My Disappointments/Worst Movies of the Year

Well, it’s the end of the year and you know what that means. The lists of “Best of” or “Worst of” start to come out.  So of course, I have to put my list out there too!

So for the sack of giving the “bad news” first, I’ll do my “Worst/Disappointments Movies of the Year” list first. I know saying “Worst” is a bit harsh and I know a lot of work goes into making a movie so I don’t want to come off as a snob.  But saying “Least Liked” sounds kind of lame.  So the list will be movies that I thought were bad but also disappointing, so I don’t have to say they were pieces of, well you know.

NOTE: This is MY list and is completely my opinion.  I’m in no way trying to make less of these movies and if you liked these movies, IT’S FINE.  I just didn’t care for them.

“Honorable Mention”

No One Lives: The reason I put “Honorable Mention” the way I did is because I respect what the movie was trying to do, a homage to the old school 70s and 80s horror, but the execution at times didn’t get me.  One of the highlights was a scene where the main character/villain, played by Luke Evans, creatively finds a way to get near the other villains.  However, the reason I put it here in the list is because it was a tad boring at times and didn’t care for the end result.

DISAPPOINTMENTS

After Earth: I tried to give this every chance I could.  I didn’t mind (using that statement loosely) that it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan.  But, watching it was a bit hard and I almost hate saying that.  I didn’t find Jaden Smith an interesting lead and Will Smith could have literally phoned in his performance.  Also, the weird accents really don’t make sense and even though a tag line says “There was a reason we left” is never explained! (I know it’s nitpicky but considering I didn’t like the movie I’m okay with that).

Paranoia: Although I’m not the biggest Liam Hemsworth fan, I was willing to give this movie a shot only because greats like Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford were in it.  But even they couldn’t save this movie. Any form of a thriller was thrown in the last act of the movie and by that point I didn’t care.

The Last Exorcism Part II:  Changing its style from “found footage” to a tradition, the movie was almost an unnecessary sequel to a movie that wasn’t really that good to begin with.  The Last Exorcism for what it was didn’t bring anything new to the found footage genre and for me the ending was probably the best part (NO, not because of the credits or I got to leave), the main character finally found something and went for it.  The sequel however, only brings back Ashley Bell’s Nel as she continues her struggle to move on.  The ending feels like they set up way too much for a third (which I don’t think has been announced) but at this point I don’t want another.

Worst

Spring Breakers:  I feel like every year there is a movie – that doesn’t get a wide release – that is hyped up enough by everyone that I manage to fall for it and go watch.  Spring Breakers was that movie this year.  I will say I wasn’t familiar with director Harmony Korine’s work (I know Kids is the most popular) but I didn’t like this movie at all! For a movie that’s an hour and half long it felt like two and a half hours.  I thought the beginning of the movie was good but once they actually went on Spring Break it completely lost me.  And yes, I didn’t like James Franco’s character either.

Movie 43: If you told me to give you one movie that was the worst of the year, I would tell you Movie 43.  For a movie was suppose to be a comedy and filled with a all-star cast it failed on all cylinders.  I didn’t even chuckle or smirk once! This movie was not funny and any funny parts that could have been where shown in the trailers/commercials, so once I saw them on the big screen I didn’t find them funny anymore.  I don’t know what the cast was thinking but whatever favors they had to the directors of these shorts was not worth it.

So, what were you’re worst movies or disappointments for the year?  Do you agree with my list or not?

‘After Earth’ Review

after_earth

Dir: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, and Zoe Kravitz

Synopsis: A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

 

*Review Note: This is a non-spoiler review as always.*

 

On the surface After Earth is a sci-fi movie that stars the Smith family powerhouse of Will and his son Jaden. Along with that, the movie is also a coming of age story of sorts with the added effect of a strained father and son relationship.

The story is set 1,000 years after humans have left a now uninhabitable Earth behind and relocated to another planet named Nova Prime. Nova Prime has its own dangers: monstrous aliens that hunt humans. So of course we learn to adapt and get a very brief scene that shows the humans fighting back and pretty much the only scene we get to see Will’s Cypher Rage do anything (more on that in a bit).

Anyway, we follow his son, an aspiring Ranger named Kitai Raige (Jaden) as he tries to impress his father. Kitai however doesn’t exactly have all the qualities it takes to be a Ranger and it disappoints him and knows that it will disappoint his father. However, the two get a chance to have some bonding time as Cypher after coming home briefly has to leave again and takes his son. While traveling something, obliviously, goes wrong the ship is forced and crash lands on the now quarantined planet of Earth.

The only survivors are Kitai and his badly injured father who has to stay on the ship and help guide his son to retrieve a distress beacon from part of their wrecked ship that’s many miles away. Sounds simple right? Well add Earth’s wildlife that has evolved drastically as well as the animals that Kitai has to go through. Still sound simple? Well aboard the ship was a captured alien monster known as an Ursa that has escaped its cage and is know roaming around.

After Earth may have the stigma of being directed by M. Night Shyamalan but Shyamalan actually has been able to craft a movie that, wait for it, is passable. The movie has some pretty good effects going for it but nothing we haven’t really seen before. Probably the best special effect is of the monster Ursa that looks pretty scary once we get a good look at it and maybe the shifting blade.

Although there are some brief roles by Zoe Kravitz and Sophie Okonedo as the female members of the Raige family, this is basically a two-person show, with Jaden Smith really being front and center. Will Smith on the other hand really just sits down for the whole movie and leaves his son to do all the running, jumping and fighting. The dynamic between the two was a bit rough at times. We know Will Smith for being charismatic but his character here restrains his emotions to the point that his performance comes across as wooden or bland, although it makes some sense for this character. Jaden on the other hand has his moments to shine but his facial expression all kind of looked the same. Also, the accents the have in the movie kind of took me out of it. I don’t want to be that person that hates the entire movie because of a small thing and I’m not in this case, I’m just wondering why they made that decision.

All in all, After Earth isn’t the best movie but it surely is passable and hopefully Shyamalan can ride off this and get back to some of his former stride.

After Earth

3 out of 5