My Top 10 (and Bottom 3) at the Movies in 2013

Now that 2014 is well under way it’s a good time to look back at the movies of 2013.  I went to the movies 40 times in 2013, a pretty low number for me, seeing 32 new films (the other 8 were either movies I saw more than once or classics I got the chance to see on the big screen).  Through a variety of reasons, I’ve managed to miss most of the big awards contenders including 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Her, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street, unlike last year when I had seen most of them.  Instead of simply ranking my favorite films from the past year, however, I prefer to highlight my top 10 (and bottom 3) movie-related things from 2013.  Some of these will be particular movies or performances, some will be scenes or aspects of production, and some are bits of news or interpretations.  I hope you enjoy it, and remember to let me know your favorite (or least favorite) film-related things from 2013! Continue reading

Review/Analysis: The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger is most likely not what you expect, though it probably has at least one or two moments (or silver bullets) aimed at you.  It’s not a devoted adaptation of the beloved TV show from the 50’s or the radio show from the 30’s.  It’s not a “Disneyfied” (hate that word, it’s so condescending) version of a Western, aimed at kids.  It’s not Pirates of the Caribbean on horseback, though your ability to enjoy The Lone Ranger might be related to your ability to enjoy that saga of movies.  It’s not even a live-action adaptation of Rango.  So what is it?

The Lone Ranger is a rip-roaring, funny, violent, subversive, political, Western action extravaganza.   Continue reading

Trailer Tuesday: The Lone Ranger

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.

During my movie marathon a couple weeks ago, I saw a trailer for The Lone Ranger (out tomorrow) before my showing of Man of Steel.  There’s nothing unusual about this, and I fully expected it, but what I didn’t expect was this unusual take on a trailer instead of something more typical.  Take a look, and then read on for my thoughts:

Instead of a standard trailer we instead got a behind-the-scenes look at the film.   Continue reading

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

As I’ve said in previous blog entries, I’m a die hard Star Trek fan, but I’m going to do my best to write this review as a neutral outsider (the spoiler filled analysis, on the other hand, is fair game for my inner Trekkie/Trekker).

Star Trek Into Darkness picks up a short time after the events of 2009’s Star Trek.  Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew are still on the Enterprise, and we first meet them as a mission involving the primitive inhabitants of a planet goes spectacularly awry.  It’s a fun sequence, which was heavily shown in the trailers, and we get a sense of the way in which the crew has bonded since that first intense mission that drew them together.  The cast shines early and often in this sequel, and is by far the film’s highest strength.  The (often frustrated) interplay between the crew is consistently funny and heartfelt, and goes a long way towards convincing us of the bonds they share. Continue reading

Review/Analysis: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 opens with a flashback to 1999, narrated by Tony Stark.  It’s the eve of the new millennium, and Tony is partying with an attractive scientist who is interested in DNA modification as it relates to regeneration.  They have an elevator encounter with an enthusiastic scientist interested in recruiting Tony (and the woman) to his new company.  We’re told via Tony’s voice over that this is where it all started.

We then jump to modern day Tony Stark, struggling to deal with recent events.  Christmas is approaching, and Tony has been spending all of his time in the lab, hardly ever sleeping, working on perfecting a new suit of Iron Man armor that will fly to his body in pieces at just a thought.  He’s currently living with Pepper Potts, who is still running his company.  Tony hasn’t been sleeping because he’s still haunted by his near-suicide in the wormhole in New York during the events of The Avengers.

Continue reading