Featured: Top 5 Movie Disappointments of 2013
Well our Top 5 Lists for 2013 have begun and first we discussed our Top 5 Movie Surprises of 2013, which had a solid field of contestants. Now, we are going to look at the other side of the spectrum and look into our Top 5 Movie Disappointments of 2013, which unfortunately, also had it’s fair share of solid contestants.
Disappointments, much like surprises, really just come down to expectations, which isn’t always the filmmaker’s fault. It doesn’t always mean the films are bad, but just that it didn’t live up to the hype you had for the film. However, there are times that it is bad and this list will feature a good combination of both. Sometimes good marketing can make a film look better than it actually is or maybe it’s just the source material that we draw toward. Either way, every year there are films that we always look forward to and not all of them will be able to live up to the bill. As we discussed with movie surprises, sometimes it’s the opposite and we walk out having a tremendous experience we didn’t expect, but for these films, that wasn’t the case. But this is also what makes movies fun and why I like to think back and do these lists at the end of the year.
That being said, let’s get into it and go over our Top 5 Movie Disappointments of 2013.
Elysium fits under the bill of disappointing but not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Given how great District 9 was, there were big things expected from Neil Blomkamp’s sophomore effort. And while the visuals were outstanding, the story lacked focus and missed opportunities to explore a world we’ve never seen before. Elysium also features some of the worst performances of the year and, unfortunately, from actors I respect. Click here to read our full review.
4) To the Wonder
To the Wonder is the next film given to us by Terrence Malick and was one of my most anticipated films of the year. And while the cinematography was absolutely gorgeous, per usual Malick, the story had few things going for it. The performances were good but the characters are dry and un-inspired leaving for a lackluster script. The story is also arduous and hard to get behind which was disappointing, despite good visuals. Click here to read our full review.
3) Only God Forgives
Originally, Only God Forgives was on the Worst of 2013 list but after some thought, it definitely is much more appropriate here. Drive is a big favorite with InSession Film so a reconnecting of director Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling made us really excited. Refn once again brings us a beautiful visual aesthetic but the narrative was arduous and unwatchable. None of the characters were likable, although Kristin Scott Thomas was funny at times. Outside the score, there’s not much to like. Click here to read our full review.
2) Iron Man 3
Iron Man is also a film that fits under the “not worst of” category, although highly disappointing. The Mandarin was set up to be one of the best movie villains ever, especially in the superhero genre. While the twist worked for some, and it took courage, it took us right out of the movie. The third act was uninteresting, mundane and left a bad taste afterwards. There were some fun things about Iron Man 3 that worked and Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic once again. Overall though, the misuse of a great character simply ruined the film. Click here to read our full review.
1) Man of Steel
Man of Steel had arguably the best marketing of the year. The trailer were absolutely superb loaded with ambiguous shots and Hans Zimmer’s score that was through the roof. However, Zack Snyder’s Superman movie was anything but what I expected. The film started off great but as the second act started to come around, it started to lose focus and took characters to some uninteresting places. While the Kevin Coster scenes were great, it ended up in a terrible place that’s almost laughable. The third act was ridiculously repetitive with destruction that doesn’t quite add up and a resolution that only left me steaming. All in all, it just wasn’t fun. It was dark, overplayed it’s themes and didn’t bring joy. There are things to appreciate here, but overall Man of Steel didn’t even come close to living up to expectations and hopes we had for the movie. Click to ready our full review.
If you would like to hear more about Man of Steel and what we thought, be sure to check out Episode 17 of the InSession Film Podcast, where Nate and I have a pretty healthy debate about the film. If you would like to hear us discuss the spoilers, be sure hear our Premium Podcast on Man of Steel here.
Some honorable mentions would be The Counselor, The Fifth Estate, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and 42. The Counselor had a great cast and while Ridley Scott has had his fair share of bad films, I’ve liked him overall, which made me exited for it. Well, I’ll just say, that film will end up making a Top 5 that we’ll post soon. The Fifth Estate featured some great performances and was a topic that’s intriguing but overall didn’t quite live up. Lee Daniels’ The Butler was really going for some Oscar buzz, and again, featured some good performances but the script kind of dragged and could of been tightened, leaving the film overall pretty average. 42 didn’t quite have the punch the film needed to deliver. Outside of a few scenes, we didn’t get the real intense pressure Jackie Robinson would of (probably) seen. Still, all films that disappointed based on expectations. Man of Steel takes the prize though because of the major, major excitement we had and the tremendous marketing it displayed.
Let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree? I’d like to know why. Leave a comment in the comment section below or tweet me @InSessionFilm.