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A&E: Best of 2013

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A&E: Best of 2013

Katie Sones

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MOVIES

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Credit: Columbia Pictures

1. “Captain Phillips”
Whether or not it followed the real story closely enough, “Captain Phillips” was a great movie because the cinematography captured the harried franticness of Captain Phillips and his crew while their ship was hijacked. It even managed to keep audiences on their toes through Phillips’ days-long kidnapping. Though the ending wasn’t the best, it told what happened in real life, and helped audiences see a different side of the story.
By Katie Sones

2. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
A new director obviously did this franchise a favor. A book has never had such a faithful adaptation into a movie. “The Hunger Games,” is, in my opinion, one of the best books ever written, and this movie does it justice, making it one of the best released in 2013. The acting was flawless, and the sets were beautiful, exactly how I had imagined it. What makes this movie so incredible was the faithful adaptation. The characters were right off the pages, and the lines were directly out of the book.
By Katie Sones

3. “Frozen”
Disney’s “Frozen” is the best animated movie I have seen in a long time. It is about sisterly love and the sacrifices and power of that love. The music is absolutely incredible, and the storyline is finally not about love, but the power of the love you have from and for your family. “Frozen” is incredible for all ages. The older men in the theater cried with the younger boys, and my sister and I felt ourselves doing the same. The drawing is absolutely beautiful, and the singing is gorgeous, making it the perfect movie for whenever you feel like you need a lift.
By Karina Schink

4. “Pacific Rim”
Who doesn’t like gigantic robots and irregularly large sea monsters? In “Pacific Rim,” these two battle it out in a world where sea monsters called Kaijus start to appear on land from the depths of the ocean, and humans must fight them. This film is an action-packed thriller of epic proportions and is a very fun movie to watch.
By Angel Mayorga

5. “The Great Gatsby”
Maybe it didn’t perfectly replicate the book or time period, but “The Great Gatsby” was an amazing movie in its own right. The sets and costumes perfectly reflected the luxury of time, and the modern music made the classic story accessible and fresh. Though slightly altered, “The Great Gatsby” didn’t lose the themes and messages of the book. It just delivered them in an unexpected way.
By Katie Sones

6. “Prisoners”
All good movies leave lasting impressions, and that’s exactly what “Prisoners” does. “Prisoners” leaves you with an eerie feeling and questioning of human nature. “Prisoners” deals with the issue of child abduction and mental disabilities, and both of these topics can be difficult to deal with, but “Prisoners” handles them well. Paul Dano does such an absolutely fantastic job of playing a mentally disturbed man that you wouldn’t think that he was just playing a character.
By Sunset Flores

7. “Delivery Man”
As if a movie about a man with 500 children wasn’t interesting enough, “Delivery Man” throws this huge issue onto a delivery man who’s already dealing with a lot in his life already. How he handles this latest curveball and how it affects the other aspect of his life are heartbreaking and heartwarming, with comedy expertly woven in through the characters, and an ultimately uplifting ending.
By Katie Sones

8. “Gravity”
A visual breakthrough of a movie, “Gravity” immediately captures its audience, even just with its title. It has a completely unique and fresh story, and it was very intriguing to witness the survival journey of one woman in outer space. The vividness of the graphics give the viewer the eerie feeling of floating in space and puts them right in the thick of the action and chaos.
By Angel Mayorga

9. “Insidious: Chapter 2”
The second part of the very popular hit “Insidious” was just as noteworthy as the first. This scary movie is full of suspenseful scenes, with ghosts following people and demons stealing babies. It is also has small plot twists that keep the story fresh and exciting. “Insidious: Chapter 2” keeps it interesting and has some very intense frightening scenes.
By Angel Mayorga

10. “The Croods”
Dreamworks Animation is back at it with another cutesy, heartwarming film. “The Croods” tells the story of Eep and her family, and the journey they go on to become closer. They also have the help of a young man named Guy, who develops a romance with Eep. Like all good movies, everyone can relate to the film in some way. Emma Stone does a great job at portraying Eep, a teenage girl going through the challenge of not knowing what’s going to come next.
By Sunset Flores

MUSIC

Credit: Domino

Credit: Domino

1. “AM” by the Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys self-titled album was definitely one of the best released this year. They manage to combine meaningful lyrics with great music, something that isn’t too easy to find nowadays in contemporary musicians. This album has tracks with strong guitar riffs and excellent drumming, making it one of the best, if not the best, rock album this year.
By Angel Mayorga

2. “Yeezus” by Kanye West
“Yeezus” is a musical trip and art for the ears. Each track is like a completely different painting, but they all reflect the rebellious ambiance of Kanye West. This album has intense and energetic songs that will get you pumped up but others are more smooth and slow. If you are looking for good music that will entertain you, pump you up, and that you will be able to listen to for hours on end, “Yeezus” delivers.
By Angel Mayorga

3. “Trouble Will Find Me” by The National
This album is produced very well and the instrumentation is near perfect. Berninger’s clever lyricism and mellow vocals seamlessly compliment the music on the album and give off a very humbling effect. “Graceless,” my favorite song off “Trouble Will Find Me,” stands on the peak of this mountain of sound as a beautiful example of what this Cincinnati band is capable of. I love the way the album throws the listener into a swelling pool of energetic drums and strong build-ups. Every time a song switches into the chorus or bridge, an entire atmosphere of energy is released. If you haven’t listened to Trouble Will Find Me yet, I suggest waiting for a rainy day, putting on some great headphones, and diving right in to this masterpiece of an album.
By Michael Morales

4. “B-Room” by Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog has been releasing albums for over ten years, and each one has its own distinct sound. All the albums were amazing in their own, different ways. “B-Room” is an almost canonical album that uses the best elements of Dr. Dog’s past albums to create an new amazing album. The album doesn’t sound like they were returning to an old sound, but it didn’t sound unfamiliar. Dr. Dog created a new sound out of old sounds, and by taking advantage of the best qualities from their older work, the result was beautiful.
By Katie Sones

5. “Melophobia” by Cage the Elephant
“Melophobia” is Cage the Elephant’s third studio album and it has a new sound, but it’s just as good as ever. This album will make you want to listen to it over and over again. It’s perfect background music for when you’re doing homework. Some of the best songs off the album are “Telescopes” and “Cigarette Daydreams.”
By Sunset Flores

6. “Soft Will” by the Smith Westerns
Smith Westerns is back with “Soft Will” and they did not disappoint. This is the second time one of Smith Westerns’ albums have been featured on The Foothill Dragon Press’s Best of, but for a good reason. This band just keeps getting better with each album. The album has the perfect balance of upbeat and mellow songs, so you can listen to it no matter what mood you’re in. Cullen Omori’s voice is beautifully soothing, but it’s not just his voice that makes the album amazing. If you listen to the instrumentals of each song, they’re equally as good. “Soft Will” is definitely one of 2013’s best albums, and I’m sure their next album will be just as amazing.
By Sunset Flores

7. “Modern Vampires of the City” by Vampire Weekend
The long-awaited third Vampire Weekend album, “Modern Vampires of the City,” marked a turning point for the band. MVOTC represented Vampire Weekend’s growth into a more mature sound, without the same peppy, preppy vibes of their previous albums. Vampire Weekend sampled rap, wrote more serious lyrics, and had more acoustic and slower music on MVOTC. These things, along with their usual close attention to detail and smart composition, made MVTOC one of the best albums of 2013.
By Katie Sones

8. “Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze” by Kurt Vile
After hearing the first track on this album, “Wakin’ On a Pretty Day,” I instantly fell in love with Kurt Vile’s laid-back vocals and calm guitar solos. The eponymous nine minute track was filled with echoing guitars and a hypnotic rhythm section. With all of its imperfections, the album feels very human and heartfelt. Kurt Vile’s long jams and calm approach to music has produced a wonderfully spacey album that really showcases his abilities in music.
By Michael Morales

9. “I Got a Boy” by Girls Generation
Do you have a boy? Well, Girls Generation does. “I Got a Boy” is the group’s fourth Korean album and it’s full of their usual upbeat, bubbly songs. Girls Generation is one of the biggest K-pop groups out there, and there’s definitely a reason for that. They all have wonderful voices, and they are showcased really well on this album. This album will make you want to get up and dance along. Some of the best tracks on this album are the title track “I Got a Boy” and “Lost and Love.”
By Sunset Flores

10. “Demi” by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato’s newest album was all-bearing. She wrote songs about her past self-abusive nature and how she dealt with it. The power behind songs like “Warrior” and “Fire Starter” were incredible. Her singing is always flawless, but what made this album much better than her others was the heart behind the words and behind the singing. I could relate to many of the things she sang about and I turned from a person who just kind of knew who she was and sort of liked her, to someone who is going to her concert in February.
By Karina Schink

TELEVISION

Credit: NBC

Credit: NBC

1. “30 Rock”
Even though the series came to a close this year with a shortened seventh season, “30 Rock” still delivered hilarious episodes every week, with Alec Baldwin’s snarky Jack Donaghy the perfect foil to Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon. Every character’s unique personality forms the basis of what makes the show so funny, and their interactions with each other are always priceless. The entire season dealt with creating interesting cut-off points in the characters lives, and the last episode was bittersweet.
By Katie Sones

2. “Chicago Fire”
This show is something not to be missed. “Chicago Fire” features heart-pounding action scenes and the on and off-duty lives of the crew members of Firehouse 51. Even with all this going on, producers don’t forget to throw in sprinkles of comedy and dramatic love stories, giving “Chicago Fire” all the elements of a great show.
By Angel Mayorga

3. “Supernatural”
Season nine of “Supernatural” has been, without a doubt, one of the best seasons they have ever done. In the interest of keeping spoilers out, I’ll just say that the finale of season eight could easily have led the ninth season downhill, but it didn’t. The acting is absolutely phenomenal, especially Jared Padelacki’s and Misha Collin’s. The new plot in season nine has taken this show to a new level, making it more emotional, and more heart-wrenching than ever before.
By Karina Schink

4. “Arrested Development”
“Arrested Development’s” long-awaited fourth season premiered on Netflix this May, and the gut-busting series will have you hooked from the start. The awkward humor and strange characters each bring their very own comedic personalities to the show, but they all combine to make a comedy masterpiece. With little plot twists, a chaotic family atmosphere and the unfortunate story of Michael Bluth, this show will have you laughing from start to finish.
By Angel Mayorga

5. “Doctor Who”
“Doctor Who” ending up on this list of the best of 2013 is really all credited to the 50th anniversary episode. Writer Stephen Moffat really kicked it up a notch this season, especially in the anniversary. Matt Smith is an absolutely amazing doctor and I know many fans will be sad to see him go this Christmas, but he is leaving behind a successful show and moving on to possibly greater things. His acting in the past season was amazing because who he is in real life is so different from who the doctor is. The plot twists and creativity in the 50th anniversary episode alone set the mood for the episodes previous to it.
By Karina Schink

6. “Saturday Night Live”
It is hard to really explain why “SNL” was amazing this season. In my opinion, this season deserves to be on the best of 2013 because having lost so many amazing cast members like Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis, they didn’t lose the high comedic standard of their show. They also had some pretty fantastic hosts this season, including, but not limited to Jennifer Lawrence, Paul Rudd, and Josh Hutcherson. These three in particular had amazing episodes written with comedic gold, especially the two sketches with Jennifer Lawrence as a mean waitress, and the one with Josh Hutcherson as a nurse in a veterinarian clinic talking about potatoes.
By Karina Schink

7. “The Mindy Project”
Ever hilarious Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project” was great this year, thanks to Kaling’s character leading the show. Mindy Lahiri is unique in that she isn’t exactly likable. Though lovable, she is a sassy drama queen who isn’t afraid to be mean sometimes. The other characters of the show are perfect foils to her personality, and the ongoing love question between Danny and Mindy always keeps viewers interested.
By Katie Sones

8. “Modern Family”
If you’re looking for a laugh, “Modern Family” is the show for you. “Modern Family” is about an American family and their everyday lives. Everyone can relate to at least one member of this wacky family. Every season, there were moments that made me bust a gut from laughing so hard, and there were parts that made me tear up. Some of the best episodes from this season were “Farm Strong” and “First Days.”
By Sunset Flores

9. “The Office”
Another great series that sadly came to an end this year was “The Office.” Two new characters were introduced, which was surprising for a final season, and although they started off shaky, the new characters grew to become a funny part of the show to look forward to, and the show was still as hilarious as ever as the characters found different ways to get on each other’s nerves at their office. Veteran cast member and arguably the show’s biggest star, Steve Carrell, made a return for the season finale, which gave every character a satisfying end to their story.
By Katie Sones

10. “Too Cute”
“Too Cute” is the perfect pick-me-up on a bad day. Who doesn’t love to watch cute little baby animals run around and play? “Too Cute” is back with their third season and it’s as adorable as ever. Every episode is great and is guaranteed to make you smile, but some of the best episodes from this season would have to be “Sweetest Animal Friends” and “Mighty Munchkins,” because who doesn’t love munchkin cats?
By Sunset Flores

What do you think?
1 Comment

One Response to “A&E: Best of 2013”

  1. Michael C. Sanchez on March 14th, 2014 9:14 pm

    Really! Delivery Man over Gravity? Gravity has gotten universal acclaim, while Delivery Man has gotten mixed reviews. And yet Delivery Man is at a position that is higher than than Gravity? This is so stupid. I had seen Gravity in the theaters and it’s visual effects look stunning, incredibly stunning. It’s sound is amazing and it’s sound effects are so great. The plot in Gravity makes us so anxious, getting up from our chairs and wondering what will happen next. Delivery Man is just a comedy with mixed reviews. Gravity on the other hand is a stunning sifi movie with reviewers rating it very high. Gravity deserves to be in the top 3 movies of 2013.

     

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