My Bottom 5 Films of 2014
Well, another year, another “list season”. I’m still debating on my best of 2014 list, but I think I’ve bottom my worst of list ready to go. I’ll be honest though, I haven’t seen a whole lot of really bad movies this year. I haven’t seen that many movies this year period, so I guess that might be the reason. 2014 appears to be a year of movies in the middle; nothing really outstanding in either direction. Actually, the only movie here I’d consider truly awful is the #1. That’s why instead of calling it “worst of” I’m calling it my “bottom 5”.
See this is what I’m talking about. Noah isn’t a terrible movie, which shows that there really weren’t that many terrible movies I saw here. In fact I think I gave it a 6/10. There are a lot of admirable qualities to Darren Aronofsky’s foray into biblical times, the most impressive of which is how he was able to create this very ancient world which was hardly inhabited and had very little in the way of civilization. It was also visually stunning with amazing production values.
But ultimately the movie failed. It refused to commit to the religious aspects (which I’m sure appealed to many), and had some really goofy ideas like the rock creatures and the magic fireballs. The story also got pretty muddled once they were adrift on the ark, leading to a disappointing yet somehow admirable epic.
4. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
I am a big Tolkien fan, but I’m sorry; I just can’t get behind this movie. In fact, the whole Hobbit trilogy has really let me down, but this last chapter really took the disappointment cake. There were so many missteps taken by Peter Jackson and Co. The choice to focus on the elves and that stupid elf-dwarf romance was gross. The inclusion of that cowardly character felt like the poorest attempt at comic relief. The CGI looked showy and trashy, a far cry from the more grounded, blended effects of the LOTR trilogy. And the character of Thorin was not represented well at all for reasons that would take too long for me to go into in this little blurb.
Again, in a year I saw more movies, this wouldn’t be in this list. Its bad, but its not THAT bad. Its just the worst of the six middle earth films, and my anger towards it has it it on the list this year.
3. American Sniper
I was not a fan of this movie. I found it cheesy and manipulative and felt it was trying to disguise a poor movie behind its emotional subject matter. This movie is very pro-military which some will love and some will hate. I’m okay with a movie taking a political stand, as long as its done well. But when there is a scene of the main character getting up and looking in the TV with anger watching a news report of a bombing, looks back and says with clenched teeth “Look what they did to us”, I can’t take it seriously anymore. I haven’t written a review for this yet, but it felt like this movie was made for the family of Chris Kyle. I don’t really know anything about the man himself, but looking at him only as a character through the lens of this movie, he seems practically deified, and could do no wrong.
Godzilla takes the “Most Disappointing” award home this year. From all the promotional stuff, this movie looked like it was going to be awesome, like it would do justice to that original Godzilla of 1954. And yet… it was incredibly bland. The biggest probelm here was the lead (what what is name, Ford or Chevy or something?) who was a complete blank slate who remained blank the whole way through. The way he kept finding himself in the path of the monsters was ludicrously contrived. Godzilla the beast looked great, sounded great, etc. But without a decent movie surrounding him, its ultimately pointless. This wasn’t much better than the 1998 version.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Okay, up until now, the other entries on this list are all somewhat passable films that just have a whole lotta flaws. But this one is just garbaage. I was certainly not a fan of the reboot a couple years ago, but this sequel took the awfulness to a whole new level. This movie felt like it was made for and by hyperactive twelve-year-old boys. The character designs of the villains were disgusting, Andrew Garfield was still trying too hard to be quirky, nerdy and cool all at once, and the story was all over the place. Yuck.