By: Addison Wylie
There’s an unspoken rule to being a film critic that states we’re not allowed to complain about our job. We are offered free movies, we get to talk to fascinating people, and we get to offer our two cents to our own moviegoing communities. But, I would like to think – every once in a while – we’re allowed to vent about how much mediocrity we take in on a yearly basis.
2014 wasn’t a great year for movies. Sure, there were some fantastic selections (we’ll get to those later), but 2014 was a year where most films were either playing it too safe, or venturing into ambition without the proper credentials or confidence. This means when those inevitable bad apples trickled down the pipeline, they were aggressively awful.
Before we rip this band-aid off and soldier through the stinkers, I want to recognize one omission. Back when I wrote a mid-year post stating the best and the worst films the year had offered audiences, I included the dismal animated feature Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. Upon thinking about it and reviewing all its logistics, I’ve decided to leave it off the list. It’s barely an hour and its purpose is to act as an add-on to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast experience. It doesn’t stand alone as its own project.
Because it depends heavily on Smith’s touring podcast, I’m not counting it as a separate entity. That said, I have no problem naming it “the worst animated film of 2014”. Yes, it’s even worse than The Nut Job.
First, let’s look at some dishonourable mentions, as well as some other films that received far too much praise for how little they impressed. Click the title to read my review.
#20: Sex After Kids
#19: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
#18: The Nut Job
#16: Bad Johnson
#15: Authors Anonymous
#14: National Gallery
#13: Sex Tape
#12: Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve
#11: 3 Days to Kill
Wylie Writes’ Ten Worst Movies of 2014
#10: Mall (DIR. Joseph Hahn)
Linkin Park’s Joseph Hahn has burst onto the filmmaking scene with a tasteless, mopey mess. This is Mallrats rewritten by high school students who skip class because they hate their parents.
#9: Septic Man (DIR. Jesse Thomas Cook)
The yuckfest that just won’t die. I saw it at Toronto After Dark in 2013, hoping it would disappear. But, no.
Instead of making a movie worthy of commending on a sicko criteria, Septic Man‘s filmmakers would rather relish in gross-out immaturity. I wasn’t offended or nauseated. I was bored and disappointed.
I hate including ties on year-end lists. It’s like a form of cheating. But, I keep sending in the tests and I keep on receiving the same results from the lab. Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are equally awful.
The lame attempts at humour and characterization, brash sensory assaulting action sequences, and headache inducing 3D. They both have so much in common.
#7: And So It Goes (DIR. Rob Reiner)
Too many people were giving Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes a passing grade for being summer entertainment for an older crowd. If And So It Goes was charming or funny, then it may have been able to skate by unnoticed. But, this is Reiner on autopilot – letting his laid back actors steer the stale movie off a cliff.
#6: All Cheerleaders Die (DIR. Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson)
Unfortunately, I’ve come to expect slapdash work from Chris Sivertson (director of I Know Who Killed Me). But, why would Lucky McKee (director of the supremely superior May) waste his time and talent on something this shallow and generic.
#5: Blended (DIR. Frank Coraci)
Adam Sandler’s paid vacation gig is too obvious in this blunder of a comedy with enough humourless negative space to fill the continent of Africa.
I’m mostly disappointed with director Coraci. He made Sandler and Drew Barrymore stars in The Wedding Singer. Here, he’s just another pawn in Happy Madison’s pretentious globetrotting scam.
#4: Vampire Academy (DIR. Mark Waters)
Vampire Academy wrings what little life there was remaining in Hollywood’s vampire phenomenon, and comes back empty handed. This adaptation is inconceivable to any one who hasn’t read the book series, and even fans of the series found Waters’ clumsy movie embarrassing.
Mark Waters, don’t trade in your Mean Girls cred to be a director-for-hire on dreck like this.
#3: Manakamana (DIR. Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez)
I’m put in a state of staggered shock when I see people mark Manakamana as one of the best films of 2014. We’re all entitled to our own opinions but, to me, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s two-hour experimental documentary was the closest thing to cinematic torture. Get me out of the rail car!
Another tie. Why not, right? Especially when both films have been directed by the same intolerable filmmakers.
Best Night Ever is a mean send-up to successful female-driven comedies. It brutalizes its go-for-broke leads in terrible ways and waits for us to laugh. It remains as one of the worst comedies ever made.
I threw in The Starving Games as an added bonus. It’s just as deplorable and unfunny as Best Night Ever, and this Hunger Games spoof already feels dated.
#1: Run Run It’s Him (DIR. Matthew Pollack)
If you’ve been a faithful Wylie Writes reader, you would’ve gotten a strong sensation teling you that it was going to be an impossible task for a movie to top Matthew Pollack’s sleazy autobiographical doc Run Run It’s Him.
It’s a film that makes everyone uncomfortable, and looks like it belongs in an evidence lock-up. Pollack approaches each subject with questionable leeriness and irresponsibly tackles the topic at hand, his addiction to pornography. But like I keep saying, if this process helped Pollack, then I’m proud of him. I just wish I wasn’t a part of his revival.
But, hey, at least the filmmaker has a sense of humour. When you look up my review on Run Run It’s Him’s official site, you get this:
Artwork Special Thanks to: Sonya Padovani