2014 has been a.... well, a mixed year for movies. While we've had hits like 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', 'Whiplash' and so on and so forth. We've had our fair share of misfires. And let's face it, talking about those misfires can sometimes be just as fun as watching 'Guardians of the Galaxy' for the sixth time over. Well... almost as fun.
However, as a disclosure, I have not seen every film this year. And as I'm not a professional critic, there's probably quite a lot of really bad films that I didn't see. But this list is more a bringing together of the most frustrating and irritating flops of the year. That I've seen anyway. So, without further ado, here are the five movies that drove me up the wall most this year:
5) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
I'm sorry guys, I just couldn't stand this film. I can't stand Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, however good his Spider-Man is, I can't stand the lack of plot to this movie and I can't stand how the whole theme is ripped straight out of Christopher Nolan's Batman, and then put through a mincer so that it doesn't work any more. Expanding on my problem with the plot, I would have to confess that there is, in fact, a plot. Unfortunately there are also about four others and none of them are the central narrative. Rather, they all happen to cross over at certain points in the film and create the illusion of a concise, running story. We have Peter dealing with Gwen relocating, we have Electro bafflingly becoming a super-villain out of Spider-Man hatred, we have Harry Osborne turning into the Green Goblin and hating Spider-Man and we have Peter having to live with the ghost of Gwen's Dad hovering around him. And none of it works. Which just hurts more when you look back at the original trilogy and/or see what Fox and Disney are doing with their Marvel properties.
Ouija isn't as bad a film as some of the other films on this list. But it frustrates me just as much because it represents the whole problem with the horror genre right now. An over-abundant lack of originality. This film does nothing we haven't seen before and as a result of that, just can't be scary. People have argued that there's nothing original left to do in the industry of horror but with both 'The Purge: Anarchy' and 'The Babadook' entertaining and terrifying us this year, we have proof that the well of originality is far from dry. But Ouija opts for the bog standard student group all being besieged by some paranormal being which you can guess the origin and purpose of within the first five minutes. Which is criminal, because one of the first rules of making something scary is that the more we know about it, the harder it is to scare us. Even when you're trying.
3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
You have teenage ninjas who are also mutated turtle-human hybrids. How can you not make something fun out of that? I'll tell you; you throw in a tonne of shaky cam, poor motion capture, horribly forced humour and you butcher the source material. Then you make Megan Fox and make her the main character. The turtles in this film are actually pretty decent, with stand-out scenes like the one in the elevator. But they take the back seat to the bland, uninteresting and not at all engaging April O'Neil. The shredder is over the top mechanical and not fun to watch at all, especially when we realize that William Shatner isn't the shredder. Which is just so irritating because when we see the turtles on screen they're fairly enjoyable (with the exception of Michael-Angelo) and yet we keep cutting away to April doing... stuff that I honestly can't remember.
2) Transformers: Age of Extinction
Some of the best news we had this year is that Michael Bay won't be directing Transformers 5. One of the worst things about this year was this film. 'Age of Extinction' is better than the first three Transformers films in the same way that getting beaten to unconsciousness with a hardback book is better than being bludgeoned over the head with a crow bar until you pass out. But do you know the problem with going for the book? It takes longer. And the same holds true for 'Age of Extinction'. It goes on for three hours. Three long, slow, painful hours. Michael Bay even managed to screw up the dinobots. We don't see them until the last twenty minutes and they show up for absolutely zero reason. Which is stupid, because by that stage I was just begging the film to stop. The film does have its bright sparks. But all of them are either because you're laughing at how someone actually thought the dialogue was film standard or due to Stanley Tucci getting a half decent line in his script which he turns into something fun by sheer force of will and his superpower of great acting chops. Beyond that this film is just a self-harm equivalent.
Man, where do we begin... Maybe it's because I'm a computer science student that I hate this film so much, but it's undeniable that it's just terrible. It has no understanding of how a computer, or how the internet, works. Leading me to be unable to engross myself. The film even goes so far as blocking the internet by erecting a large metal mesh............... Because wireless signals that go through walls can of course be blocked by thin layers of what is mostly space. But that's not the worst part. That would be how pretentious the film is. It thinks that its message of how dangerous technology and artificial intelligence is ground-breaking as well as brilliant, when in reality it's just neither. The theme is one that's been told so much better so many times. Most notably in the excellent '2001: A Space Odyssey' and yet Transcendence doesn't seem to know that. Nor do it's producers seem to know how to make a film. Half of the dialogue is exposition and the other half is actors turning to the camera and delivering it's stupid message, forgetting that pretty much the foundation of film-making is show don't tell. There are no fleshed out characters, there's no sense to the plot, and the film doesn't even have the guts to stick to its guns at the end. Which maybe makes it worse, and maybe actually makes it better, I dunno. What I do know is that I also don't care.
So I've started a YouTube channel recently, where me and my co-hosts talk about films and it would be awesome if you'd check it out here. And feel free to drop us a like or subscribe. Just if you want to.
So those were my five least favorite films of the year. I'm sure you have your own, so feel free to drop us a comment. Just keep it civil and remember that it's all opinion. And until next time guys, enjoy your lives!!!