Friday, July 12, 2013

Best and Worst of 2013 so far

Alright, so with over half of 2013 done, it is time to look back over what we've seen that was great, what we've seen that was good and what we've seen that was downright awful. I have seen eighteen films this year and I'll rank them from best to worst. This is not based on the grades that I gave the films. A film that I gave an A- is far down the list simply because I didn't find it all that memorable. But it is completely out of order so don't expect a by the numbers list. Here we go:

1. FAST AND FURIOUS 6

Probably the most fun I've had in a movie theater this year, Fast and Furious 6 is a joy to watch. Beautifully choreographed action sequences, actors that are practically their characters by now and some nice touches of humor. The best of the franchise and the bar that all action has been measured up to this year.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 80%

2. ROOM 237

An extremely well-crafted documentary about one of our horror classics, Room 237 is a film that is so dense with intriguing information that you love every second of the ride. The mix of movie clips is especially well done.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 25%

3. IRON MAN 3

The best superhero film this summer, Iron Man 3 made me happy for one reason: in a lot of ways, it is entirely different from every superhero film ever made. It still has slick action scenes and a sense of character and plot, but it plays like a superhero mystery.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 95%

4. DESPICABLE ME 2

One and a half hours of pure animated delight, Despicable Me 2 is just bright, bubbly and colorful animation at its best. Add in a solid love story, those little minions and the characters you know and love and you have a thoroughly enjoyable Despicable Me sequel.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray: 99%

5. PACIFIC RIM

Not without its share of problems, Pacific Rim is still one of the most purely memorable films of the summer just by the fact that it has memorable characters, great action and splendid visual effects. A film that I would watch again in an instant. And will. You'll have more thoughts from me on my second go around with no expectations.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 80%

6. WORLD WAR Z

Brad Pitt's zombie drama lags in the middle but it's still a rollicking thriller that delivers on the action and on the suspense, which is something few films can balance. Good performance by him and a franchise in the making.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 75%

7. NOW YOU SEE ME

A fast-paced thriller that I'm certain would not hold up on multiple viewings is still as really terrific thriller with colorful performances and stunning suspense along with a crazy twist you don't see coming.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 30%

8. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

A big disappointment in my book as it was my #2 most anticipated film of the year, Star Trek Into Darkness still succeeds on the basis that it has good action sequences, fun characters and great special effects despite some villain and plot issues.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 75%

9. NO

A nice little slice of history told well by its director. The cast has good chemistry and the advertising parts are extremely entertaining. However, the lead character is a big problem: he's boring.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 1%

10. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

Lightly fun, but a little boring at times. The animation doesn't feel as bright as it should, the characters not as funny and until the last half hour, it doesn't even feel like a Pixar movie. However, it is still entertaining enough to warrant a pass.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 60%

11. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

It's fun. But absolutely nothing more with no sense of character development.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 10%

12. OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Rewatches have not been kind to this film, a beautiful, visually stunning feast that has absolutely no substance beyond snooze-fest dialogue and poor melodrama.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- I already have it

13. MAN OF STEEL

The biggest disappointment of my professional career as a film critic. Man of Steel promised to be the superhero movie of my dreams and it was nothing more but a titanic bore of incomprehensible action and boring exposition. One 20-minute segment saved it from a D.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 15%

14. THE CROODS

A movie that frustrated me with its mediocrity, its second half shows the greatness it could have been, but sadly, wasn't.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 3%

15. THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE

Just not funny. At all. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is so terrible that there is approximately two gags that I remember. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey give career-worst performances in a film that should have been dominated by their side characters.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 0%

16. WARM BODIES

So tonally jacked-up and boring that I can't really understand why anyone liked it. One minute it's trying to be funny, one minute it's supposed to be an action film, and at some points it wants to be Twilight. Snooze-fest.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 0%

17. UPSTREAM COLOR

I have nothing to say about this movie except that it is one of those movies that wants to think that it's high-art by throwing a bunch of crap on the screen in disheveled order and expecting you to respect its "craft". A big pile of garbage.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 0%

18. THE GREAT GATSBY

Nothing memorable. Nothing entertaining. Nothing redeeming. Just a lot of crap on the screen with no emphasis on story, characters or anything but visual effects. That kind of stuff works in some blockbusters but the experiment of seeing a lot of razzle-dazzle in a 3D drama didn't work. It failed miserably.

% chance I buy it on Blu-Ray- 0%


So there you have it. My wrap-up of the first half of 2013. I have to say, I'm getting a little worn-out by all the blockbusters and am about ready for Oscar season. However, it's been a good blockbusters season, and like all, will get better with repeat viewings. But I am still waiting for that great film to come along and just blow me away.

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