Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Worst Movies of 2014

Welcome, readers, to the annual thing I do at the beginning of the year where I talk about the best and worst films of the previous year. Like every year, let's start with the worst first and work our way back up to the top.

There weren't a lot of bad movies that I went to see last year, because I frankly didn't need to spend a shitload of money going to see Ouija, Annabelle, the TMNT reboot, whatever Transformers garbage came out last year, or any of the numerous other shitpiles that likely ended up on every other 'worst movies' list from the year. But unfortunately, some sewage did slip through the cracks. That's why we're all here today.

Disappointments of 2014

The Equalizer

I liked parts of this rather well and I hate to keep bashing on Denzel movies – he seems like a pretty cool guy and obviously a lot of people dig him. But this just isn't all that great. After a fairly good opening where he gets involved with this Russian mafia prostitution plot, the film just gets bigger and bigger as he keeps killing more people with zero consequence. I'm just tired of Hollywood movies portraying revenge as this cool, glamorous thing you can do wearing shades at night and then not suffer any consequences, physical or mental, from it afterward. Why don't we see any of the repercussions to him killing all these scores of people? If your only answer is 'turn off your brain, it's a dumb action movie,' then I don't think you understood what I was saying here. Revenge isn't cool and it isn't glamorous. It's a choice you make at the end of your rope – let's see more human, in-depth stories about it, and less dumbass Hollywood action flicks.

Worst Movies of 2014

5. Jersey Boys

Clint Eastwood needs to retire. There's no shame in that, as the guy has been doing movies longer than most of our parents have been alive. He needs to just hang it up now while he's still got the memories of good films in our fairly recent past – because this shit is seriously just awful. It's a biopic about a bunch of 50s doo-wop singers in their prime, and for those nostalgic for that sort of music, it'll probably work fine.

For the rest of us, not so much Рthis is a very safe, boring, bland experience, with no weight to anything that happens and no drama. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it really isn't. This is an extremely candified, watered down movie that comes off something like Martin Scorsese on happy pills. It's going for that kind of Scorsese-esque scope and dramatic presence, but with none of the emotional impact. This was such a numbing, blas̩ experience that you will need to go home and watch car crash videos on Youtube to actually return feeling to your senses afterward.

But eh, the acting was pretty good, so I won't put it too low (or too high?) on this 'worst movies' list.

4. The Taking of Deborah Logan

I covered this one last week, so no need to go on forever about it, but come the fuck on. Totally half-assed material that actually doesn't even feel finished as a movie. Plots that go nowhere, barely explained story tropes even through the morass of painful exposition, dumb ideas, dumb characters – just a fucking dumb movie.

3. Dracula Untold

A very droll fantasy tale with none of the glamor or prestige needed to make it feel as big as it wants to be. This whole tale of Dracula's origins doesn't even feel like it cares much about its own story, as it's a very short, rushed mess of a movie that doesn't inspire much grandeur or horror. The writing treads shallow waters, and this is just another dumb fantasy movie with all the colors washed out to blue and grey, all the characters speaking in forced-dramatic British accents to make up for there being no real drama, and lots and lots of cinematic music to make you think you're watching something cool. Wake me up at the end credits.

We don't need an origin story for every single iconic character we've come to love or fear over the years. Contrary to what Hollywood studios seem to think, movie viewers do still have imaginations. We don't need every little thing told or explained to us through the lens of millions of dollars spent making an unnecessary movie.

2. Dumb and Dumber To

I never thought the original was great, but at least it was something. This is a mind-numbing two-hour insanity fest that just made me feel old and tired. Parts of this are just agonizingly bad, while other parts will make you hate cinema as a whole. It's hard to really go into detail about what was so bad about this, because the movie itself was just bad to the core. Bad writing, bad story, bad jokes – just bad, bad, bad all around, with really not even the smallest morsel of quality to glom onto by the woeful ending. You will be praying for the end credits.

And the absolute WORST film of 2014 was...probably exactly what you'd expect after reading my blog, if you have been.

1. The Purge: Anarchy

Already went on quite a rant about this too, but why not some more? It's a lazy hack script for a lazy modern horror movie and there's nothing good or redeemable about it. I thought the idea of the first movie had potential as it was just confined to one house – so I figured maybe, just maybe, setting the second one in a bigger and more open environment would make for a better film. Nope. What we got was awful one-dimensional storytelling and strawmanning for the movie's main shitty point – all people are bad, and would kill each other if they had the chance.

Not to mention some of the worst social “satire” I've ever seen. I really don't even get what they were trying to imply – so the government would legalize crime one day a year and that somehow gets rid of crime the rest of the time? Or is it just a thinly veiled “rich versus poor” thing?

Either way, it sucks. Unfortunately it's already been renewed for a third sequel in 2016, though, which I probably won't waste any more time watching.

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