2014 in Movies – A Quarterly Review – Quarter 1

2014 Quarterly Report – Quarter 1.

Labor DayWell now that the first three months of 2014 have passed, let’s take a look at what has happened in the movie world. Right off the bat, not going to lie, it’s been a weak three months! January saw ANOTHER Paranormal Activity film which followed the same tropes and scares as before. A new entry in the Jack Ryan franchise came out, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which while inanely unrealistic, held its own against some of the lesser Tom Clancy’esque films. Audiences forgot about Warner Bros. I, Frankenstein even before it came out. And a film that I loved the first time I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival, Labor Day, opened to cold reviews and an even colder box office. January definitely didn’t do the film industry any favours.

Lego Movie PosterEnter February. Two films on my MUST-SEE LIST came out the same week. The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men. Turns out only one of those movies should have been on that list. Click the movie names to be taken to their full reviews, but long story short, The Lego Movie, worth your time, The Monuments Men, can help you fall asleep if you suffer from insomnia. A lot of forgettable movies came out in February too: Vampire Academy, About Last Night, and Robocop (2014) to list a few.  eOne went up against itself at the box office one week with Pompeii vs. 3 Days to Kill. I expected to hate Pompeii. I should have hated Pompeii, yet I found myself immensely entertained, whereas 3 Days to Kill made me want to kill myself, it was by far one of the worst Kevin Costner films I have ever sat through. I imagine McG writing this with Kevin Costner in mind… “I’m just going to go ahead and write every single Kevin Costner character ever into this one character and then give him cancer.” It was ridiculous. I didn’t know I could hate a subpar movie this much. I should finish February by touching on Liam Neeson’s film Non-Stop, but it was a fail in my books – and you can read the review here!

Muppets Most WantedMarch 2014. Please God; let us start to get out of this slump. 300: Rise of an Empire, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Need for Speed, Veronica Mars, and Muppets Most Wanted. All of them sequels or spin-offs. All with a niche audience. All of them disappointing. I really love The Muppets. I wanted so many great things to happen for Muppets Most Wanted but it was just so boring. I’m sorry. I feel dirty for even admitting that I really didn’t like it. There was nothing fun or pithy about it and the musical numbers didn’t have the same gaiety to them.  March releases worth noting? Um… well I really liked Bad Words. It was dirty and vulgar yet incredibly intelligent and funny. Divergent was mediocre and Sabotage and The Raid 2 haven’t opened in Canada yet.

There are a few films that came out this quarter that I have yet to see, but look forward to taking the time to check out, those include The Grand Budapest Hotel, also on my MUST-SEE list for 2014, Enemy, Cheap Thrills, & Noah.

gods not deadOne more thing to bring up before ending off this Quarterly Report: two extremely religious films came out – Son of God & God’s Not Dead. They both hit the box office by storm one week, despite mediocre to bad reviews, and disappeared the next. Quite often you’ll hear evangelicals complain about the fact that these films are only on the Box Office Top 10 (for North America) for such a short period of time… the reason for which is because the church-based audiences all rush out to see any film like this, or any film starring Kirk Cameron, opening weekend and talk about how “great it is” to their friends and family. The only problem with that? Those that are going to go and spend their money to watch religious propaganda are going to do that on opening weekend, and that will be all who take the time and energy to do so, hence why the quick dramatic fall.

PosterAnyways…

Top Winners of Quarter 1 of 2014:

The Lego Movie

Bad Words

Top Losers of Quarter 1 of 2014:

Anything released in January

 

 

captain america 2What to Look For in Quarter 2 of 2014:

Captain America: Winter Soldier

The Amazing Spiderman 2

Godzilla

Neighbours

A Million Ways to Die in the West

22 Jump Street

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What Movies to Look Forward to in 2014

2014 FilmsNow that we’re into 2014 I think it’s vital that we take a look ahead at some of what’s to come. Obviously some of the following movies won’t be the best movies of the year, some may simply be overhyped, but others have the potential to be phenomenal. Here are the films I am looking forward to the most in 2014:

Labor DayJanuary: January is always a weaker month at the box office. Other than the fact that Labor Day is getting its wide release this month there isn’t really anything else to look forward to. If you are interested in reading a bit more about Labor Day you can do so in my post on the Top 10 Films of 2013.  

Lego MovieFebruary: The two movies I am looking forward to the most in February 2014 are The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men. The Lego Movie just looks fun and charming and brilliant for an animated film. The Monuments Men is a biographical war film that puts George Clooney behind and in front of the camera again, alongside Bill Murray, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchet. Robocop is going to bomb. That is my prediction.

grand budapest hotelMarch:  March is a much stronger looking month for film. We start off with Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson always makes those cute, quirky dramedies that feel good, and The Grand Budapest Hotel has a look to it that will make it fit right in. If you know anything about me you would know that I am a huge Muppets fan, so it’s also obvious that Muppets Most Wanted will make my list of most anticipated films of 2014. While not a musical, if done properly, this heist comedy could be just as brilliant as the reboot was a few years ago. Muppets Most WantedOn a more dramatic side, Darren Aronofsky’s re-interpretation of the Biblical events surrounding Noah and the flood look fantastical and epic. Excited to see how that comes to screen. Also Enemy, a second collaboration by Prisoners director, Denis Villeneuve, and actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, hits theatres in March 2014. With the tagline: “A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie” and the pension for creating extreme tension and suspense through a movie, this will definitely be a great one. Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Raid 2, which follows the Indonesian hit, The Raid (obviously), which premieres at Sundance in just a week or so.

captain america 2April: April is a much quieter month than March. The only one that truly hits my radar is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That could solely be because I’m a comic book geek who loves what Marvel has been doing to their movies as of late, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to this one.

Amazing Spiderman 2May: Another superhero sequel starts off April, this time The Amazing Spiderman 2. With the announcement of multiple Spiderman movies and spinoffs made recently I am excited to see what direction Marc Webb will be taking this film. Will we encounter the tragic events of Spiderman 121, or do we have to wait for Spiderman 3 for that? Will we start to get the hint of a Sinister 6 being formed? Perhaps a taste of what a Superior Spiderman might look like? All will start to be unveiled over the next few films. Neighbors also comes out in May. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play the down to earth characters in what is expectedly going to be a hard-R comedy pitting neighbor (Rogen) against neighbor (Efron). Rogen’s character will be a slight change of pace for him, but with Nick Stoller behind the camera, it’s going to be a riot from beginning to end. Finally Seth MacFarlane has A Million Ways to Die in the West at the end of May, featuring a great combination of A-List actors (Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, and Charlize Theron, amongst many others). If Ted was any indication to how MacFarlane writes and directs live comedy than this film will be hilarious.

22 jump streetJune: I seem to be looking forward to a lot of comedies this year. A big surprise in 2012 was how good 21 Jump Street was. I’ve watched it a handful of times and still laugh, so with the release of 22 Jump Street in June of 2014, I am excited to see where Channing Tatum (who is surprisingly funny) and Jonah Hill can manage to take this series.

dawn of planetJuly: Another surprise hit in the past few years was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so I am decidedly looking forward to the return of Cesar and the addition of Gary Oldman in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Another July release that looks like great is the Wachowski sibling’s release of Jupiter Ascending. I had read somewhere, probably IMDB, that it’s been over a decade since the siblings made a profitable movie for Warner Bros. but that the studio is sticking with them and Jupiter Ascending looks like it may break the trend.

sin city 2August: As we near the end of the summer August has a few promising surprises as well including Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. People either loved or hated the first Sin City film. I honestly loved it. I was very young when it came out, and was blown away by the darkness of it. It actually helped reignite the passion I have for comics and the stories they tell. So I’ve been waiting eagerly for this much delayed sequel.  The Guardians of the Galaxy. I do not follow this comic. I think the premise looks a little off, maybe it’s just the whole Rocket Raccoon thing, but nonetheless, it’s coming out and people are excited. Maybe I’m jumping on the bandwagon, but I am interested to see how it plays out. The only reason I’m adding The Expendables 3 to this list is because I’m interested to see if Snipes, Gibson, Ford and Frasier (I mean Grammer) can add anything to this already faltering franchise.

Expendables 3September & October: September and October are slow months as most of the studios are working on their festival pieces and preparing for the upcoming release of their Oscar-bait films. Nothing looks exciting for these months as of yet, but that may change, especially after studios pick up films at Sundance and other festivals. Unless you’re in the mood for more Paranormal Activity films come October.

InterstellarNovember:  While there will likely be more release dates announced for November & December three big named films are coming out that I am excited to take a look at. Christopher Nolan directs Interstellar, a Christopher Nolan sci-fi story featuring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain with wormholes! Dumb and Dumber 2Dumb and Dumber 2 reunited Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels as Harry and Lloyd on another adventure. Who knows if this will be just extremely overhyped or not, but as Dumb and Dumber is still one of my favourite comedies, I will definitely look forward to checking this out. Finally Hunger Games Mocking Jay Part 1. I wish it was Part 1 and 2. I don’t know why I enjoy these movies so much, they do pander to the lowest common denominator, but end up being so damn good. Don’t believe me? My review for Catching Fire.

the hobbitDecember: I like the whole Biblical epics, and December 2014, brings about Exodus. I don’t know much more than its title, that Ridley Scott is directing, and that it stars Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, bitch) as Joshua, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton, and I am already sold.  Finally, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. I have been known to speak out about my extreme dislike for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Desolation of Smaug was slightly better. The only reason this makes the list is because it brings an end to this damned trilogy. Shame on Peter Jackson for making this into almost 9 hours of drivel. This trilogy could have been told in 1 long movie of 3 hours, or if you wanted to push the boundaries a touch 2 2-hour movies. I would have still rather paid a touch more to watch them all in one go than have to wait years between releases.

Honorable Mentions: Pompeii (February); Transcendence (April); Godzilla (May); X-Men: Days of Future Past (May); Maleficent (May); How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June)

2013 A Year in Review: The Top 10 Best Films of 2013

10 bestI am finally at the end of my Top 10 Lists for 2013. I saved, what I hope, is the best for last, the TOP 10 FILM of 2013. I’ll be honest; I didn’t find 2013 to be the best year for films. The most hyped up films of the year for Oscar Buzz, American Hustle & 12 Years a Slave, were good, but they didn’t blow me away. And I think that was the problem with 2013. There were a lot of REALLY GOOD movies, but not a lot of AMAZING ones. There were only a few movies that I will and can call, in my opinion, truly amazing this year. The top 3 were the easy part of making this list. Numbers 4 – 10 were difficult because they could be replaced and moved around with the Honorable Mentions with ease as they were all good, solid 4 star movies, whereas the top 3 movies are the only 5 star movies, in my opinion, of the year. It should also be noted that there are a few movies that I did not have the pleasure of seeing this year that have been extremely well received; those films include: Gravity, Mud, and Nebraska.

american hustle10. American Hustle – The performances were amazing. Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams & Jeremy Renner were superb. Bradley Cooper was good; he just didn’t seem to be at the same level as the other four actors though. This film had an interesting premise, but was so drawn out and took so long to go anywhere that I started to lose interest at the mid-point. Thank God Robert DeNiro had an amazing cameo, brought me back into the film and from there the movie just continued to get better. David O. Russell makes great films, but compared to Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, American Hustle falls slightly short.

this is the end9. This is the End – This was by far the funniest movie of the year. I laughed so hard I cried. I have a lot of Canadian pride in Jay Baruchel, but all the performances across the board were top notch. This was by far James Franco’s best performance in quite some time. The image of Jonah Hill being raped by a demon-monster will forever be scarred into my brain tissue. Also it should be noted, I hate Danny McBride.  I think he’s loud, obnoxious, and not very funny at all. Yet his performance in this film, where he plays loud, obnoxious and stupid, just worked perfectly. My wife hated the film. I nearly pissed my pants.

Stoker8. Stoker – This movie was bizarre. And it took a second watching of it for me to truly appreciate the complexity of its simplicity. Wentworth Miller writes an overtly pretentious script that is surprisingly tamed by Chan-Wook Park’s debut into directing in the North American market.  The casting was superb, Mia Wasikowska steals the show and Nicole Kidman is to die for, and while the first viewing of it left a sour taste in my mouth I found myself falling in love with this film on a second viewing.

Philomena7. Philomena – Judy Dench will receive an Oscar Nomination for her superb performance in this film. I made a comment that this film was like The Guilt Trip but international and with less laughs, and then someone told me, that’d be hard to do as The Guilt Trip had so few laughs.  Philomena manages to break your heart and then warm it through its progression and it was just a delightful time at the theatre. You can read my full review here.

star trek into darkness6. Star Trek Into Darkness – I really don’t know if I have to justify this film’s place on the top 10 list. J.J. Abrams has breathed such fresh life into this franchise that I can’t wait to continue to see what happens. Khan may have been the worst kept secret of the entire production, yet when we screened it in Ottawa and Benedict Cumberbatch announces that his name is Khan the entire theatre erupted in cheers and hoots, it just felt so right. Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still so much fun, and still is on multiple viewings.

Labor Day5. Labor Day – This was a hard one to decide whether to put on this list or not, as technically it only received a very limited release at the very end of December 2013 and doesn’t officially get a wide release until January 31, 2014. However, as it premiered at TIFF 2013 and will be in Oscar contention for the 2013 season I feel like it deserves its place on this year’s list. Labor Day is Jason Reitman’s adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel by the same name. Brolin, Winslet and Griffith are phenomenal in this film. Gattlin Griffith is going to be big, you heard it here first! Well – maybe not first – but its true – this kid is a rising star. He comes across as one of the most talented actors I’ve seen this year. I had the pleasure of working as a publicist on this film during TIFF 2013 and have had the chance to see it, and cannot wait to see it again when it comes out at the end of January. It also made me want to learn how to make a homemade peach pie.

12 years a slave4. 12 Years a Slave – This story is a spectacular story. I really did enjoy it. Perhaps it was simply because of how hyped up this film was to be the best film of the year that I felt slightly underwhelmed by the end of this film, or perhaps it was because it felt so long. Steve McQueen is a very passionate filmmaker who knows what he is doing when he is behind the camera, and he’s able to draw the right level of emotion out of every single character. Chiwetel Ejiofor was a phenomenal casting choice as the main character, Solomon Northup. Even still, the rest of the cast, especially Benedict Cumberbatch, Taran Killam, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender were an amazing supporting cast. This film is going to take home A LOT of Oscar’s. It’s only real competition is The Wolf of Wall Street.

Prisoners3. Prisoners – This is the second Paul Dano film to make the top 10 list. Paul Dano is such an under-rated actor, but he is just so damn good on the big screen. Prisoners is heart-wrenching. It’s raw. It’s powerful. It makes me never want to ever have children. Denis Villeneuve makes me proud to be a Canadian. His next film, Enemy, coming out March 2014, is definitely on my must-watch for list. I felt physically and emotionally drained after seeing this film. Hugh Jackman’s performance was phenomenal. It won’t win him an Academy Award, but it will certainly get him damn close.

wolf of wall street2. The Wolf of Wall Street – This film was either loved or hated. Scorsese hits The Wolf of Wall Street out of the park as he re-tells the sordid past of Jordan Belfort and his lust for money, drugs and sex. The film was fascinating. Full disclosure, it has a run time of 2 hours and 59 minutes, yet to me it didn’t feel nearly that long. I want to see the Extended Director’s Cut and see what Scorsese had to cut to keep it under 3 hours. This film would have worked better as a 12-part miniseries on HBO or something closer to that, because the story is so complex, and there are so many chapters to Jordan Belfort’s life that I feel were left untouched, probably due to time constraints. Leonardo DiCaprio was absolutely phenomenal. If this doesn’t win him an Oscar I don’t know what will. Jonah Hill was also superb (also the second Jonah Hill film in the Top 10). He definitely deserves Best Supporting Actor when the time comes. In my opinion, this is Scorsese’s best film to date.

BLACKFISH_Film_Poster1. Blackfish – When I wrote my initial review of Blackfish I only gave it 4 stars. I regret that decision. I have watched and re-watched Blackfish (or at least big chunks of it) at least 4 times and every time I watch it I get more and more passionate about the message that they’re selling. If I could go back and re-write my review it would definitely be a 5 star review. It’s a film that is a must-see. It changed the way I look at marine parks and hopefully will change the way you think of them too! Check out my full review here.

Honorable Mentions: The Conjuring, Thor: The Dark World, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Way, Way Back, How to Make Money Selling Drugs, World War Z

2013 A Year in Review – Top 10 Overhyped Films of 2013

Top 10 OverhypedI almost didn’t make this Top 10 list, but after going through some of the movies I’ve seen this year I feel like it’s a very necessary list. The most overhyped films of 2013 doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie was actually bad, while no doubt some of them were, but at the same time, we can’t ignore that some of these movies are actually pretty darn good. These are the films of the year that I either went into with very high expectations or they had been pumped up so big by critics, fellow movie fans, or the media, that in the long run I walked out of the movie feeling less than satisfied.

Anchorman 210. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – This is the perfect example of a film that came out this year that I actually really liked, but for the two months leading up to the release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues we were constantly inundated with Ron Burgundy everywhere we looked that by the time we got to the film we all had to ask: “have we seen the best of Ron Burgundy already?” While the movie had its laughs and was a solid sequel it still fell short of its predecessor. I really didn’t know what to fully expect when I walked into Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but I do know that the best of Burgundy wasn’t in this film… this is where Brick really had a chance to shine.

Carrie9. Carrie – Stephen King film adaptations are hit or miss. The fact that Carrie was also a remake made me wary from the official announcement. Yet the online hype leading up to the release got me excited that it may actually end up being less than a dud. My hopeful optimism was smashed as I endured the most boring 100 minute horror movie of the year. Carrie was DOA.

the world's end8. The World’s End – I really like the trio of Pegg, Frost and Wright. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two of my favourite films, so I had prepared for The World’s End to be one of the funniest movies of the year. While it was entertaining at times the obnoxiousness of the characters mixed with weaker plot points had me looking at my watch multiple times to see when it would end.

Monsters U7. Monsters University – Monsters Inc. is one of my favourite Disney movies. Sequels, especially Disney sequels, don’t often hold any ground to its predecessor. Monsters University wasn’t bad. It wasn’t spectacular though. No offense to Disney or Pixar, but I didn’t really care how Mike and Scully became the Scarers they became… I was more interested in seeing more of a sequel than a prequel… which meant that I wasn’t nearly as engaged as I maybe should have been.

Oblivion6. Oblivion – I wasn’t really that excited to see Oblivion in the first place. But the closer we came to the release date the more buzz I kept hearing about it. Should have trusted my gut instinct and skipped it.

Escape from Tomorrow5. Escape from Tomorrow – I really wanted to see this film after I heard it was secretly filmed on location at Disney World and Disney Land. Outside of how the film was made there was nothing spectacular about this film. In fact, if I had a “what the f*ck did I just watch” award? This would win in a heartbeat. You can read my full review here.

Fruitvale Station4. Fruitvale Station – Critically acclaimed. Publicly lauded. Based on a true story. Had to be good right? No. It was what I call “emotional porn”. If you remember the story of Oscar Grant III, a young Black man shot by a police officer on New Year’s Eve in 2008, that’s all you there is to this story. We start the film off watching him be shot, then for the next 70 minutes travel with Grant through his last day alive. The movie is exploitation at best and I felt ashamed for it being released as a form of entertainment.

the lone ranger3. The Lone Ranger – I love Westerns. I don’t mind Jerry Bruckheimer films. I didn’t hate The Lone Ranger. I definitely didn’t love it. The film was way too long for its own good. It could have been shortened down to a solid 45 minute television episode and left alone at that. Critics hated the film. It bombed at the box office. It’s a movie that definitely did not live up to its full potential.

the hobbit desolation of smaug2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – I hated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I was so bored. I hated the fact that Peter Jackson split one book into 3 movies that will probably end up equalling 8  – 9 hours, a few hours longer with the Extended Director’s Cut that will likely follow a few years after all three have been released on Blu-Ray. I actually liked The Desolation of Smaug more than An Unexpected Journey, but that’s not saying much. I just feel that the entire “Hobbit” franchise has been so overhyped that I don’t actually give a damn if I see them or not.

Captain Phillips1. Captain Phillips – This film has been critically acclaimed for the performances by Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi alone. This film has also brought along its fair share of criticism in the way that it portrays Captain Phillips character as a hero for the entirety of the film, when in actuality, according to the crew upon the ship; he actually put the crew in more danger than need-be. I just found the entire movie incredibly boring. It is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and I felt every minute of it. I wasn’t engaged. I wasn’t gripped. It was just a story, true or not, that was there, and I walked away a little regretful that I had spent so much time watching this film.

Honorable Mentions: We’re the Millers, Pacific Rim, White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Gangster Squad, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

2013 A Year in Review – Top 10 Television Series/Seasons of 2013

Best TVA lot of time in the film industry we focus a lot more on movies than we do on television, and don’t give TV Shows the proper credit that it’s due. Despite the fact that for the right price you can buy a Golden Globe from the HFPA there are some really great performances on television that deserve recognition. I know that I am spoiling my list by saying so in the little blurb up front, but if there were an Academy Award for Best Acting in a TV Series, obviously Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad would be the front runner, I would argue that the Academy should change their rules and give him a Best Actor nomination regardless, but that’s not how things work around these parts. Without further ado: the top 10 Television Shows/Seasons of 2013.

Graceland10. Graceland (Season 1) – This show was a wild card. I really liked it, but didn’t know if it deserved a spot in the Top 10, but after hearing that almost no one has heard of this show, it has to go here just to boost its popularity. Focussing on a group of young adults who all work for various government agencies (FBI, CIA, DEA) living in the same house, helping each other with stings, it has the potential to get really messy, but instead, we were delivered a tight cop drama that could rival The Shield. Bitingly intense and exhilarating I binge watched this show so quickly and can’t wait for Season 2.

brooklyn nine-nine9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 1) – I was really hoping this show was going to bomb. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind Andy Samberg, but I really thought that after SNL his career was over. I was wrong. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is by far one of the funniest shows on TV and one of the best new shows of 2013. Sure, the humour isn’t the most mature in the world, but when you partner the comedic timing of Andy Samberg with the straight-laced acting of Andre Braugher, it ends up being comedy gold.

homeland8. Homeland (Season 3) – While Season 3 was definitely one of the more boring seasons of Homeland, it really just wraps up the intensity of Season 1 and 2. And without giving too many spoilers away, thank God that the writers had the balls to do what needed to be done a season ago in the end. They could actually finish Homeland now, not do any more seasons, and have created a beautiful story that has the perfect and necessary conclusions it needs. I worry that with a large cast change in store that Homeland is going to become muddied and lose its integrity as the tight, spy-thriller I’ve come to love and adore.

Suits7. Suits (Season 2 Part 2 & Season 3 Part 1) – I was late jumping on the Suits bandwagon, but, thanks to my wife, am now an avid fan that won’t miss an episode. While Season 2 Part 2 was much stronger than Season 3 Part 1 I’m just glad to have this fun, quirky legal drama to follow now that Boston Legal has been off the air for a few years.

bering sea gold6. Bering Sea Gold (Season 2) – I am a “reality” TV junkie, but I try to leave that off of these lists. Bering Sea Gold is my guilty pleasure. Maybe it’s just because I don’t fantasize about money in the same way that the people on this show do, and I am just fascinated by the lengths that people will go to in destroying their personal, financial and professional lives just to make a few ounces of gold a day. Almost every episode is the same, but I still find myself tuning in every week to catch up on the drama on the gold mines outside of Nome, Alaska. Season 3 just started and I’ve saved up a few episodes to binge watch in the New Year.

justified5. Justified (Season 4) – I love Justified. There’s really not too much more I can say here. Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens is great. Walter Goggins as the typical FX villain shines. The writing is great. The plot lines keep my captivated. No way in hell I want this cancelled anytime soon.

the newsroom4. The Newsroom (Season 2) – Here’s my problem with The Newsroom. I love it. I get engaged and just want to keep watching. BUT. They suck at resolving storylines. End of Season 1 has a serious death threat against Will McAvoy which I was hoping would be resolved in Season 2, instead, it’s never mentioned again. I did love Season 2, despite the fact that I found it frustrating from time to time in the way it would jump back and forth in time. It is classic Aaron Sorkin, so it could go on for many seasons, which gives the writer(s) a lot of time to work on resolving story lines.

sons of anarchy3. Sons of Anarchy (Season 6) – I may get a lot of hate for saying this, but if you were in shock and awe of the Season Finale of Sons of Anarchy than you know NOTHING about this television show. Without giving away spoilers, the events that happened in this finale were set up from the beginning. It was an inevitable conclusion. It was only a matter of time; I was just surprised it took this long. If you’ve ever watched anything by Kurt Sutter before you had to know this was going to happen. Despite the fact that everyone was like: “NO WAY!” I still thought Season 6 was a very strong season and truly capitalizes on how the downfall of the M.C. is just around the corner. I’m excited for an explosive 7th and Final Season.

game of thrones2. Game of Thrones (Season 3) – I have to admit, I stopped reading The Game of Thrones books because of how great the television series was and how true to the book it stayed long before Season 3. So the events like The Red Wedding, which knowing George RR Martin, shouldn’t have been a surprise, truly blew me away, unlike the Season Finale mentioned above in Number 3. I like the whole notion Martin has with the whole ‘every time someone tells me who their favourite character is, I kill them off.’ Game of Thrones is a great show that continues to impress week after week after week. Bring on Season 4.

breaking bad1. Breaking Bad (Season 5 Part 1 & Part 2) – No surprise here. I was late to the Breaking Bad party. I was in Season 2 when Season 5 Part 2 was starting, but I caught up in time to watch the Series Finale live and was so blown away by how perfect a series this show truly turned out to be. Ozymandias may actually go down as my favourite episode in Television History knocking Casinko from Sealab 2021 from its current position.

Honorable Mention: The Following (Season 1), The Blacklist (Season 1)

2013 A Year in Review – Top 10 WORST Films of 2013

Top 10 WorstAs we not only enter 2014, we’re also entering Award Season in the film industry. So over the next month I’ll be putting out a few Top 5 or Top 10 lists surrounding the 2013 Film and Television year in review. I figure I’ll start things off with a Top 10 list of the WORST FILMS of 2013. Now right off the bat I must admit that there are just so many gosh-darn bad movies that come out each year that it’s impossible to include them all in this list because some films I just refuse to watch. A good example of this would be sequels like The Smurfs II, Scary Movie 5 or Grown Ups II, all sequels for movies that I ultimately despised and wouldn’t watch again even if paid money – but here is an exhaustive list of where Hollywood has gone wrong over the past year:

Hangover 310. The Hangover Part III – while not the worst movie of the year, this franchise wore itself out with its second installment. While there is nothing new under the sun, there was nothing original about this movie, no matter how hard everyone tried. I was bored from the very opening sequence until the very last sequence. I actually stopped watching it at one point and contemplated not even finishing the film.

kick ass 29. Kick Ass 2 – I have to be honest, I really like the Kick Ass comics. I get that they are ultra-violent, over-the-top and comical in their display of its overt gore and violence, yet it still leaves a lot to the imagination. I despised the first Kick Ass movie as I found nothing humorous or entertaining about watching a 10 year old girl nearly get the life beat out of her in such graphic detail. When it came to Kick Ass 2 I gave it a chance, but wish I hadn’t, as once again, there is nothing funny or entertaining in the way we watch a multitude of cops being gunned down outside a house, while a villain viciously masturbates to try and get his d*ck hard so he can proceed to rape a girl, all supposedly played for laughs. What may work in a comic book definitely does not translate onto film with grace.

21 and over8.  21 & Over – This film had every party-film cliché in the book. Yet didn’t have a single laugh for the entire film.

good day to die hard7. A Good Day to Die Hard – John McClane goes to Russia to see his son Jack. Jack and John proceed to travel to Chernobyl and blow sh*t up. The end. Die Hard 5 was supposed to return this franchise to its former glory. Needless to say it failed. Please, kill the franchise now.

The heat6. The Heat – A buddy cop comedy that has no funny moments. Melissa McCarthy is the same character in all of her films. And while it’s funny the first or second time, it definitely isn’t funny anymore, and wasn’t here. The very few chuckles that exist are overshadowed by a convoluted and unnecessary plot. Bullock didn’t even seem to give a single damn about anything in the film and seemed to be in it for the paycheck. I’ve heard a rumour of a sequel. I hope it stays a rumour.

the big wedding5. The Big Wedding. – A huge cast. A large number of stars. A huge disaster. Enough said.

only god forgives4. Only God Forgives –  God may forgive this atrocity. I don’t. Ryan Gosling reteams up with Nicholas Winding Refn from Drive and gives audiences the dullest 90 minute performance in theatres this year.  Only God Forgives is reprehensible in its portrayal of pretty much everything. Gosling’s 16 lines (approximately) felt like 16 lines too many and his performance was more dull than anything I’ve ever seen from him.

CBGB (2)3. CBGB – The story of Hilly Kristal and the founding of the punk-rock club CBGB is an irrelevant film for an irrelevant audience. Read my full review (filled with a bucket full of hate) right here.

battle of the year2. Battle of the Year – I hate dance movies. I was dragged to see this film. It was by far one of the worst movies of the year, with pathetic performances, dialogue that felt like it was written by a 4 year old, and was basically just a commercial for the film Planet B-Boy. I am so glad that this film bombed at the box office. I would have lost faith in humanity if it did any better than it actually did.

ripd1. R.I.P.D. – Ryan Reynolds is to comic book movies as Dane Cook is to comedy. Reynolds has successfully killed 4 comic book films now to date. He destroyed Blade III, bombed in Wolverine Origins, killed the Green Lantern and absolutely devastated RIPD. Let me state that I don’t walk out of films. I can count the number of movies I have walked out of on one hand, good or bad. I sat through 30 minutes of RIPD, based on the Dark Horse comic by the same name, before boldly walking out of the film, feeling more liberated with each step I took.

Honorable Mentions: Identity Thief, Mama, The Purge, A Haunted House and Oz: The Great & Powerful