Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End of the Year

So here we are, 2013 came and went and while it might not have been the best year for this blog, it was, overall, a good year. After eight years, Season Two Volume Two of"Gargoyles" finally came out, if you haven't bought it yet, . I moved, I'm planning a new strategy to pursue my career and I am hopeful for a better 2014. I also learned that .

"Tarantino Month" which became "Tarantino Summer" which became "Tarantino Year" was a total bust because, well, I wasn't feeling it this year. Aside from the fact that I was very busy this year, busier than I've been in a long time, I just wasn't often in the mood to blog when I did have free time. I have no excuse, since I prefer to do the things I say I'm going to do, and for that I apologize. I could say that I plan to do more blogging this year than last, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time or the spark when I do have the time. But if I have something to say about a movie or a TV show, I'll post.

In the mean time, here's my year end review. Some of the grades may have changed since initial reviews (if there was an initial review) due to time and distance.


Berserk: Golden Age Arc II - Battle for Doldrey - An enjoyable second adaptation of Kentaro Miura's manga. The animation is great, the direction is perfect. But that dance sequence near the end of the movie goes on for way too long and I feel that the time spent could have been used on better material. GRADE: B

THE BUTLER - A nice little movie whose heart was in the right place, but questionable casting and moments inappropriately played for laughs lead me to just writing it off as an entertaining and harmless diversion. GRADE: B

THE HOBBIT THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG - Overall, I loved the movie. I didn't love some of the studio forced "additions", and I felt the pacing was off, but those were hardly deal breakers. GRADE: A-

IRON MAN 3 - A fun movie but very controversial throughout comicdom, and for good reason. While the Mandarin was never my favorite, I think I would have enjoyed a traditional Mandarin more than what we got. Not that what we got was a bad movie. GRADE: B

MAN OF STEEL - Do I need to say more about this than I have already? Non-existent characterization, mixed with disaster porn that exploited 9/11 imagery in a manner so gaudy and classless, it was like watching the third Transformers movie again. I didn't think it was possible to make a Superman movie worse than "Superman Returns" but Snyder and Nolan showed us the way. GRADE: F

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING - My favorite film of the year. Smart, witty, sexy, and a nice re-telling of William Shakespeare's classic comedy, and all in Joss Whedon's house. GRADE: A+

PAIN AND GAIN - It's Michael Bay, what did I expect? Honestly, I expected the worst movie of the year and I didn't quite get that. Still... GRADE: F

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - A terrible movie made by a mediocre director, and the ultimate result of what happens when you bring someone into a franchise who admits to outright hating it. I like Benedict Cumberbatch as much as the next guy, but he was terrible in the role made famous by Ricardo Montalban. Laughably stupid (and not even funny), and the most unpleasant movie viewing experience of the year. GRADE: F

THOR: THE DARK WORLD - A fun sequel, far from perfect, but a perfectly good time. Hemsworth and Hiddleston still own their roles. GRADE: B

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE - This is going to be nominated for Best Picture. A brutal film based on a true story about a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. I can't say I had a good time watching it, but I'm glad I did see it. GRADE: A+

ZERO DARK THIRTY - This was my pick to win Best Picture last year. Not that "Argo" was a bad movie, but ZDT was better, and it really stays with you. The questions it raises, the depiction of our sins will haunt you for a long time. Grade: A+


AGENTS OF SHIELD - It fails on every level. The writing is hilariously bad, the acting is embarrassingly mediocre (I've seen better in softcore porn). The relationship between Ward and Skye makes Edward and Bella on "Twilight" look sophisticated by comparison. There are many shows I dislike, but few enter this level of loathing. It's down there with "Family Guy" for me. I hate to be that guy, but I am hoping for the swift cancellation of this failed experiment. This series is outright disgusting, the most unpleasant thing I've viewed in years. GRADE: F

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE - I only watched the first part of the pilot, but my overall opinion has not changed. They killed a great "Avengers" cartoon to bring us this thing. The most I can give it is that it's not as bad as "Ultimate Spider-Man". Another TV series executive produced by Jeph Loeb that receives a GRADE: F

BREAKING BAD - A show that I resisted, but several people I respect recommended it to me, and after a month passed and the finale was still unspoiled, I binge-watched it and found a show that more than lived up to the hype, it exceeded it. Sometimes my opinion cools on things, but this still ranks as one of the greatest TV shows I have ever watched, if not the greatest. Grade: A+

Dexter - The final season was a let down on every level. It started with potential and quickly squandered it. The final episode nearly saved it, but ultimately a decree from Showtime that the title character could not be killed off was the final stake in the heart. While I can be glad that we've had five great seasons, this season was terrible. Grade: F

Downton Abbey - I just started watching the third season, and I'm enjoying this show immensely. Ensemble pieces are hard, especially with a cast this large. But it captures the time period perfectly, with a focus on several well rounded and very likable characters. GRADE: A+

DR. WHO - I'm limping my way through this, I just finished the Christopher Eccleston season, and started David Tenant's. While I am enjoying it, and I can definitely see why people like it, I can't say I understand the pandemonium in the nerd community for it. Sometimes it gets too hokey for me, but there have been some great episodes so far, and I'm willing to stick it out and find out what draws people in. So, the only honest grade I can give it at the moment is GRADE: INCOMPLETE

GAME OF THRONES - Another show I resisted, and another show I fell in love with. This is great TV, and the best genre show I have seen in ages. The critics love it, and for good reason. Like "The Lord of the Rings", "Game of Thrones" is a truly transcendent experience. Spectacularly intelligent, never talking down to the audience. I can't wait to see what comes next. Grade: A+

How I Met Your Mother - I have not watched a network television sitcom since "Frasier" ended. HIMYM is a lot of fun, the writing is sharp. The characters are quirky and likable. I watched it all on Netflix over the course of a month and I now watch the final season as it airs. It entertains me, I usually laugh a few times per episode, and I look forward to seeing how it ends. GRADE: A

The Legend of Korra - I've written at length about this show, so I'll be brief. Horrible beginning, great middle and a decent end that I may have been a bit too kind to since I was just happy to see something besides the bullshit I had been seeing prior to "Beginnings"; but I can't say that what came after wowed me, especially the more I sit on it. Grade: C-

Supernatural - A fun diversion that is carried by a great cast, and a production team who are all clearly having a good time. It does way more than "Agents of SHIELD" does with a fraction of the budget. But it has a lot of heart and soul. Proof that network dramas aren't beyond saving. While the earlier seasons are better than the latter seasons (and season seven was a turd), I continue to enjoy it. Grade: A-

The Venture Bros - This show is always a treat. We might have to wait a long time between seasons, but what we get is one of the most well written and consistently funny animated shows of all time. "Batman", "Gargoyles" and "Venture Bros" are the trifecta, and this season did not disappoint. Can't wait to see what happens next. Grade: A+

Young Justice: Invasion - Probably the best DC animated series since "Batman: The Animated Series", and another show that was taken from us way too soon. While I thought the series often had trouble balancing its very large cast, I still enjoyed it greatly and miss it. While not as strong as "Gargoyles" or "The Spectacular Spider-Man", it was still a top notch show. Grade: A-
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment