Amph List your favorite movies of 2013

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabbadabbado, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. JediTerminator Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2004
    star 5
    My 2 favoritie films of 2013.

    The Wolverine - I felt this film was a great sequel for Wolverine. Very action packed and thrilling. The twist at the end was very unexpected.

    Man Of Steel - I was never a fan of the Superman franchise, but this film opened up an awesome universe beyond Superman himself. The Krypton civil war and Krypton villains made the film that much better.
  2. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    I forgot about Jack the Giant Slayer. That would go down in the Terrible list.
  3. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
    I wish I could put The Wolverine on my shortlist. I really do. But that goddam final act...man, talk about totally screwing the pooch on what was a moody, atmospheric thriller.
  4. Isotope217 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2002
    star 3
  5. vypernight Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 2
    Monsters University
    Thor
    Star Trek
    Planes
  6. Spider-Fan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2008
    star 4
    My Top 10 for 2013
    10) Gravity
    9) Gravity
    8) Gravity
    7) Gravity
    6) Gravity
    5) Gravity
    4) Gravity
    3) Gravity
    2) Frozen
    1) Gravity
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  7. ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2009
    star 1
    This is my Top 10 for 2013, and I think it might have been the best year for film since 2007.

    Link here.

  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Great – “You gotta go see this.”

    Aliens (1986) – James Cameron - ****
    Marines battle vicious alien horde.
    Brilliant ensemble meets intense action.

    Argo (2012) – Ben Affleck - ****
    Smuggling people out of Iran.
    Moody, atmospheric, incredibly suspenseful masterpiece.

    Blackfish (2013) – Gabriela Cowperthwaite - ****
    Mistreated killer whales turn violent.
    Deeply disturbing, infuriating waterpark expose.

    Bonne & Clyde (1967) – Arthur Penn - ****
    Fictionalized biopic about bank robbers.
    Excellent performances; layered, strange script.

    The Conjuring (2013) – James Wan - ****
    Demonologists, tormented family face ghosts.
    Deeply frightening and emotionally effecting.
  9. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    So I've got a whole bunch of screeners to watch now and so am getting more caught up for the year. So far in the past several days I have seen:

    Frozen- A really very good film, all around. Possibly the best Disney has done since The Emperor's New Groove, or maybe even Mulan, which is saying something. The cast was great (Idina Menzel!), the music was great, and the story was pretty good. And Disney finally got love right! Well, mostly. At least it was far less wrong than usual. I love how they poked fun at the love at first sight thing.

    Show Spoiler
    I was also really surprised with how the curse (was it a curse or an injury?) was resolved. I didn't expect
    Show Spoiler
    the act of love to be romantic love, both because the movie was about the two sisters and because it was a screamingly obvious red herring, but I did not expect Anna to save herself. I thought Elsa would save her somehow. That was a great move on Disney's part.


    The movie did have its problems; the main one I suppose was
    Show Spoiler
    making Hans a villain. Overall it came practically out of thin air and just didn't seem very well thought out. I know it was a late change... I'm glad they didn't make Elsa a villain, but I'm not sure this was the way to go.
    In the end though I thoroughly enjoyed myself and "Let It Go" has been stuck in my head for the past four days.

    12 Years a Slave- Another really good film, but definitely hard to watch. I like to think that I know more about America's history of slavery and the slave trade than the average American. I've read several slave narratives and historical works about the time period, because the entire thing is one of the eras in our history I find most interesting, culturally, socially and politically. So I wasn't terribly surprised by the actions of the slavers in the movie, because they were things I already knew about. But even then it was just so visceral and unflinching that it was quite painful at times. I think this kind of portrayal was a good thing; it was a brutal, brutal time, and we don't need to romanticize it.

    Aside from this I thought the acting was very good all around (well, Brad Pitt felt like he was phoning it in, which is unusual and disappointing, but his part was small enough that it didn't matter much). Eijiofor was compelling as Northup, doing a very good job of portraying the fear, despair, and defiance of his character. Fassbender was possibly the most chilling slaver I've seen since Simon Lagree. And don't get me started on Paulson. She was absolutely stunning as Mistress Epps; I feel she should at least be nominated for something, because that really stuck with me.

    There were a few things I wasn't a fan of. While some of his pieces were quite good, overall I think Zimmer was a bad choice for composer. I don't think his style really fits with the type of movie they were making. And there were some odd editing choices, I felt; cuts in places that I felt didn't make sense. These detracted from the movie a bit. But the compelling nature of the material and the quality of the acting made up for it. Great film.

    Inside Llewyn Davis- Another hard film to watch, but for very different reasons. The Coen Brothers' most recent film about the struggles of a young folk musician in the the 60s resonated with me, but not in an altogether desirable way. I generally love the Coen Brothers; No Country for Old Men, Barton Fink, and Raising Arizona are some of my favorite films of all time. But I didn't like this one as much. Don't get me wrong: it was well acted (how often does Carey Mulligan use her actual accent anymore, anyway?), as always, and the editing choices were interesting, but the main character was just cringe-worthy in his nature. I get that this was part of the point of the film. It was supposed to showcase his flaws. But there were several points where I almost had to turn it off because he was just so broken that it made me uncomfortable, probably because I empaphised with him a bit too much.

    Show Spoiler
    Take for example the first scene with the Gorfien's, at their dinner party. I get why he freaked out; I really do. But the reaction was so vile that I almost couldn't bear it. And then to top it all off with the cat... actually, that's probably what kept me watching. I went into "Aww, poor kitty! What happened to him?" mode and was sucked back in.


    So yeah, I wouldn't at all call it a bad film. I think it was rather a very good one. But aside from a few scenes it was not one that I enjoyed, and that's a shame.

    Nebraska- Now this was just awesome. A crazy old man thinks he's won a million dollars and forces his son to humor him, driving him from Billings to Lincoln to pick up his supposed winnings, while we see the messed up nature of their family's lives and they learn to bond together. Who wouldn't find that interesting?

    Well, okay, it doesn't sound that great on paper, granted, but it's really good, I swear! Alexander Payne paints (in black and white, mind) an unpleasant and unfiltered picture of small-town America, finding both sadness and humor in all of the foibles of the characters. It's great black comedy. As they get stuck in Woody's (the dad's) hometown over the weekend his son meets all of his father's old acquaintances and comes to further appreciate who his father really is. His brother and (really awesome) mother also show up and we get to see all the dysfunctional aspects of their relationships with one another. One of my favorite moments is near the end. I don't want to spoil it, but I'm just going to say that it involves the sons doing something very nice and very misguided for their father... in more ways than one.

    As it is the film is superbly acted by everyone. Will Forte plays the son David Grant in a charming, bemused way that I can only really think of as "Archie if he were real". He really gives off that kind of good-natured All-American vibe. But the parents! Wow! June Squibb plays the mother Kate, who's probably my favorite character. She is very much the cool old lady. Her comedic timing is flawless, and she's great at getting just that perfect mix of fiestyness and lovability. But the best performance is Bruce Dern as Woody Grant, the old man. He does a compelling job of presenting a sad old man, seemingly lost in a world he's become outdated in while still being coherent enough to get a few good moments of snark. Dern was good enough that I would be surprised if he isn't nominated for something.

    So yeah, those are the films I've seen in the past few days. Out of them I think I liked Frozen and Nebraska best; both of them are worth a buy, in my opinion. But they were all very good films. If you guys haven't seen them, do yourself a favor and check them out. Especially Nebraska. Just loved that film.

    Anyway I've got over a dozen more movies to go through so I'll be at it for a week or two. At the end maybe I'll make a list of my favorites.
    Last edited by MrZAP, Jan 12, 2014
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  10. DantheJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 5
    Edit: nevermind, wrong topic.
    Last edited by DantheJedi, Jan 12, 2014
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  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    @MrZAP, I totally agree with you on Paulson; with all the other wonderful actors in the movie, she's not getting mentioned enough. She was really creepy and terrifying in 12 Years. I have to disagree with you on Zimmer; I think it's his best score in years . . . maybe since Gladiator, though I'm getting the nagging feeling that there's one after Gladiator but before this one that I can't quite think of. I like the fact that some of it is anachronistic; some of those dark drones and rumbles that he uses really help build the dread and I thought that he nailed the quieter moments better than he's ever done before.


    Great – 45 – “You gotta go see this.”

    Despicable Me (2010) – Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud - ****
    Villain saddled with three kids.
    Hilarious and tear-jerking by turns.

    Despicable Me 2 (2013) – Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud - ****
    Villain turned spy meets girl.
    Sequel that equals the original.

    Django Unchained (2012) – Quentin Tarantino - ****
    Unlikely partners search for slave.
    Exquisite performances elevate revenge fantasy.

    Don Jon (2013) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt - ****
    Porn addiction complicates romantic escapades.
    Smart, witty, vividly directed, pertinent.

    Fill the Void (2012) – Rama Burshtein - ****
    Orthodox Jewish family faces tragedy.
    Deeply moving story of subculture.
  12. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Hopefully seeing American Hustle on Tuesday.
    Legolas Skywalker likes this.
  13. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    Honestly Paulson's character was one of my favorite parts of the film, because of how extraordinarily portrayed it was. I don't mean her character was extraordinary; the sexual abuse of slave owners and terrifyingly vindictive jealousy of their wives is well-documented. I mean it's extraordinary how much they laid it bare. Fiction likes to show us the whips, the lynching, the hard masters and overseers, and the hard life of the fields. I can't remember the last time I saw them showcase the sexual aspect of slavery in film, and certainly not the element of the jealous mistress. But the sexual abuse was one of the most common and most brutal aspects of slavery, and aside from the (significant and considerable) trauma from it it also contributed to many broken marriages and to the misfortune of many a slave maiden who got on her mistress' bad side. So as horrifying as it was to watch, it felt really good, in a way (please don't take this the wrong way) to see it onscreen, and have it out there. The fact that Paulson was perfect just made it better. I think the film's greatest strength is that it doesn't pull any punches for the audience.

    I do agree that Zimmer did well in the quiet scenes. I think the use of strings was very good. But overall I would have preferred a more classical feel to the score. Sometimes Zimmer is great, like in Gladiator, but oftentimes it feels like he's just using the synthesizers too much and needs to get back to the fundamentals.

    EDIT: Hope you like it. Hustle is probably still my favorite film of the year so far.:)
    Last edited by MrZAP, Jan 12, 2014
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  14. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6

    Same here

    Hopefully it will be on my list for 2013
  15. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Great – “You gotta go see this.

    Fruitvale Station (2013) – Ryan Coogler - ****
    Last day of shooting victim.
    A tragic, surprisingly even-handed film.

    The Great Gatsby (2013) – Baz Luhrmann - ****
    Couples reunion leads to tragedy.
    Faithful, profound adaptation of Americana.

    A Hijacking [Kapringen] (2012) – Tobias Lindholm - ****
    Owner, pirates negotiate over ship.
    Merciless, harrowing movie slowly despairs.

    The Impossible [Lo Imposible] (2012) – Juan Antonio Bayona - ****
    Tsunami separates large British family.
    Emotionally gut-wrenching, intensely cathartic masterpiece.

    In a World . . . (2013) – Lake Bell - ****
    Voiceover artists compete for roles.
    Bell’s smart, hilarious directorial debut.
  16. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I think I'll double feature AH with Lone Survivor or something else. Anchorman 2 perhaps? Was that one good for those who have seen it?
  17. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Anchorman 2 was fine. It wasn't hilarious, but there were a few laughs. It was about twenty to thirty minutes too long. I'd recommend it only if you're a big fan of the original.
    Last edited by Rogue1-and-a-half, Jan 13, 2014
  18. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Anchorman 2 is OK.

    I think American Hustle is almost a masterpiece, but a lot of internets people hate the film. It's got a sloppy and complacent first act which I think loses people, but what follows is immensely rewarding, I think. If you're expecting a film that is about its "con" then you're in the wrong place - personally the film reminds me of the work of Huston, Aldrich, and Jewison most.
    Rogue1-and-a-half likes this.
  19. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Oh, absolutely right. I loved every second of American Hustle, but I wouldn't even describe it as a con movie or a caper movie. It's just a character movie as far as I'm concerned.
    MrZAP likes this.
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    I think on reflection Rush is still my film of the year. I appreciate it won't speak to non-F1 fans like it will to racing fans, but that shouldn't diminish it's power as a film.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Niki Lauda looks better than ever. I enjoyed seeing him at the Golden Globes:
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 14, 2014
  22. Juliet316 Shelf of Shame "Loser"

    Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    So that's what Davros would look like with 21st century health care.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Harsh man. Harsh.
  24. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    I just watched Prisoners. So that.
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  25. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Turns out I wasn't too far off with that prediction- having just noticed 12 Years a Slave finally got a second run I was able to catch that last night. And with that I've been able to catch the majority of Oscar noms so i feel comfortable enough making a list now.

    I still have 3 films from 2013 on my DVR but I don't think Jack the Giant Slayer, Admission or Broken City will be upsetting the list too much so I feel I can still proceed.

    As usual, keep in mind that this isn't just a list of what movies are better than others, but a balance of quality and rewatchability. For example, 12 Years a Slave is unquestionably a better movie than Fast Six, but I'm definitely going to be rewatching Fast Six several more times over just the next few years alone, whereas I may only rewatch 12 Years a Slave once or twice more in my lifetime. Thus, Fast Six is going to be ranked higher.

    That said, it's a real credit to this year's films that a lot of the "quality" films on my list this year are often ranked a lot higher than the "rewatchable" ones- which generally doesn't tend to be the case with my Best Of Year lists. So, kudos, 2013- your non-event films kicked a lot of ass this year, though at the expense of many of the event films that often underwhelmed to one degree or another.

    (that might explain why there were fewer repeat viewings this year for me than usual, despite going to the cinema a record personal high number of times- well, that and financial considerations as well)

    The 2013 Stats:
    -64 Trips to the Cinema
    -58 Movies
    -12 Movies Viewed in 3D
    -5 Films Viewed in IMAX
    -5 Rereleased Films
    -2 Additional Later Viewed on Cable

    I'm also going to separate the rereleased films & special events from the rest of the list- the fact that they got rereleases gives them an edge over new films by default, so that wouldn't be fair to include them.

    I'll go into detail on some of the category highlights after the full list:

    Rereleases/Special Events:
    (I) Jurassic Park IMAX 3D
    (II) Labyrinth
    (III) Star Trek The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds
    (IV) Top Gun IMAX 3D
    (V) RiffTrax Live: Santa Claus vs the Martians

    The Great-to-Really Good:
    1) Prisoners
    2) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    3) Gravity (IMAX 3D)
    4) Thor: The Dark World (IMAX 3Dx1, 3Dx1)
    5) Fast & Furious 6
    7) Riddick (IMAX)
    8) 12 Years a Slave
    9) Iron Man 3 3Dx2, 2Dx2
    10) Star Trek Into Darkness 2D
    11) Captain Phillips
    12) Oblivion
    13) Saving Mr. Banks
    14) Her

    The Good-to-Solid:
    15) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    16) The Wolverine 2D x2
    17) Pacific Rim 3Dx1, 2D x1
    18) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D
    19) Escape Plan
    20) Parker
    21) The Last Stand
    22) Kick-Ass 2 x2
    23) The Conjuring x2

    The Average-to-Enjoyable (probably wait for cable)
    24) World War Z
    25) Man of Steel
    26) Elysium
    27) GI Joe: Retaliation 3D
    28) Olympus Has Fallen
    29) The Heat
    30) Warm Bodies (cable)
    31) American Hustle
    32) Machete Kills
    33) Despicable Me 2

    The Flawed But-Not-Unenjoyable (definitely wait for cable)
    34) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
    35) The Wolf of Wall Street
    36) Jobs
    37) The Lone Ranger
    38) Carrie
    39) 2 Guns
    40) Evil Dead
    41) Rush
    42) A Good Day to Die Hard
    43) Frozen

    The Can't-Recommend-But-Not-Unwatchable
    44) Monsters University 3D
    45) This is the End
    46) Identity Thief (cable)
    47) The Great Gatsby 3D
    48) Ender's Game
    49) Oz: The Great and Powerful 3D
    50) The Hangover, Part 3

    Do Not See These Movies:
    51) 47 Ronin
    52) Bullet to the Head
    53) White House Down
    54) Movie 43


    Rereleases:
    -Jurassic Park was a revelation in 3D. If I didn't know better, you would be hard pressed to convince me that this film was not shot with 3D in mind. Having the T-Rex lifesize (or bigger) in IMAX was just icing.

    -Labyrinth is still the same movie magic and spring of pure imagination it has always been.

    -Top Gun was F-14 porn in 3D IMAX accompanied by 3 soundtrack songs played on repeat. Say what you want about the movie, but your argument is invalid.

    The Great-to-Really Good:
    -Prisoners was the most intense filmgoing experiences of the year. It's not a happy film, but you're so tense coming out of it you can't help but shout "WOO! WOO! That was REALLY ****ing good!" for the entire drive home. And that's something that only happens every few years. For that alone, it deserves the top spot of my list.

    -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was just a really enjoyable, uplifting flick with a simple bit of inspirational message behind it and some very amusing fantasy sequences. It's the polar opposite of Prisoners.

    -Gravity in IMAX 3D was just an unbelievable experience and incomparable to anything else. It racks my brain trying to figure out how they shot this movie- it's almost seamless (shy a few CGI Sandras) and almost flawless (one scene still feels out of place in how they executed it). Still, there was simply nothing like this this year (Avatar is the closest thing as far as environmental immersion goes, and event hen its totally different).

    -Thor: The Dark World had a weak villain but was just very pleasing overall- and fun. Fast Six falls into the same "it's just fun" category.

    -Riddick was an unexpected survival story for it's first half and that left a lasting impression. You almost wish the whole movie was just about Riddick and his dog instead of the mercs and monsters.

    -12 Years a Slave is a hard film to watch but is still incredible (and, honestly, this thing deserves the Oscar for Best Picture), filled with great performances (and, man, how Fassbender could play this role- that takes something).

    -Iron Man 3 has the dryer shift in tone, a weaker score and a "twist" that undermines the film (or, at the very least, the viewer's reaction to will be the deciding factor as to whether or not you like the film) but it still delivers the action and RDJ you expect.

    -Star Trek Into Darkness has its flaws and, yeah, the "remake" elements are more to the film's detriment than the rest, but it's still fun and does a decent job of letting most of the cast get at least a scene to shine in.

    -Captain Phillips is just good end to end, and just when the movie is nearly over and you think how this was all within Hank's normal wheelhouse, he pulls out a scene that elevates his performance entirely.

    -Oblivion may not be a classic, but it's visually arresting and has a great 70's sci-fi vibe to it that gives the film a more cerebral edge than one might otherwise expect, and that contemplative nature is what hooks you, I think.

    - Saving Mr. Banks was solid all around- very good cast and some good performances with just the right amount of sentimentality.

    -Her is an interesting deconstruction of relationships and how people communicate with each other. Some of it's quirkier elements might detract a bit (I don't care how far into the future you go- that high-waistband tweed pants look will NOT be coming into fashion) but it definitely goes beyond the initial premise as far as character development goes.

    The Good-to-Solid:
    -Pacific Rim has a very specific niche targeted. You're either on board with it or the one-dimensional archetypes will turn you off. But if you're on board, it's a fun ride.
    -Escape Plan, Parker and The Last Stand were surprisingly good action flicks and deserved far better than they got at the box office.
    -The Conjuring was a great return to classic haunted house films. A horror film more concerned over slow-burn scares and a building sense of unease than just jump scares.

    The Average-to-Enjoyable
    -Man of Steel was my clear guideline of the year. I didn't have a negative reaction to it (outside of Pa Kent- not Costner's performance but the characterization and function in the story) but neither did I really ever get a positive reaction from it. It was by far the most neutral reaction to a movie I've had in a very long time. So, MOS acted as my lighthouse, guiding positively reacted films above it on the list and films with noticeable negative reactions below it.

    -Elysium blew a lot of it's potential, but is still pretty impressive visually. And at least it aimed high to be about something.

    -GI Joe: Retaliation didn't suck like the first film and preserved the only good things about the first movie (Ray Parks as Snake Eyes, mostly) and then decided to throw The Rock and Bruce Willis in for good measure. Oh, and a good Cobra Commander mask- FINALLY.

    -Olympus Has Fallen is another Die Hard clone, but it's a competent one. The action is very aggressive, which distinguishes it. The film also had the good mind to get the kid-needing-saving out of the story ASAP, where a lesser film (like, say, White House Down) might have tried to make it a larger ongoing element of the plot.

    -The Heat was a surprisingly good comedy. Not much else to be said.

    -American Hustle has great performances all around and has a decent story, but it just doesn't have a payoff to make it satisfying. As such I need to rank it a lot lower than the accolades would suggest.

    The Flawed But-Not-Unenjoyable
    -The Wolf of Wall Street has the same problem as American Hustle- payoff isn't satisfying, even if the journey is enjoyable.

    -The Lone Ranger is not as awful as critics would make you think, but the first 2/3ds are kind of a mess. That said, once the theme song kicks in at the end, it's incredibly fun.

    -A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst Die Hard by far (and I actually really liked Live Free or Die Hard) but the action sequences are still fun.

    -Frozen just didn't impress me. I found all but one song completely unmemorable (they were, more often than not, "we really should have done this in dialogue but we needed more songs". Others were just totally out of place like the snowman song). The forced insertion of a villain at the end also undoes one of the more admirable things the film had going for it up until that point. Visually gorgeous though. So, yeah, a lot of you out there an hate me for not liking this one. ;)

    The Can't-Recommend-But-Not-Unwatchable
    -Monsters University isn't a bad movie, but it's just going through the motions. The characters are great but there's just no story here.

    Not much else needs commenting on initially, I think- but if anyone wants me to elaborate on any I haven't, just ask :)
    Last edited by The2ndQuest, Jan 30, 2014