By Steve Herte
Allow me to preface my “first ever” compilation of films worth seeing twice and those that can be forgotten forever. If you’re a big fan of History, Biography, Reality TV or Depression you won’t see your movies here. I go to the theater to be entertained, not to be sad, rehash the failed past, be told what could have happened if the Nazis won, or to watch endless hordes of zombies attacking the last living beings on Earth.
Even though three of my top 10 choices deal with adaptations of actual events, they attracted me and delighted me when I saw them. You may notice a preponderance of animated features and science fiction. This has been what has entertained me since my childhood both in books and on film. When I realized the work and the size of the staff that goes into creating these movies I appreciate them even more. These are the 10 best and 10 worst (actually just “not as good” – none were really horrible) of 2013 in my humble opinion.
The Best of 2013
The movie that surpasses Cars in script and scope and then
Becomes the last one on this list. Yes, this is number ten.
9. The Sapphires
Four Outback girls perform sublime on Motown songs so fine
And tour Korea (in the war) – exciting – number nine.
8. Despicable Me 2
A former super-villain, now a single Dad is great,
But save the world he must, and does in movie number eight.
7. Haute Cuisine
The kitchen of a French Premier is transformed into heaven,
Though odds are great, a female chef excels in number seven.
6. The Lone Ranger
It’s Tonto’s tale of clumsy lawyer, yet him the “spirit horse” picks
To rise to legend, dealing justice, worthy of a six.
5. All Is Lost
Robert Redford, alone at sea, trying all to stay alive,
A solo tour-de-force is he and so, he’s number five.
4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Tacodiles and Shrimpanzees, Burger Spiders and more
Hilarious evolution gains the rank of number four.
Sandra and George dodge high-speed space junk whizzing by and free,
One makes it home (just barely) and that’s my number three.
Tale of the Snow Queen, Disney’s best, excellent music too,
Animation’s flawless, the story’s great, it merits number two.
Judy Dench, an Irish mother searching for her son,
Acting, splendid! That’s why this film’s chosen number one.
The Worst of 2013
10. Hansel & Gretel – Witch Hunters
Be careful ladies, watch your spells, this couple’s packin’ lead,
To clinch tenth place. The witches aren’t the only things that’s dead.
9. Pacific Rim
Transformers meet Godzilla and together cross the line,
The enemy’s beneath the seas! O boy! It’s number nine.
Ghostbusters meets the Men In Black – too much, too little, too late,
This movie scrambled up from bottom into number eight.
7. Blue Jasmine
If Woody Allen starred in this, the plot would have some leaven
To raise it up from vulgar boredom. Keep it number seven.
6. Enough Said
A comedy, unfunny with both stars in stereotype fixes
It’s dull and sad and well deserves to rank among the sixes.
5. The Host
The bad guys are in us erasing mem’ry, controlling our very lives
She gets beat up but love conquers all? This film’s the lowest of fives.
There will be poor always, pathetically struggling on Earth as ne’er before.
Rich are in space and shoot down the poor in sad movie number four.
A war was fought and “won” by Earth – it looks like Death Val-ley,
The enemy’s not them, it’s us! A perfect number three.
2. Last Days on Mars
The mission’s over, no life found, except for fungus, ew!
It makes them all blood-thirsty zombies. Right! It’s number two.
I love cartoons and animation. They’re crazy, happy, fun!
Unfortunately, not this film. It’s hackneyed. Number one.