MOVIES OF 2013 – A REVIEW, PART 3

MOVIES OF 2013

-Part 3-

Hey, check it out! I’m still writing about the films I saw during 2013!

There’s sure a lot of them, isn’t there?

Well, we’re broke, so the only entertainment we allow ourselves is a movie on the weekend, and only at the AMC theaters in Burbank that offer $7 matinees. For any of you not in Los Angeles, you should know that movie tickets are incredibly expensive around here. (Some theaters are $16.) So when we found out that AMC had $7 matinees (last year they were $6) we made that our weekend thing. Usually on Sundays.

So, on to the next list…

The Wolverine

wolverine

I’m a fan of Hugh Jackman, and I love his portrayal of Logan, so I was already inclined to want to see this film. (I love the “X-Men” films.) I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the character of Yukio, who looked awesome with her severe magenta bangs and samurai sword.  She kicked some serious butt, and I thought she would have made a better romantic interest for Logan than Mariko.

Three out of five stars.

2 Guns

2 Guns

Surprisingly entertaining. There was some good chemistry and comedy between Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, a smart script and a couple of twists. Worth a look.

Three out of five stars.

We’re The Millers

We're The Millers

Now, this was a surprise! I mean, I wanted to see it and thought it would be fun, but it turned out to be really fun. Great dialogue and fully-fleshed out characters, and a story that had some really clever moments. Some of the secondary characters were as well-drawn as the leads, especially the straight-laced family in the other RV.  I don’t know how I feel about Jennifer Aniston doing a striptease – please, Hollywood, can we take the clothes off another leading lady? – but, to be fair, the young man in the movie does do a full-frontal.

Four out of five stars.

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2

Man, talk about violent. The first “Kick-Ass” was ultra-violent, too, but this sequel amped it up a bit. There’s a clash between rival factions – good guys vs bad guys, basically – and it’s a blood bath.  Heads are hammered, and cops are killed by lawnmower (which you don’t see, but…still.) But a lot of the movie is funny, too, which makes it hard to condemn it for all the violence.  The self-styled supervillain “The Motherfucker” is a pretty twisted little creep, but his minions are both scary and hilarious. There’s a real heart here, too – the relationship between Hit Girl and Kick-Ass starts out as teacher/student, but it gradually becomes more than that, making the ending all the more bittersweet. I liked it.

Three and a half stars out of five.

The World’s End

World's End

I have to admit up front that I love Simon Pegg and the movies he makes with Nick Frost. (“Shaun of the Dead” is one of my all-time favorites.)  And I adore Martin Freeman of “Sherlock” and “Hobbit” fame. So I was predisposed to like this movie…and I did. I almost didn’t care about the story because I was having so much fun watching the actors having fun. But the story is creative and the effects are great and any movie with a cameo by Bill Nighy pretty much gets a thumbs-up from me. (Except maybe “Underworld”.  Not a fan.)

Four out of five stars.

Riddick

Riddick

I don’t exactly know why, but I love the Riddick character. I thought “Pitch Black” was a great movie and it made me a fan of Vin Diesel. Which tends to surprise people when I tell them.  (It still surprises me.) Anyway, “The Chronicles of Riddick” was overblown, but I liked the ending, and this movie pretty much picks up shortly after it. His new subjects maroon him on a primitive planet, and it becomes a basic struggle for survival, then morphs into something of a rehash of the first film. But I liked the first one, so I thought this one wasn’t too bad. Not good. But not too bad. (I’ve been thinking about it some more, and I think I have a thing for baritone voices. I mean, seriously. Deep voices are sexy.)

Two out of five stars.

The Family

The Family

Michael really wanted to see this one. I was lukewarm on it, but it turned out to be rather good. It was a little like “Married To The Mob”, Part 2. Funny, and violent. There’s a lot of shooting and I was bothered by how many bystanders were killed while the Mob was trying to take out the relocated family. But Tommy Lee Jones was great as the world-weary FBI handler in charge of keeping them safe. But the movie was kind of forgettable afterwards.

Two and a half stars out of five.

Gravity

gravity_ver6

Everything you’ve read about the movie is true. It’s AMAZING. The opening sequence alone is jaw-dropping – it’s one long, uninterrupted camera shot that takes you around the characters, the space station and the shuttle, encompassing everything within view. Earth is beautiful, space is mysterious, and you can’t take your eyes off the screen. Sandra Bullock is riveting as the scientist who isn’t really an astronaut, but has to survive and figure out a way to get back to Earth alive. The ending could be seen as a symbolic rebirth, and there’s a number of online discussions as to whether or not the ending is actually a metaphor for evolution, but it’s all moot – the movie is fantastic. My only regret is that we didn’t see it in 3D.

Four and a half stars out of five.

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips

A slow build, but it becomes very exciting. Even with being familiar with the story it’s based on, and knowing the way it ended, it was still riveting to watch. The tension was almost unbearable. And the acting ability of the actor playing the lead Somali pirate, Muse, was amazing. Barkhad Abdi is not a trained actor, but he did such a convincing job that he got a Supporting Actor nomination out of it. Not bad.

Four out of five stars.

The Fifth Estate

the-fifth-estate-poster-405x600

Benedict Cumberbatch. ‘Nuf said. Oh, and the story was fascinating. I didn’t know much about WikiLeaks before the film, but I now understand why it’s controversial. But Bennie. Seriously. Remember what I said about baritones? Just call me a Cumberbitch and move along.

Three and a half stars out of five.

Carrie

Carrie

 Not as good as the original. And you’ll never, ever top the shocking ending to that movie. But it’s worth seeing for Julianne Moore as Carrie’s mother. She’s extraordinary as the religious maniac who tortures her daughter emotionally and physically.

Two and a half stars out of five.

And….Part 4 coming soon. It’s the last one, I swear.

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About dianeburrell

1. Woman. 2. Writer. 3. Weirdo.

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