Saturday, January 3, 2015

Five worst movies of 2014...

You've seen my five favourite movies of 2014, but today it's the turn of the five most disappointing films from last year. And whilst I'd rather be singing the praises of all the 35 movies I saw at the cinema, some of them had far too many flaws to ignore. So here are my five least favourite movies in no particular order.

ROBOCOP
RoboCop movie remake billboard
One of my pet peeves are unnecessary Hollywood remakes, case in point, the new RoboCop movie reboot.

Firstly Paul Verhoeven's original 1987 version is a classic piece of satirical sci-fi, which also had the action and hardcore violence to satisfy cinema goers, and secondly the franchise has already spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, on the small and big screen, so this new venture really should have offered something new to proceedings, but it didn't.

Sure the movie was watchable and entertaining, but there was nothing original or groundbreaking here, and even modern day CGI special effects didn't really improve matters when it came to RoboCop's human parts.
RoboCop movie remake billboard
For me this was another totally unnecessary cash-in on an existing franchise, which probably would have been better served as a new TV series, rather than a movie.

By the way, I'm also sure that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot would be on this list if I'd seen it too.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Transformers Age of Extinction movie billboard
Next up is the fourth installment in the Transformers movie franchise. I'm glad to say that I didn't waste my money to see this over-long mess at the cinema, but caught it on a plane flight.

I've never really liked Michael Bay's cinematic vision of the Transformers. I've never enjoyed the special effects, or the lack of personality or distinguishing looks between the 'robots in disguise', plus the human characters always seem totally superfluous to the plot (especially the 'eye candy' women).

This new movie seemed totally schizophrenic, almost like two different films in fact, especially when the action moved to China. Talk about pandering to the Chinese market, with cameos and overt product placement, it just felt tacky.
Transformers Age of Extinction movie billboard
And the story, don't get me started. Every film seems to introduce another layer of Transformers 'history' that seems to contradict the previous movies plot-lines. Not even jettisoning Shia LaBeouf in favor of Mark Wahlberg could save this mess of a movie. And talk about totally ruining the Dinobots for me.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes billboard
I'm as surprised as you to find this next sequel on my most disappointing list, as I really enjoy how they rebooted this franchise and had re-watched the Rise of the Planet of the Apes weeks before just so I was familiar with the relaunched world.

I find this happens a lot with films I really look forward to, they never live up to expectations.

In this case even though Andy Serkis does a remarkable job as the motion-capture actor for augmented chimp, 'Caesar', it doesn't make up for a very hammy Gary Oldman (oh and wasn't he totally dialing it in for the RoboCop remake too?) and the other humans who don't have much to do, aside from being very black or white, good or evil, no shades of grey here.
Dawn of Planet of Apes movie billboard
I was really looking forward to a post-pandemic world and the issues that brought with it, plus something a little less predictable in terms of plot, but the film really wasn't very compelling and just turned into another popcorn blockbuster when it could have been so much better.

TRANSCENDENCE
Transcendence movie poster
Whilst you have to give Transcendence points for not being a sequel, reboot or remake, for me it wasp probably one of the most tediously slow movies of the year, which gave sci-fi a bad name.

So much promise wasted. An all-star cast, fantastic production values and special effects, but no story beyond the basic premise whatsoever.
Transcendence film poster
Transcendence really was dull as dishwater and it didn't even have any of Johnny Depp's usual tomfoolery to add any fun or flavour either. So many lost hours of my life.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I movie billboard
Finally another surprise to list for some, but after the first two installments which I really enjoyed (not having read the source material), this new sequel for The Hunger Games really wasn't a whole film.

Split in tow to cash in on the franchise, just like the Harry Potter and Twilight Saga movies, nothing really happened in this installment. When the fate of someone's cat is the most exciting bit of action in a movie, you have to worry.

Plus in the first two movies our reluctant heroine, 'Katniss', is really proactive and her strength of character really shines through, whilst in this film she appears really mopey and it feels like things happen to her, rather than her determining her own fate.
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I movie billboard
Ironically when the rebels sit around the table discussing how to make a perfect propaganda movie, you have to wonder if this is how the studio execs decided how to make Mockingjay, split in two by committee and bean counters.

Overall it felt like a high-production value TV show, they even seemed to return to the same sets so many times to get their money's worth and every seemed a little drab and repetitive.

I can't believe fans of the books and films didn't feel cheated by this movie, and by having to wait another year for the finale.

And there you have my selection of movies that disappointed upon viewing in the past twelve months. I'd also like to add the pretentious Birdman to the list too, which is certainly over-hyped in my opinion, plus I was more than a little critical of Amazing Spider-man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past too (and I'm a huge Marvel fan, so that was a real let-down).

What do you think of my choices? Do you agree? What were your least favourite films of 2014?

Let's hope 2015 has many more highs than lows on the big screen...

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