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Jobs (#110 of 3)

The 10 Worst Films of 2013

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The 10 Worst Films of 2013
The 10 Worst Films of 2013

Contrary to the curious, outspoken beliefs of some, we prefer to celebrate movies around these parts, culminating each December with our collaborative list of the 25 best films of the year. But while nearly all films deserve careful consideration, there are plenty that deserve a proper, vitriolic takedown, maybe even a warning label. Scraping the very bottoms of our moviegoing barrels, Slant’s Ed Gonzalez and I winced as we remembered our worst film experiences of 2013. The five we each loathed most were compiled into a list of 10, and they’re counted down here in our personal, descending orders of deplorableness. From the bloated egos of Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise to the masochistic horrors of military violence and high-end shopping, click on to see what almost drove us both out of the theater. R. Kurt Osenlund

Box Office Rap Kick-Ass 2 and the Hollywood Reporter Snafu

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Box Office Rap: Kick-Ass 2 and the Hollywood Reporter Snafu
Box Office Rap: Kick-Ass 2 and the Hollywood Reporter Snafu

Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium topped the box office this past weekend, though its lead over the competition ended up being less than anticipated. However, if one were following The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage on Friday, that margin was said to be even less, as writer Pamela McClintock claimed that “strong matinee business” suggested Planes was headed for a $30 million weekend, which was set to match that of the Matt Damon actioner. The actual for Planes ended up in third place with $22.2 million, over 25% less than initially reported. More troubling than the inaccurate figures, which are understandable given the unpredictability of internal weekend multipliers and whatnot, is the article’s headline, which claims that Planes’s performance is “breaking [the] animation curse,” allegedly created from underwhelming box-office openings by Turbo and The Smurfs 2. An animation curse? It’s hard to argue for any curse, given the almost $640 million made worldwide by Monsters University and the $745 million made worldwide by Despicable Me 2, the latter of which is second to only Iron Man 3 as the highest-grossing domestic release of 2013.

Sundance Film Festival 2013: jOBS

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Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>jOBS</em>
Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>jOBS</em>

Director Joshua Michael Stern’s jOBS tells the story of revered Apple CEO Steve Jobs with a wearying conventionality. The film begins with an iconic moment: Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) unveiling the first iPod to Apple employees in 2001. The music swells and his eyes glitter with pride as he’s treated to a raucous standing ovation, a god among men. The scene essentially serves as a visual metaphor for what the rest of the film will be: one long, overly enthusiastic standing ovation.

We suddenly flash back to Jobs’s college days in 1974, and from there first-time screenwriter Matt Whiteley’s script begins its relatively straightforward course. It chronicles Apple’s beginnings as a small basement-run startup, to the development of the seminal Lisa and Macintosh computers, to Jobs’s departure from the company, to his triumphant return in 1997. Each milestone is presented with the speed and impersonality of a Foxconn assembly line, with no moment’s import allowed to sink in.