(read part 2 here)
by Ken B.
We’re halfway through 2014 now, and so it’s time to look back a bit at the five best and worst movies I’ve reviewed so far this year. As a general reminder, as we review a wide variety of films year, new or not, these are not the five best and worst 2014 releases, but the ones whose reviews have been posted in 2014.
We may as well get the pain over with the bottom five. This will be divided into two sections – two are going under the title of “most disappointing”, and the other three are the most, at least in my view, insufferable.
5. Parkland (2013, reviewed January 25)
Parkland had a great premise – looking at the JFK assassination from different, rarely visited viewpoints, such as the staff of Parkland Memorial Hospital, which treated Kennedy (and Lee Harvey Oswald. And Jack Ruby). However, the final product is jumbled, rushed, painfully safe, and generally unsatisfying.
4. Oblivion (2013, reviewed June 8)
I like Tom Cruise. He’s done some great movies, and he has a prominent spot as a cultural icon. However, his 2013 action film Oblivion is just hollow – excellent visuals, but with a poor execution and slow, meandering pacing. It’s a mixed experience, and in the end, leaves a bad taste.
3. Romeo & Juliet (2013, reviewed June 22)
I’m still at a loss as to why this movie was made. Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most iconic plays, and has received very good screen adaptations, each with either artistic mastery or innovation. This one, while featuring a solid set design, uses bad pseudo-Shakespearian dialogue, only marginally appealing leads, and an appallingly bad pace.
2. Jack Reacher (2012, reviewed February 13)
Once again – I like Tom Cruise. However, he was not able to salvage Jack Reacher, an often formulaic and unsubstantive thriller with very few thrills, feeling unmotivated and in the end, tiring.
1. Logan’s Run (1976, reviewed January 19)
There are plenty of sci-fi movies from the ‘70s that have dipped into obscurity. Despite its awfulness, Logan’s Run has not, and has even gained some kind of cult following. I’m at a loss to understand why. The visuals are poor – poor enough that movies that are older than it look better and more convincing today. After it finishes setting up the story, the script may as well not exist, purely forgettable, containing an agreeable but unfinished message, and almost never entertaining. A lack of entertainment is the cardinal sin in an action movie.
The saving grace so far this year is that I haven’t seen many truly bad movies so far in 2014. Let’s hope it stays that way. Tomorrow, I look at the top five of this first half of the year.