I only enjoy writing about two different types of movies – Really great films and absolute garbage flicks. Writing a review for an average movie just feels, well, average. I rarely hope that a movie bombs with each new movie I see. However, if I dedicate nearly two hours to brainless drivel, then I’m going to make it worth my time by writing a fun review about it. Typically, by the end of the review, I’m pleading with you to never see it.
This year started out rough. The winter movie season presented a terrible movie nearly every weekend. Thankfully, the influx of garbage slowed down and the year turned out pretty great.
That being said, there are several movies that I wanted to include in my ‘worst of’ list, but they just aren’t quite bad enough. I was incredibly close to adding The Monuments Men as my #10, but that was before I saw the following movie…
10 – Left Behind
Hollywood is all about remakes. However, I want to know who thought a remake of Kirk Cameron’s rapture series was a good idea. I’m sure this project was on the backburner for a while, until they finally nabbed Nicholas Cage as their lead.
Why it deserves to be on the list: This last minute addition should now be considered a modern classic in bad cinema. It is meant to be seen with a group of friends that are either drunk or willing to laugh at every line of dialogue. It’s amazing to think that Cage was once an Oscar winner and is now relegated to this. I don’t know if this or The Wicker Man is the low point of his career, which is strange because Cage got critical love with this year’s “Joe.” As bad as Cage and Chad Michael Murray are, the acting black hole is Cassi Thomson, who plays Cage’s non-religious daughter who learns a very important lesson by the end. If there were a rapture, the people who made this movie would not vanish, they’d have to stay on Earth and suffer with everyone else who saw this movie.
9 – Dumb and Dumber To
My original review: “The jokes that worked 20 years ago are now a crutch, only repeated to satisfy an audience that once quoted them with pride.”
“It’s painful to watch these men give their all to a script that couldn’t have possibly been funny on paper.” “After a long 110 minutes, I can honestly say that I didn’t laugh one time.”
Why it deserves to be on the list: The audience that once loved and quoted the original movie grew up in the past 20 years. The Farrelly brothers did not. Comedy sequels rarely work. This was no exception. It tried to give the audience the nostalgic humor they loved, and then used it as a crutch. Also, Harry and Lloyd are no longer lovable losers. Instead, Carrey and Daniels play caricatures or the characters that were once endearing.
8 – A Million Ways to Die in the West
My original review: “You should only see A Million Ways to Die in the West if you laugh at movies that reveal every joke in the trailer or want to see Neil Patrick Harris have explosive diarrhea in a cowboy hat.”
“I couldn’t recommend this to anyone I considered a friend.”
Why it deserves to be on the list: Seth McFarlane got a little too big for his britches when he decided to lead this western parody. The man only has one emotion – smug. After getting panned and bombing at the box office, I’m sure McFarlane will stick to the only thing he can kind of do, slight variations of the Stewie voice. He’ll surely have a hit on his hands with next year’s, Ted 2, but he’s worn out his big screen welcome at this point.
7 – Ouija
Why it deserves to be on this list: It’s not the first board game-to-movie adaptation, but at this point, it’s the primary offender. There is no known backstory to the game, so the writers decided that, if you improperly use the board, your mouth will be sewn up, your cataracts will flare up and you will commit suicide. This movie was only made to cash in on the Halloween movie season. Sadly, it made money. It didn’t make much, but when you cast talentless actors and have no special effects, you’re going to make a profit. Can’t wait for Ouija 2: Board to Death.
6 – Let’s Be Cops
I never wrote a review for Let’s Be Cops. It was never screened for critics and I felt like it would be worth my time to see it the night before its release. Yes, I paid for this. Now, even if I didn’t pay for Let’s Be Cops, the quality remains the same. The fact that a movie may be free doesn’t make it any less awful.
Why it deserves to be on this list: I’ve managed to make it through three seasons of New Girl and have still not jumped into a pool of acid. Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr manage to make me laugh once per episode. Going into Let’s Be Cops, I expected at least that much. Instead, this flick feels like someone followed these two “comedians” with a camera and just waited for jokes to happen. Sadly, none were found. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the theater, but I can’t tell you how much I wanted to lay down and sleep on the Dr. Pepper soaked floor.
5 – Vampire Academy
I never officially reviewed this. Once again, critics were never shown this young adult adaptation. Because I hate myself, I paid for it after its release. This movie about a prep school meant to house budding vampires may be the final supernatural YA movie. The end of that trend is great, right?
Why it deserves to be on the list: It almost doesn’t. This unintentional comedy evoked more gut laughs from me than anything else this year. If this year, has a “So Bad, it’s Good” winner, it’s Vampire Academy. Yet, even though I found enjoyment, this is still a terrible, awful movie. If nothing else, it put the nail in the coffin for supernatural young adult flicks.
4 – Devil’s Due
If it wasn’t for The Babadook, the year in horror could easily be written off. There was a bevy of found-footage movies, demonic possessions and uninspired prequels about haunted toys. It will be difficult for any movie to reach the standard that The Conjuring set, though I have high hopes for 2015. (For now, just see The Babadook.)
Why it deserves to be on the list: First off, if you’re recording your entire honeymoon, you probably don’t deserve happiness. Also, you’re inviting trouble. As the new adage goes, every time a camera turns on, a ghost is summoned. This movie is a combination of Rosemary’s Baby and vomit. There were zero scares and you couldn’t wait for characters to die. It’s time that filmmakers stop relying on found footage. Audiences no longer accept that a character will film their final moments as they are being pursued by the servants of Hell. When it comes to films about birth, this movie is less terrifying than “The Miracle of Life.”
3 – That Awkward Moment
My original review: “The real awkward moment took place when I took my seat (by myself) at the theater and saw that the rest of the crowd was comprised of 2 dozen teenage girls.”
“This movie needed a live studio audience, so they could tell you when to laugh, because it was never quite clear. You know, kind of like The Big Bang Theory.”
Why it deserves to be on the list: This is apparently Sex and the City for twenty-something males. More specifically, it doesn’t represent reality at all. These three dude-bros have a “Bro Code” where they all agree that they will stay single and have as many one-night stands as possible. Efron’s frat-boy charm works in ‘Neighbors’, but just feels stale here. The zero chemistry amongst the cast worries me, as Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan are leading next year’s Fantastic Four reboot.
2 – Transformers: Age of Extinction
My original review: “Please stop this, Mr. Bay.”
“There is no reason to see this movie. You’ve seen cities destroyed by far better blockbusters.”
“The opening of Age of Extinction truly settled the long debate of what killed the dinosaurs. It was Michael Bay.”
Why it deserves to be on this list: Michael Bay promised that Age of Extinction would be a reboot to the tired franchise. Instead, he just removed Shia Lebouf and added Mark Wahlberg. Everything else is the same. Same awful dialogue. Same awful camera tricks. Same barrage of headache-inducing action.
People, this is the most popular movie of the year having made over a billion dollars worldwide. This is truly why we can’t have nice things. Shame on us.
And the Worst Movie of 2014 is…
1 – Maleficent
My original review: “Disney has neutered Maleficent. She is no longer menacing and intimidating, instead she is just a scorned fairy that doesn’t believe in true love anymore.”
“Instead of adding beauty, the effects and creatures prove to be more of a background distraction than contributing to the story.”
“It’s a sad day when you can’t match the quality of Snow White and the Huntsman.”
Why it deserves to be #1: Disney has realized that it can’t produce a successful live-action adventure outside of the Marvel universe and has resorted to self-cannibalization. Maleficent took everything that made Maleficent a truly evil character and destroyed it by making her a reluctant babysitter. It’s as if someone said, “Hey, let’s take a strong female character and ruin her by making her a victim!”
Cinematically speaking, there was definitely a lot of color and green screen but it added nothing to the experience. Many viewers praise the great world that was created, but it was a distraction from the absence of anything decent in the screenplay. It did look nice when I saw it the first time in Alice in Wonderland. I do think Jolie was born to play this role, but just imagine if she was given a decent script. EVERY character surrounding Maleficent was completely one-dimensional, from the villainous King (for some reason) to wandering Aurora or Prince Philip. This movie single-handedly ruined the Disney masterpiece Sleeping Beauty by trying to add its own twist to the story. In essence, Disney put roofies in this movie’s drink and cut off its wings.
For further evidence of this destruction, look no further than this video.