Happy late New Year guys! 2013 has been an incredible year for the world of film and video games, with an even better 2 years ahead of us (from what we know so far). It’s that time where we can reflect on what we’ve seen and played over the past year. It was actually quite difficult putting this post together considering there has been so much greatness in 2013, so forget about a “Top 10” etc, here’s a brief flash back at the cinematic awesomesauce poured over your chips.
First up, it’s very easy to say that Marvel had a fantastic run, and is still jogging their way to the far far away finishing line smoothly. Iron Man 3 (at the moment currently dubbed as the “last Iron Man”) was fantastic. Everyone had their own opinion on it, but really, it was superb. Getting to see Iron Man stripped down to just Tony Stark with anxiety attacks after New York aka The Avengers Phase one really put the icing on the cake. It was a brilliant way to start off Phase two and it was based around Christmas time (thanks to Shane Black) so there’s an excuse to watch it all year round.
Second in command, Thor: The Dark World was even better than the first. Based around mostly Greenwich, London and Asgard, Thor became the Thor we all enjoyed from The Avengers (not that we didn’t’ enjoy him in his first solo film, there was just something different) not to mention that devious brother of his, Loki. After his award winning performance, if there was an award just for superheroes, Loki is still the one you want to watch. Patiently, but very impatiently, you wait and can barely contain yourself when Loki is off screen. Saying that, Thor 2 has a really strong and entertaining story that really does grab a hold of you, without pulling you too far into the dark world. Quite frankly, you really wouldn’t want to end up there.
Hugh Jackman had returned as our favourite X-Men, Wolverine in… The Wolverine. After the first attempt to give Logan his first solo act in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it was time to move forward, rather than going back with all the origin stories and get serious. The Wolverine, set mostly in Japan, occurred after X-Men: The Last Stand, where he’s gone off on his own again with Dr Jean Grey stuck in his head, trying to make him feel guilty for killing her off (even though she killed Cyclops and Professor Xavier). This time however, some dude he had saved back in the day wants Logan’s power of not aging so he can live longer, trying to claim that Logan is ready to die and he’s not, oh the nerve! But anyways, it’s super awesome and Wolverine still has his sarcastic spark and don’t care attitude, even though he really does care and we meet this awesome red haired Japanese girl who literally can beat the crap out of you with her eyes closed. It was dubbed as the “Wolverine film we’ve always wanted” and it’s a fact that it really is. To top it all of, the post credit scene is to die for! It’s what connects the whole X-Men series to the next instalment Days of Future Past, out this year.
Moving away from Marvel and slipping into 5th gear, DC had a pretty good run too without a Batman film in site. RED has personally become one of favourite Bruce Willis films (it could actually be my favourite). With the success of the first, yes a sequel had been made with hope for a third. RED 2 adds Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins to the mix, with the original crew back for another beating (except Morgan Freeman obviously). The relationship between Mary Louise Parker and Bruce Willis onscreen is just so hilarious but sweet at the same time. She’s the type of girl we wish we could all be.
Next in line was yet another reboot for Superman hailed The Man of Steel. This was actually a huge surprise because its predecessors were never as good as the Christopher Reeve Superman, nothing had even come close. After saying that, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan really hit the nail on the head, hammering it hard with this one. For an origin story, Man of Steel was unbelievably good. The new man with a cape, Henry Cavill donned the Superman closest to Reeve’s version without a doubt. Michael Shannon as General Zod was fantastic; the only downfall with the film was unfortunately Amy Adams. She’s a great actress, but being cast as Louis Lane was a huge disappointment and just did not work at all. It was actually quite awkward watching it. But other than that, one of the best things about Man of Steel were those camera angles used during the fight scenes and just the way it was filmed on a whole. To add to the excitement, at the SDCC (Comic-Con) it was announced that the Man of Steel sequel would have Batman in it, later on notifying us that Batman would be played by Ben Affleck. 2015 guys!
It wasn’t just Comic book adaptations that did well this year, Ron Howard’s Rush is definitely a front runner to win some sort of an award this year. The biopic tells the story of 2 F1 race car drivers who’s had this on going feud for years, until one of them gets involved in a life changing accident. The great thing about this film is that it’s not really a racing film; it’s not primarily focused on the races. It’s more about the relationship between the two drivers and you get to watch them grow. It truly is an amazing film.
Other films that came out for 2013 that were very enjoyable to watch were Now You See Me, World War Z, The Great Gatsby, Disney’s Frozen, Django Unchained (it was technically released in the UK 2013 so ha!), Bad Grandpa, Fast and Furious 6, The Conjuring and to end the year we had The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug which is a must watch for all LOTR fans and The Hunger Games Part 2: Catching Fire. Both films leaving you in a right pickle as their cliff hangers were just too intense. You get the feeling of your eyes welling up thinking “I have to wait a year to know what happens next?” [Insert that Kevin Hart picture that’s been surfing around the net]
The worst film without a doubt that was released in 2013 that I’ve seen was Texas Chainsaw. Where could one start with this pile of garbage. It was bloody terrible, honestly, don’t even bother try giving it a go. The story was weak, the performances were boring, there was no need for it to be rated an 18 either, it could have easily passed as a 15. There was just nothing to this film, nothing at all.
Ending on a high note, video games have had an exceptional year with the release of GTAV, Beyond Two Souls, Tomb Raider, God of War Ascensions, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag to mention a few. GOTY (Game of the year) definitely has to go to The Last of Us. Naughty Dog always produce the best, but The Last of Us just went beyond that. There are no words to describe how amazing the campaign is. The story is so strong, you’ll play it more than once and that’s a guarantee. The mechanics of the game is very easy to manage once you know the controls, the feel of the characters are realistic, the voice acting is incredible, the relationship between the protagonists Joel and Ellie is just mouth watering, I could literally go on and on. The Multiplayer at the moment is lacking a few more modes etc but they are working on it, so it’s just about being patient, but what there is of the multiplayer is awesome. Everyone is just waiting for that announcement for a Co-op now *wink wink*. Honestly though, if you haven’t played TLOU, it’s definitely worth playing. It truly is a masterpiece.
So that’s 2013! Done and dusted, bring on 2014!