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Annual Movie Challenge

100 movies of 2013

2013 in films

2013 in films

All my ‘2013 review’ style posts are running late. Well, can they really be called late? I was just waiting for 2013 to be truly over until I did any sort of review on it.

First up – films. I knew a very, very long time ago that I would never hit my goal of 100 films in the year. I did hit a respectable 90 films. Not bad, right? Continue Reading

100 movies of 2013

The 100 movie catch-up post

I have seen a grand total of seven films since I last did a post for my 100 movies challenge for the year. SEVEN. That was back in February, when I saw Young Adult. It’s now April, going on May. Woops is probably not a strong enough word for this.

See, lots of things have gotten in the way. TV. Proximity to a decent cinema. (Compared to when was literally around the corner from my office.) And, well, spending time with the new man in my life. All could be seen as excuses. As in, they are excuses.

BUT I’m here to do an update! Just a small one. I honestly can’t remember the details of most of these few films I have seen. Again, no fault but my own.

Wreck-It Ralph
Enjoyed it. Fun, colourful with a little bit of heart. HOWEVER from last year’s crop of animated films, Brave still stands out more for me. Shut your slack jaw right now. Don’t get my wrong, thoroughly enjoyed Wreck-It Ralph but it just didn’t have the depth of characters that I enjoyed from other animated films. Shoot me!
Rating: 4/5

The Sandlot
Apparently it was shocking that I hadn’t seen this ‘classic’ film. The same sort of film as, say, The Goonies and Mighty Ducks, it’s all about growing up, friendships and a little bit of fun. Very fun film to watch. Some claimed it beats The Goonies, but it really doesn’t. What it does do is bring up my tally of baseball themed films up to three. (Moneyball and A League of Their Own.)
Rating: 4/5

John Carter
What on Earth (Mars?) was this film trying to be? A semi-serious sci-fi actioner? A jolly Disney jaunt a la Pirates of the Caribbean? Was it me or did John Carter have a bit of an identity crisis? Wasn’t all that entertaining. Perfectly fine to watch while I was coming out of a major bout of flu. Didn’t need my brain to watch it! But eh.
Rating: 2/5

We Bought a Zoo
Think the one word I can think of for We Bought a Zoo is cute. It is. It’s not the most original of films (Yes, I know it’s based on a true story.) but it kept me amused. Hard not to with Matt Damon in the lead role – always love watching films with him in it. The soundtrack gave it one more star for me – awesome work from Jonsi.
Rating: 3/5

Blazing Saddles
Slowly making my way through Mel Brooks’ films. Have to say, didn’t love this one as much as Young Frankenstein but it was pretty damn funny. Found some of the gags went on for a little bit too long. The obvious gags always got a chuckle out of me.
Rating: 4/5

Project Nim
Excellent documentary from the same people who brought us Man on Wire, which I loved. Don’t think this one is quite as strong, though the story of Nim and the moral ramifications of what they were trying to do was something I’d honestly never thought about. It’s a solid documentary.
Rating: 3/5

Tom Cruise can hold a film together. This isn’t a new fact. Just re-stating it. Had it not been for the Cruise, think this film would have landed flat on its face. It’s a fine enough sci-fi film, but it doesn’t give us anything new in the genre. It looks good, but not as stunning as I’d hoped. The soundtrack from M83 is good, but again, not as good as I’d hoped. Think Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy mixed with Hans Zimmer’s The Dark Knight Rises. Perfect film for having on in the background while you’re playing a game of cards.
Rating: 3/5

So let’s add this lot to the running tally. Continue Reading

100 movies of 2013

Growing up is hard to do in Young Adult

Young Adult

Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

It’s another one of those. Those films that have been a good watch. Engaged me. Amused me. Maybe even made me cry a little bit. And yet, coming here to write something about it is proving to be difficult. Maybe I’m suffering the same writers block that Young Adult’s Mavis suffered from. Just be glad I’m not even contemplating going down the same route as she did to kickstart something to write about.

Young Adult is a good film. Charlize Theron had a hard job with Mavis. Mavis Gary is a self obsessed nut job who doesn’t appear to have many qualities you’d expect to have in a human being. Jesus, that was harsh.

And yet, I felt for her. Mavis made for an incredibly unsympathetic sympathetic character. Maybe it was more pity that I was feeling for her. Like the rest of her ex-highschool classmates. Massive kudos to Charlize Theron for making such an incredibly unlikable character interesting to watch.

Credit to Patton Oswalt too. Right now I’m having a lot of fun watching him comedy-up Justified. Here, I figured he would play a sort of comedic character. But turns out, Matt Freehauf is just as messed up as Mavis and living in the same history as her.

Young Adult is a tough watch. Tough in the sense that Mavis is not a nice person. She’s not a central character you root for. She’s selfish, self obsessed and her aim in the film is just wrong. Get passed all of that and you’ll find a somewhat sad film about a couple of people who are still trying to find their place in the big ol’ world.

(Side note: Is it me, or was the film totally marketed wrong. The film posters make it look like some kind of comedy, rather than the straight up drama that it is.)

Young Adult (Viewed: 19/02/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue Reading

100 movies of 2013

Please note, the mixing of Pirates and Scientists does not a good film make

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Wow. What a freaking big disappointment. It’s rare I start anything here so negatively. But I’m not sure why I was quite so disappointed. Not epically disappointed. But near enough.

See, those clever Aardman Animations guys did amazing work with Wallace and Gromit. None of them hit a dud note. Charming. Cute. Funny. Touching. Stop motion at its best. Near enough.

The Pirates! dropped the ball. For me. It looked like a lot of fun. Anything with pirates is usually a lot of fun. (Yes, I did enjoy all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Crap. That’s a lie. I enjoyed the original trilogy. I even liked Cutthroat Island!) Except this. Honestly one of the most boring films I’ve seen. Sure there were a small handful of jokes that got a laugh out of me. Though hearing I’m Not Crying by Flight of the Conchords got more of a laugh out of me. The most entertaining thing about this film was figuring out all the voice actors without IMDB’ing them.

Ask me to recall the plot and I won’t be able to. And as such, I can’t really think of what else to write about.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (Viewed: 07/02/13 | Rating: 1/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue Reading

100 movies of 2013

What if there was another you on Another Earth?

Another Earth

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.

We’ve all been there. A moment where you could either hit CTRL-Z. If you said yes instead of no. What if you made a different choice? What if you just can’t come to terms with a decision you made and wish for a different life?

Another Earth has a sci-fi setting for a very intimate film about two people struggling to just keep going with their life after an event that changes both of their lives.

I love the idea of another Earth – a mirror planet that is identical in almost every way. Something I think about more often than I think I should. ‘What if…’ is such a destructive thought. You can’t do anything about the past so thinking of an alternate present because of that decision can really play havoc with yourself. Been there!

In Another Earth it’s the dwelling on the past that actually drives the characters forwards. But, they can’t forget about their pasts and move on. Even when they try they’re forced to see this mirrored Earth which represents the future they could have had. Could. They don’t know it for certain. Yet they choose to believe it.

The film itself is beautiful. In the past year I can pick out The Tree of Life and Skyfall as being two of the most cinematically beautiful films I’ve seen. And now I’m adding Another Earth to that list. I could pick out so many shots I’d want to frame and have up on my wall. Stunning work.

Got completely caught up in this film and its end brought a smile to my face. You need to see this film if you haven’t already.

Another Earth (Viewed: 29/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue Reading