2015 Calvin Awards: Worst Picture
By Reagen Sulewski
February 11, 2015
We now turn to the unfortunate business of the worst films of the year, each of which distinguished themselves in a year that contained buckets and buckets of crap. Congratulations are indeed in store for the following ten films, which stand out from the usual wastes of our time to the point that we are actively looking for a way to punish the filmmakers in the same manner that they punished us. Since flamethrowers are illegal to own in most jurisdictions, this will simply have to do.
Multiple franchises have had more than one appearance in our Worst Picture list of ten, among them, the Grown Ups, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider series. A new milestone in horridness, then, has been reached this year, as we have our first franchise to take the overall worst film spot. Transformers: Age of Extinction finds its way to the top of our list, following the now established pattern of odd numbered Transformer films being awful and even numbered Transformer films inspiring a deep existential woe.
Age of Extinction abandoned the series' main thrust to date, due to it being boring and because Shia LaBeouf is now, well, crazy, and changed the idea of people yelling at green screens with a US backdrop to the fresh idea of having people yelling at green screens with a Chinese backdrop. Aside from its typical crimes of assault by CGI, Age of Extinction entered a new realm of creepiness by stopping dead to explain Romeo and Juliet laws, which really just left us saying “wait... why are you bringing that up? Couldn't you have just rewritten the characters, and...” While people in North America seem to be getting the message about these films - albeit slowly - worldwide, Age of Extinction still made over a billion dollars worldwide, which means we're due for yet more of these to come. Hooray! Now where's my booze...
Second place goes to The Legend of Hercules, aka Not The Hercules Movie You Thought You Were Renting. A movie that seems to exist only to trick people, it's a strange take on the myth of a Greek demi-God, in that it contains almost no references to gods, Greek or otherwise, nor any legends of Hercules that we might be familiar with. It's not like this is a character covered by copyright laws or otherwise restricted from the public domain, so what gives? It's especially galling when it does actually set out to copy another, entirely unrelated film. Renny Harlin (remember him? He used to make films you wanted to see) so clearly wanted to make a 3D Gladiator, but without all the bit where that film was well-acted, well-written and felt like it was actually made with some care instead of in someone's dingy basement. Anyone who makes a bad enough choice to see this film will be blessed with the memory of one of the worst effects in modern cinema history, in the form of a lion that wouldn't pass muster in a SNL sketch.