What I Watched in 2013

The movie rating is based on how much I, as the reviewer, ENJOY the movie. So readers be warned – it’s not about the quality of or how Oscar-worthy the movie is.
The best one is rated ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; the worst is rated o(‧”’‧)o; everything else falls in between.

Popcorn - Movie Time ( Explore - Front Page )Movie Time, a photo by ryklin on Flickr.
Starting from the very recent:
  1. Best Kept Secret [2013]; Documentary; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; A special-need teacher’s effort to make a better world for her graduating students. I’ve been in her shoes, though my former ‘special-need’ students fared much much better than hers. Way to go, Ms. Mino!
  2. What Maisie Knew [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; A touching story from a little girl’s perspective, a subtle love story and Alexander Skarsgård as the hot tall nice guy (if there’s such ‘A’ thing..)
  3. Life According to Sam [2013]; Documentary; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Not only would one learn about the rare disease progeria in this doc, but also the love and respect a human being can give to another, and the lesson of how to treat others just like you would want others do unto you.
  4. Thanks for Sharing [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Mark Ruffalo’s sad puppy eyes just save this movie about sex-addiction, with the help of robotic Gwyneth Paltrow and believable Pink (.. the singer!)
  5. The Heat [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Popcorn-worthy Sandra Bullock comedy – can’t help thinking how she hasn’t aged a bit since Speed 2!
  6. Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck [2013]; Feature (Indonesia); ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Popcorn-worthy local novel adaptation – Herjunot Ali as the lead is amazing, and the movie’s director of photography deserves an award, but the rest of the cast is a sad reminder of amateurish attempt to emulate millennium modernity in a 1930’s setting.
  7. Bridegroom [2013]; Documentary; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; It’s a love story, and cautionary tale of how family from different backgrounds can crash and burn because of religious beliefs.
  8. Monsters University [2013]; Animated Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; What’s not to love of Mike and Sully… as undergrads!
  9. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story [2009]; Documentary; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; Superb doc of the boys who wrote Chim Chim Cher-ee and give life to Mary Poppins.
  10. Saving Mr. Banks [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; Divine performance by Emma Thompson as PL Travers and an ultimate heart-warming Disney movie for the holiday season!
  11. Another Earth [2011]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Science fiction can make for a simple but interesting storyline.
  12. Don Jon [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Julianne Moore saves Joseph Gordon-Levitt from porn addiction – and it’s not even about a May-Dec romance!
  13. Lust, Caution [2007]; Feature (Hong Kong); ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Ang Lee conveys the doomed passion between two souls through hardcore, acrobatic lovemaking.
  14. The Wolverine [2013]; Feature; ♞ ⓜⓔⓗ; Hugh Jackman visits Japan and all its exotic glory, but fails to make you care one bit.. he’s just too old for the role now!
  15. The Tillman Story [2010]; Documentary; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; A football hero’s life lost because of Marine’s attempt to recruit more young people into armed forces.
  16. Gravity [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; It’s the year of Sandra Bullock, again! Oscar’s just around the corner for her – and don’t tell me how I’d die to have her bod. She’s 49 y.o. already, go figure!
  17. Lee Daniel’s The Butler [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Based on true story, and quite entertaining! Like browsing thru a history text, with Forest Whitaker as your guide..
  18. The Other Son [2012]; Feature (France); ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; A story about  mixed-up babies (Israeli and Palestinian) is also a story about one’s identity, and about how a mother’s love is never limited to the one she gives birth to.
  19. Lore [2012]; Feature (Australia); ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; I read the book first, following the golden rule, but the movie version – even if it’s only 1/3 part of the Dark Room – does not fail entirely, especially in the form of Kai Malina who plays Thomas..
  20. The Family [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Hilarious situation as a result of two teens growing up in a mob family. Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro as mob parents are just props here!
  21. The Last Days on Mars [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; For those who love sci-fi, this movie is bearable enough.
  22. The Internship [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; A movie about working at Google? Me like it! Stupid, but it’s kinda like how Pop-Tarts taste in your mouth. Icky, but pleasing enough for you to finish the whole box.
  23. Prisoners [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; I didn’t recognize Hugh Jackman right away – and that’s kinda good for the movie.
  24. We’re the Millers [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; It’s probably gonna be one of those Jennifer Aniston flops, but she’s hilarious here, and so is the rest of the cast.
  25. Star Trek Into Darkness [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; If it’s not for Benedict Cumberbatch, and the science behind intergalactic voyage..
  26. Elysium [2013]; Feature; ♞ ⓜⓔⓗ; Why people still flock to see this movie – if it’s not for Jodie Foster’s brilliant turn as a ruthless outer space defense secretary, other than that, even Matt Damon can’t convince me to flee from the sappy ending.
  27. Grown Ups 2 [2013]; Feature; o(‧”’‧)o; WTF Salma Hayek? You’re not Jennifer Aniston. And Adam Sandler’s not funny anymore, thank you very much.
  28. World War Z [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Nothing’s wrong with Brad Pitt, but the movie’s interpretation of the book is disappointing – still, I’d just go for the zombies, they’re quite fascinating..
  29. Quartet [2012]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Maggie Smith lives in a retirement for musicians, and gets to rekindle old flame. Maybe there’s hope for romance after 60!
  30. Les Misérables [2012]; Feature-Musical; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; Always love the timeless story, but adding Hugh Jackman to the musical? Priceless!
  31. The Last Ride [2012]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Critics may not like it, but I love the Southern setting, and the 50’s feel. Makes you want to listen to Hank Williams’ songs again..
  32. Oz the Great and Powerful [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; It’s a fact that James Franco is boring, but Mila Kunis is great and powerful as the Witch, especially in the scene when she transformed from good to bad.
  33. Sarah’s Key [2011]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; It’s based on a Holocaust survivor novel of the same title. The story itself is just amazingly told, and one just hope that the book would not disappoint either!
  34. The Reluctant Fundamentalist [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Kinda like it because Riz Ahmed is such a hottie here (no wonder Kate Hudson’s head over heels for him) but some part of the story, some of which is what most foreigners face, feels flat and boring. When Ahmed’s character finally became a fundamentalist, you heard the audience murmuring: “Good boy – about time!”
  35. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [2012]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Watching a bunch of old people at their retirement can be entertaining! Dev Patel as the young caretaker of the retirement home can be charming as well, learning the ropes from the people he’s supposed to look after.
  36. The Big Wedding [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; The movie was a flop to critics, but I’d do anything to see Ben Barnes and Topher Grace in action… with Susan Sarandon kicking it for much-needed comedy.
  37. Parker [2013]; Feature; o(‧”’‧)o; WTF J-Lo? I mean, Jason Statham? If it’s a comedy, it’s mildly funny. If it’s action, there isn’t much there.
  38. Hummingbird [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Jason Statham rescuing a hot nun. What a laugh. What a square bod!
  39. Now You See Me [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Left you scratching your head, tsk tsk tsk.. but Mark Ruffalo is lovable here. The storyline is meh, but the dynamics among the cast worth a popcorn or two!
  40. Pitch Perfect [2013]; Feature-Musical; ❤ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ ❤; Hilarious, and makes me want to burst out singing! If I have the talent for it, I’d surely join an acapella group!
  41. Identity Thief [2013]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Hilarious. Stupid, but hilarious. Pairing up Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman is genius. Don’t know about the box office though – it was a flop right away..
  42. Warm Bodies [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; It’s so dang funny to see zombies eating brains – funnier when a young zombie goes on a diet because he falls in love with a young living girl. Still, the book version would be a great company afterwards.
  43. Iron Man 3 [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Falls into that stupid Hollywood blockbuster movie, but for the sake of physics, the movie is an interesting roller-coaster ride for most..
  44. The Host [2013]; Feature; o(‧”’‧)o; No wonder I lost interest in the book early on. Even the sculpted beautiful face of Max Irons cannot save the movie from sinking..
  45. Taking Chance [2008]; Feature; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Quite a performance from Kevin Bacon – subtle yet powerful, he didn’t overpower the homecoming of a war hero – and when he finished his job you just can’t help a sniff or two.
  46. The September Issue [2008]; Documentary; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; Love how Anna Wintour picks and chooses spreads, but the real star is Grace Coddington!
  47. I Give It a Year [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Simon Baker’s charming. The simple love story of two people married to the wrong persons is just that, simple, and the movie tries to hard to make a fuss out of it. Still, Simon Baker saves the day!
  48. Between the Folds [2010]; Documentary; ♡ Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ; I love origami. And learned a lot from this doc that I’m still far behind from being a master..
  49. Safe Haven [2013]; Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; Go see this movie because you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan (and assuming you’ve read the book) and watch Josh Duhamel being hugged by kids (what a hot dad!)
  50. The Ron Clark Story [2006]; TV-Feature; ❤ Ⓛⓘⓚⓔ; It’s a made-for-TV movie by TNT, but it inspired the teacher in me.

More pop culture fix: Monkey See [NPR]; Entertainment Weekly; NYT Movie Review Section.


And here’s my favorite actor, Alexander Skarsgård (What Maisie Knew [2013], True Blood series):

Alexander Skarsgård at the True Blood panel at Comic-Con 2011
Alexander Skarsgård, a photo by andreas_schneider on Flickr.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s