The end of the year is approaching and as always with this blog I will be posting my personal Top Ten, based on movies I have seen in the last twelve months. It’s very difficult as a complete amateur movie critic as I am literally unable to watch every new movie that hits cinemas, so compile my list from the newest movies I have seen during the year, even if some came out the year before etc.
Compiled below are a few movies that left me wanting, movies that although not a disaster, could have been much better – or were hyped to be much better. You may or may not agree with my choices, and feel free to comment. But for now these are my disappointments of 2014…
Remakes are never that great granted, but wasn’t this classic sci-fi thriller ripe for an update? So what do we get … a re-tread of the original, but seriously watered down and completely devoid of both the violence and the social commentary that made the 1987 original so memorable. Paul Verheoven must have been offended how much the director ‘didn’t get’ his vision, and even some pretty decent action and not-bad casting could not save this.
When will I stop hearing about this pretty, fun but utterly generic Disney movie? One memorable song, some fun comedy characters but typical Disney Princess fair that lacked ideas and originality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie – but as good as EVERYONE goes on about …. no. Give me Beauty & The Beast any day of the week.
This did a lot right, it did a lot wrong too. A monster-mash that takes most of the movie to actually happen, and decent casting that is all but wasted. Bryan (Breaking Bad) Cranston – that’s all I need to say, but nooo, let’s make Kick-Ass the star instead. Wrong! Great effects work aside and some nail biting moments, but overall this could have, should have been much more.
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
Simple, how do you mess up a perfectly decent reboot of a popular franchise? How about only one action sequence of any note and the casting of Keira Knightley. Chris Pine, fresh off Star Trek does a good enough job, but this was mostly Bourne-light with a clichéd story and not enough boom for my buck. Could have been superb, but was mostly ‘meh.
Wolf Creek 2
Rave reviews don’t mean a decent experience I am quickly realising. I wasn’t the biggest fan of WC #1 but this promised everything that movie lacked, like a faster pace and tons more gore and violence. Yet an overly tongue-in-cheek tone and way too many one-liners just killed this for me. Could have been a first rate shit yourself slasher, but instead I got a second rate piss myself farce.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Still despite the best intentions this reboot of the blockbuster franchise still underwhelms. I can’t get used to Andrew Garfield as Spidy/Peter Parker and even the casting of Jamie Foxx is embarrassingly poor. The overly kiddie-friendly tone doesn’t help either. Great special effects though.
The Wind Rises
Studio Ghibli is always an event to me, and their animation style can never be faulted. However with this rather personal swan-song for director Hayao Myazaki the subject seemed rather niche and the characters not overly compelling, and the whole movie despite being well done, lacked that spark that makes Ghibli great. Stunning to look at but not that memorable, even more disappointing considering it’s the famed director’s final movie.
X-Men Days Of Future Past
Another highly acclaimed movie, another one that left me feeling cold. The plot was muddled, relied too heavily on you knowing what happened in all the other X-Men movies, and some fun time travel mechanics and a great cast of characters couldn’t save this fun, action-packed but ultimately confusing and messy movie. Never get tired of Mystique kicking ass though.
There you go. I may add to this list if December throws up any further disappointments, but with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Exodus: Gods & Kings and also Guardians Of The Galaxy all to come (hopefully), maybe that won’t happen. Also expect my definitive end of year Top Ten around New Year’s eve.