Jan. 20th, 2010

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1. The X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)
I had fond memories of the tv show, and I thought, here's a chance for them to recapture what they lost during those last several seasons. Instead, I found out that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson's chemistry had evaporated, and that Chris Carter had made them a couple - which felt about as wrong as incest. Worst, everyone involved seemed to have forgotten what this show was about, and the story felt like an afterthought.

2. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
It can't get much more disappointing than the words "worst Coen brothers movie". In fact, it's the only one of theirs I'd call "bad". It's packed with crude jokes, and it can't seem to decide what kind of movie it wants to be. Significantly, it's one of the only movies they wrote with outside contributors.

3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
I love me some Spielberg, and some Indiana Jones, so the fact that this go-around felt forced was disappointing. Not entirely surprising, though.

4. For Your Consideration (2006)
Christopher Guest broke a streak of excellent comedies with this amusing but toothless satire.

5. Cars (2006)
When the studio is Pixar, I expect excellence. Cars is decent, but it's also the least of the Pixar films. The concept of anthropomorphic cars didn't do anything for me, and the plot was a creaky cliché.

6. The Ruins (2008)
Why would I be disappointed in what looks like just another horror movie with young, pretty actors? Because the book it's based on haunted me, and because the teaser for the movie is one of the best previews I've ever seen. But the script focuses too much on events, missing the book's potent atmosphere of dread, and skimping on character development. This is especially disappointing considering the novelist wrote the screenplay.

7. Death Proof (2007)
Quentin Tarantino's worst film to date is still better than most of what's out there. The extended chase scene that makes up the last act of the movie remains thrilling. But what leads up to it is rather wobbly. For the first time, his signature dialogue digressions feel laboured.

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
This was my favourite book of the series, so it's a shame David Yates didn't start his tenure as director until the next installment. In Mike Newell's hands, this turned into a bland proposition.

9. The Invention of Lying (2009)
Sue me for expecting great things from the creator and star of the original Office tv show. A great premise (what if only one man on earth is capable of lying?), but taken in mostly predictable directions.

10. Secret Window (2004)
It's foolish to hope that Hollywood won't fuck up yet another Stephen King story, but I was crossing my fingers for this one, based on one of my favourite King stories. Johnny Depp brings it, but the movie irons out the book's quirks.

Other movie lists:
most pleasant surprises
most overrated
most underrated
the worst

Best of the decade lists:
music from 60 to 46
music from 45 to 31

music from 30 to 16
music top 15

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