Hello, readers! It’s that time of year again where I take out the previous year’s garbage one last time.
2014 amassed quite a collection of crap. What do Annabelle, Before I Go to Sleep, The Best of Me, Blended, Endless Love, God’s Not Dead, If I Stay, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, No Good Deed and Transformers: Age of Extinction all have in common? Well, they all sucked the big one, but lucky for them, there somehow was ten other movies that sucked even more than they did.
Well, now that I got the not so honorable mentions out of the way, let’s begin the countdown, starting with…
10) Winter’s Tale
A film starring not one, not two, not three, but four Oscar winners couldn’t possibly be this bad, right? Well, think again. Brought to you by Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning scribe of A Beautiful Mind – who also wrote Batman & Robin – Winter’s Tale squanders more talent than Jim Schwartz could’ve ever done during his tenure with the Detroit Lions. While it is based on the New York Times best selling novel of the same name, between a horse that is actually a dog, Will Smith’s Lucifer, a hammy Russell Crowe and William Hurt going on about how filet is pronounce “fill-et” ’cause you don’t call a wallet “wall-ay”, something clearly got lost in translation. When Martin Scorsese, of all people, takes a look at the material and says even he can’t turn this into a film, that should be a red flag.
9) Horrible Bosses 2
Congrats to this film on somehow out-sucking Happy Madison’s contribution to 2014. Now, I really enjoyed the first Horrible Bosses, but if there was ever a sequel from last year and even the past few years that had no reason to exist other than to rob moviegoers blind, Horrible Bosses 2 would be it. Sure, I managed to cough out a couple laughs out of pity for seeing so many talented veterans of comedy phone in so many uninspired attempts at humor, but overall this is just an extremely lazy rehash of the first film. How the hell you waste a cast this good is beyond me.
Oh, silly Nicolas Cage. What’s a top 10 worst list without you showing up for a spot? Rage is just another by the numbers, routine thriller that earns a spot on this list for many reasons – clunky dialogue, characters made of enough cardboard to house all of the world’s homeless, choppy editing and just an all-around depressingly dull vibe. The only reason this isn’t any higher (or technically lower) is ’cause we’re all at least treated to one bizarre freakout by Cage midway through the film. It’s the lone moment out of this entire crap-bomb that has to be seen to be believed. Oh, well, at least this film helps Cage put a little bit more of a dent into that tax bill of his.
Writer/director David Ayer may have redeemed himself with the much, much better Fury, but I still can’t overlook this dirty, chaotic mess that he delivered back in March. Ayer commits a lot of filmmaking no-nos here, from the script he co-wrote with Skip Woods (who wrote A Good Day to Die Hard and X-Men: Origins – Wolverine, so take that for what it’s worth) that offers not a single character of any value (surprisingly, they all earned their DEA badges, yet I bet not one of them would pass a psyche evaluation) to the editing choices that try to be clever but wind up confounding the viewer. The big no-no Ayer makes is thinking that he got great results before with Denzel Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, so naturally, the same results could occur with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie’s got all the charisma in the world, but trying to squeeze an intense, dramatic performance out of him is the equivalent of trying to win a NASCAR tournament in a Pinto.
It certainly was a hard knock life (that song serving as the only serviceable aspect of the film) for me having to sit through this God awful remake of the iconic orphan girl that kids have adored for decades. I sincerely wish Quvenzhane Wallis all the best. She’s definitely got boatloads of charm and has potential as an actress, but boy, this film and director Will Gluck, who appears to have no clue whatsoever how to put together a musical, do her absolutely no favors. Oddly enough, though, she’s the one that mostly leaves this film unscathed, unlike the horrid supporting cast which consists of people you’d never expect to be horrid. Jamie Foxx couldn’t phone in his lazy performance any more if he tried, the always appealing Rose Byrne is anything but that here, and for the love of God, Cameron Diaz (who I’m not done with yet on this list) gives terrible overacting a new meaning with her embarrassing turn as the boozy Miss Hannigan. When even the song numbers, in a musical, are nothing more than a good cure for insomnia, that’s a sign your film should throw in the towel.
5) The Legend of Hercules
If only the studio behind this film marketed it as a comedy, there’s a good chance The Legend of Hercules, Kellan Lutz’s ticket away from Twilight, would’ve claimed the #1 spot on my best of 2014. Quite frankly, throughout the entire year, I don’t think I’ve laughed unintentionally as much I did with this film. The cheap set design and the Bed, Bath & Beyond costumes are just the tip of the crap iceberg. It gets even worse when you see the slow-mo cam action sequences that are on par with a junior high film class version of 300, and villains that gnarl and teeth grind their way through the dialogue like they’re in the midst of pinching off a sideways turd. To think director Renny Harlin is the same man that gave us Die Hard 2. Then again, even Right Said Fred hit the top of the charts at one point in his career.
4) Walk of Shame
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! Get it?! She’s wearing a tight yellow dress, so that must mean she’s a slut. Elizabeth Banks is one of the most talented comic actresses that we have today and is also cute as a button, so maybe in some weird way it actually took skill for writer/director Steven Brill to make her come off so unlikeable, obnoxious and pathetic. Both Banks and James Marsden deserve better than the horse shit material Brill gives them, which is essentially one joke that wears out its welcome quickly. And to hell with Brill for having the balls to lecture us at the end of the film on how calling Banks a slut was so wrong. Yes, shame on us for laughing. Well, lucky for you, I didn’t ’cause your movie sucked.
3) A Haunted House 2
Poop and pee pee and boobs and dicks and vaginas and crotch-kicks, and more poop and pee pee and boobs and dicks and vaginas and crotch-kicks, and then even more poop and pee pee and boobs and dicks and vaginas and crotch-kicks. But then there’s a twist, which is more poop and pee pee and boobs and dicks and vaginas and crotch-kicks and Marlon Wayans fucking a porcelain doll for what felt like forever. Enough said.
2) Left Behind
With a film like A Haunted House 2, it at least aimed to be funny… and failed at doing so. Left Behind succeeded in being very funny… despite that not being its intentions. 2014 had its share of faith-based stinkers, but Nicolas Cage taking over for the apocalyptic series takes the top prize as the worst of them all. Never before have I seen a worldwide calamitous event seem so underwhelming and poorly produced, and I think it speaks volumes when my fellow Christians – even those that defended the stinker God’s Not Dead – can’t help but admit that this film is crap. All I can say is I hope Cage got paid very well for Rage ’cause going by appearance alone, this film – essentially an Irwin Allen film with God as the co-pilot – looks like it was made for pennies on the dollar. Vic Armstrong may have made his name, deservedly, for his stunt coordination in the Indiana Jones trilogy and the first two Superman films, but as a director – well, no. This is comically inept filmmaking at a level so bad I was actually begging the good Lord to bring on Armageddon so that I could be put out of my misery.
Well, here we are. The #1 spot on the list. The worst film of the year is, drum roll please…
1) The Other Woman
At least with Left Behind, when you notice that they can’t even make a decently photoshopped family picture of Cage’s family, you know you may be in store for a horrible film. The Other Woman features a capable director and a capable cast in two hours of torture that I’ll never get back. This is supposedly a film about female empowerment, but for the life of me, I’m not sure what exactly women can find so empowering about three obnoxious characters that show zero signs of intelligence, charm and heart. Luckily, in the spirit of equality, the male characters are just as shallow and moronic. Leslie Mann can produce laughs in her sleep, but produces none here, Cameron Diaz’s days as the cute and charming Mary Matthews seem long behind her, Kate Upton may have the best body in modeling right now, but can’t act her way through an open door, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau should thank his lucky stars that Game of Thrones exists and Nicki Minaj is actually the least annoying of the bunch. Think about that for a moment. This was 2014’s cinematic equivalent to being waterboarded with toilet water.
There you have it. The worst of the worst 2014 had to offer. Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment and let me know what films you thought amounted to a pile of crap. Next week, I’ll have the top 10 best of 2014.