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Don’t Bring Me Down!

September 1, 2010

Reader and donor Ashley sent me this email:

I’m wondering if you could do a post about your biggest letdowns…movies or books or albums or meals or anything really for which you had high expectations that were completely busted. I suspect you’re not the sort to get your hopes up too high, but I thought it would be interesting regardless.

Surprisingly, I do occasionally get overly excited only to find my excitement far exceeds the actual entertainment value of whatever it is I’m excited about.

Movies
More often than not when there are hopes to be dashed at the box office, my beloved Bruce Willis seems to be the one doing the dashing. Because the very thought of a new film starring Mr. Willis is enough to get my ass into the theater I’ve had more than a few opportunities to have my fortunes reversed.

Hudson Hawk

I don’t know where you were May 24, 1991, but I’m certain you weren’t at the first screening of Hudson Hawk with my little sister and me. In fact, that theater was pretty much EMPTY. Apparently, folks knew something that I didn’t: it was a stinkfest. On paper it sounded okay. I mean Willis and Aiello singing standards while stealing stuff. What could go wrong.

Well, it turns out, everything. Hudson Hawk was so bad that it scared me away from other terrible Willis films like The Last Boy Scout and Death Becomes Her. In fact, I didn’t see another Willis film until he had what was promised to be an against type role in Twelve Monkeys. Looking back I can’t tell if Hudson Hawk was terrible on its own or was exponentially more terrible because I looked forward to seeing it with anticipation usually reserved for Christmas. I do know that I have only seen it once and shudder whenever it’s mentioned. Other hope dashing Willis movies include: The Story of Us (ten shades of meh), Mercury Rising/Striking Distance (kind of seem like the same movie) The Jackal (everyone’s awful in this unnecessary remake.) and the third installment of Die Hard, which despite appearances by Sam L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons, is my least favorite of the four films. Even Renny Harlin hot buttered fail Die Hard II is preferable to III.

Random Hearts

We all know I love me some Sydney Pollack. I even enjoy Harrison Ford, however, I have nothing but hurt feelings and ill will towards the film I spent cashmoney to see the day it opened. I have no idea what this movie is about, except I seem to remember lots of whispering and Ford wearing those mirrored perv aviator shades. It was so lousy I fell asleep so I can only assume it got worse afterwards and not better.

Rocky V – not even worth linking

Huge fan of the Rocky Saga, but even I wouldn’t get near this. Technically, it’s not a disappointment as I’ve never seen it. I am so terrified of this abomination if I happen to surf past it on TNT I scream and quickly change the channel. Once, it showed up on TNT and I couldn’t get the remote to work and I was screaming, panting and finally threw the remote at the TV to turn it off. I nearly saw 30 seconds of the movie and it was terrifying. La Mommie was like, “What!!!” and I was like, “Omg, Rocky V!” and she shrugged and said, “Stop all that screaming.” However, I do very much love Rocky VI/Rocky Balboa. Nice coda to the series.

Books

One book I recall being super excited about prior and super disappointed about afterwards was Normal Girl by Molly Jong-Fast. I don’t know what I expected, but it was just okay and I felt let down because I seem to remember jumping through a lot of hoops to obtain a copy. Books are different, because even if I end up not liking a book, I’m still usually glad I read it. Okay, maybe not Germs, Guns and Steel.

Albums

Anything by Bowie after Let’s Dance and before Heathen. Definitely anything by Tin Machine. Those albums make me so mad! Mostly because I love Bowie so much. I also have felt let down by most recent Aerosmith albums because I love everything from Pump on back. Draw the Line is my favorite album and Kings and Queens is my absolute favorite Aerosmith song.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Miguel permalink
    September 2, 2010 1:13 pm

    Oh god, all David Bowie’s attempts to stay relevant throughout the 80’s and 90’s are so awful. I think the cover he made of God Only Knows for Tonight is just such an abomination. Black Tie White Noise is probably the nadir, in my opinion.

    I kind of thought he had a little gasp of decency on The Buddha of Suburbia when he wasn’t blindly following trends for once. Strangers When We Meet is a pretty good pop song.

  2. Leah permalink
    September 2, 2010 4:07 pm

    Am I the only one who loved Bowie’s Outside? I think I’m prejudiced because my first concert ever was Bowie/NIN on that tour, but still!

  3. September 2, 2010 7:02 pm

    Leah. I caught that show too in LA!!! I had the t-shirt.

  4. September 2, 2010 9:18 pm

    I never quite understood what Bowie was doing with Tin Machine. It was like he thought he need to try out being really boring or something. But j’adore him (and his out of control crotch) in Labyrinth!

    I was about 2 seconds away from watching Hudson Hawk during my phase of Uncontainable Lust for Bruce Willis when a number of friends warned me it was hein. I have to admit though, I am still curious to witness the train wreck. Does he take his shirt off at all?

  5. September 2, 2010 9:18 pm

    Forgot to close my damn italics tag!

  6. Sara permalink
    September 3, 2010 10:00 am

    Bruce Willis went through a pretty long phase where it seemed like every other movie he did was just dreck. You could just about count and determine whether any given one was going to be worth watching, and Hudson Hawk was definitely one of the off ones.

  7. September 3, 2010 10:47 am

    Chriso, not that I recall. It’s on Netflix instant and I have been tempted to revisit it.

  8. Chi permalink
    September 3, 2010 9:31 pm

    Apparently I totally forgot that Rocky V even existed, because all the way through that paragraph I thought you meant Rocky Balboa and was thinking, “Aw, but I thought it was kinda sweet. I must have no taste. Should I try to defend it in the comments?” What a relief at the end!

  9. Citizen Taqueau permalink
    September 15, 2010 10:36 pm

    I have a soft spot for Hudson Hawk, but probably because my best friend does a hilarious Minerva Mayflower. I wish Sandra Bernhard hadn’t started taking herself seriously. She turned into freaking Germaine Greer sometime in the late 90s after she and Madonna quit speaking. I sat through a special in which she wore this dishy see-through dress and even that was just PONDEROUS. Bleah.

    Probably my biggest let-down was Waking Life. I was really hoping it would be entertaining ontology games, and instead it was this talking-head borefest, and the graphics were a joke.

    Oh, and Eyes Wide Shut. Dude. Never before and never again did a piano so much make me want to throw up. In fact, EWS was a double let-down, because my friends and I wasted half an hour sitting in the theater waiting for the projectionist to fix the film and synch up the audio track. Ugh. We should have taken it as a warning that the equipment itself revolted.

  10. hsofia permalink
    September 16, 2010 7:49 pm

    I felt this way about “The New World.” How could it go wrong – directed by T. Malick AND starring Christian Bale? But I saw it with my (now) husband, who HATED IT, and I think we were one of four people in the theater (it was an advance screening), and it was incredibly ponderous – which is seriously saying something for Malick. One of these days I will re-watch, but I don’t want to.

  11. September 16, 2010 11:59 pm

    Ha. I have such a different relationship to that film, mostly because some of it was film near my parents’ house and they were all excited about having the gang in VA.

  12. hsofia permalink
    September 17, 2010 2:40 pm

    The immense disappointment came from the fact that since 1999 I had been reading, discussing, and writing about T Malick’s films, particularly The Thin Red Line, which transformed my life (not hyperbole). I hate seeing serious movies for the first time with a companion – it’s usually a bad experience for me because I spend the whole time empathizing with the other person, and if they’re unhappy, I can’t enjoy it or even judge it for myself. Too much of the other person’s emotions transfer onto me. We spent 2.5 hours afterward debating the merits of The New World so now when I think of it, it’s associated with a sense of heavy heartedness and fatigue. Whenever the heck Tree of Life comes out, I will be seeing it by myself.

    I’m horrified to think what would have happened if I’d seen TTRL with someone else.

  13. Citizen Taqueau permalink
    August 26, 2011 3:10 pm

    Snarky’s and hsofia, now I am really dying to know what you two thought of [i]Tree of Life[/i]. My verdict was that it was, in short, a hot mess. And yet there has got to be more to it. Right? Right? Ugh. Longing to discuss critically, but everyone except for my BFF and I seems to have adored it.

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