most disappointing film

What movie left you with the most disappointed viewing experience?

Now, I’m not talking about a movie that you didn’t enjoy because you thought it was going to be good and it wasn’t. Nor are we talking about movies that were “built up” too much in the sense that you heard from everyone that the film was great and then you saw it and hated it.

I’m talking about movies that you really wanted to see but which turned out to be total disappointments. Here are two that come to mind for me.

A Fish Called Wanda has always been one of my all-time favorite comedies. When I heard that the entire cast was going to do another movie together -but one that was completely different from the first, I thought for sure it would be great. Fierce Creatures in addition to not having one funny scenei in it was just a down right stinker. Just about everyone I had talked to agreed.

The other film that comes to mind is Man on the Moon. I really like Jim Carrey and I have always been an Andy Kaufman fan. I thought that this movie would be a great tribute to Kaufman and that with Carrey, this one couldn’t miss. How wrong I was. The whole film was just flat and I don’t care what anyone says, Carrey did NOT look very much like Kaufman and that proved to be a constant visual distraction.

So, who else out there has been let down by a movie that you really wanted to see but which

Lord of the Rings – the 1978 Ralph Bakshi version. I was ambivalent about Bakshi’s “Wizards”, which seemed to be a warm-up for LOTR, but I liked his style and thought he could pull it off. Bakshi had already made “Fritz the Cat”, so you knew that his version of LOTR had a chance of being faithful, and not a Disneyfied kids’ movie. I especially wanted to see how he handled the fight between Gandalf and the Balrog. Preview pictures printed in “Fantastic Films” looked impressive.
He ROTOSCOPED most of it! (Rotoscoping is a process in which you sort of “trace over” film shot of real people doing the things you want your animated characters to do. One of the dirty secrets of animation is that a lot of stuff is rotoscoped, although animators like Preston Blair took pride in avoiding rotoscopes.) It’s possible to do inoffensive rotoscoping, where you can’t tell that the scene was shot that way, but LOTR looked as if they shot black and white film and simply colorized it. There WERE some scenes that weren’t rotoscoped, but were drawn from scratch – like the flying Nazgul – and those were beautifully animated. But they were few and far between.

The worst scene was the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. They simply put a guy in a Balrog suit and slavishly rotoscoped the whole thing! It looked like a bad children’s TV show. If that’s all you’re going to do, why bother animating at all? (And a note: BALROGS DON’T HAVE WINGS! Read the book carefully!)

It was the worst disappointment in a film I’ve ever seen. I hope the new film of LOTR will be better.

No contest, The Phantom Menace. 17 years in the making and we get… Jar Jar?!

Other semi-recent/recent let downs include Mystery Men and Shadow Of the Vampire.

Damned shame, all round.

Godzilla. Hollywood managed to screw up a rubber suit movie.

The Thin Red Line. One of the few movies I actually walked out of. “Whatis war?” Staying in my seat throughout this overrated movie!

Natural Born Killers. A Movie I SHOULD have walked out of.

Phantom Menance. Or, what happens when you try to fix a classic that wasn’t broken to begin with.

Shadow Of The Vampire. Yeah, I got it. I just didn’t find it funny or humorous.

Blair Witch Project. I was really hyped about this dissapouintment. Despite the last twenty minutes, and the respect I have for the actors improvisations, this movie was dull.

Eyes Wide Shut. Did Kubrick get a little full of himself in his later years? You make the call!

The Ninth Gate. Oooo. It’s a library! Scary!

“Gone in Sixty Seconds” - what car chases?
“Eyes Wide Shut” - that single clanging piano note
“Titanic” - oh wait, that was the porn version

Man on the Moon
The Haunting
The Mouse Hunt

Another vote for “Eyes Wide Shut”.

I’m a pretty big Stanley Kubrick fan, and I’ve always enjoyed that his films are all pretty different. I was really looking forward to this one, especially since he died before it’s release and we knew it was his last.

But what did we get?

An old man’s dirty fantasies.

Damn shame.

ahem… uhh…“really stunk” I guess is the rest of that sentence. Ah well, you got the main idea anyway.

One more movie that comes to mind as a major disappointment is The Godfather Part III. I consider myself -as do most males- an expert on the Godfather theme. Nonetheless, I barely acknowledge that the third one even exists. Talk about your letdowns.
The Don now somehow suffers from… diabetes!!! Where did THAT come from?

Another vote for “The Phantom Menace.” It was good, but not that good. Let’s face it, the original Star Wars pictures have been eclipsed by some of the SF that came afterwards. Great special effects are everywhere now. TPM needed a strong plot and characters to compete as art. It didn’t have the former; the movie ended the exact same way as “A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi.” As for characters, Darth Maul was the only really interesting one, and he was killed off.

“High Fidelity” was personally disappointing for me. After reading some reviews, I went in expecting something profound. Instead I got…some 30-something jack-off’s insecurity and problems with his girlfriend?! Gee, THAT’S something I need to watch a movie to gain some insight into!

Just today I was remembering a movie disappointment. The only reason I went to see Another Stakeout was because it had Madeleine Stowe in it, and I love Madeleine Stowe. Went to all her flicks. But she was onscreen for only a couple minutes! The rest of it was bo-o-o-r-r-ring. Rosie O’Donnell was unable to act in this one and it was so dull I was fearful of it causing brain death in me.

Mon Oncle d’Amerique sucked the worst of any flick I’ve ever seen and I condemn it to the lowest circle of Cinema Hell. I would have expected French flicks to be better than that. It totally bit my wazoo.

I liked Eyes Wide Shut and The Ninth Gate. The other turkeys mentioned here–I’m glad I missed them!

<Sigh> Phantom Menace I mean “Mr. Qui-Gon Sir…What are midichlorians?” <Cries in pain> OH WHY GOD WHY!!! I could hear the happy like Mr. Wizard music stat to play. <Qui-Gon pulls out a chalk board> “Well, Anikin midichlorians are a Plot Device created by a deseased mind to explain something that didn’t really need explaining.”

** LOTR hijack **


In the “The Ring Goes South” (second half of “The Fellowship of the Ring” in many editions) in the chapter “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” we find the description of the Balrog, including this passage:

This does make it sound like the wings aren’t real, but rather just a way of describing the shadow of evil that surrounded the creature. But a few lines down on the same page, we read:

These wings sound more real, but I guess still could be just a metaphor for the darkness. My copy of the Silmrillion is packed up somewhere. Is there any more description of the Balrog there? I don’t remember any, but I certainly could be wrong.

The Encyclopedia of Arda ( ), a great site for all kinds of Tolkien information, BTW, has quite a bit on the question of Balrogs and their wings, or lack thereof. (On the main page, scroll the left hand frame down a bit to get to the alphabetical index, then select the Bs, then select the entry for Balrog on the right hand side.)

And while their conclusion is that the evidence seems to point to no wings, they conclude by saying:

Anyway, my mental picture of the Balrog always has wings.


I bet I’m the only person in this thread to vote for The Adventures of Rockey and Bullwinkle. It could’a been the start of a new era of Jay Ward deliciousness, but … no.

The truly disappointing thing is that the movie could’ve (IMO) been a major success if the producers had taken the Zucker/Abrams/Zucker “six million gags a second” approach to it. TAoRaB had laughs, but the pacing didn’t work for live action.

No, rjung, I hate to say it, but I think you’re the only person in this thread that saw TAoRAB.

Another vote for The Blair Witch Project (aka Three Morons Lost in the Woods) here.

Quest For Fire. My friend Joe raved about it for days, Rae Dawn Chong, on and on. It was showing on dollar movie night. Four of us went. We were robbed. Four dollars wasted out of the circulating economy. I refused to speak to him for days, on amd on. Happened upon the book years later in a doctors waiting room. It was so good I stole it. The movie’s memory was doubly, triply horrid after that wonderful book. I hope those screenwriters are judged harshly by Satan when they enter hell, because no way are they going to heaven when they die.

I was really disappointed in Shadow of the Vampire. I was REALLY looking forward to that movie and I got, what 80 mins ?, of crap. sigh

I try not to do this anymore, but what OneDollarWilliam said. The who mitacondrian/microcosm/microsoftian/whatevers was one of the main problems I had with the PM. The other main scene I would have cut entirely if given the chance would have been the twenty minute diologue before the pod race scene.

My version would have been more like:

Qui-Gon: I’m sorry, Anakin, but letting you race would be too risky.

Anakin: Oh. (Wonders off to play with a nearby robot. Sems dejected)

Anakin’s Mom: Before you leave, would you like some Beralian tea or—where’s Anakin?

Qui-gon: D’oh!

The would then rush to the race track to find that the race had already started. Yeah, it is a cliche, but at least it moves FAST, would have saved a good twenty minutes of dialogue, and would have removed a particularly slow part of the movie.

Besides, the Star Wars series really is one long cliche, just done very well. There was absolutily no reason whatsoever to try and make the series more realistic. This isn’t hard sci-fi, Lucas!

Well, yeah, Star Wars: The Phenomenal Marketing was number one.

But I have to admit, I was looking forward to Lost in Space. Being a Robinson, and all. I went to it, and hoped for a less-than-painful experience.

Afeter an hour and a half of cliche-ridden dialog consisting of one-liners strung together by nonentity characters in a science fiction movie with no regard whatsoever for a single principle of science, I was painfully disappointed. As in, real, physical pain.

And don’t even get me started about the Dungeons and Dragons movie. I could rant about that one for hours.

Brazil: ZZZZZZ! Whoever compared it to The Matrix should have his head examined.

2001: intriguing, relevant argument turned into interplanetary ballet of boredom.

My sister kept after me for months to see “Bicentennial Man”. I normally love Robin Williams in anything…simply because I just like HIM, but that movie was a cure for insomnia. I think mainly because it’s just too damn long, and I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to end. It just kept on and on and on…like it was trying to impress upon us just how dull immortality really could be. It worked, in that case.

I hated “The Matrix”. The only movie in which I have ever fallen asleep (at a threatre). I stated on another thread, (but I believe it was at snopes), that I simply couldn’t get interested in it. Special effects notwithstanding. I do think I ought to try to watch it again, just to give it a fair chance.

I happened to like “Man on the Moon” but I agree that Jim Carrey didn’t look like Andy Kaufman, which was a pain, but his actions and mannerisms were so identical I was floored. I thought he did a great job, considering how difficult it had to have been to play someone like Kaufman.

I also am one of probably 5 people on earth who didn’t like “Scent of a Woman”. I am a huge Pacino fan, but that movie just out and out sucked, IMO. My husband loved it, however, and for months after we saw it, insisting on bellowing, “HOOOOOOO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” every chance he got…mainly to gripe my ass. Worked every time, I might add.