Bad Chicken (2013)
Three chicken puppets manipulate a young girl and her boyfriend into their "reality show" in the California desert. It's obviously weird and somewhat similar to the recent "puppets doing and saying adult things" you see in stuff like "Avenue Q" or ....whatever that new movie with Melissa McCarthy and puppets is called. There's even some puppet/human sex. So, yeah, basically that "joke" stretched out over a full 90 minute movie.
Aside from the overall premise, it's not really funny. The main girl sings a completely ridiculous song at one point. She does make her ditz character seem surprisingly believable. I kinda' enjoyed the two back-up chickens, though, with their completely imbecilic antics.
You might go into this thinking: "ha! A movie about chicken puppets". Then, 30 minutes later think: "damn...a move about chicken puppets.... when will it end?"
The Wind Rises (2013)
From famed anime director and Academy Award winner Hayao Miyazaki, who has a pretty big cult following in North America. I've seen exactly ONE of his movies, before this ("Nausicaa"), so I didn't know what to expect. First off, the animation is excellent; almost all of it appeared to be hand-crafted and I only noticed one or two scenes where digital effects were applied. In that regard, it was excellent.
The story, on the other hand, may have worked better as a live-action drama. It starts off primarily based on a kid's vivid dreams of flying. These begin to fade, quickly, settling on a fairly un-engaging coming of age story as the kid (Jiro) matures, then his foray into the professional world of aviation engineering. When that gets cumbersome, it then jumps into a romantic yarn, as Jiro reunites with a young girl with tuberculosis. This is the part that a live-action drama could've been built around; instead of this fairly boring animated movie. There also seemed to be a LOT of drawn-out scenes of vehicles driving along...with no dialogue or important visual info being presented.
The ending is a little ambiguous, as you have to do some research to see that Jiro actually designed the famous Japanese WWII "Zero" fighter planes.