Ten 2014 Movies I Could Take Or Leave…Preferably Leave

There are a lot of films to look forward to in 2014, and earlier this week I compiled my own pick of promising upcoming releases, but as always there are an almost equal number destined to disappoint. Last year’s list of predicted failures was pretty much spot on (though I did surprise myself by enjoying both The Wolverine and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) so this year I’ve decided to compose another one.

So here they are, the ten 2014 films that I could take or leave…preferably leave:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

2014 Jack Ryan Shadow RecruitI like Chris Pine. He’s great as Captain Kirk and his voice-work on Rise Of The Guardians was a large part of its success, but I just can’t get excited about Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. This is partly due to a misplaced sense of deja vu — I keep typing Jack Reacher: Ghost Protocol by mistake — but also because no matter how many times I watch the trailer not a single set piece, actor or line of dialogue captures my imagination. It doesn’t seem to be entirely Pine’s fault, however, as a quick search of IMDb reveals that I’ve apparently seen author Tom Clancy’s character on the big screen before, only I can’t for the life of me remember why.

I, Frankenstein

2014 I Frankenstein2014 looks to be another bumper year for comic book adaptations, with three upcoming Marvel movies making my list of the year’s most exciting releases (and a fourth, Guardians Of The Galaxy, just missing out on a place). You can’t look forward to them all, however, and if there’s one that seems destined to disappoint it’s Lionsgate’s I, Frankenstein. Director Stuart Beatie’s last effort, Tomorrow, When The War Began (what is it with this guy and commas?), was simply awful, while the studio’s insistence that it is from the producers of the Underworld series does little more to inspire any confidence either.

Robocop

2014 RobocopI have yet to be compelled to watch Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original, let alone get excited about José Padilha’s inevitably pointless remake. “Reimagined” to look as generic and forgettable as possible — there is no trace of the previous incarnation’s apparent satire in the trailer — the new Robocostume looks like a characterless composite of Judge Dredd, Batman and the combatant programs from Tron: Legacy. Unknown entity Joel Kinneman could still impress, but the rest of the cast — the indiscriminate likes of Samuel L. Jackson (xXx, The Spirit, Snakes On A Plane) and Gary Oldman (The Book Of Eli, Red Riding Hood, Lawless) — is hardly encouraging.

Non-Stop

2014 Non StopLiam Neeson is back in action mode for Non-Stop, and if the promotional material is anything to go by the Love, Actually actor looks as incongruous as ever. The plot, naturally, sounds completely ridiculous — air passengers are picked off one by one while their designated air marshal is mistaken for a terrorist — but rather than poking fun at its own preposterousness the film instead seems to be taking itself very, very seriously. Neeson’s last collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra — 2011’s Unknown — was unremarkable at best, which doesn’t exactly bode well for Non-Stop, but Collet-Serra was also behind 2009’s Orphan so I suppose you never really know for sure.

Grand Budapest Hotel

2014 Grand Budapest HotelFor Wes Anderson fans, 2014 will see another offbeat offering from their beloved auteur. As someone who cannot abide Wes Anderson films, however, I’m dreading another few hours in the company of his quirky, manicured, superficial characters, played inevitably by the usual collection of collaborators. I’m sure it will look stylish, probably laboriously so, but unless the director has suddenly decided to think outside of the very, very limiting sandbox within which he has always played I just can’t bring myself invest in a room at the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Divergent

SHAILENE WOODLEY and THEO JAMES star in DIVERGENTIn its ongoing pursuit for a cash-cow equivalent in value to Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter series, Hollywood has adapted the first instalment of just about every Young Adult saga going (before quickly abandoning all but the likes of Twilight, Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games). I say almost every Young Adult saga, because 2014 is set to see the release of yet another one: Veronica Roth’s Divergent. To say that the plot sounds familiar is something of a gross understatement, as this is yet another story about teenage empowerment, young love and sticking it to the establishment. At least it can’t possibly be any worse than The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones. Right?

Pudsey: The Movie 

2014 Pudsey The MovieTo be British is to know the annual embarrassment that comes hand in hand with seeing one of our quaint little television characters making the leap to the big screen, most often unbidden, with recent examples including Keith Lemon: The Movie and The Harry Hill Movie. 2014, however, boasts no fewer than three such affronts to the national identity. Whereas Mrs Brown’s Boys and Postman Pat at least have a passing familiarity with narrative storytelling, however, Pudsey: The Movie will somehow attempt to wring drama from last year’s Britain’s Got Talent victors, dancing duo Ashleigh and Pudsey (the latter of which — a dog — will be voiced by David Walliams). I’m already cringing and it’s not out until May.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

2014 Transformers 4While it was of course true that neither Shia LaBeouf nor Megan Fox were ever likely to win an Oscar for their work on Michael Bay’s Transformers series (or that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, meanwhile, was barely even fit for a Golden Raspberry), they were still by far the least of the franchise’s problems. The biggest issue was always Bay himself, with his inappropriately crass sense of humour, over-reliance on CGI and tendency to spend more time lingering on lingerie models than the eponymous pixels in disguise. This year he returns with a fourth instalment.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

2014 Sin City 2Although a moderate success upon its release in 2005, Sin City has hardly endured as a movie worth revisiting. A sequel was nevertheless greenlit, and now nine years on we are finally getting a follow-up, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, and starring everyone from Bruce Willis to Lady Gaga, Sin City 2 certainly sounds as mad as the original, but it’s difficult to shake the suspicion that the film has been stuck in Development Hell for a reason. Unless Rodriguez just really wanted to make Shorts, Machete and Spy Kids: All The Time In The World (in “Aroma-scope”) first.

Horrible Bosses 2

2014 Horrible Bosses 2Were you one of the handful of people who found 2011’s Horrible Bosses funny, or anything other than unbearable, then I suppose a sequel doesn’t seem like that big a deal. I, however, thought it was one of the most joyless and offensive so-called comedies of recent years. The thought of another two hours in the company of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis is almost too much to bear, and the only reason I can fathom for watching a sequel is morbid curiosity regarding the obscene lengths the writers must have gone to in order to crowbar Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey back into the new narrative, which supposedly sees the three set up their own business and become their own bosses.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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