As a student it can take some convincing to take a trip to the nearest city to spend money on the most expensive cinema chain. As a student in a small town with nothing much else to do, it can take even less convincing. But even so, it takes either good advertising, prior love of a franchise or sheer begging from friends to decide to see a movie on the big screen. So, I’d like to pay homage to the movies that lured me to the cinema in 2013: saying why I went and whether my hopes and expectations were met. A lot of these, I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, so I’ll keep them brief. Here’s my cinema list of 2013!
Original review: https://artzonbooks.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/film-review-mama/
I love horror. Well, I used to. Now I’ve just gotten a little bored with them. The modern horror films are all jump scares with no atmosphere. What backstory they try to include sucks. But I was tempted to see Mama when my friends and I were bored and decided a trip to Liverpool would be nice. We looked at what was on at the cinema, checked out the trailers and this was the best one. I went in hoping for scares and what did I get? Whimsical scenes?! Yes, whimsical scenes. I mean, there was some tension there but it ended with a real fantasy feel at the end. Which was so strange. I know you get gritty fantasy: like with Pan’s Labyrinth but the movie didn’t sell itself like that at all. It followed two children who had been left alone in a forest and grown feral. But some ghostly force had been taking care of them and killing anything that wanted to harm them. They were found by their Uncle and girlfriend and tried to get them back into family life; but bringing the ghost with them. This is a classic ghost story. So why oh why did they change it right at the end? I guess Guillermo del Toro presented it, but that means nothing other than a glorified recommendation.
Generally, I guess it’s a good film if you already know about the mix of genres. The story is interesting, it’s scary at times, and some of the jump shots were done quite well. I just was really let down as I wanted to be scared witless… and I wasn’t.
Wasn’t bothered about seeing this movie; I had no interest. I’d not seen the musical, didn’t know the songs and wasn’t aware any of my friends knew it either. Turns out one did and he really, really wanted someone to go see it with him. So, we rounded up everyone and as a group we all agreed to go together. So what day did he want to see it? VALENTINE’S DAY. *sigh*…Fine.
So off we went and what “fun”. To be fair, I liked the story, and since watching the 25th anniversary edition of the musical I now like the songs. But this movie? Its directed so badly! I’ve done a review on it already (https://artzonbooks.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/film-review-les-miserables-directed-by-tom-hooper/), so I won’t linger on this too long, but really. I’m still surprised we were the only people to laugh at Jevert’s suicide after that comedy side effect. And the sudden jaunty angle in the middle of a serious scene. A disappointment, but one we still talk about today.
This was our second ‘we’re bored, what’s on at Odeon?’ session. We watched the trailers, thought it looked pretty neat, got fair reviews… why not? And I’m glad I did. It was a nice sci-fi flick and it was entertaining. Not…. Much more I can say about it. It had a good twist, which was helped by the story. I guess it lost a lot of the attention that it should have gotten. Go see it, it’s pretty decent.
Iron Man 3
This was the first big one: the one we’d looked forward to. I’ve enjoyed the Marvel films and as popularity is rising more are coming out. After seeing the first two films, I knew what I wanted out of this movie and I was surprised as to what I got. The tone was much more comedic than the prior films; but not to say this was a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Though.. I knew I’d enjoy it before Robert Downy Jr even came on screen. You know, the bit where they played Eiffel 45? Blue (Da Ba Dee) over your title credits…? Movie gold! But seriously, it was a great film with good humour, great acting and an enjoyable story. I liked the change in tone, and I also liked how they wrapped everything up – as it’s possible for no Iron man 4 (http://www.themarysue.com/robert-downey-jr-avengers-2-3/). The character arcs feel a whole lot sweeter when we know there is still more of our beloved philanthropist in the Avengers movies.
Star Trek Into Darkness
I’ve heard a lot of hate for this film, from critics and teachers alike… but I still can’t bring myself to hate it. I was never a star trek fan, so these movies were my first venture into this world. Its what got me interested in the universe. I’ve since gone back and looked at a couple of the original series. And it’s all cool. I know a lot of people say the plot holes ruin Star Trek Into Darkness for them, but I see it as an entertaining movie that’s great for JJ-fans (like myself), or people new to the series. I’m still looking forward to the next film: despite JJ not directing this time, and I’m hoping for more fun!
This was my summer flick. My partner came to visit, and as there’s not much to do in my home-town either, cinema was again the best bet for a night out. Plus the cinema there is awesomely cheap! This movie looked pretty awesome from the trailers. I think I might have built myself up a bit too much for it, though. I came out the cinema with a ‘just satisfied’ feel, whereas my partner loved it. Maybe it’s a guy thing: as its leaning towards the macho-fighting-robots thing… but I thought it was alright. I did like the monsters, and the robots were pretty cool. The plot was ok, the acting was good as far as I remember. It was at least better than transformers. I think the main problem for me was the plot twist was a bit… guessable. I tend to have a habit for guessing the twists in movies anyway: but anyone who knows anything about the animal kingdom should pick up on the hints and figure it out.
This was epic. Masterpiece of cinema. I already covered it in my favourite movie moments review (https://artzonbooks.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/my-favourite-movies-or-movie-moments/), but this was really something. Never before have I been that impacted by a film at the cinema. It, for me, encompassed all that those ‘don’t let cinema die’ adverts are trying to invoke. We went to see this because of the great reviews it was getting and boy was it worth it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I really do hope it keeps its impact on small screen.
Thor: The Dark World
Another Marvel film yay! I hadn’t looked forward to this one quite as much as Iron Man 3, but I was still pretty hyped. I thought this was a great sci-fi superhero movie. It had the action, the mystery, and the fantastical new worlds. I enjoyed the humour and acting. It wasn’t the most perfect of films, but it was definitely one of the better ones for 2013. One scene I loved in particular (as noted in my best movie moments review: https://artzonbooks.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/my-favourite-movies-or-movie-moments/) had me right on the edge of my seat as we try to decide whether Loki has betrayed his brother or not. Beautiful.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Went to see this as part of the Universities’ Sci-fi and fantasy Society. A lot of people there were so hyped for it. I didn’t like the first one and so went in with low expectations for this one. I’ll say, it was a lot better than the first… but that doesn’t make it great. It had a shitty romance for starters. The dragon was actually quite good… as I’d been led to believe they’d made him all one colour by the trailer. I enjoyed it on the whole, but I’m still unsure about the third instalment. I got mixed reviews from the society members too. Some adored it, some hated it ‘cause it doesn’t stick to the book. I can see why it ventured away from the book, though… as you can’t have this kind of movie with no action scenes. Tell you what, though, I did like that spider scene!
I sort of saw this in January 2014… but I’ll count it anyway. As I mentioned in my previous review (https://artzonbooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/film-review-disneys-frozen-directed-by-chris-buck-and-jennifer-lee/) I wasn’t interested in seeing this movie either: hence why it took me so long to see it. I heard so much about how good it was from everybody that I decided to watch it: despite the slap-stick trailer. I was very pleasantly surprised. It had its oddities… like the first third of the movie being almost completely song… but it’s since caught on me like a plague. I love the main song and I want to get the film on dvd when it comes out. I guess you might have to be a Disney fan, or tolerater, to like it. But I like the way it challenges the generic princess story, I like how it pokes at my inner child and makes it stare at wonder… and I’ve even come to like that really weird song about ‘fixing up the imperfect guy’. It’s just a nice movie. Though I still hate the snowman.