The trash talk that cost me hundreds of dollars and many hours. Instead of seeing 100, I saw 145! But before that, I saw 52. Here’s the post I wrote a year ago, before we launched the Gabbing Geek website. Has it held up?
From December 2013:
I saw a LOT of movies this year. Probably more than any year since college. Decent year to see a lot of movies. Below the movies are ranked in order from best to worst. One rule: of you knock the choice, you have to give at least your top five!
- The Way, Way Back- The best movie of the year but a lot of people probably never heard of it. It’s my favorite kind of film: an indy dramedy. Sometimes those are a little less mainstream, but this one was an exception in that I think anyone could enjoy it. The movie is about a kid who goes to spend the summer at a beach house with his mother and her jerk boyfriend, who is played VERY well by Steve Carrell. I tested my crossover theory by having my Mom and brother’s family watch over Thanksgiving, and I got the thumbs up confirming that it wasn’t another of my snooty movie choices. Everyone enjoyed it. Though it is not getting much award love, it is a shame that Sam Rockwell is not the front runner for Best Supporting Actor. He was brilliant. Best movie of the year!
- Gravity- I don’t like 3D, but this is a movie I recommended everyone see in 3D. Seeing it in 2D is like seeing Goodfellas where they edited out the scenes with Joe Pesci (sorry Sara’s migraines!).
- Philomena- Both funny and tragic; often in the same scene. Great performances by Dench and Coogan. Really loved this movie.
- Man of Steel- Best popcorn movie of the year. I liked this one much better than the critics did. Best thing about it was the two dads (who both played Robin Hood previously). Each brought a different feel as evidenced by the first two trailers.
- Somm- I love wine. Like….a lot. This brilliant documentary following a few candidates taking their Master Sommelier’s exam not only teaches so many things about wine, but it also creates a great feeling of anxiety as these guys go through the training for the rigorous exam!
- Wolf of Wall Street- The most riske movie I’ve ever seen at the theater in my life; and I saw Showgirls. Of course, I saw Showgirls with my college friends. This one, I saw with my Mom on Christmas Day. Still, a great movie and proving that Scorsese’s still got it.
- American Hustle- Excellent. Fantastic acting. I had to think hard about whether this was ahead of Wolf. The difference was the directing. A critic wrote that O’Russell out-Scorsesed Scorsese. That’s not the case. If Scorsese had directed this film, it would have been even better.
- Captain Phillips- A well-paced thriller anchored by Hanks’ brilliant acting. The scene at the end with the medic was Hanks at his best.
- Inside Llewyn Davis- A real mood movie. Definitely not for everyone. There is not real plot to speak of but great acting, mood, and music.
- 12 Years a Slave – I’m not as enamored by this one as others, but definitely powerful. Great acting, but I thought the pacing was off and the scene with Pitt as the noble wiseman was dreadful enough to know this down at least 3-4 spots.
The Next Tier- Coulda been in the Top Ten in a weaker year
- Star Trek Into Darkness- Benedict Cumberbatch personally made this the best Trek movie ever.
- Frozen- Classic Disney cartoon with Pixar graphics. Awesome music.
- Warm Bodies- Sweetest romantic zombie comedy ever.
- Thor2- Better than the first one, which was pretty darn good. Fun stuff.
- Blackfish- It had moments of what appeared to be serious intellectual dishonesty (eh…it’s a documentary), but directionally true. As much as I love the shows, people should not be in the waters with those Orcas.
- Ender’s Game- Not going to win an Oscar (or a Pride Award for that matter), but a really nice version of my favorite SciFi book. It was Ender’s Game on the screen and Harrison Ford was awesome. Not in Ryan Garcia’s top ten…
- Hunger Games 2- Not as good as the first one, but very enjoyable.
- Dallas Buyers Club- Not so much a great movie, but McConaughey and Leto were brilliant.
- The Butler- Good but had a few weak spots (all the Presidential casting was awful). I loved the scenes between Whittaker’s character and his son.
The Passable Movies for a Saturday Matinee:
- This Is the End- Hilarious movie about comedy actors playing fictitious versions of themselves during Armageddon.
- We’re the Millers- A dumb but funny comedy.
- Now You See Me- This was a good movie that could have been great.
- Mud- Good acting (again) by Mcconaughey, but a little slow and not terribly entertaining.
- The Wolverine- Good action, but terribly unmemorable.
- Don Jon – Not great, but I give it credit for trying to do something a little different.
- Saving Mr. Banks- Thompson and Hanks were great.
- Spectacular Now- Missing the mark that Way Way Back bullseyed.
- Kings of Summer- Missing the mark that Spectacular Now DID hit.
I’m Not Ticked I saw Them
- Iron Man 3- Better than IM2, but so far off IM1. Could have done without the kid.
- Oblivion- Decent Discount flick.
- Olympus Has Fallen- I only watched it because it was on Netflix, but despite the requirement to check your brain at the door, I actually thought it was goofy fun.
- Prisoners- Average thriller with a brilliant, underutilized cast.
- Monsters University- In the bottom tier of Pixar films with Cars 1&2 and A Bug’s Life.
- Nebraska- The kind of movie I usually like. So boring, but wonderful acting.
- The Heat- I saw it because I was on a date.
- Identity Thief- I also saw it because I was on a date.
- 42- Average movie but I enjoyed Harrison Ford chewing the scenery.
- The World’s End- The best moment was when Pegg convinced his buddies of his identity!
- Two Guns- Good action but a very forgettable movie. I’m sure in less than a year, I’ll confuse it with other Denzel action flicks.
Could have taken them or left them
- Elysium- Not memorable, but I remember thinking it was ok at the time…
- No- A Chilean documdrama. Not well made, but exposed me to Chilean films.
- Lovelace- I only saw this because it was on Netflix.
- Admission- I also saw it because I was on a date.
- The Internship- Discount cinema but funny enough.
- White House Down- Fun if you check your brain at the door.
- Despicable Me 2- Funny scenes of the Minions surrounded by a tacked on plot.
- Oz The Great and Powerful- Would have been great with Downey Jr.
- Jack the Giant Slayer- A concept that should have worked…
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters- I read the books to the boys so I probably liked it a spot or two more than it deserved.
- The Croods- I couldn’t get into it.
The Worst Movies of the Year
- Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2- Visually cool but so dumb!
- Planes- I love Collin. That is the only reason I saw this.
- World War Z- So disappointing. Probably not worse than Planes, but I’m grading on the curve.
- Pacific Rim- ½ was enjoyable. ½ was unwatchable. Since I walked out midway, it was only ¼ enjoyable. That’s math.
- Lone Ranger- I saw it on a plane and considered walking out. Did not finish it.