Every year there are seasons of movies that have certain expectations tied to them. During the summer we have big budget blockbuster hits that make hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the holiday season, November/December, we see a lot of Oscar contenders as well as family friendly films. In January we see movies that usually can’t compete with the summer blockbusters or holiday season movies. The point is, we as moviegoers have certain expectations and this year it feels as though we had less movie choices or maybe just less movies that were actually good. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great movies, but there didn’t seem to be as many amazing holiday or summer blockbuster flicks this year.
That being said, I wasn’t able to see nearly as many movies as fellow writer Andy. I probably saw about 10% fewer movies than I did last year due to several factors beyond my control. So, I guess the lack of quality films worked out in my favor. The point of my ramblings thus far is to shed some light on my choices. There might be other movies out there that I would have enjoyed more, for certain categories, had I been afforded the opportunity to see them. However, of the movies I saw my movie category selections for 2013 are below.
I am a huge fan of the Die Hard Series and I have seen the first four films several times. I own the original trilogy set on DVD. I also own the Blu-ray collection of the first four installments. So, when I saw they were going back to the well for a fifth Die Hard movie I didn’t roll my eyes, I was somewhat excited. When I finally got a chance to see A Good Day to Die Hard I was sorely disappointed. This fifth installment definitely missed the mark.
The Hangover was a groundbreaking success that came out of nowhere. It made people laugh with crude humor, hilarious hijinks and a unique approach to story telling. The second installment felt like a carbon copy, set in a different country with a few minor changes. While it was funny, it felt like déjà vu. The Hangover Part III was so disappointing I wanted to stop watching it at several points throughout the film. I forced myself to watch the entire movie hoping that it would eventually get better…it did not.
This was a tough choice for me, because there were a few cute animated films this year. I have a young daughter and she enjoys going to screen all of the animated films with me. As a father I enjoy being able to share the experience with her. If I didn’t have children I probably wouldn’t see most of the animated films. That being said, I do have a child and I see almost every animated film. For me Monsters University was unique and enjoyable for children of all ages. Including big kids like me.
Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers one of the most powerful performances I have ever seen in a film to date. He delivers such raw emotion, you can’t help but feel his pain. A performance this powerful deserves to win an Oscar without question. There really isn’t much more I can say, other than he was truly amazing. All aspiring actors should take notes from this performance.
While The Lone Ranger TV series was before my time, I have seen some episodes and I am familiar with the characters and the concept. The Lone Ranger the movie looked like it might be worth watching. The big issue is there are so many slow parts in the movie that add no value. They could have trimmed 45-60 minutes of the film and actually made it better.
This category was a tough one for me, as there were a few favorites for me this year. Elysium for me had all of my favorite elements. It had action, sci-fi, grit and the underdog scenario. Eminem was originally cast as the main character (Max), but after failed negotiations he turned down the part. While Eminem is more believable as a street thug, him turning down the role is the best thing that happened to this movie. Matt Damon delivered a powerful performance to go along with a raw, gritty and engaging film.
The Way Way Back is a film that was written almost a decade ago. The writers, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, shopped the script around for years. They always got positive feedback, but never got any traction. They finally decided to director the movie themselves and it was fantastic. The movie was touching, funny and hits close to home for so many people. Sam Rockwell was hilarious in his role as a grown up slacker who works at the water park and he really makes the movie work.
When I first saw the trailer for We’re The Millers I felt like it could go either way. Either all of the funny parts were shown in the trailer or it could truly be funny. When I saw the movie and started laughing I never stopped. It was like a laughter roller coaster. The movie was so much funnier than I expected and it is more fun than it should be.
I am a huge fan of the Fast & Furious franchise, although the second and third installments weren’t among my favorites. What really revitalized the franchise was the fourth installment. After that the box office take grew exponentially with each film. Fast & Furious 6 delivered on it’s implied promise to fans to take the action to the limit and beyond. F&F 6 is a movie I have seen several times and it just never gets old. The stunts are way over the top and could never happen, but that’s half the fun…enjoying the ride.
R.I.P. Paul Walker – you will truly be missed.
A movie such as 12 Years A Slave evokes so many emotions. Seeing these types of films is upsetting knowing that we as human beings treated other human beings this way. Slavery really happened and people thought it was okay. Obviously we didn’t grow up in that time period, but I can’t even imagine what it was like. That being said, 12 Years A Slave took a very sensitive subject matter and gracefully crafted a masterpiece from one of the most tragic periods in American history. This movie truly should win for Best Film of 2013.