So, here we are continuing a series that probably should have been written about aroundabouts a month ago! We're sadly still on movies here. Hopefully I'll get to video games sometime soon!
Anyway, here's some more thoughts on things that happened last year.
47 Ronin has multiple pros and cons to it. While pieces of it are incredibly enjoyable, other parts are absolutely silly. Keanu Reaves puts in a decent, albeit pointless, performance, and the Japanese actors are all pretty good as a whole. The biggest problem with this movie is that it is really two movies. One of them is an almost Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon type of movie involving some very good Japanese actors and a classic story. The other is a morose (love) tale involving Keanu Reaves that adds nothing to the movie beyond a love story and Keanu Reaves. It's almost as if somebody said, "Dang it, we need some star power to this movie. The English speaking masses need a white person to relate to." And some shadowy producers sounding like Emperor Palpatine said, "Of course. Call Keanu Reaves. It's about time we related to him yet again."
Now, I like Keanu Reaves sometimes. And he doesn't do poorly in this movie. Rather the movie itself does poorly, with poor editing, poor story integration, and a bunch of stories all told at once that never really touch one another. It's telling when Keanu's story or arc never really has anything to do with the rest of the story or characters.
I liked this movie more than I probably should have. It was a fun ride with some decent and awful CGI. The first half of the movie was rough as well. But the second half worked really well for me. I hope some kind of director's cut comes with this DVD of this movie, but I might be the only person in the world hoping for that. Being universally panned by critics and watchers alike doesn't tend to make people more opened to awesome features on a DVD. I still liked it though.
Also, why is skull tattoo man on the poster when he appears in a single scene and basically does nothing? Ah, and Rinko Kikuchi is certainly the highlight of the movie. Awesome. She's certainly proving she can act with the best of them with this movie and another later in this list.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a pretty solid movie, taking us back again to Middle Earth and the peoples of that universe. I pretty much like this movie from the start. But I also liked the first as well, so I might just like The Hobbit movies. With more action the movie was certainly more exciting, but I think the extended version will add in a lot of what I felt was missing, some of the downtime and explanations that I kind of craved. Tauriel's addition felt natural, and Legolas was pretty interesting to see, although Orlando Bloom's age has certainly started to show. He no longer looks like a timeless elf.
Then again, Thranduil was creepy and awesome. Mirkwood and Laketown were both incredibly different and solid entries into the places the movies have visited. Gandalf's journey to Dol Goldur was awesome. And Smaug paid off royally. While the ending left me with some complaints, this movie as a whole really worked for me, even if it doesn't feel as coherent as the other movies of the franchise. This is the first one that doesn't really feel as if it has its own identity, although that could just be me right now. Perhaps watching it more will give it that identity I feel it's lacking. I'm not sure what else I can say. I liked it about as much as the last film and am really looking forward to the last part.
The World's End is a movie I'm glad I had no idea about when I went into it. The sudden change of tone that this movie took about halfway through is up there with From Dusk till Dawn. I love this trilogy of movies, and this one was one of the most pleasant viewing experiences I had this year. I don't want to say much more for fear of spoiling anything, but it was raucously entertaining and a solid comedy film all around. And I usually hate comedies, so that's saying a lot for me.
Go read my review of Pacific Rim. Add only that I've seen this movie about twenty times and now think it is one of the classics of action and adventure films up there with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. I hope this film starts off a brilliant franchise.
And this post and my last post basically and simply sum up my thoughts about the 2013 movies I saw. I didn't see a crazy amount of movies last year, and I have no interest in seeing most of them that I didn't get to see. That being said, one movie I would really like to see is Frozen. The fiancee really liked it, but I guess I'll have to wait until it's on video to check that one out. I also bet I missed a crapton of horror movies and cool indie films that I'll catch up on in years to come, but that's something I've come to expect at this point in my life.
As for everything else? I'm trying to write when I have the chance, I've just been full up on working since the holidays. And while I had this last week off, I've been both sick and getting other stuff I need to get done... uh... done. It's difficult to have a more than full time job, a fiancee a few states away, and a passion for talking about things like fiction in a believable and trustworthy manner. While I have plans, they kind of rely on my work not being a constant flux of near 60 hour weeks. So, hopefully that ends soonish so I can concentrate on the more enjoyable side of life.
Anyway, I'm planning to have a video game post up sometime within the next week. Then maybe another post at the end of February. I'm not forgetting about reviewing things. It'll happen, just more slowly than it used to.