Top 5 Worst Movies of 2014

Better late than never.

Another year has come and gone. It’s time to share my picks for the best and worst movies of 2014. This past year was a strong year for movies. It had its fair share of surprises and disappointments. However, I haven’t seen a lot of bad movies, so movies like Transformers: Age of Extinction and Into the Storm won’t be on this list. But there were only five of them that I wasted two hours from my life. Let’s get started at the bottom of the barrel.

But first, some dishonorable mentions:
The Judge
Lucy
Unbroken

Dumb-and-Dumber-To-2-Brady-Bluhm-Billy-4C5. Dumb and Dumber To – I’m glad Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels came back playing the two dimwitted friends going on another misadventure. The previews made it look like it would be good for a few laughs. The first twenty minutes or so were really funny, but it started to go downhill from there with too much toilet humor and not much heart. Some of the things that Harry and Lloyd do are quite mean. For instance, pushing strangers into a bush. This is much better than the Farrelly brothers’ atrocity known as Movie 43.

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4. Hercules (the version starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Brett Ratner) – It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. There is some fun in this movie. The action is not bad. Dwayne Johnson does put a lot of muscle into the title role. Brett Ratner does a lousy job giving lame one-liners, horrible effects, and ridiculously forced flashbacks involving the murder of Hercules’ wife and children. For those who have sacrificed their time with The Legend of Hercules, I think you’re better off watching this version, despite the fact that it’s not very good.

jack-ryan-motorcycle3. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Remember this movie from January of last year? It was originally going to come out on Christmas of 2013, but it got pushed back a few weeks so it wouldn’t interfere with the release of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. I like Chris Pine. I like Kenneth Branagh. But this is a waste opportunity of being an origin story of Jack Ryan. Riddled with plot holes, shaky action sequences, and Pine playing a clumsy hero, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is forgettable.

annabelle_12. Annabelle – For someone who thought The Conjuring was the best horror film in recent memory, I was looking forward to seeing how one creepy doll terrorized a happy family. When James Wan introduced Annabelle in that movie, I knew I was in for a scary good time at the theater. I thought if there would be a movie featuring this creepy ventriloquist doll. When you hire the director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation putting his hands on this project, do you think this will be any good?

Absolutely not!

Even though there are some eerie moments in the film, it focused on way too many jump scares. Almost to the point where it becomes silly. This is the biggest disappointment of 2014, but it’s not worse than #1.

Sums up how I feel about this movie.

Sums up how I feel about this movie.

1. A Million Ways to Die in the West – If there is a scene involving one of the characters taking a dump in someone’s hat before a gunfight, you know this Western satire won’t turn out to be any good. From Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted), A Million Ways to Die in the West is an unpleasant cinematic experience on every level. With an all-star cast featuring Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, and Liam Neeson, it feels like the movie is written by a teenager trapped in a man’s body. Everyone in this movie is vulgar and stupid, the jokes aren’t funny, the violence is surprisingly graphic (i.e. a man getting crushed by a big block of ice – YUCK!), and the heart is nowhere in site. I rather watch Blazing Saddles than this pile of garbage.

I hope you like my picks. Feel free to leave any comments on what are some of the worst movies you’ve seen in 2014. Stay tuned for my list of the ten best films of 2014. Take care.

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Movie Review: The Judge

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his father (Robert Duvall) try to work things out in David Dobkin's "The Judge"

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his father (Robert Duvall) try to work things out in David Dobkin’s “The Judge”

There is a scene in which the two Roberts have an argument in the car. They get out, and walk away from each other. The very next shot consists of a faraway show with the car sitting in the middle while the two are walking away. That scene is one of the most beautiful shots in the film, and also the most beautiful I’ve seen all year. Unfortunately for The Judge, the latest from director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers), the cinematography is one of the truly remarkable achievements. This movie is far from a true masterpiece.

The Judge stars Robert Downey, Jr. taking a break from playing the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist playing Hank Palmer, a successful Chicago lawyer who often defends guilty people (like Jim Carrey from Liar Liar). “Innocent people can’t afford me,” says Palmer when he was asked why he defends the guilty. He gets a call from his older brother Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio; Pvt. Pyle from Full Metal Jacket) that his mother passed away. He leaves for Carlinville, Indiana for the funeral.

Palmer gets rather an reluctant welcome. He is reunited with Glen, who used to be a great baseball player, Dale (Jeremy Strong), the autistic younger brother who likes to film things with his Super 8mm film camera, and his father Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall). One day, a cop talks to Hank concerning his father. He has been accused of a hit and run after he picked up groceries one night. They work very hard to clear his name trying to know the truth of the case.

Even though the film contains a lot of cliches, Dobkin does a solid job balancing the drama with comedy. He makes the audience feel like they are part of the courtroom; feeling the tension between the judge and everyone else invested in the case. Outside the courtroom, however, it’s a mixed a bag. There are good scenes, like the two Roberts are having a dialogue where they misunderstand each other for years (I was on the verge of tears).

On the other hand, there are scenes in which I didn’t care for at all. There is a subplot where Hank reunites with his high school sweetheart (Vera Farmiga) at a diner. I see a kid and a pet rock having much better chemistry than these two actors. Nonetheless, The Judge is a decent melodrama, but it’s far from original. I’ll recommend it for the performances by Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall and a gifted supporting cast, and the sensational cinematography.

2.5/4

Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies For the Rest of 2014

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Although it’s a shame that summer is almost over, I couldn’t get more excited about the fall. Leaves starting to change, starting a new chapter in life, and looking forward to seeing some movies that might get Oscar nominations. This summer managed to meet and exceed audience’s expectations. I’m hoping 2014 will end on a high note. Here’s my list of my top 20 most anticipated movies for the rest of the year:

The Hobbit 3

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by Peter Jackson
Opens December 17

Gone Girl

2. Gone Girl
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosmund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry
Directed by David Fincher
Opens October 3

Interstellar

3. Interstellar
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Opens November 7

Foxcatcher

4. Foxcatcher
Starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by Bennett Miller
Opens in selected theaters November 14

Nightcrawler

5. Nightcrawler
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Ann Cusack, and Bill Paxton
Directed by Dan Gilroy
Opens October 31

rosewater

6. Rosewater
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Kim Bodnia, and Jason Jones
Directed by Jon Stewart
Opens November 7

Birdman

7. The Birdman
Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Naomi Watts
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Opens in selected theaters October 17

The Judge

8. The Judge
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, and Billy Bob Thorton
Directed by David Dobkin
Opens October 10

Unbroken

9. Unbroken
Starring Jack O’Connell, Jai Courtney, Garrett Hedlund, and Alex Russell
Directed by Angelina Jolie
Opens Christmas Day

The Equalizer

10. The Equalizer
Starring Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Marton Csokas, and Bill Paxton
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Opens September 26

Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu)

11. Winter Sleep (in Turkish: Kis Uykusu)
Starring Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag, and Serhat Mustafa Kilic
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Opens in selected theaters December 19

The Skeleton Twins

12. Skeleton Twins
Starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Ty Burrell, and Luke Wilson
Directed by Craig Johnson
Opens September 12

Big Eyes

Tim Burton directing his latest biopic “Big Eyes”

13. Big Eyes
Starring Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Terence Stamp, and Jason Schwartzman
Directed by Tim Burton
Opens Christmas Day

Wild

14. Wild
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gabby Hoffmann, and Michiel Huisman
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee
Opens in selected theaters December 5

Fury

15. Fury
Starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Scott Eastwood, and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by David Ayer
Opens October 17

Bradley Cooper American Sniper

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”

16. American Sniper
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, and Kyle Gallner
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Opens in selected theaters Christmas Day; everywhere January 16, 2015

Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"

Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”

17. Inherent Vice
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, and Owen Wilson
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Opens in selected theaters December 12; everywhere January 9, 2015

The Theory of Everything

18. The Theory of Everything
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, and David Thewlis
Directed by James Marsh
Opens November 7

Annabelle

19. Annabelle
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodward, and Eric Ladin
Directed John R. Leonetti
Opens October 3

Exodus - Gods and Kings

20. Exodus: Gods and Kings
Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, and Ben Kingsley
Directed by Ridley Scott
Opens December 12

There you have it. I hope you enjoy my picks. Leave comments below on what movies you’re looking forward to this fall.