Friday, January 3, 2014

My Totally Subjective, Short Reviews of All The Movies I Saw In 2013

Have I mentioned I work at a movie theatre? It's just like what you'd expect--low pay, grubby work, and one awesome perk: free movies. I hereby present a list of all the movies Brendan and I saw in 2013, with some words or, shall we say, reviews.


P.S. There will be spoilers. Beware.


  • Mama: Boo. They basically give up the little girl to the nasty ghost at the end! Come on. Wouldn't she rather grow up and be alive than be a flurry of moths hanging out with ghost? I think she would have gotten over her obsession with Mama.
  • Hansel and Gretel: Boo. I don't even really remember why boo, except I remember thinking it was stupid.
  • Movie 43: Yay and eh and boo. This movie was a series of shorts, and some were funny, others stupid. 


  • Warm Bodies: Yay! It's a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with zombies! 
  • Identity Thief: Eh. I wouldn't exactly recommend against seeing it, if it happens to be on a cross-country flight (do they still do movies on cross-country flights?) or something like that, but it's not particularly great.
  • Side Effects: Eh, mostly because I can't really remember not liking it.
  • Safe Haven: Eh. Cobie Smulders is a ghost! 
  • Beautiful Creatures: Yay! This movie has an indie-movie quality I love, and that kid who plays the male lead is just so adorable, you can't help but fall for him. 
  • Snitch: Eh. Again, not exactly a bad movie. 


  • 21 & Over: Eh. I would give this movie a boo except they filmed it in the U-District and on the University of Washington campus and Basil Harris is in it! I know him.
  • Jack the Giant Slayer: Eh? That's a little stronger than "eh" but not as strong as "yay." It's got the actor from About A Boy in it, all growed up! 
  • Oz, The Great And Powerful: Boo! I wanted to like this movie, but Oz was just a jerk and why did they need an average human jerk to save them when they had magic and stuff? I do not believe being spurned by Oz would make Theodora go all Wicked Witch--he just wasn't worth it and she barely knew him. I don't remember all the eloquent thoughts I had right after seeing the movie, but I think it really bugged me that Oz himself never really had a redemptive moment. He's a jerk to the very end. (Okay, yes, he helps them, but that doesn't make him stop being a jerk.)
  • The Call: Boo. This movie was just ridiculous. Mostly the ending. 
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone: Eh. It was kind of stupid and I didn't believe for a second that the Olivia Wilde character would hook up with the Steve Carrell character, but it had a couple funny moments.
  • The Croods: Boo. I liked some things about this movie, but I especially hate when children's movies perpetuate negative stereotypes and unrealistic ideals. An obvious example is when the more advanced cave guy is teaching them how they can safely walk across rocks. The grandma and the daughter go crazy over this new concept: shoes! 'Cause women go crazy over shoes! Bleh. Later, and more insidious, the mom's hair goes from crazy, sticking straight up, to straight and hanging down after she walks through a rainforesty type place, and it's associated with positive change. 
  • Olympus Has Fallen: Boo. Amurica! Where the president gives up nuclear codes, endangering the lives of millions, to save his friends. 
  • The Host: Eh. Unmemorable.
  • The Place Beyond the Pines: Yay! This was a beautiful movie, beautifully told, beautifully acted. 


  • Evil Dead: Yay. It didn't have the wacky of the old ones, but it payed homage to them nicely. 
  • 42: Eh. Good to learn some history I hadn't really known about, but otherwise no strong feelings. A minor thing that annoyed me was at the end when his wife is leaving the baby with the sitter and the music is ominous, so you think something bad is going to happen to the baby. Don't worry, the baby is fine.
  • Oblivion: Boo. As of 1/8/14, this movie's status has been downgraded from "eh" to "boo." See my friend Anthony's comment for the reason why.
  • The Big Wedding: Boo. God, April was a long time ago. I seem to remember not liking that it just kind of glossed over adultery.


  • Iron Man 3: Yay. Entertaining and fun. 
  • The Great Gatsby: Eh. I liked the spectacle of the first two-thirds or so of the movie. That one big party scene was really fun. 
  • Peeples: Eh. It was kind of funny.
  • Star Trek: Into Darkness: Eh. Maybe even boo. I remember really liking the first one. I don't remember exactly why I didn't like this one, but I recall a really unbelievable fight scene and sexism.
  • Epic: Eh. I so wanted this movie to be epic. The trailers made it seem like it would be. It was okay...but definitely not epic. 
  • Fast & Furious 6: Boo. If you like car chases, this is for you. Only for you.
  • Now You See Me: Eh. It was fun to watch the tricks, but not so much fun to watch the movie. The camera work could make you sick.
  • After Earth: Boo. Poor acting, not so great story. 


  • Much Ado About Nothing: Yay. The one movie we paid money to see all year, because it never came to my theatre. Love the director, love the actors, so it was fairly inevitable I'd love the movie...but it doesn't get an exclamation point after the yay because I didn't love love it. 
  • Man of Steel: Eh. I really liked the second half of the beginning of the film, which had that indie-movie quality I love, but then it was boring action sequence after boring action sequence.
  • This is the End: Yay. This movie gets a yay because I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was way funnier than I thought it would be.
  • World War Z: Eh. It had a couple very memorable scenes, like him cutting the girl's arm off or facing off with that creepy tooth-clicking zombie, but was otherwise just okay.
  • Monsters University: Eh. 
  • The Heat: Yay-ish. I really like Sandra Bullock comedies, and Melissa McCarthy is super funny, and I thought they had good chemistry. But they were also power-abusing cops.
  • White House Down: Yay. Like Olympus Has Fallen, but better! Maybe because that's the bar I was comparing it to, it gets a yay and really deserves an eh. But hey, it was just like that other crappy movie, but had humor, better acting, and a more interesting villain. And the cute kid was a smart and scrappy girl rather than a boy.


  • Despicable Me 2: Eh. It was kind of cute, but should have had more of the girls. They're way cuter than the minions.
  • Pacific Rim: Eh. I went into this movie with high expectations, but it disappointed. The acting was so-so and the script sucked. The special effects were cool, though.
  • Fruitvale Station: Yay! Not an easy movie to watch, but so well done and so worth the challenge.
  • R.I.P.D.: Eh. Maybe boo. Hardly remember it, so that doesn't speak too well of it, right?
  • The Conjuring: Yay. Yay on a scary movie scale, which is a different scale than for regular movies. I thought the acting and the pacing were good, and it scared me. 
  • Red 2: Eh. Once I got over how casually people were killed, I was able to find some funny moments.
  • The Wolverine: Eh. 
  • The To-Do List: Eh. I loved that it was set in the early nineties. That was when I watched Full House, put pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas on my walls, and used scrunchies. Good times. But I was expecting a better film, so I was kind of disappointed.


  • Elysium: Boo. Implausible. Jodie Foster's stilted acting bugged me. Why were those greedy bastards hoarding the medbots or whatever they were called when there were obviously plenty of them to go around? Seemed like a land where everyone could be happy and healthy, so it didn't really make sense that they were hoarding all the goods up in the sky.
  • We're The Millers: Eh. I was kind of expecting to hate this movie, so the fact that it elicited no super strong feelings and made me laugh a couple times gives it an eh.
  • The Butler: Yay. Any movie that makes me cry pretty much automatically gets a yay because it means I'm invested. See exception at the end of this month. But The Butler made me care and kept me interested. Good acting, you actors, you.
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: Eh. Why just eh? Why didn't this movie strike me in a similar way as Beautiful Creatures? I don't know, exactly, but it just didn't.
  • You're Next: Boo, and yet, it was pretty funny if you don't mind movies that are funny because of how bad they are. As the daughter prepares to run outside and get help, you can't help laughing at how stupid it is, and then you feel kind of bad because you can't help laughing that she sliced her throat open on the trip wire THAT OF COURSE WAS THERE.
  • The World's End: Eh. Another case of having high expectations and the movie not quite living up to them. I mean, I liked it. Maybe I should give it a yay. Okay, fine, it gets a yay, but no exclamation point. I just didn't think it was as funny as the other Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright collaborations I've seen. 
  • The Grandmaster: Yay. I thought this was a very beautiful film. 
  • Instructions Not Included: Eh. Here's the exception. This movie made me cry at the end because it totally surprised me that it was the little girl dying, not the dad! WTF! I felt like it was yanking at my heartstrings in a very inappropriate way. If it hadn't had that ending, it probably would have gotten a yay.


  • Insidious Chapter 2: Yay. I didn't like it as much as The Conjuring, but considering I worked in the highest rated maze ever at Halloween Horror Nights 2013, and it was based on this movie and its predecessor, I just have to give it a yay. 
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Yay. It was super colorful and I really liked that. The food creatures were really cute, too. That was enough for me.
  • Don Jon: Yay. Another case of I went in not expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't necessarily believe that the character would change the way he did, but I liked that he did. 


  • Gravity: Eh. I was totally immersed in space, but it totally freaked me out. It didn't make me go, yay, space is so awesome! Rather, shit, space is the scariest place ever. So yes, I got into the movie, but I didn't really like the experience. And it was pretty heavy-handed. Her coming out of the water, like a rebirth, after she's made this decision to fight for life? Eh. And it really bothered me that there were water splatters on the camera lens for the final shot. How am I supposed to feel in it if I feel like there's a camera between Sandra and me? She was good, but I like her comedic roles better.
  • Carrie: Eh. It wasn't bad. 


  • About Time: Boo. I wanted to like this movie, but I really hated how stupid it was. He can travel through time, at will, and for him "It was always about love." Bleh. I don't buy it. If he could really travel in time like that, he should have had a much more interesting life. And then there's the scene where he TAKES HIS SISTER WITH HIM TIME TRAVELING. He can TAKE other people with him time traveling! But he never tells his wife he can time travel or takes her time traveling! What an ass. 
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Yay. The acting was incredible. 
  • Thor: The Dark World: Yay. I just really like the Avengers, what can I say?
  • The Best Man Holiday: Eh. Some of the characters are about to topple off their moral high ground, while others bow down to those on the pedestal. Had some funny moments, but the Christian proselytizing bothered me. 
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Yay-ish. I read the books and enjoyed them all right, and I'm having the same experience with the movies. I thought this one was fast-paced and entertaining.
  • Delivery Man: Eh. It was all right.
  • Frozen: Yay. I loved the music and the snowman was hilarious. Kristen Bell, too.
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Yay. A good overview of the life of Nelson Mandela. 


  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Boo. Not boo because it was such a bad movie, but boo because I didn't think it was nearly as good as people kept telling me it was. I think this is the issue--I keep comparing The Hobbit movies to The Lord of the Rings movies. LOTR had such a great cast and you really felt like the characters cared about one another. In The Hobbit, I don't get that feeling at all. Poor Bilbo. He doesn't have a Sam. 
  • Saving Mr. Banks: Yay. I really liked this movie. No idea how much of it was accurate or how much rosier a picture they painted of Walt Disney than was true, but I got totally immersed in the film, so much so that nearly peed my pants because I didn't want to miss anything. That happened in Mandela too, by the way. 
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Yay. Not quite a yay with an exclamation point, which I was expecting to have, but a yay nonetheless. This movie really made me want to travel. I guess I just wish the only breaks with reality had actually been in Walter Mitty's imagination. The dating website guy being able to call him everywhere was just overly cutesy, and the bad guy was comically jerky (in a bad way). And the shark just didn't really add anything. Now, the amazing things he did that were difficult but that I could believe, like hiking through Afghanistan to find the photographer and seeing a snow leopard--those moments were beautiful. Also Brendan noted that the female characters only represented home and stability, and were never a part of the adventures. 
69 films in total. Aw, yeah. 


  1. Oblivion seemed incredibly sexist to me. Tom Cruise's character went out during the day to work, and the woman stayed at home, tending the house. The movie made it acceptable for Cruise to jump back and forth from one woman to another (his fake wife and his real wife), while both women are completely devoted to him, which seemed to reinforce the whole "men sleeping around is cool, but if a woman does it she's a slut" thing. Finally at the end of the movie, Cruise presents his real wife with a shack in the woods for her to maintain. He also removes his real wifes agency when he allows her to choose to sacrifice herself with him on the mothership, then goes ahead and leaves her behind without consulting her. Terrible movie, deserves a boo!

  2. Great points, Anthony! I hadn't left any comments on that movie because I'd forgotten most of it (downside to reviewing movies nearly a year after watching them). Hereby downgrading status of Oblivion.