Monsters University (2013)
A prequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc, Monsters University shows us the early days of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James “Sulley Sullivan (John Goodman) as they made their way through their education at Scare School. While the second act can feel a little tedious at times, the rest of the movie really makes up for it. We get rich, fulfilling characters that have us smiling from ear to ear.
Yes, the outcome is ultimately predictable, but there’s a great lesson to be learned by kids of all ages: don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t belong or that you can’t do something. You may have to take an alternate path and you will face a lot of challenges, but you can do whatever you want with your life.
Man of Steel (2013)
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a super-powered alien being that has decided to leave his red underwear at home! While we do get a good look into the back story of Superman and how he came to be, Man of Steel ultimately felt disjointed, filled with several moments where you would really have to suspend your disbelief to really engage with the material. Yes, there’s plenty of wanton destruction, but “Kal-El” Clark Kent could have just as easily been played by an emotionless cardboard cutout.
Now You See Me (2013)
So, there are these magicians who call themselves the Four Horsemen and, during their performance in Las Vegas, it appears that they have miraculously transported a volunteer to Paris to rob a bank. And then they shower their audience with their spoils. While the movie is technically is about these illusionists and how the FBI and Interpol are trying to arrest them, there is more to this tale than meets the eye. Jesse Eisenberg effectively plays the same jerk he played in The Social Network, except now he’s always one step, three steps, seven steps ahead of you. We’re left wondering about their true intentions until we get hit with the somewhat predictable reveal at the end. It’s a fun journey that fizzles out with a whimper.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Be nice to everyone you meet. If you leave them stranded on a rooftop, they might come back to haunt you with exploding plants and overheating foot soldiers. Following on Whiplash and Iron Man 2, we now find Tony Stark facing off against some guy who calls himself the Mandarin. And he happens to be bent on world domination, but first he has to eliminate the billionaire in the red and yellow metal suit. Much like Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 felt a little disjointed, but the plot and action were ultimately more satisfying here than in the film featuring the child of Krypton.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
Unsurprisingly, the child-like Zach Galifianakis steals the show here. He’s brash, he’s brutally honest and he’s far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer. This conclusion to the Hangover trilogy has us breaking into lavish mansions to steal bags of gold and returning to where it all started in the first Hangover movie: Las Vegas. If you enjoyed the kind of toilet humor from the first two movies, then you’ll have a blast here, even though they really are just recycling the same kinds of jokes again. Make sure you stay to watch the credits. Let’s just say that you’ll bust out laughing at Ed Helms again.