December 29, 2013

Top 10 Movies of 2013

Here's my list of the Top 10 Movies of 2013! If you like this list, or disagree with it (respectfully, of course), feel free to post your own list! I'm intrigued as to what other people think about this year's movie roundup!

10. Elysium- Gritty, fun, and really well paced, this movie just made me fall in love with sci-fi again. There’s something about the direction of this film and the tone and how everything works that made it believable. Elysium was intense and high-octane. If I have criticisms of it, it would be that it felt a little too long; the pacing was good, but at a point it just felt that it needed to be more epic, which it didn’t, so it dragged itself out a little too much. However, that’s not to say it was awesome!

9. Ender’s Game- Book adaptations have gotten better over the years, and this one did not disappoint. This was probably the densest single film that has been adapted from a book that I’ve seen in a while (barring the Lord of the Rings trilogy, of course), because it manages to cram pretty much everything from the book into the movie. That said, this comes at the cost of making all that is in the film feel very truncated, because the movie has to end at some reasonable point. Nevertheless, the elements that were expanded upon, particularly the final battle were excellent. Ender is an engaging protagonist, and the actors were great. Definitely a worthy adaptation of a great sci-fi original.

8. Pacific Rim- I wanted one thing out of this movie: giant robots fighting giant monsters, and that is exactly what I got! The scale in this movie is just amazing. This isn’t like Transformers where it’s all in-your-face, camera-circle-jerk nonsense. No, this is wide, epic-scope awesomeness that just oozes special effects like heavy rain! And surprisingly, there were a few character moments that really boosted the film up from being just a popcorn action flick (which it never stopped being, don’t misunderstand), to a film with a bit of heart to it. It was visually stunning, and really enjoyable.

7. The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug- A return to form with this Middle Earth tale, Smaug proves to be a worthy successor to An Unexpected Journey, surpassing it in both substance and pacing. Smaug the dragon is a badass to behold on screen, there a lot of great visuals with him, and it was such a treat to see Legolas again! Evangeline Lilly killed it as the Jackson-original Tauriel, and the Elves have never been more amazingly portrayed than here, wherein they engage in a river battle that is just breathtaking! Seriously, this movie made my jaw drop, and it was so great!

6. Despicable Me 2- I will say that no movie this year made me laugh as hard as this one did! As a fan of the original, I had really high hopes for this one, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. This was hilarious, had me laughing at almost every joke, and really expanded on the content from the original. The minions were as adorable as ever, and I liked the characters a lot more in this one too. Gru was far more three dimensional than in the first film, and the children were relatable in this one; in the first one, as much as I enjoyed it, I did not find the characters to be all that engaging. This one did that so well. Definitely a romp worth seeing, you’ll have a smile on your face the whole time!

5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire- A true sequel should always build on what the first of its franchise developed, and as we’ve seen thus far, 2013 did that pretty well. Catching Fire, though. This did it almost perfectly! The Hunger Games world is really rich! As someone who hasn’t yet read the books (I know, I know), I love what the movies are setting up. The world feels very real, the themes presented in the film feel very focused on what they’re trying to say, and Katnis Everdeen remains a really three-dimensional and caring protagonist. I also love that the new characters never outshined her as the leader. Surrounded by a really nifty mystery plot, this sequel to the first film keeps you attentive and alert, and I really can’t wait for the first half of Mockingjay to come out in theatres! And yes, I’ll start reading the books soon…

4. Iron Man 3- This is it, folks. This is the one where I was like “you did it”! Iron Man 3 was the sequel that we needed to follow up Iron Man, and this one handled that task beautifully! There was real heart and care put into this thing, unlike 2011’s Iron Man 2, and the amount of character development and exploration the went into Tony Stark this time around was just awesome! The suits are amazing this time around, able to now latch on in pieces to Tony whenever he calls them, and the final battle really just makes your jaw drop! A truly terrific follow-up to both Iron Man and The Avengers, this is a prime example of how a sequel should be done!

3. Captain Phillips- Tom Hanks proves he’s still got it with this gripping film! This is so high up on my list because this was the one film that made me cry. Not like balling, but just that shivering crying, y’know, like that realization that something really horrible has happened to you. That’s what this movie did with its ending especially. That ending just had me slowly bleeding tears of emotion out of my eyes for Captain Philips, and by God, did Tom Hanks do a fantastic job! You just feel for him every step of the way, and the suspense is very well done.

2. Prisoners- Speaking of suspense… Jesus Christ! This thing… Okay, the thing about this movie is that this is not Friday night entertainment! This is like you need to sit down and lock in for two and a half hours to watch pain and realism and grit and hell! I mean, my God! The emotion is just off the walls in this one. The amount of violence is excessive, and it’s not that video-game violence either. No, this is like real life violence in the most absurd way possible… in a good way. Nothing feels forced or hammy in this movie. Hugh Jackman just pours his soul into this movie, and the sense of dread that permeates this film is rather disturbing. I’ve only seen this once, and that’s just fine with me, because I don’t think I could sit through this emotional low again!

1. Gravity- Yes. This is the one that holds the Number One spot for me just because of the amount of originality and uniqueness that make up this film. The visuals are stunning! I watched this in 3D and in 2D, and both were just breathtaking to watch. You just feel like you’re in space! Like, nothing can do that (except for this movie apparently)! You feel alone with Sandra Bullock’s character, and she plays an emotional and relatable astronaut. Gripping and enticing, both the visuals and the uniqueness of the picture in all its facets bring Gravity to the number one spot on my list of favorites for 2013!

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