The Big Picture: The Terrible Twenty Films of 2014 Part 2

Paul Nhhdmmsh

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Orci & Kurtzman are the pits. Not really liking their buddy Lindelof either. I wish all 3 would just quit permanently. On another note, I'm surprised Left Behind didn't make the top(or is that the bottom) 10.
 

PunkRex

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piscian said:
Theres a lot of european forum goers on here and it pains me to imagine what they must think when introduced to these crazy american/religious propaganda movies. For what its worth though Bob saw them, other than I Origins to a lesser exist, 90% of americans are unaware any of these movies exist. They're sort of like the Christian Patriot version of Art house film. Actually Forget I said anything about Christian patroits they're too hard to explain too. Why Bob bothered to watch them is beyond me. I don't think any of these played in most theaters.
Don't worry fella, despite what the more vocal individuals of the internet may lead you too believe, I would argue most Europeans don't consider most Americans, fat, racist, Christian cowboys.

walsfeo said:
MatsVS said:
Wait... Kevin Sorbo was in... that? This is really disappointing. He was Hercules, dammit!
Sorbo has gone kinda nuts, I'm not really surprised that he'd be in anything just to get more screen time. That said, the movie is his kind of crazy.
Oh, no, not Sorbo too. Why do childhood icons always end up with the crazies?
 

Dakkagor

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Mandalore_15 said:
So it looks that - to at least some extent - Bob's SJW tendencies are starting to invade his critical faculties, i.e. his ability to do his job. Looks like I'm going to have to look elsewhere for my film reviews. AGAIN.
What? What film made it onto this list due to 'SJW tendencies'? Or has SJW become gamergater code for 'someone who doesn't agree with me or my narrow world view.'

tyriless said:
Curious to which movie you are objecting to being in his Top Ten Worst. My guess would be American Sniper. Is it? Now I am hoping that it is American Sniper because, if it's not, that means it's likely is God is Dead. By the way, you might confusing the social justice warrior with his liberalism or maybe they are the same in your mind. Oh god, is the movie I, Origins?
I too am curious. Doubt we'll get an answer though.
 

azriel2422

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I agree with the movies he chose, and though I don't think the new TMNT was a great movie, I reluctantly admit that I enjoyed watching it. Megan Fox is just the worst, but fortunately she is not a major focus of the movie once the Turtles show up. I bought it on Blue Ray and have watched it a few times since. I can't say that for the recent Spider-Man movies(which I haven't bought any after Spiderman 2) or ANY Transformers movie. I was entertained by the turtles; I don't think it was the offensive cinematic experience that Bob did. But to each his own :).
 

Comradeweldor

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Is anyone else having problems with the videos lately? All I seem to get is an ad for the escapist YouTube channel and that it.
 

T8B95

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In I Origins is that...no, it can't be...

*Looks it up on IMDB*

God fucking damn it. Michael Pitt's in it. Michael Pitt from Boardwalk Empire, Seven Psychopaths, and Hannibal.

Jesus Christ. Did he lose a bet or something?
 

lionday

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hentropy said:
On one hand, the Christian movies do look really bad, especially I Origin which looks like it completely misunderstands/misrepresents Hinduism and other eastern philosophies.

On the other hand, I can't help but think the various western atheists basically invited this type of stuff to happen due to happily walking into the "we're gonna take away Christmas and call you all dummies for believing in God" trap that was set years ago. If they had just not been dicks about the whole thing there wouldn't be nearly as much open hostility toward the very idea of atheism.
Haven't seen I Origin. ( Though it doesn't look like a christian movie more like a creationist. There is a difference.)

Anyways I watched God's not Dead and found it.... not as bad as I expected and actually fun to watch, to make fun of. Honestly the movie is harmless, not the best, not top 2 worthy but still a pretty bad film.

Though that kid hitting scene, man did I like that.
The father isn't displayed as evil you see him instantly regret his choice. However it's understandable why he made that choice and you feel terrible for the family. It was a surprising scene.
 

haruvister

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I get that Bob isn't too down with the whole Christianity thing, but for those bundling I Origins with those cheap propaganda pieces, please watch the film with an open mind. For me - an atheist, by the way - I Origins was one of the best films of 2014. Moving, intelligent, and quietly mind-blowing. Mike Cahill made the equally interesting Another Earth, which similarly looked like a sci-fi movie but was really exploring a simple yet profound philosophical conundrum.
 

hentropy

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lionday said:
hentropy said:
On one hand, the Christian movies do look really bad, especially I Origin which looks like it completely misunderstands/misrepresents Hinduism and other eastern philosophies.

On the other hand, I can't help but think the various western atheists basically invited this type of stuff to happen due to happily walking into the "we're gonna take away Christmas and call you all dummies for believing in God" trap that was set years ago. If they had just not been dicks about the whole thing there wouldn't be nearly as much open hostility toward the very idea of atheism.
Haven't seen I Origin. ( Though it doesn't look like a christian movie more like a creationist. There is a difference.)

Anyways I watched God's not Dead and found it.... not as bad as I expected and actually fun to watch, to make fun of. Honestly the movie is harmless, not the best, not top 2 worthy but still a pretty bad film.

Though that kid hitting scene, man did I like that.
The father isn't displayed as evil you see him instantly regret his choice. However it's understandable why he made that choice and you feel terrible for the family. It was a surprising scene.
haruvister said:
I get that Bob isn't too down with the whole Christianity thing, but for those bundling I Origins with those cheap propaganda pieces, please watch the film with an open mind. For me - an atheist, by the way - I Origins was one of the best films of 2014. Moving, intelligent, and quietly mind-blowing. Mike Cahill made the equally interesting Another Earth, which similarly looked like a sci-fi movie but was really exploring a simple yet profound philosophical conundrum.

I Origins isn't quite a Christian film, it "presents" the concept of Hindu reincarnation as a central plot point in the film, the protagonist being a quintessential "snobby atheist" turning his nose up at religion for not believing in evolution, only to be proven "wrong" with rather juvenile appeals to the unknown (just because you can't see God doesn't mean there isn't one, etc) and that eyes get reincarnated from person to person, proving that God exists. It's actually a fairly well-made film mechanically, but people find it detestable because they see it as a covert attempt to turn young people away from atheism (not TOWARD anything in particular, but that atheism is not the cool thing) by making God a more open, hip concept that they can get behind. So it's not quite like God Isn't Dead or any number of other purely Christian cinema, but some find it perhaps more insidious. It could be considered a new strategy that focuses on painting atheism as a soulless or unfulfilling religion (not just the absence of one) next to all the others, whose practitioners are all crabby and pompous sciency types who spend their time staring at beakers while all the spiritual types go out and like, live life, man.

However, like I said, in some ways atheists generally deserve that, so long as they confirm every suspicion of atheist detractors with many of the spokesmen BEING snarky and pompous, and filing lawsuits over nativity scenes.

My main problem with it, as a Buddhist and someone who knows a good bit about Hinduism, presenting the Hindu (which is not the same as Buddhist) reincarnation aspect without also presenting the other parts of the religion and the things it espouses is irresponsible. I have no problem with explorations of different philosophies and cultures (obviously, if I'm a Buddhist), but it doesn't make much of an attempt to explore it beyond "see, God exists" and a kindergartner's understanding of reincarnation.
 

OldKingClancy

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scw55 said:
I'm hoping for a good Christian movie or movie based from Biblical narratives that is actually good.
I'm tired to evading giving reasons to my sister why I want to not watch certain films because I lack the heart to tell her "It looks awful and terrible". I respect her opinions on certain films and I don't want to influence her perception of them if she sincerely chooses to watch them. I'm just tired of finding an honest way to explain "PLEASE DON'T FORCE ME TO WATCH IT" without being a dick.

I'm confident it is possible to do good Christian movies. I suppose the lack of funding could be an issue since there seems to be a "that's lame" stigma attached to the idea of faith.

We live in hope. It's most likely also quite a mega irony to benefit financially from Religion.
Check out Calvary from last year, easily one of the best films of 2014 and one of the most intelligent handling's of Christianity, possibly ever.

It's one of the few films to actually say that Christianity has it's faults and one of the main themes of the film is how little impact religion has on a modern culture. But it also brings up the fact that Christianity is about acceptance, forgiveness and for all it's flaws it's still something a lot of people find peace with. The main character is a priest who isn't a goody two shoes saint, he gets angry, he gets judgemental at the people around him who call out the failings of the Church while not accepting their own faults but at heart he's a good man and in the end that is what makes the character.

I may have gone on a bit there, seriously though check it out because it really is a fantastic film.
 

Hawki

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Great to see I'm not the only person who saw Calvary. I'd have to say it's the best film I saw in 2014 (or at least, film that was released in 2014). I've heard people say that it's an anti-Catholic film (or at least Catholic Church, as per the sex scandals), but I'm inclined to disagree, in that the most decent person in the film is the Catholic priest, who while possessing his flaws, is a good person at heart. The theme of Calvary is, IMO, that religion (and not just Christianity) has its pros and cons, and that being Christian/Buddhist/Atheist doesn't make you anything in itself. Individuals are individuals. Religious belief, or lack of it, is a facet of being an individual.

So yes. I'd definately recommend Calvary. I'm not sure if I'd call it a "Christian film" per se (as its subject matter extends beyond religion), but if it is indeed a "Christian film," then it's still a stellar example of one. And this is coming from someone whose irreligious.

Since the topic has come up, it's already been pointed out that 'Prince of Egypt' is a good example of a film that uses Abrahamic lore to tell a story, and to that I say, yes. It's a good film, and you should definately see it. To mention another example, there's 'The Way.' Average, and Christianity isn't really the focus, but it still features. Might be worth a look if you're into character introspection.
 

Tim Chuma

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Don't feel so bad about Spiderman, here's Super Inframan being awesome
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRQXtWuQcjw
 

Rowan93

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hentropy said:
On one hand, the Christian movies do look really bad, especially I Origin which looks like it completely misunderstands/misrepresents hinduism and other eastern philosophies.

On the other hand, I can't help but think the various western atheists basically invited this type of stuff to happen due to happily walking into the "we're gonna take away Christmas and call you all dummies for believing in God" trap that was set years ago. If they had just not been dicks about the whole thing there wouldn't be nearly as much open hostility toward the very idea of atheism.
Not that the asshole atheists aren't a thing, but I'm pretty sure open hostility toward the very idea of atheism is centuries older than The God Delusion. And I think there's enough of a tendency towards that in certain religious people today that many of them complaining about such atheists are just applying the stereotype du jour, and admitting to being an atheist is enough to piss them off.
 

ExileNZ

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MovieBob said:
The Terrible Twenty Films of 2014 Part 2

Bob finishes up his list of the worst movies of 2014.

Watch Video
You know, I honestly get the impression that for Transcendence and Robocop, you and I didn't quite watch the same films.

Don't get me wrong, both had serious flaws - the "copper wire will protect you from wifi" thing in Transcendence and Kevin Costner's almost completely shoe-horning himself into the villain's corner at the last minute in Robocop stick out most immediately for me (really, there was literally zero reason to bring Murphey's wife to the roof, letalone pull a gun on her, but I digress).

But in Transcendence I never got the feeling that we were *supposed* to root for the anti-tech guys as the film went on. For me it felt more like a warning of how easy it is for perfectly reasonable people (most of the main cast) to get sucked into such a fear-mongering, dogmatic mindset. All *any* of them needed to do, his wife especially, was just ask him directly what he was planning to do - and he would have told them, like he always did. And they could have all gone "Ohhhhhhhhhhh, we were sure dicks about it" and everyone could've lived happily ever after. That's not even a stretch - terrible, *terrible* science aside, that's what it *felt* like the movie was getting at, while still relating to the fear that drove everyone's actions and the obligatory "Playing God is wrong" message (cf. Freeman saying "She has to get out of there" after seeing her happy for the first time since her husband's death).

As for Robocop, helped by Samuel L M-F Jackson's opening and ending scenes, the whole thing basically felt like a parody of the film you described in your review. Maybe it wasn't as good as the orginal or as hard-hitting in the delivery of its message (honestly I've forgotten most of it already and I hardly remember any of the characters), but it did seem to be more poking fun at the film you reviewed than embodying it.

Annnd that's kinda it from me.

My captcha talked about robots tho. Foreshadowing?
 

hentropy

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Rowan93 said:
hentropy said:
On one hand, the Christian movies do look really bad, especially I Origin which looks like it completely misunderstands/misrepresents hinduism and other eastern philosophies.

On the other hand, I can't help but think the various western atheists basically invited this type of stuff to happen due to happily walking into the "we're gonna take away Christmas and call you all dummies for believing in God" trap that was set years ago. If they had just not been dicks about the whole thing there wouldn't be nearly as much open hostility toward the very idea of atheism.
Not that the asshole atheists aren't a thing, but I'm pretty sure open hostility toward the very idea of atheism is centuries older than The God Delusion. And I think there's enough of a tendency towards that in certain religious people today that many of them complaining about such atheists are just applying the stereotype du jour, and admitting to being an atheist is enough to piss them off.
It's a little disingenuous to suggest there was open hostility toward atheism- on one hand it's true, atheism was more or less illegal in the Christian west- on the other hand there wasn't really any attempts to discredit or attack its ideas, why would you waste your time on something that doesn't exist in any kind of significant number? Atheists still existed because you don't have to wear it on your sleeve and you can still go and perform any kind of ritual required of you by society.

It's markedly different now, now that there is a significant open atheist population. Atheism has attempted to become a "brand" like all the other religions, with organizations pushing atheist views and secularism. Since it is, at its heart, a blank slate, it makes it more threatening than other religions that come with their own set of issues and things to learn. Someone can become an atheist with little to no effort. But now you see Christians trying to define the character of atheists as a group in a similar way as other religions. That cold science is their religion and Charles Darwin is their prophet. It's not something that is super recent, but it has ramped up in recent years as Christians see the rise of organized and pushy atheism.
 

Ashley Blalock

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2014 the year I almost decided to give up on movies for good. A handful of good films in 2014, but it seems like you had to crawl around in a sewer to find that candy bar still in the wrapper.
 

Strain42

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I think the thing that personally bugs me the most about the ASM movies (aside from me just personally not liking them) is that I have yet to see anybody give reasons why they thought they were good that aren't either trying to badmouth the Raimi movies for comparison, or just gushing about how much they love Andrew Garfield because his ass looks amazing in the Spidey suit (I have a lot of female friends...)

But it's weird because I've listened to the criticisms people have for the Raimi movies when trying to praise the ASM movies and they usually don't match up.

I hear things like "Spiderman 3 was over cluttered with way too many villains." Now admittedly it's been a while since I've seen that movie, but it had 3, right? Sandman, Hobgoblin, and Venom. ASM also had 3 with Rhino, Electro, and Green Goblin, while ALSO setting up more villains for future movies like Vulture and Dr. Octopus. And yes, I know Rhino wasn't in the film much, but he was heavily advertised as if he was going to be.

Then I've also heard complaints that Raimi's Peter Parker was so stereotypically nerdy that it was actually offensive to nerds. And to those people I ask...did you watch ASM2? Electro's human character was so off the rails nerdy it made Duayne Dibbley look like Buddy Love.

I know a lot of people who have enjoyed the ASM films, and y'know what...that's totally fine. They did, I didn't, that's fine. That's how opinions work.

I just wish I could hear people explain why they find them good that don't boil down to badmouthing the Raimi movies. Because that doesn't explain why it's GOOD, that just explains why they find it better than the Raimi ones.

A slap in the face is better than a kick in the balls, but I'm not gonna say a slap in the face is my idea of a good time.
 

Thomas Hardy

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hentropy said:
It's a little disingenuous to suggest there was open hostility toward atheism- on one hand it's true, atheism was more or less illegal in the Christian west- on the other hand there wasn't really any attempts to discredit or attack its ideas, why would you waste your time on something that doesn't exist in any kind of significant number? Atheists still existed because you don't have to wear it on your sleeve and you can still go and perform any kind of ritual required of you by society.

It's markedly different now, now that there is a significant open atheist population. Atheism has attempted to become a "brand" like all the other religions, with organizations pushing atheist views and secularism. Since it is, at its heart, a blank slate, it makes it more threatening than other religions that come with their own set of issues and things to learn. Someone can become an atheist with little to no effort. But now you see Christians trying to define the character of atheists as a group in a similar way as other religions. That cold science is their religion and Charles Darwin is their prophet. It's not something that is super recent, but it has ramped up in recent years as Christians see the rise of organized and pushy atheism.
From my perspective, this looks less and less like "pushy atheists" and more and more like "atheists pushing back". For example, take many Christian groups lobbying several U.S. States to change the science curriculum to teach "intelligent desigh" rather than evolutionary biology.

Maybe I'm misreading your tone but I'm hearing you say that atheism is only okay so long as you're a "closet" atheist. In North America atheists (or Deists in my case) have the same right to publicly share their beliefs (or in this case, rejection of a belief) as any of their other neighbours. Respectfully sharing one's thoughts on a subject is not an attack upon the beliefs of one's religious neighbours. It is simply expressing your own beliefs. Unfortunately, it just so happens that many of one's neighbours are often scared or insulted by the idea that the diety or dieties they believe in very strongly don't exist. After all, to reject the existence of dieties involves directly or indirectly asserting the universe is a cold and empty place where nothing but other unreliable humans can stop bad things from happening. Followed by death. And then nothing.

Consequently, since atheists keep talking about scary things, religious types tend to protect their beliefs by framing the "God Debate" as "science vs religion" and misrepresenting atheists as worshipers of science. This despite the fact that atheists by definition don't "worship" anything! Atheism is not a religion! Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Period. While we're at it, while you might find the odd atheist "club" or something, you'll never find "organized" atheism in the same sense as church groups or other forms of "organized" religious belief. What you're seeing is more and more high-profile individual atheists getting public recognition of and for their beliefs.

Or, to put this another way (I'm a Neil deGrasse Tyson fan): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy5yWdVHv3o

I just wish that for once that scriptwriters for these religious movies would actually let God linger on the other side of the "gaps" rather than outright "prove" his existance. It would probably make for a much more effective narrative. But then again, these movies aren't for me.