Sunday, February 09, 2014

Dan's Top 10 Movies of 2013

With the help of Netflix, Amazon, Costco (discounted movie tickets), a very understanding wife with refined tastes, and… BitTorrents (how else can I watch all the foreign movies that weren't released here? VOD still has long ways to go), I got to watch almost everything I wanted to see in 2013. As always, this is a list of my favorite movies, which means they're not all necessarily "good" in the eyes of the public or critics.

What, it's already February and you don't remember what came out last year? Here's a little flashback to 2013:


10. Favorite Comedy: THIS IS THE END

"I call him Channing Taint-YUM!"

Other than Gwangsoo's shenanigans on RUNNING MAN, nothing made me laugh more than the scene with James Franco and Danny McBride arguing over a porn magazine. Is it even a movie? It seems like these dudes just got together for a weekend, got high, and shot whatever they can think of. Please do more of that.

9. Favorite Horror: YOU'RE NEXT

"You never want to do anything interesting anymore."
"I don't think that's fair criticism."
"Fuck me next to your dead mom then."

2013 wasn't a great year for horror, but this one stood out for playing with genre conventions and having a kick-ass female lead. It's not a game-changer like THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, but it's almost as fun.

8. Favorite Drama: SHORT TERM 12

"You got some new lyrics you want to try out on me?"
"There's a lot of fucks in it."
"I won't tell."

The most natural and realistic acting and dialogue can be found here. People talking like people. It's the new rage. So it's an absolute shame that Brie Larson got ignored by the Academy while Meryl Streep gets her 47th nomination for hamming it up in a movie that no one cares about. I know, I really should stop caring about the Oscars BUT I JUST WANT THEM TO BE BETTER GOSH.

7. Favorite Trilogy-In-One-Movie: THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

"If you ride like lightning, you're going to crash like thunder."

A movie about guys with father issues? JUST PLUG IT INTO MY VEINS.

6. Favorite Thriller: BIG BAD WOLVES

"It might look like I'm enjoying this, and maybe I am in a way... but believe me, I'd be happy to stop breaking your fingers. Now would you please start talking?"

This is what PRISONERS would have been if it was made in Israel by the Coen brothers. Noteworthy: Tarantino said this was the best film of the year.

5. Favorite Superhero: IRON MAN 3

"Don't shoot! Seriously, I don't even like working here. They are so weird."

I love that Shane Black basically made a Shane Black movie on Marvel's dime. Christmas setting, check. Buddy banter, check. Climactic action scene at a shipyard, check. MORE SHANE BLACK, PLEASE.

4. Favorite Romance: HER

"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy."

What could've easily been a silly and creepy premise resulted in a beautiful and textured film about relationships and how they affect people, even ones without physical bodies. But I really hope people don't dress like that in our future.

3. Favorite Use of David Bowie: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

I'm a big anti-fan of FORREST GUMP -- not the least of which is due to it beating PULP FICTION for the Best Picture OSCAR in 1995, but again, I MUST STOP CARING ABOUT THAT DAMN AWARD -- so it's ironic that I like WALTER MITTY so much, despite their similarities. The episodic structure. The globetrotting adventures. The plain protagonists and the women that push them to be better people. Maybe I need to give Forrest another chance.

2. Favorite Movie For 11-year-old Boys: PACIFIC RIM

"Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!"

I like robots. I like monsters. And I like robots fighting monsters. My name is Dan and I'm 11.

1. Favorite Reason to See Movies in IMAX: GRAVITY

"You just point the damn thing at Earth. It's not rocket science."

This is cinema. Remarkable achievement in melding of special effects and cinematography. The writing is its weakest link, but when everything else is so strong, it's easy to overlook it. Kudos to Alfonso Cuaron, because he deserves all the accolades. That Best Director OSCAR is a shoo-in, right? RIGHT?!

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