The Worst Movies of 2014
by Brad Harris, Jim Puliafico, and William Lindus
The 87th Academy Awards are just around the corner, and here at the Movie Bears Podcast, we've enjoyed catching up on a few of the best films that 2014 had to offer. That said, the year wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. 2014 brought us several clunkers, from bad sci-fi flicks to forgettable young adult rip-offs. Since the Academy isn't handing out Oscars for the Worst Films of 2014, we figured we'd pick up the slack and celebrate the worst of the worst from last year.
Oh god, for me it would have to be I, Frankenstein. I’m not alone in that given its Rotten Tomatoes score of 3%! This movie was freaking TERRIBLE. Aside from some of the cool visual effects, this movie had pretty much nothing going for it. The dialogue was awful, the acting burgeoned on painful, and I felt like I was watching an Underworld remake — that, or some bastard kind of loosely tied sequel. Was Kate Beckinsale supposed to show up at some point? Hell if I know but good grief, I, Frankenstein is one of those few movies I wish I had actually never seen. Let’s just hope that the horrible reception it received means there won’t be a sequel.
I typically try to keep a positive outlook even with bad movies, so getting down on the worst movie of 2014 feels uncomfortable. But at the bottom of my list of last year’s worst is The Giver. While squandering the star power of Meryl Streep (owed someone a favor for that last Oscar win?) and an incoherently mumbling Jeff Bridges, the bland characters and sleep-inducing plot about yet another teen hero who’s predestined to save an entire near-future Utopian society falls into the trap of tired clichés already done to better effect in the Twilight, Hunger Games, and Divergent franchises. Shamelessly trying to grab some of the millions generated by the current young adult movie trend, The Giver attempts to take our money while providing a two hour nap.
Taste is fairly subjective, and I tried to keep that in mind when selecting my least favorite film of 2014. While Tusk is probably the film I enjoyed the least last year, I can at least give it points for taking risks. A film that doesn’t bear that distinction is Transcendence, a Johnny Depp techno thriller with a plot ripped from the 1990s. There’s not a lot to like here; Depp turns in a painful performance, the usually charismatic Paul Bettany only shows up for the paycheck, and the script substitutes inane technobabble for apparently non-crucial items like ‘characterization’ or ‘emotion.’ Perhaps the worst sin Transcendence commits is being excruciatingly boring; if you’re going to be a bad movie, at least have the common decency to be entertainingly bad.