Happy 2015 Everyone!
It's that time of year to reflect back on all the new films released in 2014.
The trend seems to be that the Top 10 Best/Favorite Films are done first followed by the Bottom 10. I thought I would change it up slightly and do my bottom votes first. I didn't have 10 films to fill the list with so I opted to do a Bottom 5, or in this case, "Top 5 Most Disappointing". The reason being is that I try my best avoid any movies that look like a waste of time from the jump; however, it is not my intention to come off as a stuffy snob that would know better than anyone else. Over the years, I've learned to trust my gut feelings when it comes to movies, and I believe I have about a 98% success rate that helps me weed out the "I can't believe a studio funded this" type of film from my scope. The films on this list were the ones I had high, or at least some hope for, and they came either horrendously short or frustratingly short of being great.
So, without any further rambling, let's do this thing:
This probably isn't the greatest example of a "disappointment" worthy of this list because the bar shouldn't have been held that high to begin with. Yes, as a nearing 30-year-old man, I still hold Disney on a fairly tall pedestal due to their top quality works, especially in animation, Live action, on the other hand, I'm more torn on. Obviously, a company is bound to trend to where the money is, and the last three live action outings have proved lucrative; I just wish the quality matched the rewards. "Alice in Wonderland" from 2010 played as a sequel, and while it didn't catch everybody's fancy so to speak, I did enjoy that one quite a bit. "Oz the Great and Powerful" from 2012 was penned as a prequel to the original "Wizard of Oz", and I was intrigued by the idea overall, but the final product felt pretty flat when all was said and done. This year, Disney opted to do a prequel/parallel to "Sleeping Beauty" with 2014's "Maleficent" and placed Angelina Jolie in the titular role. As I stated in my review, Jolie did the best she could with what she had the work with, but even she couldn't save it from being terrible. The story was a boring mess, the animation was appallingly sub-par for a Disney product, and I'm still baffled how the filmmakers managed to make the three fairies so infuriatingly annoying. I'm glad I only spent $2 to rent this instead of going to the theater, and even then, I kind of wanted my money back.
Disney, you're better than this. Next up on the live action slab is "Cinderella". Forgive me if my excitement is on the tempered side.
4. THE JUDGE
As I mentioned in my review, I didn't hate "The Judge". Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in the same movie is pretty difficult to condemn, and the film had it's upsides; unfortunately, that's the main problem. If a movie has the same amount of peaks as it does valleys, the average is a middle-of-the-road drama that sadly won't be too memorable due to the filmmakers trying to make it more than it needed to be.
A near miss, but a miss just the same.
3. 22 JUMP STREET
At least once a year, despite how much I tried to avoid it, I'm concluding that "22 Jump Street" making this list was a byproduct of me falling victim to the Hype Machine. Audiences and professional critics alike were giving it similar high praise to its predecessor (one I thoroughly enjoyed), and with the same cast returning to a premise where the big joke of the film was making fun of sequels in general, I couldn't help but get sucked in. "22" had its gut-buster moments to be sure, although they were much further apart than in "21" for me, and didn't nearly live up to what many people were making it sound like.
I don't know, maybe I was in an off mood that day, but I didn't really see what all the hoopla was about.
2. MUPPETS MOST WANTED
I will admit right away that, yes, in my initial review of "Muppets Most Wanted", I gave the film approval. Not long after that, I began to realize that my love for the Muppets jaded me and lead me astray. If "Most Wanted" doesn't make the naysayers of Jason Segel's fan project back in 2011 see it in a different light, then I can't imagine anything will. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I'm not debating that, but at least Segel understood what he was working with and made an admirable finished piece; none of that can be claimed about "Most Wanted". Never, any in any circumstance, should the Muppets take the background in their own movie. Sure, the actors can have their time, but it's not supposed to be about them, that's why they were referred to as "guests" back during the TV show.
I believed and hoped that the Muppets were on the cusp of a comeback, and I still do hope that's the case. Just as much as I hope "Most Wanted" didn't stop that dead in its tracks.
Addressing this right away, no, I was not disappointed with "Noah" because it didn't follow the well-known biblical story of Noah's Ark to an absolute point. I'm not sure whom in their right mind would go into a Darren Aronofsky film expecting it to be by the book; that's not his style, whether you find him and his films to be pretentious or not. My issue with "Noah" was after taking into regard the talented cast, the talent behind the camera, and the commendable special effects that the subject material called for, there was no reason for this movie to be as boring as it was. Hell, there were a few intervals this year where I forgot about it entirely. It wasn't until I sat down trying to think of all the films I watched earlier this year when it dawned on me that "Oh yeah, I saw 'Noah', too."
After "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan", I couldn't help but be dumbfounded by this one.
That concludes my Top Disappointing Films of 2014. Up next: My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2014!