TOP 5: End of the Year Edition – J.J. Abrams Directing STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, Cinemath Returns, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot are Batman and Wonder Woman, Netflix Lands Marvel Live-Action Series’ While Blockbuster Dies, Fact-Checking BREAKING BAD

     December 28, 2013

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For the third year in a row I find myself looking through previous Top 5 installments on the last Saturday of the year, trying to whittle the hundreds of stories I’ve covered in the past 52 weeks down to the five that I find most interesting, important, popular, etc. At its most basic, this is just an exercise of further reducing a list that I’ve been trimming and prepping on a weekly basis all year long. That’s likely the most boring/tedious way of looking at it, but true nonetheless.

At its best, I see the “End of the Year Edition” as a Collider time capsule of sorts. A snapshot that is in no way comprehensive enough to properly acknowledge the amount of time, work, thought, travel, money, etc. that goes into making this site what it is. And yet, representative enough of our content as a whole that someone who stumbles upon it can see what we were trying to accomplish: to cover the things that we’re passionate about in the most interesting and sincere way possible and to completely and utterly dominate the Internet by way of Star Wars and superhero movie casting rumors. Keep reading for the five stories/pieces of content that in many ways defined our 2013.

1. J.J. Abrams Directing STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

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There is perhaps no single topic in all of movie news that caused a stir in 2013 quite like Disney’s announcement that J.J. Abrams would direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Some loved it, others hated it, but it seemed like everyone had an opinion on it. When I stop and think about it, we’ve talked about Abrams’ involvement and every other piece of the film’s development at such length that it’s hard for me to believe that we’re still nearly two full years away from seeing the pic in theaters.

2. The Return of Cinemath

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It’s no secret that I love Brendan’s Cinemath features. I include them in the Top 5 every chance I get, defend them against any and all naysayers as if they were my own, and that’s with me only understanding roughly 45% of what Brendan says in them. After a year hiatus from the feature, Brendan unveiled “Cinemath Month” a little over midway through 2013 and released a new installment for four straight weeks. My favorite? All of them. Okay, I’ll pick one: comparing the rise of movie ticket prices to the rate of inflation over the last five decades.

3. Ben Affleck Is Batman; Gal Gadot Lands Wonder Woman

ben-affleck-batman-gal-gadot-wonder-woman-sliceMultiple superhero casting rumors? Potentially exhausting. Official superhero movie casting announcement? Exciting. This pretty much sums up my mindset when it comes to the news juggernaut that is the superhero movie genre and, whether or not you agree with the choices (which Adam thinks, and I agree, is premature for Affleck in this editorial), the announcements that Ben Affleck would play Batman and Gal Gadot would play Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel were huge.

4. Marvel Live-Action Series’ Coming to Netflix; Meanwhile, Blockbuster Is Dead

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The juxtaposition of these two stories is priceless. On one hand, Netflix (while not perfect) is a service that puts an emphasis on convenience, selection, and overall value for its customers. On the other hand, Blockbuster (while far from insignificant on a societal level) is a business that is slow to change, instead resting on its laurels as the preeminent name in video rentals. The result? Netflix lands a deal with Marvel to develop live-action series’ for several of its most popular characters while Blockbuster announces that it’s closing its last 300 stores and ending its mail service. The moral of the story? Adapt or die.

5. Fact-Checking the Science of BREAKING BAD

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File this one under “A Cool Feature that Merges the Diverse Interests of Collider’s Editors with Relevant Entertainment Topics”. All right, that’s probably too long of a name for an actual category but you get my point. In our neck of the entertainment blogosphere, 2013 offered no bigger television show to discuss than AMC’s Breaking Bad. Taking that into account, our resident microbiologist Dave Trumbore wisely thought it would be a cool idea to fact check the science behind the most talked about show of the year in this feature. The result? I suck at science so I can’t be sure. It was an interesting read, though.

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