these Lovecraftian amoebas floating about the world, causing havoc, but Monsters is about 80% a trip down a river without any real proper content aside from the occasional promise of something that might be coming in the end. Not impactful, not interesting. Impressive only when taking note of the low budget.
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People who added this item 2036 Average listal rating (1394 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
Prometheus (2012)

Ridley Scott surprises everyone by making a boring film. Who knew? Well, I did, but never mind that. Prometheus is a film that looks fucking fantastic. It is also a film around which a completely false cult has been built, as it supposedly has a hefty amount of philosophical content. I rarely see such misinterpretation of film as I do with people discussing the origins of the human race through Prometheus. It's ludicrous. The film offers nothing on the subject. It traverses fantasy. The JJ Abrams-esque method of throwing around words and ideologies even the writers don't seem to have a grasp on is apparently what some people want out of movies. And that's really, really sad. Also, this movie is pretty boring and uneven on top of all this.
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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.5

I loved Repo! The Genetic Opera! But this movie suuucked. Or well, the first third of a movie. The budget shows up not in staging or scenery, but in how flimsy every shot looks. Everything is constantly shaking, the editing is too frantic for it's own good and the songs often feel pointless and lacking in melody. It becomes rather obvious which of the two who composed Repo is the more talented one in that job (hint: the one not involved with making this movie).
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People who added this item 3182 Average listal rating (2159 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
You know, for a film called Zombieland, there sure are few of them here. We maybe see about 50 zombies in this entire movie, and out of those maybe 25 get killed. It's not very believable that the world has been overrun with zombies when the main characters arrive in the middle of LA to be surrounded by... six zombies! Oh no, what are they going to do now with their gazillion shotguns and machine pistols? They're useless against all six of them! Seriously, never has a zombie action movie disappointed me in the number of the ghouls. Especially when the entire world has been overrun by them, you'd expect the production team to have the decency to hire a few more extras. The action is pretty nice and gory when it happens, but it rarely does. Even though I like Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson a lot, they are not the reason I watch a movie called Zombieland that has been advertised as non-stop zombie bashing. I watch it to see just that, not two guys talking smack about doing that. And it isn't the good type of smack either like in a Tarantino-movie or something. But yes, this movie still doesn't exactly suck or anything. The little action there is is cool and the film has one of the best celebrity cameos in recent years. But with all it's flaws and problems establishing a zombie apocalypse-style world, I just didn't find the movie that enjoyable as a whole.
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.9

The Maysles brothers are masters of cinema verite, and arguably it's originators in modern cinema as well. Salesman, a documentary about bible salesmen, doesn't fit their usual MO though. Much of the film is just salesmen talking crap about the weather or what not, and it seems like it was a struggle to put together a feature film from the material the brothers had amassed during shooting. Thankfully it's somewhat saved by several scenes where the salesmen try selling over-priced (several hundreds of dollars) bibles to poor housewives.
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People who added this item 217 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3

This is a cool homage to silent films. It really is. It's just too bad that it isn't actually a very good silent film as well. It's actually kind of mediocre at best. The story is very fragmented to the point of feeling ham-fisted, and few scenes feel put together with, well, general pacing or tact in mind, and images rather just roll onto the screen as they have a habit of doing at a leisurely pace. That stop-motion Cthulhu servant is cool as fuck, but it really doesn't make this movie good at all.
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People who added this item 1534 Average listal rating (998 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1
The Help (2011)
- So hey, how about us Hollywood-folk make a movie about those poor black women of the 1950s? Yeah, that sounds like a right solid idea! Who do we cast in the lead? Who's hot right now? Emma Stone? Well, she isn't black, but I guess she'll do... We'll figure that out. What should be the core of the story? The relationships between middle-classed bored housewives and daughters, you say? Well hey-a there boy, you might have some idea there. But we still need that black stuff here too you know, so let's cast Viola Davis in a role and give here a scene where she cries a lot. That'll get us nominated for awards for sure! Oh, and lent's not forget about making this sort of funny, so one of the black people should feed one of the more uppity while women her own shit in a pie.

- Sir, I think you're on crack.

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A list of films that underwhelmed me. Mostly because I was expecting too much due to positive reception from other audiences.

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Published 2 years, 4 months ago 1 comment



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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 1:13
I haven't seen most of these; in fact, I've only seen 7. I can agree w/ you on Inception, Zombieland and Kick Ass but I have to take the opposite stance w/ Wristcutters, Call of Cthulhu and Die Hard.

The 7th is Dracula and I've given it 9 stars but I believe I've been generous. I graded it for what it was at the time of...inception. ;) As far as Dracula films go, I much prefer Hammer's early ones. As far as the Universal monsters go, I'd take Bride or The Wolf Man over Dracula every day and probably Frankenstein, too.

Dracula was slow and a bit boring in spots...large spots. Hell, I may have to go change my rating to a 7 now...
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 3:49
I agree 100 percent on Inception, Requiem For A Dream, Kick-Ass, and Zombieland. Inception is a muddled haze of nonsense under the guise of being "deep," and Requiem is a preachy and ridiculous farce.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 6:34
Seen 14 of these, and while our ratings differ greatly on all of them we do agree on the flaws of some of them. Namely Inception, Martyrs, Prometheus, and Religulous. Can't argue with anything negative you said about those, I just didn't hold said flaws against those films as heavily as you do or else managed to find other things about them to enjoy. The mindless devotion of others to Inception does occasionally tempt me to take a couple points away from my rating now & then though. Heh.

We're somewhat agreed on Kick-Ass, but I never read the comic & thus can't compare the two (though I thought I'd read that the movie script was complete before the comic started production, which would explain why it doesn't follow the comic as much). It does seem like it's shooting for parody, but then for no real reason it starts taking itself far too seriously as it rolls along. When I saw it in the theatre I thought it was a lot of fun & somehow ignored that fact, which I attribute to the audience experience because everyone in the theatre with me had a blast. However, when i saw it again at home it didn't work for me.

As for Wristcutters, we're agreed on the ending only. The rest of it I had no problems with & quite enjoyed.

The others we disagree on (well maybe not Dracula so much, but it's been a while since I last watched it), but you've clearly made your case for each so we'll just have to respectfully disagree. If your expectations are getting in your way, you could always try my way of ignoring others' feedback as much as possible & going into everything with little to no expectations at all. ;)
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 6:53
@Fortunato The thing with looking at Dracula as a product of it's time is that there's still stuff like Nosferatu or Caligari or Hands of Orlac that are so much better than it is. So I find it's poor quality somewhat inexcusable. I'd personally name The Invisible Man or Frankenstein as my favourite from the Universal-days, but I'm yet to see The Wolf Man on my road of rewatches, so that might change.

@Das Giraffe When I saw Kick-Ass in theaters I was just mostly annoyed at how people kept on laughing in the end when they brought in the jetpack. That's a pretty common thing for me though, as last evident with Warm Bodies and some of the worse jokes. Some people will pretty much laugh at anything the script tells them to.

The thing with ignoring the opinions of others would mean I would just have to stop being an active participant in a number of film communities, hence minimizing my hobby from what it is right now. I'll prefer it this way even if it means I get disappointed every once in a while. I mean these are literally the biggest duds from the 2000 ratings or so I have so it's not like this bites me in the ass too often, thankfully. I do wipe the mind clear while watching the film so as to not have the same viewing experience someone else had, but contrasting the opinion you form during that viewing with those of others afterwards is always fun and results in lists such as this.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 9:48
Inception has some saving graces in my opinion. Mostly due the fact that it's a very well done action flick with a slight heist twist in it - yet it's a way too long for such purpose - and as such I would take Inception over his Batman-films anytime. And generally speaking I am partial to heist themes in film. It's problems are those, which can be found on every Nolan-film: They try to be, by and large, something more than they are. Trying to say something deep and philosophical, and it's just nonsense basically on all of his films, boring and underlined.

But I still like the man himself due the reasons VierasTalo stated here. And I would really hope, that he would do just straight forward action film with very little or no (forced) message at all. because I think the man would be good at that and because we really don't have any good action film makers anymore. That time and age of film is gone.

Die Hard is still something we need to agree to disagree. And I still cannot understand why you don't like it. But then again, none is perfect.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 10:38
While I disagree with most, especially Religulous, you've made some great points and this list is really funny. I especially appreciate you saying "Ridley Scott surprises everyone by making a boring film. Who knew?" Great list.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 12:37
3 dev adam on selvästi liian viisas elokuva teille, hyvä herra.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 13:18
I don't agree with all your critiques, but I sure like the way you put them forward. Well done! Plus, I dig the heck out of 3 Dev Adam.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 15:38
I don't get why people would love Requiem For A Dream. I hate depressing movies and especially movies about drugs.

And you know what else? The Help was also a book. You're probably peeved about that fact, aren't you?
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 16:07
I haven't read the book for The Help so I have little to say of it. I hope it does a better job of balancing the storylines than the film does. Hopefully it also has less scatological qualities.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 16:58
Some solid arguments, definitely, and some major overrated movies listed here.

@Emily J., the fact that 'The Help' is a book adaptation doesn't change the fact that his analysis is just spot on.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 19 17:07
Don't quit your day job.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 20 9:39
Nice list! Your comments on Religulous, and on Bill Maher in general, were exactly what has kept me from seeing it.

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