I’ve had a lot of fun reviewing movies & books here throughout the year. It’s intellectually satisfying to not just watch or read a story, but to analyze afterwards what I liked or what I didn’t. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

It’s also been entertaining to write in an atmosphere with other like-minded individuals. They keep me on my toes and give me ideas on what might be missing from my own reviews. What follows are three of the top reviews I enjoyed in 2013. Click through to read them in full; you’ll likely enjoy them as much as I did.


Oz the Great and Powerful

Theatrical poster for "Oz the Great and Powerful".The first review of Heather’s that helped me out was Oz the Great and Powerful. I had been on the fence about whether I wanted to see it or not. My kids raved about the movie, but you know kids. They also like the Spy Kids sequels. Or Barney.

Well, mine don’t like Barney, but boy howdy! some of their “amazing” movies have left me shuddering in pain. Heather broke down what was good and bad about Oz, and although it isn’t high on my list of favorites, I did enjoy the show and give it a very solid three-and-a-half stars. I didn’t even mind purchasing it for my kids, thus allowing it to play within earshot.

She was right on target with her criticisms of character development, but also correctly pointed out the stunning visuals. She helped me know what to expect and still left enough for me to discover.
>> Read the review


Frozen

Theatrical poster for Disney's "Frozen".I liked Megan’s upbeat, chirpy review of Frozen. She covered some of the fears that people have about any Disney adaptation. She highlighted some background about the original story, covered the plot without spoiling it, and even squeezed in a mention about the innovative Mickey Mouse short that preceded the film.

Frozen was a movie I was going to see anyway, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but if anybody wants to know about the movie, this is the review I will point them to. Besides, Megan’s review spared me from writing my own. How could I top hers?
>> Read the review


Man of Steel

Theatrical poster for "Man of Steel", starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams.Joe’s Man of Steel was a fair review. I didn’t find myself disagreeing with anything he added, though I wish he had tossed the Lois/Clark relationship depicted in the film on the reviewers’ pyre and lit it up with accelerant.

What I liked about his review is that it gave the reader a taste of history and context instead of focusing on just the effects or powers. In fact, one of the scenes that is universally raved about is the “realistic” battle of titans in the city. Joe correctly pointed out that the city was conveniently unpopulated during the battle, freeing Kal-El for some serious fisticuffs. Most cities have multi-millions of people, so this was a big plot hole that, although true to comic books, was not true to life. The collateral damage in the battle should have played a larger role.

At any rate, despite Joe not immolating the wretchedly weak Lois/Clark relationship, this was a smart review that is worthy of accolades.
>> Read the review


Sometimes my cheekiness might bring you a smile, or it might make you see red. Please take time to let me know what you thought of the review. Was I on target? Did I miss it so wildly that I might as well have been shooting blindfolded from a car moving in the opposite direction? Take a moment to let me know. Thanks for reading!

(Actually, what I really want is for you to shower me with oblations and gratuitous praises, but I’ll take whatever comments I can get.)