Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Best and Worst of 2013

Best of 2013-
1) American Hustle-Simply great film on every level. Smart, funny, and brilliantly acted.
2) Nebraska- Beautifully shot in black & white, with wonderful performances.
3) 12 Years a Slave- Powerhouse performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man Kidnapped and sold into slavery in the pre-civil war south. An important story that needs to be seen.
4) The Dallas Buyer's Club- Devastating performances from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in this fact based movie about the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
5) All is Lost- Robert Redford in a tour de force solo act struggling to stay alive on a crippled sailboat. Riveting.
6) Gravity- Spectacular and breathtaking. A totally immerse experience.
7) Her- Terrific performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johannsen sell this concept of modern love in the 21st century.
8) Blue Jasmine- Another hit from Woody Allen. This drama features an outstanding performance from Cate Blanchet.
9) Prisoners- A creepy thriller with excellent performances and surprising twists.
10) Captain Phillips- Tom Hanks is amazing (especially in the second half) in this true story of piracy on the high seas.

Honorable Mention-
The Conjuring- A throwback to "Poltergeist" style horror. A scary film that actually scares.
Rush- Terrific Ron Howard direction of this true story of the rivalry between race drivers Nikki Lauda and James Hunt.
Saving Mr. Banks- Emma Thompson is simply glorious as P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins. fighting with a great Tom Hanks as Walt Disney over movie rights to her book.
Deceptive Practices: Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay- Best Documentary of the year about the Sleight of Hand master, Ricky Jay and the great magicians who influenced him.
Short Term 12-  An Indie drama that will sneak up on you in a good way with a breakout performance from Brie Larson.

Worst of 2013-
1) Only God Forgives- And he will be the only one who does regarding this mess.
2) A Good Day to Die Hard- Dies easy
3) White House Down- Worst White House disaster since Nixon
4) Now You See Me- Ridiculous story of hocus pocus with a very un-magical flat ending.
5) 47 Ronin- A lifeless "action" movie starring the appropriate Keanu Reeves
6) Man of Steel- Tries for a dark serious mood ala "Dark Knight" but fails on all accounts. Noisy and boring.
7) Oblivion- A Tom Cruise snooze fest of stolen plot ideas.
8) Gangster Squad- No depth but some good action scenes. Embarrassing for the actors though.
9) Oz, The Great and Powerful- Anything but...James Franco should be ashamed.
10) Trance- interesting premise from Danny Boyle but too clever for its own good.

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