Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Worst Movies of 2013

So here we are again with the most prestigious time of the year for movies, the end of January. A lavish celebration that touts the best movies of the previous year and recognizes them for the pieces of art that they are. Truly this is a special time for cinema-goers as it really puts together a collection of what is truly most important in the world of films.

What? No, I’m not talking about the Oscars! I’m talking about the Cinema Freaks Best and Worst of the year lists! Get your head in the game. This is the worst movies of 2013. Like last year we’ll start off with disappointments.

Disappointments of 2013

V/H/S 2

The first V/H/S was a cracking, bloodthirsty horror movie with enough energy to power a small city. It was a real retrograde slice of fun and one of the better anthology horror movies out there. This one is the table scraps of that film, mostly relying on silly self-ironic horror comedy, which is a trend I really hope dies out soon. Unfortunately even though this isn't an actual bad film, there's just not much replay value in it, and none of the stories are really very good. I hate to be a cynic, but I am not looking forward to the endless stream of poorly-made sequels to follow this ... because unfortunately, that's how the horror genre seems to work.

Now You See Me

This one, I didn’t have many expectations for exactly, as I had not heard about it and just saw it on a whim. It was fun at first and generally entertaining, if pretty shallow as far as storytelling and characters go. But then the ending came around and ruined the entire thing. Usually that wouldn’t be enough to land a movie on this list, but the ending to this one really did just destroy the entire experience with how completely nonsensical and illogical it was. Sad.

And now with that out of the way, here we are with the absolute worst of the worst; the shittiest movies all year. The ones that will make you cringe. Let’s dig into the worst of 2013.

7. Man of Steel

This doesn’t do anything that the old movies didn’t do better. While I’m not opposed to the idea of a more somber, dark take on the character, the film is limp and lifeless, going through a rote collection of tired cliché – there’s just so little to really get into with this. The action is good, but everything is so mired in every stale modern movie stereotype that it’s tiresome to sit through. From the shaking seizure camerawork to the over-done “gritty” texture that covers everything in the film like a coat of fresh mucus, this is just weak. The story is pretty hollow too – lots of reiterations of the “conflict” the character is going through, plus an utterly boring cast of side characters that ticks every box from the helpless-yet-“strong” heroine to the curt black boss and the helpful father figure, none of them in any way fun to watch. It says a lot that a film in the mode of the original 1970s Superman films would be absolutely original and retro these days, as this kind of action movie has just about reached its boiling point now. Skip it.

6. The Conjuring

Aren’t people getting tired of this bullshit yet? There was nothing original about this, and even less that was interesting. It's just a collection of the same old exorcism tropes you've seen before, and the high production value and acting quality will really make you wish the makers had put that talent to use on something with value. Back in 2005, this kind of thing was at least a little bit interesting with Emily Rose. But like Man of Steel is for action films, this is a contrived and lifeless addition to an over-saturated subset of horror films. This will be the death of horror as we know it.

5. Kick-Ass 2

I may have overstated the quality of the first Kick-Ass a bit. I still like it, but the novelty has kinda worn off in the intervening years. That said, this is just garish. A few funny scenes, but everything is so poorly done and immature in this that it makes the original look Shakespearean in comparison. It’s not the content within, but the execution. This movie is just thrown together with too many plot lines and characters to really work, and the “humor” comes off like a bunch of middle schoolers giggling at toilet humor – it’s really just embarrassing to watch. You will be embarrassed to sit through this.

4. Ender’s Game

If this movie had any more self-fellating I’m-so-important drivel hammered into it, it would practically be an orgy. Every second of this movie is self-indulgent Hollywood pap, and the vast majority of the writing in this movie isn't trying to tell a story; it's trying to show off how great the movie is for simply existing. The acting is some of the worst all year – and even from vets like Harrison Ford – and the story is just mind-numbing. I pretty much hated everything about this.

3. World War Z

Just pure soulless tripe. From the bland characters to the boring storyline, World War Z is just a mess – not to mention the awful camerawork, which is about as good as a five year old with a handheld camera playing ‘tag’ with her friends. If you want to see some shitty modern Left for Dead/Call of Duty FPS game put on screen as a movie, be my guest, but I think putting this much money and time into making that into a movie is just a big waste of time. Imagine if they took the money used to film in all those different locations and put it towards helping the impoverished and war-torn people of some of these places. Wouldn’t that be a novelty?

2. Only God Forgives

Nicholas Winding Refn follows up Drive with a film of far, far less merit. This goes for minimalism with shots held for too long and the characters' scarce dialogue trying to get us to read between the lines, but there is nothing between the lines. Refn wants us to think there is so much symbolism and meaning in every drawn-out pause of the characters just staring blankly at the scenery, but the film is an empty void of meaning. Fortunately, as the critical reception for this movie shows, people are finally starting to see through Refn’s bullshit. The emperor is naked and people are finally starting to pull up the wool over their eyes. And I am thankful for it.

1. You’re Next

Oh my God this is just a nightmare. The fact that the movie wants us to be sucked into the “mystery” of why these abominable unlikable asshole characters are being killed off is a joke – it’s because anyone in their right minds would want to put on shitty animal masks and shoot these miserable people with arrows. And yes, that really is what horror movies in 2013 have been reduced to in terms of plot. I'm sad, too.

This starts off a zero-star movie with bad dialogue, bad acting and bad characters, and just keeps getting worse and worse as it goes on, if you can believe that. No production value, nothing to say with the script, no tension, no scares. Hell, good luck even making out what’s going on; this whole fucking movie is so dark and blurry.

I can’t think of even one redeeming factor. No, movie, a lamb's head mask does not incite fear in the audience. What's next? Are we going to have a horror movie where the killers are dressed like old Nickelodeon cartoon characters? Maybe cereal mascots? The possibilities are endless. And abjectly terrifying. But not in the way that was likely intended.

Tune in tomorrow for the Best Movies of 2013!

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