By Sean Kelly
Every year at MONDOfilm, we revisit our most disappointing experiences and biggest gripes of the year in the film world. They can be actual films, actors and filmmakers or trends and occurences that got our backs up. Sean Kelly kicks things off. Enjoy.
1. Too Much 3D (for real)
When I wrote my article in February contemplating how studios were jumping on the 3D bandwagon, following the success of Avatar, I had no idea how truly out of hand 3D would get during 2010. It started to seem that every single major release was coming out in 3D (often with the hilarious side note “also available in 2D”). The downside to this was that the studios were cutting corners and converting the majority of these films in post-production, which resulted in greatly diminished 3D effects (and wasted premium movie prices). This resulted in an understandable backlash, highlighted by an anti-3D article written by Roger Ebert. The 3D revolution also gave electronics companies a reason to speed up technological obsolescence by telling people to buy their new fancy 3D-compatable HDTVs and Blu-Ray players so soon after consumers (myself included) started to fully embrace the technology.
On the upside, TRON: Legacy restored my faith in 3D films and the next year promises to see more major films that were actually SHOT in 3D, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: The Dark of the Moon.
2. The MPAA
It’s quite fitting that I finally saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated recently, since issues about how the MPAA rate films have been raised yet again. The most high profile ratings controversy surrounded two films being released by The Weinstein Company (who are no stranger to ratings controversies) – The King’s Speech and Blue Valentine. The King’s Speech got an R rating for a scene involving many non-contextual profanities, while Blue Valentine seems to be yet another case (covered to death in the documentary) of the MPAA being way too harsh when it comes to sex scenes and giving the film an NC-17 (which was later successfully overturned). This is more confusing when you consider how many films are given PG-13 ratings, despite depictions of violence. A recent example being the Coen brother’s True Grit, which features bloody gunshots, including a headshot, and a guy getting his fingers chopped off. Yeah, the MPAA is messed up.
3. The Last Airbender
I try not to admit it, but I am M Night Shyamalan apologist. I have always been a devoted fan of his films, even as he became less and less liked by mainstream film audiences. However, with The Last Airbender, I seriously began to doubt my devotion to the director. The film features some of the most atrocious dialogue I’ve ever heard in a film. With over-simplified concepts and mystical mumbo jumbo, the film was an absolute pain to watch. Gladly, my faith in Shyamalan was (for the time being) repaired a few weeks later when I saw (the much better) Devil.