2013 Fall Movie Recap

Fall recap time! I can’t guarantee that I have seen all these at this point but I will update this list as I see them. But for now… here are the new releases I was excited about and saw from September, October, and November.

Recapping the Top 5 Most Anticipated Fall 2013 Movies

5. Don Jon

– Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut wasn’t bad at all. It has an interesting premise with some well timed comedic relief. Tony Danza was an absolute delight in this film. I ended up liking a couple movies on my honorable mentions list (Captain Phillips and Dallas Buyers Club) more than this one but overall it didn’t disappoint.

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4. Prisoners

– Prisoners was my introduction to the amazing film director that is Denis Villeneuve. The most edge of your seat movie of the season and for good reason. That amazing directing coupled with some great writing and performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal… this movie is more than worthy of its number four spot.

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3. The Wolf of Wall Street

– See my review of The Wolf of Wall Street

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2. 12 Years a Slave

– See my review of 12 Years a Slave

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1. Gravity

See my review of Gravity

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Recapping the 5 Honorable Mentions

  • All is Lost, October 18th
  • Captain Phillips, October 11th
  • The Counselor, October 25th
  • Dallas Buyer Club, November 1st
  • Thor: The Dark World, November 8th

World War Z (2013)

It’s hard for me to watch World War Z and not compare it to AMC’s The Walking Dead. I am a huge Walking Dead fan and their version of the zombie apocalypse vs World War Z’s do vary but also have several similarities. This isn’t a comparison piece though, this is a review of World War Z.

The movie has plenty of suspense and tense situations as a viewer should expect from a zombie movie. The normal slow-moving zombies have been altered into athletic specimens the NFL has yet to see, while still sticking with destroying the brain will destroy the zombie. Brad Pitt was the lead and only major star in the movie. Like in most of his movies, he plays action hero well so I didn’t have any issues with him.

The movie gave us the summer blockbuster it proposed it was. It wasn’t the best of the summer but it was the worst either. I did hear it was modified from the book version in several spots as most adapted screen plays are.

Rating – 6/10

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Top 5 Christmas Movies

It’s the first Christmas for DavidWatchedIt.com as well as my sons, so lets keep it simple… Top 5 Christmas Movies!

Top 5 Christmas Movies

5. Home Alone (1990)

– Two burglars worst nightmare? Kevin McCallister. A house of horrors put together by a crafty kid accidentally left behind from his family trip.

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4. Elf (2003)

– A normal kid raised by elves is sent to the real world to find his dad. Let the hijinks ensue as a giant elf makes his way through New York City spreading the Christmas cheer.

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3. Christmas Vacation (1989)

– Time with the Griswold family is anything but normal but always enjoyable. What would it be like to watch every Christmas tradition go wrong? The Griswold’s experience that and it is hilarious.

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2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

– A man claiming to be Santa is put on trial in this Christmas classic. The story has been remade but don’t do that to yourself, watch the original. Edmund Gwen is so endearing and charming as Kris Kringle.  Perfect family movie to warm your heart during the holidays.

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1. A Christmas Story (1983)

– A young boy and his dream Christmas present. Such a classic movie and a Christmas tradition. I always tune into TBS’s 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story every Christmas Eve and Day.

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Honorable Mentions

– The Santa Clause (1994)

– It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

– Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

– Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

– Jingle All the Way (1996)

 

The Lone Ranger (2013)

I might be the lone reviewer who actually enjoyed The Lone Ranger. I have read a ton of reviews that attack this movie on its various flaws and I disagree with most of them. This is not a great movie by any means but it’s not nearly as bad as some critics insist it is. Now keep in mind that I’m 27 years old, so The Lone Ranger to me can be summed up as a masked man, on a horse, who yells “Hi-yo, Silver! Away.” I also truly didn’t know Tonto’s role in this story until this movie.

Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp star as John Reid aka the Lone Ranger and Tonto in Disney’s Wild West adventure. I’m not sold Armie Hammer could carry a movie yet, he’s a good actor but comes off as more of a character actor. The movie is told from Tonto’s point of view and that character moves it a long. Depp’s Tonto has been criticized for degrading the Native American community. I agree that the character could have been written and portrayed better, I won’t argue that, but I don’t think this character had as big of a negative effect on the Native American community as some say it has.

I went in with such low expectations but I was pleasantly surprised. It has several flaws but I think it compares well to the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels… some good, some bad, and mostly entertaining.

Rating – 7/10

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Man of Steel (2013)

My expectations were low going into Man of Steel due to a poor trailer and bad reviews, but what I didn’t realize was just how accurate those were. This is not a good movie at all. The action is extremely repetitive, which led to me losing interest. How Snyder was able to make action in an action movie boring is beyond me.

I have seen Superman and Superman Returns and one of the commonalities between the two was the similarity in what Krypton looks like. Man of Steel takes a chance by changing everything we already knew about Krypton and turning it on its head. Unfortunately, it was distracting and didn’t work. For example, they had dragons and they were riding them. Since when did a Superman movie ever have Dragons?

It tried hard to be different and dark but in the end it was repetitive and bland. I don’t blame the cast because I thought they did good with what they had. It’s not their fault I had zero emotional attachment to the characters. That blame falls on the director and writers.

Rating – 5/10

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The Internship (2013)

Watching The Internship was like watching Heavy Weights and an unfunny version of Old School smothered by a Google commercial. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson continue with their comedy shtick that has worked so many times in the past, unfortunately for The Internship… it might be losing it’s steam. The movie was slow, boring, not funny, and covered in Google. I absolutely get that this is a movie about two guys trying to get jobs in the new age tech era, with their old school business sales attitudes but holy Google. It felt more like a great Google commercial than a comedy movie.

I love the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson dynamic most of the time. It has worked before and they have both pulled off great comedies separately, but this was just not a fun or funny movie. I don’t recall having an honest laugh, maybe some chuckles but nothing that caught me off guard.

Rating – 4/10

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The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

The Place Beyond the Pines is about Luke (Ryan Gosling,) a thrill seeking motorcyclist that finds out he is the father of a baby boy. WIth the mother Romina (Eva Mendes) now living with a new man, Luke turns to a life of crime to support his new child, with hopes of bringing the family together.  With the some help from his new friend Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), who gives him shelter and a job at his auto repair shop, their well planned crime spree begins. The plot thickens when Avery (Bradley Cooper), a rookie cop encounters Luke after a pursuit. The two mens lives will never be the same. 

The cast also included Ray Liotta and budding star Dane DeHaan, who was great in Chronicle as well. It was easily one of the more well shot and well written movies of the year. It has an interesting event that takes place early on that left me in shock and unsure of the direction but Derek Cianfrance nailed it. It was well executed and took us down three paths all with different stories.

Cianfrance is new to my movie radar but I did noticed he did 2010’s Blue Valentine, which I have still yet to see. This movie definitely pushed Blue Valentine up my list of movies to see. I thought it was great and from the opinions gathered from a couple of my friends, they would agree.

Rating – 9/10

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