my 2013 at the movies

2013 at the movies
Normally I try to do this post closer to New Years, but with one thing and another it's been a tad delayed.

My movie viewing dropped a little bit compared with 2012 and 2011...

I watched a grand total of 171 movies during the 2013 calendar year, of which 132 (or 77%) were movies I'd never seen before, but the movies we went to see in the cinema increased to 23 movies... thanks in part due to some free tickets Ma got from work.

2013 was also the year that I pondered the question as to whether movies are getting worse... although to be honest I think it's a combination of a lot of movies coming out that hold absolutely no interest for Ma and me along with us being somewhat less inclined to see movies that have either gotten bad reviews or that we think might just be a bit rubbish.

In previous years, I've ranked the top ten movies for the previous year, which was fine when I was seeing more movies in a year, but now that it's consistently averaging around 22 or so, it seems silly to pull half of those movies out for special mention. So this year I'm only listing my top five movies for 2013 (but there will be some special mentions of movies I saw outside of the cinema at the end of the post).

My top five for 2013 are:

1. About Time
about time - a new funny film about love. with a bit of time travel.
I honestly can't recommend this movie enough... it's not big and flashy, it's just a story about a guy living his life the best he can, one day at a time... even if sometimes it takes him several tries to live that particular day.

2. The Croods
the croods - meet the first modern family
Every landscape is almost a character unto itself... from the initial barren, rocky wasteland, through to the most exotic, colourful and strange settings full of wonderfully strange creatures like landwhales, elephantmice, piranhabirds and giraffemammoths, to name but a few.

3. The Family
the family - some call it organized crime, others call it family
They're violent, they're vulgar, they're hiding out and they're not people you would want to get on the wrong side, but they are family.

4. Iron Man 3
iron man 3 - unleash the power behind the armor
Robert Downey Jr does a fantastic job once again as Stark... and as cliché as it sounds, it really does feel like this is the role his life lead him to... he's been at the top of his game, been brought all the way down to the bottom of the barrel and pulled himself up again by his proverbial bootstraps, and it feels very much like that's what Stark goes through to some degree in this movie.

5. Now You See Me
now you see me - now you don't
The story is wonderfully fast-paced and like a good magic trick, everything that happens is serving the story, even when you think it's not.

Honourable mentions: Much Ado About Nothing, Turbo and Warm Bodies

Dishonourable mentions: Life of Pi... I know people raved about it, but I just felt like it was monumentally overhyped and underwhelming and managed to make me feel like I'd just wasted the entire time I spent watching it.

From the other 109 movies that I saw for the first time in 2013, these were some of the standouts...
  • 84 Charing Cross Road (1987): Two skilled actors playing characters on opposite sides of the world in a movie about the power of words and books
  • Anna Karenina (2012): Wonderful production and set designs
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946): This feels like a rarity for the 1940's... a movie about what war does to men and how they cope back in the real world when they return
  • Bill Cunningham New York (2011): An amazing documentary on a man I knew nothing about
  • The Dresser (1983): Highly melodramatic but also hypnotic
  • Griff The Invisible (2010): An Australia movie about a superhero that neither feels like an Australian movie nor a superhero flick... it does have a lot of heart though
  • Gosford Park (2001): I always find this kind of upstairs/downstairs story incredibly depressing, but you can't go past the all star cast
  • Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948): Cary Grant and Myrna Loy at their dryly witty best
  • Objectified (2009) and Urbanized (2011): The two follow up documentaries to Helvetica, about object design and city design respectively
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010): The last fifteen minutes or so of this movie bump it up from being a strange distraction to being something that needs to be seen to be believed
  • Savages (2012): This is both incredibly brutal to watch but also beautiful and with very real performances from all of the leads
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959): I can't believe I hadn't see this until now... the story is standard, but the visuals/backgrounds and art style are absolutely breathtaking
  • Yossi (2012): Incredibly sad, but absolutely beautiful sequel following up Yossi ten years after the events of Yossi and Jagger and with a wonderful ending
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