THE BURFORD TOP 10S: THE MOST DISAPPOINTING FILMS OF 2013

‘The worst of the year’ is always a popular choice; however this list is a little different. I expected the likes of Movie 43, Run For Your Wife, After Earth and Grown Ups 2 to be horrific, and they duly met my expectations, but they do not feature on this list.

This is my personal top 10 films of 2013 that I have seen that left a really bitter taste in the mouth for various reasons. They are not necessarily the worst films of the year (though some would certainly be up there). Some of these films are a frustrating case of unrealised potential, where as others were ultimately rather rubbish down to the complacency or arrogance of those involved. These were films that should have been good but yet for various reasons failed miserably to be so. Also they are not in order of best to worst in terms of how I would rate them out of ten as individual films, but in order of the context of just how disappointed/angry/both I was.

1. The World’s End (Edgar Wright)

dissapointment 1

The World’s End was a total exercise in smug self indulgence, and never funny. All the potential was there with the story and a great cast had been assembled, but Pegg and Frost seemed to think just having their names on the poster together is simply enough. There was no effort whatsoever put into this film and they seem to be on a gradual decline. The ‘jokes’ are lowest common denominator and painfully obvious, the story is lazy with a final third that descends into an absolute joke and the action gets boring and repetitive, severely tarnishing Edgar Wright’s reputation. In the exceptional TV series Spaced Pegg, Wright and Frost proved that Sci-fi was a genre they know well and with passion. Revisiting that fantastic TV series serves as a sickening reminder at just how bad and a wasted opportunity The World’s End was, there is no word to describe just how disappointed I was with this film

To read my full review, click here

2. Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn)

dissapointment 2

In another exercise in self indulgence, Only God Forgives for me is a pretentious, empty, soulless bore-fest. I get Nicolas Winding Refn has his thing and minimalist style, and I thought Drive was excellent and even Valhalla Rising had some redeeming features, but with Only God Forgives he appears to completely disappear right up his own arse after the universal (deserved) high praise that Drive received. From the trailers and all the promo work, Only God Forgives did look like an immersive and atmospheric mood piece. However, just having lots of red, one page of dialogue, everyone staring at each other for ages and the camera moving very slowly does not necessarily make a good film Nicolas. Of course all the intense staring competitions can mean whatever anyone who looks hard enough wants it to mean, but for me Only God Forgives is total rubbish that hopefully disappears without a trace.

To read my full review, click here

3. The Counsellor (Ridley Scott)

dissapointment 3

I know it has been said frequently, but I do not think it can ever be overstated or stated enough: A great writer, a great director and a great cast all put together to produce a hollow and often boring film that at times felt so incredibly pointless. In what was his first screenwriting foray, Cormack McCarthy has managed to produce a soulless, empty, ponderous and infuriating script that destroys all in its wake. All the philosophical musings the characters spout out are of course open to interpretation, but they often verge on embarrassing and filled with their own deluded sense of self importance. Scott’s directions is slick and the performances fine (except Cameron Diaz), but they cannot save The Counsellor from being a major disappointment.

To read my full review, click here

4. Red 2 (Dean Parisot)

RED 2

Though I of course never expected this to be a profound epic masterpiece, I was hoping for it to be at least enjoyable. I personally found the first film to be really unpretentious enjoyable escapist fun, and was hoping for more of the same. I don’t think Red was expected to be as successful at it was, and so it seems that those behind Red 2 thought it was enough to just copy and paste. The result is worse than that; an overlong boring story with no humour and lame action, meanwhile the cast (especially Willis) seem bored and just happy to get their huge pay cheques and even director Dean Parisot seems to be asleep behind the camera.

To read my full review, click here

5. The Purge (James DeMonaco)

dissapointment 5

I found The Purge to be a severe case of great concept but absolutely terrible execution. The concept in the narrative of The Purge of all crime being legal for one day per year and the consequences of this opened up potentially interesting allegories and social commentaries on themes such as class division, morality and the human condition. However all this was absolutely destroyed by an incredibly generic and dreary narrative that descended into lacklustre action clichés. Due to the huge box office returns from its low budget a sequel is in the pipeline, let’s hope that is a vast improvement.

To read my full review, click here

6. A Good Day To Die Hard (John Moore)

dissapointment 6

Willis again, and another franchise that has descended into a soulless made-simply-for-profit product that insults the intelligence of film fans. There literally was no effort put into this snooze-fest with a terrible plot, incredibly boring action and no humour apart from the constant joke that John McClane is on vacation that features very frequently (no one had obviously heard of the rule of three!) which was not funny the first time. This was another example of someone knocking together a generic action plot in five minutes but making sure they had the rights to put the words Die Hard in the title so it makes a nice profit.

To read my full review, click here

7. The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann)

dissapointment 7

The main reason I found this to be a major disappointment is that I enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s other films (Australia not so much), with his energetic style potentially perfect for the extreme decadence and excess of the roaring 20s. I had also heard the book is very good and Luhrmann had assembled a strong cast. The result was an overlong, visual brain haemorrhage of a film completely devoid of any emotion or engagement. The book is apparently beautifully written, but there is no evidence of that in this film version, with a vacuous style-over-substance film that is a serious effort to watch with no characters to care about.

To read my full review, click here

8. This Is 40 (Judd Apatow)

dissapointment 8

The horrifically self indulgent and boring Funny People set my suspicions in motion, and This is 40 well and truly confirmed them that Judd Apatow is a one trick pony who is actually a really poor film maker. It seems he knows very little of narrative and storytelling, with his films being a series of sketches where he relies on the talent and improvisational skills of his actors. I found this film a disappointment because I really like some of his other films as producer and director and wanted to be proved that he can still make funny films as director. Well, This is 40 confirmed that he really has not got a clue; it is overlong, self indulgent, painfully devoid of genuine humour or emotion and he seems to cast his entire family in it.

To read my full review, click here

9. The Hangover III (Todd Phillips)

THE HANGOVER PART III

I was a huge fan of the first one, and though I understand why people did not like it, part II did make me laugh. I was never expecting a masterpiece, but it was the fact that I did enjoy the first two that made part III such a disappointment. The first two were puerile and often disgusting, but least took a stance. The Hangover III is an absolute mess of a film that was made solely for profit with absolutely no effort put into anything. This time changing the narrative style, this was just a few terrible set pieces strung together by a plot that felt they were making up as they went along. The cast all look very bored, it is never funny and so incredibly boring from start to finish.

To read my full review, click here

10. Iron Man 3 (Shane Black)

dissapointment 10

Though not be any means a terrible film, I personally found Iron Man 3 to be a severe and frustrating case of wasted potential. I have not read the comics, but in terms of films I have always had a bit of an issue with Tony Stark/ Iron Man in that he lacks limitations. For me protagonists (particular in comic book adaptations) need limits they have to overcome, but it almost feels they sometimes write the plot and the situations Iron Man will find himself in and then think of what upgrades his suit needs to get himself out of these problems (similar to the ‘it’s magic, obviously’ get out clause that Harry Potter often relies on). I find Tony Stark’s biggest limitations to be is his destructive personality and his over ambition, and though the film starts off examining this really interesting idea of the whole ‘does the suit make the man, or the man make the suit’ it just descends into an increasingly boring CGI fest, some really cringe worthy plot developments and total anticlimax. What made it even more disappointing was that it was written and directed by the usually excellent Shane Black who often writes extremely witty and clever screenplays.

To read my full review, click here

About MoodyB

An extremely passionate and (semi) opened minded film reviewer, with a hint of snobbish.
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5 Responses to THE BURFORD TOP 10S: THE MOST DISAPPOINTING FILMS OF 2013

  1. jjames36 says:

    Again you have quite a few I haven’t seen, but I agree with most of those I have (2, 3, 7 and 10).

    Though I actually think The World’s End was pretty good (and better than This is The End). I have it a B.

  2. mistylayne says:

    SO agreed on The Purge. That was so disappointing.

    • MoodyB says:

      What made it so disappointing was that there was so much potential in the concept. Maybe number 2 will be an improvement.

  3. 1) Tried way too hard to be funny and failed miserably.

    2) Loved it, despite it starring Gosling.

    3) Huge disappointment.

    4) My expectations were low and film exceeded them.

    5) Loved it, found it thought-provoking.

    6) Give it up now . . please Bruce!! (Watch Olympus Has Fallen – the film Die Hard 5 should have been)

    7) Stunning film. The opulent look perfectly matches the excess of the era. This is far better than the Redford version which is quite dull.

    8) These kind of films usually fall flat for me, far too self indulgent but this was far from the worst of its kind.

    9) Not the slightest bit funny. The second was poor but the third was dire. If only they had not made the sequels as the original was excellent. So very funny.

    10) Great film. RDJ *is* Tony Stark/Iron Man.

  4. MoodyB says:

    Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated. Of course it is all subjective and if we all liked the same films then life would be very boring.

    I thought the concept for ‘The Purge’ was most definitely thought provoking, but I just found that the film did nothing with it at all, which was why I found it so disappointing.

    In terms of Gatsby I just found the film to be so empty and void of any emotional engagement as the story just had nothing and I could not care for any of the characters. Perhaps Carey Mulligan being completely out of her depth did not help.

    I agree with you about Robert Downey Jr., though perhaps playing himself, his natural charm, charisma and screen presence is perfectly suited to Tony Stark and makes the ‘Iron Man’ films seem that little bit better than they actually are. I just found that the film started off with interesting ideas and descended into an extremely lame anti climax.

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