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Year in Review: The Bad, The Worse, and the Ugly

I used to make a big fuss over my CINEMATIC SHAME list but this year I'm mostly just feeling the love (see also that "most moving" list share). Nevertheless tradition is tradition, so herewith a few dubious "honors" and outright dismissals from the worst of 2013

One can avoid a lot of dross if you select your own movies rather than have them assigned to you by an editor. But true terror always finds a way. Let's call this a three way tie. Identity Thief is so stuffed with uncecessary scenes and filler -- the stars don't even meet for half an hour! -- it's practically built to be ignored on cable for decades to come while you putter around your house with your phone in hand and your mind entirely elsewhere -- at least until you notice some bright color combination on Melissa McCarthy and chuckle at a line reading or two before instanteously losing interest again.

Unfortunately there's more. The Counselor, Oblivion, DianaThe Lone Ranger, Jodie Foster and more dishonors after the jump... 

The Twilight phenomena, which was hard enough to get through as it was lived, just keeps on torturing us in the form of what's sure to be endless supernatural or sci-if riffs on sullen teen girls and the boys they love or that love them. And they won't all be The Hunger Games which is like a masterwork in comparison to the bulk of the subgenre. Beautiful Creatures has ghastly visual aesthetics and performances that range from wholly inadequate to highly overcompensating but the worst of it is that it's completely misogynistic from head to toe. So let me get this straight: this is a franchise for teenage girls and your supernatural concept is that men are in charge of their own fate and can choose to be good or evil but women have no choice and it's magically decided for them at 16? YUCK.  

Finally, though it pains me to say it given my love of the original and my continued feeling that Bruce Willis is undervalued as an actor (if not a star) but A Good Day to Die Hard is a misfire on every level. Ridiculousness has a hallowed place in big action movies but ridiculousness is  only enjoyable if it's NOT paired with phoned-in/ bad performances, instantly forgettable villains and incoherent setpieces. No thanks times... whichever number of Die Hard this... five?

I've championed Claire Denis in the past (what critic hasn't?) and find even her weakest efforts to be fascinating in some measure. Everything she makes is bound to end up on someone's "best" list. But Bastards is the worst or, let me restate, the most antagonistic thing she's ever made: weirdly oblique when it calls for clarity and strangely obvious when it would be kinder to leave that to the imagination. The inevitable gross-out ending is sick-making and I left with the distinct feeling that Claire Denis was punishing me, as if I were a small dog that had pooped in the wrong place and she wanted to shame me by shoving my face in. What did I ever do to her but rush to each new work? I might conceivably say the exact same things about Ridley Scott's Cormac McCarthy's The Counselor. Yes, all of them word for word.

I'll admit up front that I was not expecting Jodie Foster to nail her role in Elysium since she previously biffed it when she picked up Evil Business Woman from the character stock bin in the otherwise stellar thriller Inside Man;  bad guys are just not her strength. But who knew she'd be much much worse on her second attempt? Jodie Foster is clean of upper lip but she's practically twirling her mustache in this grossly overplayed EVIL BITCH MASTERMIND. The unplaceable accent is the least of the problems in a stiff performance that suggests a stage performer that doesn't yet understand the intimacy of the camera. But Jodie nursed from the teat of movie cameras so what the hell is going on? Clarice has clearly been working through some issues in the past few years so hopefully she'll come out the other end of it renewed. Maybe then her work, in whatever form it takes, will return to its former 90s glory. It'll be an outright pity if this is her final screen bow. 

People are always bitching about actresses using botox but when their male counterparts do it I don't hear people going on and on about their wax sculpture stand-ins. In fairness to Tom Cruise [SPOILER ALERT] he is playing a clone in Oblivion so there is a certain amount of "off" that would be a legitimate acting choice... but this doesn't feel like an "off" human, merely an "off" star. [/SPOILER] People have said many things about this bonafide movie star over the years but one thing that's rarely been said by anyone with any degree of common sense or cinematic knowledge prior to the Katie Holmes unraveling is that he lacked for star charisma. That Cruise is missing in Oblivion which is... unfortunate?

Was it just me or was Andrea Riseborough actually excellent in Oblivion? She's just 'off' enough to be utterly in tune with the movie's sci-fi conceit but human and rounded enough to make you feel for and understand her ultimately pathetic choices. This is at least the third time in as many years that she's been running circles around her movie or breaking out of the tiny limits of her role. That should earn her a big proper star vehicle or at least interest from a top flight auteur, right? 

Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm in Only God Forgives

How can Stanley Tucci be so great at playing an unctious cartoon in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and so terrible at the same job in Jack the Giant Slayer. (This is so shades of 2009: How can Stanley Tucci be so great in Julie & Julia and be so terrible in The Lovely Bones and get Oscar nominated for the latter instead of the former?) 

Diana starring Naomi Watts ... but Glenn already covered that

Though Ryan Gosling was fairly riveting in the first act of The Place Beyond the Pines, once you combine that with his role in Gangster Squad and his role in Only God Forgives, it becomes clear: directors have decided he does one thing really well - variations on the theme of his character in Drive. He is an expert at playing brooding, softspoken or not speaking, violent men who get weirdly vulnerable around women despite their cooler-than-thou facades. Though that's not exactly a one note typecasting problem, it is also not enough notes -- at least when they're always together for the same chord -- for an actor of his calibre. I'm already trying to guess which director might give him a chance to reach for notes he hasn't tried to sing before.

"stop sulking Ryan, ACT"

Multiple celebrity cameos in 12 Years a Slave. People like to blame Pitt but I personally think he's not the problem. By the time he's arrived you're used to every face being famous. Lee Daniels' the Butler has the same tendency but it's less distracting because the movie is so much less sober and has a touch of that undisciplined Lee Daniels' what the hell why not quality. But when Solomon is brutally kidnapped and tossed into the unknown at the mercy of unmerciful strangers... shouldn't the faces staring back at us be less familiar than those of say Giamatti, Dano and Cumberbatch? At least at the start. (But the movie is so potent that even this flaw matters not)

Mila Kunis, is not without talent but a stylized bright green wicked witch is beyond her skill set... especially when her screen sister totally understands how to do heightened fantasy OR George Clooney being George Clooney in outer space. Jesus, he's not even trying. Stop taking me out of the movie with your Hollywood Royalty charm! He was more visibly shaken by running in flip flops in The Descendant than he is when fighting for his life / oxygen in Gravity

God, there's always such a surplus of candidates for this "honor". Too many to choose from each year... so maybe The Lone Ranger?  

Fruitvale's "symbolic" dead dog. Ugh, they didn't workshop this out in the screenwriting lab? 

The Wolverine 

August: Osage County... still not open. And promoted and teased in such a way that I fear one can't discuss it and that it can't even exist without the context of its Oscar campaign. Will the movie magically dematerialize on March 3rd when the Academy closes up shop for the season?  

Her would have made such a perfect September platform release a la Lost in Translation with plenty of time for people to ruminate in its delicate melancholies and provocative arcs or at least bask in the thoughtful world building... before rushing to the next Christmas movie. 

Behind the Candelabra in that it didn't have one. They didn't want that movie in theaters? Every year we see plenty of biopics that are less bankable than that one in actual theaters. Mandela: the Long Walk to Freedom anyone? It would've totally made money. And been up for Oscars.   


What cinematic "honors" would you name as Worst of This and Unfortunate of That?



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Reader Comments (41)

I can't FUCKING believe it! You liked Riseborough too, Nathaniel? I LOVED her in this otherwise MEH film. Riseborough in "Oblivion" is to me as Fassbender in "Prometheus is to you. She was utterly amazing.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

re: 12 Years a Slave cameo

I was fine with Giamatti and Cumberbatch. Dano just plays characters you want to throttle. Pitt was okay, but the way the film introduced him was rather inelegant and that played far worse for me then his actual performance.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Riseborough is actually one of my five candidates for Best Supporting Actress.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Lots of shite for the year (currently working through 51 of them on my FB feed). Agree with you on IDENTITY THIEF, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (the worst part of that one was the many times they referenced the original - bad guy pretending to be a good guy, jumping off roofs, shooting glass, etc. - which just reminded me of where this woinderful franchise started) and OBLIVION.

My worst of the year, however, would have to be OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN - movie-making-by-formula at it's worst, and the world IQ level reduced substantially just because of the mere fact that people (including me) went and saw this movie.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Can Jodie Foster be saved? Now that she is out for good, I really don't expect good roles to come her way. She'll be the lesbian villain forever, which is the worst thing that can happen to her. I think she should quit genre movies NOW and look for a true auteur (a woman would be nice) who may see her beyond that fierce bitch. It'd be nice if she worked with, maybe, Lisa Chodolenko. It'd be nice if she could play a lesbian role, too, but a human one, not a cartoon.

Go indie, baby.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Passion wins my 'is anyone even on the same page here' award. Noomi Rapace is utterly at sea, Rachel McAdams is at least trying but seems utterly miscast, and de Palma sorts of panics two thirds through and shovels on (even more) Hitchcock references.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

I didn't find anything distracting in the casting of the supporting actors in "12 Years a Slave."

But the hammy, wax-like,cameos in "The Butler," were too much. Razzies for Cusack and Fonda. And casting Minka Kelly as Jacqueline Kennedy was an abomination.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

I really liked Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines. It's easily my favorite performance of his since Half Nelson. I'd say Blue Valentine, but I found the almost cartoonish tough guy mannerisms off putting on repeat viewings. I can't blame him for Only God Forgives when he's not one of two characters with an actual role (Kristin Scott Thomas and the Angel of Death/detective are the only actual characters in the film, everyone else is just kind of floating around).

Yes to Fruitvale Station. That scene so threw me out of the film that I never recovered and invested again. Forget the heavy handed symbolism. It's bad when I'm sitting in the theater and going "Oh, God, no" when a dog walks onscreen. You knew what was going to happen right away and there was no surprise or nuance.

I actually like Jodi Foster in Elysium, but I also liked that film more than a lot of people. To be honest, I think the big problem was that Matt Damon was acting in a serious drama while everyone else with more than two lines realized it was stylized sci-fi pulp.

Worst release date? I'd vote for Thor: The Dark World. They had to know The Hunger Games was going to knock it out of the number 1 spot. Disney had a chance to come out on top with Frozen since it appealed to a younger audience, but Thor was going to be out in a week. How stupid. We could have used a bland but agreeable blockbuster in October since Carrie was the only horror film we got.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Ryan Gosling was superb--and completely un-Ryan Gosling--in "Lars and the Real Girl." It, plus "Half Nelson," are indicators of how truly remarkable he can be as an actor when he's not relying on guns (both shooting and muscles) and weird hairdos.

Was anyone besides me as turned off by "Nebraska," and its snarky, sour tone with a bunch of hateful people--and then in the last 5 minutes it tries for the "hey, we're just kidding, we're really warm and fuzzy at heart" bit? Nope, not buying it. (I also didn't go for the chipper, "Ballroom dance your way to mental health!" B.S. of "Silver Linings Playbook" last year, though Jennifer Lawrence tried valiantly to give it it every shred of integrity that she possesses.)

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDback

To me, the worst are all the Twilight wannabes, which include Beautiful Creatures (isn't it a wonder how they can gather so many great actresses like Emma Thompson, Viola Davis and Emmy Rossum and yet delivered a dud), The Host and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

I didn't realize until you pointed it out that Stanley Tucci played so many cartoon characters this year, added in another one: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Has he actually come to the point in his career that cartoon character is his only choice?

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I loved Jodie Foster in Inside Man. I never thought Spike Lee would be the one to have her show off legs and get to be so enjoyably bitchy. Totally agree with you on how Terrible she was in Elysium.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJtagliere

Captain Phillips should have opened in the summer. An adult action pic against all the "big car, small dick" films that appeared.

Wolf should have waited until Feb. where it could be the only show in town and the "outrage" die down before awards season.

Saving Mr. Banks would have benefited from a summer opening as well.

I don't watch Cruise movies anymore. The more he protests, the more I wonder and I don't need to spend $12 to distract myself looking for tell=tale signs in either direction.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Riseborough is indeed the best thing about the otherwise terrible OBLIVION.

My worst (from films that got released so no festival titles) would be...

1. Bridegroom
2. Charlie Countryman
3. Some Velvet Morning
4. Grown Ups 2
5. Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor
6. I Give It a Year
7. Texas Chainsaw 3D (owner of the worst plot hole in cinema history)
8. Sal
9. After Earth
10. Oblivion


Worst Actor: Jaden Smith, AFTER EARTH. Sorry kid, you ain't an actor yet. Josh Pais in TOUCHY FEELY a close second.

Worst Actress: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, TEMPTATION? Loved her on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, but she's clearly never been around anybody who snorts cocaine and has hot sex because he nose sniffing, twitchy performance was all wrong. Jodie Foster would be close though. And I want to say Amy Acker for MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING because, good grief, she was so unlikeable as Beatrice, but then she had the performance of Emma Thompson hanging over her so maybe not her fault.

Pearls Before Swine: Yeah, probably Riseborough. I *want* to say Lindsay Lohan in THE CANYONS and yet only for one specific scene in which she is excellent.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I tend to blame the horrible dubbing for just how bad Jodie Foster was in Elysium, seeing as half the time it was such an obvious dub and distracting as hell. THAT SAID, we can probably blame Elysium for everything that's wrong with Elysium, including Jodie Foster. She's not even the top of that list. Not even close.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPitry

Guys, Riseborough also did amazing work in the (otherwise forgettable) Disconnect early this year. She's crushing it lately.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

August: Osage County

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Yup, they (whichever studios rejected it) really dropped the ball on Behind the Candelabra. It would've totally done well in limited release and Michael Douglas or Matt Damon probably would've won the damn Oscar.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I LOVE the comparison between Riseborough and Fassbender (in Prometheus last year). Sci-fi performers already have to jump thru hoops to get attention come awards-time, and when you combine 'sci-fi' with 'action' and 'summer blockbuster', awards attention is near impossible - even if the performance is completely deserving. Which is frustrating because sci-fi has given some great character actors some real interesting notes to play over the years.

I find it weird that Cruise is 'Worst Actor' - I thought that he was fine in the role - not bad or horrible at all.

I also second Robert G's appreciation of Gosling in Place Behind the Pines but do find Nat's commentary amusing because I the shades of his character in 'Drive' were super noticeable.

I also enjoy how you switch out 'Jodie" and 'Clarice' within the post. You can do that as much as you like - we know who you're talking about!

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

I've watched 130 movies so far this year (only 10 mainstream) and these are my least favorite ones (some were not released this year). It was a good year for me in choosing what to see because from #6 on, the movies are actually ok, but still personally bothered me the most.

Least Favorite Movies seen in 2013:
1. All is Lost
2. Spring Breakers
3. The Place Beyond the Pines
4. Dark Horse
5. The Butler
6. The Bling Ring
7. Frances Ha
8. Argo
9. The Paperboy
10. All is Bright

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Goodbar

Frances Ha was my disappointment of the year. I wanted to believe in it; I already have a crush on its star, the film could do nothing to undo or add on to that. It should have been better but maybe the enthusiastic response is responsible for my deflated reaction.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

You've got a movie called "August: Osage County" and you don't release it in August? With a cast that big and that kind of history, it's a movie that needs an earlier release date so that people can discuss and pick their favorites.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSanty.C

Andrea Riseborough is in my Supporting Actress list right now. She IS pretty darn great in "Oblivion". I liked "Oblivion" better than I expected because of her.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

I look for history to view AOC with almost the same disbelief as Bonfire of the Vanities. How could they manage to mess up such great material on so many levels. Director, casting (yes, it most certainly could have been cast better, especially Violet), script....and launch. I agree about August being the month for this to debut. Its never going to play to wide audiences without word of mouth, so open it in a quiet month and let the word carry it forward. Its going to fade at the box office. There are just too many good films playing at the same time for people to go out of their way for a so-so film. They say people don't listen to reviews, but they will listen when they say "Streep is good, but she's been better." and stay away or go see AH which they hear is fun with great acting with stars and clothes they used to own.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

"Will the movie magically dematerialize on March 3rd when the Academy closes up shop for the season?"

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I thought Gosling was bad in both Only God Forgives and The Place Beyond the Pines but the crucial difference is- One movie feels like he is rotten to the core and punishes him while the other valorizes him. Also, Gosling was in OGF as a favor to Refn when Luke Evans stepped out of lead and it shows it was a pretty last minute thing. He had no real handle of it and blankness nearly sunk it. Meanwhile he's Cianfrance's avatar but I find that avatar wholly unbelievable as a real person let alone an archetype. That crying scene at St. John's moved some people but to me just another unbelievable valorization and don't get me started on the infant no longer crying in his arms.

Pansringarm and KST owned Only God Forgives. I can't help but feel had an Oscar Isaac/Tom Hardy/Mads Mikkelsen been in the Gosling role, or even the originally cast Luke Evans, we might have something there. Gosling's profile drew too much attention from the film and it didn't help that in Drive, Refn is guilty of what Cianfrance has also done with Gosling- valorizing him (especially when the films he was influenced by had cold distance to those protagonists). Hard to go from The Driver to Julian. It's my favorite failed art film and I don't mind defending what it is beyond Gosling who is just plain miscast. Julian's nothing like The Driver. If that were the case, I think more people besides Peter Bradshaw or Simon Abrams would go to bat for it.

Bastards is in my Top 5 but I get it. It's a hard watch and I can see why it would trigger people to be turned off by its powers. That said, is it really more brutal than Trouble Every Day? Because there is a scene in Trouble Every Day up there with Audition and even more twisted, the carnal sensuality in that scene that turns into brutality is so masterfully delayed until suddenly we have full-on cannibalism. Interesting you have that reaction to the ending. If anything there is an opening left for justice and sorry, the wordless end to Lola Creton's character is one of the best, mesmerizing scenes of the year.

ben1283- Honestly, I just flat-out question Rapace's actual skills as an actress yet in DePalma movies that almost doesn't matter. McAdams, however, was absolutely game and definitely earned some brownie points with me. She's essentially Regina George, grown-up. Hardly a miscast. And at this stage in the game, you can't really call DePalma a rip-off artist. Passion was, as Scott Tobias noted, a kind of greatest hits film. Just imagine screening that to a bunch of DePalma fans and what the movie is aiming for, would elicit some Rocky Horror level audience adulation. Most of the DePalma fans I know, really liked it.

Andrea Riseborough should fire her agent. Then again, she got in with the next David Milch TV project, so maybe she already did.

Not to pick on such a small film but Escape from Tomorrow is a vile, hateful, sophomoric debut that has no understanding of structure or surrealism. Its Sundance raves will forever cement why people are always suspicious with that festival's hype. It's not Primer, it's not any interesting small lo-fi sci-fi indie that deserves to have Champions. Instead it's basically in the tradition of Troll 2 level of heinousness but one that is also trying to be edgy by being so consciously sexist and perverted. What an awful, awful movie. Disney should've sued to save anybody associated with that film.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

The worst offender, easy. The Butler. It was a complete over the top melodrama. Most all the family scenes, were awful.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

If I were to come up with a Worst Scene ballot, Fruitvale Station would grab all of the nominations. The dead dog scene was tortuous, yes, but the "Mommy where's Daddy?", "Maybe you should get the train", "I used to be a corporate criminal and I'm gonna tell you about it even though I just met you" etc etc were just as unsavoury/cheap/Crash-level-manipulative.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

There cannot be too much praise for Riseborough in Oblivion, so: God bless Andrea Risborough in Oblivion. Probably not in my top 5 Supporting Actresses, but in my top 10, for certain.

CMG: Oh my god, THANK YOU for saying that about Escape from Tomorrow. Such a dismal waste of a once-in-a-lifetime location opportunity.

December 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

Nat, did you embargo my post? ;-)

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Mot laughable scene Oprah's death in The Buter the last scenes with her were awful and had Daniels written all over them,such bad taste.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

I've been waiting for Riseboroughs breakthrough for years. She is so stunning in "Shadow Dancer", still so criminally underused.

As for "Only God Forgives", I didn't find it that bad. It's ridiculous but also strangely hypnotic and positively over-the-top. KST as a badass Donatella Versace look-a-like alone is worth the watch.

I totally agree with Glenn on Charlie Countryman. I saw it at the Berlin International Filmfestival and it was such a mess. People startet booeing throughout it. Such a ridiculous, cliche-ridden movie has seldomly made the festival list (with exception of l2012's "About Cherry).

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTobi Burns

Happy to see how many people liked Andrea R. I did too (I also liked Oblivion's score and production design). And I agree on 12 Years a Slave/Most Distracting Casting. The constant stream of famous faces took me out of the film.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

My vote for worst of year goes to Out of the Furnace. Idiotic macho machismo bullshit. Despite committed actors & competent filmmaking I hated story & couldn't connect.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Really well written piece Nathaniel. Admission time though, I quite enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, if only for its two leads sparky chemistry and Emma eating the scenery.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Z

I've seen 115 movies from 2013 and liked the vast majority of them - I managed to miss most of the titles folks are singling out here, so I guess I'm lucky.

That said, my three least favorite films are A TEACHER, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL and THE WE AND THE I. A Teacher is horrible, affected little minimalist indie, OZ is an empty, CGI'd-to-death spectacle that drones on and on for 130 minutes when 90 would've done just fine, and The We and the I is just intolerable on every level - I kept hoping the city bus on which these asshole NYC teenagers were traveling would drive off an overpass or something.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Oh no! To hear that Jodie Foster actually sucked in Elysium, is like cursing in church. I really like Foster and I hope she migrates to France and get some French female lead there. She is fluent in French.

So really?! Tom Cruise has a botox face? I can clearly see wrinkles and he can actually express himself like smile and so on without looking like a Stepford Housband

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Jodie Foster was no the only terrible things about "Elysium" even the always reliable Matt Damon could not save it.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Don't get the Cruise botox thing at all. If he's had work done, it looks completely natural. I thought he was very good in Oblivion, much better suited for this than Jack Reacher. Riseborough milked tons of nuance of out every one-word line. I'm a fan of Oblivion as a whole and thought the villain was efffectively disturbing and scary.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMB76

HANDS DOWN my least favorite movie of the year was Oz the Great and Powerful. I hated it with a passion. Every aspect of it just seemed badly done to me, but what really makes me all ragey is how utterly sexist it is. Just seems like an effrontery to Baum who had such spunky females in his books.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannahlily

I didn't mind the dead dog scene in FS so much. Maybe it's because up until then, the movie was so lacking in stylization (I don't mean that as a negative) and succession of normal activities that a jolt of weird premonition felt necessary at hand, even a contrived one. I also don't get why the "take the train" line is bagged on so much--it felt less like an Important Ironic Moment! than a normal, sweet gesture from his mother. The scene with Octavia Spencer at the end would have been shattering regardless of whether they had had that moment or not.

Not sure what exactly is wrong with the daughter's line at the end, either. Is it really that manipulative to show the fallout of the protagonist's death, which is pretty much the entire point of the movie?

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

I saw the Razzie list for Worst Supporting Actor and...Kevin Costner for Man of Steel wasn't even on the long list. REALLY? Mel Gibson in Machete Kills or Franco in Homefront (probably Franco in Homefront, who's kinda viewed as a relative best in show) probably should have been sliced to make room for him. Even with the bizarre inhuman borders of that character concept, he's still as bad as you could be with a Christopher Nolan character, even worse than Katie Holmes in Batman Begins. (And they NOMINATED that performance!)

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

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