My Top Films of 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugBefore you read into this list too much, there’s something you must know: I only see movies that I have an interest in seeing.  I rarely find myself leaving my comfort zone, or randomly picking a movie from a list.  I also don’t go see movies just because they are “critically acclaimed.”  I don’t buy into that, as I don’t listen to critics.  I sometimes see movies that are, but that’s because I do make good choices in what films I see.

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My Most Anticipated Films of 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugI haven’t created a list of my anticipated films of the next year in some time.  My friend Teddy posted one, though, and inspired me to do my own.  (Reading through this list, you can get a pretty good idea of the type of movies I like, for the most part.  You could probably predict what movies I’d see, year after year.)

10. Thor: The Dark World

Since Disney has delayed The Muppets 2 until March 2014, it made room in my top ten for Thor 2.  Love the first one, and the sequel should continue that.

9. Monster’s University

Finally we have Pixar’s latest.  This is a prequel to Monster’s Inc.  It landed after a Dreamworks animated film on my list because of Cars 2.  However, it made my list because of Toy Story 2 and 3.  Brave was a definite step in the right direction for Pixar, and I’m hoping that they can bring back some of the magic of the Monster’s Inc. as they’re about to branch out again into more uncharted territory.

8. The Wolverine

This looks to be the Wolverine film we’ve been waiting for since Hugh Jackman first played him in 2000’s X-Men.  Definitely looking forward to it.

7. The Lone Ranger

My brother and I used to watch the old TV series when we were really little.  I can barely remember any of them, but there are pictures of us watching it.  I’m a fan of the Pirates movies (more or less), and that gives me some trepidatious hope for this film.  I just haven’t been a big fan of westerns.

6. Epic

The trailer for this totally caught me by surprise.  Each time that I saw it attached to a film, the whole theater (kids and adults) was suddenly silent, just watching as it unfolded.  I hope that, like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks has created another film that could just as easily have come from Pixar.

5. After Earth

A potential new science fiction world.  Looking forward to entering it, to see if it brings anything new to the genre.  I don’t expect it to land like a new Star Wars, Star Trek or even Avatar.  But I’ve been surprised before.  The successful launch of a new Sci-Fi franchise could be quite a twist!

4. Iron Man 3

Shane Black brings a fresh voice to the Iron Man films.  (I’m probably the only person in the world that liked IM2 better than IM.  I just thought that Iron Man fighting another large Iron Mech at the end of the first film was terribly anti-climactic and somehow reminded me of Ang Lee’s Hulk.)  Looks like the ante has been raised for Iron Man.

3.  Star Trek Into Darkness

I only saw the first one because of J.J. Abrams.  I’ll be seeing this one because I actually enjoyed that one.  As a fan of Star Wars, there was a time when I wouldn’t have been caught dead watching anything Star Trek.  Abrams changed all of that.  I haven’t watched any other Star Trek movies, and had only seen a few episodes of various Trek shows over the years, but J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was the first time that I wanted to continue watching.

2. Man of Steel

Love what Christopher Nolan did with Batman, for the Dark Knight trilogy.  Now that creative team has worked on a Superman film.  The only difference is that Zack Snyder is directing.  I’ve only seen one of his films before this one, though.  The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.  That showed me that he could be the person to capture heroic flight in a film unlike anything we’ve seen before.  From the trailer, so far I think he’s nailed it.  The shot of Superman flying outside the Earth, Superman makes some very subtle movements that make him feel more like he’s actively flying, rather than just rocketing around.

#. The Muppets 2 (Delayed to March 2014)

As a big fan of the Muppets franchise, and a huge fan of The Muppets, the mere thought of another film from some of the same creative team is very exciting.  I thought they brought the Jim Henson magic back to the characters in a big way, and I look forward to seeing that continued on the big screen.

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

If you know me, you know what a big fan of Tolkien I am.  I’ve seen An Unexpected Journey three times (so far).  I’ve been waiting for these films since the credits rolled on The Return of the King, and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  Where the story goes from the end of the first one, it gets far more epic and enthralling.  I have a feeling that, for much of the audience, like The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in this trilogy will only be strengthened by the power of the next parts of the story.  For better or for worse, this is all part of one single story, and that makes it impossible for me to judge the first part on its’ own, without having seen the rest.

Honorable Mentions:

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Ender’s Game
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

George Clooney is not The Lone Ranger

Well, a few days ago I was talking about The Lone Ranger, and thinking they needed to cast someone in the title role that could and would steal scenes from Johnny Depp, who is in the role of Tonto.  There were rumors about who would take that role, and I believe they have found someone else that was both unlikely for the role, and that can upstage Depp in the role.

George Clooney (Ocean’s Trilogy) has been cast in the leading role.  He’ll be the man shouting “Hi-yo Silver, Away!” in Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Lone Ranger which is due in theatres in 2010.

Update: Armie Hammer is actually playing the Lone Ranger!

Johnny Depp: Pirates 4, Lone Ranger and Alice in Wonderland

I’m not a big Johnny Depp fan. Hardly at all, actually. But that isn’t to say that I don’t like movies that he’s been a part of. For instance, I haven’t really watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in years, but I have seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a few times. The simple fact that the Roald Dahl Estate enjoyed the adaptation enough to grant them license to use the name says a lot, as the name was revoked from the musical film because it wasn’t what they wanted in an adaptation of the book.

I have also seen him, much to my chagrin, in Secret Window, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Benny & Joon. Pitty that those movies weren’t worth watching. I’m glad I saw them all for free.

The only other movie that I’ve seen him do a decent job in, is Finding Neverland. But that actually had a compelling story, unlike the last three I mentioned.

That being said, I’ve enjoyed the character of Jack Sparrow. I didn’t like, however, the chain-reaction of millions of female fans suddenly claiming that Jack Sparrow was God’s gift to women. To me, that takes away some of what made Jack Sparrow a real man, making him more of a girl (see Girl Vs Awesome Heroes, though I disagree with him about The Karate Kid – quite possibly the greatest movie ever made). However, Jack Sparrow was always able to manipulate his way out of situations in sometimes very daring ways, making him something more of a man.

Now, Johnny Depp has signed on for Pirates of the Caribbean 4. He can’t get enough of playing that character. I’m interested to see where this is going. I hope that Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbosa, too. But if Orlando Bloom is in it, and isn’t playing an elf, but instead someone that isn’t supposed to appear wooden and regal, they’re going to need to do a lot to keep me watching. Let the story move past the characters of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Their story is now complete, while Sparrow has more to go. I’m glad that Disney is willing to make a fourth film. We can’t let the series end with that third one. However entertaining it was, having a nearly impossible to understand witch-doctor (who should have been subtitled) become a giant in the middle of the film was not very fun. The rest of the film was epic fun, but that was overkill.

He’s also signed to play a role in Jerry Bruckheimer‘s adaptation of The Lone Ranger. The role of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto. Good thing that Depp is part Cherokee. Until I learned that, I thought they should have actually cast a true Native American in the role. It seems they have. Sort of. Either way, however, when the cast the Lone Ranger, it had better be someone great that can steal the scenes from Johnny Depp. We don’t want to see the marquee say “Johnny Depp is TONTO in The Lone Ranger.” Being the side-kick, the actor in the leading role should get the glory and the top-line.

And coming in at no big surprise to anyone, Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is going to have Johnny Depp in the role of The Mad Hatter. Brilliant casting. If there’s anyone that can pull of a watchable Alice, it’s Burton. Let’s see if he does it.

I just wish girls everywhere would get over their tendencies to scream every time Johnny Depp’s name is mentioned. He’s a married man, get over it.

-via Cinematical