The Worst Movies of 2013
2013 is over, and looking back, it was a pretty terrible year for movies. Oh, there was some very good and even great movies released during the year, but for the most part, there seemed like there were more bad movies than good ones. There were so many, in fact, that I was tempted to make a Bottom 20 list instead of a Bottom 10.
Of course, acknowledging some movies on this list is giving them more credit than they deserve. I did see movies like White House Down and Getaway, and I loathed them both, but you won't see either of those movies on my Worst of 2013 list, for the simple fact that they were not good enough to be on it.
It's good to go ahead and get this list out of the way. Writing reviews on movies I hate helps to rid them from my mind, and taking another stab at them on a list like this only seals the deal. Once I write this list, these movies will no longer mean anything to me. It's kind of therapeutic if you think about it. Let's begin, shall we?
We'll start with the Dishonerable Mentions:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: I'm sorry, but I just had a really bad time watching this movie. I was nice enough with the first movie to give a second try, something that's never going to happen with this one.
The Purge: The idea for this movie wasn't a bad one; it was just the execution that stunk.
Mama: Jessica Chastain deserves better than this. No doubt an actress as wonderful as her will go on to do better things.
World War Z: So....if ever there's a zombie apocalypse, our greatest chance for survival would be injecting ourselves with lethal viruses? Ok, then.
Evil Dead: Bigger and gorier, but certainly not better than Sam Raimi's original.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane: This one didn't.
Now on to the main event. A countdown of the ten worst movies of the year, with the number one choice being the film that inflicted the most physical agony.
Here we go:
10. After Earth: Well, it's certainly better than Shyamalan's last film, the deplorable The Last Airbender. It has better special-effects and at least one decent action scene involving Jaden Smith jumping off a waterfall. But man, what a bore! The movie's tone is so depressing and dreary that both Papa Smith and his not untalented son Jaden come across as cheerless and dull. The film's climactic action scene, which involves Jaden battling it out with a monster, couldn't have been more anticlimactic if Shyamalan had the creature drop dead from congestive heart failure. What has happened to Shyamalan? He used to make good movies. (One and a half stars)
9. Gangster Squad: What a waste of good actors this movie is. It has a similar premise to Brian DePalma's The Untouchables, but it comes across as a bland and by-the-numbers carbon copy. At least the visuals were pretty, for what that's worth. (One and a half stars)
8. You're Next: And the winner for most overhyped movie of the year is....You're Next! I was actually looking forward to this movie, what with the positive reviews and all, but the movie was such a predictable and formulaic mess that it just wore me out. The story involves an obnoxious family coming together to celebrate their parent's 35th wedding anniversary. Things turn deadly when a trio of psychos wearing animal masks crash the party and begin picking everyone off, one by bloody one. The acting is terrible, the camera work is headache inducing, the story turns are ugly, and the final scene is insultingly stupid. The one intersting thing this movie does is it turns the wife of one of the family members into a total badass (she grew up in a survivalist compound). Unforturnately, one interesting idea is not enough to salvage a movie as boring and inept as this. (One star)
7. Kick-Ass 2: Just awful. This one is as gory as the original, but it's also jaw-droppingly schmaltzy, and the attempts at humor are in such bad taste that you can't help but wonder how anyone involved with the movie thought they were funny (Take the scene where bad guy Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who was Red Mist in the original and plays the Mother F***er here, tries to rape a young woman but has trouble getting an erection. Isn't that hilarious?!) The action scenes are lamer than lame, the visuals are cheesy, and the many speeches about being true to yourself are positively groan-inducing. The film's only saving grace is the performance turned in by Chloe Grace-Moretz, an actress who seems incapable of bad acting, but even she has to act in an ugly scene where she makes three bitchy girls vomit and crap all over themselves. Is this really suppose to be entertaining? (One star)
6. Only God Forgives: And a good thing too, because the filmmakers of this surrealistic bomb have a lot to atone for. This just wasn't a good year for Ryan Gosling. Garish, incomprehensible, and poorly acted to boot (Kristen Scott Thomas is the sole exception), the sooner this one is forgotten, the better. (One star)
5. Texas Chainsaw: Ugh. (One-half of a star)
4. A Good Day to Die Hard: This movie was so bad that it even made Bruce Willis annoying. For almost the entire movie, he whines and complains about his ruined vacation. What's the set-up? He flies over to Russia to support his son (Jai Courtney), who is to stand trial for murder charges. That's what he calls a vacation?! The action scenes are painful to endure, but not as painful as the excessive bickering between Willis and Courtney. Then there's the villains, who are either stupid or annoying (take the tap-dancing, carrot munching henchman as a prime example of the latter). It's just all new levels of suck, and I'm the guy who actually loved the last movie, Live Free or Die Hard. (One-half of a star)
3. Pain and Gain: I've always had difficultly with Michael Bay's movies, but this is a new low, even for him (it even makes the contemptable Bad Boys II look decent). The story involves three idiot body builders who kidnap and torture a wealthy weakling (Tony Shaloub) until he signs over his fortune to them. The movie depicts the body builders as loveable bafoons. We're suppose to find them amusing, even as they go about doing things that wouldn't be out of place in a Saw movie. Even the usually hilarious Rebel Wilson is painfully unfunny here. While some have applauded the movie for it's daringly bleak world view, I just thought it was a nasty and abhorrently mean spirited movie that left me feeling dirty after it was over. To its credit, it didn't leave me feeling as unclean as......(zero stars)
2. The Call: A despicable exercise in young women crying and pleading for their lives, the movie ineptly tells the story of a 911 operator (Halle Berry) who takes a call from a young teenager (Abigail Breslin) who says she's been kidnapped and is in the trunk of a car. The movie gets increasingly more idiotic and unpleasant as it plods along, until it reaches an insulting final scene that's pretty much a giant "F**k you" to the audience members. What a hunk of junk this movie was. (zero stars)
As bad as those 9 movies were, they are a walk in the park next to the excruciating likes of (drum roll please)
1. Man of Steel:
"This isn't going to end until one of us dies!"
So says the villain at the end of Man of Steel, and I was having such a horrible experience with the movie by that time, that it took every ounce of strength in me not to scream at the screen "Then can someone die already, so I can go home!"
Seriously, that's how bad this movie is.
The movie opens up with a prologue on Krypton, which goes on for so long that I started to wonder if the whole movie was going to take place on that one planet. Then baby Superman gets shot to earth in an escape pod, then we smash cut to Clark Kent as an adult, working several different jobs, while screenwriter David S. Goyer does absolutely nothing to develop his character.
Oh, we get flashbacks and all, usually involving his childhood on the Kent farm. Kevin Costner plays Papa Kent, and he pretty much walks away with the single dumbest death scene of this or any year for that matter (I hate that tornado scene). Even during those flashbacks, we learn very little about Clark's character, at least not enough to make us care at all.
Still doesn't sound like the worst film of the year? What if I told you that Henry Cavill turns in a criminally flat performance as the title character, or that Amy Adams as Lois Lane turns in a performance that is all new levels of annoying? What if I told you that the special-effects were among the most forgettable of the year (Even the sometimes horrible looking The Hobbit 2 looked better than this), or that the villains were about as threatening as an electronic Furby doll with the batteries taken out?
And those action scenes? Oh, sweet God those action scenes. I thought they would never END!!!! They were chaotic, poorly directed.....and they just wouldn't stop!!!! And then there's that scene during the climax when Superman opens up a black hole in the middle of the city, which sucks up cars and airplanes but, for some reason, not Lois Lane, who keeps falling even when the airplane she fell out of gets sucked into the black hole.
The movie takes itself oh...so...seriously, and I still can't figure out why. The most damning thing about the movie is that it runs on for an excruciating 143 minutes!!!!
I know there are a lot of people who embraced this movie. Although it got a high rotten on Rottentomatoes.com, it also got a 7.4 on IMDB. A lot of audience memebers did like this movie, and if you are one of them, then God bless you. You went along for the ride, you got your money's worth, and it worked for you.
As for me, I can not put into words the physical torture I felt while watching it. I went in hoping to be entertained. When the movie had ended, I went home and wrote a eulogy for the two hours and twenty three minutes of my life that this movie ruthlessly and heartlessly butchered. I couldn't even write a full review for the movie because I was sooooo.....ANGRY!!!!!!!!
There is truly no force on earth that could ever get me to watch this movie again. Even if I meet a sweet and lovely girl, and she makes me promise to do everything with her, and one of the things she does is revisit this movie on a yearly basis, I'd be like "Yeah, that's one thing you're gonna have to do alone."
That concludes my worst films list. There are a few other movies I want to mention, which weren't bad enough to be on my worst of the year list, but deserve mentioning all the same.
Most over-rated movie of the year: The Place Beyond the Pines. I thought it was really contrived and predictable. I hated the characters so much, that even the actors and their best efforts did nothing for me. The opening 45 minutes are its strongest, but after that, I just lost interest in it.
Thumbs down, but I had some affection for them: Broken City and Fast and Furious 6. I didn't hate either of these movies. Broken City was incredibly silly, but kind of entertaining if you watch it in the right frame of mind. Likewise, Furious 6 is kind of fun if you can handle the terrible lines of dialogue and that off-putting action scene with the tank (I couldn't quite do it).
Hopefully in a week (maybe less), I will have my best of list, which will also feature my pick for the year's biggest guilty pleasure (please don't judge when you find out what it is).
Here's hoping 2014 is a better year for movies (I'm putting hope in you Godzilla, what with your awesome teaser and all).
Happy 2014 everybody!