The 2011 FMR MAJOR Award Winner for Most Disappointing Movie

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Let the announcement of the winners commence!

Up first? The most disappointing movie of 2011. This is the film with the biggest gap between what we expected of it, and what it delivered. The biggest let down.

Our nominees are “Cars 2″, “Cowboys and Aliens”, “Green Lantern”, “J Edgar”, and “Sucker Punch”.

Click through to see the winner is!

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“SUCKER PUNCH”

I’m not sure that everyone thought that “Sucker Punch” would be awesome, but I know a lot of people hoped it would… Me included.

Zack Snyder was riding a bit of a hot streak. He did an enjoyable remake of “Dawn of the Dead”, Frank Miller’s “300”, and the uber faithful to the comic “Watchmen”. Fanboys were watching for what he had up his sleeve next, and the movie he announced was “Sucker Punch”. With its mix of samurai schoolgirls, fire-breathing dragons, and big bunny mechs… “Sucker Punch” looked crazy, sexy, original and cool.

Unfortunately, what it was was a hot mess.

Oh, certainly the visuals he had been promising us were present. But the story wasn’t just lame… it was kind of a joke. So. You’re going to present this semi-exploitation flick as some kind of treatise on female empowerment? Scott Glenn is going to star as a character called “Wiseman” who will spout such nuggets of wisdom as “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” and “Don’t ever write a check with your mouth you can’t cash with your ass”? But perhaps worst of all was that the fantastical vignettes with all the cool visuals were almost completely unrelated to each other and had no through narrative whatsoever. There was the (terrible) overarching narrative level above, but once it was time to visit the action sequences, each was completely disconnected from the last.

Here’s what Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum had to say when she selected it as one of her five worst movies of the year:

This is what happens when videogame aesthetics infect moviemaking like a virus: We get a repellent action- fantasy that glories in dull, pounding, monotonous violence; screeching
 music; fetishistic, soulless
 visuals; and oppressed, psycho-slut female characters who have been ”empowered” 
to avenge their sexual degradation by fighting in their underwear. We suckers have been punched. Game over.

Each of the other nominees were disappointing, certainly. “Cowboys and Aliens” took a great idea for a genre mashup and turned it into a genre mushup instead. “Green Lantern” introduced a new superhero to general audiences by throwing them into the deep end of the “crazy characters and concepts” pool, and then served it up with a side of sketchy acting. “J Edgar” sold you a ticket with its pedigree but then left you wishing you had watched a History Channel special instead, and “Cars 2″ promoted an unworthy character to the lead, added a “Spy” story, and took away any shred of heart the original had.

Yet none of them fell as hard as this one.

Sucker Punch. The most disappointing movie of 2011.

Do you agree? Did another movie leave you even “Flatter” than this? Think Snyder’s live action anime opus gets a bad rap? Post it up! Let me hear it!

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27 thoughts on “The 2011 FMR MAJOR Award Winner for Most Disappointing Movie

  1. I don’t know that I’d call Watchmen “uber faithful to the comic”.

    I haven’t seen Sucker Punch, but even with all the shit that has been hurled at it, I’m pretty sure I’d still like it.

    • I think if you went in to it knowing what’s known about it now, and with the rep it has now… you’ll be ok. Its not the worst movie ever, there are some imaginative visuals and action sequences.

      But if you saw it first run, I think it was hard not to be disappointed…. real hard.

      I suppose the lack of calamari does make for a signifcant change, but on the whole it was pretty close. Of course, the one I watch most is the Super Ultimate Mega edition with the Balck Freighter stuff woven back in.

      • It was very close. I haven’t seen a version with the Freighter stuff in it. Losing the Freighter in the theatrical version would be my main beef with calling it “Uber Faithful”. I’ve always liked the idea that the BF gives you a path to having a completely opposite interpretation of the Calamari solution.

        Still love the movie, though. Swapping out the Calamari was an excellent choice.

        Getting the train back on the tracks, though… Visuals and Action sequences are really all I ever expected to get out of Sucker Punch. I haven’t seen much from Snyder that had me peg him as a “story teller”, so an original work (it is, isn’t it?) from him didn’t have me excited for anything other than a live-action Mediocre Anime. “Looks pretty, but seriously, who wrote this shit?” was my expectation.

        But I can’t complain… My biggest disappointment in the movies I watched this year was that “Zombies, Zombies, Zombies: Strippers vs. Zombies” wasn’t as awfulsome as I hoped it would be.

      • Ha! Well, its hard to live up to the awesomness implied in THAT title!

        Honest? Its easy to SAY you just want visuals, etc – and not picking on you, because I believe I was saying something along those lines too. But then when you actually are immersed in the jibberish he has surrounding it, well… you may reassess. :D

        I liked Watchmen a lot in theatres. But that Ultimate cut with the Freighter takes it to a whole new level.

        I’m still not 100% on the Calamari-less ending. Just for one reason… the end is very sanitized now. In the book it was horrifying to look at, imagine, smell, everything. LOL. In the movie, its a horrifying concept, but very clean to look at.

        Still all in all, I am a big fan of the flick.

      • I’m not saying that’s all I *want* from any particular movie. I’m saying that’s all I *expected* from Sucker Punch from the first trailer I saw. Which is why, for me, even if I do see it and it’s the prettiest piece of crap since Avatar, I won’t be disappointed, and it couldn’t even show up on my biggest disappointments of the year list.

        Now, if even the visuals failed to entertain me, we’d be talking a whole different story.

        After all this build up, I’ve gotta watch this movie today.

        BTW, I’m not knocking this as your choice of Biggest Disappointment. It’s pretty clear Snyder let you down here.

        Excellent point about Vaporization vs. Mind-Rape-Explosions-Blood-In-The-Streets. I hadn’t thought of that particular loss. I’ll counter with the fact that power-mimicry creates a more nuclear holocaust feel, which is what the tension of the story has been building towards all along. I agree it could have been bloodier though. Think more Sarah Connor on the fence, and less city streets fade to white.

      • Good analogy. That scene in T2 is STILL mind blowing.

        Yeah, when I went back to Watchmen after watching the movie, I was struck by the fact that Moore/Gibbons used like four consecutive splash pages in a row to show the new york destruction scene. You could feel the stench.

        But youre right, I’m not saying the full Squid should be back – but their should be more “Sarah Connor on the fench to it”

        Circle back after Sucker Punch, definitely want to know what you think now. And I hear you about lack of expectations. Good point. Gotcha.

      • Just wrapped up Sucker Punch. Here’s some thoughts:

        As always, SPOILERS lie within.

        – After the Times are a Changin’ Watchmen opener, Snyder thinks he’s the king of ‘Nuff Said Style Intros, and tries again. This one doesn’t hold a candle to the other, but it’s enjoyable.

        -The next 25 minutes, I feel like I’m watching one of today’s aimed at teenage girls that don’t fit in dramas (Twilight, Red Riding Hood, etc)

        + After 25 minutes of doubting whether or not I’m going to get to see some cool, non-emo-grey, doesn’t-remind-me-of-Twilight blandness, I finally get to the meat I’ve been waiting for. Live-Action-Anime. Sensible plot points be damned, I want a hot girl with pigtails and a Japanese schoolgirl outfit slicing robosamurai with a goddamn katana. And that was the worst of the “dances”.

        + I loved the disconnection you hated.

        – Wiseman (that’s the character’s name? I’ll take your word for it) was terrible. You’ve got me there. Just Michael Bay awful, there.

        + This borrows from so many different stories, movies, etc. that if there were an “inspired by” tag, it would be longer than the credit reel. I enjoyed that.

        + Carla Gugino (The Natasha Badinov accent was terrible, but it doesn’t matter)

        – No comeuppance for the Evil Stepdad. Not since Ben Stiller gets away scott free in “Happy Gilmore” have I been so surprised to see a villain not get a beating.

        All in all, though, I wasn’t disappointed at all. The first half hour had me worried, but in the end, they got the M&Ms, went on stage, and did a great show. 3/5 stars for me.

      • I’m just going to go ahead and interrupt here to talk about calamari as well…

        I personally felt that, depreciated horror aside, changing from the calamari to a frame-job worked a lot better in terms of story logic. The human race has a short memory when it comes to war (quote Europe, circa 1919: “Germany will totally not be a problem again, dude!”) and while the deterrence plan might have worked briefly, it wouldn’t have had a lasting impact without people thinking there was a constant threat. Which, since there wasn’t a constant threat, meant it would have to continue to be faked — i.e., dropping more space calamari and killing more people. At which point the whole “what are you trying to prevent, exactly?” question comes into play. It never worked for me in the original book. The movie changes that by putting the blame on someone who actually exists, and thus remains a credible threat for a non-negligible amount of time even if he doesn’t act again.

  2. Behold: Sucker Punch, the winner!

    I love your points, and I like what you said about J. Edgar! haha

    I’ll say though, while I agree with you, I still enjoyed watching Sucker Punch for the eye candy it was and the eye candy it had! Visually amazing and I liked the soundtrack. I actually bought SP on blu-ray on Black Friday for around $7.

    HOWEVER, I liked just about absolutely NOTHING about Green Lantern! and will never buy it! haha

    • I thought they both had impressive eye candy – although obviously, if we’re applying that phrase to ogling scantily clad females, there’s no comparison between the two LOL

      I thought Green Lantern’s visuals were good. Very good actually.

      But they didnt ease the audience in at all. There were death clouds and telepaths with blue heads and little blue dudes and aliens… crazy.

      And then the acting was suspect. So even though I liked it, I can see why a lot of people didnt.

    • Agree with you on the visuals POV. Some of it did look amazing and things that haven’t been seen in cinema before. Also, very cool soundtrack.

  3. Great breakdown. I am still not sold on Zack Snyder so I wasn’t as hopeful about this film as you. I actually ended up never seeing this film, and with all of the hate the film gets, I probably never will.

    My biggest disappointment was actually one of your nominees. I thought with so much talent involved, Cowboys and Aliens would have to be great. It definitely wasn’t.

    • Yup. C&A was a strong candidate.

      The deciding factor for me on that one not winning was that, right from the trailer where Craig had like the alien wrist weapon? I started turning down the expectations from there on out. Something just didnt sit right about that… LOL

      Still one of the most disappointing of the year though, easily. Won’t get any argument from me man.

  4. While Sucker Punch did suck, I think I’d give most disappointing to Green Lantern still. Sucker Punch had some beautiful visuals and a very cool soundtrack supporting it. Green Lantern just stank so bad. I’m not sure Sucker Punch was trying to be much more than it was. I’d quite happily watch it again on TV… Green Lantern? Not a chance. And that’s me saying no to seeing a lovely topless Ryan Reynolds!!

    • If you say so. :D

      Meanwhile, I guess the geek in me still dug on seeing the characters I love on the big screen for the first time.

      Sucker Punch didnt have that going for it.

      But it did have new characters to love, like “Baby Doll” and “Wise Man” LOL, I need a roll eyes smiley here.

  5. Never expected anything from Sucker Punch personally, but I know a lot of people in our corner of the fandom did. Can’t really argue against it here.

    I also can’t argue against the people citing Green Lantern. Like you, I liked it, but it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, and of 2011’s movies that I saw and liked, it’s coming in at the bottom. I had to pick it as my own “Worst of 2011″, with the caveat that I’d managed to avoid seeing any genuinely bad films. But going in, I’d hoped it would have been my “Best”.

  6. Interesting choice of Sucker Punch. Especially with Green Lantern in the mix.

    That said, Green Lantern was a mess and, as with most superhero movies, you go in with an expectation that this is going to be the case. That way, you’re pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be good. Hi Captain America.

    Sucker Punch on the other hand, should have been brilliant. Yet, even watching Snyder’s director’s cut, I’m not sure I agree with anything he was trying to do. The idea that we, the viewers, are the ones that ultimately decide Babydoll’s fate (did she really help anyone? Does Sweetpea exist?) is a clever one. I just don’t think it was pulled off successfully.

    • John, first off, thanks for stopping by and chiming in! :D

      I’d say that these two movies are like a car crash and a train wreck, comparatively. With Sucker Punch being the train wreck.

      GL had a lot of problems… But a little script tightening and some better casting, and that’s going to be a good flick.

      Sucker Punch would have needed to be torn down to the ground and completely rebuilt… although, as you imply, it DEFINITELY had the higher level of difficulty.

      It’s a debatable one though, certainly.

  7. I’m so pleased that my beloved J. Edgar was spared from winning this award! But given my strange tastes, I’m a little frightened to see Sucker Punch under fear that I might end up enjoying it…. I think I better steer clear just in case.

      • Yeah, I actually really did love J. Edgar. I thought that the portrayal of the closet was perhaps one of the most moving and powerful historical depictions of what gay life was like for so many people. I also think that a lot of people expected the film to focus on the FBI as a sort of badass organization like we get in the fictionalized movies, but the film looked at it more as a form of social control, and the jumps through the timeline made sense to me in that context because they were clumped into a series of stages: Forms of social control that most people accept (rightly or wrongly), forms that are questioned in our current society, and forms that most of us reject.

      • Which is fine in intention, and I do think it did intend to deliver on those themes.

        But youve got to give the audience something. It wound up SO dry.

        I didnt expect it to be the “untouchables”, but man…

  8. I think I may be more disappointed with Pixar as a whole than in Sucker Punch individually, but then again, Sucker Punch is about what I expected of Snyder, so I don’t know that it let me down THAT much.

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