There’s nothing like getting assigned a “Top Ten Movies” reflection story to make you realize just how much garbage you’ve consumed in the past year.
I’ve just looked at my reviews from 2013, so please allow me a quick sidebar with my intrepid editor, John Guilfoil:
John, dude- are you mad at me about something? Because I was one “Grown Ups 2” away from reviewing literally everything terrible that came out this year.
Perhaps it’s not so bad. Honestly it was a good year for movies, especially the last two months or so when we received the yearly offering of Oscar bait- your “Llewyn Davises” and your “Walter Mittys” and your “Philomenas.” I didn’t review any of those, but they exist, and they are lovely. Perhaps I am just a jaded millennial, wrapping everything in a dozen layers of irony and sarcasm, unable to view anything with an open heart and simple joy of the cinematic experience.
Nah, that can’t be it. I really did see a lot of crap last year.
But here at Blast Magazine, we are not afraid of a challenge, and we work with the resources we are given. So without further ado, I present to you the first in an Annual Holiday Tradition:
Emma Johnson’s Top Ten Worst Movies of the Year!
A forgettable, disappointing soup with admittedly terrific scenery, this film had the sad misfortune to come out the week of the Marathon Bombing. So I was a little, shall we say, distracted. Even so, I barely remember the plot a few months on. It involved Morgan Freeman being wise and lightly sardonic.
In this relentless bout of pseudo-intellectual torture porn Hugh Jackman beats a mentally retarded trauma victim (Paul Dano), and Jake Gyllenhaal tries to look grizzled and jaded but ends up looking like a puppy who made a mess on the carpet. A couple of points go to the production designers for making central Pennsylvania look just as wasted and depressing as it actually is. Those points are taken away by the truly ludicrous twist ending.
8. Oz the Great and Powerful
A big old yawn with a heinous computer-animated monkey voiced by Zach Braff. Even Michelle Williams couldn’t save this thing. Sam Raimi- go back to awesome b-horror movies! More “Drag Me to Hell” forever!
7. Grown-Ups 2
Like I said, I didn’t actually see this. I didn’t have to. Did you? No. No one did. No one needed to see this movie because you saw the trailer in which the four guys make fun of those kids today and their fancy gang handshakes or whatever. Just stop it, Kevin James. Just. Stop it.
6. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Did you know that fairy tales are totally the new vampires? Jeremy Renner, a rising star who should have better sense, face-planted spectacularly with this retelling of the Grimm’s tale. Picture a movie that makes medieval witch hunts less about the butchering of women who had the temerity to be midwives or herbalists, and more about cool crossbow action! The only thing worse are the special effects, which put the movie squarely in the Ed Wood Hall of Fame.
5. The Host
Did you know that aliens and post apocalyptic hellscapes are totally the new vampires? This adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s other book also features shirtless yet non-threatening men, a vaguely-drawn outline of a heroine, and villains that kind of just get bored and wander away in the third act. Bonus hilarity is the fact that all these shirtless yet non-threatening men are mysteriously able to wax, shave, and gel their hair despite the fact that they live in caves.
4. A Good Day to Die Hard
Exhausting at a mere 90 minutes, and sporting the main character’s jackass son as a Russian spy, it serves only as a grim reminder of how good the first three movies were. Let “Die Hard” rest in peace, guys. John McClane has earned it.
3. The Hangover Part III
Not as tepid, ugly, or vacuous as the second one but don’t worry it’s still pretty bad. Watch the first ten minutes to see the giraffe-killing (which dammit is still really funny) and then turn it off. There’s a kicker at the end that shoe-horns in a little nugget of transphobia and male-anxiety just so you know it’s a Todd Phillips movie.
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The dragon doesn’t show up for two hours. Then when it finally gets there it talks for 20 minutes. About nothing. And there is an entire other movie that needs to come out before Peter Jackson’s thirst for orc-blood will be satisfied. This situation is unacceptable.
Winner of the 2013 Disappointment Award. A dark comedy about death with Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges and Mary Louise Parker (set in Boston!) should have been simply miraculous. But a sloppy editing job killed what was probably a decent script and hilarious performance by Bridges. Now it will be relegated to the fabled $5 DVD bin at Best Buy, and deservedly so.
So here’s to 2014! Let it be full of joy and prosperity. My resolution is to be way smarter about what I see every week.