Tuesday, 27 January 2015

"A most violent year" review: interesting take on an intriguing subject

Oscar Isaac delivers the good in any scene he appears.
"A most violent year" unlike the suggestion of its title is not very violent. In fact it rarely shows any violence and the point of the film is not the violence itself but rather we tend to spend almost a year with an upcoming a-class family in the early 80's and their plan to make it big. 

Story: The plot involves Abel, a New Yorker who is selling oil in the cold days of early 80's with aspirations of doing everything within the boundaries of the law. Problem is Abel's company has great expectations that tickle the DA office, other competitors, his own employees and a group of sellers to who Abel has submitted a rather large deposit to buy their property and final achieve the ultimate goal of the American dream. A couple of hijacks of his oil tracks start beginning a whole avalanche of problems that threat the aim of Abel. Although this sounds convoluted, it is not really. We follow the already rising Abel in the ranks of the oil business as a legitimate person and a good family man. The problem is in this type of business he has chosen the wrong approach. Although he is not an angel himself, he is not the scumbag that you would usually encounter in this sort of flicks. He cares about his employees, he has a strict code of ethics and his efforts indicate a humble but quite ambitious person that wants it all (for probably no particular reason). Is that enough to make us hate him? In fact we at some degree could relate to him. Maybe his ultimate life goal is to reach that hedonic state that most of us do when we buy a car, move into a fancy house, date a hot supermodel. Maybe his aim is to own it all (in the oil business) and wipe out the competition.

Characters: The film is populated with a palette of shady characters in every turn. From the DA to even his own wife with a gangster past that remains untouched for the entire film (good move) and to the sellers of the "hot" property, each one of them could be the potential threat to Abel's dream. It is interesting to see that JC Chandor (who also directed the film) did not reside into creating caricatures but rather actual human beings. Although they do not share quite the screentime that they deserve, Chandor is wise enough to have shots that convey at least sharp characterization and from one perspective it is sufficient.

Era: Having such a story set in the 80's is a clever way to reconstruct this period. Costumes are nicely done and the set design thoughtful without reaching flamboyant status. Even the cinematography gives the film an extra advantage of old school filmmaking with a grain like tone (unless that was the cinema's fault) and the difficult to spot special effects make this NY, an authentic one (look out the two towers from a car window at the background).
JC is good enough in the film, but she needs a scene or two to shine
Performances: Oscar Isaac is truly Abel, the man who is searching an honest way in a tough field. Especially when he lets his rather big eyes to do the work, he genuinely comes across as a legitimate and caring business and even has the means to make you believe. Jessica Chastain, I wish though she was more and to have one-two scenes where she can showcase her acting talent. Despite being excellent, I would like to see her more and Albert Brooks is almost unrecognisable as Abel's lawyer and brings enough gravitas to his role.

Direction: JC Chandor is showing some real promise here with a rather interesting take on the oil issue in the 80's. It is commendable that he has avoided melodramatic and unnecessary elements but I would like to see a bit more in the psychosynthesis of our protagonist - what makes him tick? What doesn't? How this constantly evolving situation keeps changing inside and outside? What about the rest of his circle? Things like these makes us less aware of the present problem and forces us to take a seat as viewers rather than as participants on Abel's journey. In addition, there are some issues with the pacing as for a two hour movie it feels quite lengthy at some point with a handful unnecessary scenes that add nothing to the proceedings. Of course we cannot have everything but as the follow up the excellent "All is lost" it is not bad. In fact, it is a worthy addition to Chandor's filmography.

+ thought reconstruction of the early 80's
+ Isaac nails that role
+ good supporting cast
+ interesting story
+ sharp characterization
- but not enough character development for anyone

7.5/10


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

"Taken 3" review: it's threequel - that sums it up

"Taken 3". Is a threequel. Do you know many third entries that are actually good? "Revenge of the Sith" and "Return of the Jedi" come into mind. "Dream warriors", "The good, the bad and the ugly". Then the downhill begins: "Terminator 3", "Scream 3", "Blade Trinity". So where does "Tak3n" stands? Unfortunately, in the majority. 
This man can do anything look cool - including this film
Story: Basically nobody gets taken here(unless you count the fact they are being taken to the next life - haha score!). Luc Besson and co-writer are stealing ideas from the "fugitive" with the only extra component being the fact that our ...fugitive knows how to fight, disappear and has resources when it is required. So nothing that you have not seen before with any twists and turns that are coming to you, can be seen from a mile or ten miles away. Do not expect creativity or dramatic tension because you will get none. Remember the "taken" sequence in Paris? That was genuinely thrilling and disturbing considering that young girls get snatched for sex trafficking. It was something we could relate to as human beings due to the degree of horror that it bares. Hell even on "Taken 2" we have retaliation for all the bodies that Bryan left behind, a common logical act of vengeance that most films neglect (irrelevant if the sequel was not so good). But here, people expect the franchise to come at full circle but with this ridiculous storyline that has nothing to do with Part 1 and 2, you will be for the first disappointment of 2015.

Action: For a film based on frenetic camera movements and insane editing, "Tak3n" is just a mess. Olivier Megaton's direction is just clueless (more on that later) and does not know how to edit properly a set piece. There are like a billion cuts in the dialogue scenes and a trillion others in the runaway sequences. There is no sense of geography, movement, distance between Neeson's characters and his opponents and fight after fight ends up a terribly messy and incoherent scene that is neither thrilling or enticing (like the first fights in "taken"). The final stand off in a penthouse is being build up as the ultimate goal only to disappoint tremendously with a weak villain...

Villain: the most uninspiring in the entire franchise, this was supposed to be an equal antagonist, the polar opposite of Bryan Mills. BUT when he is just wearing his diaper underwear and shoots stuff, the filmmakers aim for something truly funny and ludicrous. His swan song is one of the most memorable for all the wrong reasons moment of the film. MARK. MY. WORDS :)

Direction: Basically Monsieur Olivier is a hack. Having directed terrible films that could have been good at the hands of a proper competent director, Megaton (cool name though) is running like a monolith in the forgettable action movie field - see "Transporter 3", "Colombiana", "Taken 2" and "Tak3n". 
Liam Neeson for president
Saving grace: Liam Neeson of course. The man can make any film with his charisma work and any piece of dialogue. Give this man an oscar! It is rather interesting to see that Neeson has evolved from an amazing dramatic actor to full blown action star in his late 50's and now early 60's. More believable than any of his other action elder stars, he still crushes his way through a barricade of goons with ease and panache and our champion cries on his shoulder.

Cast: Well here things are pretty monotonous. Besides this being a Neeson vehicle, Maggie Grace is till playing a 20 something when she is actually reaching 35 now, Famke Janssen is there for really 2 minutes and Forest Whitaker has not done anything memorable since he won that OSCAR. 

It this the worst film ever? Hell no. It is a bad one? Actually no believe it or not simply because Liam is lifting everything on his broad shoulders. He is such a good actor that he elevates the film to believability points. That's why at the end of 2015, "Tak3n" will be in the worst film list.

+ Neeson rules
+ some lovely unintentional comedic touches 
- everything else including...
- the chaotic - cannot see my face - action
- weak villains
- horrible edit
- lifeless direction
- recycled plot
- meh action

4/10


Monday, 5 January 2015

"The theory of everything" review: a superflous view in the life of a living scientific legend

"The theory of everything" has all the ingredients to be a brilliant biography for one of the most important figures in the history of science: Stephen Hawking. However, the tangible academic approach and the focus on only one particular aspect of his life pulls the movie down. 
This is one of the many scenes that they will keep repeating in the film but with different circumstances
Eddie Redmayne: The actor is doing a marvellous job at showcasing Hawking's cope with the disease. The role requires lots of inner strength and convincing physical mannerisms to be able to convey the emotion and the internal complexities that rise in the mind of Hawking's; and here Redmayne pulls it through brilliantly. However, he is mostly more successful when it comes to the earlier stages of the disease when he has to display a loss of the ground here, a mistep there rather than later in the film when he has to act while remaining confined to a wheelchair. While his approach is truly mesmerising in certain scenes, having (unfortunately since this is a true story) an actor expressing emotions and mannerisms basically only through his eyes is a really tough job. It is not Redmayne's fault but the movie's as we spend so much time during the later stage's of Hawking's disease where the actor cannot do much. Despite genuine pathos and acting from the main protagonist, the limitations of the role could potentially hold him from the Oscar this year. Is he good? Absolutely. Is he amazing? Definitely. Convincing? You damn right. An acting job that you will remember for the ages to come? Unfortunately no.

Story: The plot involves the adult Hawking at the Oxford University evolving as a prime scientific genius, his relationship progression with the love of his life, Jane Wilde and the onset and development of his disease. Unfortunately, this is basically what the film is about and most of the time it feels very superfluous (with the constantly present music). It never goes deep and never makes us wonder what ticks Hawking's mind. The details of his mental state and the way he is coping with it are ignored and although it is admirable that the director and the screenwriter try to avoid the injections of melodrama, we never actually get any drama. Every time there is a confrontation - be it Jane's cheating and her association with the family's helper Jonathan or Hawking's relationship with his nurse or his thoughts regarding his permanent diagnosis - the movie just skips important scenes in order to rush into another meaningless scene of Hawking's spending time with his wife. Of course it is important to establish certain moments like these in order to suggest how much courage and strength not only Hawking's had but also his wife, who at such a young stage of her life, remained to his side. Nevertheless, personally, I wanted more focus towards the scientific side of Hawking's contributions towards science as well as to see his psychosynthesis: what made him carry on with his situation, what gave him such strength to keep pushing scientific boundaries and not even lose his sense of humour.
Eddie Redmayne is fantastic but at the latter stages of the film, the role becomes quite limited.
Felicity Jones: ... portrays Hawking's wife, Jane Wilde and much in the film she spends the time moody and seemed rather annoyed that she has to care for her husband. I am not sure if that is her fault, or because the film is based on the actual book of real life counterpart or it could be even the director's fault but she comes as a rather unsympathetic character at the end. Glimpses of her disapproval towards Hawking's play time with this children while she is studying do not get any more detail or depth and her constant undermining of the situation she is in comes off a bit nasty.

Academic approach: This is the term I use to describe films that are made for extraordinary and unique tales in our reality ("The king's speech") that can inspire us but they never feel bold or dare to go a step further. A mental restraint in cases like this one and the effort that the filmmakers are putting in order to avoid tough questions and raise the emotions in our hearts grounds the movie into a deadlock that refuses to leave the sphere of mediocrity. 

While there are some nice moments scattered around the film (SH getting his PhD, final goodbye), "the theory of everything" is all about everything else...besides well everything. It focuses solely on the relationship between the couple with satellite characters that come and go when at the same time, it does not offer a deep  (and true?) portrayal of a man who has contribute so much in the scientific field with so less.

+ some tender moments
+ thoughtful 60/70's representation
+ Eddie Redmayne is fantastic
- ...but the role has its limitations
- Felicity Jones seems a bit lost with the material and comes off as unsympathetic
- academic approach to one of the world's leading geniuses
- not deep enough

5/10


Saturday, 3 January 2015

"The birdman" review: fantastic career reviving film for Michael Keaton

"The birdman" is one of these rare films that come once in a lifetime in the career of the main actor/actress involved. It shares similar themes with the much beloved by this blogger "Black Swan" (in the former there is the art of ballet, here the art of acting on Broadway while both focus on a rather unstable? persona) as well as with the "Wrestler" where an actor is called upon to portray metaphorically a part of his forgotten lifestyle through an interesting and intriguing point of view.
Keaton is an acting beast here
Plot: On "Birdman" we get to see an once megastar who starred in a terrific comic book movie ironically involving "birdman" but for the later years he has struggle to remain relevant in the Hollywood and generally in the acting scene despite selling at that time lots of tickets and considered hot property. Now at his late 50's, Riggan Thomson feels the compelling need to show and display that he is more than meets the eye and can act dramatically on Broadway in a complex show that he produces, directs, stars and writes.

Michael Keaton: Basically, Michael Keaton delivers a truly amazing performance and a wide range of emotions that we have not seen since...well he played Batman. Much like Mickey Rourke who used the metaphor of wrestling for this failing acting career, here Keaton goes a step further and portrays himself but with a different name. In a more explaining schema, Keaton WAS a hot property during the mega success of "Batman" and "Batman Returns" - he even got paid to return...well in "Batman Returns" 10 million in 1992, a huge sum at that time that now seems like a joke. But after that, he saw himself in just ok comedies, a Tarantino creation ("Jackie Brown") and off the blockbuster map (with the exception of "Desperate Measures"). Now at his 63, Keaton truly delivers the goods as Thomson. Not only he almost self-proclaims his own satire laughing at how he has ended up in a rather unmoving career-wise situation, he fully embraces it. And this is what gives "birdman" its soul. This is truly Keaton movie vehicle to shine and get an academy award. It would be a shame if he didn't as he is ranging from a pathetic human being so self absorbed to retain (and to some extent) surpass his former glory to a humble-trying-to-stage-a-comeback actor. We get to see and know some glimpses of his past - how good of a father and husband he was but we are rather focusing on now and how he will - if he actually does that - succeed at doing so.
Both Emma Stone and Edward Norton are top notch in "Birdman"
Cast: The supporting cast is excellent with Edward Norton as a snobby, out of the ordinary stage actor doing all types of insane things to get into his role and providing the film's laughs. His interactions with Keaton are simply a sight to watch as the failing actor is facing off with a clearly more talented and younger colleague although with the behavior of an absolute douchebag. Clearly Norton is having a blast in this movie as well as Naomi Watts (which her role remind that one on "King Kong") and Andrea Riseborough as aspiring Broadway actress who seek out recognition for their skills. Surprisingly Zach Galifianakis is decent one and almost irrecognisable as Thomson's producer and best friend and Emma Stone although having a brief role feels nicely integrated in the cast. Her outcry her almost failing to pay attention to his surroundings father is a great moment with intense focus on her face by Inaritu and excellent cinematography by the amazing Emmanuel Lubezki ("Gravity", "Children of men", "Sleepy Hollow").

Direction: Rarely a film impresses me with its direction ("Gravity", "Kill Bill"), but "birdman" contains enough steadycam shots to make every cine junkie overjealous with pleasant emotion. Long wide takes showcasing the entire insides of a broadway theatre following actors/actresses on and off the stage into the street, waiting to capture their ordinary moments like a paparazzi, "Birdman" is just a masterpiece. Carefully contructed shots with extremely long and complex takes  and nicely integrate special effects that even the most trained eye will not notice, make "Birdman" a film to watch. Alejandro Inaritu is a force to be reckoned with unafraid to suggest multiple situations and infuse with screen with moments of pure surrealism (or is it not?). 
Great chemistry between the cast members
Cinematography: Enough praise was given to Inaritu's directing style but I have to as well compliment Lubezki's mesmerising cinematography; that manages to make a Broadway theatre so atmospheric and so ... alive. Even during the NY streets scenes and pubs, there is always something that your eye focus on - be a lonely extra sitting in the corner or the mirror reflection of an individual. Not many films can pull this type of hypnotising trick and Lubezki's genius can be seen all over the film. It seems the man keeps finding interesting ways to make us look through a cat's eye even dramatic/comedic films that do not require the costume necesities of "The new world" or the groundbreaking visuals of "Gravity" and "Sleepy Hollow".

Climax: The almost half an hour climax grabs by the throat and does not leave you because you actually care if Riggan Thomson will be able to return as a "hero" or as a total failure to the world of stardom. It reminded a bit the crescendo of "Black Swan" but with a different twist. We know something will go wrong but we do not know what. His acting skills? His crazy cast? His daughter exploding mentally? The bastard critic that hates and wants to bury his play? Or it might be all part of his deranging fantasy? All these culminate nicely towards the end and its up to us to judge what and how we saw the movie.

Alternative reality: A rather through provoking and discussing aspect is how much infused "Birdman" is with doses of surrealism. Thomson seems to have an alter ego, the ... "birdman" who talks like his conciousness, a devil's voice that tries to lure him away from his comeback. Combined that with real? telekinetic powers when he is particularly stressed that make him even elevated and fly above the rather busy streets of NY and you have got quite a package to understand the psychosynthesis of someone. Just like "the wrestler" and "black swan" that left many scenes into personal interpretation and belief, "birdman" wants the audience fully immersed into this pressurised world and to decide what means what and who is who.

+ fantastic, career defining performance by Keaton
+ excellent supporting cast
+ mesmerising cinematography
+ top notch direction
+ interesting plot
+...with additional surrealistic, thought provoking aspects
- ... perhaps the finale is too similar in some things to Black Swan 

9/10


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Film year review 2014

The best of 2014. Those that made an impact, the actors, actresses, the scenes that stuck in my mind for all the right and wrong reasons. Here is the 2014 film overview of the movies that I saw on the big screen.

Best movie: Raid 2
Best actor: Brendan Gleeson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lee Pace
Lee Pace as Thranduil is simply amazing 
Best actress: Essie Davis
Best director: Bryan Singer, Gareth Evans
Promising director: Keanu Reeves (Man of Tai Chi)
Scene of the year: Quicksilver to the rescue - "X-men days of the future past", Prakoso's fall
Best cameo: Kelsey Crammer, Famke Jansen and James Marsen ("X-men days of the future past")
Best cast: X-men days of the future past
Best fight: Captain America vs The winter soldier ("Captain America: The winter soldier"), Man of Tai Chi, Raid 2 - basically everything
Best poster: the pyramid, as above so below, Annabelle
This poster is so catchy that it makes up for the lack of logic and terror in the respective film.

Surprise of the year: The lego movie, Man of Tai-chi
Best cinematography: The raid 2
Best special effects: Transformers: age of extinction
Best music: Raid 2
Best sets: Guardians of the galaxy, As above so below
Best costumes: Guardians of the galaxy
Best make up: Guardians of the galaxy
Best idea: Non-stop, As above so below, the pyramid, lucy
Best villain: Lockout, Uko, Artemisia
Best action sequence: Hong Kong gets sacked (T4), Winter Soldier attacks (Captain America), Prison Mayhem (Raid 2)
Best visuals: The Lego movie, Noah, 300:rise of an empire

and the worst:

Worst actress: Ashley Hinshaw (The pyramid)
Worst actor: Aaron Paul (Need for speed)
Worst director: Patrick Hughes (Expendables 3)
Worst story: TMNT, I frankestein
Worst movie: The pyramid, The expendables 3
Nonononononoooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Worst sequel: The expendables 3
Worst should have been R-rated: I, frankenstein, Expendables 3, Robocop
Worst action: Expendables 3, Robocop
Worst villain: Ronan the accuser (Guardians of the galaxy), Electro, Green Goblin, Rhino (The amazing spiderman 2)
Ronan the accuser looks amazing and Lee Pace (again!) does a fantastic job but the character is one dimensional and serves no purpose more than a threat.
Worst special effects: TMNT, the pyramid
Wasted cast: Sabotage (Arnie, Williams, Holloway, Worthington, Howard, Enos)
Worst interesting idea execution: Non-stop
Overuse of CGI: The hobbit - battle of five armies
Pointless character: Tauriel (The hobbit: battle of five armies)
Worst character: The entire lot in the "Wolf of wall street"
Worst adventure: Chinese Zodiac

And the winnter of my awards goes to "Expendables 3" with five achievements!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Top 5: The best films of 2014

Unfortunately the majority of the cinematic year 2014 had some good films, lots of average ones ("Annabelle", "Wolf of wall street", "300: rise of an empire", etc) and quite a bunch of bad ones (covered in another post). Rest assured that the list as usual is compiled of films I have seen in the big screen and I do not count those on blu ray - so the oscar nominated ones are excluded or those that are actually pretty awesome but did not have the time to actuall...see them. Here are the best films of 2014 according to me:

1. The lego movie
What a delightful surprise this film was. I was expecting a very child oriented movie and the trailers really did not do for me. But then I was so pleasantly excited and laughed my ass off when I saw the final product. Wacky, really wacky humour and a film with a huge heart towards the final (non animated) scenes blew me away. The directors did everything they could to introduce crazy but memorable characters, exquisite animation, over the top visuals and gags that actually could generate lots of smiles! Fantastic film, and a must see. And that song. That bloody awful song. It is so awful so ingenius!

"I wanna go home!"


2. Captain america the winter soldier
By far the best Marvel film in terms of structure and plot since well...Marvel became a studio. Forget the guardians of the galaxy. There is an interesting political (although a bit shallow) commentary regarding personal freedom and citizen monitorship but at the heart CA:TWS is a terrific action film with practical effects and excellent (surprisingly for a marvel movie) fight sequences. Cap really shines in this one displaying great skill and an updated chemistry with Black Widow. The chases are especially well done and the Winter Soldier is an incredible force of nature. A strong supporting cast combined with a witty (for a superhero film) script delivers the good.



3. Raid 2
WoW. Now that is what I call an action sequel that can hold its own against the mighty original. Can we copy the first one's formula? Not said the director Gareth Evans but we can put into a different context - gangster genre. As a sucker for gangster films, this was a wise decision. Not only the characters are better developed, not only the fight sequences are more brutal, not only they are more inventive in terms of environment and playground, "Raid 2" destroys any Hollywood action movie with insane stunts, camerawork of how did they pull this off and an array of utterly memorable (although a bit one dimensional sometimes characters) The final fight in the kitchen should remain as one of the brutal and insane action set pieces that requires extreme physical strength to do of all time.



4. Man of Tai Chi
Talking about another martial arts flick, Keanu Reeves directional debut is not bad. Not BAD. AT. ALL. Firstly, we have proper Cantonese and English rather that everyone speaking in one language (badly). Set in Beijing, Keanu's eye shows a great flare for visuals and fights. Fights with different styles and steady camerawork where we are allowed to experience the fight first hand with top notch choreography by Yuen Woo Ping (matrix, kill bill, iron monkey, crouching tiger hidden dragon). In addition the journey of a man towards the dark side for all the right (and wrong) reasons is actually more enganging that you thought something that provides the film a solid base and infused with solid performances, MOTC should be considered as a strong contender for Keanu's directional carreer. The man has the skills.


5. X-men: days of future past
The last one of this list is a superhero film and much to my suspicion, it is an excellent one after the disappointment and frustration of "Origins Wolverine", "the Wolverin", "Last Stand" and "First class". The Quicksilver set piece is a scene that will be imprinted in the cinematic history for its flashy visuals and excellent music timing ("Time in a bottle"). Additionally, packed with an awesome cast of cameos and main characters, "Days" is a thoughtful piece of entertainment that does not shoehorn special effects after special effects but revolves around the battle for Mystique's soul with the effects of violence in constant circles. Not bad for a superhero film that chooses to focus on emotion rather than empty spectacle. Bring on the next one.


Top 10: The worst films of 2014

These are the worst films of 2014 in no particular order. Mutliple reasons have led to their choice in the worst film list: disappointment, hyper, execution, delivery and logic. Enjoy!

1. The hobbit: Battle of the five armies
The cinematic year of 2014 should close with a big bang of awesome fantasy tale. Instead it ends with a whimper. Oh Peter Jackson, it is pretty obvious that you did not want to direct the "Hobbit" films and when Del Toro step down, not only you directed them, you made an extra one - this one right here. A film that contains so much filler that basically the plot is a battle. Yep you heard it. It is a battle. Just that. The stakes of the battle itself are not that high, the character arcs unexistent and basically those who have an arc, it does not fully resolve. Packed with extended scenes (that we will care about them in an ultimate edition), bizarre visual choices, lack of realism and proper threat while minimazing key players (Thranduil, Gandalf, BILBO!!!), "Battle of the five armies" is a mess. It does have some inspiring moments but the CGI overkill use, the persistent connections to LOTR and the empty heroes leave much to be desired. Shame

2. The pyramid
A film that is so bad that makes almost everything on this list to look like "The silence of the lambs". Seriously, from the idiotic script, to the final resolution of the mystery, to the performances, casting choices, cinematography and CGI (again!), this is a terrific cinematic abomination that does not deserve your money. Double shame because let's say that at the hands of John Carpenter and even Neil Marshal, this could be the stuff that nightmares are made off!

3. As above so below
Another archaeological expedition found footage horror film similar to the theme of "the pyramid" with only a proper bonus - it was shot in the real catacombs of Paris - ideally a creepy setting for a horror film don't you agree? However, the execution was poor and despite the lack of special effects with the main threat remain unseen, AASB does not know what to do with the material. Poor acting and terrible decision making sadly sink this thing into the cinematic abyss.

4. Chinese zodiac
The last proper stunt adventure of Jackie Chan is unfortunately not his best or among his best or among his good ones. With a terrible plot, lots of Chinese propaganda, bad special effects and underwhelming stunts, "Zodiac" offers unexciting thrills especially when there is so much more in "police story" and "armour of god". Sure we cannot expect they always likable Jackie to do insane stuntwork at his sixty but it alls feels so amateurish glued in order to get a story. 

5. The amazing spiderman 2
Where to start with this one? With all the signs screaming this is going to be another "spiderman 3", I chose to ignore them. Oh boy I was wrong. Not only they crammed so many underdeveloped villains, Electro's storyline was a copycat of Edward Nigma in "Batman Forever" which was handled there much better. Additionally, Green Goblin, the greatest foe of Spideman, was a joke with only one minute of screentime, arcs were coming and going for the sake of building a larger cinematic universe without actually adding any new exciting prospect or perspective (see PArker's parents). Rhino was a glorified cameo and the action itself not as memorable as it was in Raimi's trilogy. It fared much better in the romantic scenes with an acceptable Garfield and an awesome Stone but besides that, TAS2 was just a boring superhero film. No stakes, no imagination and no real depth. 

6. Pompeii
I am a strong supporter of Paul WS Anderson however, this time he actually had an even weaker script that than one of "the three musketeers" and his usual visual flair cannot save his latest effort from yawnings and lots of them. There is a clear copy of the "gladiator" plot so the comparisons are inevitable and the romance is absolutely riddled with cliches that everyone expects. Matters are not improved when the acting is stiffy and sometimes over the top and even the much awaited disaster sequences cannot save "Pompeii" from oblivion. MK and Event Horizon are great films in their own right and even the first REsident Evil has good qualities in it. But since 2002, he has not done something truly memorable or at least uber entertaining.

7. The expendables 3
The worst of a disappointing trilogy. Now before I proceed to explain why I hate totally this abomination, each time I manage to sit through the previous two, I realise how deeply flawed films they are and that they are not even technically good. Mel Gibson is by far the best element here with surprisingly good for this type of movie acting but he has nothing to do and his fight with Stallone an uber disappointing one. Add on that, terrible action sequences, horrible acting, the swap of the old expendables with a team of new ones who nobody cares (or knows), PG-13 rating and a lack of distinct tone and personality and this is one of the most unmemorable action movies of the last decade.

8. Teenage mutant ninja turtles
And now things are going into just plain balls territory. Fart jokes, super human turtles, an entire change in the original plot of the turtles, transformer Shredder, lack of fighting and actual ninja fighting, a creepy CGI Splinter, lame characterization, a bored William Fitchner and you have TMNT. Stay away.

9. Dracula untold
Not a terrible film again by no means and it does hold some strength in the face of Luke Evans and Charles Dance. But that's it. The re-take in the classic myth of Dracula could have been an interesting one at the hands of a better and more capable director and screenwriter. Instead there are one dimensional villains, insane editing during any fight, an anti climatic ending leaving us into WTF territory. And that cinematography. In the night scenes, you barely see the cast.

10. Paranormal activity the marked ones
Woohoo, my personal favourite of this list. The PA franchise has started well, enjoyed a dull part two, an excellent part three, an abysmal part 4 and one of the worst movies ever in part 5. Yep this one. Good call filmmakers. Milk it while you can. The characters are just plain stupid and tick every single cliche occupied in the 80's horror films in the 21st century. Things like these "Scream" was making fun off. Good feature. Performance wise is just bad as well and the entire linking with the original entry looks as silly as you witnessed the first time. Piss off movie.