Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2 Movies I Hated from 2014

37. At Middleton

I have two major issues with At Middleton. First, it's a victim of its own marketing. It advertised itself as a fun, romantic comedy between a couple of middle-aged people who meet while visiting a prospective college campus with their kids. I'm a big fan of Andy Garcia and enjoy Vera Farmiga in most things as well, so I was super invested in watching them meet cute and fall in love. But that's not what At Middleton actually is and I resented the bait-and-switch.

It's actually a melancholy drama about unhappy marriages and adultery. But even as that, it's still majorly flawed. It deals honestly and unflinchingly with the complex emotions involved when someone falls in love with someone other than his or her spouse, but it could have been even more powerful if it had paid any attention to Garcia and Farmiga's absent spouses. Instead, it forces the kids to act as solo defendants for the marriages. That works to a limited extent, but it's still silencing a couple of major voices in this drama.

36. Lucy

I had a hard time not making this my most hated movie of the year, but at least it has some scenes of Scarlett Johansson kicking butt. Beyond that though, the plot is dull and the point the movie wants to make is ridiculous. The character of Lucy becomes less interesting as she becomes more powerful and Morgan Freeman is only there for exposition.

The movie's ultimate message (which it thinks is pretty darn profound) is that the reason humanity exists is to pass along knowledge to later generations. That's not only bleak, it's pointless. Knowledge has no value unless it's used for some purpose, but Lucy offers no suggestion of what ultimate knowledge might be used for. It's simply about accumulating information for its own sake.
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