MOVIES OF 2013
And here comes Part 2, amazingly enough. I had a week to think about it and realized I was looking forward to sharing my opinion again. I love sharing my opinion. And offering advice. And critiquing.
Basically, telling people what I think is one of life’s little pleasures.
Well, for me, at any rate.
I’ve liked most of the films in the Fast & Furious franchise. They’ve been loud, fast (duh), and fun. Fast 5 was very entertaining, and there were some stunts that were absolutely amazing – the leap from the car as it went over the cliff was incredibly well done. This time around, however, I thought they went overboard. Some of the stunts were just over-the-freakin’ top – the car bursting through the burning cargo plane, for instance. The script was pretty bad, too. Some of the dialogue was just awful.
One out of five stars.
Star Trek – Into Darkness
Oh, my. Have you figured out from my blog that I’m a geek? Yes? Did you also know that I’m a Star Trek geek? I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Trek universe my whole adult life (it’s a long and bitter story), but I’ve always seen the movies. When the reboot came along, I was all for it. My husband Michael and I loved the first one, and we were both looking forward to the second one. Then Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the Big Bad and I nearly lost my mind.
Was he going to play Khan? Was it just a tease? Who the hell cared?? It was Benedict-Fucking-Cumberbatch! It was Sherlock! (I am a HUGE Bennie fan. You can count me among the “Cumberbitches”, although he prefers his female fans call themselves the “Cumber Collective”. He did once suggest “Cumbercookies”, but not many people got the whole “batches/cookies” thing.) Where was I? Oh, yes. Khan. Star Trek Into Darkness was fun and a rollercoaster ride and Benedict Cumberbatch makes a fantastic villain. (It’s that voice. That amazing baritone.) Needless to say, I saw it twice. The reviews were mixed but I don’t care.
Five out of 5 stars. (And I’m going to do a blog entry about Benedict Cumberbatch. And Sherlock. I’ve wanted to do one for a long time, but…well…we know how that turned out.)
Now You See Me
What a good movie! It had a tight script, smart dialogue, a clever story and a great cast. I especially liked Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo as a fast-talking sleight-of-hand artist and a frustrated FBI agent, respectively. Add a mentalist, an escape artist and an illusionist, then add a mentor and a very, very rich and very, very nasty man and you’ve suddenly got a caper film that surprises at every turn. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.
Four and a half out of five stars.
This Is The End
Movie stars behaving badly. It’s the Apocalypse and Los Angeles is burning, the Rapture seems a little hit-and-miss, and a group of actors (playing themselves) barricade themselves in James Franco’s fortress-like mansion and try to survive. It’s hilarious, and I loved seeing James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride play douche-bag versions of themselves. I know a lot of people hated it, but I liked it a lot.
Three stars out of five.
Man of Steel
I had a lot of problems with this movie, the major one being that Superman’s battle with Zod destroyed half of Metropolis and killed thousands of people, but there was no remorse or even reaction from Superman. They broke skyscrapers in half to clobber each other with, but there was never even an acknowledgement that it was a massacre. Yet, Superman did react with grief when he had to break Zod’s neck to save one family. It made no sense. I did like Russell Crowe as Jor-El, and the tech on Krypton was pretty cool, and I liked that Lois Lane was pretty plucky, but overall, I wasn’t very happy with the film when we left the theater. I wanted to like it more than I did.
Two and a half stars out of five.
World War Z
Ah, zombies, finally! I was really looking forward to this movie when it was announced, because I loved the book, but the book – as it was – was unfilmable. If you haven’t read it, the book is written as a record of the zombie plague after the fact. It consists of interviews, reports, analyses and conclusions by the author…and it’s fascinating. The story weaves in and out and jumps around in time, and sometimes you have to figure out what happened from the things being said, when it’s not said outright. The movie did a passable job of giving it a straightforward story, and it moved fast and was exciting, but it wasn’t the book.
And they changed the dead, shambling, half-eaten zombies into those fast, vicious chompers. To be fair, these weren’t really zombies…they just bit you and moved on. The victim died in 12 seconds and came back as a mindless virus on feet. Scary, yes…but not zombies. Also, the movie as it was released had no blood in it, which makes no sense when it’s a zombie movie. There’s no sense of dread or true body horror (it wants to eat me while I’m still alive!) when it’s so antiseptic. I’m not a gorehound, and have to look away a lot during zombie movies, but still… (The unrated DVD/BluRay does have blood, so be forewarned.) I did like the movie, however. It’s just not the book.
Four out of five stars.
A cop buddy movie with female cops. It was great. Melissa McCarthy is one funny woman, and her chemistry with Sandra Bullock was amazing. Lots of funny moments based on both physical humor and personality differences, and it’s just so much fun. It’s the kind of movie that just cries out for a sequel, as long as the same actors play the same characters. Good chemistry is the key, and Melissa and Sandra have it.
Four of five stars.
Despicable Me 2
I loved the first Despicable Me so damn much. I am a big fan of Gru and his Minions. Oh, those Minions… They’re sweet and adorable and earnest and funny. I also love the way Gru treats them; they’re not mindless little drones he uses and discards. He knows each one personally, knows their lives and cares about them. He’s also an unexpectedly good father. What a great character. (And have you notice my little zombie Minion up at the top of the page? It could not be a more perfect image for me.)
Four out of five stars.
I’m a big fan of director Guillermo del Toro, but I just don’t know about this film. The “washed up hero redeeming himself” is a tired trope, but it did have great effects, and the creature designs were amazing. I loved the idea of giant monsters from another dimension coming up out of the sea, but the whole “giant robots” thing just didn’t make sense to me. The movie addresses it by saying that the kaiju (the monsters) had toxic blood and couldn’t be killed with conventional weapons, but then there was blood all over the place, plus dead monster parts were being examined, bought and sold, and no one seemed to react to coming in contact with any of it. I did love seeing Ron Perlman, however – he’s one of my favorites, and was great as a sleazy black market boss.
Three out of five stars.
The Lone Ranger
God-awful. It’s Johnny Depp’s movie, but he’s sometimes just a little too odd in his acting choices. His Tonto was just too comedic. And it was very long. Too long for the story it was trying to tell.
One out of five stars.
Loved the first one. This was just as good – fast, action-packed, funny, and with a caper in the middle. I love that stuff so much. Seeing Helen Mirren playing a bad-ass was fantastic, too. Why isn’t she making more action movies? She rocks.
Four out of five stars.
End of Part 2
Part 3, Coming Soon.