Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Surprisingly, my top choice for Most Disappointing Film of 2014 is from Woody Allen, one of my favorite modern-day directors, and it wrestles the award away from the other two finishers simply because it was the only one that had the power to put me to sleep. Yes, I actually dozed off during a late-morning show, and unfortunately this event occurred during the film’s final fifteen minutes, leaving me clueless as to how things wrapped up. Not that it mattered, since I didn’t care all that much about the first eighty-five minutes, either. The story was set in the French Riviera of the 1920s, where an illusionist (Colin Firth) tried to prove that a clairvoyant (Emma Stone) was a fake; though the acting was acceptable, the story, the pacing, and the odd summertime-yellow tint were definitely not. Allen’s films have been very hit-and-miss with me lately, and this one was definitely a miss.
Talk about over-hyped! I heard nothing but gushing praise for this thing, from newspapers and television to friends at lunch, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. I remember chuckling only once, for a throwaway line of dialogue, but I can’t remember what that line was, or who spoke it; the rest of the movie was nowhere near as fun or funny as I expected, and though creating a feature-length film where the characters are made up of Lego bricks is nothing to scoff at, I must say the end result was a bit of a letdown. Thank heavens I used a free pass to see it; my other choice of film that day was 3 Days to Kill, which according to what I’d read may have also been a waste of a free pass…and could’ve replaced The Lego Movie in this #2 spot.
I had high hopes for this one based solely on the preview trailer I saw, which—trust me—had plenty more excitement and tension to it than this sloooooow excuse for a weather-gone-mad thriller. More human interest story than disaster epic, this had high school kids, storm chasers, and some backwater nitwits crossing paths as a handful of deadly twisters touched down in Silverton, Oklahoma. Nary a character in sight that you could give two hoots about, but I will admit the tornado effects were pretty cool. Tellingly, I remember nothing about the plot, save for two high schoolers getting trapped in an abandoned building and a family raking leaves (or maybe twigs) at the end. Another one where I was smart enough in advance to use a free pass for admission.
The Expendables 3
The Monuments Men
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty