As we draw the curtain on the end of the year, the irony is that as we celebrate the best films of the year we’re forced to take a look back some of the very worst. With such a wide variety of putrid films to sift through, the decision was made to abandon the usual format.
Instead of giving you just ten bad movies, we decided to forego a number and point out the cinematic criminals and place them on trial in this post. While we didn’t quite get them all (Noah, Monuments Men, Jimi: All Is By My Side) we did our best to spotlight the year’s biggest transgressors in hope that if you get an opportunity to come across ANY of these films, you should just cross the street or turn in the opposite direction.
During the year, we watched close to 300 films and for the most part many were entertaining. Then there were the films on this list that lacked imagination, had poor stories and execution or stars that have been much better in better films.
Without further ado, here is my journey through cinematic hell at the movies:
As long as we remember, Frankenstein has always been slow, prodding, lacking in speech and, at the core, a kind and gentle soul. In this putrid re-imagination, Frankie (now played by Aaron Eckhart) is cut-up, articulate and a pawn in the war embroiled in a war between two immortal races: gargoyles and evil demons. Less than a film than a mix-tape of various better film ideas poorly executed, I, Frankenstein is an unmitigated disaster that came and went with the quickness last January. Eckhart should have known better – he displayed more passion in the hospital scene in The Dark Knight than this entire debacle!
We often heard the saying that when someone tells you who they are, believe them. That adage is appropriate for most comedies belonging to Marlon Wayans. His silly, overblown, utter waste of time sequel to A Haunted House was a rambling string of unfunny and offensive vignettes around the idea of paranormal activity that was more annoying than funny. We’re really not sure why Wayans takes so much glee in screwing inanimate objects (a wooden doll) but to put it in context, the worst Tyler Perry movie was more watchable than this nightmare that thankfully at least gave me some valuable nap time.
There was a time when both Michael Keaton and Diane Keaton were major movie stars. They appeared in award-winning films and gave their fans hours of unmitigated joy. Unfortunately, after watching this dribble, that seems like eons ago. Everyone seems disinterested in this story of an unscrupulous and unlikeable real estate agent who ultimately ends up with the girl despite acting like a penis for two-thirds of the film. There are films with curmudgeonly characters (St. Vincent) that have some charm with their bad behavior and then there’s this film which features ZERO chemistry between their leads and a story that neither the actors or the audience care about!
A colleague always reminds me that most Adam Sandler films are less movies than paid vacations for him and his friends. This latest film feels like an inside joke that was funny to Sandler and his inner circle but the rest of us simply missed the joke. The concept is about two people (Sandler and Drew Barrymore) with children getting together to create a blended family. The reality gets lost under a pile of bad jokes, stupid puns and a “
comedic” (coonish) performance by Terry Crews that looks like it came straight out of the 1950s. The BEST thing about this film is the movie gods intervened with a theater malfunction halfway through that spared me from having to endure this film that put my brain in a blender!
SEE ALSO: Worst Movies of 2014, Part II
For the first time in years, Hollywood produced several big-budget biblical epics and we’re unhappy to report that NONE of them worked. While we weren’t big fans of Brad Pitt-Jesus in Son of God and the action hero who was Noah, Ridley Scott’s soul-less, sappy re-telling of the Ten Commandments was clearly the low point for cinematic fellowship. Nevermind the crazy casting of Australian actors in the lead, to quote another colleague, “it takes a lot of balls to change bible plot for your movie.” The film felt like an atheist retelling of the events, including no clear explanation of the plagues that befell Egypt, Joel Edgerton’s detached portrayal of Ramses that reminded us of the last days of George W. Bush. Oh, yeah, the child God was a little strange and creepy as well. Charleston Heston may have been a gun-toting nutcase but he sure could make a biblical epic – which is more than I can say for
Batman Christian Bale!
There is a fine line between fantasy and reality. This is often the challenge for filmmakers who try to balance plausible storytelling with providing entertainment. Such was the situation for Joyce Maynard’s celebrated novel, Labor Day. Jason Reitman gave it the old college try but this story of an escaped convict who takes a young woman and her son hostage only to slowly fall in love with her and serve as a father figure to her son may have broken the record for the most film critic’s eye-rolls. Seriously, what is the message that you’re sending to audiences: it is okay to fall in love with your captor IF he’s hot like Josh Brolin? While we can’t tell you what it must feel like to have a child, watching this mess was certainly NOT a “labor of love.”
THE LEGEND OF HERCULES
The man who unleashed a cinematic stinkbomb almost 20 years, Renny Harlin (Cutthroat Island) returns to the scene of the crime, this time in ancient Rome to botch the story of the mythical hero in The Legend of Hercules. Much like studios cast superhero characters in the ’80s and ’90s, Harlin tapped former fashion model Kellan Lutz who has all the charisma of the keyboard being used to type this sentence. We’ve complained in the past about wooden performances but to compare Lutz to wood would be an insult to trees worldwide. The first of two Hercules films (Hercules was pretty bad too but at least it had THE ROCK), this one featured a silly plot, bad special effects and plenty of slo-motion shots designed to hide just how much WASN’T there. We’re really not sure what Hercules did to Hollywood but they definitely owe him a better story!!!