2013 in review

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Remo D
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2013 in review

Post by Remo D » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:42 pm

Wow... when you look back and actually count on your fingers, 2013 was one of the sparsest years in a while for the "horror film," at least as far as the big screen was concerned. I normally dive straight into the "horror" category and then sum up the rest of the movies I caught over the past year, but this time I think I'll save the scary stuff for last?

Okay, first let's dispense with the absolutely NON-horror titles I managed to catch on the big screen. These mainly concerned themselves with aging action stars and their appointed (I'd certainly use that term when Sylvester Stallone designs a vehicle to showcase Jason Statham) successors. Interestingly, NONE of these made a splash at the box office.

I didn't see THE LAST STAND (Schwarzenegger), but I really enjoyed Walter Hill's good, old-fashioned BULLET TO THE HEAD, which would make a fine double bill with the Stallone-scripted HOMEFRONT (Statham and company deliver exactly what they promise). By comparison, PARKER also gave us some good Statham, but the Donald E. Westlake adaptation could have been seriously streamlined by eliminating the character played by Jennifer Lopez altogether (nothing against her personally, she just slowed the story down immensely).

And all of the above were superior to the weary ESCAPE PLAN, but even that had its moments (mainly from Schwarzenegger).

We also got some strange blendings of action and sentiment from the real "old school" players. STAND UP GUYS wasn't everybody's cup of tea, but I found it engaging and amusing. Meanwhile, THE FAMILY was completely and disappointingly unrecognizable as a Luc Besson film, but DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer still had some worthwhile bits to offer.

And no, I had no interest whatsoever in GRUDGE MATCH. But speaking of "aging," I have to throw BAD GRANDPA in here somewhere because it doesn't belong anywhere else. It was an efficient "practical joke/candid camera" movie, but the punchline was done much better in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

OLD BOY doesn't fit anywhere else, either. I'd call the Spike Lee remake "controversial," but since almost nobody in the world even saw it? I thought it was a perfectly respectable retelling of somebody else's story, simple as that.

And Steven Soderbergh's alleged 'fiinal' feature was SIDE EFFECTS, which was one hell of a gripping, surprising medical thriller and so much more.

No, the reason "horror" itself got such short shrift is because this was the year of constant science-fiction/superhero epics, most of them sequels and/or reboots.

Superheroes: IRON MAN THREE was yet another disappointing follow-up to what I thought was the best of the pre-AVENGERS Marvel sequence. But I'll take that over MAN OF STEEL, which gave us another "angsty" Superman and continued to drain all of the fun out of what was supposed to be the most uplifting of franchises. I don't care how good the special effects, etc. were. I want Superman to be FUN again. We've already GOT a Batman, okay? Meanwhile, reviews were split down the middle on THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Put me in the camp that found it a distinct improvement over a lackluster original.

KICK-ASS 2 was a strange bird which tried a bit too hard to raise the stakes of the original. But Chloe Grace Moretz deserves plenty of kudos, and the film also boasted terrific supporting roles for John Leguizamo and Jim Carrey (who, of course, promptly disowned it, claiming he had no idea how violent it was going to be. Sure, Jim. Sure.).

Also in the sequel department? RIDDICK was better than CHRONICLES OF... but still not up to PITCH BLACK (which it could have been if it hadn't been determined to linger on screen quite so long). STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS was mostly satisfying as a follow-up to the big-screen reboot... at least until Spock became an action hero. And really... was there any point in naming the otherwise fine villain "Khan?" Far more successful at going above and beyond its origin was CATCHING FIRE, the second installment of THE HUNGER GAMES: this film boasted enough quality for me to recommend that even naysayers of the original take a look at what's been going on in that world lately. Top cast, too...

As for "original" science fiction? OBLIVION was a fantastic-looking rehash of a very basic story, while GRAVITY made a new art form out of total immersion 3-D in a far more gripping tale.

And thank goodness that lackluster American box office did NOT spell the end of Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM. Nobody honors his childhood monsters so effectively, be it through the subtle DEVIL'S BACKBONE or the bombastic HELLBOY movies... and now he's given the kaiju concept everything in his arsenal with movie designed to please us as much as it obviously did himself. (To this day I have never seen a TRANSFORMERS film, so I had no chance of being burned out by giant 'mechas,' okay?)

NOW let's segue into "horror" with two projects that aren't QUITE horror on their own but which draw heavily on our beloved genre... in one case, via one specific film. ROOM 237 was the documentary on all the "conspiracy/hidden meaning" theories expounded upon ever since Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING came out. You don't have to subscribe to a single one of them in order to enjoy just hearing/seeing about them, especially with the mad editing scheme and bounty of surprise movie clips worked into the frame. Pure entertainment, and enlightening even if you think it's all crackpot stuff.

And then there's THE WORLD'S END. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright top off their "Cornetto" trilogy with their best effort yet (yes, I loved SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but this is in a class by itself), earning huge laughs and surprising emotional payoff in the deceptively simple tale of a "pub crawl" that becomes more than a personal apocalypse. Without a doubt, this is my favorite film of 2013. And then some.

As for pure "horror?" I couldn't even stretch the list to twenty titles (although I'm sure I deliberately skipped a few. No HOBBIT movies for me, either).

THE GOOD:

Here's Del Toro again, not directing, but choosing and guiding MAMA to another highly successful look at the world of children and the adults who become their monsters.

I'm pushing it to include THE CALL, but see it through and you'll realize that it does, ultimately qualify as horror. For the most part, it's a breakneck "real time" kidnap thriller with exceptional work by both Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin (yep, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE herself).

THE PURGE might have become a little obvious by the time it was over, but the outrageous gimmick at its core was a good one, the preppies terrorizing Ethan Hawke and family were genuinely frightening, and the ending was more than satisfying (not to mention troubling).

Another one they tried not to call "horror" was PRISONERS, but this was far more than a typical "vigilante" outing--this reaches back to INN OF THE FRIGHTENED PEOPLE and captures the intensity of THE VANISHING itself. And again, only by watching all the way through to the end will you be able to make up your mind--but the film more than warns you that the journey won't be a pleasant one.

Perhaps the most controversial horror title of the year (for long-time fans, anyway) was the new EVIL DEAD. Not quite a remake. Not quite a reboot. Call it what you will... for me it worked quite well and entertained me from beginning to end.

YOU'RE NEXT! was perhaps released too closely to THE PURGE (even though it was filmed first) to stand out on its own, but it's a pitch-perfect "siege" thriller without gimmicks, boasting plenty of jolts, shocks, humor, perversity and THE best ending of the year. Oh, and it has Barbara Crampton. So there you go.

The previous title had me sorely tempted to call "winner," and I honestly think it's more of a tie than anything else, but THE CONJURING represents so much more in the big picture... it's vindication for James Wan against everyone who thought he was a one-trick "torture porn" pony and scorned every non-SAW effort he offered. This "based on true events" haunting/exorcism tale didn't have an unfamiliar concept in its entire body, but Wan and company treated it like they were doing it for the first time and without a trace of irony and delivered one of the best (and SCARIEST) horror films of recent years. And now we're going to lose him to the mainstream as a result, apparently...

THE MIDDLE GROUND:

Why, it's James Wan again. INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 was slick, efficient and more than competent. It was also one of the most unnecessary sequels ever made. Still, the fadeout hints that this series can still be taken in a fresh direction. Whether Wan gets/wants to helm another horror movie is anyone's guess at this point, though.

I've always enjoyed the work of OLDBOY's Park Chan-Wook and was looking forward to his first English-language feature. STOKER gave us immensely affecting performances and gorgeous art direction and photography. I wanted to love it. I also understand it as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, but it was the repeated hammering home of that point that constantly distracted me and made me wonder if Park was putting me on ("see that bit from PSYCHO I just did there? If you missed it, I'll do it again. Hey, here it is for the third time in ten minutes!").

Then there were three in a row that actually DID play at my local arthouse, but screenings were restricted to one nightly showing out of my reach and pay-per-view was, ironically, cheaper. And about worth it.

With twenty-six short films to choose from, how could THE ABCs OF DEATH land anywhere else but the middle category? There was some great stuff, there was some revolting garbage, and there was some just plain nonsense. I'm not looking forward to another installment... it's simply too much to sit through in one gulp. For the record, my favorite bits were "D is for Dogfight" and "Q is for Quack."

Don Coscarelli's JOHN DIES AT THE END. I've got friends who swear by this feature and who enjoyed every second of it. And I'm happy for them, and I liked quite a bit of it myself. I simply could not get 'immersed' the way I was hoping to be. Maybe I'll try it again sometime. Sorry.

And the year that gave us Barbara Crampton also gave us a fine showcase for Jeffrey Combs in WOULD YOU RATHER. I just wish the SAW-school story had given us more of certain characters and a more inspired wrap-up.

Back to the big screen... another movie I really wanted to love was Rob Zombie's THE LORDS OF SALEM--it began terrifically and stands out as his most original feature to date--unfortunately, it lost track of itself in a sea of obvious Ken Russell tributes en route to an incoherent ending.

And for all the ballyhoo? WORLD WAR Z also started off with a bang but never quite brought the intensity the way it should have. In the end, it wasn't awful. It was just... okay.

The CARRIE remake disappointed by being just that--a direct remake of the Brian De Palma film as opposed to a new take on potentially timeless material. Julianne Moore and (for the most part) Chloe Grace Moretz redeemed it with their performances, but it all went to hell the moment the bucket dropped.

As for SCARY MOVIE V? The ONLY reason it doesn't land at the bottom of the slagheap is on the strength of a truly hilarious and up to the minute EVIL DEAD tribute sequence. For the record, it used MAMA, of all things, as its "base."

THE BAD:

I suppose the best thing about the horror year 2013 was the dearth of truly dreadful films. I was torn between putting DARK SKIES in the middle ground on the strength of one very good character (the weary, resigned alien expert), but the film itself was too much of a generic rehash that borrowed far too much from POLTERGEIST to impress me.

TEXAS CHAINSAW tried to be different, but I found it woefully misguided, shallow (I kept asking why the appealing Tania Raymonde was given NOTHING to do but "be a slut," for one thing) and incomplete--not to mention almost completely pointless as a 3-D project.

But you're not going to find a worse film than THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2... pretty much anywhere. And it's all the more shameful considering how impressed I was with the first installment. This was the crudest of would-be-cash-ins and it had absolutely nothing to offer. And don't blame the overly familiar subject matter, either. Look at THE CONJURING and end this year on a good note instead.

What does the future hold? Well, I'd sworn off any further PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies, but now they went and used the title for an "in name only" installment that at least has nothing whatsoever to do with that overplayed suburban family. So I'll start there, regardless.

Happy 2014!

Remo D.
Last edited by Remo D on Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Chris Slack
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Re: 2013 in review

Post by Chris Slack » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks Remo, great read! Here's my best of, not much horror but whatever :)

10. Star Trek – Into Darkness – Even with the most emotional moment lifted from “The Wrath of Khan” the film was more than enough to satisfy this Star Trek Fan.

9. The Motel Life – Heavy thriller about two brothers who are forced to leave the motel they live in after something goes horribly wrong. While this is a 2012 film, it didn't see release until 2013 so I am counting it.

8. The World’s End – Five childhood friends are convinced to attempt to conquer a failed pub crawl from their youth. Strange things happen.

7. American Hustle – A fictionalized account of some incidents in the Abscam investigation in the late 1970s. Stellar performances by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence.

6. Elysium – Even with the heavy handed social commentary this stunning sci-fi from Neill Blomkamp was very compelling.

5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – The incredible dragon Smaug (voiced perfectly by Benedict Cumberbatch) was the star of this one. Gorgeous film that is best seen in HFR 3D. Some parts seemed like padding but as I was expecting that after the first part it didn't seem like a negative.

4. The Place Beyond the Pines – Great acting and strong characters made this story of the length a father will go to care for his son a winner. While this is a 2012 film, it didn't see release until 2013 so I am counting it.

3. Prisoners – A gripping revenge tale with a simply amazing performance from Hugh Jackman.

2. Gravity – A convincing performance by Sandra Bullock (who I don’t like) coupled with the most amazing 3D space footage made this once of the most intense dramas ever.

1. Pacific Rim – While not the strongest in terms of story or acting this movie made me feel like a ten year old watching “Destroy All Monsters” for the first time. This wonderful film forced me to wear an ear to ear grin for at least 20 percent of the running time. I lost track of repeat viewings at eight!
"Regrettable... I was hoping for a colleague, but at least we have
another experimental subject..." -Mesa of Lost Women

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Re: 2013 in review

Post by Darth Tanner » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:22 am

Now for my recap. 2013 was a pretty solid year for movies even if it was lacking in genre films. Ever since I got my Roku over a year ago, I've enjoyed streaming movies off of Netflix and Vudu. Because of that I've been more selective with what I saw in theatres. The good news is that I liked almost everything I saw at the cinema this year (with one exception) and took in a total of 15 theatrical viewings. I also caught up with 14 more on home viewing along with one "honorable mention" which brings my viewing of 2013 releases to a round number of 30. I did miss out on a couple of the big titles, but I hope to catch up to them very soon. Without further ado, here is a rundown of what I saw this year.


2013 theatrical viewings:


THE LAST STAND - I was very happy to see this on the big screen and enjoyed every minute of it. It was great to see Schwarzenegger in a leading role after a decade, but I was disappointed by how poorly this performed at the box office. I think that the poster showing Arnold alongside Johnny Knoxville may have given people the wrong impression of the movie. I also wonder if using the DVD/Blu-Ray art for the poster instead would have made a difference. Still this was an awesome movie that won't disappoint fans of 80's action stars.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL - I never heard anybody ask for a prequel to WIZARD OR OZ after over 70 years, but I actually enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. The movie was nothing special nor something I would recommend going out of the way for, but it was well made and acted for the most part. I hate to admit that the Mariah Carey song over the closing credits has actually stuck with me more than the movie itself.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION - I was one of the few people on the planet who seemed to love the first G.I. JOE movie and found this one to be among the same lines. Not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but a lot of fun for those like me who enjoy mindless action movies. The highlight for me was an entertaining performance by Ray Stephenson as Firefly.

SCARY MOVIE V - The parody film is pretty much a dead subgenre at this point, and the only purpose this movie served was to beat a long-dead horse. But in fairness, I actually enjoyed watching Ashley Tisdale a lot more that Anna Faris. I also thought the Charlie Sheen / Lindsay Lohan spoof at the beginning was good for a few chuckles. Aside from that this movie didn't have much else to offer. Although this was supposedly the least successful entry in the series it still managed to turn a small profit. So I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a SCARY MOVIE VI at some point.

IRON MAN 3 - I hate to say that this was probably the most disappointing movie I saw in the cinema this year (even worse than SCARY MOVIE V). I really like the first two IRON MAN movies (as well as THE AVENGERS), but this one really let me down. Weak characters and an underdeveloped story really sapped any enjoyment I could have gotten out of this movie. The only positive is that it was almost a classic compared to something like SUPERMAN III (which I still think is the worst entry in that franchise).

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - I have to say that I liked this a little more than the STAR TREK reboot although it heavily relied on WRATH OF KHAN as the basis for it's story. Despite that the movie was still thoroughly entertaining and Benedict Cumberbatch did a nice "reinvention" of Khan that worked well with no disrespect at all to Ricardo Montalban's already fine performance. I just hope J.J. Abrams and crew can keep the momentum going with the next entry.

MAN OF STEEL - I initially saw this one under somewhat unusual circumstances. It was the day before I left to go on vacation and I took in a showing at 9:30 in the morning(!) so I could quickly return home and finish packing. Because of that I didn't really absorb much of it aside from really enjoying it. After revisiting the film on Blu-Ray, I have to say that I really enjoyed it much more than the last couple of Superman movies. I can certainly understand where the negative criticisms are coming from, but this was never supposed to be anything like Richard Donner's original SUPERMAN. The Christopher Reeve Superman from my youth has already been done and can be revisited on DVD anytime I choose. As for Zack Snyder's reboot, I have to say that I embraced it with open arms. The cast and performances were terrific all around. Mike Shannon also made a great General Zod and saved us from yet another introuduction to Lex Luthor. I would certainly dare any of the naysayers out there to convince me this was any worse that SUPERMAN III. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.

THE WOLVERINE - I didn't have too much to say about this one. I really liked the story and the Japanese setting. But the characters and performances were somewhat lacking. Although this movie did make up for it with some awesome action scenes, I thought the ORIGINS movie from 2009 was a bit better. Overall not a bad movie, but it just seemed to be something to tide the fans over until DAYS OF FUTURES PAST.

THE WORLD'S END - A true delight from beginning to end. Simon Pegg was hilarious and it was great to see Rosamund Pike again. There really isn't much for me to add to what's already been said. This was certainly the most fun I had in the cinema this year and I would strongly urge everybody to see this if they haven't already done so.

MACHETE KILLS - There really isn't much for me to say about this one. Although I did enjoy this, I felt that it lacked the "Wow" factor of the original movie. There were some nice performances (espcecially from Cuba Gooding Jr. and Amber Heard) and a few good laughs, but the movie seemed to derail during the climax. Still this wasn't a bad movie and I'm still looking forward to the third installment (if it is still happening).

CARRIE - I'm probably one of the few that actually enjoyed this remake. Although it utilized the same script as the original, I would up liking this one more for some reason. Julianne Moore was much better than Piper Laurie and Chloe Grace Moretz also turned in a good performance. I also liked this remake better than the CARRIE TV-movie from 2002 that starred Angela Bettis (although I have to admit I liked that one to some degree as well).

THOR: THE DARK WORLD - I do have to agree that this sequel was certainly better than the first THOR. It was great to see Natalie Portman and Rene Russo given more to this time plus there were good laughs that worked well. My only regret is not seeing this one in 3-D as there were a few scenes that probably would have looked great in that format.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE - Saw this during a holiday outing with my fellow coworkers at the local Cinebistro (have to love enjoying dinner and a movie on someone else's dime). This was another instance where the sequel was more entertaining than the original. I enjoy watching Jennifer Lawrence in anything and Jena Malone was also a nice addition to the cast. Although I didn't think too much of the original HUNGER GAMES, I'm glad I got to see this one (especially since it was free for me) and am already looking forward to the last two films in the series.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG - I opted to see this one in "high frame rate" 3-D and was glad I did as the conversion worked really well (particulary in the scenes with the spiders and in the dragon's lair). Despite a few slow moments, this one kept me entertained for the whole three hours and I'm definitely seeing the next one when it comes out.

AMERICAN HUSTLE - It's always good to end the year at the cinema on a high note. David O. Russell has made another terrific movie with great performances by an amazing cast. This was undoubtedly the best movie I saw all year and I would highly recommend it.


2013 home viewings:


SIDE EFFECTS - Rented this from the local Country Mart while visiting my family in Missouri (nice to know that there are still a few grocers that have an actual video rental section instead of Redbox). I wouldn't have seen this had it not been for a solid recommendation from our resident reviewer. This was indeed very well-acted and certainly better than HAYWIRE and that's all I really have to say without giving anything good away.

GANGSTER SQUAD - Not too much to say about this one. A fairly decent action movie with some great performances and a good story, but nothing very memorable at the end. The best I can say is that there is much worse out there.

STAND UP GUYS - Although I did not enjoy this one as much as THE LAST STAND, it was still a lot of fun to be had. It was great to see Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin all working together with some nice support from Julianna Margulies. Sad that this movie didn't find its audience in theaters but hopefully it will find a new life on home viewing.

HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS - This was another vacation rental for me as I didn't want to spend ticket price to see this in theatre. Although I didn't have a bad time watching it, at the end it was nothing more than junk food for the brain. But I would watch this again before seeing any of those UNDERWORLD movies. I also have to admit to crushing on Gemma Arterton. Anybody know if she is single?

ZERO DARK THIRTY - I'm skeptical as to how much this movie was based on actual events. But it was still well-acted and engrossing throughout the whole running time. I wouldn't put it up there as one of the best films of the year, but it is still good enough to warrant a viewing.

THE CALL - I really enjoyed this one and think that this is the best film that WWE produced so far. Brad Anderson has definitely proven himself to be a skilled director despite making only a few films in the past decade. Hopefully he'll get to make another one real soon and I hope it is as good as this one was.

DEAD MAN DOWN - A movie that teams the director and star of the Swedish version of GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO sounded like it would be a sure thing. Unfortunately this movie was very formulatic and didn't really have much to interest me. In fact you'll probably forget most of it after you turn it off. It is great though to see that Noomi Rapace is getting more exposure in Hollywood pictures. I haven't had a chance to see her yet in Brian De Palma's PASSION but I plan to rectify that soon.

THE LORDS OF SALEM - I was excited when I heard that Rob Zombie was making an original movie again. Unfortunately that's where the good news ends for me. This movie was poorly paced and ultimately a missed opportunity. That's all I have to say about this one. THE DEVIL'S REJECTS is still the best movie Zombie has made in my book.

ON THE ROAD - The long-awaited film adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel. It's been a long time since I read the book so I can't really do a direct comparison, but from what I remember the movie was pretty faithful. It was very well-made and featured some great performances by Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst. Sadly this movie tanked horribly at the box office, but I'm glad I saw it and would recommend anyone who is interested to give it a look.

MANIAC - I'm ashamed I still haven't seen the original MANIAC, but Netflix was streaming the remake so I decided to check it out. Despite a creepy performance by Elijah Wood, I hate to say that I didn't really like this movie at all. It was just too mean-spirited and ugly towards women for me to get any enjoyment out of it. I've heard people say the original is along the same line. I'll probably rent it on VUDU someday to see how it compares to the remake. Or then again I might not.

MUD - I wouldn't have given any thought to seeing this, but I was the "99 cent rental of the day" on VUDU, so I decided to take a chance and was glad I did. A very nice coming-of-age story with great performances by Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. The Arkansas setting also worked really well for the story.

THIS IS THE END - Another one I caught up with on VUDU courtesy of their "99 cent" rentals. A very funny film that I enjoyed every bit as much as THE WORLD'S END (which some people tend to confuse with one another although they are entirely different films with a somewhat similar premise). One of the best surprises I had all year and would certainly encourage everybody to check out.

SPRING BREAKERS - In last month's issue of Artforum magazine, John Waters name this one of his top 10 movies of 2013. In his exact words: "The best sexploitation film of the year has Disney tween starlets hilariously undulating, snorting cocaine, and going to jail in bikinis. What more could a serious filmgoer possibly want?" As much as I like Waters, I have to disagree with his comments as I found the movie to be pretty boring. Maybe I'll check it out again at some point to see exactly what he was talking about, but if I want classic sexploitation I can alway pop in a Russ Meyer film.

PARKLAND - I think the media overkill surrounding the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination may have doomed this movie as it fell under the radar and went almost straight to DVD. But this movie is certainly worth seeing as it explores the aftermath of the event as it affects the individuals involved (particularly Abraham Zapruder, the Oswalds and the staff of Parkland Hospital). Although not a great movie, it was refreshing to see things told from a different perspective and devoid of all the conspiracy theories. The movie is also barely 90 minutes so it never overstays its welcome. Definitely worth checking out.


2013 Honorable Mentions:


CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES - This isn't really a film but it certainly deserves an honorable mention. The team who made the excellent NEVER SLEEP AGAIN documentary covering the Elm Street franchise have returned with this even better documentary covering the FRIDAY THE 13TH series (and taken from Peter Bracke's epic tome of the same name). I have to say that this one is every bit as good as NEVER SLEEP AGAIN and almost twice as long with a running time of nearly eight (!) hours. Even as a longtime fan of the series, there were a few things I was suprised to learn even after reading the book. It was also great to see certain individuals (particularly Dana Kimmell and Tracie Savage) talk about their experiences on camera for the first time. My only complaint is that the bonus interviews are available on a bonus disc that can only be had if you ordered this directly from the studio's website. The extended interviews have a lot of good material for fans and I wish they could have found someway to fit them on the Blu-Ray's. Still CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES is an outstanding documentary that certainly won't disappoint fans of Jason.


Shout Factory has definitely made genre fans proud this year with their outstanding Blu-Ray releases of cult classics. I was really happy to see my childhood fave NIGHT OF THE COMET get the deluxe treatment with a new HD transfer and nice extras to boot (I also love that reversible cover art). They also did outstanding releases of the John Carpenter classics THE FOG and PRINCE OF DARKENSS (which was long overdue for an HD release). Hopefully more fans can now see PRINCE OF DARKNESS as I feel it has always been criminally underrated and IMO the last truly scary movie Carpenter made. Now if I can just get my hands on that Blu-Ray of NINJA III: THE DOMINATION.


So that's my take on 2013. I know it was a mouthful but hopefully it will make up for my lack of postings during the year. I hate to say that 2014 really isn't looking too good right now. The only movies I'm real excited about seeing right now is X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURES PAST and the third HOBBIT movie. So unless something else good comes out soon, you can find me on my sofa streaming movies off of my Roku :)


Cheers everyone!


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