The Best of 2013: The movies

31 Dec



Again, I’m continuing into the new year by evaluating the old one.   This time movies.   So, to be clear, these are my favorite movies that I watched in 2013, most of them were not made or even released this year,.   I never feel comfortable saying anything is “the best” of a given year, because I won’t have watched everything.   However I can say something is the best of my year.   By best, I mean most entertaining and has stuck with me the most.

1.  Gravity–I’m sorry to all you pooh-poohers on this one–Gravity is one of the best popcorn movies I have ever seen and is a testament of style.  Yes the story is simple, but it needs to be so we can pay attention to all the movement and action on the screen.   Watch it on the big screen though, I have a feeling it will lose its power on a smaller one.

2.   Dr Who–The Pertwee Years:  This year was the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.  Unfortunately, the Matt Smith show floundered this year, seeming to lose direction.  I went back to Pertwee, and really found his era refreshing.    Pertwee was wanting Dr. Who to be more of a bond styled hero, thus the opera clothes and all the Judo.  Props to Pertwee for (mostly) doing his own stunts.  Besides that, Pertwee has the best luck with companions of any of them–Liz Shaw, Jo Grant, and especially Sarah Jane Smith are all classics that made the show as much as the Doctor did.  Even though the effects are very…seventies…the storytelling brings many of these stories as the best the series ever had.

3.  A Nightmare on Elm Street–Nope, never saw this until this year–and why didn’t anybody ever tell me this movie was so funny.  The mother in particular makes me laugh my heart out.   Eighties effects and Johnny Depp are just the icing on the cake.

4.   Waitress–I normally don’t like this sort of movie at all.   However, beyond it’s sort of Ya-ya premise, there is a definite darkness here.

5.  All That Jazz–This movie is the best classic film I saw this year.  Why isn’t this talked about more?  The main character’s fading and eventual death just works so damn well.   A film that is both mainstream and experimental, and it just delivers.

6.   Cloud Atlas–Beautiful storybook of a movie that is a nice ride.

7.  Robot and Frank–Terrific film–really terrific–I like how realistic the future is here, and the acting is just out of this world.   Spoiler:  The robot will make you cry.

8.   Beasts of the Southern Wild–a movie that flies with the strength of the characters.   A wonderful poem about strength.

9.   The Life of Pi–Another one of the big philosophical movies that  have been coming out lately.  I was very happy to hear that it has done very well.  Though the movie isn’t as deep as it wants to be, it is sweetly moving.

10.    Uncle Boonmee–Another movie about death, this time about how the “real world” and the “believed world” intersect.   Not an easy watch, but absolutely fascinating in its constant subversion of itself.

I also have a bunch of movies that are so bad they’re good:   Disco Godfather, Things, Blue Money (“red wine is my mouthwash”), The Pink Angels, Roller Boogie.  All of these are prime stuff for your bad movie night.

Also a very special acknowledgement to the That Guy With Glasses crew, particularly Nostalgia Chick, Todd in the Shadows, Phelous, Obscuras Lupa, and Brows Held High—this little group represents the best of online commentary there is, both by having fun, but also bringing some sense of meaning to what they do.  Honestly, they deserve all the respect in the world.  I couldn’t do what they do.  They have enriched many a dreary rainy night for me and my partner.

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