My Rankings of 2013 Movies Seen

Very surprisingly, I have only seen 10 new releases from 2013, 9 in theater and only one outside the theater (usually, I would have rented all the summer movies I missed by now!). This isn’t due to a lack of interest so much as a lack of time, and then  forgetting to hit up Redbox for rentals (because I’m lame and don’t have Netflix yet. One day I’ll cave). Because of this, I have yet to see several movies I was anticipating this year or later became interested in, including, most notably, The Book Thief and the second installment of The Hobbit. So all this being said, this is based solely on what I have actually seen so far, and I certainly intend to see more.

Out of the nine 2013 movies I watched, I gave 1 at 4.5 star rating,  6 of them 4 star ratings, and two 3 star ratings. The one I did not review I would say is a 3 star movie, which I do elaborate on later. Also, I have included what number the movie ranked on my most anticipated movies of 2013 list I created last March. Titles link to my reviews. On with the rankings!

1. Catching Fire

catching-fire-comic-con-trailerI was so excited for this movie so much that I made a  list of my Top 10 Anticipations for the movie. And I looooooved this movie! It was a definite improvement over the first installment of The Hunger Games movie franchise, and I cannot wait to see it again!

Ranked #2 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

2. Star Trek: Into Darkness

startrekThere are a few things in this movie that bother me more in hindsight than they did while I was watching it, but… I still love the movie overall. So many feels. Many tears shed. And there were truly a lot of great moments. Not to mention what JJ has done to bring in new fans into the franchise. Have I mentioned you should seriously watch some older Star Trek? Because you really ought to.

Ranked #3 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

3. Iron Man 3

IRON MAN 3I know a lot of people did not love the third Iron Man movie, but something about it resonated with me. Tony was more real to me, the twist of the villain truly surprised me, and oh yeah, he goes to Tennessee (where I live! Except the TN parts were actually filmed in North Carolina. Boo hiss. But anyway…)! Look, it’s an Avengers movie, not Oscar material. Enjoy it for what it is.

Ranked #4 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

4. Monsters University

mike-monstersUI was anxious about a prequel to my favorite Pixar movie, afraid that it would get the dreaded Disney sequel treatment, but I found that this story was great in its own right, as well as providing us additional insight to the characters we already knew! Again, it’s fairly light, but has a message that I think is actually very relevant for kids and adults alike, that you can’t necessarily do anything you want, but if you work hard, you’ll find your place!

Ranked #7 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

5. Thor: The Dark World

thor-2Thor’s second movie proved to be another fun and interesting exploration into the Marvel universe as well as Thor’s. And though I’ve never considered myself a Loki fan, he completely stole the show in this movie.

Ranked #6 among my most anticipated movies of 2013

6. Ender’s Game

enders_game_movie-wideI really enjoyed this adaptation quite a bit, but it was just too short and everything felt too fast. It left me wanting more, but thankfully, everything it did show looked really good and felt true to the book.

Ranked as an honorable mention among my most anticipated movies of 2013

7. Man of Steel

manofsteelThis was a movie that I really enjoyed when I watched it, but I have forgotten about a lot since my viewing of it. I loved all the flashback stuff about Clark Kent growing up. I hated the all the freaking property damage that was caused by Superman and Zod’s battle over who is more indestructible. This movie was considerably better than the 2006 Superman Returns, but Superman still doesn’t have the same impact on me as Batman does.

Ranked #8 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

8. The Wolverine

the-wolverineIf I was ranking these movies more objectively and less subjectively, this would be lower on the list. But I had fairly low expectations for this movie and they slightly exceeded them, mostly in the stinger scene but oh well. It was pretty fun. Some of it lacked logic and it bothered me that the evil villain lady looked like a Poison Ivy wanna-be but… whatever. It wasn’t as good as X-Men: First Class, but probably better than the other X-Men movies.

Ranked as an honorable mention among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

9. Oblivion

oblivion-shipThis movie was undoubtedly my biggest disappointment for movies in 2013. The trailer led me to believe that this was the most awesome, epic sci-fi dystopia story EVER and it just fell way short of what I expected. Overall though, it was still a pretty decent movie, which is why I rated it 3 stars, but I had so many problems with it. Why weren’t you EPIC, Oblivion?!

Ranked #1 among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

10. World War Z

world_war_zI never would have seen this movie if it had been left entirely up to me, but I was with a group and decided to keep an open mind. Despite the fact that it’s on the bottom of my list, I didn’t hate this movie at all. In fact, since I had low expectations for it, I almost enjoyed it. I say almost because 1.) This isn’t exactly a fun movie and the subject matter is pretty dark and 2.) I don’t have a desire to re-watch it. The funny thing is though, I am almost interested in reading the book, because from my understanding it delves more into the parts of the movie that were lightly skimmed over that I think would be fascinating to explore (i.e. more about the nature of world politics that happens rather and less of Greasy Haired Brad Pitt running away from zombies). Needless to say, putting this movie at the bottom of the list is not at all meant as a diss for a movie I had zero interest in seeing, and though I never reviewed it, I would give this movie a rating of 3 stars. I liked it alright.

Not ranked among my most anticipated movies of 2013 

What were your favorite movies of 2013?

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Review: The Wolverine

the-wolverineAmong all the comic book flicks I watch, I have to confess that the X-Men saga has never been my favorite. A few months ago I watched about twenty minutes of the first X-Men movie while it was on TV and it reminded me that I just don’t really care for it. I’ve watched it several times with my friends and my husband, and I don’t think the movies are awful and beyond watching, but I have never connected with them and there are definitely some really dumb parts (especially whatever comes out of Storm’s mouth… shudder). That was until X-Men: First Class, which I really loved the first time I saw it. I don’t love it as much now, but it’s still definitely my favorite of the franchise and I feel it’s heads and shoulders above the rest. I went into The Wolverine with lowish expectations… I thought I would probably like it decently, since most people seemed to like it better than Wolverine: Origins. I can say that The Wolverine pretty much met those expectations of me liking it well enough.

The movie takes place after X-Men: The Last Stand, and Logan is trying to hide out so he won’t bring harm to anyone. He still has nightmares about past instances in his life, and the one that we see at the open of the film is from WWII, when he saved a Japanese soldier from the blast of the nuclear bomb that is dropped nearby. Back in present day, we see Logan followed by an Asian girl with bright red hair, who eventually introduces herself to Logan and explains that the man he saved that day is dying and wanted to see him one last time to say goodbye. Logan reluctantly agrees to go to Japan with the girl, Yoshi Yosemite Yukio, who my husband and I like to refer to as Red.

Logan goes to Japan to find that the old man does not just want to say goodbye, but offers Logan to relieve him of his immortality by taking his healing ability so that he himself can live and Logan can die in peace. Even though Logan does not think he has much to live for, he basically says that’s a rotten deal, thanks but  no thanks, and walks out. Meanwhile, he observes the reaction of the old man’s family members around him: the man’s son and granddaughter. The granddaughter, Marco Monaco Marigold Mariko, is clearly distraught, and we find out that her life has been threatened.

The old man dies and at the funeral, Logan carefully observes the activity of everyone around him, aware that trouble may be stirring. Sure enough, it turns out  that there are a large number of men out Mariko, and after fighting off several baddies, Logan gets her away safely.

Predictably, the two end up falling for each other, even though it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And of course, Mariko is captured again and Logan and Red have to track her down and save the day. Instead of giving away any more of the story, however, I will leave it at that.

I liked both Yukio and Mariko pretty well and thought they were fairly well-developed characters. Yukio seemed to have an interesting personality and Mariko I think proved at the end that she was more than just a pretty faced love interest (though Logan’s nickname of her, “Princess,” is quite fitting). I never fully understood the motives of the villains though (just greed?), and especially did not care for Viper, who they might as wall have cast Uma Thurman for and called her Poison Ivy because they were crazy similar.

But to be fair to the writers of the movie, she is a character from the comics.

But to be fair to the writers of the movie, she is a character from the comics.

I had other likes and dislikes but overall, this is a fairly fun action flick that adds maybe a little bit more to the franchise and to the character, but not a lot. The part of the movie that stirred my curiosity the most actually turned out to be the stinger, the scene within the credits, which sets up the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was sort of interesting how almost the entire movie takes place in Japan, completely out of Logan’s environment, but I suppose that helps us realize that mutants are worldwide. For its decent entertainment value with nothing earth-shattering in the plot, I give The Wolverine three out of five stars.

3stars2

Have you seen The Wolverine? What were your thoughts? How do you feel about the X-Men franchise as a whole?