Screen scene: A look back at 2013 highs and lows

When space debris destroys the Space Shuttle, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) has to find another way back to Earth in “Gravity.” This film was chosen by Morris as one of the best of 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

When space debris destroys the Space Shuttle, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) has to find another way back to Earth in “Gravity.” This film was chosen by Morris as one of the best of 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

The movie review crew isn’t quite ready to step boldly into 2014.

Before going forward, the end-of-the-year forms must be followed, and 2013’s best and worst listed.

Let’s start on the bad side of things. Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 thought “Hangover III” lacked a certain something.

“It wasn’t funny,” she said.

She wasn’t fond of “After Earth,” which saw Will Smith and his son suffering on screen while the audience suffered in the theater.

Karlson said “The Counselor,” an all-star movie showcasing depraved tactics of Mexican drug lords, gave her nightmares.

“Roadkill” Bill, also with Wizard, thought the animated “Escape from Planet Earth” was too predictable, and he wasn’t sure if “Pain & Gain” with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson was supposed to be funny or tragic.

He also found “Getaway” with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez to be less-than-entertaining.

I agree with “Roadkill” Bill on “Getaway.” I went into car-chase fatigue within 15 minutes, and that made for a long movie.

I’m on Karlson’s side with “The Counselor.” Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and more combined forces to make a rotten movie.

With “Man of Steel,” I’m on my own. Here’s my argument: If you’re the commanding general of U.S. forces and you learn a man from outer space has been living in your country for decades, who gets the first interview with him when he’s brought into custody? Newspaper reporter Lois Lane, of course.

On the plus side, we’ll start with “Star Trek into Darkness.” The latest adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock earned A pluses from both Wizard reviewers.

Karlson gave high marks to “The Impossible,” the story of a family surviving a devastating tsunami. She also recommended “2 Guns,” an action movie starring Wahlberg and Denzel Washington.

“Roadkill” Bill had fine things to say about Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal in “Iron Man 3,” and he was pleasantly surprised by “Delivery Man,” a Vince Vaughn movie about a man who has more than 500 kids because of a mistake at a sperm bank.

I’ll start with “42,” an old-school biopic about Jackie Robinson. The movie captures the best and the worst of this country, and I think the best wins out.

“Gravity” is an intense ride in outer space with Sandra Bullock as our guide. Without her performance, this movie collapses. With her performance, it soars.

Finally, I’m thoroughly impressed by Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” Cate Blanchett brings an annoying character to life, and though I didn’t like her, I kept pulling for her even after the credits rolled.

That takes care of the past. Please come back next week when the movie review crew tackles a fresh movie.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.