As a disappointing coda to my best movies of the year list, here are my two biggest disappointments. In fairness, I don’t think either of these was the WORST movie I saw this year; that honor goes to Woody Allen’s latest, “From Rome With Love,” which I don’t even want to discuss. That wasn’t a disappointment, though. I knew it would be awful, and had to see it for work. These two are genuine disappointments, in that I expected more and was smacked down.
Snow White and the Huntsman wasn’t really laughable or stupid or offensive or anything. It was just horrifically boring and really really long. It felt like about six hours long, though I think that may be slightly inaccurate. The issue is that this movie had a bunch of really great trailers featuring Charlize Theron. These trailers, to loosely paraphrase Jezebel (because I can’t find the post I’m thinking of), tricked movie-goers into thinking the movie is about a bad-ass evil queen doing bad-ass things. Unfortunately, it’s not. There’s not that much evil Charlize Theron in the movie, which is a huge mistake. It’s mostly Kristin Stewart walking around in the woods. The trailers made me think it was all Charlize striding around castles and bathing in milk and being creepy and evil. There’s a bit of that, but nowhere near enough to justify seeing this thing. I still want to see the movie the trailers promised me about a psychotic evil queen.
#2 — John Carter
This one was even worse, because it was totally my fault. I read the reviews and should have known how awful it would be, but I refused to believe it. It can’t be THAT bad, I thought. It’s an adaptation of the Barsoom books directed by Andrew Stanton, who directed “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E,” both terrific movies. Well, I was wrong, it was that bad. This one felt like it lasted ten hours. I didn’t care about any of the characters. (I dare you to go back in time and tell 13-year-old CJ that there would be a movie of “A Princess of Mars,” and he wouldn’t care whether Tars Tarkas lives or dies.) It was ugly and washed out, I hated the way everything looked. The villain was Jimmy McNulty with a hand-me-down costume from “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Ugh ugh ugh. I literally don’t understand how this movie could be as bad as it was.
Again though, I would watch each of these movies ten times instead of “From Rome With Love.” That is all.