2013 Brought some excellent films, as well as some less than desirable ones. I watched many of these 2013 releases, so thought I would share with you some of my favorites, and tell you why.
Perhaps out of all the films of 2013, this one surprised me the most. The commercials advertised this movie as one with a lack of any real value- focusing on prevalent nonsensical humor rather than a greater goal. Instead of finding this, we find this movie is packed with strong family values, great themes of hope and faith, and quite bit of good humor as well. Definitely one of the better animated features of 2013.
This movie is anything but sluggish. A rather weird idea of a snail traveling faster than a race car results in a optimistically fun adventure full of never giving up, never settling for status quo, and the learning the value of brotherhood. If you can get past the sheer impossibility of the snails in the movie, you’ll find it an excellent choice to grab and enjoy as a family.
The second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy. Through peril, sacrifice, and political rebellion we watch this movie redeem itself from the first. While the end is not yet seen, Catching fire offers some excellent messages regarding hope and just rebellion against government. Be warned, it ends with a rather bad teaser. ;)
Frozen has some very positive and powerful themes, conveyed through stellar animation we’ve come to expect from Disney. Well written, albeit a bit predictable… Watch it with a sharp mind, because it is the subtleties you want to watch out for. If you have a active mind though, you can enjoy the true love shown while disregarding the extra junk mail that comes along with it.
Another rather unexpected favorite this year, After Earth tells the story between a father and son learning about each other in the face of death on a post apocalyptic earth. Very similar to Thor in terms of content and themes, we are shown through exciting events and adventures just what it means to face and conquer fear, and how to grow up in that process.
Thor and his friends return to defend against an ancient Darkness, which is darkness itself. Full of beautiful symbolism of Light vs Dark (i.e. good vs evil) we are shown evil truly is terrible and strong, but can never stand against light. Well written, acted in good humor, and with some surprising plot twists, this movie easily made it into my favorites.
Dark titles seems to be a trend this year in Hollywood. Another much anticipated sequel, we find Captain Kirk at odds with a man named “John Harrison”. A ruthless vagabond and war criminal, Harrison seeks to destroy star command from the inside out. We watch young Kirk learn what it means to be a true leader (not a boss) through failures and successes. With impressive cinematography and first class acting, watching the story unfold is a real treat.
Everybody loves the underdog. In Monster’s University, we see Mike start as that underdog and strive to become something more. A true Pixar masterpiece, we are plunged into the monster world and seriously and humorously taught about excellence in all things, honest teamwork, humility, and much more. It is in my opinion the best animated film of the year, and definitely one to enjoy for years to come.
Part Two of the Hobbit films being created by Peter Jackson, This movie brings to life Tolkien’s classic tale, with a considerable amount of PJ story telling added in. Purists I am sure will despise the series, but in some ways, I feel Mr. Jackson has made it more real. Pulling from threads all over Tolkien’s world (including books like the Silmarillion) we are drawn into a world where a Hobbit confronts a Dragon- and lives.
The astounding brilliant stupendousness of the creation of Smaug and middle earth in the video world, the dozens of themes which seem to have been pulled straight out of scripture, and the brilliant acting by Martin Freeman as Bilbo lends this to be an easy #2 best film of the year in my book.
Of all the movies I’ve seen this year, Man of Steel stuck, and still sticks with me the most. The story of Superman has always been an amazing one to me. A man who can do anything, serves people weaker than himself. His body may be like steel, but his heart is one of love. Every action he makes, he makes out of love for someone else, and never for himself. All of this, guided by his parents.
A true servant and literary “Christ Figure“, we see through Man of Steel a man who is super not because of what he can do with his body, but because of the character of his heart. It is by far the favorite of mine of the year, and has made it into my favorite movies of all time as well.
So those are my favorites, what were some films that you enjoyed this past year?