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10 Not-So-Favourite Films from 2014

January 1, 2015

Film + Entertainment | by James Joseph


I can never bring myself to answer the proverbial “What’s your least favourite film” question. How could I choose one title when terrible films keep being made? Cinema is my life hence my list is open until my last breath or well, until “Transcendence 2” gets made… So, without further ado, from Candid’s resident cynic and all-around hard-to-please-Bob, please relish in 2014’s worst (mostly-mainstream) offerings:

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1. MOCKINGJAY PART 1
Yes, please, Hollywood, chop up the book with the least amount of plot of The Hunger Games’s series and release it as two films a full year apart from each other. Remember when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows started this trend and we were all moaning because we thought that the split would suck? Well, then Dobby died and we all cried and we forgave David Yates. Dear Francis Lawrence, it doesn’t work with everything. Peeta’s sanity ain’t no Dobby, bud.

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2. TRANSFORMERS 4
Did you know this movie made over one billion dollars? Well, it did. Feel ashamed of yourselves ticket-buyers because now there is more PEW PEW KRAWWKKSHH BANNG SSHHBRRAAKH’ing on the way with Transformers five, six, seven, eight and nine. Honestly, this film was a vast improvement on the franchise’s second and third films (Optimus became murderous; Stanley Tucci was a womaniser; T. J. Miller got dead) but at 165 minutes it was both the longest Transformers and the most tedious. And the dinobots were only in it for like, the last five minutes!

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3. THE INTERVIEW
The Interview is like Two Girls, One Cup in that everyone tells you to watch it because it’s this looked down upon, essentially deleted from film-existence, and when you do watch it you just feel queasy and dirty. Usually I’m all for lowest-common-denominator humour but Goldberg and Rogen’s homoerotic and generally infantile assault on North Korea and the media is a dead horse being beaten over and over until you just feel bad for watching. The real kicker is the controversial storm the film has aroused. If I was Sony, I would’ve pretended I had nothing to do with this joke of a film too.

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4. TAMMY
I really don’t know what went wrong with Tammy: you’ve got the always-stellar Melissa McCarthy as a layabout horror-child; Mark Duplass as “The Guy Next Door” (schwing, hubba hubba); and Susan Sarandon as a demented grandma, along with a whole host of other great stars such as Gary Cole and Allison Janney, yet this exploration of female manchilding fell flat on its bloated, cheeseburger-slopping face as soon as the projector was switched on and refused to sit up again until we were about to leave. I feel like Melissa McCarthy was just throwing husband-director, Ben Falcone, a bone in getting his film off the ground; hopefully she’s learned her lesson though.

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5. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Mikey is not a raging pervert this close to going to jail for sexual assault, and Monk is not Master Splinter. Geez, thanks for destroying my childhood with “April O’Neill The Film: Oh Alright Then, Here’s A Few Minutes With Some ‘Roided Out Nightmare Turtles Too”. Jonathan Liebesman, I can’t wait for you to direct “Transformers 5”.

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6. BLENDED
I never actually saw this but something tells me its Rotten Tomatoes score of 16% is quite generous. Keep it up, Sandler. We all know you can do better but still you give us… this.

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7. TRANSCENDENCE
This technothriller had everything: Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s long-time cinematographer directing his first feature; Morgan Freeman, who could crap out a fine performance in his sleep; Johnny Depp, proving he can work with someone who isn’t Tim Burton; Rebecca Hall, the most underrated actress in a 2014 film called Transcendence; and Jack Paglen, a writer so amazing he doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page. Seriously though, I’m still scratching my head over how this wannabe sci-fact film turned out to be such an absolute bore-fest.

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8. LUCY/UNDER THE SKIN
Scarlett Johansson starred in five films released this year. Some were good (Her, Cap’n USA 2), some were not, and I have Under The Skin (technically a 2013 film but released in the UK in 2014) and Lucy tied for least favourite Johansson title. Both of these films were fresh in their own right but it was that they both started out so promising before jumping into a bottomless pit of narrative or plot convolution which ultimately turned me off. Gosh darn, Johansson can act though, right?

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9. MUPPETS MOST WANTED
Ah hah! I bet you didn’t think you’d see this film on this list did’ya?! Well, just like Scarlett Johansson’s aforementioned talent was wasted, so too was the potential of the Muppets’ revival squandered with Most Wanted. To think I could put a film that stars Kermit the Frog and Tina Fey in a list of least favourites – it really hurt me. Seeing though how this film made me physically retch by unrelentingly piggy-backing on what made Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s 2011 film so great with 0% of the charm but 100% of the Ricky Gervais, its place here feels right.

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10. NEED FOR SPEED
Goodness gracious, movie studios, how dare you use Max Richter and Aaron Paul to suck me in to what you say is a heart-pumping tragedy-on-wheels and then give me a limp, ridiculously inane soap opera on a scalextric? The car chases are handled admittedly well but there is so little substance between the film’s set pieces that you genuinely start to feel concussed. It’s certainly no Drive. Ooh, idea! Aaron Paul as The Driver… I’ve just started the Kickstarter, can we get a remake or reboot or whatever you call it nowadays going?

Following right behind:
Whiplash, Boyhood, Birdman, The Double, Mommy, Pride, I Origins, A Most Wanted Man, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar… I kid, watch all of these ones instead of the above!

Stephen J. Bowron