It's usually the norm to list my favourite films of the year first, but since I'm artsy like that, I'm going with my worst films first. It may also have something to do with the fact that I'm seeing The Imitation Game tonight and apparently that has a strong chance of making my Top 25 tomorrow. But anyway, here are my 15 Worst Films of 2014. I've seen a lot of bad movies this year, but these are the fifteen that stand out as the worst. I'm sure some will disagree, but it is what it is. Dishonourable mentions include Sex Tape, Into The Storm, Dracula Untold, Pompeii and Annabelle, not in any specific order. There's been plenty of terrible movies I've missed as well, but I guess I should be thankful for that. So, yeah. Here we go.
The Paranormal Activity franchise is a bit of a mixed bunch. You have the first three films, all of which I enjoy, yet there are people out there who are strongly against them. While I disagree, I can understand where they're coming from. Then there's Paranormal Activity 4, and everyone can agree that that movie was terrible. Now we have Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which isn't actually the fifth film, but instead is a spin-off. Don't worry kiddies, the actual fifth movie comes out next year (argh). To me, this is the worst film in the franchise. It tries a little harder than 4, yet it's just as nonsensical, dull, clichéd and unscarry. READ MY REVIEW HERE
The writer of The Lion King returns to bring us a live action version of Sleeping Beauty that's told through the perspective of the villain... yet it's one of the worst movies of the year. Why does it take the prestige fourteenth position? Well, it may be something to do with the screenplay, visuals and sub par storytelling. After an unbearable 15 minute prologue, Maleficent then goes on to tell a rather unnecessary and incredibly uninteresting story of the title character that's so full of clichéd characters, excruciatingly cheesy dialogue, a predictable storyline and an ending that is literally the same ending as Frozen. But do you know what's even worse? Some group of near-teenage girls in my cinema stood up and applauded the film when it was over, claiming it to be the best movie they'd ever seen. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Okay, okay. Let's travel back to 1987. While I wasn't alive in 1987, that's not the point. I walk out of a screening of Robocop with a big grin on my face. Why? Because I just witnessed one of the most badass action movies ever made. What made this movie so badass? It's an hour and forty minutes of blood, gore, language, sex, one liners and to top it all off, it was all made to raise some serious questions. Now let's travel back to 2014. February, to be precise. I walk out of a screening of the Robocop remake with a big frown on my face. Why? Because I just witnessed two hours of Gary Oldman fiddling around with a robotic piece of armour and yelling at people because he can't get it to work. READ MY REVIEW HERE
And so an hour and a half of my life goes. While Rob Reiner directs well, and Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton do rather well, everything else about this film fails miserably. It's an unfunny and predictable mess of movie that doesn't really seem to care, although to be fair, I didn't care about it either. So it's an uncaring movie about uncaring people with an uncaring audience to suit. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Video games can be fun. Movie adaptations of these video games are not, especially when the game it's being based on doesn't really have too much of a plot. This shows in the movie. Need For Speed takes thirty minutes to finish its backstory, and even then the plot doesn't really begin. With Aaron Paul in the lead, this film had a chance at being decent. And then the film came out. It tries to be Fast & Furious-ish, but comes off as a b-movie version of one of the not-so-fun movies in that franchise. It's runtime is stretched, the performances even more unbearable and the dialogue cringe worthy. I don't know if video game adaptations will ever be decent, but we can always hope the upcoming Warcraft movie proves us all wrong. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I have not read The Giver, the book this film is based on. While I hear it's rather thought provoking and intelligent, after seeing this movie I don't intend on ever reading it. The film thinks highly of itself, which is fair since it's based on such a praised book and it's led by a celebrity cast, but it's not deserving of this self praise. It's terrible, like all the films on this list are. The dialogue is corny, the performances weak and the narration... well, if you've seen the movie then you already understand how completely pointless it was. Justin Bieber actually recommended seeing this movie on twitter when it first came out in cinemas. I should've listened to this warning before it was too late. READ MY REVIEW HERE
While I haven't seen the first Rio movie since its release, I remember enjoying it. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to this second film, despite enjoying the first. As it turns out, Rio 2 is much much worse than anybody had me to believe. The animation is beautiful and the voice work is effective, mostly anyway, but the rest of the movie sucks. Rio 2 may also be the darkest, grittiest film of the year, full of sexual violence, torture sequences and sexist comments. Yep, all of this in an animated movie, yet it's played off for laughs and laughs is what they got. From the little kids, anyway. READ MY REVIEW HERE
'This is not a true story. This is a love story" is the actual tagline this movie decided to go with. This just may be the stupidest tagline I have ever heard for a film that's almost as stupid. Winter's Tale is a convoluted abomination, full of scenarios that just don't make any sense, performances that are, um, different, and then Will Smith shows up as some sort of demon person for no real reason. Um, yeah, so this movie is weird for all the wrong reasons. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Do you know what's worse than watching an entire film starring Ice Cube? Watching an entire film that stars both Kevin Hart AND Ice Cube. To be honest, I don't mind Ice Cube in some films he's been in, 21 Jump Street for example. When he's doing this... nuh ah. Honest to God, I didn't laugh once in this entire movie, and if I somehow did then the joke wasn't memorable enough for me to recognise that I laughed. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I can understand why there are so many book to movie adaptations being produced in Hollywood right now. What I can't understand is why this was chosen. Watching the trailer for this movie was more than I needed, but no, I went out of my way and watched this movie. I've managed to avoid some supposedly terrible movies this year, but I actually went and saw this one. With special effects, performances and dialogue that makes Sharknado look Oscar-worthy, Vampire Academy is easily one of the worst films of the year. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I didn't see last year's Diana, but if it's anything like Grace of Monaco, and I hear it is, then I don't ever want to. It's a three and a half hour long movie with a runtime of just an hour and forty minutes. With a constantly changing plot, performances that at least try, I guess, and visuals that just add to the whole blandness of everything, Grace of Monaco does no good. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Keanu Reeves truly is an extraordinary actor. He's starred in one of the best action movies of the year, John Wick, and in one of the worst, 47 Ronin. It is a tedious and unnecessarily long version of the classic Japanese story, told with a bunch of dull CGI battles, non-Japanese accents and performances that don't even seem to try. Not even good ole Keanu can save this turd from being anything more than forgettable. Hey Keanu, let's just do more films like John Wick, aye? READ MY REVIEW HERE
I'm one of the few people who have been on board with Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback movies. I really enjoyed both The Last Stand and Escape Plan, but this, well, this is another story. It's screenplay is all sorts of terrible, co-written by the guy who gave us X-Men Origins: Wolverine and A Good Day to Die Hard. The violence is unnecessarily excessive, the performances are unappealing and the plot is rather forgettable. This honestly is one of the worst films Schwarzenegger has ever been involved with, and he's made plenty of duds. READ MY REVIEW HERE
The most recent film on this list is Annie, the remake of both the 80s movie and the stage musical. Now, I hate the original movie with a passion, but this remake somehow manages to be even worse. It means well, but the final result is a movie so bombastic and unsettling that even fans of the Transformers movie will groan at. The songs aren't catchy, and the ones that are simply 'okay' are ruined by autotune. Plus it's all topped off with lip syncing that ISN'T IN TIME WITH THE SONGS BEING PLAYED! Eeeeeeerrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Slotting in at first place on my list (or last place, depending on which way you look at it) is a found footage horror movie with nothing new to offer to the genre. This is the second horror movie to be presented on this list, not including dishonourable mentions, which really says a lot about the genre. It's a boring movie that's not at all scary, but not even laughable. It didn't even have the decency to not care. The filmmakers who made this actually cared about what they were doing, making the film even more unbearable. There's some pointless zooming, some shaky home footage, a few church visits, some stomachs increasing in size and then some random and unexplainable paranormal stuff happens at the end and the movie is over. It's dumb, but so are the characters. They seem totally fine with the fact that they're now having a baby, even though they use birth control. It's so frustrating to watch these idiotic characters say and do idiotic things. It's like an unfunny Dumb and Dumber. READ MY REVIEW HERE
So we've come to the end of the year once again. 2014 is, after 365 days of movie watching, at an end. While I'm sure you've become accustomed to my Monday recaps of the 100 Movie Challenge, there's only 3 days left in the month so I figured I may as well wait until then to recap the last week (and 3 days). But first thing's first, The Top 2013 Releases Not Released in Australia Until 2014, a list which will be followed by my Best/Worst films of the year in the coming days.
Every January, us Australians hear so many complaints and cries for help from American movie-goers as they sit through a month of terrible movies. In Australia, this isn't the case. January is our month for left-over movies. Those final releases from the previous year that we haven't got yet. Because of this one reason, none of the films can make it into a Top Films of the Year List as I've made the list by the time I see the movie. But it seems that I've finally found a place for some of these astray films. Please do enjoy my list, and yes, there will be more than 8 titles on my next two lists so don't you worry about that.
8. All Is Lost
Slotting in at eighth place is All Is Lost, a one man show starring Robert Redford. We don't know much about this character, his name included, but we're with him for an entire hour and forty minutes. With very little dialogue and literally just one character, All is Lost was a rather risky experiment. Its screenplay was a mere thirty-one pages long, yet the story takes more than three times that length to tell. It really is quite an achievement, and it was one of the most frustrating viewings of 2014, but in a good way of course. READ MY REVIEW HERE
7. Inside Llewyn Davis
Inside Llewyn Davis is the latest film from the Coen brothers, directors of such classics as Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country For Old Men. With Inside Llewyn Davis they proved to us once again that they know how to make a damn entertaining movie. With brilliant performances and even better musical numbers, this film is an absolute hoot. It's quirky, hilarious and directed to perfection, even if there's a scene or two that may or may not overstay its welcome by a mere minute or two. READ MY REVIEW HERE
6. Dallas Buyers Club
Do you remember that moment back in March when Mathew McConaughey went up on stage to receive his Oscar and said "alright, alright, alright?" Well, this film was the reason why. While it deviates from the truth, Dallas Buyers Club is still an extraordinary piece of cinema. It's a film that, while not as easy to remember as other films on this list, had me laughing, tearing up and cheering for victory (quietly, of course). It's a film that is most certainly worthy of making this list. READ MY REVIEW HERE
In my review for Her I gave it 4 Stars. While this is still a very good rating, the previous films on this list all received a half star more. So why is Her higher up on the list? It's called rewatches, darling. It seems that there was something about this film that I just didn't quite pick up on the first time around. It clicked with me even more upon second viewing. It's a daringly original movie and a damn good love story. While Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant, it's Scarlett Johansson that steals the spotlight, and all she plays is a computer. READ MY REVIEW HERE
4. Blue is the Warmest Colour
Blue is the Warmest Colour gained a lot of controversy for many different reasons. Firstly, because of its sex scenes. The film has more than a few lengthy scenes in which characters are either nude or performing sexual acts, which I hardly see as controversy. Just watch Nymphomaniac. This led to the second controversy, it's lack of Oscar nominations. It's a critically acclaimed movie and one of the best foreign films in recent years, yet it received no Oscar nominations, even in the Best Foreign Film category. And the third controversy is the film's director, Abdellatif Kechiche, who was accused of treating the lead actresses with disrespect during the production of the movie. Controversy aside, this film is amazing and it's one that I won't be forgetting. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I have never been to Nebraska, nor anywhere near Nebraska. Actually, I don't even know anyone who lives in Nebraska. Because of this, there's no possible way I could be biased when I say that I loved Nebraska. With an original, yet simplistic story, some of 2013's best performances and cinematography that's just utterly beautiful, made perfect by black and white, this movie rocks. Plus it has an ending that's touching, endearing and just all round mesmerising. READ MY REVIEW HERE
2. 12 Years A Slave
Saying that 12 Years a Slave deserved to win Best Picture is an understatement. While not my favourite of 2013, it's nothing short of a masterpiece. It's an intense and gruelling experience that I've been meaning to rewatch for a while, but I just... can't. It's an experience I'd be willing to watch again, but can't bring myself around to it. There's not a moment that drags, nor a performance close to sloppy. Michael Fassbender, who plays the most despicable slave owner of the three, gives an Oscar worthy performance, even if he has no Oscar to show for it. Hey, at least Lupita Nyong'o got her's. READ MY REVIEW HERE
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on a true story, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. What more could you want from a movie? Not only is this film my number one 2013 released film not released in Australia until 2014, but it's also my top film of 2013. Period. We follow the story of douchebag Jordan Belfort, who spends his days snorting drugs, cheating on his unbearably attractive wife with hookers and scamming investors of millions of dollars. It's a revolting tale, but told in the most entertaining way possible. Scorsese can do no wrong and this film shows that not even old age can stop my favourite director! READ MY REVIEW HERE
'Twas the (3) night(s) before Christmas, when all through the cinema every creature was stirring, even a mouse. The ropes were hung and put over the necks with care, in hopes that this godawful movie would soon end.'
This was my experience during the Annie remake, believe it or not. Except for the fact that I didn't tie a rope. But anyway, it's once again time to recap the last seven days of movie watching, and I warn you, I may start to ramble on when I get to the bad (I may also want to edit that sentence out once I actually write the paragraph, but I'm too lazy to press the backspace button a few times), but we'll see how that goes.
I've hinted at a lack of sleep every once in a while, but I've also hinted at that going away. Three weeks in and I can honestly tell you that this isn't the case. I'm exhausted, although that may be a rather unfair statement seeings as how I was up until 1am last night having a Lord of the Rings marathon, followed by a 6:30am awakening. But whatever, the point is that I'm tired. I'm fine with that, however. I'm not sick (yet), but even if I was I could still demolish a lot of movies. Whatever. I'm straying from the topic.
This week featured a heck of a lot more rewatches than the previous two weeks, yet for some reason none of these rewatches were Bond movies. I'm not sure why, but they just weren't. I had a week off Bond and I lived to tell the tale. Most of these rewatches slot into either the highlights or the lows of the weeks, all with the exception of This is the End. It's a bloody hilarious film and all, but not amazing enough to slot into my highs. Still, it makes me want to watch The Interview even more. Freaking North Korea, right?
Seeings as how I rewatched a lot of films this week, of course there's going to be a lot of highs. I don't really rewatch that many bad movies (although more on that in the next paragraph). This week saw me going through all six Middle-Earth movies in chronological order (and the extended editions, of course). I went through the first two Hobbit movies, which I seem to love more that most, and then watched the upcoming final Hobbit movie, which I seem to love less than most. It's still amazing, but a little underwhelming. Other highs include the other three Lord of the Rings movies (the third of which I would consider to be a flawless film), the hilarious Lego Movie, the highly original Her, the mesmerising masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of the year's best films, The Rover, and a first time viewing of Team America: World Police, because yet again, freaking North Korea, right?
I was thankful to find that there were only 4 bad movies I saw this week, two of which I'd seen before. These two were the original Annie and the Johnny Depp/Angeline Jolie action thriller, The Tourist. Annie I hate with a passion, much like with the remake which I also watched this week. The Tourist was a film I enjoyed in the cinemas, but upon rewatching it I found that I was very very wrong back in 2010. It's atrociously bad, full go bland storytelling and even blander dialogue. The other film I saw was slightly better, thank god. Friday the 13th: Part 7 may not be good, but it ain't mind numbing either.
So, yeah. That's another week of this challenge down, with just over a week to go. I've now seen 66 films this month, meaning I've got 10 days to get through another 34. I'm a little behind, but I'm confident I can do it. It would probably help if I weren't trying to cram in as many last minute 2014 reviews as possible, but what the hell, it's not 2014 every year so I may as well make the most of it. Wait, what?
So it's Monday morning again. F**king Monday morning. Normally I'm an anti-Mondayist, but recently I've been acting a little differently. It's now the third Monday of December, meaning it's now the third Monday of the 100 Movie Challenge, meaning that at some point today half the month will have already happened. That came quick, but at the same time, it didn't. The days feel longer and the nights shorter, but in retrospective, it's simply been two weeks. Two weeks of films.
While there were times during the first week of my challenge where I didn't really feel like watching at least three films a day, this week I didn't feel that once. Fun fact, a similar thing happened in the second and third week of #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM where I got completely sick of horror movies for a day or two, but got back on track soon after. Despite my occasional whinge, I enjoy pushing myself through challenges like this. They're my Olympic Games, so to speak, and I'm going for that gold medal.
In similar form to last week, I won't discuss each film individually. Instead, I'll take you through my highs, lows, rewatches and overall feelings. You get the gist. My total films for the month has now hit forty-three, which means I've viewed twenty-two films since I last checked in. Out of these films, four of them were rewatches, and three of these were Bond films. Yep, I'm still plowing through my Bond rewatch-a-thon (well, maybe not plowing). Goldfinger is still one the best Bonds, Thunderball is still a little underwhelming and You Only Live Twice is still rather racist. And that brings me to my final rewatch: Dumb and Dumber. And my god, this film still makes me laugh upon every viewing.
This week was both an improvement and step back with the quality. While the highest rating last week was 4.5 Stars, this week I had not one, but two five star viewings, although both of them were rewatches: Dumb and Dumber and Goldfinger. There's also been plenty of other highs, such as Mulholland Drive, which turned my brain to mush and then spat on the remains. The emotional Million Dollar Baby, which is a boxing movie that's not about boxing. There's also the two Aussie masterpieces: The Babadook, which is now one of my favourite horrors of all time, and These Final Hours, an intense and exciting film about the end of the world. And the final 4.5 star film this week was Calvary, a dark and occasionally hilarious tale.
Enough with the good, there's also been a plethora of terrible movies that I've had to witness. The worst of which is Saw IV, a horror film so lazy and uninteresting in execution that forced me to give in a read a comic book while the many dull traps were taking place. There's also the insulting, racist and unfunny Bruno, which is currently placed as the worst Sacha Baron Cohen film to date. And then there was The Tree of Life, which is a film many have deemed a masterpiece. Many, but not me. It's an overly artsy movie that's both ambiguous and boring.
So I'm now two weeks into December and I'm still loving this challenge. It may require more effort that I originally thought, but that's fine. It's not like I have anything to do with my life outside of the internet. With just a few more weeks left in the year don't be surprised if you see me cramming in some final 2014 gems that have the possibility of making it into my top 25 Films of the Year, a list which will be up on this page on the 31st December. I will also be having two other lists coming out around then: my 15 Worst Films of the Year on the 30th and my Top 2013 Releases Not Released in Australia Until 2014 on the 29th. So make sure to stay tuned for them.
I'm sure a lot of you are aware of this already, but this month I am undergoing a little challenge, and it's not to watch only horror movies as I've done that already this year. No, instead it is to watch precisely (or more than) 100 movies within just one month. That month? December, mainly because it's my least busy month of the year. Well, it was before I decided to do this challenge.
It is now the morning of the eighth of December, meaning I've had exactly seven days of movie watching. Over the past seven days I've seen a number of films, twenty-one if we're going into specifics. Some brilliant, some fine, some major guilty pleasures and others just downright unbearable. If you listened to my podcast on Friday then you've probably already got an idea of which films fall into what category. If you haven't, well, you're in for a treat. Maybe not, but how awesome did that sound!!!
I won't take you through each film individually because that would just take way too long and I don't have the time. Really I do, but I'm lazy and want to watch Mulholland Drive. I shall begin with my feelings on this challenge as a whole, or more so how I'm coping with all these films. In an average month I watch anywhere between 20 and 35 films. During the first seven days of this month I've already caught up to that. It was surprisingly easy to find all the films I wanted to watch, especially since I have access to every country's Netflix.
It's been a week of laziness, chocolate and constant patting of my dog as he charges into my room with the hopes that I'll play with him (and no, I'm not that dickish. I did actually play with him). While I'm rather tired because of a minor lack of sleep, which is mostly thanks to my late night movie watching and early awakenings, so far I'm perfectly okay. I've been traumatised by a few unbearable movies (and a killer clown named Pennywise), but that's nothing I haven't experienced before.
Out of the twenty-one films I've watched already, only three of these were rewatches. The first, The Impossible, is still a film I love to pieces. It's emotional, gripping and led by brilliant performances, even if the kids occasionally got an unintentional laugh. The second, Dr. No, kicked off my James Bond rewatch-a-thon. It's still a film I absolutely love and one the better classic Bond films, although not quite as good as the other Bond film I watched again, From Russia With Love. James Bond really is the man (or men, if you believe the theory that James Bond is simply a codename).
Before I delve deep into the lows, I must point out the highs. There's been more than a few top notch films that I've viewed in my life, causing my standards of film to be slightly higher than those who either don't watch a lot of films or don't view them with a critical eye. This week's best film was easily From Russia With Love, although I literally just discussed that. Some other highs, however, included the touching and emotional war flick, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, the constantly gripping biblical movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and the mind-bending and complex sci-fi film, Minority Report.
And finally, this week I was fortunate enough to only watch a few mediocre movies. My lowest star rating on Letterboxd (follow me here) was 2, although there were a few unfortunate enough to receive this rating. The first of which was Kevin Smith's unfunny flick, Cop Out, which is so unfunny that I had to get through it in two different sessions. The second was The Counselor, last year's Ridley Scott directed thriller with an abundance of a-list celebs who do nothing but talk about irrelevant things. And the final two star film was The Waterboy, which is another Adam Sandler comedy that'll make you want to bash your brains in with a blunt spoon. Hey, it was better than Grown Ups at least.
So that wraps up the first week of December. It's been a rather entertaining, if not sleep deprived, week. At this stage in the game I'm enthusiastic, but if I'll feel the same next Monday is yet to be decided. I guess you'll just have to check back in again to find out. Too-da-loo.