Rant by Elliott and Joy
This week, we are taking a look back at 2013 and seeing how the movies we were looking forward to most turned out. Here’s a recap of my comments on what I was looking forward to most in 2013 and whether my expectations were met.
(Comments from last year in italics).
1. Ender’s Game (Nov. 1): This classic book is finally coming to the big screen!
Like many book to film adaptations it was going to be difficult for this movie to live up to the fans expectations. The visuals were stunning and did an excellent job of bringing this world to life. The acting was very well done and overall I really like the movie. However, the story felt rushed and not enough time was given to developing the characters. Since I’d read the books multiple times, it was easy for me to follow along, but I can understand the difficulty others had with the story, This movie would really benefit from an extended/directors cut. Despite it’s issues I really like the movie and will be getting it on Blu-ray when it is available.
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 13): More High Frame Rate! More Singing Dwarves! Maybe, we will get to see more of Smaug too!
Although this movie strayed quite a bit from the book, I loved just about every minute of it. The river battle is quite possible my favorite scene of all time from any movie. Is it somewhat cheesy and a “bit” unrealistic? Yes, but we are talking about elves and dwarves fighting orcs in a made up fantasy world and it was spectacularly AWESOME!!! This movie also reaffirmed my belief that every movie should be filmed in high frame rate. Eric didn’t love the movie quite as much as me, so if you want a less biased opinion then check out his review, but be sure to scroll down to my comments at the bottom. I give this a 5 out of 5 and consider it the better of the two hobbit films.
3. Olympus Has Fallen (March 22): Gerard Butler as an Ex Secret Service Agent saves the president from terrorists. The trailer looks awesome!
As awesome as this looked, I didn’t end up seeing this movie. Before seeing some movies(especially if they are rated R), I look up the parental guide on IMDB. Unfortunately, this movie contained quite a bit of language, so I decided not to watch it.
4. Star Trek into Darkness (May 17): The 2nd in the series, brought to you by the director of Star Wars VII. Never in a million years did I think that would happen.
This was really really good. As much as I enjoyed the first one, this sequel was even better. Just like the first, the acting, special effects, and humor was great. What makes the second better is the villain Kahn, who’s played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Filmmakers take note…this is how you create an excellent villain. After seeing this, J.J. Abrams has my full confidence as far as the new Star Wars movies go.
5. Oblivion (April 19): Tom Cruise + Dystopian Story = Must watch.
Although it wasn’t mind blowing, it was visually amazing and had some interesting twists. I was hoping it would be good, but expected it to be just ok. In the end, it was a solid movie, that was very well done. If you haven’t seen it yet, it definitely is worth renting if not buying.
Summary of the Year
Overall this has been a great year for movies! At least in my opinion. I don’t normally see a bunch of movies in theater, but this year was an exception. I ended up seeing 18 movies in theater and 7 at home. Fortunately, my wife and I like a lot of the same movies, so everything we saw together. Well, aside from Pacific Rim, which ended up being the only 2013 movie I saw without her. Since this blog is fueled almost entirely by testosterone, I thought it would be refreshing to get a woman’s opinion. So here’s Joy’s thoughts on 2013 and her 5 favorite movies of the year.
Joy’s Top 5:
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2. Red 2
4. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
First off, thanks blog guys for letting me write something. Elliott thought it might be interesting to have his wife’s perspective since I’ve gone to all these movies with him. He has definitely had an affect on what movies I see now. I used to claim to hate sci-fi and overhyped things, but as you can tell from my list some of them have made their way on there. I would have never been interested in Star Trek or anything Tolkien if it weren’t for him. (I even liked Ender’s Game! It’s not so bad ladies…) I picked a lot of sequels, but I just thought this was a really good movie year. I remember a couple years ago we’d say “hey, let’s go see a movie” and ended up not going because nothing seemed to be interesting or appropriate.
I’m surprised that Star Trek was my number one movie, considering I didn’t like the TV series when I was little. Even though I’d watch with my parents anyway. This is one of those movies I could watch again right after watching it, and that is not usually like me at all. I like how it satisfied a previous generation of Trekkies and interested a new generation in it. And the music? So good! They redid the old theme, but now with great sound quality.
Red 2 was the perfect summer blockbuster and I thought it was even better than the first. It had more action end the same witty banter that I love. I like the movie for it’s sometimes cheesy, but cool action. Ex: fave part is with Helen Mirren, Byung-hun Lee and a Linkin Park song. Makes me smile every time. 🙂
Gravity was my surprise movie. Looking at the trailer I thought it was going to be a horribly cheesy movie about a lady lost in space the whole time. I was so wrong. This was an edge-of-your seat movie the whole time and I would put this movie up with Apollo 13 which is a childhood favorite.
Not much to say about the Hobbit, because I thought it was fantastic. I wish you could always watch it in high frame rate and there were several scenes where they catered to the HFR 3D viewer. I am NOT a fan of 3D and I think it’s a waste of money, but I’d like to see more movies head this direction.
Catching Fire is my favorite Hunger Games book, and I thought they did a good job of making it a reality. The movie seemed like it wasn’t quite long enough.
Elliott top 5:
1. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
2. Star Trek Into Darkness
3. Les Miserables
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I’ve already touched on some of my top 5, so I won’t re-address those, but I’ll briefly look at the others. There were several great kids movies this year, but in the end, Frozen ended up my favorite. Not only did it have a great story, but the visuals were absolutely amazing and the soundtrack was some of the best music Disney has created in quite awhile. Since we are talking about music, you might have noticed that Les Miserables was #3 on my list. Yes, I know it technically came out in 2012, but it was Dec. 25th. I didn’t see it until this fall, so I’m counting it as 2013. It was one of the most emotional, raw, and beautiful movies I’ve ever watched. Every word in the movie is sang by the actors, which I thought might bother me, but it ended up being quite amazing. The story was chock full of good moral applications and will definitely find a spot on my shelf.
The most destructive movie of the year was Man of Steel. Come on Clark. Why couldn’t you have snapped his neck like 15 min ago, before you destroyed half the city.
My favorite actor of the year was Benedict Cumberbatch. He played Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, the voice of Smaug in the Hobbit 2, and best of all he plays Sherlock in the BBC show of the same name. If you haven’t seen BBC’s version of Sherlock, do yourself a favor and watch it. It is so good and it also stars Martin Freeman(Bilbo for the Hobbit).
Finally there are a few movies that I wanted to note for their stunning visuals:
Gravity, Upside Down, Frozen, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Ender’s Game
Here’s all the movies that we saw from 2013 categories by how I feel about them now.
The Wolverine(though Joy liked it), The Internship