I know some people loved Prometheus, and I understand why. It has many things worth admiring, such as the gorgeous visuals, or Michael Fassbender’s performance, or the array of fascinating, large-scale sci-fi themes. But when examining the film critically, I find that none of those positive elements ever congeal into anything cohesive.
Director Ridley Scott and his collaborators have many things they wish to say, but among the wildly inconsistent characterization, the confused and convoluted narrative that ultimately goes nowhere, and the unnecessary time spent connecting this film to Alien, those messages become seriously muddled and diluted. Prometheus has potential. There’s no denying that. But it consistently fails to live up to that potential, and to me, that is what makes it summer’s most stinging disappointment. It is not a bad movie by any means. But it could be so, so much more.
Listen to WGTC Radio #4 for a full, in-depth commentary on the flaws and strengths of Prometheus.
Runners-Up: I never had overly high expectations for The Bourne Legacy in the first place, but with Tony Gilroy at the helm, I thought it would be better than awful. It wasn’t. Meanwhile, Brave continued Pixar’s slow, depressing descent into broad, pandering commercialism, a creative decline that has me mourning for the days when masterpieces like Up and WALL-E were the norm.
Worst Film of the Summer:
In my review of wretched comedy The Watch, I gave the film straight zeroes across the board. I did not come to this decision lightly. I have never before deemed a film entirely worthless on every possible front. But The Watch is so completely dismal, so entirely void of any single interesting element, that I felt time itself slow to a horrific crawl as I sat watching the film in disgust.
This is a film that has literally nothing to offer its audience. No good performances, no laughs, no compelling story, etc. All it has is a boatload of product placement. It is a massive, embarrassing commercial that the studio expected audiences to pay for, and that is an insult I cannot abide. The Watch deserved no score. It deserved no attention of any sort, for no effort was put into delivering a quality product. It was easily the most excruciating experience of the summer.
Runner-Up: Want to know how much I hate The Watch? Go read my outraged rant on Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy and consider that I detested The Watch even more. That’s My Boy is rancid. It is as morally repugnant as it is unfunny. But it is not quite as bad as The Watch. I must give the film credit for, at the very least, trying. That’s My Boy fails miserably, but it swings for the fences in doing so, and I have to give it at least a modicum of credit for attempting to entertain.
I know, I know…your base instinct is probably to laugh at me for proclaiming the Katy Perry concert documentary the summer’s most pleasant surprise. I understand. My instinct was to laugh at this movie’s mere existence, right up until the moment I sat down in the theatre and the film began rolling, when it became abundantly clear this was no mere fluff piece.
Part of Me is a spectacularly made documentary, one filled with all sorts of fascinating footage that shines an insightful light on the process of making and performing music. More importantly, it’s a wonderfully rich, thoroughly engaging portrait of the singer and her fan-base, bursting with honest pathos and refreshingly candid revelations. Even if you have no interest in Perry’s music – and I am a casual observer at best – Part of Me is a truly emotional experience, and no film this summer – let alone this year – exceeded my expectations so wildly.
Check out the trailer for the film below:
Runners-Up: I don’t think anyone expected Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike to be quite as funny, daring, or downright smart as it turned out, and Dax Shepard’s Hit & Run came out of nowhere to provide a fun, refreshing blast of zany, character-based comedy mayhem.
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