Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 11 Best and Worst Movies of 2013

Man, did 2013 suck or what??  Terrible terrible year.  Especially for movies.  And, what's weird is that it wasn't like there were an abundance of bad movies either (granted there were like eight Tyler Perry movies this year) this was just the year of the unexceptional movie.  There was nothing gritty like the Django's of last year or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo of 2012 or even The Social Network or The Fighter of 2011.  Nothing that came out this year was that solid (ooh ooh best movie of the year right there) moment.  It felt like nothing had enough balls to do so.  Even the film that I rank as the best movie of 2013 probably would've barely made top 5 from last year.  So, I give you the eleven best and ten worst movies.  Enjoy!!!

Now, I do have to admit that there are a few films that I wasn't able to see that could've possibly made the list.  Most notably I didn't see the now Oscar nominated Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska or Philomena.  I will make an effort to get a hold of these films so that I can accurately review them for you.  On to number 11!!!

The Top 11 BEST FILMS of 2013:

11. Inside Llewyn Davis


The Coens have done it again.  A dark comedy full of heartache and whimsy.  A lead character you both hate and root for.  A soundtrack worth the price of admission alone.  It's one of the quieter Coen brothers films but in a year of underwhelming movies, this movie stood out to me.  Even though I didn't catch all of the symbolism or parallels or allusions or metaphors or anything else the Coens tend to cram into their movies, I was able to watch a great film and reflect on the moments that meant the most to me.  I'll be watching this movie many times again, catching new things with each viewing.  Wonderful film.
Review here.

10. The Conjuring


I feel as though I may get a little bit of hate for this one.  In typical movie standards, no, it probably wouldn't normally make a general list.  However, as far as horror movies go, it was near perfect.  In a time when torture, blood, guts, and jump scares reign supreme... one director has decided to go back to the roots of horror and try to scare the living piss out of you without hardly showing you a thing.  I was terrified nearly the entire time and the danger was only alluded to.  It was one of the most frightening experiences in a theater I've ever had and there's almost no blood in it.  The film was rated R for being too scary.  That says something.  Those who love watching movies where the killer is a masked man with a machete gutting teenagers is going to hate it.  But those who love a good old-fashioned tension-filled thriller will agree that The Conjuring deserves to be on this list.
Review here.

9. Hunger Games: Catching Fire 


You gotta hand it to the people behind this movie franchise.  How many young adult novels have been adapted since Harry Potter and Twilight exploded that were actually good??  Not that Twilight was any good... because we all know that it's the equivalent of a cinematic septic tank.  But, what's great about The Hunger Games, something that worked really well in the Harry Potter franchise is that it doesn't feel like it's only catering to kids.  They abide by the rating, but they tell the story in it's full emotional effect.  If it's violent, then there's violence.  If it's a scary situation, then you're going to be scared.  I hadn't enjoyed a movie like this in a long while.  It was fun to watch and exciting to see where it's heading.  It has fully matured upon it's predecessor and looks as though we're going to be in for one hell of a fun ride during the finale.  Hunger Games: Catching Fire was most certainly one of my favorite movies of the year.
Review here.

8. TIE!!  Don Jon/Her

I couldn't choose between these two movies, and I figured since they both feature a great performance by Scarlett Johannson, they might as well go together.  Don Jon showed us a man who is a true player, addicted to porn, unable to truly love... fall in love.  The way that he deals with these feelings, while struggling to rid himself of his addiction is truly remarkable.  On the other side of the coin, Her shows us a shy, down on his luck guy, addicted to his computer, fall in love... with his computer.  The way that he deals with these feelings as well as those around him, while struggling to rid himself of the hurt from his past and finally love again is also truly remarkable.  Both of these films are highly recommended romantic comedies.
Review here and here.

7. American Hustle

This is a movie I'll really need to see a few more times to fully follow everything that happens in it.  If you look away for only a second, it's going to get you lost.  If you stayed glued to the screen the entire time... chances are you'll feel like you still missed something.  That's the beauty of the film.  It's a con.  It's a con for everyone.  Even the writer was conned out of his script.  Most of the dialogue in the film was improvised by the actors.  This is exactly what talent is.  American Hustle is the embodiment of true Hollywood talent.
Review here.

6. The World's End


While This Is The End was probably the most laugh-out-loud comedy of 2013, The World's End is probably the smartest comedy of 2013.  While the whole movie isn't side-splittingly funny, the concept of each scene is hilarious.  There are a lot of laugh out loud moments, but it's a British movie, too.  So, it's a bit of a thinker.  This is also a movie (much like the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright movies of the past) that needs to be viewed several more times in order to pick up the subtle jokes and call backs that are sprinkled in throughout the film.  The final entry in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy is a perfect and worthy conclusion.
Review here.

5. Mud


Words can hardly express how great this movie is.  It's a beautiful film full of rich characters and a great story.  McConaughey is magnificent as the titular character Mud.  It's a coming of age movie starring two young adults, but it's not them who need to learn the lessons of the world, it's Mud himself.  It was a little known film, but for anyone who appreciates great filmmaking this is sure one to look out for. 

4. The Way Way Back

Coming of age movies don't come more perfect than this.  With an ensemble cast of wonderful actors including Sam Rockwell, Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Amanda Peet, and Rob Cordry, this film is nothing short of perfect.  Rockwell is at the top of his game and Carrell has never played a better asshole.  I've watched this over five times this year and it will remain one of my favorite films, not just of this year, but of all time.  This one is highly recommended to everyone.  Everyone.
Review here.

3. Gravity


The premise of Gravity looked terrifying from the preview.  It looked nauseating, however, it also looked a little gimmicky with the whole 3D aspect.  While I would say that is true with 99% of films released in 3D, there are those select few that are made to viewed only in 3D, much like Avatar was.  Gravity also ranks among that 1%.  It is the single most beautiful film I've ever seen and it is completely enhanced with the 3D.  My only regret is that I only got to see it one time in theaters.  I have a strange feeling the beauty won't be replicated in home video format.  The film is simply awe-inspiring.
Review here.

2. Captain Phillips


Wow what a powerful, tense, taut, and emotional film.  This movie (to be completely cliche) keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  My heart was pounding the entire time even though I already knew the story.  The acting was also top notch.  If Tom Hanks doesn't get anything less than an Oscar nod it'll be a shame because as far as I'm concerned the Gold belongs to him.  He's the greatest actor of our time and this film is no exception.  Even the actor who played the lead pirate is fantastic.  Everything about this movie is great and it deserves to be watched.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street


Hands down my favorite movie of the year.  It was batshit nuts!  If you've seen it then you know what I mean.  I've never seen a film like it in my life.  And while it didn't have the grit I mentioned earlier of films from the past few years, it still stood out to me as one of the best movies I've ever seen.  It will be a greek tragedy if DiCaprio never gets his Oscar because he is a damn fine actor and who knew the dude had comedic chops as well??  This movie isn't for everyone.  In fact, there are only a select few I would personally recommend it to, but to those that I know will appreciate it, you need to get out there and see this clusterfuck of insanity!
Review here.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: This Is The End, Stoker, Iron Man 3, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 12 Years A Slave

The Top Ten WORST FILMS of 2013:

10. Pacific Rim


Okay, let's begin by saying that this definitely wasn't a horrible movie.  It wasn't.  As far as the rest of the movies on this list are concerned, this movie is Citizen Kane.  But, much like Prometheus last year, it wasn't so much how bad the movie was, but how disappointing it was.  When you have a monster movie directed by one of the most creative directors on the planet and all you get is a shittier Independence Day knock off, well then my friends, you failed. Your movie was watchable, and it's some of the best CGI I've ever seen on film... but you failed to deliver what you promised.  And that was a movie worthy of your talent.  For shame Guillermo Del Toro.
Review here.

9.  Gangster Squad

Again, a movie with so much promise.  Look at the cast.  Brolin, Gosling, Penn, Stone.  Coming out just a few months after the fantastic Lawless, we were looking for a gritty crime/mob thriller and instead we got a hokey comic strip version of cop/mob stereotypes.  It was just lame.  The trailer didn't even make it look that extraordinary, but you gotta figure with a cast like that, something brought them to say yes.  I can't figure out what it is.
Review here.

8. Parker


Man, I hate putting this movie on here.  My love for Jason Statham transcends Worst Movies lists.  The man is an action God and I've never hated any of his movies... except this one.  It's bad.  How do you fuck up a Jason Statham movie??  All you have to do is kill his wife in the beginning, or set him up, or double cross him, let his heart harden, try to execute your evil plan, and then watch him beat the living piss out of you and everyone you've ever known.  The end.  Do not try to get him to act.  Don't make him use a fucked up hilariously bad southern accent.  Don't throw Jennifer Lopez into the mix!  And sure as hell don't make the movie boring with almost no action whatsoever.  Jesus!  How did we get here!!!  That's okay, no one saw it anyway and he made up for it later in the year with Homefront.  Just don't do it again, okay, Statham?

7. Movie 43


How??? How is this the year of the ensemble shit?? You've got like a hundred Academy Award winning actors in a comedy directed by a bunch of self-proclaimed comedic directors and you wind up with a pile of balls!  There were two sketches that made me laugh and that's it.  What in the hell was everyone thinking?  It took the movie like ten years to get made.  Were the directors playing cards with all these A-list celebs and every time they'd lose the card game they'd have to take a role?  I don't get it.  There's no reason this movie should exist.  Like, at all.
Review here.

6. Bullet to the Head


No.  Just no, Stallone.  Okay?  Dude, you are way too old for this kind of movie.  Do what you and Arnold did in Escape Plan.  That was a fun movie.  You're too old and too unintelligible to be a "hardass" assassin being chased by the jolly green giant.  This movie had nothing redeeming about it.  It wasn't even laughable bad.  It was just painfully bad.  Sorry, dude.  Don't try this again.

5. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone


Again with the great cast ensemble failure comedies of 2013.  Who is ever going to be able to mess up a Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Galdolfini, Olivia Wilde film ever again?? I submit to you that there is no one on this Earth that could screw that up as bad as this movie.  It's about Vegas magicians for crying out loud!!  These are some of the funniest people on Earth!  Damn you, Hollywood! How you crush dreams so well!  I'm just going to blame this on Carrell this time.  Fuck you, Carrell.  You dick!
Review here.

4. The Purge


Okay, normally I'd like to just take a flaming bag of dog poo and hurl it at all the movies on this list, but this one I just can't do.  It had a great premise.  Like, The Twilight Zone would've been like, "damn that's a good one!" when they heard what this movie was about.  It was just left in the hands of incompetent people.  There was no reason for most of the occurrences that happened.  The decision making was ridiculous.  The acting was terrible.  It was good for a few seconds.  The opening credits were rousing as hell.  But, ultimately, this movie just failed.  In almost every single aspect.  Especially when it should have been brilliant.
Review here.

3. Texas Chainsaw 3D


Derp derpy derp.  Derp a derp derp duh derpy derp derp.  Derrrrrrrrp.  I just derp'd my head on the sink.  Derp.  Duhhhhhh deerrrrrrrpppppp.  Let's make a movie.  How I use pen?  What paper mean?  Derrrrrrrrpppppp.  Let's drink Clorox.  Derppppp.  Chainsawssss hehhhhhh.  Duhhhhh uhhhh derp?  Do your thing, cuz!  Uh.... Derp?  Yeah, derp.  Heh heh okay derp!  I fell down and hurt my derp.  That's okay.  Have my derppp.  DERPPPPP!!!!  I ate six balloons today!
Review here.

2. A Good Day To Die Hard


I'm more pissed about this movie than any other movie on the list.  Die Hard is my favorite action movie of all time.  John McClane is my favorite action hero of all time.  The dude is a New York cop who's just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Die Hard 2... not great, but not that bad either.  Die Hard with a Vengence... almost as good as the first one.  Live Free Or Die Hard... about as good as the second one, but they still kept McClane the same dude.  This festering piece of monkey shit is a travesty and sullies the good name of the Die Hard franchise.  And I demand satisfaction!  First off, you're going to make John McClane go out of his way to find danger?  Hardly!  You're gonna cast a goofy peanut looking dude as his son.  You're going to make the film completely humorless with dumb as butt action scenes.  This is quite possibly the last Die Hard we're gonna have, and you fucked it, director John Moore.  Next time I see you, you better be wearing loose jeans because the things I'm going to find to sodomize you with aren't going to leave you with much wiggle room.  I'm just returning the favor.
Review here.

1. Grown Ups 2


Adam Sandler: Hey, guys, remember that shitty movie we made where nothing happened and it was just us hanging out ragging on each other with jokes that weren't even funny in the 90s?

Kevin James/David Spade/Chris Rock: Yeah?

Sandler: I have an idea.  Let's make a sequel!

Rock: A sequel?  How?  Nothing even happened in the first one to make a sequel about.

Sandler: No shit, black guy!  This one isn't going to be about anything either.  We're going to just film ourselves being consistently not funny and make a shit load of cash so I can make more unfunny movies.  I even thought of the first bit.  I don't want to spoil anything, but it

Spade: I'll do it.

Sandler: Of course you'll do it.  What else were you gonna do?

James: Me too.

Rock: Fuck it.  Let's go.

Sandler: Okay, first I just got to write the script...

*silence for ten long seconds*

*eruption of laughter*

Sandler: Ah, that was good.  Let's all go buy some cocaine.

Review here.