My Favourite films of 2013
Everybody seems to getting out their best and worst of 2013 lists so may as well get mine out too. Overall the standard of films this year has been mediocre but there were a couple that really stood out. I was a bit disappointed by the horror films this year with some run-of the-mill horror (Dark Skies, The Conjuring) getting cinema time while the more challenging stuff (Lords of Salem, American Mary) were forced to go straight to DVD but then when isn’t that the case, especially if ye don’t live in New York or Los Angeles. these are al film I am happy to add to the Bluray Shelf
- 12. Curse of Chucky I doubt this film is going get on many best or worst lists but I think it is a solid film that has brought the series back to being a tense horror thriller instead of a self-aware comedy. A Good Guy doll gets delivered to a woman who lives with her paraplegic daughter Mika.and its not long before people start dying and Mika discovers that her family have links to the dead killer Charles Lee Wray. Though it is less comedic than than last two films it still has a dark sense of humour.
- 11. Star Trek: Into Darkness This is J J Abrams’ second film in this reboot of the franchise and it’s another faced paced adventure film. I did think there was a bit of cheesiness in the way they tried to shoehorn things like the Uhuru-Spock romance in but the stuff with Kahn and Admiral Marcus was fantastic. It is great to see it continue the old Star Trek tradition of using science fiction to comment on contemporary issues by the medium of running (lots of running) jumping and punching.
- 10. Grabbers This Irish alien invasion comedy is a little independent film that hits well above its budget with great characters and a really creative creature design. Having the aliens’ weakness be alcohol gives a perfect excuse for a booze filled climax. Like in a lot of Irish comedies a lot of the humour comes the dialogue between the characters
- 9. The Lords of Salem I knew Rob Zombie still had some decent ideas in him and this film suggests that he flourishes best when he is free to express his own ideas creatively. A rock DJ at radio station in Salem receives a record in a wooden box that is connected to satanic cult who were killed in 17th century. This record is part of the cult’s plan to bring the antichrist into the world and Heidi is key to their plan. This film has a great cast, especially Meg Foster as cult leader Margaret Morgan and Dee Wallace, Judy Geeson and Patricia Quinn as three modern day cultists.
- 8. Pacific Rim Giant Robots fighting giant monsters is such a simple concept but this film makes it look believable and is just such a blast. I found bit easier to appreciate the action after a second viewing on Bluray especially as I know what to look out for. I also found my attitude to the annoying scientists has mellowed with repeat viewings
- 7. Thor: The Dark World I enjoy comic book films and so was happy that Marvel’s phase 2 gave us very separate films while still acknowledging the events occurring in the shared universe.Natalie Portman on Earth stumbles on a weapon the dark elves want to destroy the nine realms so Thor whisks her off to Asgard. Thor has to team up with his devious brother Loki to save Asgard and stop the elves. There’s a lot more Asgard in this film the comedy relief from Earth do get to play an important role in the big climax.
- 6. Maniac This remake with Frodo as the titular maniac puts us in the head of the killer as he stalks and kills his victims. It is violent and gory in the world of mannequin restorer whose relationship with his promiscuous mother has led to him to murdering scalping the women he desires. He tries to develop a normal relationship with Anna, a young photographer but there no real chance of a happy ending for Frank. The films has striking visual style reminiscent of Drive and that also carries to the an 80s influenced electronic soundtrack
- 5. Elysium This is a film I just watched and just like Dredd is one that would have been great to catch at the cinema. This is Neill Blomkamp’s second feature film and just like District 9 it is a science fiction film with a strong element of social commentary. The rich have all left Earth to live in luxury in a space wheel called Elysium where they all have access to miraculous medical treatment while the proles live short brutal lives on an impoverished overpopulated Earth. Matt Damon is a prole who gets a lethal dose of radiation and since only the medical robot on Elysium
- 4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug This another epic journey through Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. I saw this in 3D IMAX and to be honest felt a bit too close to the action but despite the sensory overload I still enjoyed the story a lot. It sticks to the book a bit closer and we get to see Smaug the dragon who is impressive. I thought the dwarves blended into each other in the first film but here there is much more individuality and it’s not all just Thorin and Balin. The barrel scene did happen in the book is but Jackson has turned it into an extended cartoonish action sequences with arrows and orc heads flying all over the place. It’s a lot of fun and sticks two cheeky finger up at the laws of physics The ending seemed abrupt to those not familiar with the book but I thought it a is natural break point and leaves me anticipating the film later this year.
- 3. The Wolverine It’s great to see the X-Men series back on track and this story of Wolverine in Japan gives a smaller scale story that focuses on Wolverine’s character a lot more than the previous attempt. I’m aware of the story of Wolverine visiting Japan in the comics but this film changes some things around. Wolverine is grieving over the events of Last Stand but is drawn back into the real world by Japanese man he saved from the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki who wants to see him before he dies. This results in Wolverine getting ensnared in family politics with ninjas, Yakuza and samurai… well one samurai.
- 2. Iron Man 3 I know fans of the comics are not happy with certain character developments but just taking the films on their own this is the best of the series and a decent conclusion to the Iron Man story. It has some really intense action scenes including one stunning set piece where Tony has to rescue people dropped from a plane. Director Shane Black keeps the film focused on Tony and it has lot less of the robots hitting each other, instead the suits get used in a variety of different ways which leads to a very exciting action packed climax.
- 1. The World’s End My favourite film this year was the easiest to select. I loved the writing team of Pegg and Wright since their TV series Spaced. This film has the usual mixture of genres with a dramatic comedy melded with a science fiction alien invasion story. The characters are are all so familiar especially Gary King. I got tingles in my spine at some scenes and think time will see it judged as good as the two previous films by Wright, Peggy and Frost.
My least favourite films were not really as bad as in past years and are mostly just bland or cheap stuff made for TV that I bought cheap in supermarket bargain bins. I don’t choose to spend money on big-budget disasters and usually avoid the stinkers that are getting rotten reviews from most critics and audiences. Anyway these are all films that are destined to be returned to The DVD Pile.
- 5. Dead Souls This wasn’t totally terrible but it just wasn’t very memorable and I really needed to look at my write up to remember it at all. It a haunted house film about a house with dark secret and it’s inherited by a relative who discovers the truth about his psst
- 4. Smiley This just wasn’t very original and it just seemed like a mish mash of ideas taken from better films. a n urban legend seems to be killing off people in the hacker community when someone sends them a particular message on a chat roulette copycat site. the main character worries that she may have caused someone to be killed and the Smiley is real
- 3. Seeds of Destruction This film has the stink of SyFy all over it with it terrible special effects and stupid story. A killer plant is accidentally released so its up to a scientist and a secret agent with sexual chemistry to save the world from destruction.
- 2. You Can’t Kill Stephen King Comedy is very subjective and if you enjoy the antics of the writers and stars of this film you may love it but I found them annoying and the film was just not good. A bunch of friends go on holiday in Maine and make nuisances of themselves before being brutally killed in ways that sort of resemble the less memorable kills in the books of Stephen King
- 1. The Wrong Road. This is a fairly mediocre film that lost marks for being incomplete. There’re teenagers playing around with ghost stories and a killer on the loose. It could go either way if it ever gets finished
Well that’s my lists for the old year done so I hope everyone has a great New Year.