97. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Too much of a good thing can be bad and that is certainly true of Wolverine. He is a great character but giving us a dull back story about how he got his powers, did nothing to make us love him any more, if anything it just showed us how much the X-Men movies had grown stale.
Boring and by the numbers, the film was panned by fans and critics on its release but it’s quite hard to make a interesting superhero film when the main character is pretty much invincible.
96. Caddyshack 2 (1988)
Eight years after the first film was released, we got Caddyshack 2, a film that no one wanted to make apart from the studio.
Caddyshack, the golfing comedy written by Harold (Egon) Ramis is a classic and in 1988, Ramis got a call from the studio proclaiming that;
“Hey, we’ve got a great idea: ‘The Shack is Back!’”
The problem was that Ramis didn’t want to write a sequel but was told that if he didn’t write it, then some else will and it might turn out s***, so Ramis reluctantly agreed. Rodney Dangerfield was back on but dropped out when he realised the film was going to suck and not long after Ramis gave up as well. Other writers were brought in to finish it and Ramis unsuccessfully tried to have his name removed. The only original cast member to return was Chevy Chase who when viewing footage during post-production, told director Allan Arkush “Call me when you’ve dubbed the laugh-track,” before walking away in disgust.
The film bombed at the cinema.
95. Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004)
The idea of a whole movie being filmed in front of blue screen so that you can create an ultra stylish world like in 300 and Sin City, was still a new concept in 2004. So when the trailer for Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow first arrived, it did look like something we hadn’t never seen before. Even if the film had the most smug cast ever assembled that included Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, anticipation was high.
Unfortunately, the film was a borefest that had great visuals but nothing else to carry it through its running time. It also failed to light up the box office but it did pave the way for directors like Zack Snyder to exploit the technique.
94. The Road (2009)
The film is not a stinker like some of the others on this list, it’s got some fine acting, especially from Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee who play the father and son respectively. It’s just that where the book was an intense journey in an apocalyptic future, the film version is more of a slow drudge, and so depressingly draining that the film is no joy to watch.
Where the book by Cormac McCarthy had the room to flesh everything out and you were free to paint the scene with your imagination, this film is one long dull, relentless grey tone. It might have some artistic merit but overall it’s a disappointment and another one of those stories that was best left in literary form.
93. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Based on Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler, Kubrick had wanted to do a film about sexual exploration since the 1960s. It was 12 years after Full Metal Jacket that he finally got around to doing it.
Before then husband and wife power couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were attached to the project, Kubrick went through a stage of wanting to put Woody Allen in the main role. He then thought about turning it into a sex comedy staring Steve Martin but instead the film about marriage breakdown and sexual ”deviancy” became a Cruise and Kidman staring vehicle and opened to an anticipated reception in 1999.
The film is not crap by any means but it’s not great either. Kubrick’s signatures are obvious as you watch Eyes Wide Shut but the subtle wit and relentless force that made shots in 2001 and Clockwork Orange pop out of the screen and imprint themselves in your brain was missing. The performances were deliberately staggered to suggest a dream state but it just added to the feeling that the film was more of a grind than a pleasurable experience.
As you would expect, during the shoot, Cruise and Kidman both praised Kubrick and said how wonderful it was to work with him. But according to R Lee Ermey who played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick was far from satisfied with the finished product and blamed Cruise and Kidman. He recalled;
“Stanley called me about two weeks before he died, We had a long conversation about Eyes Wide Shut. He told me it was a piece of s*** and that he was disgusted with it and that the critics were going to have him for lunch. He said Cruise and Kidman had their way with him – exactly the words he used.”
“[Kubrick] was kind of a shy little timid guy. He wasn’t real forceful. That’s why he didn’t appreciate working with big, high-powered actors. They would have their way with him, he would lose control and his movie would turn to s**t.”
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