Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Year in Movies

I hope you’ve had an auspicious beginning to 2014. Mine has been pretty low-key. But who knows what may happen in the next year? As I look back on 2013, it seems like it went so fast. (I’m pretty sure I said that about 2012, too, though.) A lot of things happened; many things and people came and went. I hope that I’ve grown as a person and become closer to God and to my family, even though I know I have far to go. Honestly, though, when I think back at 2013, I remember a large number of movies. I went to the theater more than I usually do, but many of these movies have special memories attached to them as well. So, I thought I’d share a taste of my year with all of you.
  • Les Miserables – I almost forgot about watching the 2012 Les Mis, because it seems like I saw it such a long time ago. I reviewed it here on The Ink Loft. Seeing this movie opened my eyes to the beautiful story that is Les Mis. I usually don’t like sad stories much, but I enjoyed this one.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness – First trip to the theater of the year! It was so much fun to see this second chapter in the new era of Star Trek on the big screen! I also reviewed this one, and you can find that post here. Into Darkness was more intense than its predecessor, with a stellar cast and complicated plot. I’m excited to see it again!
  • The Wolverine – I saw this one in a really neat, casual theater. Despite the novel surroundings, however, I didn’t enjoy the movie. I found it to be overly violent, and I disliked the excessive language. The story was coherent and compelling for the most part, but I came out of the theater somewhat depressed. I probably won’t watch it again.
  • Pride and Prejudice – I finally watched the six-hour (1995)  version after hearing people’s rants about it for years. And I loved it! I saw the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen long before this, and I still adore it. In fact, I think I enjoyed them both at the same level, just in different ways. I like the relaxed pacing and drawn-out story of the 1995 version. But I prefer the characters of Mr. Bingley and Jane in the new one. Mr. Collins is even more horrid, a feat which I didn’t really think possible, in the longer version. And Mary Bennett, to my surprise, was rather repulsive. I would love to own the 1995 version along with the 2005 one, which is already in my possession. The biggest problem is simply time; when I have six or seven hours, I’d be happy to watch it again!
  • Man of Steel – Sheesh, I went to the theater even more than I realized! The first time I saw this, I loved it. But I watched it for the second time a few days ago, and I wasn’t as happy with it. I enjoy the story and characters. Henry Cavill was awesome as Clark Kent/Superman, in my opinion. The battle scenes, however, were over-the-top. When I saw it in the theater, the CGI didn’t really bother me. Seeing it again at home, though, it was much more noticeable. The battles felt never-ending and repetitive. They had the potential for greatness, moving from a general battle down to a clash between the hero and villain, which could have been an excellent war of ideals. It was, to some degree, but by the time it rolled around, the battles had kind of numbed my mind. So, will I watch it again? Maybe, but I won’t be buying it.
  • Iron Man 3 – I watched this with my older cousin in my aunt and uncle’s pitch-black living room, which added to the intensity of an already intense movie. We seriously sat in almost complete silence the whole time, soaking in the story. I enjoyed it immensely! Tony Stark has journeyed a long way from Iron Man, and I’m glad to see where he is now as a person. The movie contains some interesting twists, and the ending shocked me! The after-credits scene was hilarious. Definitely needs another viewing.
  • John Carter – I love movie nights with my extended family, in part because I discover some really awesome movies. John Carter is one such movie, as is Letters to Juliet, an adorable movie that I saw a couple of years ago and now own. The former tells the story of a war-weary veteran of the Civil War who gets transported mysteriously to Mars, known as Barsoom by the inhabitants of that planet. On Mars, he gets embroiled in another civil war and discovers a different life for himself. The story captivated me and contained some clever and unexpected twists. It has some hilarious lines and a somewhat unique premise that I enjoy. It reminds me a lot of Prince of Persia, which I also love, but it’s less cheesy. Definitely a new favorite!
  • Thor: The Dark World – My review lays out most of my thoughts, but I’m happy to reiterate that I had a blast watching it. Seeing who Thor and the other characters have become was entertaining. The film wasn’t perfect and contained a few holes. All in all, however, I liked it. The mid-credits scene made me extremely curious about where the Marvel movie universe is headed from here. So excited for Captain America: The Winter Soldier!
  • Frozen – *shrieks* Frozen was so awesome! The animation was gorgeous; the songs were catchy and a little more probable than those in Tangled, which I honestly expected to find similarities to. The story was actually quite different from what the trailer had made me expect, and it contained a surprising and delightful take on the meaning of true love. I loved the characters as well. Nonetheless, it did have some story threads that felt incomplete. ‘Twasn’t a perfect movie. I still really loved it, though!
  • The Rescuers – No, this is not the first time I’ve seen this Disney movie, but I hadn’t watched it in years. When I was little, it scared me a lot. The villain, Medusa, is terrifying! And insane… I fell in love with it all over again, though, when I watched it a few days ago. The mice, Bernard and Miss Bianca, are definitely one of my favorite Disney couples ever! If you’ve never seen The Rescuers, I highly recommend it!
  • Hogan’s Heroes – This isn’t a movie, but, rather, a TV show from the 1960’s. It follows the highly improbable activities of Colonel Robert Hogan, an American pilot, and his fellow prisoners at a German prison camp during WWII. Under the inept leadership of Kommandant Klink  and the intentional ignorance of the Sergeant-in-Charge, Shultz, Hogan and his band sabotage German projects, spy on secret meetings, and funnel escapees and deserters back to England, all while maintaining a no-escape record and protecting Klink from being transferred or shot. The ridiculousness of the show is a large part of its charm, and I was happy to get ahold of a copy of the second season this year, after it stopped being aired a couple of years ago on its TV station. This is one of my favorite half-hour shows for just relaxing and not having to think about the story’s probability. The humor is awesome.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Yay! I was so excited to see this, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. In fact, I think my expectations were exceeded! I don’t think I like the new form of filming that they’re using, because it tends to blur panorama shots, hurting my eyes. Also, it makes me think more things are CGI than probably are. That is possibly my biggest beef with the whole thing: the CGI feels more obvious than it did in Lord of the Rings. But from a story perspective, this second installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy is a smashing hit for me! I honestly like how he’s made it bigger than the book, but I may not get into all of that until the third one come out next December. (*sigh* So long to wait.) By splitting the party into more manageable numbers, the movie is able to focus on each character and give us a better picture of who these dwarves/wizards/elves/men are. Kili, in particular, gets a bigger role in this film. I liked the addition of Tauriel, the female elf. The Woodland Realm is gorgeous, not slightly over-the-top like the Goblin’s Cavern in the first movie. Bard the Bowman impresses me, and I’m excited to see more of him in the third film. The way they’ve brought Bilbo’s fascination with the One Ring into play also earned my appreciation. Thorin’s greed is starting to show through. Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug is incredible! Using stop-action like they used with Gollum, they captured a realness for Smaug’s movements. And, by the time the film ended, I felt like was watching an evil Sherlock. That was super creepy! If you haven’t seen BBC’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the title character. There are plenty of scary, creepy/gross, funny, intense, and sweet moments in this film, and I enjoyed all of them. I may have to see this one again before it leaves theaters!
So, yes, I watched a lot of movies last year. I think the stand-outs for me were Star Trek Into Darkness, Frozen, and The Hobbit, all of which I’m looking forward to seeing again. What was your favorite movie of the year?


  1. Dad introduced us to Hogan's Heroes a snowy week day night when we were bored. We ate chicken nuggets and I was convinced it was going to be scary. Haha! It's now my favourite veg show, and always can make me snort. :)

    1. Haha! No, scary is not a word I would use to describe it. :D It is pretty amazing, though. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Sounds like you watched a lot of good movies! :) I have yet to see Frozen, Les Miserables, and The Wolverine, but at some point I want to.

  3. I did! Ooh, I think you'll really like Frozen! :D

  4. I haven't seen a lot of those movies, but I did see The Hobbit. I was a little disappointed by it, honestly. I feel like they could have put a lot more satisfaction to it. As it was I was dissatisfied at the end, though . . .
    And I agree about that weird frame per second thing. It kept feeling like I was watching an entirely CGI movie. 0.o

    1. Thanks for stopping by! How do you think they could have made it more satisfying?


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