I’ve been looking over my list of movies on DVD/Streaming from 2013, and have weeded 43 down to a quick top 10 in no particular order, based solely on gut-reaction. I see a definite theme:
Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: A 45-minute science-fictiony comedy musical thing starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. The cast and creator Joss Whedon drew me to this, but it’s awesomeness keeps me coming back. A neat story, great characters and catchy songs.
The A-Team: I was five when the series ended in 1987, and it was never one of the things I watched in re-runs, but I adore this 2010 movie. There’s adventure, good plans (that come together), and just a teeny, tiny touch of love story, and is just overall a ton of fun.
Jurassic Park: The effects, like the movie as a whole, still hold up, even if the in-movie technology is laughable and the science is fiction. There’s just something about Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, Laura Dern and kids on the run from giant dinosaurs that never gets old.
The Avengers: I love this movie, despite the plot holes and the enormous cast that’s only sort of juggled well. Good action and a great sense of humor.
Hook: Some people grow up hooked on The Goonies or The Princess Bride, but I grew up with Hook (okay, and Iron Will, but I didn’t rewatch that this year). Robin Williams walks a line between his more serious stuff and his comedy as a grown-up, absentee-father Peter Pan thrust back into Neverland and a battle wtih Captain James T. Hook (Dustin Hoffman at his hammiest). And watching him find his inner kid — and save his own kids — is certainly a treat. Watching it again makes me wish “bangarang” was a more widely used exclamation. Plus: Rufio. For more thoughts on this and the various Peter Pan-related media, see this post.
Fantastic Four: I really think this movie would have done better if it hadn’t dropped a mere three weeks after Batman Begins reset the comic-book movie tone to dark and gritty. Because this is a solid flick with a good story, good chemistry, and just enough cheese to feel like, well, a live-action comic book from the heyday.
The Amazing Spider-Man: I really enjoyed this take on Peter Parker. Do you know how tired I got of watching Toby Maquire mope around and make moon eyes at Kirsten Dunst? I felt like Andrew Garfield had fun (when fun was appropriate) and it was nice to see Spider-Man get some of his wit back. And for some reason, seeing him wrap up the Lizard like an actual spider would wrap up its prey is a visual that’s stuck with me. Bonus: Denis Leary.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: I reviewed this here, and my feelings have not changed.
The Hurt Locker: I have a weird thing for war movies. I don’t know why or where it came from, but this hit the spot.
The Heat: Okay, Melissa McCarthy has grown on me. I skipped Bridesmaids entirely, and I could have gone either way after Identity Theft, but this was great. McCarthy and Sandra Bullock are fabulous as mismatched law enforcement who get things done, and I laughed way more than I thought I would. Funny and sweet, to boot.
Men in Black III: Well, it pretty much throws K’s continuity down the toilet, had some major issues with basic cinematography, and I still kind of wish it had ended with J dying in the past but eliminating his need to go back to the past at all in the future … but Josh Brolin just does such a good job channeling his inner Tommy Lee Jones. Really, he carried this movie, and did it so well that it *almost* made the top 10, flaws and all.