Editor’s Desk

2013 marked a good year for movies

January 31, 2014 

Apart from building sets for the Neuse Little Theatre, I have no longtime hobby, which is to say my interests change with time.

In my 30s, I was an avid collector and reader of contemporary Southern writers – Clyde Edgerton, who’s a hoot; Howard Owen, a fellow journalist; and Randall Kenan, now an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Later, baseball became a passion. One summer, between the Carolina Mudcats, Kinston Indians, Durham Bulls and Wilson Tobs, the Bolejack family must have seen 30 baseball games. We still see about 10 a year.

For a brief while, I enjoyed cooking, especially baking, though I never got particularly good. I’d like to get back in the kitchen if I can ever find the time.

Lately, my hobby has been movies, especially well-reviewed films, though the kid in me can’t resist “Iron Man” and “Star Trek,” and I’ll be the first in line for the next “Star Wars” film.

For reviews, I rely heavily on The New York Times, which is useful because it tries to review every new release. I have also found reviews in that paper to be reliable. Another source for reviews is The Wall Street Journal; any movie well received by both the Times and the Journal is sure to be on my must-see list.

In 2013 (and early 2014), I must have set a personal record for movies seen in a year. This past weekend, my wife and I completed our quest to see every Best Picture nominee; we caught “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a good but lengthy film. My wife’s personal favorite among the nominees was “American Hustle”; I was partial to “12 Years a Slave.”

“Captain Phillips” was suspenseful, and Tom Hanks probably deserved an Oscar nod. “Gravity” was intense, “Her” was a bit odd, “Philomena” was heart-wrenching. Matthew McConaughey was great in “Dallas Buyers Club; ditto for Bruce Dern in “Nebraska” and Sandra Bullock in “Gravity.”

Not every good movie this past year got an Oscar nod. In particular, my wife and I enjoyed “The Spectacular Now” and “The Way, Way Back.”

I’m not sure how long my movie hobby will last; it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, I suppose. But 2013 was a good year for films, and I’m glad I went along for the ride.

Bolejack: sbolejack@newsobserver.com

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