2013 in Films

Movie Star Rating (0-5) Quick Review

  • 12 Years A Slave **** Yep, slavery sucked.
  • 42 *** A bit formulaic but worth a watch.
  • American Hustle **** The 70s were gross & this movie felt really long. Oscars all around.
  • Before Midnight ****1/2 The characters and the films get better with age.
  • Blue Jasmine **** Cate will get the Oscar for sure. Well deserved.
  • Captain Phillps **** Intense and well-done. 
  • Dallas Buyers Club ***1/2 Leto will get an Oscar nom, McConaghy won’t but should.
  • Elysium *** This really should have been better than it was.
  • Francis Ha * I hated the main character so much, I was hoping she would die. A truly unlikable, spoiled, immature person who I would never root for or want to encounter in real life.
  • Frozen **** Girl-power! (the trolls sucked, though)
  • Gravity **** You need to see this ASAP. Despite the heavy-handed fetal/re-birth imagery it’s an instant Sci-Fi classic. The opening twenty minute single-camera shot is worth the price of admission alone.
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters *** Not as awful as I was lead to believe. It’s unnecessarily gruesome and curse-filled but entertaining enough to half-watch while playing Candy Crush.
  • Her **** 20 minutes too long but still far better than most other movies. You need to know what you are getting with a Spike Jonze film – slightly off-kilter but filled with heart. 
  • In A World… ***1/2 Nice indy comedy that deserves more recognition.
  • Inside Llewyn Davis ****1/2 Oscar Isaac is fantastic! Plus, the music (folk-)rocks.
  • Iron Man 3 **** So much fun and far superior to that unwatchable IM2 crapfest.
  • Jurassic Park 3D ***** I mean, really. 3D Dinos. It’s a gimme.
  • Kon Tiki **** Really good dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl’s cross-Pacific journey. Good, interesting and educational family film.
  • Man of Steel *** I enjoyed it for what it was, which was a mess. Russel Crowe is great, though and Cavill is a fuzzy stud-muffin. I’m looking forward to him dry humping Ben Affleck for 2 hours in Bat v. Supes.
  • Monsters University *** It was fine.
  • Much Ado About Nothing **** Shakespeare is annoying. Whedon made it less so.
  • Nebraska **** This year’s “best movie I never want to see again” film.
  • Now You See Me *** The first 1/3 was GREAT! The middle 1/3 was good. The last 1/3 was typical. If there’s a sequel I will see it. 
  • Oblivion ***1/2 I think I liked it but it didn’t really stick with me. 
  • Olympus Has Fallen *** Stupid fun. I get it confused with White House Down and I didn’t even see that one.
  • Pacific Rim **** Giant monsters punching giant robots. ‘Nuff said.
  • Philomena **** Judi! Judi! Judi! 
  • Room 237 *** This documentary got annoying really quickly. Some of the theories were interesting and some were people that need a life.
  • Saving Mr. Banks **** PJ Travers was a f@cking crumpet and Disney was white-washed. Still a good movie if not a bit too long.
  • Side Effects **** I liked this movie a lot. Great twists and turns. A definite must-rent.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness ***1/2  Not as good as ST1 but still fun. I saw it one-and-a-half times in the same day thanks to a theater glitch. I still liked it 150% of the time.
  • The Bling Ring ** This should have been a lot better. Emma Watson is great but this isn’t worth watching.
  • The Call *** This was by-the-books fun. And whats up with Halle’s hair?
  • The Conjuring ***1/2  A good old-fashioned ghost story. Much better than I expected.
  • The Great Gatsby *** Beautiful but unnecessary
  • The Heat ****   This was waaaaay better than I expected. I chalk that up to Melissa McCarthy being super crazy and NKOTB’s Joey MacIntyre being super handsome.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire **** Much better than the first. Exciting from start to cliff-hanger finish. Jena Malone for the win!
  • The Lone Ranger **1/2 There were some great fun sequences in here unfortunately it was bogged down in 3 hours of bloated, unnecessary filler. If it’s on HBO watch it  in four 45-minute chunks otherwise don’t bother. I still like the William Tell Overture, though. Too bad Armie Hammer lost his franchise dreams.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ****1/2 LOVED this movie. It’s really quirky and fun. Most people will hate it.
  • The Spectacular Now *** This was decent. Nothing to write home about but I liked it. Rent it on a rainy Saturday.
  • The Way Way Back ***1/2 A few clunky scenes but overall very well done and engaging. 
  • The Wolf of Wall Street ****1/2 A tale of excess, debauchery, and come-uppence. Fantasstically entertaining.
  • The Wolverine ***1/2  Fun.
  • This Is The End ** A single joke dragged on for 2 hours. I thought it would never end.
  • Thor: The Dark World **** A great sci-fi/action movie disguised as a superhero flick.
  • Warm Bodies *** Heartfelt movie about zombies, who knew?
  • World War Z *** Hearltess movie about zombies. But still fun.

 

 

 

To-Do List:

  • 20 Feet From Stardom  – *** Really entertaining and shows that hard-work sometimes gets you nowhere.
  • About Time  – I’m skeptical but I heard good things.
  • All Is Lost  – Upset I missed Robert Redford lost at sea.
  • Carrie – Probably stupid but hopefully fun.
  • C.O.G.  – **1/2 Acerbic and disturbing. Why is J.Groff drawn to jerk characters?
  • Dark Skies  – ***1/2 Not bad. I liked it over all and enjoyed the ending.
  • Enough Said – ***1/2 Funny and a bit sad. JL-D is awesome per usual.
  • Fruitvale Station – *** Well, that was upsetting.
  • I’m So Excited – I’m not an Almodovar fan but I heard good things about this. I am prepared to hate it.
  • Kill Your Darlings – I love me some gay Harry Potter
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler  – **1/2 God this movie was long. 
  • Mud  – ***** I thought this movie was fantastic!!!
  • Out Of The Furnace – Pittsburgh steel workers kill everyone.
  • Prisoners*** Loooooooong and plodding and the black actors are relegated to the background.
  • Rush – I was avoiding this but everyone says it’s really good. But Thor’s wig looks awful.
  • Sound City Music –  I can put it on in the background and get the gist
  • Struck By Lightning – Chris Colfer wrote and directed. I’ll rent it.
  • The Kings Of Summer – Kids doing kid things. It’s like Stand By Me, I think?
  • The Place Beyond The Pines – The trailer looked interesting.
  • The Short Game*** Kid golphers are fun. Parents not so much.
  • White House Down – See: Olympus Has Fallen

Looking forward to in 2014:

  • August: Osage County – ***1/2 Stars. The play was better but this was phenomenally acted.
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier – **** – Fantastic! A game-changer
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – *** The first one was better
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – **** 1/2 A lot of fun. Better the second time around.
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1
  • Interior: Leather Bar
  • Into The Woods
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – ** Stars. Entertaining but not that great. Franchise reboot fail.
  • Muppets Most Wanted
  • Noah – *** Too long and mud monsters are dumb.
  • Non-Stop – *** 1/2 Kept me guessing but had a forumlaic ending.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – ***1/2 A little too long but beautiful
  • The Monuments Men – *** – Better than I expected based on the bad reviews. Could have been tighter, though
  • Veronica Mars – **** – Awesome, natch.
  • Winter’s Tale
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – ***1/2 Better than First Class but this is wearing thin