Internet!! It’s that magical time of year once more, that time of year when we can finally answer that most important question: “what on earth will I blog about this week?” without having to sit around and think about it for twenty minutes! This is the time of year when the blogs practically write themselves and all I have to do is sit around and mess up the punctuation! So let’s start off the festivities with a nice bit of nostalgia! A look back at the things that we liked in theaters in 2013 before we look back at the things that we hated!
Micah’s Top Ten Movies of 2013
In full disclosure: I have still not watched “Frozen” “Saving Mr. Banks” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “American Hustle.” Yeah, remember how I’ve been dead most of this month? Trust me when I say that I spent a good week and a half of December with my eyes tightly closed while tiny ninjas slapped my retinas with fish covered in acid. Movies weren’t a priority. But regardless of that here are the top ten movies of the month that I did watch. It’s also worth noting here that these are just the movies I have seen this year. I know “Twelve Years a Slave” was supposedly awesome but it played in like four theaters so I didn’t watch it. Sorry sports fans.
10. Monster University
Squeeking in at number 10 is Monster University with the HUGE asterisk next to it that I did not watch Frozen and that Frozen is probably a better movie. I liked Monster University but I didn’t think it was anything awesome nor did I think it was a ton better than the first one. In fact the primary result of me watching this movie was that I wanted to go back and watch the first movie again. That may not sound like super high praise and honestly, it isn’t. I feel like the bottom four on this list are a good ways below the top 5 as far as sweet sweet goodness goes.
9. World War Z
Hey a Zombie movie!! See, I’m not completely closed minded. A surprisingly heartfelt affair, World War Z starred Brad Pitt and Zombies that sounded like hungry squirrels and moved as fast as teenage girls racing for the last Taylor Swift CD. It was a pretty good movie and did some interesting stuff with an old old idea and I am thusly awarding it number 9 on this not at all renowned list.
Yup… Tom Cruise made this list. I don’t know what I stand for anymore. Can you imagine if I’d really liked Saving Mr. Banks so Tom Cruise AND Tom Hanks were on this list? I’d have to ritually light this website on fire. That would be the worst thing ever. Anyway, I really liked Oblivion and thought that Cruise and Morgan Freeman and whoever that lady who played Tom Cruise’s wife was did a really good job with it. It was a movie that surprised me, and I do love surprises. Speaking of which…
7. Now You See Me
Definitely my surprise movie of the year right here. It certainly had potential to be good but it also had the potential to be forgettable and predictable two things it definitely wasn’t. I thought the cast was great and the story (while taking a strong left turn at bizarre junction at the end) held up very well throughout. It was exactly what you want out of an old school magician movie and well worth a number seven ranking!
6. Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 was so close to being awesome but a few little things here and there along with one giant Gwennyth Paltrow ruining the end dropped it down to number 6. It was still a really good movie though and featured another stellar outing for Robert Downey Jr, so it really was well worth the watching and definitely an upgrade from the second movie which seemed to forget midway through the film that it was an Iron Man movie, in favor of being the story of an uninteresting Russian person and his parrot.
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Okay so that was like movie Tier 1 back there. 10-6 were all pretty close goodness-wise then there is a huge gap, followed by 5-3 which were all pretty close and then another slightly smaller gap before 2-1. Not that any of you wanted to know that or that it matters at all but I figured I would throw it out there. Back to the movie at hand though, Catching Fire is the rare example of a sequel that actually outdid the original. It builds very nicely on the groundwork of the previous movie both with its characters and with its storylines and it also definitely moves along much smoother than the last movie which helps a lot. Some people complained that the ending was too much of a cliffhanger but you kinda knew that going in right? I mean there are three books out there guys, and any time you have a trilogy you have a terrible cliffhanger at the end of book 2. It’s like a rule or something.
4. Thor: The Dark World
Ah, Thor 2. I don’t know if it was better than the first one or not but it was definitely awesome so who am I to complain? Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston continue to have some of the best back and forth on screen of any duo this year and while Hemsworth and Portman continue not to have awesome chemistry the world around them is so well built and the action is so stirring that your willing to forgive them a bit of on screen fakery. It’s a great movie with a genuinely entertaining lead and nemesis along with a well-established world and a great supporting cast. If you’re not on board the Thor train (not to be confused with the soul-train… trust me on this one) at this point I suppose this won’t convince you otherwise but seriously: watch this.
3. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
My issues with last year’s film are very well documented (on this website in fact) but I genuinely felt like this movie improved a lot over last years. It was still a different tone then the first trilogy but that was never really my issue with the first one anyway. This movie is a lot better crafted overall and while the middle is still a bit draggy it’s nothing compared to the miry, wet-concrete filled, middle of the first movie. The action is more actiony, the adventure is more adventury and the fact that Smaug is both in this movie and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch does nothing but launch this film into the much coveted top 3.
2. Star Trek Into Darkness
My most anticipated movie of 2013 WAY back in January actually did very well for itself. Great performances by the big three of Spock, Kirk, and angry Sherlock Holmes delivered carried a brilliant cast and the story was sweeping and epic and exactly as big as it needed to be. It got VERY slightly nudged out by the number one film but was about as close a second as you could get and should hold its head proudly as it boldy goes where no Star Trek film has gone before.
As surprising to you as it is to me, here’s Gravity sitting at the top spot. No… for real. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in a tight, well made, brilliantly visualized film about some people trapped in space, trying to get home. More than anything else I just love how well put together this movie was, it built itself up into a fast paced yet surprisingly introspective adventure and didn’t waste a single instant of its screen time. It would have been so easy to pad this movie out with flashbacks and other characters, but Gravity stayed small and intimate and made you pay attention to everything it did. From start to finish, from stop to start, from space to… other space. Gravity makes you watch, makes you care, and makes you love the whole experience. As great as some of the other films on this list were there was never any doubt in my mind as to what was going in this spot.
Well guys thanks for reading! Another year another top ten, and now (as is my wont) I shall start prepping for Thursdays column this year’s bottom ten movies! Come on back, it’ll be a party!