Friday December 19, 2014 2:59 PM
10 - The Bag Man:
The horribly misguided and strictly amateur-hour The Bag Man stinks of one of those late 90s Tarantino rip-offs that somehow got put into production fifteen years too late. The shocking part is that A-listers like Robert DeNiro and John Cusack are in it. They both act like they’re being forced to step in front of the camera at gunpoint and, considering the film’s lack of coherence and quality, might be the actual case.
9 - Need for Speed:
Our favorite characters and storylines from the popular Need for Speed games come to life in this awesometasticular film adaptation. "What characters and storylines?", do you ask? Exactly. This Fast & Furious rip-off is like one long and boring cut-scene that refuses to let you play the game. It might please hardcore racing gamers and various other petrosexuals but pretty much no one else.
8 - Divergent:
I was shocked when this YA franchise wannabe du jour was a hit and actually spawned a franchise. I guess while we’re getting closer to the end of The Hunger Games, tweens, women-children and men-children everywhere will latch onto anything in order to have something to look forward to every year. To call Divergent derivative of every single YA property would be an understatement. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was concocted in a lab by computers that got fed The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter and plopped out this dreck.
7 - The Amazing Spider-Man 2:
The completely unnecessary and sleep-inducing reboot to Spider-Man gets an even more unnecessary and cringe-inducing sequel that stands next to Batman & Robin as one of the worst superhero films ever made. When Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007, could any of you imagine a day when you’d lay eyes on a Spider-Man movie that would make Sam Raimi’s third installment look like The Dark Knight? The whole thing is basically a 2.5-hour trailer for the sequel, which was hilariously cancelled after Spidey 2.0 Part 2 received abysmal reactions from fans, critics, audiences, and pretty much anyone with at least a single functioning brain cell.
6 - Walk of Shame:
Walk of Shame is a so-called comedy that attempts to stretch out a 22-minute sit-com episode concept into a 90-minute feature. The title refers to a slang term describing a woman who has to walk back to her house wearing the clothes she wore the night before after a one-night stand. Apart from reminding us once again that even our "enlightened" American culture still has a long way to go in terms of eradicating blatant misogyny, I can’t see why this popular buzzword necessitated a movie of its own to begin with. The audiences walking home after paying good money to see this train wreck performed the real walk of shame.
5 - Lucy:
If you thought Interstellar was dumb because one of those insultingly nitpicky "15 Things Wrong with Interstellar" articles your snobby film buff friends keep posting on Facebook convinced you that it is, yet think Lucy was one of the best films of the year because "It looked like a dumb action movie but turned out to be smart because it was trippy, man", telling you to go somewhere to fornicate with yourself is the only advice that comes to mind. Luc Besson’s unofficial remake of Her for the "idiots who think they’re smart" crowd is not only based on completely debunked pseudo-science, but is unintentionally hilarious from beginning to end. The titular character performing an impromptu Vulcan Mind Meld on a bad guy is especially amusing. Lucy is one of those movies tailor-made for Rifftrax.
4 - Very Good Girls:
Very Good Girls is a feature-length soap opera full of characters devoid of any depth or personality, occupying a meandering, unfocused screenplay without anything of value to say. Looking at a blank screen for an hour and a half would be more intellectually and spiritually rewarding. At least then you would get a decent session of meditation. The story, in the loosest sense of the word, is about BFFs Lilly (Dakota Fanning) and Gerri (Elizabeth Olsen) both falling in love with the same hunky, annoyingly stoic street artist named David (Boyd Holbrook), which serves to create a love triangle melodrama so predictable and so full of clichés that the premise would have been rejected by the WB network during the mid-90s.
3 - Child of God:
I can't think of a better modern real life equivalent to Jeremy Hillary Boob a.k.a. The Nowhere Man from Yellow Submarine than James Franco. In The Beatles' gorgeous psychedelic trip, Boob is a gnome-like parody of the kind of "renaissance man" who dabbles in every form of art imaginable while being soul-crushingly mediocre in every one of them. In Franco's case, the word prolific does not equal the word talented. The quickest way to describe Child of God, Franco's insanely misguided adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's controversial novel about a man who becomes so disconnected from society that he gradually morphs into a murderer and a necrophiliac, is "Glorified student film". Shot with bland digital photography that resembles a cheap reality show a lot more than a narrative feature, it contains more than a whiff of freshman art school level pretentiousness as obvious attempts at cheap shock value are clumsily wrapped around a supposed examination of the possible depths of human depravity under extreme solitude. Trusting James Franco with a film adaptation of Child of God is like expecting an infant who just learned how to walk to win The New York City Marathon. It's lazy and uninspired filmmaking at its worst.
2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Remember "fun"? You know, that thing you used to have while attending a mainstream popcorn movie that offered some goofy entertainment? When you were invited into an escapist world full of wonder, excitement and action so you could forget about your earthly problems for a mere couple of hours while appreciating the expensive, infectious silliness of it all? Remember the turtles? Those colorful, harebrained cartoon characters or the impressively built yet appropriately unrealistic Jim Henson puppets, depending on your preference between TV and feature film? Well, now they are a grotesque bunch of racial stereotypes that look like they were pulled out of Guillermo Del Toro’s rejected background monsters pile, animated with CGI that looks more plastic than the movie tie-in toys they’ll surely try to peddle to a new generation of hapless kids. Remember Shredder? The turtles’ Darth Vader-knockoff arch-nemesis? We can’t have him be a simple expert martial artist in a silly costume anymore, so he has to turn into a roided-up amalgamation of Iron Man and a door-to-door knife salesman. Don’t worry Shredder, if taking over New York via the most overused bad guy cliché of poisoning the entire city doesn’t pan out, I hear Ginsu is always hiring. Remember the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie? I sure as hell won’t.
1 – The Fault in Our Stars:
I hate this pandering, cynical, insulting, shameless, manipulative cash-grab so much that a paragraph of bile-filled hatred will not do it justice. To hear my reasoning behind why I despise this POS, listen to this episode of our podcast Over/Under Movies: