2015 Calvin Awards: Worst Picture
By Reagen Sulewski
February 11, 2015
Michael Bay rears his coiffed (and presumably exploding) head in third place, albeit as a producer, for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He's a double threat at ruining your childhood! A reboot of the (let's face it) not-that-good-in-the-first-place franchise from the early '90s, its crimes start with the rather freakish remodel of the main characters, made all the harder to look out by the addition of 3D. Add in Bay's trademark (via proxy director Jonathan Liebesman) frenetic “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” editing and you have the recipe for a weird, irritating mess.
The bane of linguists and literati everywhere, I, Frankenstein finished fourth on our list. While not exactly a remake itself, it took the template of the Underworld movies and crossed out vampires for demons in the screenplay. Starring a slumming and strangely ripped Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein's monster pulled into an eternal battle for the fate of humanity, it really just boiled down to hitting the “flame effect” button over and over again, then applying a blue-grey filter to everything. Layer with hammy acting and you have the perfect recipe for a cinematic monster.
Fifth place goes to Transcendence, which wastes not just a great cast, but also a great premise. Taking on the idea of the singularity, the point at which artificial intelligence can surpass human intelligence, Transcendence proceeds to muddle it all up with a bunch of laughable, blatantly unscientific nonsense as well as some alternatively overwrought and sleepy acting. Then, it turns on its own premise with a cheap Twilight Zone ending that makes you wonder whether the filmmakers even knew what kind of movie they were making. That it's paced like a zombie running a marathon doesn't help matters, and you're going to feel every minute of this needlessly two-and-a-half hour movie.
The slightly-better Gladiator clone of 2015, Pompeii, is sixth. The ultimate expression of “rocks fall, everyone dies”, its second worst crime is trying convince us that Kit Harington is an unstoppable bad-ass, while its worst is blending the plot of Titanic into a CGI fest with zero reason to exist.
Seth MacFarlane did not strike gold with his second directorial effort, and A Million Ways to Die in the West ends up in seventh spot. Taking his idiosyncratic sense of humor into a Western setting, his oddly modern jokes simply fell flat and his over reliance on crude comedy is just wearing thin.
Filed under "sequels no one asked for," Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is in eighth spot. A dismally violent followup to the 2005 film, its excessive style has worn thin in the meantime. Let the lesson here be that if you have a gimmick, make sure you use it while you can.
No film was more divisive this year among our voters than Under the Skin, which places ninth, while at the same time doing well in several other categories. A beyond strange sci-fi film, its weirdness actively turned off a good portion of our voters.
Rounding out out list is the third entry in the Atlas Shrugged saga, limping home beyond all reason and financial sense. A turgid retelling of Ayn Rand's paean to selfishness, this film found it on its third lead actress and without enough money to actually tell its story properly.
2015 Calvin Awards
Best Overlooked Film
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
||Transformers: Age of Extinction
||The Legend of Hercules
||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
||A Million Ways to Die in the West
||Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
||Under the Skin
||Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?