Tonight are the Academy Awards. At least I think so. I’m enough of a movie fan to have started a movie website, so of course I’m interested in them, but I probably won’t be able to watch them (last year a TV channel here in Costa Rica was playing a dubbed version, but it was pretty bad; that’s irrelevant, though, since we moved our TV in the meantime and the antenna isn’t connected, so we went from two channels to zero). It’s also debatable how much the Oscars matter. Nevertheless, I sometimes use them as a way to see what movies people were talking about in the previous year, since living here can skew perspectives a bit.
So I thought I’d just do a quick run-through of the movies I saw and liked in 2013. I know most people and sites do this kind of list at the end of December or the beginning of January, but at that time, I’d maybe seen 5 or 6 of these. Plus, dividing movies into years is pretty arbitrary, anyhow. According to my Flickchart list, I’ve seen 23 movies from 2013 so far. Here are my top 5:
I’ve really enjoyed the three movies that Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright have done together. Shaun of the Dead is in my Top 20, I think, and Hot Fuzz was a brilliant cop movie spoof full of fun references. I’ve only seen this movie one time, but it certainly has the potential to fit in with the others, even though the mood and genre are completely different. The only thing that may make this movie a bit lower on my list as compared to the other two is that this one seems to have more things that are quintessentially British, and I maybe just don’t appreciate the significance of them. My only visit to Britain was a night spent in London 15 years ago, and of course that was hardly enough time to get a feel for the culture. But nevertheless, I thought this was a great movie with some very good characters. I especially liked how Pegg and Frost seemed to defy my expectations of what kinds of characters they’d be playing in this film.
Some people (Paul) will probably criticize me for this choice, but so be it. I’m just going with what my Flickchart says. I think I enjoyed this movie mainly because I just wanted to see if what I saw in my mind as I read the book matched what they put on the screen. It was pretty similar, in fact.
Rating: 13/17 (I know that this is lower than #5, but as I said, I’m just going with what my list says.)
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney… Love is in the vacuum! Actually, I don’t think this shot was actually in the movie. But oh well. I really liked this movie, and it made me think for a while afterwards. I especially liked that it was short and didn’t try to over-explain everything. The action starts just a few minutes into the 94-minute film, which in my opinion was much better than a 65-minute exposition just to set the scene, which seems to be the norm for so many action and sci-fi movies these days.
I’m a bit surprised that this landed so high on my list, although I did enjoy it a lot. I’m glad I didn’t see any previews beforehand because if I had, I probably would have not seen this one. I probably would have written it off as cheesy action fare. There is that element, of course, but it’s done in a way that’s pretty different from its predecessors. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of it takes place in Japan and Hong Kong, but it just seemed more tolerable and worthy of an eventual second viewing than other comparable movies that come to mind, like Avatar or Independence Day.
This is a good, weird movie. I’ve heard people say it’s unlike any other movie they’ve seen, and I’d have to agree with them on that, try as I might to think of any examples to debunk that statement. I thought it was great how all the actors played themselves, or at least caricatures of themselves, making fun of their personas (and each other, of course). At first glance this may seem similar to The World’s End, and indeed both are comedies full of dudes bravely facing the end of the world by making jokes and consuming intoxicating substances. But whereas The World’s End is very British, this one is very Hollywood, and that makes a big difference. Oh, and Hermione’s small part is pretty great, too!
So, that’s it for my 2013 list, at least so far. And it should be noted that I’ve still NOT seen many movies that are getting a lot of praise such as The Dallas Buyers Club, Her, American Hustle, Nebraska, Blue is the Warmest Color, and 12 Years a Slave. I know that those have a ton of nominations, but that’s just how it is: it’s harder to see new movies when you live on a mountain in Central America, I guess.
What do you think? Have you seen any of these? Would you put them higher, lower, or not even on the list? What does your Top 5 look like?