Friday, July 5, 2013

Rating 2013's movies (I've seen) so far

Author's note: There may or may not be spoilers in some of these.

Warm Bodies
One of the most creative zombie movies ever. Funny, clever, touching, with a hint of Romeo and Juliet. It gets 3 legs and an arm.

The Place Beyond the Pines
The best movie of the year so far. It's different than anything I've seen. The soundtrack was hauntingly juxtaposing. Great performances. The story really hit me where my longing for past youth and freedom intersects with the honor and pride of fatherhood. I want to see it four more times. 4 Goslings and a Cooper.

Crisp and by-the-book but not great. How many times has Jason Statham played this guy? I never give any thought to Statham yet he is starring in four franchises as of 2013: Transporter, Crank, Expendables, and now Fast and Furious. He's the king of third-tier action movies and, it turns out, I have a weakness for those. I give Parker 2 bullets.

Oz the Great and Powerful
So much went right and so much went wrong. I really liked Michelle Williams and the way Rami matched a lot of the feel and formula of the original. I didn't mind the scorned lover angle. My biggest problem with this movie was the glossiness of it and James Franco, who I love in the right role, i.e., Pineapple Express. It gets 2 balloons and a horse of a different color.

The Host
Ugh. The worst voice-over mind thoughts acting in the history of ever. The look of the movie was really great though, I thought. The story ... meh. I can usually find something in a movie to like. It was really hard here but not the worst movie I've seen. 1.5 glowing irises.

Jack the Giant Slayer
There was a point I fell asleep. It was a lunch matinee. I was tired. Still, I think more people should have seen this. It was a pretty good time except where I fell asleep. 2 and a quarter NoDoz.

G.I. Joe Retaliation
There's nothing G.I. Joe here. Nothing. Except the Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow parts. Still, as an action movie, it had its moments. But, what a waste of a franchise this turned out to be. 2 "Yo"s and no "Joes".

This movie. What a boring first half. What an exciting second half and finale! Oh, but then Cruise delivers a gratuitous "Eff" at a climatic moment and my eyes rolled out of my head and into my Coke. 2 clones and a Morgan Freeman.

Evil Dead
Not too scary. Very horrifying. Comically bloody. 3 jugulars and a toe.

Fast and Furious 6
In a world where I pretend there's only been three of these movies (1, 5, and 6), 6 wasn't as good as the other two because what they got right in 5 didn't translate to 6 in the story and acting department. Everyone takes themselves soooooooo seriously in 6. But amazing action sequences saved it. And the runway at the end is 26 miles long. 2 and 3/4 tanks of nitrous.

Iron Man 3
My least favorite of the three. I guess it probably ties with 2. I don't know. There were so many good things and while watching I was having a blast. But afterward I sort of feel like it fizzled out. Partly because my expectations were so high and partly because I didn't really want to see it again, which is normally my mark of a great film. Still, 3 mandarin oranges.

Star Trek Into Darkness
Same problems here as with Iron Man 3. I wanted it to blow me away and make me want to see it three times. It didn't. It's still better than a lot of sci-fi films but ... not even close to the best action movie of the summer. 3 "Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhnns!"

The Great Gatsby
What a gorgeous movie. I'm glad I saw it in 3D (it was shot that way). Maybe too slick at times but better than I thought it would be. Catherine Martin, Leo, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are the reasons this movie succeeds at all. 2 sweet cars and 3/4 of a flapper girl.

No one saw this. It's a shame because it's at least equal to the other animated films of the first half of the year. The "message" is a little heavy-handed but it was fun, cute, and really nice to look at. Oh, Beyonce's voice was not the right choice for the woodland queen lady, I'm sorry. 2 and 1/2 three-legged pugs.

The Purge
My wife had the idea for a similar premis like two years ago. Her movie would have been better. The idea of this film seems great, you get 12 hours of legalized crime, including murder. What are the moral implications? Political? Who would participate? But it simply turns into a home invasion movie. Yawn. Although, there's some good moments, it wasn't good overall. 2 shotguns.

Man of Steel
Eric Snider can explain exactly how I feel about this film here. Or another author can here. Good film overall. Could have been great. I will say that I loved the Krypton parts and the stuff with Costner. 3 speeding bullets and 1/2 a locomotive.

World War Z
My favorite action movie of the year so far. And that's what it is. Don't be fooled. It's a political action thriller. Not a zombie movie. It launches you right in with one of the most gripping first 20 minutes I've seen in a long time and then takes you on an exploratory journey of moral, political, domestic, and ethical considerations. If you've read the book, it's not the book. But it still does the flavor of the book justice. I thought it was great and I want to see it again soon. 4/5 stars. B+.

This is the End
Hilarious. Crude. Over the top. Too long. Michael Cera as you've never seen (or have wanted to see) him before. 3 Twinkies.

Monsters University
Better than Cars and Cars 2. But that's about it. Pixar can't make a bad movie (well, I never even saw Cars 2) so this was a lot of fun. I laughed a lot and so did my kids. 2 Monsters and a 1/2 an Inc.

The Heat
I can't decide if this or This is the End is better. They both were hilarious. I guess I give the edge to this because it was smarter and a little less mean. The chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy is fun to watch. 3 sandwiches.

The Lone Ranger
Sit through a slow, dark, somehow silly two hours and you are rewarded with a really fun, exciting, true-ish to the original, 26 minutes. 2 silver bullets and a half ass.

What do you think? How's this year's movies been treating you? What else should I have seen?

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