Wednesday, December 4 2013, 12:05 PM MST
Holiday Gift Guide: The Blockbusters
Based on a true story director James Wans film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmigais as famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in classic ghost story thrilled audiences to the tune of a worldwide box office total of over $316 million.
The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmanns adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgeralds classic story may lack the depth and jazz-age swing of the novel, but it captures the decadent party atmosphere perfectly (in 3D no less).
Director Paul Feig follows up the success of Bridesmaids with buddy cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Its a fairly predictable story, but the chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy produces hilarious results.
Iron Man 3
Following the success of Marvels The Avengers it was a foregone conclusion that Iron Man 3, the franchise that really made all of Marvels success possible, was going to be a huge hit. The film currently ranks as the biggest earner of 2013 and critics almost unanimously proclaimed it better than Iron Man 2. Who can say no to Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark? Apparently no one.
Man of Steel
Zack Snyders reboot of the Superman franchise matched the darker tone of the recent Batman films (due to the Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer script) resulting in a slightly different Superman than some were comfortable with. I personally found the film to be a thrilling experience filled with visual splendor.
Guillermo del Toros Kaiju (giant alien monster) vs. massive robots film delivered all the bombastic action any sci-fi fan could want while sneaking in a fair amount of character development and story to elevate the film above its classic B-movie roots. It was the most fun I had in a movie theater in 2013.
Star Trek into Darkness
J.J. Abrams second foray into Gene Roddenberrys universe wasnt nearly as brave (or controversial among longtime fans) as his first as it incorporates familiar plot points from previous Star Trek films, but the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch as one of the series most iconic villains helps to ease the pain.
World War Z
Despite having to re-shoot the films final act Brad Pitts World War Z turned out to be an above average zombie drama and a box office success. Those looking for a faithful adaptation of Max Brooks novel will be disappointed, but as Pitt pointed out, it leaves a lot of material available for a possible (if not inevitable) sequel.
-Ryan Michael Painter