Thursday, January 08, 2015

5 Movies I Didn't Care For from 2014

35. I, Frankenstein

A lot of people give the Underworld movies a hard time, but I genuinely and unironically love them. So when I heard that the creators of that were taking on my favorite monster of all time, I didn't expect the bland, forgettable mess that it it was. My hope was that if it was bad it would at least fail spectacularly, but it doesn't take enough chances for that. It's not awful, it's just lukewarm, and that's the worse crime.

34. Transformers: Age of Extinction

I thought I'd given up on the Transformers movies after the second one and didn't see the third, but they pulled me back in with dinosaurs. And I admit that Pain and Gain softened some of my distaste for Michael Bay movies. Age of Extinction has all of Bay's usual flaws though and the dinosaurs don't even show up until the final act, so I think I can safely say that I'm out again. Unless Stanley Tucci comes back, because he's awesome and his character is awesome and I pretty much want a movie that's just about him. But please lets not have any Transformers or Michael Bay in it.

33. This Is Where I Leave You

I love these big family comedy-dramas with huge casts and my mouth was watering to watch one with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Timothy Olyphant in it. It has its funny moments, but sadly the characters don't feel like real people. Instead, they're just problems in need of solutions and the only answers the movie has for them are trite and unconvincing.

32. The November Man

Though the Pierce Brosnan Bond films are my least-favorite run in that series, it's not because of Brosnan and I usually like him in other kinds of spy movies. But this isn't one of his better ones. It makes a brave choice in pitting Brosnan's older spy against his younger protege and not giving the audience an easy choice of whom to root for. Unfortunately, that approach backfires. Both men are seriously screwed up and both have moments of heroism, but they're balanced so well against each other that I gave up caring who would win. Instead, I focused on Olga Kurylenko. Which isn't a horrible option. She's not a main character and doesn't get enough screen time, but when she is there she's pretty great.

31. The Monuments Men

I wrote a pretty thorough post on my problems with The Monuments Men, but the short version is that while it has a great cast and characters I cared about, it asked me to take their mission more seriously than it did. I wanted either a fun heist movie or a film that would make me feel deeply about the importance of art, but by trying to be something in between, The Monuments Men is neither of those things.


Paxton said...

I'm back. Again.

I, Frankenstein - It's a mess. Aaron Eckhardt is great in general, but not as Frankenstein's monster. And angels?! And gargoyles?! What?

Transformers 4 - I hate this series.

November Man - I was just considering this in the last week or so. Sounds good, but I've been burned by this exact situation before (looking at you The Matador).

This is Where I Leave You - I couldn't disagree more. These family dramas are built on characters filled with problems that need to be solved. They all do it. Family Stone, Death at a Funeral, August Osage County, etc, etc. And I thought this was better than most. Mostly due to the sterling cast (minus one Jane Fonda who is terrible).

Monuments Men - Another disagree. It worked for me. Well acted. Nice story. They made me care about the art.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I felt Monuments Men was a mixed bag. Some parts were good, some parts felt like deleted scenes that got put back in by accident. It has a good cast, but I feel like I would have enjoyed a documentary about this crew a bit more.

Siskoid said...

Seen none of these, but then I'm always surprised at how many movies you manage to see in theaters in a single year. I'm guessing it's all in theaters.

Derek Ash said...

The weirdest thing about Monuments Men for me was how randomly padded out it felt. It felt like they tried really hard to make every member of the team seem relevant in their way by literally just squeezing some obligatory "war story" scenes in there for each one. I was genuinely interested in the main plot of the movie, the finding of the mines, and the tracking down of the Madonna statue. But once you remove everything that isn't attached to that, you have about 30 minutes.

Michael May said...

Pax, I want a T-shirt with Bay's Optimus Prime and your four-word review on it. That's awesome. :)

Even though I mostly didn't care for November Man, I think I'd still recommend your checking it out on Netflix or someplace where you're not paying extra for it. If you go in with low expectations, there are things to enjoy about it.

Siskoid, about 80% are in theaters, but I did catch some on DVD as they came out that way. I'm blessed with a very understanding wife, so Thursday nights are usually movie nights out for me and a buddy of mine.


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