Ror's Best & Worst Of 2013 Part 1
It's that time of the year again when we give you all of the CBMs that made us cheer, and made us jeer..and then sit back and wait for the inevitable backlash! Read on for the 5 comic book flicks that I considered to be the best of 2013.
5) IRON MAN 3
Although I didn't love Marvel's third Iron Man movie, I enjoyed it enough for it to be included in this best of list. The film certainly divided fans - but seemingly more for that endlessly debated Mandarin twist than for the problems I had with it. While frequently funny, I felt humor was used a bit too much throughout, offsetting some of the drama. That doesn't mean there aren't some incredible sequences on show, and of course we get another excellent turn from Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. A very entertaining action comedy, with maybe just a bit too much emphasis on the comedy for my liking. But while not reaching the heights of the first Iron Man, Shane Black's film is a definite improvement on the second. A very good, if not quite great start to Marvel's Phase 2.
4) THE WOLVERINE
A very pleasant surprise for a lot of people; James Mangold's take on the ever popular mutant berserker ALMOST succeeds in giving us the definitive Wolverine movie. The first 2 acts are pretty much faultless imo - action, comedy (but crucially, never too much), Yukio, real drama and Hugh Jackman on best-ever form as Logan - but then it's giant robot with an old man inside it time, and everything kinda falls apart. There's nothing necessarily WRONG with how any of the finale is shot or performed etc, it's just so jarring given the thoughtful, quieter movie that preceded it. That aside though, The Wolverine is full of heart, grit, and fun and is sure to delight fans of the character.
3) THOR: THE DARK WORLD
More damn comedy! To be fair though, it works a lot better in this than it did in Iron Man 3. Marvel's Thor sequel is a mostly successful romp, with the usual paint-by-numbers plot. But there are some very effective dramatic scenes too...and yes, while there is a lot of (at times misplaced) humor, it usually works very well and ends up being quite hilarious. The highlight for me though is when Thor and Loki team up to take on Malekith (Marvel's worst villain yet..and that's saying something) and Algrim. There's so much great stuff going on here both from an action and character standpoint that the movie struggles to top it with its final dimension-hopping set piece -- not that that isn't well executed in its own way. Thor: The Dark World is just so relentlessly entertaining that, despite its problems, emerges as Marvel's best single-character effort next to the first Iron Man.
2) BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
WHAT?? Yes, this incredible film is based on a 2010 French graphic novel by Julie Maroh, and trust me I haven't included it just for a bit of diversity..it more than deserves its high place on this list. At nearly 3 hours long you might be put off sitting through it, but it never feels like a slog and you genuinely care about the main characters played by the superb Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. It's become a bit of cliche to refer to an actress who gets her kit off as "brave", but here the word is totally apt. Exarchopoulos and Seydoux are not just stripped bare in the literal sense, but right down to their emotional core, and you'll be hard pushed to find a couple of better performances this year. Easily one of the best films about REAL human relationships I've ever seen. Don't miss it.
1) MAN OF STEEL
Definitely a divider, and many will feel it is a controversial choice for the no. 1 spot, but Zack Snyder's Superman reboot was not only my favorite CBM of the year, but one of my favorite movies overall. Many complained about the destruction, and seemed to think Supes could have done more to save some of the victims of his incredible punch-up with Zod at the end, but I'm not even going to get into that in too much detail as I'm sick to death of explaining why I feel that argument is flawed...and to be frank I find it a piss-poor excuse for completely dismissing an entire movie anyway. I mean what about Henry Cavill as Superman? He completely embodies the essence of the character while -- more importantly -- making it his own interpretation. Along with the decimated buildings and invulnerable beings punching each other repeatedly there IS a beating heart in this movie, and Cavill is required to pull off a couple of pretty emotional scenes, which he does so with aplomb. It's not without its problems (what is?) but I loved every minute.
Honorable mentions: Although we cover The Hunger Games, Iron Man 3 edged it out for no. 5 because that is a TRUE CBM. Otherwise Catching Fire would be in that spot! I also really enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness and, to a lesser extent, Kick-Ass 2.
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