Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Top Films Of 2013

To be honest with you I don't think it's been a brilliant year for film. Last year was sensational. The "Best Picture" Oscar last year was impossible to call. Argo was of course the winner but with the epic Les Mis & Lincoln, the vital Zero Dark Thirty, the magical Life of Pi, the feel good hit Silver Linings Playbook, the indie hits Beasts of the Southern Wild & Amour and lastly the Tarantino western Django Unchained, it was an incredible year for film. This year I've struggled to put together a Top 10, and most of my picks won't get any nominations either.

I've yet to see Gravity & Captain Phillips which should get nominated and I'm sure they are incredible films. I've still to see the latest chapter of The Hobbit too and the Jackass hit Bad Grandpa, but other than that I've done my best to catch up on popular films. I haven't really found my indie hit of the year either, so please do recommend me some films I can catch up on if you feel I've missed some.



10. A Place Beyond The Pines

Not without its faults and way too long, but this is a wonderful film from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance. Much like the previous work, its very bleak and its characters are mostly broken and falling apart. Its told in three parts and although Ryan Gosling heads up the cast, it's the middle part with Bradley Cooper's struggle which is the standout part, and performance.

9. Man Of Steel

Again far too long at over two hours and didn't quite live up to the hype of being the biggest film of the year, but it tried real hard. Zac Snyder didn't make it too weird like Sucker Punch and over do things which was a major bonus. What I loved about the film was mostly the portrayal of Krypton. Not since Avatar has a foreign world been so beautifully designed. I actually would have forgiven more time being spent on Krypton with Russell Crowe's character, even though it took over 20 minutes to get past the intro of the film. Amy Adams wasn't perfect either but Henry Cavill's performance of Superman was absolutely mind-blowing in comparison to other superheroes (see Bale's Batman, both Spiderman's).

8. World War Z

This was way better than I anticipated. As a big fan of zombie TV and Film, the creatures in the trailers for the film looked a bit over the top. I much prefer zombies that can be realistically defeated. In World War Z, they are pretty much unstoppable. That doesn't stop Brad Pitt from having a rollicking good worldwide adventure. Also featuring Peter Capaldi playing a W.H.O Doctor hmm.

7. Star Trek Into Darkness

The follow up to 2009's fantastic reboot was my personally most hyped film of the year so when it didn't live up to my expectations I wasn't too happy. Benedict's role in it wasn't nearly as fun as I'd hoped. However it was still a very good blockbusterwith nice visuals and a really good storyline so I'm quite sure J.J Abrams can handle his next task, Star Wars.

6. Pacific Rim

Guillermo Del Toro's monster movie epic was the most fun action film of the year. Charlie Hunham made sure that he could step up from just being a TV actor and Idris Elba shone again in the captain role, much like he played in Prometheus. The CGI was great, the destruction bloody enormous and Charlie Day was hilarious.

5. The World's End

The finale to the cornetto trilogy delivered, not in slapstick comedy but in brilliant acting from five of Britain's best. Aside from Pegg & Frost, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsden and Martin Freeman were wonderful as the supporting cast. I especially enjoyed the ending anti-climax where the action packed battle was won with what is essentially British stubborn-ness.

4. The Great Gatsby

The over glamorized and colourful remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic was split down the middle by critics but personally I thought it had the right amount of romance and opulence the novel portrayed. Di Caprio was good but never scene stealing, Tobey McGuire played the quiet Nick Carraway down to a T and if that wasn't enough we had a gorgeous score from none other than Jay-Z. Lana Del Rey's song sells the film by itself.

3. Filth

This film is kind of the follow-up to Trainspotting and is absolutely ten times as disgustingly absurd. James McAvoy really lets go playing Detective Robertson, a crooked cop hell bent on having as much sex as he can and going out of his way to make everybody's day more uncomfortable. Despite all this he's actually quite a fun and likeable character at times. Never feeling dragged out or too serious, Filth is a Scottish and British modern classic.

2. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Norwich's number one radio rock star is back with a feature film, and it's ruddy great. The supporting case do their job well and Tim Key as Sidekick Simon makes the best jokes at the most unnecessary times. It's Partridge though, the most life like fictional character ever created in my opinion who just oozes presence in every scene. The jokes are quick and throw-away but they are hurdled at you in every line. Easily the best comedy of the last few years.

1. Rush

Ron Howard's story of the famous rivalry between playboy Formula 1 driver James Hunt and his calculated and often misunderstood Austrian Niki Lauda was my favourite picture of 2013. I'm a formula one fan but had no knowledge of their wonderful story which almost lead to the death of one of them and could have led to death on many occasions as the two pushed each other on and off of the track through-out their career. The film does accurately portray the sport well from what I know about it, and Lauda has himself said he enjoyed it, and Bruhl's show stealing performance. It's nice to see Chris Hemsworth in role which isn't marketed to teen girls for once too. God I really hope this gets an Oscar nod.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my more in tune TV round-up for the year. I'm a bit more in the know in 2013 of the small screen.

Scott Hastie
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