Things from last year-Movies & TV

Last year, I experienced movies and television shows. These shows did not necessarily get released in 2013, but that is when I experienced them.

Looking back, I saw that I watched most movies on DVD. At first, I thought that I had traveled so much, I had just missed released dates. I looked up movies released in 2013 and I realized two things at the same time. First, last year I decided that I would only go to movies if it was an action movie I wanted to see, a comic book/sci-fi movie, or if it was a movie that peaked my interest. This is a change from previous years when I went to movies because I was bored or wanted horribly waxy popcorn. Second, I “cut the cord” on cable and decided to watch more DVDs instead of going to movies. 

I can’t talk about movies or shows without mentioning my rating system. I like the movie “The Three Amigos” and I also like the movie “Schindler’s List”. Obviously, there is a bit of a discrepancy between those two movies. I have developed a tiered scale. The tiered scale has some rule. I may love a movie, but have to acknowledge it is terrible and can’t recommend watching it (Judge Dredd with Stallone, I am looking at you). This tiered system has other rules that can be confusing. I don’t really like horror movies with a lot of gore, but I love suspenseful movies. This can confuse some people because I might like a movie that is gory and really suspenseful (like Silence of the Lambs) but hate a movie that is just gory (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Here are the ratings I will try to use: Great-A must see movie, Good-Ok and entertaining movie, as long as you don’t think too hard, Comic Book Movie- I automatically like comic book movies but I understand that most people don’t, Bad-This movie was rough to sit through, Terrible- I left the movie theater, Terrible Redbox choice– I wished that I could get my dollar back after I rented this.

Some movies transcend the lists, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy or The Dark Knight. These are movies that almost everyone (including non-fans) love. Fortunately, we didn’t have any of those in 2013.

Movies I Loved in 2013

Star Trek:Into Darkness-Sci-fi, Star Trek, absolutely my kind of movie. Don’t think too hard about questions like, “If they can teleport anywhere in the universe with Scotty’s formula, why do they need a five year exploration mission now?” or “Why was Carol Marcus in her underwear again?” or even “So wait, he broke the number one rule in Star Fleet and got temporarily demoted to the second in charge of the fleet flagship?”. My recommendation-Watch it if you love sci-fi and Star Trek. If not, skip it.

Gravity- This movie was amazing. The plot gets a little obvious, but it is a great movie. One of the few movies I recommended seeing in 3d.

The Amazing Burt WonderstoneThis is a Steve Carrell and Steve Buscemi movie. I thought it was hilarious. My recommendation has been sketchy on this one because I loved it, but others didn’t. I laughed pretty hard at this movie. My Recommendation-Watch it if you can handle a campy comedy about a Vegas magician. If you are looking for high intellectual humor, you are looking in the wrong place.

Man of Steel- (aka Superman punches all the things.)- I liked the movie, but I am a big comic book fan. There are some plot problems and some parts move pretty slowly. My recommendation-watch it if you like comic book movies.

Flight- With the exception of an unnecessary nude scene as the first scene in this movie, the movie is amazing.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire-  There is a reason that Jennifer Lawrence is America’s sweetheart right now. The movie was great fun and better than I expected.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty-  I absolutely loved this movie. it made me want to travel again. The scenery is amazing. I loved the story. My recommendation- watch it.

Movies I sort of liked:

RED2, Kick Ass 2, R.I.P.D, Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim, Ender’s Game, Thor: The Dark world-  All of these are comic book type moves. They did their job in entertaining me, but I can’t recommend them.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug- This movie should have been my favorite movie after Star Trek. Instead, I spent most of the movie wondering when they would get anywhere near the plot of a book by J.R.R. Tolkien titled “The Hobbit”. This is proof that studios don’t mind destroying a classic as long as they get cash. This trilogy should have just been made into two movies.

World War Z-  I didn’t want to watch this movie because I love the book so much and heard the movie was not like the book. the movie was great, but the only similarities between the movie and the book are so scattered that it is a completely different story. I like the movie fine. My recommendation- If you are in the mood for a zombie action movie, great. If you are in the mood for a story about how human society restores itself after a zombie (or zombie-like) plague, listen to the unabridged audio book (the audio book is better than reading in this case)

Now for the good part of the list.

Movies that made me feel like I had committed some sort of crime and my punishment was watching this movie:

I think you can guess my recommendations from the title of this section.

Identity Thief-  This movies asks the question, “What if we take two of the funniest people alive and put them in an unfunny situation?”. All funny scenes were in the trailer. I wanted my Redbox dollar back.

Mama- Guillermo Del Toro is probably my favorite director. I have loved all of his movies. Well, I have loved all of his movies except for this one. There were creepy scenes, but the cast interaction and chemistry was so bad that the evil spirit creature walking around the house made me cringe less when it was on screen.

A good Day to Die Hard- (aka Bruce Willis blows up a lot of stuff in Russia. No one knows why). I am a tremendous fan of the Die Hard series up to Die Hard with a Vengence. After that, I am not sure what happened. Redbox should have paid me for renting this movie.

G.I. Joe-Retaliation Against the audience, apparently.

Warm Bodies- Let’s take a funny concept like zombies turn back into humans if they fall in love and make it a teen romance movie instead of a comedy. Not enough? Make one of the characters the most pencil straight but have that character played by a comedian. Horrible.

Pain and Gain- Based on a true story, including the parts where people kidnap a guy and beat him with sex toys. 

The Wolverine- “Hey, you love comic book movies, right?” “How about we take a comic book character and, get this, completely remove his powers for 90% of the movie, Then, because he is a tough guy, we will show his ‘sensitive’ side. Then, when he inexplicably gets his powers back, nothing happens. Fun, right?”

Robot and Frank-  I left during this movie at about 35 minutes. I had fallen asleep three times.

Finally- Movies I refused to see based on the trailer

Elysium, The Lone Ranger, After Earth, Oblivion, 47 Ronin, – I am the target audience for these movies (Sci-fi/comic book geek, forgiving of most of the genre). These movies look awful. 

 

TV of 2013

I am only going to recommend shows here. I liked

  • the second season of Elementary
  • the second season of Arrow
  • the first season of Almost Human (so far)
  • the third season of Person of Interest
  • the third season of Luther
  • Doctor Who 50th and season 7 end
  • the fourth season of Justified

I discovered

  • Homeland (Awesome but daaaaaaaaark)
  • Leverage (fun, usually not dark)
  • NCIS (Ok, but the early seasons are fairly obvious so far)
  • Continuum-I like it but haven’t gotten into it yet
  • Falling Skies

I know this was a relatively boring post. This is one of the few posts that was actually for me instead of for an audience. I am hoping that I will head the warning of last year and stop watching such terrible movies.

 

 

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