Friday, January 10, 2014

The Cinema: The Best and Worst Movies of 2013

Great Gatsby: Number 9
The first movie I remember seeing in the theater was The Land Before Time. I still remember the thrill of seeing the movie on the silver screen, and it was all I could talk about for days. Movies–especially on the big screen–can inspire, entertain, and teach.

This past year was a great year for movies. I didn’t get to go to all the ones I wanted to, but I was able to make it to most of the big movies that I was interested in. In this post, I am going to rate them in my own very subjective order.

Ender's Game: Number 2
I imagine that you’ll all hate at least one thing I say, but this is my list so I’m just going to say it anyway. What you can do, however, is comment and tell me how horribly I am off-base.

Without further adieu, here is Jeremiah’s 2013 list:

1.    Gravity -- This movie deserves best picture. Awe inspiring, breath taking, and original.
2.    Ender’s Game -- I don’t believe any other movie has made me think like this one has. I love the book and the movie didn’t let me down.
Hunger Games - Catching Fire: Number 3
3.    Hunger Games: Catching Fire -- The emotion that Catching Fire conveyed pulled me in and moved me deeply. It was way better than the first movie (and better than the book too). The themes of sacrifice, trust, and putting others first were vivid and potent.
4.    Jack the Giant Slayer -- I am a sucker for fairy tale movies, and this one made my day. It was a ton of fun and did a great job of bringing a fresh twist to a classic tale. Obi -Wan Kenobi led a great cast in a movie that could have been horrible, but they struck the right tone and set a high bar for future fairy tale movies (Maleficent, I’m looking at you). 
5.    Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug -- Tolkin's world comes to life again in the 5th Peter Jackson film about the greatest tale from Middle Earth. I loved the way that Jackson showed Gandalf in his standoff with Sarron, the heroic elves, and most everything about Laketown. I disliked the statue of gold and the barrel ride.
Jack the Giant Slayer: Number 4
6.    Star Wars: Return of the Jedi -- Classic movie on the big screen! The only reason it isn’t ranked higher is because it was a lousy print of the movie, and that was a little disappointing. But Mark Hamill showed up and that made it a great experience.
7.    Oz: the Great andPowerful -- Every so often, a story captures your imagination with a lesson that will leave you sitting in the car with a handful of friends discussing themes of pride, selfishness, beauty, and sacrifice. This was one of those stories.
8.    Frozen  -- Disney is making great films right now. The only reason Frozen is so low on the list is because the set-up was AMAZING and the middle and conclusion were only good. If they could have maintained the AMAZING all the way through it would have seriously vied for a spot among the top three.
Thor - the Dark World: Number 11 
9.    Great Gatsby -- This movie was a stunning visualization of the book; I don’t know if they could have done a better job. There is a certain sad beauty in the story of the Great Gatsby. Because of the sadness, I can’t say I enjoyed the movie, but it is powerful nonetheless.
10.  Star Trek: Into Darkness -- I loved the interaction between Kirk and Spock. They are developing those characters very well. On the flip side, I didn’t think that Khan made sense. I think they were trying to make him complex, but they wound up making him muddled. Still, I enjoyed the movie and hope they make more.
11.  Thor: the Dark World -- I love the dialogue: when Natalie Portman is talking she uses modern English and comes across as a real life human–when the Asgardians are talking they use high language that paints pictures. I enjoyed the flick. 
12.  RED 2 -- This was a fun movie. They took on too many characters and didn’t bring back my favorite, so it didn’t really go beyond fun for me. 
Frozen: Number 8
13.  Monsters University -- It was fun. But, as much as it made me laugh, it didn’t capture my head or my heart. If the folks at Pixar held off the silly just a tad and didn’t go crazy halfway through, I think they’d do better.
14.  Despicable Me 2 -- I loved the first one. And I loved the first half of this one, but the plot of taking the minions and making them un-silly didn’t impress me. I think keeping the plot simpler would have helped this film.
15.  Man of Steel -- I really enjoyed the first half of this movie. In fact, I think this movie would be a lot higher on this list if they just cut out the second half and just played the first half again. The character development really helped the audience to understand the innerworkings of Superman. But they needed him to actually save the day. I don’t consider it a victory when the city you are trying to defend is destroyed (partially by you). I hope they continue the story but lose the senseless violence and mayhem.  
16.  Iron Man 3 -- This film was a suitable end to the Iron Man story. We are left with a lot of spectacle, but not the flashy kind we’ve come to expect from Tony Stark. 
RED 2: Number 12
17.  Olympus Has Fallen -- I enjoyed this movie for what it was. It is heroic and action packed. I walked out having enjoyed it, but also thinking that it wasn’t very realistic.
18.  The Wolverine -- I like the X-Men movies, but this one was a ninja movie with Wolverine. You don’t know or care about anyone else, and he is about as shallow as usual.
19.  White House Down -- This movie made Olympus Has Fallen look realistic. (But I think I laughed at it more than any other movie I saw this year… 

What did you think? What was your favorite movie of 2013? 
Oz - The Great and Powerful: Number 7

Post by Jeremiah Lorrig 
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