Obviously all the summer movies cannot be winners. I missed Snow White and the Huntsman, The Campaign, The Dictator, and Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. Here are the ones I caught that just didn’t work for me.
Dark Shadows: What should have been an ideal setup – revive a gothic soap opera as a movie directed by the man who did Sleepy Hollow – is instead a recipe for disaster. Unsure whether to make a gothic horror story, a fish out of water drama, a 70s redemption story, or a parody, Tim Burton made an unholy fusion of all of these, ineptly scripted by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter: Wow another great director, another epic disaster. Seth Grahame-Smith takes a great idea and totally screws up the script (hint: name-checking is not the same thing as writing). Director Bekmambetov has some nice visuals in the two action setpieces but nice visuals also don’t mean you have a good film.
Battleship: At least no one seemed to expect Battleship to be any good. Guess what? It wasn’t. The word farcical comes to mind.
The Watch: The unfortunately titled Neighborhood Watch got retitled after the Trayvon Martin incident. I liked the Costco setting but I don’t think I had an actual out loud laugh during the whole film. Neither did the three or four other people in the theater.
Total Recall: If you are going to remake a movie then either figure out what made the original tick (Schwarzenegger, the Martian setting, pure cheese) or have something original to say (like Carpenter’s remake of The Thing). Total Recall ditches Mars for an utterly generic futuristic city. The action is generic, the leads are generic, the script is generic – all this seems very odd to me as director Len Wiseman also did the very stylish Underworld series. Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy are wasted here.
The Bourne Legacy: The Bourne Legacy was so close. It had some very intelligent moments, which is what I look for in a Bourne film. I also loved the idea of a side story. Unfortunately the movie came across as more of a set up for future Bourne movies than a film in its own right and the whole exercise came across as a bit crass.