Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Five Best Movies of 2013 You’ve Already Seen

The following movies are ones you probably saw.

5) Ender’s Game

This movie, based on a classic sci-fi novel, has been in the works for years and years. When I met Orson Scott Card in 2008, he was on the phone between lectures, dealing with the business of the film.

The final result was admirable. Like any story, the movie falls short of the book, but it was a decent attempt. The kids are older than in the book. There were other minor details that were changed. But I was impressed that they did not compromise the ending. It must have been tempting for Hollywood to want to give it a more formulaic wrap-up. But to a certain extent, it rang true to Card’s book.

4) Captain Phillips

I heard that like most movies, it colored the truth a little in order to make a more entertaining film. For instance, the climactic precision gunshots were not made simultaneously and Captain Philips was actually kind of a jerk.

But still—the movie was great. Tom Hanks of course was amazing, but the most impressive performance was Barkhad Abdi, who played the leader of the pirates. He was the one who made things feel realistic.

3) Catching Fire

I wasn’t that impressed with the book. This is one of the rare cases where the movie was better than the book. The casting (even the minor roles) was well done. My main thought about this movie is how bummed I am that Philip Seymour Hoffman will not be in the final film. He was one of my favorites.

2) Gravity

This was a lot of effects and hoopla, but the story was solid. I loved that it was in real-time. The story made some brutal turns and that was brave. This could have very easily turned into a cheese-ball soft adventure. But the movie was solid and tense. One of the few movies lately that made me hold my breath.  

1) Frozen

Well, duh. I know everyone’s raving about it and it’s probably already been overexposed and hyped to death. But rightly so. It’s been a long time since I saw a musical animated movie that had any memorable songs. Even though Tangled was a great story, the music was mostly forgettable. Frozen was filled with great tunes. The story defied expectation and broke all the rules.
And Olaf.
Yet another cute side-kick. But I would almost pay to the see the movie a third time on the big screen, even if it was just Olaf’s scenes. He’s worth melting for.




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