2013 has been a very good year for movies. Comedies, animations, action movies, fantasy adventures, adaptations of classic novels – we’ve had it all from the Hollywood conveyor belt. And now the winter, spring and summer theatrical releases are available to download and own on DVD and Blu-Ray, just in time time for Christmas!
Well, isn’t that nice and convenient? The movies you purchase for your friends and loved ones this holiday season will depend on the personal tastes of the recipient. You could, add to your wife’s Baz Luhrmann collection, spend time with Simon Pegg on a pub crawl, drool over Henry Cavill’s Superman, watch in awe as Chloe Moretz fights men double her size, and giggle at the antics of Gru’s mischievous minions.
Actually now that I think about it, it might be quite hard for you to select the right movies as stocking fillers. There’s too many to choose from. You’ll end buying them all and not knowing which ones to send where! Peruse the list below if you’re in need of some inspiration this Christmas.
The Great Gatsby: “Gatsby? What Gatsby?” Leonardo DiCaprio, is the answer. Baz Luhrmann, the man behind Romeo and Juliet, Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge, has done it again, this time with F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. A mid-westerner, Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire) is lured into a lavish world by his extraordinarily rich and charming, but elusive neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Growing close to the man of mystery himself, he soon becomes wrapped up in all his obsessions, resulting in avoidable tragedy. Set in the 1920s but with a Jay Z produced soundtrack, Luhrmann gives us a spectacle to behold in The Great Gatsby .
Monsters University: We waited for twelve years for a new adventure with Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman). Instead of jumping ahead in the time-line like the Toy Story sequels, Monsters University is a prequel to the events which happened at Monsters Incorporated in the first film. Taking place in their freshman year at Monsters University, we discover that the two did not always get along. How did they eventually become friends? You'll find out. Kids will love it, adults will love it – if you don't love it, shame on you.
Kick Ass 2: Okay, so Kick-Ass 2 probably only counts as family entertainment if your family happens to be over the age of 15, although kids who are younger will have most likely tried to see this film. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz are back as Dave and Mindy aka Kick Ass and Hit Girl, in this gory and gritty sequel. When a group of normal citizens (including Jim Carrey) are inspired to fight crime in costume, the two join their ranks. Meanwhile, Red Mist is plotting his revenge for the death of his father. A credible and exciting gift this Christmas.
We're The Millers: Many of the comedies released by Hollywood these days are full of unfunny crudeness and clichés. We're The Millers easily could have joined their ranks, but thankfully the puerile humour is saved by the performances of Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter. A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family in a bid to smuggle a huge shipment of weed from Mexico into the US. Perverts will love watching Aniston literally strip herself of the good girl image, and British actor Poulter is hilarious as the simple minded Kenny.
Oz The Great and Powerful: We all know about Dorothy's adventures in Oz, but what happened before she dropped in? Oz the Great and Powerful answers this question wonderfully in Disney's live-action film. James Franco portrays Oz, a small-time magician who is swept away to an enchanted land where a power struggle is occurring between three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). Can he convince everybody he's the saviour they've been looking for, or will his womanising ways and trickery put them all in jeopardy?
Despicable Me 2: Our favourite super villain is back for more adventures in Despicable Me 2. Gru (Steve Carell) has plans which are a lot less dastardly this time around though. He's a doting father now, turning his underground lab into a factory which makes jams instead. That is until he's recruited by Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to the Anti-Villain League, to help deal with a mysterious new villain who stole an entire secret Arctic laboratory. Suspecting a local restaurant owner is actually a presumed-dead super-villain named El Macho, Gru and Lucy try to solve the mystery, even as his minions are kidnapped from under his nose.
Man of Steel: A darker take on the classic comic book hero, Henry Cavill stars as Clark Kent, a young man who discovers he has extraordinary powers that are not of this Earth. Journeying to discover his purpose and where he came from, he must become the hero within when his own kind threatens the world he grew up on. Yeah, so you know the general story from older Superman movies, but Man of Steel has an all-star cast including, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as Clark's human father. The suit may have changed, but Superman is still a hero for kids to look up to this Christmas.
The World's End: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back with a brand new comedy to round out a sort-of-but-not-really trilogy which includes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. 20 years after trying to complete an epic pub crawl in their home town, five childhood friends reunite and do it all again. The goal? To visit every hostelry in town, ending at the fabled pub, The World's End . Except as it turns out, the people in the town they grew up in are not quite human any more. In fact, they seem a little bit extraterrestrial. It's a good one to get for mates.
Star Trek: Into Darkness: After the success of JJ Abrams spectacular revamp of the original Star Trek, we were greatly anticipating the sequel. Chris Pine is back as Kirk, with Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana also returning. Joining them as the villain Khan, is our very own Benedict Cumberbatch. When the Enterprise is called home in Star Trek Into Darkness , they find that an unstoppable force within their own organization has detonated the fleet, leaving the world in jeopardy. Captain Kirk leads a manhunt which takes the crew into a game of life and death. Many have said this one is even better than the last!