The Dark Knight has rightly won praise for its fantastic expose of modern filmmaking, but equally as commendable is director Christopher Nolan’s ability to produce a film that lived up to the pre-release hype. While Cloverfield proved itself as the most successful January release in history, after the endless blog column inches, the meteoric buzz could never realistically be trumped by the actual film itself.
Cloverfield though at least offered a 90 minute thrillride of a movie that will still go down as a great film but other offerings haven’t been so successful. We run through some of 2008′s biggest disappointments across the culture scope…
The Ting Tings – After all the hype and anticipation of their debut album ‘We Started Nothing’, the record fell flat on its face, relaying none of the energy of their wonderful live performances and proving beyond the lead singles, they have really very little to offer.
Manic Street Preacers awarded ‘God Like Geniuses’ – We have been lucky enough to escape another new awful Manic Street Preachers album this year but despite their painful discography, especially last year’s LP, NME awarded the ‘Manics’ with the ‘God Like Geniuses’ award at their annual awards. Come on now boys, enough is enough.
Jay-Z headlining Glastonbury – There was a huge amount of controversy surrounding Jay-Z’s Glastonbury headliner billing, with the poor tickets sales no doubt a hugely related problem. While I have no problem at all with hip-hop at the festival, it has always after all hosting a very wide mix of music genres, the main stage, however, especially the headliners, has always been a place for rock acts, Glastonbury’s heritage, and the rapper’s tame performance only proved so further.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – You can look beyond the monkeys, you can even force yourself to ignore the rambling dialogue, but George Lucas’ crystal skull plot-device and alien story twist, proved much too much for fans to gloss over. Luckily the performances of Shia LaBeouf and Harrison Ford managed to just about save the film from turning into an utter shambles.
The Happening – Coupled with Lady In The Water, The Happening has all but ruined M. Night Shyamalan’s once excellent reputation; the plot is utter nonsense, the acting in atrocious and the direction is worse than that of ’80s TV. After his last film we graded Shyamalan with ‘must try harder’, now he’s just getting an outright ‘fail’.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army – After the promising debut and Guillermo del Toro’s visionary trademarks, Hellboy II was expected to be the cinema adventure Big Red deserved but the sloppy script undermined the entire process. Arty films can get away with being all style, no substance, however, Hellboy II cannot get away with all style, failed substance.
E3 2008 – Once regarded as THE games event of the year, since splitting conferences around LA and dividing up space for developer stalls, E3 is quickly falling down the video game trade show pecking order. With a poor set of announcements and no huge news stories to speak of, while E3 maybe still be better than anything in Europe, the Tokyo Games Show the new place to be seen.
Game tie-ins of movies – Movie studios are renowned for scraping every last penny out of a franchise, which since the emergence of the games industry has meant commissioning video games for every blockbuster through the gates. The Incredible Hulk and Kung Fu Panda’s adaptations were remarkably average but Sega’s Iron Man game took levels to new lows, which deservedly made very little money.