On my list of Best Films of 2014 (So Far) I left off many films that I saw on the big screen but just didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. The following list will explain why the films may have been good but weren’t good enough. These films are presented in alphabetical order.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – the CGI and style of the original film cannot save this film from being a total waste of time and a mess. If it had been released a few years earlier I might have been impressed but in a year in which The Raid 2, The Protector 2, and Robocop, among many others, were released this film just pales in comparison. In fact, the only thing of note in this film is Eva Green who steals every scene she’s in (as in the norm in most films she co-stars in).
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 – is a film too busy trying to set up sequels instead of telling a good story. It’s a bland and predictable mess with the only good performance coming from Andrew Garfield. Emma Stone does what she can with the subpar screenplay and the rest is too much of a “cartoon” to take serious and when there are some true consequences at the end of the film they seem hollow and non genuine. This is a flat and uninspired mess of a film.
I, FRANKENSTEIN – unfortunately this film is a brain dead action/fantasy hybrid that relies too much on the CGI effects and a story that’s just merely adequate at best. Some of the action scenes are interesting but the characters are not and you’ll easily forget this film before the End Credits start rolling.
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST – is one hell of a funny movie that suffers from strong jokes but no strong story. It’s a predictable plot from beginning to end with some hilarious comic bits throughout. Both Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson seen out of place and Theron and MacFarlane have little chemistry. The film is not horrible, it’s just feels like a bunch of sketches thrown together to make a feature film.
NEIGHBORS – was funny but not that funny. It’s one of those predictable comedies that hinges on the stars and although I am a huge fan of Rose Byrne, I’m only a passing fan of Seth Rogen and this is the first film I’ve ever seen with Zac Efron. It’s not a comedy I’ll probably see again as one time was good enough.
NON-STOP – was a great action film. The only problem is that there was nothing new and it is 100% saved by Liam Neeson who has enough charisma to keep doing these types of films year in and year out. A perfectly satisfying film, just nothing to write home about.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES – presents some much needed new ideas to the franchise but suffers from a very slow beginning and setup. The biggest problem with the film is that it is sequel number four in as many years and overall it doesn’t really have enough new material to satisfy hardcore fans.
POMPEII – my vote for most fun 3D film of the year. Watching a volcano explode in 3D was heaven, unfortunately, this is one of those films that would suffer underneath the barely adequate story and performances. I love me some Emily Browning but the film’s true star is the volcano and I was waiting the entire film to see it explode. This being said I’d watch it again in 3D but have no desire to ever watch a 2D version of the film.
THE PROTECTOR 2 – I loved the first Protector film because it had a great basic story amidst an excellent action/martial arts film. This is exactly the same. The plot’s the exact same only the action sequences are different (and longer) which are merely adequate but Tony Jaa has come so far that it seems a disservice for him to already be repeating himself and making the same movie again.
RIDE ALONG – a film saved by Kevin Hart. This is an uninspired “by the numbers” buddy comedy that is saved by Hart. Hart is downright hilarious in this film and it shows his comic genius. That being said that’s about all that the film has going for it. There is nothing else in this film that you haven’t already seen done better in other buddy cop movies. The film is bland and just okay with nothing truly special to call its own (other than Kevin Hart). I’m a fan of Hart’s and I’ll watch it again but I’m sure they’ll come another film (real soon) that he’ll do even better in.
THE QUIET ONES – had a great set up and story and an extremely strong cast but suffers from a climax that relies too much on the barely adequate CGI effects that take you out of the story. This is an extremely strong character film that uses atmosphere to help build mood but it’s not particularly suspenseful (which these types of films need) nor does it present anything we haven’t already seen done better in other paranormal films.
TRANSCENDENCE – is probably one of the films with the best concepts that is totally wasted on a story that doesn’t know what it wants to say. It could have been a really good indie film that focused more on the concepts and characters and less on trying to be a Johnny Depp Hollywood blockbuster. Unfortunately, the film fails in so many ways and is easily one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
WOLF CREEK 2 – I loved this sequel to the quiet and moody original! But this film is louder, bloodier and more bat-shit crazy than I expected. The performances are over the top and the cinematography is beyond phenomenal. The problem is, is that most of it seems excessive especially coming after the more moody and subtle original and mainly people will think that this film is simply a wasted gore film. This being said, the die-hard horror fan in me loved the film…it just didn’t make the “Best of 2014 List.”
I hope you enjoyed my list of films that “didn’t make the cut” and this encourages you to do your own list. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this list and if you have your own choices. Feel free to always drop me a line when you.