My Top 10 Anticipated Films of 2013

I know March is a weird time to create this list, but I haven’t seen any 2013 films yet, so I figured the topic was still relevant for now. Here are the top 10 films I’m anticipating this year (plus a few honorable mentions at the end of the post) and why.

#10: Olympus Has Fallen

So when I first saw the trailer for this, I thought it looked like an interesting story. Now I have found out that a very similar-sounding movie is coming out later this year called White House Down. I kind of hate that that happened, but I would still prefer to see this one, since it is Channing-Tatum-free.

#9: Now You See Me

I just found out about this movie while I was looking through IMDB’s list of movies coming out this year. It sounded interesting so I watched the trailer, and it looks really interesting too. The cast seems like a strange mix of people, but I am hoping it will be good.

#8: Man of Steel

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I’m not into Superman AT ALL, but it’s produced by Christopher Nolan (which is obviously not as good as being written/directed by him…) and it doesn’t look bad. And I want to see Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I’m hoping it will be a nice film that helps us all forget about Superman Returns.

#7: Monsters Univsersity

I was not happy when I heard about a second Monsters, Inc. movie. I love Monsters, Inc. and wanted it to remain “pure” in essence. What else could possibly be done with the story? But after seeing the trailer, I have to admit this prequel idea looks pretty cute.

#6: Thor: The Dark World

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Loki is an interesting¬†villain, and I look forward to seeing the brothers square off again. Also, Darcy’s coming back, and she makes me laugh. ūüôā

#5: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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I enjoyed the first Hobbit movie and am looking forward to seeing the second installment of the series. I just hope that, as the middle movie, this doesn’t suffer from some severe drawing out of the plot (because the first one was a little bit of a stretch as it was).

#4: Iron Man 3

Tony’s got a good girl, he’s cheated death, and saved the world a few times, but people still want to mess with him. But with Rhodey’s help, he’s going to kick their butts. It ought to be fun!

#3: Star Trek: Into Darkness

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I am giving J.J. Abrams the benefit of the doubt that this movie might be as good as this looks. As a Trekkie, I have to explain, that I really do enjoy Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek as a movie, but I really hate what it did to the canon of Star Trek. Yeah, it’s another timeline, but he blows up important planets! Into Darkness, though it’s still following this ridiculous timeline, does look really good, and I hope it is.

#2: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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I’m excited that there is a new director the second installment of The Hunger Games. Gary Ross did a good job creating the world and I liked some of the creative choices he made, but I think he dropped the ball in a couple of areas, especially in his belief (which I saw him have interview after interview) that he created a perfect movie and left nothing important out and didn’t need to release any deleted scenes on the DVD/Blu Ray. Uh, really dude? I’m hoping¬†Francis Lawrence moves forward with Gary’s vision but expands upon it and does an even better job of capturing the spirit of the story (and more Katniss and Peeta please? I know it’s the point but you know, come on, we need it before Mockingjay when all falls to heck).

#1: Oblivion

I’m really excited about Oblivion, because it looks really, really good, and I sure hope it delivers. The world evacuated of humans after war with aliens? Hidden secrets underneath the surface? Being lied to by your employer about what you’re doing on Earth? I’m intrigued.

There are some other 2013 movies that I have some interest in, but I might want to learn more about them before I rush to see them…

I’m sure¬†Despicable Me 2¬†will probably be cute and fun, but like Monsters, Inc., did Despicable Me really need a sequel?

The Lone Ranger has caught my attention since I first heard about it. In one of my history classes in junior high, in class we did acted out a radio show of The Lone Ranger and I really enjoyed the experience, so I have fond memories of it. It looks sort of interesting, but I would like to hear what other people say about it before I see it.

The Great Gatsby¬†looks intriguing, but I’m actually not that familiar with the story, so I’m not sure if I would like it or not. Again, we’ll see.

My husband will undoubtedly will want to see¬†The Wolverine, so I’m hoping it will be good. I actually like the other Wolverine movie better than most people (though not as much as my husband liked it), but I honestly had not been too crazy about any of the X-Men movie until First Class came out.

Since I plan to read¬†Ender’s Game¬†soon, I’m hoping the movie will interest me after reading the book.

One last thing: in 2014 movie news, two members of the Left Behind cast (in addition to Nic Cage) have been announced. Remember how I was just talking about this? Well hold on to your hats, boys and girls, because Chad Michael Murray has been cast as Buck, and Ashley Tisdale has been cast as Chloe.

No, this is not a joke.

But I sure wish it was.

Thank you, Nicolas Cage, for making sure this movie gets zero credibility now.

So… what movies of 2013 are you anticipating?

My Top 10 Book Series I Would Like to Read But Haven’t Yet

This is another Top 10 list idea from the blog The Broke and the Bookish. I’m just going to say that the first four are ones that I recently decided I might want to read, whereas most of the others I have been considering reading for a while (#5 being the exception, and #1 is actually is kind of recent, but not as recent as the others). Anyhow, it’s hard to decide to delve into a series when you’re sort of particular about what stories you want to dedicate your time to. So if you have any experience with any of these series, please feel free to weigh in with your opinion of them!

#10: The Lunar Chronicles

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A retelling of Cinderella set in a dystopia world… and where Cinderella is a Cyborg. I can’t quite decide what to make of this, but it’s gotten a lot of buzz so if I have a chance to borrow it for free… we’ll see.

#9: Under The Never Sky series

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I have mixed feelings about how I feel about the sound of this particular dystopia world, but I noticed the first book is¬†available¬†as an e-book through my library (my fave way to try out books) and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it in the blog sphere, so I may give it ¬†a try.

#8: Percy Jackson & the Olympians

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I know very little about this series; I haven’t even see the movie for the first book. But there is a lot of love for this series and I think for the characters as well. For me, the plot can be about almost anything as long as I love the characters, so who cares if I’m not really into Greek mythology? I still liked Thor.

#7: The Uglies series

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The first time I heard about this series, I was on the Wikipedia page for an episode of The Twilight Zone that I enjoy called “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.” It is set in a future where everyone in society, once they reach a certain age, must undergo a “transformation,” that will keep them looking young and beautiful for the rest of their life. Apparently, this series has a similar concept. I want to know more before I dive into it, but it sounds¬†interesting.

#6: The Harry Potter series

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Yes, I know, I know. I haven’t read the Harry Potter series. Where have I been living, under a rock? I even grew up at the ideal time to really grow up with the books as they released. But I was never really all that interested. In fact, the plot still doesn’t interest me. I haven’t even seen the movies (except about 30 minutes of the first one.) But again, it seems like this is a series of books where people fall in love with the characters and get emotionally invested in them. So for that reason, I think I may finally have to check this series out sometime.

#5: Across the Universe series

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So the main character’s name is Amy, she was¬†cryogenically frozen, and now she lives on a star ship. It’s like I’m a character on Star Trek! Hopefully… Anyhow, this is a series I just recently learned about, and I have to say my interest is piqued.

#4: The Left Behind series

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Well, I bet this pick threw you for a loop after all those young adult dystopia choices. I have read most of the series… I got through either Desecration of The Remnant the first time I believe. I started reading these books in sixth grade if memory serves, when only the first two books were out. I then read them as they came out. But at some point in high school, I got busy and pretty much stopped reading for fun, so I stopped short of finishing the series. I tried reading them again when I was unemployed, but it came to a halt when my husband didn’t have the next book, neither of our parents did (or at least not that they could find), nor the church library. In my laziness I never sought out another copy of it, and once again did not finish it. But one day, I want to make it all the way to the Glorious Appearing. In the books. Pretty sure I don’t want to go through that in real life (not as someone who lived through the Tribulation, I mean).

#3: The Lord of the Rings

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I want to read The Lord of the Rings, but I’m intimidated by the series. I’m afraid I’ll get all mixed up with the who’s and the where’s. And they don’t exactly seem to be quick reads. But one day, I really do want to read them.

#2: The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Every time I see the pretty cover Barnes and Noble version (not the one pictured), I think about buying it. And then my cheap side takes over. The movie is so wonderfully quirky in all the right ways, and from what I understand that’s just the tip of the¬†iceberg.¬† I definitely intend to get around to reading these stories one day.

#1: The Ender’s Game series

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Even though I’m not sure if I’ll read just the first book or the entire series, I put Ender’s Game at number one because I do intend to read the first book this year. It sounds like an intriguing concept, plus it is a bit more classic in terms of YA dystopia and has stood the test of time, so I’m really curious to check it out.

What are some series you want to read but haven’t gotten around to yet? And while we’re on the topic of Left Behind, who should star in the Nic Cage version of the movie? (Let’s disregard that this is probably a terrible idea.) I think Justin Bartha, who played alongside Nic Cage in National Treasure as everyone’s favorite Riley Poole, would make an excellent Buck Williams.

Review: The Giver

After hearing so many good things about The Giver, I decided to read it late last year. It’s a children’s dystopia read and a very easy read, but that did not lessen the impact of the story. In fact, after reading the likes of Matched, Divergent, and other dystopia series with complicated intricacies about them, The Giver really was a breath of fresh air.¬†The society in which the main character, Jonas, lives in is fairly simple. As they grow, children reach certain benchmarks at certain ages that teach them certain lessons (example: children are given a bike at age 9, which allows them to travel independently of their parents). Then at the age of 12, a child is given his job assignment and starts training. As they reach adulthood, they can apply for a spouse and up to two children.

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When it comes to his 12th year ceremony where he will receive his job assignment, Jonas grows nervous when he is skipped over his place in line for an assignment. It is not until every other 12th year child has received his or her assignment Jonas learns why he had to wait: he is to inherit the very honorable position of the Receiver of Memory, the one who keeps all memories from the past, before everyone lived in “Sameness.” The process to receive the memories is grueling when he receives the painful memories of war, starving, and sunburns. But he also gets to experience the joys of Christmas, grandparents, and snow sledding. Though he recognizes the dangers of the way the world used to be, he starts to believe it would be worth it to experience the pleasant things life can offer. He also starts to recognize the importance of knowledge and choice. He asks the¬†preceding¬†Receiver, who is now The Giver, if there is a way to go back to the way things used to be; if there is a way he can share the memories with others.

My only complaint about this book is that I feel it ends too soon. I wish I could know more and find out what happens after Jonas implements his plan (I’m keeping this vague so I don’t spoil anything). There are three other books in the same universe that follow this one, but they follow other characters, and I have read mixed reviews on them. I don’t want to read them unless I feel like they really add to The Giver and give it a sense of¬†completion¬† so I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to read them. (If you have an opinion about this, please let me know!) But overall, this really is a great little book that I think is a great introduction for preteens start to think about life differently… or for adults as well.

I probably won’t review it on here, but if you’re looking for another great and fast read about a dystopia society but is more geared towards adults, check out Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem.

If you’ve read The Giver, what are your thoughts on it? Is there someone you would like to see playing Jonas in the movie adaptation that is supposed to be coming out? (Jeff Bridges is already confirmed to play the role of the Giver)

Great quote from The Giver:¬†‚ÄúThe worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.‚ÄĚ