Time to put a fork in the 2014 Summer Movie Season. Here are the 10 Best and 10 Worst films that filled our hot, sticky days with cinematic joy, sorrow and boredom.
As the final days of August recede in the rearview mirror, as Hollywood prepares for its second massive movie dump of 2014 (January through April being the first of such cinematic exiles), it's time to reflect on the best and worst of what turned out to be a surprisingly uneventful Summer season. Indeed, with only one movie making significant inroads worldwide (yep, Michael Bay's tepid Transformers: Age of Extinction managed to break the billion dollar bank around the planet) and no domestic release reaching $300 million, Tinseltown is hanging its head in shame.
Sure, there were significantly less flops this time around than last year (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Hercules being the 'lone' exceptions), but there were also more mediocrities. Indeed, bad movies have been replaced by "meh" movies in 2014, films you can neither love nor loathe.
As the various festivals gearing up announce the beginning of Awards Season, let's look back at the last four months and find the ten films we hated, and the ten we'd spend time with all over again. When you consider that we saw somewhere in the range of 70 some titles over the last 17 weeks, it's amazing we can come up with 20. Usually, the pickings are rather slim. This time around, the choices seemed sort of obvious, beginning with the bottom of the barrel:
10. As Above, So Below, in which the phrase "Hell on Earth" gets reconfigured as "boredom under the streets of Paris."
9. The Giver, wherein we're subjected to a dull, drab society sans emotions and joy? Sounds like the perfect setting for 110 minutes of dystopian dullness.
8. Blended. Look on the bright side: this may be the only time that an Adam Sandler comedy doesn't end up at the top of such a list.
7. The Devil's Knot. This film was a wholly unnecessary (and fictional) retelling of the West Memphis 3 case. Seek out the superior documentaries, instead.
6. Are You Here. Matthew Weiner tries his hand at big screen comedy, and drops a dud the size of Don Draper's ego on the audience.
* * *