Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by Germain Lussier
As the new year begins, it’s nice to have films to look forward to. Which is why we write lists of our own, personal, most anticipated films. Even more so than a top 10 list, anticipated lists showcase a writer’s personality. In an ideal world, these 10 movies would be 10 of our favorites when the year is over. More often than not though, the films we’re excited about are not the best we see. Most of the time, there are some really bad calls. Occasionally there are some really good calls. Which is why I like to own up to my list from the previous year and critique myself.
How right, or wrong, was I about my most anticipated films of 2013? Find out below.
First up, quickly, the honorable mentions from 2013: Gravity (YES), 42 (NO), Man of Steel (YES), Fast and Furious 6 (YES), Iron Man 3 (YES), Thor: The Dark World (YES), Rush (YES), Saving Mr. Banks (YES), The Wolf of Wall Street (YES), and Anchorman: The Legend Continues (NO).
8 out of 10. Not bad. And here is the top ten.
10. Monsters University - (YES) – Pixar’s latest film made my top 10 of the year, in slot 10 no less, so it met expectations perfectly. You can read my original review here.
9. Pain and Gain - (NO) – Pain and Gain is one of those movies that’s incredibly polarizing. On the one hand, I’m not surprised to see it on some top 10 lists. On the other hand, I felt like it was very uneven, even though it eventually came into its own. It was okay but didn’t live up to my lofty expectations. Read my original review here.
8. This is the End - (YES) – I can think of no more surprising, innovative or funny movie in 2013 than This is the End. Not only did it blow away my expectations,I deemed it one of the best films released this year and directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg gained a spot on my 2014 anticipated list again. Read my review here.
7. Her - (YES) – I don’t think anyone is surprised Spike Jonze both met and exceeded expectations with this sci-fi love story. Her is one of the best films of the year and one that’s going to endure for a long time. Read my review here.
6. Kick-Ass 2 – (NO)- Look, I liked Kick-Ass 2. I gave it a mildly positive review. But when it comes to most anticipated films, it didn’t live up to what I wanted. It fell way short of the original and had enough problems that when I saw the Blu-ray commercials recently, I though, “Oh right, I forgot that came out.” So ultimately, it was a miss. Read that review here.
5. Elysium - (NO) - The idea, the cast, the look, everything about Elysium was lined up to be awesome. Unfortunately, the film itself ended up being predictable and elementary. Every idea was obvious and even cool special effects couldn’t save it. Neill Blomkamp is one of our most exciting rising filmmakers, but Elysium was a misstep.
4. Ender’s Game - (NO) – This is a complicated one. Ender’s Game is my favorite book ever and I think Gavin Hood did as good an adaptation as humanly possible. However, that adaptation was so rushed, it near fatally impacted the final product. Still, on a second – less hyped-up viewing – I enjoyed the film immensely, simply because the performances and visuals are so good. It didn’t live up to the hype, but I still enjoyed it.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness - (NO) – Again, more grey area. Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t a film I hate. I enjoyed the experience of watching it and wouldn’t turn if off if it was on TV. But it’s a deeply flawed film and just barely a worthy successor to J.J. Abrams’ first Trek film, which made my top ten in 2009. Read my full review here.
2. Pacific Rim – (YES) – Did Pacific Rim live up to my expectations? Yes. Did it exceed them? No. And exceeding expectations is what you’re looking for with a film ranked as highly as I put Pac Rim last year. So while, yes, it was a good call, it’s a little more mirky than some others. However, when it comes to brass tacks, my memories and feelings on the film are just positive enough to pass it here.
1. The World’s End - (YES) – The World’s End is the real deal. Not only was it my most anticipated film of 2013, I flew to London to see the world premiere, with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Talk about a lot to live up to. And it nailed it, giving me a surprising, funny, poignant film that I’m still debating and discussing with friends. It made my top 20 of the year but, unlike some of the others on that list, will get revisited many, many times, because it’s so layered. A worthy #1 choice last year. You can read about the trip here.
Five out of 10, which is worse than last year. But the fact three of those five made my top 10 of the year is pretty solid, I think. Here’s hoping my 2014 list fares as well.