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: Now You See Me

Now You See Me is a bit of an oddity.  It’s a movie about magic that’s not really about magic; it’s a heist movie where we never see the heists being planned.  These days I’m always on the lookout for something unique, whether it’s a story, a character, a film style, a setting, or anything else.  Now You See Me fits the bill, on several levels, and even if it’s not exceptionally deep it’s a lot of fun and a hell of a ride.

Now You See Me follows four struggling magicians as they team up to create a never-before-seen act. Continue reading

Review/Analysis: Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful is a good film but not a great one, and is in fact fairly interesting, though not perhaps for the intended reasons.  It’s an unfortunate fact that any Wizard of Oz related story, particularly a prequel, is going to be compared to the musical, Wicked, and will most likely suffer from that comparison.  I went into Oz with an open mind, even if I had low expectations, and I came away having generally enjoyed it.  It’s neither as deep nor emotional as Wicked, but you shouldn’t expect it to be.  It’s fun and funny, and while it has its faults, I’d still recommend it, especially considering my larger impressions that I’ll get to in the analysis section after the review. Continue reading