Summer Superlatives ’09: 5 Movies that Pissed Me Off

Unfortunately, there are always films that make a killing at the box office and don’t deserve it, sucking us in with high expectations and visual effects, preying on how easily we are persuaded by advertising and ultimately insulting our intelligence. Truth is, a lot of those films come out in the summer, and 2009 had no shortage of them.

These films piss me off. Whether they’re flat out bad or their marketing is obnoxious or they made more money than they deserved to make. I picked five of the summer hits that bothered me most, only one of which I saw, and now I will rant about them. Feel free to rant back.

5. “The Ugly Truth”

I have nothing against Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, just the crap that they sometimes choose to make. The reviews for this film mentioned everything that was wrong with romantic comedies today and I’m sure they’re right, seeing as I haven’t enjoyed many of today’s offerings in the genre. Any comedy that’s premise is that women think with their minds and men think with their dicks is bound to latch on to comedy stereotypes. Why can’t we have romcoms where men and women are normal people free of what Hollywood thinks they should be? Probably never is my guess, with films like “The Ugly Truth” bringing in $90 million, triple their budget. Oh well.


4. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Now I can really rant, because I saw this one, and for that I fully blame myself, my Transformers-obsessed childhood and Megan Fox. If you read my review of “Transformers 2,” I more or less called it a 2.5-hour seizure-inducing insult to the fans that loved the first movie despite its flaws. There were too many characters, stupid subplots, excessive action scenes and horrifically bad humor. I fully appreciate Michael Bay’s commitment to visual chaos and groundbreaking CGI fight scenes, but the complete rubber band ball of worthless plot ideas in this movie is unforgivable. But flame this movie all you want, Michael Bay will laugh all the way to the bank with his weighty portion of this film’s $825 million worldwide gross. We all fell completely for the promise of CGI nirvana, proving once again to Hollywood that “more is more.”


3. “The Proposal”

Most romantic comedies go for a three-month advertising push prior to a release. I was seeing trailers for “The Proposal” as early as Nov. or Dec. 2008, and I swear if I see Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds run into each other half naked one more time, I will propose to smack some people. What is it with Sandra Bullock, seriously? Ryan Reynolds is a funny dude, but something about Bullock playing a Canadian makes me angry. Anyway, back to the half-year ad campaign. I can’t think of anything that drives me away from a movie more than seeing its trailer before ten different movies, yet people still went despite seeing those same clips over and over again. Are we that easily convinced by mere repition? $260 million worldwide for a romantic comedy starring a washed up actress – that’s just mind-blowing.


2. “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra”

I’ve got an idea. Let’s take a popular toy and make a big-budget action movie out of it. Truth is we deserved “G.I. Joe” for paying out our ears to see more “Transformers.” The trailers that gave us story details instead of showing us guys jumping around during explosions in “accelerator suits” didn’t look all that promising and didn’t suggest that the movie was about the rise of Cobra Commander. Another lesson to wannabe action blockbusters: if you want to start a legitimate franchise, don’t give your movie a subtitle that implies an origin story. That’s like if “Batman Begins” had been named “Batman: Master Your Fear.” You call yourself out on your own gimmick. But of course, after only two weeks, “Joe” is over the halfway point trying to earn its money back. But now that you know, maybe you’ll boycott it – and knowing is half the battle.


1. “G-Force”

Apparently, children cannot resist furry creatures, no less furry rodents with heavy artillery power. “G-Force” proved this summer everything that’s wrong with family entertainment and the children of this world. If tiny animals can blow stuff up, why can’t I? Why can’t a 7-year-old who sees this movie? But seriously, “G-Force” did go a little overboard. Clearly there was no need for these fur balls to have weapons. Then again, guinea pigs? I can understand penguins. Wrap one in tin foil and I’ll think it’s funny, but there looked to be nothing appealing about this movie. I also found it fascinating that after “The Hangover” was released, Zack Galifanakis started appearing in the trailers. It’s okay parents, this will be funny for everyone! Gag me. I’d rather run around in a wheel for an hour and a half than watch “G-Force,” but apparently tens of millions of people in this world disagree.


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