Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of the Best - Mae's Top Picks for 2014: 'Snowpiercer', 'The One I Love', 'Gone Girl', and More



Having seen around 180+ movies this year, sitting down to create a list of the best films of 2014 isn't easy. There are a lot of films I didn't want overlooked, so they've been added in and while the list isn't extensive, it's definitely a mixed bag and doesn't stick to one genre in particular. And to help fuel the fire that I might get for some of these, I'll just admit that this is all subjective, let's just face the fact that this is less of a "best" list and call it my "favorites" list. 

These are the list of films that stuck with me long after I saw them, that gripped me emotionally, psychologically, or were otherwise so downright entertaining and immediately came to mind while drafting this piece. They're my best of the best, the cream of the crop, the top prize, etc. (and I tried to keep it to 20, but it was really hard, so you get 21!). 

I'll see you at the movies in 2015!

 What are your top picks?

21. Horrible Bosses 2/22 Jump Street

20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I
19. Guardians of the Galaxy
18. Locke
17. Fort Bliss
16. A Most Violent Year 
15. Nightcrawler
14. Mommy
13. The Book of Life
12. The Skeleton Twins
11. The Fault in Our Stars


10. Into the Woods - If you couldn't already tell, I'm a fan of this musical. I was so excited when they announced they were bringing it to the big screen, but I was also full of trepidation because it was being produced by Disney and the musical gets a little, well, dark. Darker than all the Disney animations we're used to seeing. But I was put at ease as soon as I saw it. It's filled with what all musical adaptations should have: Namely, great creativity when it comes to shifting between stage and screen. And of course, Rob Marshall's able to do that, all while keeping the humor and darker moments. 

Best lines: 

Cinderella's Prince: I will always love the maiden who ran away. 
Cinderella: And I the handsome prince. 


9. Begin Again - The question here is this: How can anyone watch this film and not like it? Mark Ruffalo is a down-on-his-luck music producer who hasn't produced a hit artist or song in a long time. Enter Keira Knightley and include her reluctance to pursue a singing career, only Ruffalo's convinced of her talents and hears that magic when he listens to her music. The story is heartfelt, genuine, and really very sweet and subtle. The story borderlines romantic but never quite gets there, which makes it even all the more better since it's realistic. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley have unexpected chemistry and the music is fantastic. Side note: Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine isn't bad at acting. And what really catapults the movie from being great to just wonderful is the road the characters take, the jabs at the music industry, and, of course, the song "Lost Stars," which deserves all the love it can get, and probably an Oscar for Best Song. 

Best lines: 

Dan: That's some song you got there. I promise you it could be a big hit. Plus you're beautiful. 
Greta: I'm sorry, what's beauty got to do with anything?
Dan: Jesus, you're tricky, aren't you?

8. The One I Love - The trippiest romance movie. Ever. Just when you think that you know how this one will end, you're in for a surprise. A big one. I feel weird just thinking about giving it away if you haven't seen it yet. And if you haven't, what the hell are you waiting for? The film really digs deep in looking at relationships, and Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass really sell it as the married couple who are on the brink of their relationship falling to pieces when they take a weekend getaway trip and end up getting what they didn't expect but essentially what they bargained for. Kind of. A huge twist on what we're used to seeing in romantic films, The One I Love takes a big risk and it pays off. Filled with humor, drama, suspense, and a lot of mystery, this film will give your brain a lot of thinking to do after it's over. 

Best Lines: 

Sophie: It's so weird. 
Ethan: It's really odd. 


7. The Grand Budapest Hotel - If there's one thing that's clear about Ralph Fiennes is that he has a great knack for comedy. And director Wes Anderson utilizes this fact to its maximum capacity. In one of the best ensembles of the year, one of many on this list, comes a story about a hotel manager and his lobby boy. The script is fresh, original, and plays to Wes Anderson's strengths, as well as to the strengths of his cast. The production value and cinematography are superb, and the humor plenty. Plus, you could probably watch a GIF of Ralph Fiennes running from the cops over and over again.  



6. The Lego Movie - Most people thought that a Lego film would essentially fall flat on its face. Who would want to see a movie about a bunch of Legos? Well, the people over at Warner Brothers thought that everyone would want to see a Lego movie, and they were most definitely right. Probably one of the biggest surprises of the year, The Lego Movie is everything an animation could hope to be and more. It's just shy of being perfect and gives us important lessons and gives the chance for a nobody to be somebody, and the sidekick to not just want to be relegated to being a sidekick just to make the Special look good. It's all very deep once you look past everything and damn entertaining! 

Best Lines: 
Emmett: You don't have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. 

5. Snowpiercer - This is the first English-language feature film for director Bong Joon-ho. And you know what? He gets it right. The production value, a re-envisioned take on already-used themes, and fantastic execution and performances by Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, and Tilda Swinton, among many others, makes this movie really stand out. It's dark, it has fantastic themes, and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Watching Snowpiercer is essentially like being on a thrilling ride you never want to get off of. As the passengers, who are the last of humankind and are placed in a class system on the train that makes a complete turn around the earth every year, grow tired of being mistreated, they plan to take over the train one car at a time. This literal look at society's economical system is in heavy play here and Bong Joon-ho's direction takes center stage in a suspenseful epic that deserves to be seen and gives us something to think about. 

Best lines: 

Mason: Passengers, eternal order flows from the sacred engine. We must occupy our preordained position. I belong to the front, you belong to the tail. Know your place! Keep your place! 

4. Gone Girl - One of the best adapted screenplays of the year (probably because Gillian Flynn, the author of the novel, was the one who adapted the script), Gone Girl is chock-full of powerful acting, a crazy plot, and just the right balance between drama and insanity. Flynn writes with a deft hand and layers the story with proverbial stereotypes about certain gender notions and exceptionally memorable characters. Rosamund Pike's monologue about the "cool girl" is so popular, and for good reason, and her portrayal of Amy is nothing like we've seen from the actress before. Ben Affleck is the accused husband whose life hangs in the balance between normal life and prison (mostly due to the media's twist and portrayal on the proceedings, which plays a large part in the film). I could go on and on with all the great things to say about this film, but just know this: It's excellently done. 

Best Lines: 
The entire "Cool Girl" speech. Duh. Read it here

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past - We can never forget Brett Ratner's turn in the director's chair for the doomed X3, but now with Days of Future Past, we kind of can. Finally! The excellence that was X-Men: First Class and the wonderful first two X-Men films combine worlds in a time travel mash-up that was exciting and more than fulfilling for longtime fans of the movies and comic books alike. For one thing, Bryan Singer is back in the director's chair and the fluidity with which he directs what could have been a complicated plot (what with flip-flopping timelines and all) could have ended in disaster in anyone else's hands. Plus, spoiler alert, every X-Man (and woman!) makes a reappearance in a spectacular fashion. A definite example of how superhero films should be done. 

Best Lines: 
Charles Xavier: Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they're lost forever. 

2. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - What is there to really say about Birdman that hasn't already been said? Most of the time, critics don't agree on everything, but when they do, there's reason to, and this film is definitely reason to. One of the reasons to love it is that the story pretty much, and ironically, mirrors Michael Keaton's career and rehabilitates it all in one go. The ensemble cast is fantastic, it's a cohesive story, and director Alejandro Iñarritu gets technically creative when it comes to the style and oh, yeah, the entire film looks like it's entirely one shot. Which is just awesome. That is all. 

Best Lines: 
Sam (to her dad): You're doing this because you want to feel relevant again.... You're the one who doesn't exist. You're doing this because you're scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don't matter. And you know what, you're right. You don't!

1. Selma - A lot of people won't see Selma until January 9, but believe me when I tell you that if you see this film and manage not to like it, then... well, you won't like it, but that in and of itself would be a tragedy. This film couldn't have come at a better time and director Ava DuVernay takes great care to make this film, first and foremost, about Martin Luther King, Jr. Everything else is just an extension of him and only serves to make the film that much better. It's powerful and outstandingly moving, will probably make you bawl like a baby (bring tissues!), and will leave a great impact on you like no other film will this year. Selma is also backed by a strong cast (David Oyelowo as MLK is outstanding) who really step up to the plate. The best picture of the year! 

Best Lines: 
Martin Luther King, Jr.: It is unacceptable that they use their power to keep us voiceless. As long as I am unable to use my constitutional right to vote, I do not have command of my own life. I cannot determine my own destiny. For it is determined for me by people who would rather see me suffer than succeed. Those that have gone before us say, ‘no more! No more!’ That means protest. That means march. That means disturb the peace. That means jail. That means risk. And that is hard. We will not wait any longer. Give us the vote. We’re not asking. We’re demanding. Give us the vote!

Honorable mentions include: Enemy, Edge of Tomorrow, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Force Majeure, Citizenfour, and Whiplash


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mae's Top Picks for the Funniest and/or Most Awesome Scenes of 2014


It's proving to be harder than expected to come up with my picks for the best movies of 2014. It's been even harder coming up with the top funniest scenes of 2014, because there are so many choices to sift through. But finally (finally!), I've narrowed it down to six funny scenes which made me crack a smile, laugh outright, or were executed so well that a grin couldn't help but appear stupidly on my face. 

And now I give you my picks for the top funniest and/or awesome scenes of 2014 (including clips where applicable!). After reading through this post, there might be a small song and dance theme going on. I make no apologies. Enjoy! 


"If You've Only Got a Mustache" (A Million Ways to Die in the West) - Many critics didn't like Seth McFarlane's Blazing Saddles-esque western (I thought it was mediocre at best), but we can't deny that when it comes to random songs, McFarlane is the king (remember the "Thunder Buddies" song from Ted? Yeah, exactly.) So what happens when you put a down on his luck McFarlane against an arrogant and mustached Neil Patrick Harris? Well, you get a manly showdown where you can only win a girl by sporting a mustache. It's so ridiculous and random that you can't help but shake your head in amusement. 





Quicksilver gets creative in the Pentagon kitchen (X-Men: Days of Future Past) - With Bryan Singer back at the helm of the X-Men films (where he belongs), Xavier's team of mutants is back in tip top form. And the franchise wouldn't be anything if we didn't get new characters popping in and out occasionally. One of the best additions to Days of Future Past, and something Marvel will have to compete with when Age of Ultron comes out next year, is Quicksilver, the ultra fast-moving mutant who helps get Magneto out of his plastic Pentagon prison. Let me not speak on this anymore, but rather let these GIFs explain this scenes awesomeness for me. 








"Agony" by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) - I've loved Into the Woods for years. Its a great story and the music and lyrics by Steven Sondheim are extremely clever. And while there are fun songs and dramatic songs in the musical, "Agony," sung in the film by Cinderella and Rapunzel's princes, and is basically about the melodramatic pain they're going through because they can't get the women they want (along with a bit of sibling rivalry), takes the cake. I have no GIFs to explain since the movie only just came out, but have a listen to the song and then try and go see the movie so you know what I'm talking about! Until then, here are some stills of the over the top princes singing about their supposed agony. 





Channing Tatum laughs hysterically (22 Jump Street) - There's nothing funnier than getting a sequel that knows its a sequel and uses that fact to its advantage. And while there are many really funny moments in 22 Jump Street, the one that immediately jumps out (no pun intended) is the scene where Ice Cube finds out that Jonah Hill has been sleeping with his daughter. Channing Tatum starts laughing hysterically and it goes on for a good two minutes, all while Ice Cube is death glaring at Jonah Hill. Ice Cube's expression and Tatum's ongoing laughter is just too amusing for words. 






Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig dance and lip sync together (The Skeleton Twins) - The movie does well in mixing drama and comedy and gives us great dramatic performances by SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. And the greatest and most memorable scene from the film is when the two of them lip sync and dance to the song "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Jefferson Starship. There are not enough words to explain how awesome this scene is. As you can see, GIFs are my best friend. 










Peter Quill (AKA Star Lord) gets desperate (Guardians of the Galaxy) - One of Marvel's most successful movies, Guardians of the Galaxy has a lot going for it, most especially the duo of Groot and Rocket Raccoon, but one of my personal favorite scenes comes right in the midst of the grand finale in the most random and unexpected ways. Peter Quill and his team find that Ronan the Accuser is in possession of the Infinity Stone and what does Quill do? He starts singing. "O-O-H Child" as a distraction, cutting off Ronan's monologue. One word: Awesome! 




            


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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review: 'The Interview', Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco


The Sony hack came unannounced and certainly as a surprise to everyone (especially Sony) by a group of hackers who call themselves the Guardians of Peace. With this leak came the release of private information, leaked movies, such as Annie, and a string of bad publicity targeted at the studio. Most notable, and the most important reason behind the leak was all because of a little comedy by Seth Rogen and James Franco called The Interview, which focuses heavily on trying to assassinate the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. 

The film, which was scheduled for a Christmas release, was cancelled after the hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack on every theater who screened the film. After initially never planning to release the film anytime in the near future, and after being called out by several in Hollywood and even the President, Sony thankfully retracted its decision and released the film in select theaters and video on demand. Is The Interview worth risking lives over? Not really, but it's still good to see that creative freedom wasn't silenced permanently. 


Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a TV show host and he gets a lot of high-profile talent to appear on his show like Eminem, Rob Lowe, and Joseph Gordon Levitt (all make cameo appearances). Essentially, the show is a social media magnet, used to perpetuate gossip and be the first to reveal secrets not previously revealed anywhere else. Dave's best friend Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is the producer on the show and at the 1000th episode party, Rapaport is confronted by a 60 Minutes producer mocking his inability to produce serious journalistic material. 


Taking it to heart, Aaron claims that Dave should start interviewing more serious people like politicians, authors, etc. After finding out that Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is a fan of "Skylark Tonight," the two of them are invited to conduct an interview with the Supreme Leader in Pyongyang, North Korea. Of course, the interview is to be completely conducted using questions that Sook (Diana Bang), one of Kim Jong-un's people, wrote up and no questions are allowed from Skylark's side. Of course, everything gets even more complicated when CIA Agents Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) and Baldwin (Reese Alexander) seize the opportunity at having someone enter North Korea and ask Skylark and Rapaport to kill Kim Jong-un. 


For all the trouble that this film went through to finally be seen, it doesn't seem worth it. I mean, the film involves Rogen and Franco, and the irony of the whole situation and at having North Korea be involved (albeit not as fans) is just the strange cherry on top. Was threatening people worth it over cheap laughs? Of course not, and if you're accustomed to Franco and Rogen's humor, then you knew from the beginning that there was nothing to get riled about. The comedy duo take a serious political situation, take some big risks, and only end up with it being half funny. 

For the first half of the film, Franco's Skylark and Park's Kim Jong-un stroll around like they're BFFs. Both are misunderstood, want to be taken seriously, and have the same kinds of insecurities. Of course, Skylark doesn't have immense power and doesn't act like a five-year-old on a power-tripped temper tantrum, but the seeds of similarity are there. So Skylark is the most surprised (and really, he's the gullible idiot in comparison to Rogen) when Kim Jong-un shows his true colors. 

The beginning of the film starts off on the wrong foot, with Franco interviewing Eminem and his character trying to come off what can only be called as a stereotypical gangster in order to match up with Eminem. Franco's character is annoying at first and it takes a while for you to really warm up to him because he's just trying too hard to be funny. Of course, being a Rogen and Franco film, the two take advantage of their public bromancing throughout the entirety of the movie's almost two-hour run time. 

But it's once the CIA gets involved that things really start to pick up and some of the jokes start to stick. The scenes between Franco and Kim Jong-un are funny enough to keep you entertained and Rogen's attempts to make Franco see reason are constantly thwarted simply because Skylark is probably the epitome of stupidity. Rogen's ultimate pairing with Diana Bang's character, who's awesome in this, is a bit unexpected but garners the right comedic momentum that the film required in its finale. 

Did this film deserve all the unexpected hype that it garnered? No, but if you're looking for mediocre laughs and a comedy that takes enormous risks surrounding a very touchy subject, then you'll enjoy The Interview well enough. It brushes on a lot of different political aspects in a comedic approach, but it's not enough to particularly be called a parody. Rogen and Franco spend a lot of time bitching at each other, but their bromance is ever present regardless. Kim Jong-un is half portrayed as a misunderstood guy with daddy issues and then as a psycho dictator who only cares about making his people think he's a god, and the switch between the two is also humorous. Overall, a mediocre comedy that can be watched from the comfort of your own home (since it's only out in limited theaters anyway). 



Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg | Screenwriters: Dan Sterling | Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Diana Bang, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Reese Alexander | Genre: Comedy | MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use, and bloody violence

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The 12 Worst Films of 2014: 'Tammy', 'Exodus: Gods and Kings', 'The Legend of Hercules', and More


This is the worst part of the job, sitting through all the terrible movies. Sure, I do it so that you don't have to, but on a personal level it's just sad to write about a film that turns out badly when you know it might have had so much potential, but it is what it is. Unfortunately, in between all the really good films, there are also really bad films, and I've highlighted all the ones that have been terrible, had potential but failed miserably, or were just so aggravatingly anger-provoking because of their awfulness. 

Check out the list (which is in no particular order) below and sound off in the comments about what you thought was terrible this year! 


Tammy - Melissa McCarthy has proved that she's a funny woman. We've seen her take on roles that prove this, like in Bridesmaids and The Heat. Unfortunately, when it came to her own project, she completely botched it. Tammy is probably one of the most boring, ridiculous, and plotless comedies of the year. McCarthy plays a character who's down and out on her luck only to find herself taking a road trip with her deadbeat grandma (Susan Sarandon in a wig). If tactless gags, McCarthy finally changing her outlook on life only after she gets made over, and a horrifyingly terrible three-minute segment where she and Sarandon are singing is now considered comedy, then I quit. 

Blended - It has long been joked about that Adam Sandler no longer makes movies, but rather goes on paid studio vacations. Blended is unfortunately no exception. With Sandler and Drew Barrymore back together after their success with The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, there was some hope that this film would be a bit better than the ones he's done in the recent past, but no. The film has Barrymore, Sandler, and their families stuck together on a trip to Africa (we all should be quick to not what Sandler does not: Africa is not a country), where their relationship grows from hate to love. Not only is the film awfully stereotypical and demeaning of its portrayal of Africa (there are lions roaming around the hotel grounds), but there is nothing even remotely funny about it. I want a refund on two hours of my life I will never get back. 

The Identical - Probably one of the most insulting things about the identical is that it doesn't even reference Elvis Presley in a story that's based off of a part of his life. Twins are born in a small town where their parents can't afford to keep two. One grows up being a preacher's son and the other a rock 'n roll star. The Identical might just win for most boring and uninteresting movie of the year. The pacing feels deliberately slow and agonizing, the acting wooden, and the characters are as stale as day's old bread. If you are perhaps interested in the twin brother who died at birth, go read about Elvis and save yourself a migraine. 



Bad Words - Look, I like Jason Bateman. His dry sense of humor and straight face always get a decent laugh out of me, but Bad Words, which he also directs, is terrible enough that you'll want to laugh at its sheer audacity to exist rather than at the attempted comedy in the film. Bateman's character, a spelling bee loser, finds a loophole that allows him to compete as an adult. Bateman nastily sounds off and chews everyone who crosses paths with him or gets in the way of his mission to win. His character is cruel. Not funny cruel, but cruel cruel. A kid in the film (Rohan Chand) who tries to befriend Bateman is mocked and ridiculed by the older man in ways that aren't even remotely humorous. Bateman's character is obnoxious and so tantalizingly annoying, that by the time we reach the end and we realize why Bateman is so set on winning the spelling bee, it doesn't even matter anymore.

The Other Woman - With a cast that includes Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, you'd think that this film, about women banding together against a cheating womanizer would be feminist and all girl power-y. Alas, this film is none of these things and is frankly an insult to women everywhere. Leslie Mann's character plays a stereotypical housewife. She's whiny, annoying, and excessively clingy. Cameron Diaz, who's supposed to be the picture of successful and career-driven woman, starts off that way, only to veer into the direction of making ridiculously stupid decisions. It doesn't really help that Kate Upton is only there because she has big boobs. A movie that's meant to be about women taking ownership of their lives turns into a film that highlights how unintelligent they actually are. Such a wasted opportunity. 

Labor Day - Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, two attractive adults, meet, fall in love, and end up spending the rest of their lives together. How romantic. Did I mention that Brolin plays an escaped convict who threatens both Winslet and her son and keeps them under house arrest until he can safely get away from the cops? No? Must've been an oversight. The film immediately loses its supposed romantic air when you add Stockholm Syndrome into the mix, doesn't it? Add into the fact that Winslet's character is all kinds of messed up emotionally and mentally and it really doesn't help matters. But they bake a pie together and plan to start a new life after only knowing each other for two terrifyingly fearful days. Yeah, I don't get it either. 

Transcendence - Can a person't consciousness (AKA their brain) be uploaded into a computer? After all, our brain is made up of a bunch of electrical signals. This is what Transcendence is essentially about. Or at least, it starts off that way. And we all have to admit that the science behind this (which is actually being studied) is more than interesting, but the film makes the mistake of turning Johnny Depp's consciousness into the big bad of the film, and thus making the rest of the movie stale, thriller-less, and boring. Cillian Murphy's agent character is rendered useless and I'm sure everyone wonders why he's even in the film, and of course Morgan Freeman is there to give us the exposition. After the successful upload of consciousness, the film strays away from answering any intriguing questions about the whole idea and only uses it as its main antagonist. Spending a few years in the middle of nowhere for the majority of the film doesn't really help either. This film is a prime example of a great idea being shot to hell.


Exodus: Gods and Kings - Ridley Scott is a good director. Sure, his last couple of films haven't been great, but he's proven his talent. So his choice to direct Exodus is a peculiar one since he's more of a grand-scale director who really has no business directing a story that's been done in the past, and done better (just go rent The Ten Commandments if watching Moses part the sea dramatically is your cup of tea). The movie is excessively long, important female characters are sidelined to make way for the rivalry and tumultuous relationship between Christian Bale's Moses and Joel Edgerton's Rhamses, of which there isn't really much of a relationship or genuine rivalry to begin with. Scott uses too much CGI for the film to even be grounded in any kind of reality since it's too noticeable to avoid and he also asks intriguing questions about belief and faith that he's too afraid to follow-up on. The character interactions are terrible and the film excruciatingly slow and tedious to sit through. 

Tusk - What the HELL was Kevin Smith thinking when he decided to make this film? Seriously, the only way to not ask yourself the big WTF as to why this film even exists, you'd have to be off your rocker. And maybe Kevin Smith was off his rocker because the insanity behind the film is clear. Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment play the most disgusting and annoying podcast hosts ever. Their job consists of ridiculously mocking other people, and that includes people who do stupid things in videos on YouTube. They are essentially terrible human beings because their mockery is cruel and not funny in the least. Fate pays Long a visit when a trip to interview one of the guys they mocked turns into something far more dangerous for him when he's captured by a crazy man, played effectively by Michael Parks who wishes to turn him into a walrus for companionship. The worst part about the whole ordeal is that this is the first of a trilogy. I suppose WTF isn't strong enough of an expression. 


Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin's 700-page novel is wordy, hard to read, and could be construed as one of the most confusing books of our time and there's a reason why most acclaimed directors have not come near adapting the novel to the screen, simply because it would be too hard to do so. And Akiva Goldsman's adaptation proves this point. Filled with flying horses, demons, time travel, a contrived love story (Farrell falls in love with the woman he's trying to rob who happens to be dying), and a terribly WTF cameo by Will Smith as Satan, the film is atrociously bad. It's boring, confusing, and even Colin Farrell, with his charm and accent can't save this film from being an utterly chaotic mess. If even the best directors have stayed away from Helprin's book, Goldsman should have as well. 

The Legend of Hercules - What happens when you take one of the least interesting vampire characters from Twilight (and really, they're all uninteresting) and give him a starring role in a film and Hercules, well, it's bound to suck. The sad part is that Kellan Lutz, all bulked up and extremely tan, probably went into this film thinking, hey, this might be my big break, only it was too horrid for words. The movie, which was released in January, topped my worst of list for 2014 and didn't budge, even when the rest of the films on this list came out and threatened to remove it from the top spot. But here it remains, mostly because absolutely everything about it is bad: The acting, the story, the CGI effects that even the director didn't know what to do with (floating rose petals floating everywhere for no apparent reason), atrocious editing, and a plot that's so frustrating it'll make you want to pull your hair out. 

Angels in Stardust - I'm pretty sure practically no one saw this film, and after seeing it myself, I know why. If there's anything more aggravating than a bad plot, it's one that completely doesn't make any sense. This movie also unfortunately proves that Alicia Silverstone's career is washed up and has become irrelevant. A drunkard mother whose only concern is to find and marry a man with money, isn't really the ideal mother. This, in no way whatsoever explains why her daughter, played by AJ Michalka, talks to an imaginary cowboy, played by Billy Burke. The movie is slow, unmoving in terms of plot, and centered around a girl who's supposed to be following her dreams, but should probably be checked by a neurologist instead. So painful to sit through and a real downer for Silverstone's acting career. 

(Dis)honorable mentions include: I, Frankenstein for making terrible use of CGI and of Aaron Eckhart, Brick Mansions for being a terrible ripoff of its French predecessor, The Giver for ruining a beloved book, Into the Storm for ripping off Twister and not doing a very good job of it either, The Nut Job for being so lousy and unmemorable save for the animated Gangnam Style dance at the end, and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn for making me angry for watching it. 

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