tiff 2014

The 5 worst movies at TIFF 2014

Not everything at TIFF can be great. Given the volume of movies that appear at the festival, everything being good would be statistically impossible. You're always bound to see some duds, stinkers, and out right walk out worthy movies now and then. Naturally, this year was no exception. Here are the 5 worst films I saw at TIFF in 2014. (Two of which, disappointingly, came from my Top 10 most anticipated list no less)

Bang Bang Baby
It breaks my Canadian heart to put a homegrown film on this list. Especially considering that I was very much looking forward to this. Sadly, Bang Bang Baby was the closest I ever came to walking out of a TIFF screening. There's a lot of reasons. Ultimately though, it's worst offense is not only being a bad musical that fails at being the bubbly 50s call-back it wants to be, but how it twists itself into simplistic cynical take on the genre that is not original, effective, or welcome. It's a shame because Jane Levy gives a standout performance in the movie. It's just too bad it's wasted here.

An Eye For Beauty
Unfortunately another Canadian entry on this list, I'll give Denys Arcand's latest film one thing: it lives up to the "beauty" in its title. Beautiful people. Beautiful architecture. Beautiful vistas. Unfortunately none of it is particularly interesting. Nor does it ever feel like it's ever coalescing into some sort of point. It just meanders, with significant characters disappearing for long stretches of times, or social commentaries are thrown in out of nowhere. Ultimately it boils down to that old clichĂŠ: all beauty, no brains.

[REC]4
I'm not sure I'll ever understand how the filmmakers who made the tightly constructed, claustrophobic, terrifying [REC] ever got themselves to the point where they made something like [REC]4. This boring, stupid, continuity-troubled movie with all the wrong instincts feels literally like different people made it. More specifically: people who either completely forgot what made the original so great, or who simply lost all their filmmaking talent along the way.

Wasteland
It's always a strange thing to watch a movie that is 100% convinced it's pulling something off that it's actually completely flubbing. Wasteland proceeds as if it's done everything it's supposed to in order to nail its noir meets David Lynch take on the old chestnut of a story about a cop becoming so obsessed with a case that his life begins to unravel. The problem is it wants to get to a dramatic place without putting in work like character development, or even basic explanations of why this case unspools this detective. The effect amounts to listening to someone deliver an academic conference lecture on fascism while mispronouncing the word the whole time.

The Cobbler
The hot streak Thomas McCarthy was on - The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win - has been destroyed. Spectacularly. It's not just that instead of Adam Sandler making a McCarthy movie, McCarthy made an Adam Sandler movie. It's that the director made a bad Sandler movie - weak slapstick, goofy fantasy, and bouts of intolerance. And that's the case before you even get to the ending of The Cobbler, which is so patently absurd and misguided it actually caused my entire theatre to burst out into laughter.

the equalizer movieThanks to the Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, for sponsoring our coverage of TIFF 2014.

What did I miss? Add your picks for the worst or most disappointing movies at TIFF to the comments.


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