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  • Dave’s 2009 FAIL List

    By | January 5, 2010

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    Fail: Pronunciation: \ˈfāl\ – to lose – to fall short – to be inadequate – to disappoint expectations

    Seeing that I didn’t view every film release of 2009 I couldn’t bring myself to title this “The Worst of 2009” because something tells me that I missed a healthy helping of the worst films released. I do however want to share my biggest disappointments and also include the ones that fell short of producing the product they we’re trying to sell me. So without further ado, enjoy or disagree with my list below and feel free to leave your comments.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post represent those of the individual author (Dave Campbell), and unless labeled as such do not represent the opinions of the entire Smells Like Screen Spirit staff. No claims are made or responsibilities assumed for the offense taken by the reader that will surely follow.


    Public Enemies

    After sifting through my mixed thoughts about this film I read through the development history of the project. It turns out that at one time it was being geared in “HBO mini-series” fashion which probably would have better served the characters with a richer story presentation. Though Public Enemies has many things to boast about, and areas to satisfy, there are several elements that prevent it from having the weight needed to be something great. – Dave Campbell

    The Fourth Kind

    The Fourth Kind’s filmmakers say to us, “What you believe is yours to decide.” after feeding us with so called “actual footage”, side-by-side with the reenactment that turns out to be just as much a fabricated and dramatized work of fiction. Personally, I am someone who is fascinated with Ufology and watch any well made UFO TV series, special, or documentary that the history Channel or Discovery will throw my way, but hoaxes at any level are greatly disappointing. I understand that this is Hollywood, but this film would have worked so much better without trying to dupe me with false belief from our misleading tour guides. This is the kind of subject matter that I usually champion, but the level of betrayal I felt made it hard for me to wrap my head around. – Dave Campbell

    Sherlock Holmes

    All that is afoot in Sherlock Holmes is a bit of the old ultra violence; and all brawn and no brain make Sherlock Holmes a very dull film. Very disappointing my dear Watson, very disappointing… – Don Simpson

    Couples Retreat

    As much as I love all of the actors in Couples Retreat, stereotypes run rampant I can’t help but feel that I was conned into watching something that I have already seen a thousand times over in relationship comedies. I also couldn’t help but notice that many ideas and themes in the film were taken from the comedy Along Came Polly. Everything was shot beautifully due to the backdrop location of Bora Bora, and the actors did share some decent chemistry in their respective characters, but the constant abrupt and jagged edits forced odd transitions in the film. In the end Couples Retreat is disposable weekend theater filler and is as forgettable as any meal you’ve ever had at Applebee’s, which is the topic of an ongoing joke that comes off as a very absurd product placement ad. – Dave Campbell

    Land Of The Lost

    Land Of The Lost flows as if director Brad Silberling shot two different films, and scenes from each were edited together to make one. Somehow there was still some amount of entertainment value to be had causing my conflict in being too harsh (maybe because I grew up watching the show). All things considered, the film is destined to either surface as a flop that becomes a cult classic, or just end up Living in the Land of the Lost. – Dave Campbell

    Terminator Salvation

    Terminator Salvation is reliant on the pacing of action rather than plot development, which it so eagerly needed. I hate to say it but without Arnold Schwarzenegger’s presence, Terminator Salvation also lacked the charm, humor, and heart of the previous 3 films. This was the big 2009 Summer movie I had the highest hopes for, but in the end the absence of drama and human passion left this one in the hands of the machines. – Dave Campbell

    X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    So much time was spent setting up and including other characters that you lose the connection you once had with Wolverine in previous X-Men films. It seemed as if just when the film was about to give us the dramatic character development we wanted it just continued down a path similar to X-Men: The Last Stand, which was more interested in adding as many mutant cameos, and action sequences as possible. The acting is mostly fine or average from the entire cast but the plot points in the script and direction are executed in an unmotivated and abrupt nature. This along with the poorly managed special effects and CG work really cause an artificial distraction throughout most of the film’s second and third acts. My disappointment with X-Men Origins: Wolverineleaves me with a cliché of my own…it’s time to stick a fork in X-Men, ’cause it’s done! – Dave Campbell

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen presents some of the most beautifully rendered imagery ever to be captured on screen, while simultaneously providing some of the most mind numbing garbage for dialogue ever delivered on screen.

    The eye candy is hugely spectacular and the moments of nostalgic glee and fulfillment do pop up in between scenes of trivial dialogue and weak human interaction, but these moments only come when the main Transformer characters (robots) are on the screen.

    In the case of this Transformers film, it is my interest that has “Fallen”. – Dave Campbell

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