Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 10 Worst Movies of 2014

It wasn't easy, but we have 10 terrible movies here.

I think 2014 may have broke me. I mean, contrary to what a massive amount of people are saying, I thought that 2014 was just awful for movies. There hasn't been a year in recent memory that had so many mediocre movies, disappointments, and just downright bad movies. The good movies were alright, the Oscar bait movies were more Oscar baitey than usual, and this year just left me with a huge sense of apathy for Hollywood in general. I know not ever year can be great, and next year looks like it's going to be absolutely phenomenal, but that shouldn't mean that 2014 can just be a garbage dump of movies. Trying to narrow down to just a Top 10 Worst list was difficult enough, but actually ranking them proved to be an insurmountable challenge. After weeks of thought and deliberation, I can safely say that these are the Top 10 Worst Movies that 2014 had to offer. May God have mercy on their souls.

Honorable Mention: The Nut Job
Do you know how bad of a year it is when The Nut Job is an honorable mention? This is a movie that from the very beginning of the year was synonymous with being a bad movie. It has a lazy plot, mediocre animation, and has outdated jokes in spades. I will still never understand why the movie thought it would be funny to have all of their characters break out into doing "Gangnam Style" with an animated Psy. It boggles the mind how people thought that this movie would work. Plus it commits the biggest sin that most animated movies commit. It features a celebrity voice cast that distracts from the actual characters and instead focuses on "Oh look, Liam Neeson is a raccoon". They don't fit their parts and are only there to put a name above the movie.

So why is a movie this bad just an honorable mention? Because even though it is bad, and I mean very bad, it's expected. Everyone knew that this movie would be bad, so when people saw it, there was no expectations to be shattered. It was bad from birth, and bad in all of the uninteresting ways. I can analyze why a movie fails and try to understand how it could have succeeded, but this movie was doomed to the same fate as most bad kids movies. Lazy animation, not taking its audience seriously, and pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Number 10: Winter's Tale
Almost a year later and I still have no idea what the hell I even saw. Winter's Tale is confusing, nonsensical, and incredibly hilarious for its own ineptitude. A part of me wants to see it live on as one of the modern great Terribad films, a movie that takes itself so seriously, yet is so bad that its hilarious. I'm still flabbergasted as to why Russel Crowe is an Irish demon, Will Smith is Satan, Colin Farrel literally f&#%! a women to death, and then flies off on a magic unicorn into space. I have no idea what I saw, but all I know is that in its own insanity, I think the movie was trying to get across a great love story. It just so happens that the entire production team had copious amounts of cocaine when creating this movie.

This is probably the one terrible movie on this list that I would legitimately recommend to people to see just how bad it is. I have it on DVR, so it's readily available on TV, and it's bound to be in some bargain bin somewhere. By all means, watch this movie. It's crap, sure, but it's such a fascinating watch that it's almost brilliant in its sheer insanity. It still doesn't get over the fact that this movie sucks though, so... deal with it.

Number 9: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Oh look, a Michael Bay movie made a worst movies list. What are the odds? In all seriousness though, this was one of the few movies that everyone knew was going to be bad. From the minute people heard that Michael Bay was going to produce a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the internet as a whole called it and said that this movie was going to suck. And suck it did. I'm not even a big TMNT fan and I still think that this movie sucks. It takes all of the joy and fun out of the turtles and instead makes them into grotesque and unlikeable meatheads. I think a lot of people have undermined just how bad the turtles are designed, but let's set the record straight for anyone who hasn't seen this movie. The turtles look awful. They look like monstrous refrigerators with disgusting skin, odd faces, and tower over everything in sight. When I think of stealthy ninja turtles, I don't think ten foot tall football players.

Adding on to all of that, we have terrible characterizations of each of the turtles, an awful design of Shredder, Shredder not even being the main villain, Megan Fox as a bland and uninteresting April O'Neil, and Vernon as your comic relief. When Vernon is the one who provides comic relief in your TMNT movie, you are doing something terribly, terribly wrong. The fact that this movie is getting a sequel is just disparaging to me, and that only means that some Hollywood higher ups think that this movie, this terrible movie, is a certified blockbuster franchise, even though I would say its worse than the Transformers movies. Pray for us all when the turtles return in 2016.

Number 8: Grumpy Cat's WORST Christmas Ever
I could spend hours recounting how much I hate this movie and how unlike Christmas this movie is. I could bemoan everything that this movie represents about the holiday and how atrocious all of the acting is. But I think the best way to understand my feelings towards this movie is to watch this video. This is how I view Grumpy Cat's WORST Christmas Ever.

Yup, this movie killed Christmas. Moving on.

Number 7: Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & 2
At the beginning of the year, I my goal was to try and explore genres that I had never experienced before. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone so I could see if there was anything really worth wild outside of my limited horizon. And so, I decided to watch an art house movie, and boy what a trip that was. I'm sure that art house movies are very exciting and interesting pieces of film, but Nymphomaniac is a pure pile of pretentious boredom. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this was the most boring movie I've seen this year, without any competition.

You can chalk that up mostly to its over four hour run time, but that would be too easy to say. Instead, let's talk about how the movie follows a character who is bland, uninteresting, and is the definition of vanilla. The entire premise of the movie should be evocative and borderline exploitative. Hell, that's why you make a movie called Nymphomaniac. It's a movie about a sex addict. Not only that, but when every single poster of the movie shows the cast members having graphic sex and having orgasms, then the movie is enticing you to watch it and figure out what the deal is. Instead, we get a woman narrating her life with very little sex, and what is there isn't really noteworthy.

It may seem like I'm putting a huge amount of focus on the sex aspect of this movie, but that's the entire point to the movie. If you're doing a movie about the exploration of sex addiction, and you barely have it the movie, then you have failed. In the entire four hour time span, the only thing I walked away with was that Shia Lebouf's penis was CGI'd in. So what we have is a four hour movie tat's pretentious, doesn't live up to its potential, and nearly made me fall asleep on numerous occasions. Do yourself a favor; if you want to watch people have sex, go watch porn. Crummy internet porn is better than this movie.

Number 6: Earth to Echo
The most important question I asked after I saw Earth to Echo was "Why?" Why did they make this movie? What was the point of making this movie? Did anyone need this movie? Who in their right mind thought that a modern day version of E.T was necessary. At the end of the day, this is E.T in 2014, but why did we need a new E.T?

Back when I did my review of Earth to Echo, I talked about every little thing that was going on in my life BESIDES Earth to Echo, but it wasn't worth discussing. It gave me nothing. What could I comment on if the movie gave me nothing to work with? Take E.T, make the alien a little robot, and turn it into a found footage movie with generic kids, and you have yourself this movie. Even when writing this, I'm trying hard to remember exactly what happened in the movie. I remember pieces of it, but that's all. In fact, I saw this movie on a whim, bored out of my mind and figuring that I needed a new review out, and I left even more bored than when I came in! I was bored on a Sunday afternoon, and this movie made my Sunday afternoon even more boring.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who ever saw this movie. No one even talks about this movie anymore, like it never happened. Did I just dream this movie up in my sleep, or is this movie that generic that even average movie goers forgot this movie happened. I can't imagine any child, or person for that matter, remembering what happened in this movie. If you do, I feel sorry for you, because you just remembered Earth to Echo.

Number 5: Robocop
It takes a special kind of movie to be worse than Robocop 3. Robocop 3 was a pure piece of trash when it released and is still looked back as being a terrible movie that should have been left to rot in the 90's. I feel like the Robocop fanbase deserves to give that movie an apology, because the reboot takes the title of "Worst Robocop Movie", and that is a statement I don't say lightly.

Robocop isn't just a bad movie, but it's the epitome of why reboots fail. It forgets the spirit of the original movies, it tries to hard to be modern, and it has no soul. Ironically enough, the reason why this movie has no soul can link back to one of its biggest problems; Alex Murphy remembers who he was before he became Robocop. The entire point of the first movie was for Alex to remember his humanity and regain control of his life and find out who killed him. Here, Alex remembers who he is and doesn't really care about finding his murderer. When you completely miss a basic and central element of your protagonist, you're doing your reboot wrong.

But no one else turns in a good performance in this movie. Nearly everyone is awful, and it becomes uncomfertable when the movie is forcing its own political agenda down your throat. It's one thing to provide social commentary, but when your movie has Samuel L. Jackson standing in front of a camera lecturing you about the government and politics, then it just becomes forced. This movie was the most cynical movie of the year, forcing us all to listen to its political ideologies in the guise of a Robocop movie. I felt disgusting the longer I listened to this movie preach about its inane ideals and watching Robocop act nothing like the original Robocop. If this is how reboots are going to be handled from now on, then I will never see a reboot again of a property that I actually like.

Number 4: Transcendence
In my mind, there is nothing quite as bad as bad sci-fi. Sci-fi, as a genre, can hold limitless potential and deliver some truly astonishing results. It can delve into the human psyche and shake us fundamentally to our core. Bad sci-fi attempts that, but is so inept that it just becomes ridiculous and can insult our intelligence. Guess which one Transcendence is?

Transcendence is a movie that tries desperately to make us believe that it's smart. It tries so hard and is so earnest, but it all comes crumbling down at the simple use of logic. It forces us to enter its what-if scenario, when the circumstances don't make any sense. Dr. Castor is going to die because he was shot with a bullet that gave him cancer. I'm sure that any scientist can tell you how ludicrous and laughable that idea is, but the movie just rolls with it and thinks that its super clever for doing it. When Dr. Castor turns normal people into AI super humans linked to his central consciousness, we're supposed to be in awe of what he is doing, yet for a movie that's all about technology and computers, it has no idea how any of it works.

Some people may say that "It's sci-fi! It can get away with whatever it wants!", but saying that just shows how wrong this idea is. Suspension of disbelief allows me to believe that a man can amass a huge amount of money to buy a town in a week. It does not mean that nano-machines make people AI slaves. But the entire time, Transcendence believes that its being really super clever with what it's doing and that it's expounding profound and thought provoking ideas. Instead, it just looks like a fool, and nothing is worse than a fool who claims to know everything.

Number 3: Exodus Gods and Kings
This movie is not racist, it's just stupid.

When I see the name Ridley Scott in front of a movie, I can expect one of two things. One, it's going to be bloated and overstay its welcome and two, its going to big big and grand without justifying its scale. At least, that's my impression of the man after seeing Exodus Gods and Kings. Scenes are meant to be huge and invoke an epic feel, but the movie doesn't do anything to deserve the scale that it wants. When you're tackling the story of Exodus, you need to know exactly what you're doing, and it's clear that Ridley Scott had no idea what he was doing when he made this movie.

All of the actors are stilted and aren't normal human beings. Their amalgamations of stiffness and confusion that we're told are approximations of humans, but they certainly don't act like them. Everyone just seems to be lost with what's happening around them, and people say and do things because the script tells them to. We never really get a feel for Ramsey or Moses, both of them just being gruff men who like to yell a lot, with Ramsey yelling about how cool and strong he is, while Moses yells at God for not telling him anything and leaving him in the dust.

Everything is so drab and lifeless in this movie, not to mention mean spirited. When the plagues hit, it's less of a spectacle as it is a slaughter house. People are brutally killed because it wants to show the plagues are incredibly deadly. We see people attacked by crocodiles, burned alive, hailed on, eaten by flies, infested with boils, and we watch as their children die, not because it wants to send a point to the audience, but because the movie relishes in this suffering. It tries to be incredibly serious and epic by showing the depths of misery that people experience, but it never shows the rising action. People just suffer because suffering makes Moses's cause look better.

Everything about this movie is bad. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this movie is awful in nearly ever single regard. Nothing works in this movie, and I was left feeling mad and angry at this movie. If you want to see a good Moses movie, see any other Moses movie in existence. Trust me, they'll be better than Exodus Gods and Kings.

Number 2: Maleficent
Yes, you're reading this right. I'm putting Maleficent as the second worst movie of the year. Despite every other movie being absolutely awful and terrible, this movie ethically repulses me. I cannot imagine ever watching this movie again for how dirty and uncomfortable this movie makes me feel.

I'm not going to sugar coat it; this movie is a rape revenge movie. We are shown Maleficent being metaphorically and symbolically raped by another character in the movie, coloring all of her actions for the rest of the film. In my eyes, the beginning shows a young girl meeting a boy who fell in love, yet were separated for years. The boy becomes powerful and in order to become king, he needs to murder his childhood friend. He sees her again and romances her, reigniting the romance and love they feel for each other. However, the whole time, the man plans on killing her. He slips her a drug, which knocks her unconscious, and instead of killing her, he robs her of her most defining aspect, the one things that makes her herself. He leaves, she wakes up in agonizing pain, realizing what has happened to her, and now views herself as less than human, less than what she is. So she plots revenge on the man that did her wrong. THAT is the first half hour of Maleficent, but removing the whimsical Disney magic. THAT is why I'm uncomfortable with this movie. And yes, I am aware of how sensitive a subject rape is, but that is why this movie repulses me so much. You may see it as a Disney fairy tale, but I see it as something completely different. Something darker, more disturbing, and more hateful than I ever expected.

So all of Maleficent's actions are colored by this rape undertone. He reaction to the king, her treatment of Aurora, her plan to remove the curse, which is a whole other can of worms that I won't go into it here. This movie is all about Maleficent, but her character is so wrong and doesn't stay true at all to who she really is. Do you want to know how Maleficent really is? She isn't a motherly figure who cares about beautiful girls that she raises. She's a heartless monster that makes trolls fight and tries to kill princes because she feels like it.

Add onto that the fact that the fairies are absolute jokes in this movie and that the King is literally out of his mind insane, and you get a dark re-imagining that's too dark for children, uncomfortable to watch, and is a complete disservice not only to the original movie, but to the opera that it's based on. If Cinderella is anything like Maleficent, then expect to see that on this list next year too. But even worse than all of that, we still have one more movie to go. Prepare yourself...

Number 1: Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Do you know what makes me hate a movie more than anything else? It's not having a bad plot, and it's not bad characters. It's not a bad theme, nor is it bad actors. I hate movies if they're wasteful. The best way for me to hate your movie is if you have all of this amazing talent and good people working on a movie, only for all of its potential to be wasted and ruined. Here, you waste Dan Aykroyd, Hugh Dancy, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Oliver Platt, and Patrick Stuart all in one fell swoop in a movie that wouldn't pass for a good movie in 2002.

This is a movie that didn't even deserve a direct to DVD release. This is one of those movies that should have randomly dropped on Nick Jr. and was shown to 2 year olds. That's the only audience that may have found this movie enjoyable, but only for the pretty colors. As soon as the kid gets older, then they realize how bad of a movie this is and quickly force themselves to forget they ever saw it. It's a movie that time should forget and never, even mention again.

As a movie musical, it's awful. As a kids movie, it's even worse. It embodies everything wrong with kids movies today, and cements the idea that kids are stupid and will watch anything as long as its bright, colorful, and has a happy song or two in it. I would feel much more comfortable showing my kids Schindler's List than showing them this. At least Schindler's List cares about what you think. This movie does not. It has no respect for its audience or the Oz mythos itself. It wastes such a great world and potential. It wastes good actors, and it wastes your time. This isn't just one of the worst movies of the year. It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's an insulting piece of garbage that has the gall to call itself entertainment.

We as a human race allowed this movie to be created. We should be ashamed of ourselves and hang our heads in shame. However, I have hope for humanity. This movie had a budget of $85,000,000 and only made $18,000,000 at the box office. It is a bomb of titanic proportions. We have succeeded in letting Hollywood executives know that this will not stand. We demand better movies than Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, and everyone involved in the production deserves to hang their heads in shame for what they made. This movie is despicable and easily earns the title of Worst Movie of 2014.

And that was my Worst Movies of 2014! I hope you all enjoyed it and had fun watching me tears bad movies a new one. If you're just visiting, come like me on facebook to keep updated on all future reviews and to see the rest of my "Year in Review" reviews.

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