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Ruk's Top 69 Movies of 2014 (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People)

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Obligatory Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee this list will be finished by the end of this year.


So yeah, I've seen 69 movies this year and rather than simply pick out the ones I loved or hated or just want to talk about, I decided I'd rank them from bottom to top in terms of how much I enjoyed them or hated them or I consider them overstellar- I mean, interrated-  I mean... Interstellar is overrated. There's a mix of blockbuster, oscar bait, even a bit of indie and foreign stuff. There's probably going to be quite a few controversial opinions here. But considering how high I ranked World War Z and White House Down last year, that's somewhat par for the course. And at least my opinions aren't boring.


Before I get started though, I'd just like what a surprisingly quality year 2014 was. Seriously, I pretty much adored everything from #30 onwards. In a lesser year, most of those would rank much higher. But we've had wall to wall fantastic films all year round, including from some places I least expected it.


Also, as the obligatory disclaimer mentions, my lists do have a habit of running on longer than Tele's been alive. Mostly because there's a lot of other writing I often need doing. Hopefully that shouldn't happen this year (since I'm specifically using this as a vehicle to force myself to write every single day). But if I end up going too slowly or end up having a few gaps, I apologise. Just remember that the best way to keep my attention is to give me plenty of likes.  :ph34r:


So without further ado, let's begin.

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69. The Expendables 3

"Look out for the CHOPPA!"




Sigh. The second year in a row that an action franchise I like hits rock bottom. There are so many things wrong with this movie, from lackluster action to wasted characters. But one of its biggest issues is that it kinda missed the entire point of what make the Expendables popular. People watch the Expendables to see their favourite old actions stars team up to kickass. Like the Avengers. So why the hell did Expendables 3 focus so much on ‘the new cast’? While maybe it would’ve been okay if they were like Liam Hemsworth in the second film, where they exist solely to get killed off in the first 5 minutes and give an excuse for the rest of the team to go on a rampage, but they’re in most of the movie. Hell, it felt like they were in more of the movie than the other Expendables, aka the ones we actually want to watch. And while I can tell Stallone wanted to do a ‘passing of the torch’ thing, he missed one minor thing. We don’t give a crap about the new characters. And, quite frankly, we’re not really given anything to make us do so. It’s not been that long since I saw the movie and I can’t remember a single one of their personalities or even names. So why make the movie so much about them?


That said, there are a few positives that push this movie over something like, say A Good Day to Die Hard. Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas are both tons of fun and get a good amount of screentime. And that opening train scene with Wesley Snipes was pretty good. And… that’s about it. It can’t really think of anything else I liked. Poor action and not enough from the actual Expendables. And that's why it's my worst of 2014.

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68. Son of Batman

"The psychos just keep getting younger."




Okay seriously, DC Animation, I’ve got to ask. What the hell happened the first half of this year? First Justice League War, then this piece of crap? Did Marvel put something in the water? Because I expected much better from you guys.


Okay, for those not in the know, let me give you a rundown of the titular character. Damian Wayne is Batman’s son from Talia Al Ghul who was raised as a ninja by the League of Shadows and comes to Gotham to join up with Batman and seek revenge against Deathstroke with his AWSUM NINJA SKILZ. He acts like a massive brat throughout the whole film, never seems to learn his lesson yet becomes Robin at the end. Basically, he’s that annoying fanfiction character you wrote when you were 10.


Okay, ignoring my dislike for the titular SOB, everything else about this movie seems incredibly lackluster. The action, usually a highlight in DC animated movies, is just dull. The plot is predictable. Deathstroke is poorly voice-acted (which is a shame because I like Thomas Gibson) and has his badassery severely cut so Damian can compete with him. Ironically, at around the same time as this movie’s release, Arrow had its own version of Deathstroke going and, let me tell you, that one put this guy to shame.


Basically, this feels like a project the DC animated team had foisted upon them from higher-ups. Because they really weren’t bringing their A, B or even C-Game.

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67. Justice League War

"You've gathered to protest me? You, what is your problem with me?"




Now this one it felt the DC animation team were trying harder on. Which is a shame because it blew fucking chunks.


The first in an unnecessary and unwanted ‘reboot’ of DC’s animated properties, this obviously took a few pointers from Man of Steel. By which I mean all of the heroes are assholes. No seriously, every single Justice League hero (except maybe Flash) had at least one moment where I want to strangle them. Especially Green Lantern. I don’t what the hell they were thinking with him. He switched between ‘gratingly obnoxious’ to ‘getting shown up to making characters like Batman (who in this continuity is an arrogant ‘know-it-all’ dick) look better’. And they couldn’t even get Nathan Fillion to voice.


I suppose I should talk about the plot. Even though there’s pretty much none of it. It’s basically a giant glorified 90 minute fight scene. And while it was a half decent fight scene, when I’m actively rooting for Darkseid (who is a completely bland and glorified punching bag) to wipe out every hero, it kinda loses something.

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66. Robocop

"Make him more, uh, tactical. Make him look, uh... Let's go with black."




Hey guys! Did you know drones are bad? You did? That’s alright. Because we will bleat it non-stop at you for the next two hours anyway! What’s that? You didn’t come here to be lectured about how robotics are evil and just want to see Robocop Robocopping? All right, we’ll give a few minutes of that, just good enough to let you know what you're missing… then back to lecturing! Look! He’s so much better as the blandest human alive than a badass criminal-stopping machine!


Okay, I went on a long spiel about the ham-handedness of this movie on the review thread so I won’t go on here. Let’s just say, while it’s true the original Robocop also had a political message, it was good enough to a) keep it subtle and b ) balance it out with a significant amount of awesome action. And c) it gave us a guy getting ludicrously gibbed. That’s 3-0 remake. What have you got? Samuel L. Jackson as a cheesy right-wing talk host?


.....Okay, that’s 3-1.

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65. A Million Ways to Die in the West

"Hey, dude, you really shouldn't drink and horse."




In my opinion, the worst genre to watch when done poorly is a comedy. If an action, drama or horror is done poorly, there's always the chance that it could become unintentionally hilarious like the Room or Birdemic. By its very definition, a comedy can't do that because it's already trying to make you laugh. So if it fails, it fails.


That said, AMWTDITW wasn't as bad as I think it could've been. It just wasn't very funny. Aside from the trailer jokes, I think the only time I laughed was the Doc Brown cameo. The rest was just blandly forgettable. Maybe it suffered because I saw Edge of Tomorrow on the same day, but there's really not much to like about this film.

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Padding things out with animated DTV movies. Yep, this is gonna take a bit.

I should point out I did the DC Animated Movies last year as well. Usually because they're interesting enough that I feel like talking about them and they're often higher quality than most other movies I see. Obviously not this year, but still.


Don't worry though, there's only one more left. I'm pretty sure the rest of my list received at least some theatrical release.

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No interest in animated comic book movies. No interest in Expendables. No interest in McFarlane.


Did see Robocop. Was alright. Nothing noteworthy. Generic action, I guess. Indistinguishable lead ie random charismaless decent looking white male.

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64. Rio 2

"I am going to the Amazon. Yay."




In an otherwise fantastic year for Western Animated films, this one has kinda slipped under the radar. And for good reason. It is the most predictable irritating environmental film imaginable. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first Rio but at least it had some catchy songs, great animation and a hilarious villain. And while this film also has some catchy songs, great animation and the same hilarious villain (when he actually shows up (which isn't nearly enough), the story and characters are just boring rehashes of the first film mixed with the most obnoxious 'nature is better than technology' message which makes everyone pushing said message look like an absolute douche for the way they treat Blu, one of the only sympathetic characters in the thing (despite the movie constantly trying to present him in the wrong).


To sum up, I wasn't really expecting much from this film but even that it failed to deliver. If HTTYD2 is a prime example of how to do an animated sequel right, this is a prime example of how to do it wrong.

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63. Need for Speed

"Racers should race, cops should eat donuts."




I think I said my piece on this clearly enough in the review thread. And this movie really isn't worth writing another rant on.


Does Need for Speed finally beat the 'video game films are shit' curse? Simple answer? No.


The first third was the worst. Aaron Paul's crew had painfully little chemistry with each other and the movie seemed to be painfully trying to force the fact that they were 'bros' like in F&F. And Pete was such an annoying little git I was almost glad when they killed him off. The only highlights were Imogen Poots (although it got annoying when she fell into the pit of 'generic love interest') and Michael Keaton who was just chewing scenery through all his scenes.


I think the film was at its best during the middle when it stopped trying to copy F&F and instead became more of a road trip movie. It was actually pretty enjoyable then. But eventually it began to drag and the finale wasn't nearly fun enough to break out of that slump. Speaking of, could someone tell me who thought this should be over two hours? It barely has enough material to last one.


As for the car action (aka, the only reason anyone would actually watch this) it was alright. The best scenes came in the middle when they were trying to outrun the police/bounty hunters. The rest was just meh and the final race was pretty underwhelming. It doesn't go nearly over-the-top enough to compete with the recent F&F films though.


Final thoughts, if you're going to see this in the hopes it might be good, don't. If you're going to see this for the sweet car action and are completely willing to ignore flat characters and a generic story then wait for it to come out on rental. There's really not enough in this to justify spending the extra money to see it in cinemas.




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62. Maleficent

"Oh dear! What an awkward situation."




A common forum punching bag these day and to be honest… yeah, it kinda deserves it. It's not very good. The only real thing to like about it was Jolie’s performance as the titular character, but nearly everything else about it was pretty subpar at best. And that’s not even getting into the irritating transformation of Maleficent into a kind-hearted hero instead of the badass, all powerful witch from Sleeping Beauty of whom we all love. I mean really, her name is made up from mixing 'Malevolent' and 'Magnificent'. What about that made you think 'tortured, misunderstood soul'?!


Mix that with obvious CG, a 'What-even-the-fuck-are-you-doing' performance from Sharlto Copley and an ending that rips off Frozen and this was a pretty big disappointment.

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61. I, Frankenstein

"You're only a monster if you behave like one."




This one’s appeared on quite a few ‘Bottom of 2014’ lists. And with good reason. Very good reason. But honestly..... I can’t truly hate this film. Not the way I do most of the films at the bottom of this list. I went into this movie expecting nothing but cheesy B-Movie action and honestly, it delivered. Is it a good movie? Not even close. Do I understand why people hate it? Completely. But it gave me exactly what I was expecting and exactly what I wanted. So I can’t really say I actively dislike it. Just don’t ever expect me to watch it again.


Anyway, next entry I'm going to make a lot of people mad. So that should be fun.

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