Sunday, 22 December 2013

2013 film countdown, part 3: intermission

Before the big top 5 reveal, which I'm sure you are all very excited about, here are a few honourable (and dishonourable) mentions from 2013. It's a selection of films that didn't make my top 10 or bottom 5 but I wanted to quickly comment on them anyway for whatever reason. I've just realised that I should probably have done this post second instead of third, so I shall do that when it comes to my non-2013 films.

Speaking of which, I'd also like to note that what I mean by "2013" is that it was either a 2013 release, or a 2012 release that I saw at the movies in 2013, so there is a fair bit of overlap, especially when it comes to the Oscar-nominated ones.

2013 in film: highlights

Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen

Pretty cool piece Frankensteined together using scenes from many classic and obscure films in a way that tells a (necessarily generic) love story. A treat to watch for a lover of film, especially when a snippet comes up that you recognise.

Les Misérables

The film adaptation of the stage musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's French Revolution classic. Tom Hooper and crew do such a good job of translating this to the big screen that you wonder why it hadn't been done before. The highlight from this film for me, apart from the achievement as a whole, was Anne Hathaway's rendition of I Dreamed A Dream. Tears. In fact, I loved most of the performances, but it has to be said that Russell Crowe was the odd one out. I felt it could have been a better spectacle had they found a better singer to play Javert. It's kind of like when they got a Jonas brother to play Marius in the 25th anniversary concert and he just absolutely bombed it compared to everybody else. That said, it was a great movie regardless.

Django Unchained

Tarantino's entry into the Djangoverse, with Jamie Foxx as Django Freeman, a freed slave who seeks to rescue his wife from slavers. He also dons an amazing costume about halfway through the film. It's far from my favourite of Tarantino's, but it is an undeniably fun (and characteristically violent) flick. Christoph Waltz is really good in this but that was to be expected after his excellent turn in Inglourious Basterds.

Sound City

A documentary by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl about the eponymous Sound City recording studio that hosted many legendary musicians, including Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young. Probably a little bit too self-serving on Grohl's part for my liking (can't blame him, really), but the bits covering the history of this old music studio were very fascinating and worth the price of admission. Some of the new songs recorded are quite good, too.

Red Obsession

Russell Crowe makes the list again! This time he narrates a documentary about Bordeaux wines, what makes them so good, their rise in price and prestige, and the impact of the wine boom in China. Pretty interesting and is kind of analogous to all hobbies/products that become popular for varying reasons.

Man of Steel

While far from outstanding, I do have to say that this didn't suck. I guess I could even say I enjoyed it for the most part. Given the averageness of the previous Superman film, and Zack Snyder's history of style over substance, I came in with low expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't shit. I think the involvement of Christopher Nolan may have helped matters. Also, can I just say that Henry Cavill is ripped? Holy crap.

A Good Day to Die Hard

I heard from a couple of people that they watched this on a plane and it wasn't too bad for a plane movie (what does that even mean?) so I decided to watch it on a plane, too. And, well, it was kinda shit. One gets the feeling that Bruce Willis keeps agreeing to do Die Hard sequels just for the money. This is the worst in the series and I really do hope they stop flogging this dead horse. (Hmm, it's Christmas soon, so I guess it's time to re-watch the original (and best) Die Hard soon.)

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