Movies watched in March 2013
In order of most favorite to unwatchable. My ranking system is primarily based on how much I enjoyed the movie–i.e. would I watch it again, and recommend it to others. An asterix indicates whether I have seen the movie before.
Batman* — The original Tim Burton Batman movie just got it right on so many levels. This was the first movie I ever saw at a midnight premiere, and I always remember that night fondly when I rewatch it. Jack Nicholson is superb as the Joker, and the campiness is played up just enough. Batman actually has his faults and weaknesses, making this the most “plausible” of all the Batman movies. This movie stands up well to the test of time and is still a joy to watch.
Aliens* — Still great after all these years. This movie is the gold standard for horror/sci-fi and it still has me sitting on the edge of my seat at the tense moments. Game over man!
Skyfall* — A great movie, and a great Bond movie. Unlike many fans of the franchise, I appreciate that the Bond character has gotten grittier with the times. I enjoyed this movie even more during the second viewing.
The Hobbit — Seriously, why all the hatred for this movie? I loved it! Sure, it was long, and the dinner scene was drawn out, but it’s an epic film, and I’ll happily sit through nine hours of this trilogy. Tolkien purists probably don’t care for the creative license that Peter Jackson took with the story, but so what, it made for an exciting, action-packed movie.
Wreck It Ralph — I’m pretty sure I enjoyed this movie more than the kids, and they enjoyed it a LOT! Kudos to Nintendo and other video game companies for allowing their characters to appear, but I would have liked to see even more appearances.
Treasure Planet* — Watching this with my sons was way better than the first time I watched it years ago. Now that I have kids, I appreciate Disney’s “boy” movies much more–the kids were enthralled by this one.
Monsters vs. Aliens* — Cute and clever but lacks the heart of a Disney movie. The blue blob character is a riot that always gets the kids rolling.
Atlantis* — Like Treasure Planet, this one was another good flick with the kids. My only complaint is actually about Michael J. Fox’s voice acting–it was hard to understand him at several points. James Garner supplied a great voice for the villain though.
Alien 3* — How did they go from Aliens to this movie? Alien 3 has none of the excitement or thrill of the previous one, and Ripley is borderline annoying.
Acts of Valor — This movie felt like watching all the cut scenes from the “Call of Duty” video games strewn together–and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Nothing new here, but it got the adrenaline pumping and the scene with the Marines pinning their badges to the coffin was heartbreaking.
Ghost Rider — I just can’t not watch a Nicolas Cage movie, and this was such a bad one, but I couldn’t look away! I honestly don’t know who was worse in this movie, Nic Cage or Eva Mendes. Cage should never try to do an accent, and what was up with that hair! This movie was so, so bad, (but I did like the SFX).
Barbarella — It took me 40 years to get around to watching this movie, but I don’t think that was long enough. There were some humorous moments but not enough, and like many older movies, it was way too slow. I did like the set design and scenery though–what’s not to love about a fur lined spaceship!
While not technically a movie, I also binge-watched both seasons of HBO’s Rome, which was pretty much what you would expect from HBO (that’s a good thing). The series was gritty, brutal, filthy, engaging, and made me glad I wasn’tt born anywhere near that time period.
Books Read in March 2013
Academ’s Fury and Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher – the second and third books in the series were just as enjoyable as the first. I’ve never been a fast reader, and these novels clock in at over 800 pages, so last month had me fully engaged in the travails of the Alerans, Marats, and Canims–there are plenty of worse places to be. This series actually has a lot of similarities between Rome, which I was watching at the same time, and it got me wondering if Butcher may have got some of his ideas from HBO (or vice versa), since his world is basically a fantastical version of ancient Rome, or if they both just looked to history for their source material.