Welcome to the end of 2013 where I review the best, and possibly worst, of the year in movies and television! Due to getting married and moving to another state and finding employment, some movies fell away from us. We do hope to Red Box and review them for everyone (Gravity and Captain Phillips, Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University are the ones I think of first).
Like last year, I’m not going to really put a number to them as it was hard enough as it was to narrow them down!
Saving Mr. Banks
I’m disappointed at its box office numbers right now. It’s an odd Disney genre as it isn’t the most kid friendly movie as it deals with alcoholism, a very unpleasant authoress, journeying into the 60s and getting the rights to a movie – it isn’t the formula you’d bring your children to. But for Disney fans, this movie is a pure delight. Emma Thompson is very much worth her nominations, but I’m displeased of the no love of Tom Hanks as playing WALT DISNEY HIMSELF!? I can’t say enough good about this movie. It touched a spot in my heart that not many things can.
As I said in my review, this movie was poorly marketed and, to this day, still unfairly hated on. The hate comes from people whining how it is so similar to Tangled and the “animation errors” and blah. The only problem I had was the unclear passage of time and disappointment of Elsa not being queen of her mountain for longer. I admire this movie for enforcing female empowerment and throwing some curves at tropes. The humor is fantastic and the message is Love in a way you don’t expect.
I’m throwing these two together because I enjoyed them on equaling levels and I needed to make room for a Top 5 Best and I couldn’t have one without the other. Marvel’s Phase Two movies are off to an incredible start with amazing box office results and the content to show for it. Both are different genres than their previous installments and they pull off in a satisfying manner that it’s not jarring and are still themselves. Great action flicks with plenty of comedy and heart.
This was a big surprise for me as I am very tired of the fad of zombies. But Warm Bodies invented its own genre of Zom-Rom-Com. Based off the novel by Isaac Marion , it’s a gem that was released in the dead months of blockbuster hits, but everyone I’ve talked to that have seen it loved it.Other than Iron Man 3, I find it to be the most romantic movie of the year. Heck, the best love story with the undead ever. It has such a positive ending for such a grim subject.
I went into this movie with the expectations of a summer action, popcorn munching movie with little substance. I had no idea it would be so dumb, but AWESOME at the very same time. It’s silly in its premise and often time its delivery, but with amazing Guillermo del Toro effects and gorgeous color schemes and very fun and dynamic characters, you can’t help but enjoy it. If you’re looking for a good time, this is for you. STUPID FUN!
I realize the first one got put here last year, too, and again it’s for the same reasons. CF stepped up in budget and effects as well as performances of cast, but it just reminded me of what’s to come and I get all 😐 I’m hoping the movie will make me forgive Mockingjay next year. Not to mention CF was very depressing.
With the protests against author Orson Scott Card, it made box office numbers tank. I was not one of those kids that read the novel back in the day or recently, so I knew very little going in to the film, but I could tell there were holes every now and again. It’s been said they wanted to wait to make the movie adaptation when technology is better to convey it on film and I’m glad they waited. I found it to be visually stunning. Little Asa Butterfield will be talked about for years to come.
Now You See Me
This film came out right before the big blockbuster season and there was little marketing for it. It’s a shame, because I consider it to be the gem of the year. It’s the second magician movie of 2013, so maybe that’s why many turned away from it, but it is for sure the better one (though I’ll talk a bit about the other, later). I believe it too is based off of a book, but it had a great original vibe to it with a great cast chemistry and a pretty great plot twist. We got the BluRay for Christmas and I can’t wait to see the extended ending!
Another one that came out before the blockbuster season that not many people went to. It was animated, and more people were waiting to see Monster’s University in the following month. I really want to watch it again, since I do find myself remembering bits from it now and again. As far as animated films go, we didn’t make it a priority to see them all, which may have been due more to us moving during the summer more than anything and other movies happened. It wasn’t a fantastic movie, but for what it was and based off of, I thought it was great. Same can be said for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
I knew exactly what I was getting in to going into the theaters and I was not disappointed. I have a love for Jim Carrey and that was most of the reason I wanted to see it. Magicians in Las Vegas? Sounded like a fun movie. Throwing in Steve Carrell, I knew there would be some crude humor I wouldn’t enjoy, but putting him with Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi, of course it would be a stupid self-indulgent comedy.
The World’s End
I’ve only seen bits of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and I thought I’d enjoy the third in the trilogy to a point, but I ended up not liking it at all and was waiting for it to be over. A few bits made me chuckle, but I don’t find anything entertaining about man-children no matter if robot alien things are involved.
This could also go under Let Down, because I’m one that likes to give films the benefit of the doubt and I wanted it to be better than what the trailers made it out to be. It wasn’t. Not only was it untrue to the very heart of Superman and tearing apart most canon-ity or ability to like any of the characters on the screen, it was a very boring movie. Visually it was nice, but you don’t grim-dark Superman – you leave that for Batman.
Unexpectedly this year, we watched a decent amount of broadcast television. Normally we’d catch up with it later via download or on Netflix or something (Continuum, Arrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I can’t wait to get caught up so I can review the crap out of it), Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), but this year we’ve found an evening where we do watch TV – Tuesdays on ABC.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
I hope anybody making TV lists this year include this one. Joss Wheadon continues to be The King of Nerdom as he brings the Marvel Universe together through prime time. It’s a crime drama with superhero villains with Wheadon humor all spliced together and it’s glorious. Agent Coulson is alive and the driving mystery is HOW DID HE SURVIVE FROM THE AVENGERS? We’re also met with a new team with their own little specialties and quirks. Throughout each episode there are quips and mockings at past Marvel movies as well as recent one. I can’t wait to see later films where there is mention of this team.
Upon seeing ads and billboards, it looked like Awkward Family Photos the TV Series. And actually, that’s exactly what it is. The series are based on true stories a family in the 80s. Adam Goldberg, the creator of the series, is the youngest of three children and he brings to life his own life for us all to enjoy. It is a comedy that anyone can relate to. Whether your mom is a control freak, your dad a lazy type that wants to watch the game and older siblings that only pay attention to you when it’s in their best interest.
Also a comedy, this centers around around a very complicated family relation of divorced families. Our main character is the third wife and has to juggle the responsibilities of being the new step-mom in her three step-children’s lives while trying to be friends with their mothers. The first wife is a perfectionist to the extreme and the second is a psychotic hippie which makes me want to rename the show to “Jackie, no!” It’s more on the adult side than the other shows, but still manages to be a decently clean comedy.
Continuing after Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Assemble came about with a new cast and animation style. It’s weird how there’s times it seems completely separate, but it is a legit continuation. It airs on Disney XD, so we find the episodes after the fact and it’s really entertaining. It’s not as serious as EMH, and maybe they cancelled it and redid it because of that and wanted more kids to watch it. I enjoy hearing some of my favorites in the anime world.
It had its flaws and annoyances, but it made up for it in an epic fashion for the finale and the tale of Wan. The Avatar Universe is so wonderful and fleshed out. No matter how much certain aspects bother me, I look forward to more and more. Book Three is in the works.
As we come to the end of the year, I find myself really missing it. I’m in luck, because next month THERE IS MORE! It is such a simple series filled with profound messages and lessons and it still manages to be hilarious. Hiromu Arakawa is still a masterful storyteller!
Same as above, this series was a highlight of the year for many, as well as for me. From my own appreciation of the series to the internet’s parodies I really loved this series. It’s a stupid show about a swimming team, with heart, friendship and gorgeous animation and aquatic music to boot. I think I’ll make it a point to watch it every summer. I’m sure someone will nab the license for this, soon.
Still in its run half way through 22 episodes, this series is the new age sentai anime while still paying many homages to the genre through the years. It started off as a slice of life series about a budding super hero, then turned into a legit crisis hero show and now it is all-out silly Power Rangers. I’m looking forward to the end game of this series.
The first series captured my heart, so of course I was looking forward to more. I admire that the only fillers of the series have been the recaps episode with an omake flare, but that means we have to wait and wait for manga so more is animated. It’s a wonderful shojo series with many shonen elements that sneak in there that make it great. Mamo plays the most normal guy he’s ever played.
This one is lower on my list for the fact that attaching myself too much is too painful. It’s set up in a way that anyone and everyone can die and I can’t live with that disappointment. Stunning animation and score and compelling plot keep me interested, but I can’t get too emotionally invested. Honestly I think the fandom is more entertaining than the series itself.
The above really are my top 5, but I’m throwing UtaPri down here as a guilty pleasure vote because I spent a fair portion of the year fangirling like no other about the idol boys with co-host Melissa. The art quality went down a little, but that closing, though! Story got a little stronger, too. And with the announcement this year of a 3000% in the works for 2015? I am a happy Otaku.
Well there you have it! Tune in next week for things upcoming in 2014!