The movies (first two) were soulless (as is every movie I've seen from Columbus), horribly directed and horribly acted (except for a few... exceptions).

My thoughts exactly...and I've seen the thrid one now (GF wanted to go is my excuse) - and it's not quite as bad as the first 2 (particually the second which I really really hated) but the third film had that same chopped up feeling as though a scene or two was missing inbetween every scene that was included.