The Unforgivable Films of 2014
I’m a big fan of symmetry. Tomorrow, I’ll be listing my favorite films of the year. Today is the 2014 Unforgivables list.
The Unforgivables List began in 2010. I saw the movie The Switch (the movie with Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and the jizz cup), and it made me so irrationally angry that I actually had to pause the movie and write an angry rant about it to my friends, warning them to never watch the movie. It went over well. So I decided to make it a thing.
This will be my fifth Unforgivables list. The previous “winners” (after The Switch), were Just Go With It, Big Miracle and Identity Thief. Which means that every year, the movie that pissed me off the most starred either: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman or Drew Barrymore. Just to give you something to look forward to.
The rules for the Unforgivables list are as follows: 1) Regardless of what I rated the film, it needs to have made me angry upon watching it. At this point, that’s pretty much it. I generally try not to feature something I knew going in would be terrible (like, say, I Frankenstein), but sometimes they’re just so bad I can’t help myself. I also generally try not to include sequels, but in this day and age, it’s hard to maintain that rule. So really the only rule is that the film has to piss me off in some way. And there are always enough of those.
Here are the Unforgivable films of 2014:
10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
I feel vindicated in this decision (not that I need to be) by the fact that the studio that put the movie out also thought it was a piece of shit. Actually, I felt better about this than they did. In both cases, I saw these reboots and thought, “Yeah, okay, that was fun.” I had problems, but they were fun and I gave them a pass. And then a few months passed, and I just completely forgot about them and what happened in them. And I started thinking about all the other things they represent. And that made me angry.
My major problem with these Amazing Spider-Man films is that we’re not learning anything. The first one was essentially the same exact origin story told again. Same exact one. Except they changed the villain and the love interest. Otherwise — exact same story told agan. And while the movie was a certain degree of mindless fun, there wasn’t any point to it. And it wasn’t good filmmaking by a long stretch.
Now here… they took the step that made this franchise Unforgivable. They started to world build. Don’t do that. Never do that. I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to want to put Marvel here for their world building shit. But this one is worse. Marvel got themselves up and running, so now I have a completely different set of issues with them. Here, they’re just world building for no reason at all. Sinister Six, man in the cell, this bullshit, that bullshit — just tell a coherent fucking story and then worry about world-building.
I liked how this movie started in the middle of the action. It felt like a comic book. Spider-Man swinging into action to take on Rhino as he steals a truck and leads police on a chase. That’s exactly what a Spider-Man movie should be. The problem is, it’s all downhill from there. You have dueling villains. The main villain is supposed to be Electro. And the problem there is, they fucked it up from top to bottom. Jamie Foxx should not have been cast in that role at all. The writing was horrible. They didn’t develop the character. You didn’t care about him. And he wasn’t even a threat. He just stayed off to the side and was a moody little bitch, and then decided randomly to attack Spider-Man. It was terrible. And then they randomly switch gears and go, “You know, let’s make the Green Goblin our villain.” Which they probably should have done the whole time. You know, especially if they were gonna kill Gwen Stacy in this one. Maybe develop that story so it has emotional resonance. (Also, given Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s on-screen chemistry, it was an Unforgivable decision in and of itself to kill her in the second movie and not the third one.)
I’m not even going to get into the whole “being the Green Goblin is hereditary” thing. It’s not even worth the headache. And then they try to introduce other characters, but give them nothing to do. What’s Felicity Jones doing in this movie? What is her purpose? And Chris Cooper is cast as original Goblin and does nothing. He just lays in bed and dies. Doesn’t even get to do anything. And then there’s the shit with Peter’s parents, which I don’t care about, but apparently he does. And then Denis Leary shows up as a ghost and doesn’t say a word. Just sits there and nods. What the fuck? And then they want to pretend like people are gonna give a shit about more villains? I actually wanted there to be a scene where he goes emo and dances. That’s how ridiculous this got.
Also, Spider-Man listens to Mumford and Sons. What’s more Unforgivable than that?
It’s amazing (pun ridiculously intended) how badly they fucked this franchise up. To think that now they might have to reboot it again after two movies. At this point, the only thing they can do is give it back over to Marvel and let them try to salvage it. Because this isn’t working. This is truly bad filmmaking, and at this point, they’re just putting these out expecting them to make money, and people are starting to realize it. I’m even angrier about this movie because they got me to fall for it while watching. And then later, when I realized how much of a piece of shit this was, I felt worse about it and myself. And now I’m gonna have to sit through another fucking origin story in three years, the third in 15. Great.
9. Dumb and Dumber To
I’m not counting this as a sequel, because the title says “To,” meaning “as well.” That’s my logic, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, and by the way, this is a festering piece of toxic banana shit. There’s so much wrong with this movie. It remind me of all that’s wrong with comedy nowadays, and ruins what was a funny movie from 20 years ago. I’m not even sure where to begin with it.
I guess we’ll begin with the fact that whatever ability the Farrelly brothers had to make a funny movie was lost 15 years ago. I go over this every time they have a movie come out, but the fact remains that it’s been all downhill for them after Me, Myself and Irene. (And even if you want to give them up to Stuck on You, you’re still looking at a full decade of absolutely irrefutable garbage movies.) So the idea that they’re gonna make a sequel to one of their funniest movies twenty years later should have filled us all with a sense of impending doom, like that moment you realize a shit is coming, and you’re stuck on a train for the next twelve minutes.
The issue with this movie isn’t the fact that the stars are doing the same schtick twenty years later. In fact, I admired how game they were to do it again. It’s not their fault the movie around them is a piece of shit. The problem is the fact that they didn’t try to do anything new, and repeated the exact same jokes. Because the Farrelly’s have gotten into that mindset of, “People like to be reminded of funny stuff, so if we remind them of the jokes they laughed at last time, they’ll laugh now, and we’ll make a lot of money.” It’s what’s known as Todd Phillips syndrome. It’s also a variation of the Friedberg and Seltzer format, which is, rather than writing jokes, just parade references to things out there and expect people to be amused based on, “I know that!” It’s disgusting. You’re condescending to a lowest common denominator audience. People should be embarrassed by this movie, and not amused by it. This entire movie is essentially a set up for jokes that were told better twenty years ago.
The writing of this movie made me embarrassed. Because it didn’t know what made the first movie so good. It was dumb humor that made it work. These people were idiots. And they were so stupid it was just amusing. Now, they resort to vulgar humor. Which is what comedies are resorting to nowadays. And it just doesn’t work. I don’t need to see Jim Carrey stick his hand in an old woman’s vagina. Or see Jeff Daniels yank a ten foot catheter out of Jim Carrey’s dick hole. How is that funny? And they make more childish versions of Judd Apatow jokes, which is saying something. And then the actual dumb humor they go for is completely uninspired, because all it’s trying to do is recreate what the first movie did by essentially doing the same thing, only differently.
Oh, and any comedy that uses modern pop music that was released within the previous calendar year is automatically a piece of shit. (See: Horrible Bosses 2. Or pretty much any comedy, really.) Why are you using pop music at all? And why is this movie using pop music? It’s disturbing, and makes me upset at how bad both comedy and music are doing.
This movie is a blight upon humanity. Not because it was made. Because it was made badly. If you’re gonna wait 20 years, at least have the decency to at least try to do something worthwhile. This was a blatant cash grab by people who forgot how to make a decent comedy and are simply ripping off other people (and themselves!) in order to stay relevant. The statute of limitations on cash grabbing expired on this movie a long time ago. But to be fair, the fact that it made money speaks greater volumes on the public at large than it does on the filmmakers. The movie itself speaks volumes about the filmmakers. And how they should probably stop trying to make comedies.
You wanna know how bad this movie is? Jennifer Lawrence filmed a cameo as a young Fraida Felcher, and then used the veto power in her contract to pull the scenes from the movie and have them never be shown. She was more embarrassed of this movie than the pictures there are of her on the internet. And I don’t blame her.
8. Dracula Untold
I tried. I really tried not putting this on here, but it was so awful, and so offensive to me in concept that I couldn’t help myself. The major problem with this movie — aside from the fact that it’s a piece of vampire bat guano — is that this is Universal trying to world build. Their big franchise has always been their monsters. It’s been their legacy for 80 years. Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, etc. That’s been their universe. And now, they’re rebooting those monsters, and trying to turn that into a Marvel type universe. I don’t think they know what they’re doing. And I also hope that, as I said that, you all immediately realized how much of a bad idea that is.
The moment you said, “Let’s reboot Dracula and turn him into an action hero,” you lost all credibility. Dracula shouldn’t be fighting wars. But apparently now everyone has to fight in a war. That’s the alternative to character development now. We need to see them jumping in the air with a sword in slow motion. This is their idea of “gritty” and “realistic.” I’ve never seen a film that reeked more strongly of studio notes. (And this is the studio that released 47 Ronin last year.)
You know this movie is gonna be bad the minute it starts with a voiceover prologue. Never a good idea. Ever. If you have t0 set up where we are and what’s going on with a prologue, you’re already starting from three feet under. And then they set it up essentially like 300. Oh, here’s Vlad the Impaler, best of all the warriors. The joke here being that Vlad the Impaler has nothing to do with Dracula. The names match, but he honestly had nothing to do with Dracula except for the fact that the name was inspired by his name. That’s it. As in, “Oh, here’s a character who loves blood — oh, well let’s call him Dracula. And how do we kill him? We impale him.” That’s the only connection there. But the movie’s like, “Oh, well, he fought people, so we can use that for action scenes. And we’ll just pretend like he was the basis for Dracula” Fuck you.
Here are the opening lines of the movie:
- “I left it where I found it.”
- “What do you think, Vlad?”
- “Bring it to me. This belongs to a scout. One of (whoever’s) men.”
- “What the hell is a lone Turk doing out here?”
- “Turkish scouts don’t travel alone. If there’s one, there’s more. And whatever they scout, they conquer.”
What the fuck does this have to do with a Dracula movie? Also, the lines are delivered with a disgusting amount of conviction. The gift Orlando Bloom gave to the action movie. The problem is we don’t care about any of this. None of the characters are given any development, and the story is irrelevant. We just want to see vampire shit, not action shit. Why are you even bothering to mix genres? And why the fuck is Caligula a vampire?! And there’s pointless exposition. People reading from ancient texts, prophecies and bullshit. And then they just go through the motions for most of it. You watch the moments and cringe. Oh, here’s his wife playing with the kids. And then he walks in, and we track in slowly to her face to show how beautiful she is and how much they love each other. It’s hilariously bad.
The funny thing about this movie is that they’re putting in all these elements, thinking that people are going to respond to it, and don’t realize they’re doing the worst possible thing by including them. They think it’s “what works,” but it only works if the story is worth telling. You can’t manufacture something and expect people to like it. I guarantee you that if, instead of all this Turks and war and this and that and pools of blood and bullshit, if you had a movie where a regular dude — shit, maybe he’s a ruler who goes off on a trip, and spends the first thirty minutes at an inn and encounters a vampire, and they have a whole conversation, and he ends up getting bitten in the night. And then he has to fight off his urges for the next few weeks as he travels, and the whole movie is him slowly giving into becoming a vampire and how that affects his wife and kids (maybe he kills them, or not) — I bet you that movie is better received and makes more money than this does. You know why? Because that movie would have had a voice behind it. It wouldn’t have been manufactured by a studio to try to appeal to people and set up a franchise.
I went into this movie wanting to pick apart all the awful things they do with it, but I realized that it’s just not worth it. I don’t want to waste any more time on this movie than I already have. It’s bad, they fucked up majorly, and it failed on top of it. Which is a huge relief. I’d have been worse to this movie if it made money. But it didn’t. So I’ll make it Unforgivable and hope they’ve learned their lesson.
There’s a trend this year. It’s studios taking something good and ruining it. Either through trying to “update” it or world-build it. This counts in the former category. Since Snow White and the Huntsman, Disney turned around and said, “What other classic movies of ours can we destroy with pointless action scenes and complete ret-conning for no reason?” And naturally this was the next in line. The idea was to tell the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of Maleficent. Naturally, I thought that meant making a movie about a villain as the main character. I thought that was neat. Problem is, in making the villain the main character, Disney decided to not make her the villain at all. I’d say there’s a message about how a villain is only a villain from one side of the story, but they completely changed the fucking story in order to not make her a villain.
You know bad things are coming when the movie begins looking like fucking Avatar. And they start with a voiceover (!) that says, “Let us tell an old story anew.” Which is not justification for what they do to this movie. And then they follow it with, “And let us see how well you know it.” I was gonna say, “Fine, I’ll ignore how much they change the story,” but then they went and were assholes about it, so fuck them.
Oh, but yeah, Avatar. CGI fairies and bullshit. And the three sidekicks who are turned into morons for comic relief. And they have giant heads that look like Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland. There’s no defense for this whatsoever, and it sets the movie up on the complete wrong foot. Oh, and she has wings.
Let’s not forget the other subtle touch that no one has talked about. Maleficent speaks with a British accent. Why? We don’t know. I suspect it’s because Angelina Jolie is one of those types who likes to speak with an accent because it makes her feel regal. Fine. I’ll allow it. Movies do stupid, random shit like that all the time. However, when she meets kid Stephan, he inexplicably speaks with a Scottish accent. I’m no poly sci major, but it seems like there’s some kind of allegory going on there.
Then there’s some bullshit about the warring kingdoms, and there’s a battle sequence (again with the fucking battle scenes. Why do we need the fucking battle scenes?). It’s the same thing that ruined Snow White and the Huntsman. Does anyone like this stuff? Anyone at all? Just tell the fucking story. Stop adding action because you think it’ll appeal to another quadrant.
Oh, and then they turn the movie into a rape allegory.
I think that’s best left right where it is. Because what the holy fuck?
The first 18 minutes of this movie: Maleficent is a fairy. The humans hate the fairies. She falls in love with a human boy. There’s a war. The king dies. The human boy gets Maleficent drunk and cuts her wings off to pretend she is dead. He becomes king. Maleficent becomes “evil.” What the fuck is that? That’s your backstory? That’s what makes her become evil? That’s a bunch of horse shit. But okay. If you take out the fighting, this is a good backstory.
But seriously, the date rape thing… wow.
Oh, and her becoming “evil” takes about three minutes. She goes walking, looks angry, gets a pet raven, does green magic.
And then the next two acts are essentially a retelling of the exact same story we saw before, with minor differences. So what the fuck is the point? Change the first act and make it terrible, and then just redo the same thing again, now worse? Fuck you. TRY A LITTLE BIT!
Plus, it’s boring as shit, most of this movie. The dumb fairies are there too much, the voiceover is still there, Maleficent watches over the kid despite having put a curse on her to die. Seemingly having nothing better to do than annoy three idiots and watch over a child. And then she’s the one that has to kiss the princess? Which I could maybe have let slide. Only… SHE DOESN’T TURN INTO A FUCKING DRAGON! AND THEY KEEP HER ALIVE!
Seriously, it’s so upsetting what this movie does to an existing masterpiece. Just watch that movie instead and pretend this movie doesn’t even exist. It’s so upsetting what Disney is doing to their classics.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I said it in my review of the movie, and I’ll say it again. The biggest stretch this movie makes is that we’re supposed to believe Megan Fox deliberately named her pet turtles after Renaissance artists.
I’m not as upset about this movie as other people, because I grew up in an era just after the Turtles. So Michael Bay didn’t rape my childhood (the way he raped both the Turtle and Transformer kids). But he did produce a gigantic piece of shit movie.
They start with bullshit voiceover narration, which they apparently don’t understand is the mark of a terrible movie. It’s the mark of bad storytelling, which is a catch-22 nowadays. Because if they don’t put the voiceover, the audiences won’t understand what’s going on, because they’re dumb. And yet, at this point, they’re unable to even try to just explain this stuff within the movie.
And then they wait twenty minutes before they introduce the turtles. In a movie called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And then when we meet them, it’s disgustingly childish. The whole movie is full of Michael Bay humor, which is lowest common denominator humor.
I’m 100% certain this movie was created as nothing more than a title. They took the title and knew they could make money off of it. And then they took simple bullet points about what the show was about, and wrote around those and nothing more. I’m also pretty certain this movie was designed as a punishment for Megan Fox from Michael Bay. They didn’t care about the source material, or the fan base. They only cared about making money. That’s it. They didn’t try to make a good movie, and it shows. This was one of the most offensively bad movies I saw this year.
5. The Other Woman
“Carly, an attorney, has just started a relationship with Mark, a man she had sex with eight weeks prior.”
So nice of her to only now start a relationship with him after sleeping with him eight weeks ago.
“She is upset when Mark tells her he has to go out of town, but decides to go over to his house to seduce him.”
Oh man… we’re dating and you have to do that job thing you’re paid to do. That’s just completely unfair to me. Said the giant, self-centered cunt. And why would you go to his house to seduce him? You go to his house to fuck his brains out before his trip.
“She is horrified to meet Kate, Mark’s wife.”
And you can only imagine how hilariously bad that scene is.
“While they are initially hostile, the two women end up befriending each other.”
Because that’s not weird at all.
“Kate discovers that Mark is seeing another woman, whom she initially believes to be Carly. However, she and Carly discover that Mark is seeing a third woman: Amber.”
This is called The Other Woman. There are other WOMEN. Your title is a lie.
“Carly and Kate travel to the beach–”
Because of course that’s where you go.
Also, Kate Upton is Amber. So of course the first time we see her, it has to be in a bikini.
“– where Kate has a run in with Amber and the two women inform her that Mark has been cheating on all of them.”
In a movie like this, we can only cringe at the phrase “run in.” Also, Kate Upton will completely be nominated for a Razzie for this. In the same category as Cameron Diaz for Annie.
“They decide to take revenge by doing things such as spiking his smoothies with estrogen and giving him breasts, as well as putting hair removal cream in his shampoo.”
In what universe do women befriend each other after discovering the same man is sleeping with all of them? Also, that’s not revenge, that’s a series of terrible things to do to someone.
“Through their pranks, they discover that Mark has been embezzling from various companies at his workplace.”
“Meanwhile, Carly begins to connect romantically with Kate’s brother Phil.”
Of course, because we need to pretend there’s a story there.
“In addition, Amber confides to Carly that she is seeing someone else as well.”
Why is that confiding? That’s showing you’re a terrible person. “Hey, you know that guy we’re all dating? Well, I was cheating on him too.” Everyone in this movie is sleeping with multiple people. They’re all terrible people.
“However, their camaraderie begins to shatter when Kate finds herself falling in love with Mark again after an investor’s dinner.”
He’s cheating on her with at least two other women, embezzling millions of dollars from his company and setting her up to take the fall, but oh… he’s good looking and charming.
“Carly exposes Mark’s fraud, upsetting Kate.”
There’s a sentence.
“Later, Mark goes to the Bahamas on a supposed business trip, Kate decides to follow him there and blow his cover.”
Lotta blowing going on.
“She finds Carly and Amber at the airport, who explain what Mark has been up to: he has been using Kate as the owner of the companies he defrauded, which would cause her to go to prison if discovered.”
Don’t these people have jobs? How can they afford to spend this much time on one asshole?
“She finds out that Mark has yet another woman and that he had been seeing her.”
They don’t befriend that one too? Also, what the hell else would he have been doing?
“This, and the possibility of facing prison in Mark’s place, urges Kate to take actions with help from Carly’s legal expertise.”
Oh, so three women… no problem. Four women, that’s beyond the pale.
“When Mark returns from vacation, he goes to visit Carly at her office.”
How do you decide which of the mistresses to go to first?
“He is locked in the conference room by Carly’s assistant–”
Stunt casting of Nicki Minaj, also a sign of an Unforgivable movie.
“– and is shocked to find all three women together.”
What happened to the fourth one?
“They confront him with all of his infidelities and embezzlements that they have discovered.”
Side note, this movie wants you to believe that Kate Upton knows how to hack into the guy’s computer. So there’s also that.
“With Carly as her attorney, Kate demands a divorce.”
Isn’t there a major conflict of interest there?
“Kate reveals that she has returned the embezzled money to the companies, which saves the divorcing couple from prison time but leaves Mark bankrupt.”
Is that how that works? Oh, by the way, he stole all this money from you. Here it is. And they just take it and no legal action is taken? This is Grinch logic.
“Additionally, Mark’s business partner Nick arrives and fires Mark upon the discovery of the crime.”
Because of course. That’s how these things get tied up.
“Nick offers Kate the chance to take over her former husband’s job in appreciation of her honesty.”
A HA HA HA fuck you.
“Later, Carly marries Phil and the couple are expecting a child.”
Nice grammar, asshole.
“Amber marries Carly’s father, Frank.”
“And Kate works as a CEO with Mark’s former business partners and the company making a profit under her leadership.”
She’s been dumb as bricks for 98% of this movie. That’s fucking ridiculous.
Honestly, the bottom line on this movie — everyone’s a bad person, all of them are cunts.
That’s right, everyone. You thought for sure this was gonna be #1. Sandler, Barrymore — how could it miss? But it did. Or, rather… missed #1. You know what I mean.
Look, fuck this movie. We all know this is a piece of shit, and we all know it deserves to be here. Sandler stopped trying long ago, and Barrymore is incapable of picking good material. But at this point, I didn’t get angry at this one. I mean, I did. But it didn’t inspire the type of anger that a #1 movie should.
It’s just bad, and we’re getting to the point where we aren’t even disappointed or even upset at Adam Sandler movies. We’re resigned to the fact that they’re pieces of shit. I honestly had nothing to say about this one. I thought I would, but I don’t. It’s the same thing Adam Sandler does. I can’t waste my time mustering fake anger at this. I have more important things to do.
And I bet you thought this was going #1. I like to keep people on their toes.
Seriously, stop trying to make Melissa McCarthy a thing. It’s not working. Last year, she was #1 on this list. (And #3, I think.) She keeps starring in these shitty comedies that are just so horrible you can’t help but make them Unforgivable. And this year is no different. What the fuck is this movie?
People don’t understand that Melissa McCarthy’s great skill is improvisation. Trouble is, that doesn’t lend itself to coherent storytelling. She can go off and say whatever she wants, but eventually it’s going to veer off into nonsensicality. You can’t just let her go off and do whatever she wants. Especially since it’s gonna veer off into weird sex stuff that isn’t very funny. Because it always does. You have to have a story and then let her stray a little bit. Or put her in small doses. These movies do neither, and they really didn’t think anything through past putting her in a movie and assuming it’ll make money because of Bridesmaids.
I’m gonna go through this movie’s first act and list all the problems with it.
Problem #1: “Your Love,” by The Outfield plays over the studio logo. You’re pandering to twenty-three year old party girls from the tri-state area.
Problem #2: It was made by Will Ferrell’s company.
Problem #3: We cut from the song to Melissa McCarthy singing badly to it in the car. Always a sign of a terrible movie.
Problem #4: We’re less than a minute into the movie and she makes a sex joke, by taking a song lyric (“keep it undercover”) and pointing to her vagina.
Problem #5: She hits a deer in the middle of the road after taking her eyes off of it for one second. She’s on a two-lane road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day. Even if she turned around for a second to grab something, there’s no way she didn’t see that deer in the road or running toward the road from at least a half mile away.
Problem #6: She talks to the deer as if it’s going to sue her rather than just driving away.
Problem #7: She is an idiot.
Problem #8: The deer attacks her and they play this for comedy.
Problem #9: She shows up late to work, with a bloody nose and dirt all over her uniform, and her boss calls her into his office. He starts to give the, “Do you know how I got here” speech (which is a problem in and of its own), and she says, “By sucking dick and kissing ass?” Why would you say this to your boss? And how is this funny? Because she said dick and ass?
Problem #10: A Spanish coworker arrives and says they need more ketchup. Out of nowhere, the boss says to say it in English, because “this is America,” despite having completely understood what he said. Why? No idea. Wast this funny? No. Came off as totally racist and unnecessary, because they deliberately side-tracked the scene just to show that.
Problem #11: The boss fires her and says he needs her name tag back. Which I don’t get. Why do you need something with her name on it? In case someone with the same name eventually works there? Or are you trying to play off a cop movie cliche, only badly? Also, I worked for places like this. There’s no way they didn’t make her pay for that when she started there. So you’re basically ripping her off on her way out the door. (Note: She says this right after I said this. So now the problem is, the boss is an asshole for no reason.)
Problem #12: Melissa McCarthy improvises but it makes no sense. What does the boss sweating a lot have to do with anything? You don’t tell us he does this. Show us. That’s comedy. Also, he’s not even sweating in this scene.
Problem #13: As she gets fired, she spreads what might be lice into the buns, and completely causes a bunch of major health code violations in the process. Can’t she be arrested for that?
Problem #14: After she licks her hand and touches the buns of already made burgers, the manager says they’re “still good,” and to just “change the hats.” And the customers hear him say this. I’m not sure who’s worse, Melissa McCarthy or this guy. Everyone in this movie should be arrested.
Problem #15: We’re five minutes into this movie and already I have 15 problems with it.
Problem #16: Melissa McCarthy goes outside and tells all the customers the meat there is “real shitty.” Not only is this a family restaurant and is she being pretty cavalier about cursing in front of children (which has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a family restaurant, but does reflect poorly on her sense of morals and general decency as a human being), but I’m pretty sure the people eating there already know the quality of the meat they’re getting when they go there.
Problem #17: The manager of the restaurant feels the need to defend the fact that she’s calling the meat shitty. If you saw someone get fired in a public place, and they went on a rant about how bad that place was — what is your most likely reaction? “Oh man, they’re totally right about how bad this place is,” or, “Wow, they’re losing their shit right now”?
Problem #18: She says the chicken isn’t chicken, but is mostly “dick and beak.” Pretty sure those are parts of a chicken. Also, what’s with the dick humor? Why is this funny? We’re watching a person meltdown. Stop trying to be cute and show us drama. Then we’ll get comedy later.
Problem #19: Her car breaks down on the way home from being fired, and rather than this being yet another thing going wrong, the movie just sort of lets it happen and plays a Willie Nelson song over it. So I guess bad directing is the problem.
Problem #20: Melissa McCarthy throws a half-eaten hamburger over the side of a bridge. That’s littering. And worse, now all the birds are gonna get diabetes.
Problem #21: Melissa McCarthy comes home to find his husband having dinner with Toni Collette. She then threatens to beat the shit out of him, and her, before saying she’s leaving him, leaving us all clueless as to why he’s allegedly cheating on her in the first place. Also, not once do we find out that he is actually cheating on her. He’s just having a meal with a neighbor. Could be a meal of comfort from a friend in whom he confided that his wife abuses him both physically and emotionally. But apparently we’re supposed to find it funny that she wants to hurt them.
Problem #22: Melissa McCarthy tells Toni Collette she’s going to sue her. When pressed for a reason, she says it’s “for being an asshole.” She’s also standing on a counter randomly during all of this. The problem here is that we spend more time wondering how Melissa McCarthy got up on that counter than laughing at what’s going on.
Problem #23: Melissa McCarthy, while packing her stuff, sees a photo of her and her husband when they were happy. She slams it down on the dresser, as if that will make it go away. This movie once again takes a bad shortcut that only makes it worse.
Problem #24: There’s actually a human moment in here, when Melissa McCarthy says her husband never made her dinner once. Given how shitty the rest of this movie is, this shouldn’t be here. It should have stayed completely inhuman, making it easier to hate as a whole, rather than wonder why it didn’t just be more like this moment and be better.
Problem #25: As she leaves, Melissa McCarthy uses the words “shitty,” “assholes,” “whore,” “ass,” and continually yells at her husband, who is inside the house next door. Oh, and she ends up at her mother’s house, which is right next door. This might have been funny, if it were even in play, dialogue-wise, but it wasn’t, so we’re left wondering what the fuck is going on.
I got to 25 problems, and we’re only at ten minutes. I was going to continue for the next twenty, holding out hope that I could end at 99 problems and say that I have 99 problems and this movie is all of them, but this movie isn’t worth any of our times, so I’m just going to end there and hope that shows you just how terrible this movie is. It’s actually embarrassing how bad this movie is. Because people wrote this. Melissa McCarthy wrote this! Her husband directed it. And it makes you wonder how anyone along the way thought this was a good idea and was funny. And I’m actually ashamed that this movie exists. For everybody’s sake.
2. Sex Tape
Sony deserved to be hacked for making this movie. Not the other one. This was such a giant mount of garbage.
The best thing is that we’re supposed to buy Cameron Diaz as a twenty year old for the first ten minutes of this movie. Also, the conceit of the movie is that she and her husband make a sex tape to reignite their marriage and end up uploading it to the cloud where all of their friends and family can see it (through some awful plot contrivances I won’t get into just yet). And because they don’t know how the Cloud works, they set out to destroy every computer in sight.
The real joke is that Cameron Diaz is playing a mommy blogger! How the fuck does she not know how the Cloud works? Also, the reason they have to go out and destroy all these things is because Jason Segal bought like fifteen extra iPads (which he can randomly afford to own), he gave them out to all his friends. And he made it so they all sync up to the Cloud. This is implying that he knows how to use the Cloud, because he made it so they can sync in the first place, and also that, when he gave people the iPads (which include his parents and the mailman), he didn’t think to unsync his Cloud profile or reset it to factory settings (or that the people he gave it to didn’t do that as well, or even know how to access the Cloud to find the sex tape file). Also, can’t he just delete the original and then have the file go away on the rest of them?
It’s pretty amazing how this movie is trying to deal with modern technology, yet has no idea how to counteract the obstacles that come with technology. And the basis of comedy is obstacles. That’s what creates the comedy. We live in an era where this stuff doesn’t lend itself to comedy. Maybe if this were about a VHS tape, then I could understand it. If the tape accidentally went back to Blockbuster, and he needed to figure out who rented it and get it back.
My problem with this movie is how it starts with a moderately acceptable premise, and (aside from the shitty set up and the bad comedy and all of that) has no idea how to actually make that premise work. It uses such bad logic and takes such wrong turns that you can’t help but be amazed and angered at how stupid the characters are.
This movie is the equivalent of when your parents or grandparents don’t know how to use a simple piece of technology, and the seven year old, who is a pro, has to show them how to use it. The only people this is for are the over-forty crowd. And even they’ll think this is dumb because it’s so poorly made.
1. Heaven Is For Real
Yup. Buckle up, folks. We might be here for a while.
I’ll preface all of this by saying — I don’t get angry with movies much anymore. Based on sheer volume, and the fact that it’s just obvious most of the time what’s going to be a piece of shit — I don’t watch an Adam Sandler movie and get really angry anymore. I know what I’m getting, and I’m just left disappointed at what he’s become and all of that. I really only get mad at ideas and concepts (like world building or the ruining of something good). However, one of the few things that does continue to arouse complete and utter anger within me is religion. And if I’m making a list where the one criterion is that a film make me angry as I watched it, I couldn’t rightfully put any other movie as my #1 choice for 2014.
I’m going to attack this movie as a movie and nothing else. My problems with religion as an institution notwithstanding, this is still an Unforgivable movie that should piss everyone off, religious or not.
First off — based on a true story. Fuck you right there.
“Is Heaven a hope, or as real as the earth and sky?” asks a movie titled Heaven Is For Real. “I once asked my grandfather that question.” If this movie ends with the conclusion that heaven is for real because his grandfather said so, I’d be okay with that.
We start with Greg Kinnear fixing a business owner’s dock door for a carpet, because “times are tough,” and apparently he doesn’t need to get paid. Right there, we should all be saying, “Fuck you.” It’s not that he’s just a religious person. But he’s basically painted as a saint. This is some Atticus Finch level shit. Why can’t you just make him a normal person? Why does he have to work for Christian charity?
And then he drives home, to show you this takes place in the midwest, as a church singalong karaoke CD plays on the soundtrack. He stops at a construction site, and all the ethnically diverse workers joke around with him, to show that he’s a good guy who is liked by all. Cheap movie characterization that should offend any movie fan.
Oh, and did I mention? He coaches the boys basketball and wrestling teams. Offended yet by the terrible storytelling? We haven’t even gotten to the religious stuff. That’s my point here. This is an offensive movie even without the central conceit.
Then he comes home to his wife hosting a Bible study group, singing hymns with a bunch of housewives, as their young son sits in the hallway, playing with trucks and stuff. He can’t stand the singing (as he should. Religious singing sounds like zombies in harmony. Because it is. Black churches are completely excluded from this. They know what they’re doing) and goes outside to sit on the porch. At the exact moment his father comes home. It’s little things like this that feel so manufactured. Oh, and then a dog outside howls because the singing is so bad. But only right at that exact moment so he and the kid could howl too.
He’s about to take the kid for pizza, but then he gets a text to go to the hospital. Know why? Because he’s also a pastor. Not only does he do everything, but he’s also a pastor. It’s this kind of shit that gives religious movies a bad name. Just have him be a regular person. I’m not gonna fault the movie for him being called to comfort a dying man. Because people do that, and I understand why people do that, as dumb as I think it is. What is offensive is that his kid stands there and prays too. Don’t cut to that. He can watch, but don’t have him pray along.
Then he lays with his wife at night and there’s that bullshit, horribly written scene. I won’t waste time on it. This scene usually comes off badly in most movies. (I’ll mention two things, though. First, the wife says “don’t talk about money” and then immediately proceeds to talk about money. And then the line, “As long as I’m with you, I’m not afraid.” Is there an emoji for the jerk-off motion?)
Then we se them in church. With the rest of the town. Because apparently this is what middle America does. I was offended by little things in this scene. First, that everyone was happy and attentive in the pews. In a real church scenario, at least half of them don’t want to be there and were dragged there by their families, and another 20% are there because they don’t want to look bad in front of the neighbors. And second, that they made the kids sing along. There’s nothing more offensive to me than children being forced to take part in religious activities. Religion should be something people decide to embrace, not something forced upon them from a young age. And not to this extent.
Anyway, then Greg Kinnear gives a sermon. Is that the phrase? I know sermon is the word, but is it different if he’s not a priest and is just a pastor? Whatever. He talks about lions and shit. I’ll quote Jack Nicholson and say that people who talk in metaphors ought to shampoo my crotch. We spend a good three minutes on a lion a bear and a unicorn. And people paid to see this shit.
The wife then gives a Mexican mother a dress she knit for the baby. It’s because she’s a good person, in case we weren’t already beaten over the fucking head with it. Oh, and then there’s a softball game that Greg Kinnear plays in later. Because he needs to do more stuff. And the entire church is there. Because this is what everyone does in the midwest. And then Greg Kinnear breaks his leg. Beacuse God was rooting for the other team.
And then he gives a sermon about it. About adversity. Naturally. But he can’t get through it because of pain in his back. This was funny to me. Watching someone convulse on a church altar. And then church elevator music plays in the background. It’s hilarious.
Then he gets kidney stones, and we cut to him in the house screaming as he passes them. No comment. But then Thomas Haden Church (Academy Award nominee Thomas Haden Church) shows up. Not because he’s concerned about his friend. You’d think that’s what it would be. But it’s not. You know why he’s there? He just wanted to know when Kinnear would be able to preach again. Which is a huge fucking joke. Does the church shut down because he’s not there to talk? I mean, seriously? It’s this kind of shit that offends me. Not that he’s a preacher, but because he’s the only preacher? And the church isn’t able to function without him? FUCK YOU.
I’m being serious when I say the religion isn’t the major reason this is my number one. It helps, sure. But that’s not the major reason. It’s the way this film is made (kind of like Big Miracle) that just pissed me the fuck off to no end.
The family then decides to go to Denver (“right now,” because apparently people can do that when they have jobs that don’t pay them. Which… I notice the wife doesn’t have a job. How come? He said, rhetorically). (Oh, I’d also like to point out, later on, after the kid has his surgery, and the medical bills come in, that they can’t afford, the wife says she’s gonna have to get a job. And Kinnear is like, “We need you right here. I don’t want you to do that.” Which is just as offensive to me as any of the religious stuff in this movie. Those midwestern values will get me every time.)
So naturally we show them driving up to Denver, and singing in the car. Not singing anything. Shitty religious songs. And we know that’s offensive, but it’s even more offensive that the movie tries to be like, “Oh, this would be the cliche thing for this family to do,” and tries to invert the trope. And then they start singing “We Will Rock You.” Which — horrible song choice. That’s about as bland as you can get. (Also, your church doesn’t approve of that singer’s lifestyle choices.) Also, no family sings together in the car. And I highly doubt kids that age know the lyrics to “We Will Rock You.” Also, another major movie no-no — never have people singing along to a song (especially badly) and then cut out and have the song playing on the soundtrack.
Then the family goes to Denver. And we see scenes of this. For no reason whatsoever. It just happens. And then out of nowhere, the kid is sick. No rhyme or reason. They just cut to it. So they call the doctor, who says the flu is going around. And does nothing. Maybe take him there and stop getting a diagnosis over the fucking phone, you lazy bastards.
Then the kid’s fever goes up. They don’t know what it is. Kinnear goes to call someone, but the wife says she already tried. And then says, resigned, “We gotta take him to the medical center.” As if it’s some sort of defeat. As opposed to a place that TREATS SICK PEOPLE! And then they drive there, with some shitty 90s TV show suspense music playing, with the wife saying, “We have to hurry.” Maybe you should have hurried there TWO FUCKING DAYS AGO when he had the 103 fever. Pretty sure fifteen minutes is not gonna kill the kid at this point. And then we cut to the kid in the background, flopping around like Frodo on the horse on the way to Rivendell, and the wife’s like, “Faster, faster.” It’s infuriating the level of filmmaking here.
The kid’s appendix ruptured (“days ago” … so great parenting there) and he’s rushed into surgery. It’s horribly melodramatic. But then Greg Kinnear has a “Fuck you, God” moment, which I approve of. Because this is the first human thing he’s done. And Kinnear is a good actor, so he gets to actually do something worthy of acting for a change in this movie.
But then it’s followed by the most offensive moment I saw on film all year, and possibly even all decade. The wife gets a call while she’s waiting in the hospital. This is the exchange:
“Sonia. How’s Colton?”“We’re in trouble here. He’s umm — he’s not — he’s not doing well. He’s worse, he’s much worse, and–““Oh no.”“Will you call some friends and ask them to pray for him?”“Of course I will, honey. Right now. I’ll pray for him too.”“Thank you.”
The first part of the conversation — totally normal. But then, “Will you call some friends and ask them to pray for him?” WHAT?! What the fuck is that gonna do? It’s like you’re calling in favors. “Call the undertaker. We need him now.” This isn’t some Godfather shit. Why the fuck are you calling in prayers? Isn’t prayer something people do out of decency? Why the hell are you asking people to do that? He’s in a fucking HOSPITAL! That’s the place that’s gonna save him. Not the people talking to the invisible man in the sky who apparently takes requests. I think about it this way — God is a DJ and we’re the drunk chick that wants him to play “Wonderwall.”
And the implication is that those prayers are gonna do more than the MEDICALLY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS who are tending to her son. I don’t think caps lock is truly going to explain the sentiment behind this, but F U C K Y OU.
And then she’s like, “Oh, I’ll call in those prayers. I’m gonna do that shit now.” Like you tell everyone you’re going to but never do. And then she’s like, “I’ll pray for him too.” Which is so egotistical. She didn’t ask you to pray for him. But you’re like, “Oh, don’t you worry, I’ll get in on this too. My prayers mean something.” Maybe she doesn’t want your prayers. Or worse, maybe she just assumed that you were going to anyway.
And you know what’s worse? Once they hang up the phone, Margo Martindale (I won’t fault her for being in this movie. She can do whatever she wants) turns to her husband and says, “Jay, we got a problem…” and ACTUALLY GOES TO CALL IN THE PRAYERS RIGHT NOW. As if it’s time sensitive.
AND THEN WE GET A MONTAGE OF THEM CALLING IN PRAYER FAVORS!!
AND WE ACTUALLY SEE PEOPLE DOING IT!!!
I was so offended when I saw that I actually had to turn the movie off and walk away for a while.
Then the kid goes back home and claims to have seen Heaven when he was under anesthesia. And that’s the part of the movie where everyone got pissed off. Because for the rest of the movie, everyone is believing that a kid, who was under heavy medication that has a known history of making people see and hear things that aren’t there, saw Heaven and talked to Jesus. Which is fucking ridiculous. And I think everyone knows how ridiculous that part is. And that stuff is only made worse by the awfulness that it was set up with. And that’s why this is my #1 Unforgivable of the year. Bad filmmaking, bullshit, unrealistic values, and you’re giving money to a guy who says his child spoke to Jesus. And people just ate that shit right up. This movie made more money than Fury, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler, Boyhood, Birdman, Whiplash… you get the point.
If there’s one thing that pisses me off in life, it’s religion. If there’s one thing that pisses me off in the movies, it’s bad filmmaking. Put those together, and here we are.
So I’m going to ask all of you to do me a favor. Call up all your friends, and beg them to never see this movie. Beg them to see something better. Because I’m pretty sure it’s what Jesus would want you to do.
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So there are your Unforgivables for 2014.
And, as I always do, I list some more movies that were really, really bad.
11. Addicted. This would have been atrociously bad for a cable TV movie. This got released in theaters. In terms of pure quality, this is actually the worst-made movie that got a legitimate theatrical release of 2014. I’m not saying this lightly. It’s just as bad as The Room without the unintentional comedy value.
12. I, Frankenstein. I couldn’t make this Unforgivable because… let’s face it, we knew what we were getting. They moved it from Halloween 2013, so even they knew what this was. I can’t fault them for knowing they made a piece of shit. I can, however, acknowledge that this was a glorious piece of shit and rank it where it deserves to be ranked.
13. Best Night Ever. This is the Friedberg and Seltzer movie that you didn’t even know Friedberg and Seltzer made. It’s a found footage movie, meant to be the female version of The Hangover. It’s… I’d make a joke about lowering bars, but that pun would actually be smarter than anything that happens in this movie. I have a rule about not making them Unforgivable, because at this point, we get it. And also no one honestly knows this movie exists, which is why it’s only getting a dishonorable mention down here, just so that you, the reader, know for a fact that this movie was really bad.
14. The Legend of Hercules. Uwe Boll movies had more production value than this. I will say no more. Except, no this isn’t the one with The Rock. This is the other one. Yeah… that one. Oh, and the guy who directed this actually directed a Die Hard movie. We’ve come a long way in 25 years.
15. Horrible Bosses 2. The first one I actually didn’t mind. It didn’t feature anywhere in my Unforgivables list at all. This one, however, was a piece of shit. And I won’t even allow people to call this one funny. It’s atrociously bad, is actually racist and offensive on a lot of levels, and completely ruins its boss stunt casting. This movie lives up to the first half of its name.
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16-25: About Alex, Are You Here, Behaving Badly, The Best of Me, Grace of Monaco, A Haunted House 2, Moms’ Night Out, Palo Alto, Pompeii, Wish I Was Here.
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And those were the movies I disliked most in 2014.
Tomorrow is the happier side of the coin.