Summer 2009: The Season Of Bad Movies [Updated]

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:24 pm,

summerpostersmain Summer 2009: The Season Of Bad Movies [Updated]

Well, the summer movie season is officially over, and while box office earnings are way up, it seems like the quality of the films have actually gone way down.  But for every few badly-written movies (like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers 2, and G.I. Joe–though some will say it’s not that bad), there was a diamond in the rough like District 9.  So why were so many movies so bad in the summer of ’09, even if they did make a lot of money?  Hint: The Writers Strike!

Before the summer began, I wrote an article about how the 2007 Writers Strike might affect the summer 2009 movies.  I speculated that back in 2007, studios were nervous about how long the writers strike could last, leaving them with a possible lack of films for the fall/winter 2008 and all-important summer 2009 season (early May to late August 2009). To make sure they had big films lined up for Summer ’09, the studios pushed to have their big-budget scripts quick-finished before the Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) contracts were up in November 2007 and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in summer of 2008.

So what happened? Movies like Wolverine, Transformers 2, GI Joe, Angels and Demons, Terminator Salvation, and others got thrashed by critics (and our own, brave reviewers here at Screen Rant), for their lackluster scripts that showed every sign of being half-cooked. Now, some of you might thing bad scripts and summer blockbusters go hand-in-hand – but let’s be honest, when was the last time there were so many stinkers that came out in one summer?  Sure, many of these films made a lot of money, but how much of that profit hinges on moviegoers looking for affordable entertainment and “stay-cations” in this bad economy?

It’s very well known that most of the summer ’09 films were rushed into production. Angels and Demons was delayed a year due to the Strike, but that didn’t seem to help make the final product that much better; Michael Bay has said in interviews that he worked out the overall story of Transformers 2, all the way down to the action AND comedic bits.  However, when the WGA strike ended, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were joined by fellow writer Ehren Krueger to try and get the script for TF2 hammered out in a matter of three or four months to meet the production start deadline.  At that rushed pace, the script was bound to suffer.

summer 2009 wolverine optimus prime transformers 2 Summer 2009: The Season Of Bad Movies [Updated]

Several Big-budget franchise installments failed to live up to the hype.

Here’s a quick recap of some of the more disappointing movies this summer:

  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • Terminator: Salvation
  • Angels and Demons
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • Year One
  • Public Enemies (this one is open to debate–it seems kind of split on how people and critics liked it–Vic liked it)

(Continue to pg. 2 to see which movies of Summer ’09 were actually good!)

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  1. Ya know…I really like this site, but this habit some of you writers have of stating that movies are bad as if it’s a fact is really getting on my nerves. Stating that you think it’s a bad movie or that in your opinion it is a bad movie is one thing, but I and many of your readers don’t agree with you all the time. I happen to think Wolverine, Transformers, Terminator, and GI Joe were very good movies. I enjoyed them immensly. But of course that is my opinion, but on this site, I guess I should just state it as fact. The movies of Summer 2009 made for a season of EXCELLENT movies!

  2. The only two I cared to see were Tranformers 2, and T4…both of them were good, but I was more disappointed with T4 than I was with Transformers.

  3. @Wickamo

    Fine, disagree, we encourage discussion – but find me an editorial movie news site out there that is “kinder and gentler.” It’s what we do – if we didn’t think we were right what would be the point of telling you what we think?


  4. I thought it was a bad summer.
    But what I liked such as Up and Star Trek,
    I REALLY liked .

  5. I believe it was a bad summer for movies. I haven’t seen Moon or The Hurt Locker but I hear nothing but good things about them and look forward to seeing them. I know this may seem biased because of my avatar but I still think Star Trek was the best of the summer movies (although, like I said, I haven’t seen Moon nor Hurt Locker).

  6. I think most the movies was ok, I loved Wolverine and Transformers was ok, they squised to much into it i felt, even do there was loads of action the last half hour I was yawning in my seat.

    I dont think the films would have been much better without the strike, the wirters still have to stay true to their hollywood cliche handbook, and make child firendly funny movies with predictable endings….

    I see 2 movies a week and have seen over 2000 movies so far in the 29 years I have been alive, and the gems are spred evenly aorund whatever decade, fad or strike is there…

    You just have to be willing to watch alot of ok and bad movies to find the good ones. You can not listen to rewievs and critics or what the general peublic feels about a film, you have to find out foryourself, and the only way is to watch…..

    I am sure alot of people are pissed of and angry when they see a bad movie, cause the only go the the theatre once every 2 months or less. to bad ofr them, whatch more movies and you get to se more good movies….

  7. I liked G.I. Joe and Wolverine! I know neither one of them are Oscar-worthy, but I thought they were good summer movie-wise and I would watch either one of them more than once. Now I didn’t see every summer movie this year but here’s a list of the ones I saw and liked (in no particular order).

    X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    Star Trek
    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

    Now here’s the ones that I didn’t like…

    Ice Age 3D
    Land of the Lost
    Terminator Salvation

    I’m pretty sure I saw more than that, but I don’t remember them so I guess they weren’t that good. I do want to see Julie & Julia, District 9, Inglorious Basterds, 500 Days of Summer, and The Time Traveller’s Wife though. And I guess G-Force and Shorts weren’t very good either (hahaha) but I didn’t see them. Those 2 are my predictions for the Razzies!!

  8. @Johnny-K Wow, you’re a true film lover, very cool!

    @Wickamo If we liked everything, we’d be like a certain critic no longer on the air.


  9. To me, Land of the Lost was the worst this summer. Dragonball wasn’t in the summer was it?

  10. all I can say is that in these economic times, the dollars I spend on entertainment are fewer and farther between. I depend on sites like this to help me pick and choose what I spend my time and cash on. Fortunately, while there were some gems out there, I have to admit that I didn’t spend too much matinee time in the theatre this year because the pickings were slimmer than usual.

  11. @wickamo
    Yeah the writers opinions doesn’t mean a movie is good or bad so I don’t understand why they say things like that.

    This summer was one of my favorites. T4, Trek, RotF, The Hangover, District 9 and others no matter what these guys think. Why be a fan if you can’t enjoy these movies. As Bob Marley said: Lively Up Yourself!

  12. i thought transformers was ok for an action movie. wasnt anything extraordinary, same goes for wolverine. G.I joe was somewhat of a ridiculous movie. the action was cool (loved the acceleration suits) but there was so many stereotypes, just seemed lame and not that good. (but everyones got their own opinion)

    Now Star Trek was good. i think it was the summer movie number 1:) yeah that was it, havent seen that many movies this summer:p

  13. I’m with Vic – I was disappointed. Take Wolverine and Transformers, for example, they were both sequels to previously established characters. I enjoyed the first movies, so I have certain expectations that I have built up based on the previous movies. I was so excited to see the movies that I disregarded the reviews and saw them in the theatres anyway. Fault me for having ‘expectations,’ but now that the studios have not met those, I will not be so eager to shell out my $10 bucks for Wolverine 2 and TF3. I’ll wait to rent it. You know how it goes, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…” I look at it as a long term relationship. They got my money this time for big box office numbers for 2009. I trust Pixar, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams etc. to give me a good product. I will continue to support them until they prove otherwise (Read: M. Night Shyamalan – BTW I hope he turns it around) Others like Michael Bay I won’t trust again until proven otherwise.

  14. “I will not be so eager to shell out my $10 bucks for Wolverine 2 and TF3.”

    Same here. Transformers 2 was good, but unless they make some changes(like get rid of the juvenile humor, and bring in an actual story), then I really don’t find myself excited for a third.

  15. Wolverine was weird. It had it’s moments in action terms, but the lack of blood became noticeable and even laughable as the movie went on. I guess that was a “ratings” thing, and I don’t need to see Monty Python-esque artery-spurting every few minutes, but it seemed sanitized beyond any logical sense. No smears of blood even on his claws as he pulls them from someone’s chest? Huh??

    One of the many good parts about the original X-Men movie was how visceral some of the flashback/origin parts were, such as Magneto as a child in the concentration camp screaming for his family and being smashed down by a rifle butt, and Wolverine himself emerging from his “procedure” naked, bloodied and anguished.

    I don’t recall the Wolverine movie having anything close to those scenes.

  16. Yeah I think they could have gotten away with SOME blood and kept their PG-13 rating, same for G.I. Joe, but instead they decided to have none… Maybe they didn’t want to spend money on fake blood? I don’t know… But can’t PG-13 films include a certain amount of blood?

  17. @ Wickamo
    You’re not supposed to agree with everything the writers say! That would be boring. I agree with most of what they say, but no reason to freak when they have a different opinion. And Vic good job making him chill out. Don’t know how much I’m helping with that but thought I’d get it out there.

  18. I think some of the “fanboy” movies are a bit harshly critiqued only because they are becoming more of the standard fare. When you had “fanboy” movies last summer like Ironman and The Dark Knight that went above and beyond in all aspects (action, story, production, etc.) it raises the bar for movies that follow. TF3 and GI Joe I don’t think were really all that bad if you went in just expecting eye candy and not concerning yourself too much with a story.

    I was surprised to not see Potter make the list either way, good or bad. Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with it, I didn’t feel it could stand on it’s own as in individual movie like the others could and it felt incomplete. I’ve never read the books so I can’t really compare them, but it totally felt like it was a set up for the next movie while the others had a sense of completion to each of them.

  19. @ Wickamo

    LOL. What do you think are “bad movies” then????

  20. @ Wickamo

    And before you answer keep in mind: We’ve met the writers of some of these films in person, and I can tell you, THEY don’t like the state they put these scripts out in and wouldn’t defend them for a second as being good.


  21. I don’t think this was the GREATEST summer of films, but I didn’t see alot of the films released. I passed on going to see Transformers, Terminator and GI Joe in the theater, but I really enjoyed the movies I did see. I thought Wolverine was better than what most people though, Star Trek was just plain AWESOME, Up was a very enjoyable film and I really got into District 9. So for ME, for the films I spent my cash on, I thought I was well compensated for my time and money.

  22. are u joking???? tf2- a&d – t4 – xmen all the movies of summer2009 not only great but fantastic too, more better than 2007 & 2008 summers

  23. Journalism suffered this year, too, for maybe the 50th year in a row, as evidenced by your speculations on Star Trek which you admit you haven’t seen and your innacurate intel on some of the facts surrounding TF2. But I understand your desire to say, “See, I predicted this summer…”

    Love the site.

  24. Correction:


  25. with only 2 c’s

  26. I thought people already knew that the writers strike was the cause of many disappointments this summer.

  27. @bob – be specific, which facts is he work about in regards to TF2? As far as I know, Bay did in fact do the script changes and comedic parts himself during the strike. Hell the twins were his idea weren’t even part of the original turn-in.

    Of course this summer was filled with lack luster films, it’s just that some reason moviegoers have settled for mediocre entertainment which is obvious by the Box Office #s.

    Tell me one part of Wolverine that made sense, same with T4 and TF2. The SFX in TF2 were second to none, by far the best of the year but each one of those stories suffered from poor writing and Wolverine and GI Joe may tie for worst CGI.

  28. The Hurt Locker. Best film I’ve seen this year thus far. Nuff said.

    I also agree that 2009 has been pretty lousy for movies thus far. I can probably count on one hand the number of quality movies I’ve seen vs. the dozen or so bad ones. But October looks like a strong month with many must watch movies. Then hopefully as we get to the end of the year and closer to Oscar season, there will be a few more good ones to digest.