Rant by Derek
Was 2013 a good year for movies? Is there a more subjective question that I could ask? Either way, I’m not in a position to answer. My schedule didn’t permit me to see near as many movies as I would have liked, but I really enjoyed every time I got to watch a new movie, especially in the theater. Here is an update to the top 5 movies I was most interested in seeing in 2013.
1. World War Z (June 21): “zombie apocalypse” is one of my favorite film genres.
I enjoyed this movie, but my wife and parents were less impressed. I’m looking forward to a sequel! I enjoy watching the changes in the zombie genre, other horror-related genres (especially vampires) as well. Watch any zombie movie and listen to what it tells you about zombies. It is an interesting peek into the mindset of writers, filmmakers, and contemporary culture.
2. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17): I also love sci-fi/fantasy, and the first one of this series was amazing. The addition of Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) and Karl Urban elevate this movie from “must see” to “must see or die.”
I think this is a really smart franchise. With the first movie they did away with the notion that Star Trek would just be a rehash of old movies and old plots by the creation of a separate time line because of time travel (watch Back to the Future for all the technical aspects). And this movie continued with the great suspense and story lines (on several different levels). It kept me guessing until the end, especially in regards to Captain Kirk’s predicament. Also, to correct my original post, Karl Urban was not an “addition” to the second movie (he was in the first one as well). Not sure what I was thinking there.
3. Anchorman 2 (Dec. 20): I’m not going to act like I’m not impressed.
Didn’t get to see it. When I had recovered from the flu enough to go see it, we had a wind chill of negative FIFTY (5-0) degrees in Chicagoland, so I opted to stay home.
4. Ender’s Game (Nov. 1): Action. Adventure. Sci-Fi. Aliens. War. Future. Harrison Ford. Ben Kingsley. Derek in theater.
Didn’t see it. Sorry for being such a letdown. I know you’ve all been dying to know what I thought so that I can tell you what to think.
5. The Great Gatsby (May 10) – I love the era that the film portrays. And if Leo is in it, it’s almost guaranteed to be awesome. Plus, it stars Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, so I’m pretty sure I can talk my wife into seeing this one with me!
I actually did see this movie, and I wrote the review above (just click on the link). I’m not sure there is much more that I can say, except that I stand by the review and my praise of this somewhat-controversial take on The Great Gatsby. I am looking forward to watching it on my own TV and seeing if I feel the same way, or if all the noise and movement of the movie on the big screen tricked my little brain into liking it.
Other movies I watched and enjoyed: Blackfish, Captain Phillips, Elysium, Now You See Me, Oz the Great and Powerful.
I did not enjoy: This Is the End. Cool concept, could have been awesome, but was a letdown. I loved the parody of themselves, but Danny McBride’s character (apparently the only one he can play) ruined this for me. And there was too much bad merit theology.
Wish I had watched: 12 Years a Slave, The Conjuring, Pacific Rim, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Man of Steel (and any other superhero movie, since I missed them all!), Gravity, The Lone Ranger. As you can see, my schedule demanded that I miss more than I see! Now if this were a book review site, I’d have more to tell you! That would be a big hit. I’m sure you’re all dying to hear my take on the millennial views of 18th century Puritan New England Edwardsian theologians (context: When I’m not watching movies, I’m studying the history of Christianity).