Yes it's the end of the year lists. For 2013, I would have to say for comedies it's been a so-so year. Some have been true gems to make you laugh. Some you have been wondering why you were laughing at all. Anyway here are some the better comedies that have come out. I think what we're going to do for you is do a couple of lists with the different genre's like comedy, action, drama and say romance. From their we will pick the best of the best for this year. This year has had some knock out films. So let's get started and look at the comedies and see what tickles our fancy. By all means give me feedback as to which movies you would like for consideration in the final list of the great movies of 2013. I would appreciate to see just where everybody's head is at as to what we feel is the best movie of 2013. Enjoy.
'Frozen' - In a far away place is the Kingdom of Arendelle. A beautiful land with a royal family that has two beautiful daughters. The eldest daughter Elsa (Idina Menzel) has special powers that can change things to ice and snow. One evening the two girls are playing and Elsa hurts her sister Anna ( Kristen Bell) with some ice. The King takes his daughter to some trolls who can help her. Anna can be saved but she can never know of her sisters powers. The troll Pabby (Ciaran Hinds) is able to cure Anna and the family goes back home with their secret. They keep the two girls separate for years.
The king and Queen later get lost at sea and it's Anna who presides over the funeral. When it is time to coronate Elsa to be Queen it is Anna who wants everyone to attend. Elsa is still afraid of anyone finding out about her powers.
While the Ball is going on Anna is having such a great time dancing and actually falls for a Prince Hans (Santino Fontana). Elsa and Anna have a big fight and Elsa goes running off into the night turning everything into ice and snow in her wake. Anna wants to try and get to Elsa and tell her that it doesn't matter about her powers. Anna leaves Hans in charge and she goes off to find her sister.
While searching for her sister Anna runs into a man named Kristoff. She asks him to help her find Elsa. In their search Kristoff will lose his sleigh and though he is upset about it he still helps. Once found Elsa and Anna will once again argue and this time Elsa turns part of Anna's heart into ice.
Kristoff will take her to Pabby for help. You see Pabby and the other trolls are his adopted family. Pabby says their is nothing he can do but an act of love will help change her back. They think of Hans as Anna had a small love for him. So they try and return to Arendelle to try and find Hans.
This is a beautiful story of family and love. It is also a story on how sometimes the simplest things can get in the way of love. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee bring this story to life for us on the big screen. You see it is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Snow Queen". This is a must see this week or at the latest next but you must take your children and grandchildren and see it before Christmas. I can say this they will love you for it for the emotion and love you will get in return will melt the coldest heart.
'Saving Mr. Banks' - The movie has to do with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and his acquisition of the rights to a story called Mary Poppins written by P.L.Travers (Emma Thompson). Mary Poppins actually was written out in several short stories but Disney wanted to make a movie about her. He had made a promise to his daughters some 20 years earlier about getting the rights to make a movie for them. He did not realize that when he made that promise that it would take 20 years to fulfill.
Travers was a hard lady to figure out and what most didn't know is how much the stories had to do with her childhood in Australia. You see her father Travers Goff (Colin Farrell) was a banker and he was also and alcoholic. He would lose his jobs and would eventually lose his life to the disease. This affected his daughter Helen very much. Helen Goff is P.L.Travers. Helen's mother Margaret (Ruth Wilson) was a shy little women who really wanted to help her husband but in the end it was too much for anyone to do.
Disney eventually brought Travers over to the states to see what he had in store for the movie. He brought out everything to make the woman feel good and sign over the rights of Mary Poppin's. She had a team of writers in brothers Richard and Robert Sherman (Jason Schwartzman and B.J.Novak) and Dan DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) to help in making the film. She had a driver by the name of Ralph (Paul Giamatti) to drive her anywhere she wanted to go.
Travers was tied to her books by her past just as Disney was to his father. It was when they found mutual grounds that all started to fall into place. Their fathers played a large part in the up bringing and it was when they both had been living in the past that it was then they began to live in the present. These two figures in history met and brought to the screen one of the most beloved films ever made, 'Mary Poppins'.
Director John Lee Hancock has put together a film that is long overdue. Disney has always brought us good films. With this movie Disney brings us back to something that for most of us we haven't seen in a very long time, and that is our youth. As I mentioned, 'Mary Poppins', was my very first movie to be seen in a movie theater. 'Saving Mr. Banks' allowed me to venture back to my youth and to a period I've missed for so long. Mary Poppins has the ability even now to bring tears, laughter, frustration, and a hole gamut of emotions up in me that I had hidden so long ago. Disney has brought us back to a time so precious to us all. You must see this film. It's okay if you cry a little. Everybody else will be too.
'We're The Millers' - What do you do when you are a small pot dealer and you get robbed? Of course, you have to answer to someone and it's your old friend from college Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms). You see, because you wanted to stay in that same place you were ten years ago and your selling pot for your old college friend, he wants you to pay him back. Yes, it's only 30,000 dollars but you don't have it so what are you going to do. Smuggle it. That's right your good friend will have you smuggle it back from Mexico.
David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is an idiot. He has always been an idiot. When he thinks up the idea of getting a fake family together to bring the pot back giving the appearance of an average American family, you might think he has a chance of pulling it off.
For his wife , he chooses a stripper by the name of Rose O'Reilly (Jennifer Aniston). He chooses a homeless girl by the name of Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) to be his daughter. Rounding out that American family is Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter) as the son. They don't even look like a family let along act like one.
They get the Pot and it's not just a little pot, it's tons of pot. They have an RV that is all decked out but it also is loaded to the hilt with pot. They get back across the border but they run into the Fitzgerald's, Don and Edie (Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn). They are also traveling in an RV. Really nice couple but kind of squirrelly.
The Fitzgerald's do come to their rescue when the RV full of pot breaks down out in the middle of nowhere. After this, you have to watch the rest of the movie cause it gets a little weird. This is a movie that never really takes off.
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber has a good cast but the movie just doesn't roll right. The scenes just don't seem to flow together. You can sit through the entire movie but by the end you will ask yourself why did I just waste my time.
'The Family' - Former Mob Boss Giovanni Manzoni aka Fred Blake (Robert De Niro) snitches on his former "family". He and his immediate family are relocated to France in the Witness Protection program. Maggie Blake (Michelle Pfeiffer) has her own little way of taking care of her family. Children Belle and Warren (Dianna Agron and John D'leo) learn from the best, their father.
For instance, if say you are Maggie and someone talks bad about you at the local grocer, you burn it down. If your the children, and the kids at school want to make an example of you because your American then you take out your revenge on them. If your Fred and your water in your house is brown, then you hurt the plumber and beat up the person responsible, a local fertilizer plant owner.
Now these guys, are the family from hell, but in this case Jersey. Their handler in the program is Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and their caretakers are Di Cicco (Jimmy Palumbo) and Caputa (Domenick Lombardozzi).
Of course the old family of mobsters are looking for the snitch. Don Luchese (Stan Carp) hasn't forgotten that he is in jail and wants Fred very badly.
Okay, this is a very interesting approach to a mob movie. It leaves you wanting more but it lacks a certain touch. Director Luc Besson does an excellent job with the cast and the story. The movie is dark and funny. It is an enjoyable look at the Mob and all its attributes.
'Enough Said' - Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is in her late 40's divorced and going to parties with other couples. She has a daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) who is going off to college in the fall. She's a masseuse by trade and has an assortment of friends.
Albert (James Gandolfini) is in his late 40's divorced and going to parties with other couples. He has a daughter Tess (Eve Hewson) who is going off to college in the fall. He keeps records for early television shows.
The two meet at a party and at first they tell each other that they are not interested. He gives her his card and eventually the two go out. The conversation is OK. They seem to get along and the idea of a second date happens. Eventually, they begin to like each and sex becomes part of the equation.
Now here is the kicker, at that same party that Eva and Albert met Eva becomes friends with Marianne (Catherine Keener) Albert's ex-wife. Marianne is in need of massages and she hires Eva. Eva has no idea that Marianne and Albert were married. Everybody becomes friends until that dreadful day when the cat is let out of the bag.
Relationships are a tricky thing when you get up in years. It seems they have a different set of rules than when you were younger. Follow the story and see just hurt one can get over something so simple. Director Nicole Holofcener brings modern feelings onto the screen for all to see. It seems as we get older sometimes we want to keep things to ourselves and when they come out well they can really muddy things up.
On a sad note this is James Gandolfini's final performance. Watching him in this film makes you appreciate his work just a little more. So sit back and enjoy and remember.
'The Spectacular Now' - Sutter Keely ( Mile Teller) is a teenage boy who is having some growing pains. His mother Sara and father Tommy (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyle Chandler) are divorced. His older sister Holly (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is married and not living at home. His Girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) and he are not doing well and eventually break up.
Sutter is also on his way to being an alcoholic at a young age. When he and Cassidy break up he is devastated and gets drunk. He wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) looking down on him. He doesn't even know where his car is at.
The two go deliver the newspapers in the back of her truck and they start to talk. He asks her to a party and she accepts. He starts to talk to her about school and if she can help tutor him. In other words he becomes attracted to her and she to him. He sees Cassidy and he still has feeling for her and if she would have let him they would have made love. Cassidy is now seeing the all American ball player Marcus (Dayo Okeniyi) and is torn between him and Sutter.
Okay, bottom line, Sutter is the kid that is going to fall. People really don't need to be around him because he will take them down also. You see Aimee is on her way to college and when she meets Sutter she almost gives up on that dream. Aimee and Sutter come from broken homes but it is Aimee who doesn't just live in the now like Sutter does. Aimee is out there for him and he doesn't even realizes it. Sutter is not a bad kid. He is just a kid that is falling through the cracks.
Director James Ponsoldt does an excellent job of bringing the societal woes of growing up in this day and age. It's a little more complicated than when we were growing up. This is a movie that will tug at your heart strings and might not let them go. It is a movie that at first you want to walk away from but then all of a sudden it grabs you.
'In A World' - Carol (Lake Bell) wants to hit it big in the voice over world of entertainment. She wants those commercials, trailers. Her father Sam (Fred Melamed) has been in the business for years. He is about to be given an award for a lifetime achievement in the business. It is not a business that you will become rich but it pays the bills.
Now Sam is about to have his girlfriend move in and wants his daughter Carol to move out. It seems Jaime (Alexandra Holden) is about the same age of Carol and Sam thinks it is going to be awkward. Carol heads over to her sisters apartment to see if she can crash on the couch. Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Corddry) don't seem to mind her moving in and actually by the way they act they kind of thought she would at sometime.
Now Carol is helping Eva Longoria with some voice work when her friend Louis (Demetri Martin) gets her to do a quick trailer. She eventually gets it and beats out one of the up an coming in the business. Gustav ( Ken Marino) is not happy with all this and runs to Carol's father Sam to complain. Problem is they don't realize it's Carol until later.
Now here's where it gets crazy. Carol goes to a party with her father and it just happens to be at Gustav's place. In the end, Gustav beds Carol and doesn't even realize she is the one who took the job. Eventually he does find out and laughs it off. This is a nonsensical movie that deals with an occupation that most people take for granted.
Director Lake Bell does a duel role as she directs the movie and also stars in it. You will wonder when your done watching the movie that you even made it through all the way. It is time consuming as I say on an occupation that most people really don't think exists. It is a comical journey but it is a journey not advised to take. Walk away, quickly walk away.
'The English Teacher' - Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is 40 years and has been doing the same job for many years. She has little or no friends. She has no social life other than going to have coffee somewhere by herself. She tries to meet men but there is no love, or passion in her life. Well there is some but she gets it all from books. You see she is an English teacher. While at the ATM one day she sees a young man coming towards her, it' s dark and she becomes frightened. She gets her trusty can of pepper spray out and she sprays that young man to the point of burning his eyes. It's a shame it's Jason Sherwood (Michael Angarano) one of her former students. Michael had been living in New York City trying to become the next great Playwright. He had to move back home and his father a doctor wanted his son to have a proper career. Dr.Tom Sherwood (Greg Kinnear) wanted him to go to Law School very badly. He even had him enrolled to study for the LSAT , the law school entrance exam. Ms. Sinclair being the teacher that she was wanted to read one of Jason's plays and he brought it by her classroom. What both of them did not expect was the love making on the teachers' desk. She did eventually read the play and loved it. She wanted to see if she could talk to the Drama Dept. Head Carl Kapinas (Nathan Lane) and see if they could put the play on for Jason. This way maybe his father wouldn't be so adamant on law school. Now it's possible Ms. Sinclair also wanted to help Jason because Jason had just helped her out. She wasn't the one to run out and do a one night stand so this was a big deal for her. Well the two teachers get the idea sold sort of to the school administration but your going to have to watch the movie to see what all goes on from here. The movie is a simple story that happens to take off down many paths but in the end Ms. Sinclair is a teacher who does care for her job. Should she have had sex with a former student who are we to judge but you will really love the ending. The Director is Craig Zisk who is able to tie all the loose ends up for us and give us an entertaining visit into a small town high school teachers life that gets so messed up so quickly.
'Cheech and Chong's Animated Movie' - This is a beautiful journey back in time to our favorite pot smoking comedians now in animated form. The same laughs from the sixties and seventies are still here. These crazy 60 and 70 year old's are bringing a new generation to their wide range sense of humor. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have been playing our crazy hippies for some 40 plus years. Now they are back with their greatest comedy routines for us to enjoy again.
With the likes of Sgt. Stadanko and Buster d' Crabbe, we travel back to our youth. Back to those days of listening to the grammy award winning comedians in all there vinyl glory. We see the days of "Dave's not here" and "Lets make a dope deal".
When these two comedians came onto the scene America was in the middle of the hippie days. Marijuana was the drug of choice and these two men brought their form of humor onto the stage to entertain us. At first they were being looked at like "where did these two men come from".
Some people might feel this brand of humor could be antiquated, but for those of us who sat around our bedrooms smoking dope and listening to their albums, its a trip down memory lane. Now we get to see our two pot smoking heroes in cartoon form.
Directors Branden Chambers and Eric D. Chambers have brought us the best of Cheech and Chong in this new film version. It has all of our favorites and these two gentlemen have done an excellent job.
So sit back and enjoy all those laughs of our youth and think of those days long ago.
'Monsters University' - Mike (Billy Crystal) is a 6 year old monster and he and his class are on a field trip to Monster's Inc. It's a scaring company where monsters go scare human kids at night so they can gather the energy from the children's screams so that they can be used to power Monster World. Mike sees an employee Frank McCay (John Krasinski) and follows him to the other side. While watching Frank work Mike decides that this is the job for him and when they travel back to Monster World Mike is sure of it. He wants to scare children when he grows up.
Now eleven years go by and Mike is in college at Monster University and is a scare major. On the first day Mike meets another monster by the name of Randy (Steve Buscemi). He can turn invisible. Randy and Mike are going to be roommates. In the first class Mike meets an incredibley large blue monster by the name of "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman), and the two don't hit it off. One night when Mike is studying Sulley brings over a stolen mascot from Fear Tech. The pig gets loose and it was Mike who recaptured it but Sulley takes the credit. This all occurs at the final exam and Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) fails them both so that they can not continue on with their studies. Mike finds out about the scare games and maybe sees a way to get back into school.
He has to join a Fraternity and it just happens to be the worst one on campus, but he makes a deal with Hardscrabble and if they win they can all get back into the program. One problem they are one person short so Mike asks Sulley if he would join and maybe get back into school. Director Dan Scanlon has done a wonderful job getting this movie together and you really must watch it to see how it turns out. It is funny as all get out and I think you will enjoy it.