Monday, January 6, 2014

Eli's Top 10 of 2013

It's come to this, the end of an era, or more like the end of 2013. with that comes my best of list, as in the best movies of 2013. I've seen a lot of movies this year, so I'm going to pick my top ten from the movie tickets I have, which I do indeed save. Now with my favorite cliched movie line, "Let's get this party started."

10. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Before this year, i had no interest in the Hunger Games, but a dear friend of mine wanted to see this so I watched the first on Netflix before seeing this one in theaters. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and seriously can't wait for what's next. I even went out and bought/read the books. If I sound like a "fangirl", oh well. 

 9. Gravity

Everyone's probably wondering why this movie is so high up on my list. I'll tell you why, as much as I love Alfonso Cuaron's directing which is indeed the best part of the film, that's all I loved about the film. The acting was okay, and I honestly thought it was kind of boring but technically the film is beautiful and that's all it has going for it in my eyes. 

8. Monsters University

I love Monster's Inc, even though I personally haven't seen it in years. So when I heard the news of a sequel I was very excited. Then they announced it was a prequel and that's when I became worried. Then I heard they would be rivals and became more worried but yet I still wanted to see it. The trailer arrived and got me super excited. When I finally saw it I thought it was perfect. Theres no other way to describe it not only does it let us understand their friendship more, but also the history of multiple other characters in the Monsters world.

7. Pacific Rim

The acting was cheesy and some of the writing was super cheesy as well but come on giant robot mechs fighting giant alien monsters directed by Guillermo Del Toro, how could you not enjoy that. Apparently some people didn't like it but whatever this isn't their top ten lists, it's mine. I thought it was fun and visually amazing. If this were a commercial they'd quote me as calling it a "Visual Masterpiece". 

6. American Hustle

Great performances all around in my opinion, I'd say it was perfectly cast but I don't understand why Jeremy Renner was in that role. How old was he supposed to be and why were his kids so old, they looked as old as him, that's the only thing that through me off. Other than that I thought it was great, my favorite performances were easily Christian Bale who continuously knocks it out of the park. Has he ever given a bad performance? I also very much enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence's performance as his simple but manipulative wife Rosalyn. I may be crushing on her a bit (so what she's awesome). Cooper is great, Adams is great, even Louis CK who's role isn't that big is great. Do casting directors get awards? it's a fun movie even if all the characters are a bit sad. 

5. Prisoners

I had seen one trailer before seeing this film and that was enough to have me intrigued. it has a great cast; with Hugh Jackman, Jake Gynlenhall, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, and Viola Davis all turning up in the film. Even with Hugh Jackman being the main character Jake's Detective Loki steals the show. His character is full of mystery, what's with the twitch and all the tattoos, what exactly has this cop been through to make him this way. I would love to see more films with him showing up in them. He needs to have his own series of films, I know i'd go see them. 

4. Iron Man 3

Like I previously said earlier I'm all about having fun at the movies and that's exactly what this film was. Some say it had too much RDJ and not enough Iron Man. But isn't that the essence of Iron Man the cockiness and brashness of Robert Downey Jr.? Bringing in Shane Black was a brilliant choice, Downey's and Black previous collaboration Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a great comedy and they brought that same chemistry to this film. I'm not the biggest fan of the 'twist" and I seriously hope they change it somehow.    

3. The World's End

I'm a huge fan of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's previous films Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead (Dead being in my top ten films of all time) so this being so high on the list may be a bit bias. Either way the film is a pretty funny, sci-fi, action, drama film. Is that too many categories? Seriously though it falls into all of them, I rather like the underlying sense of the film that it's really about a man who's just truly unhappy with his life and just wants something to hold onto because he's lost everything else. Simon Pegg's Gary King is the most obnoxious yet likable sad sack asshole and that's just one of the best things about this movie.   

2. The Wolf of Wall Street

Now here's one asshole you don't have to like and I don't think the filmmakers want you to either. Leo's Jordan Belfort is a despicable human being but underneath it all don't we all wish we could be a bit like him. A man with all the money in the world and so he believes he should be able to do whatever he wants, haven't we all wished for that at least once in our lives. Maybe not all the drugs but the money and the women, it's like a dream. But I think most praise has to go to Jonah Hill. He's tried his hand at drama before with Moneyball which was great as well. For a comedic actor who's trying to go the  dramatic route he's definitely picking the right people to work with. He hits all the right comedic notes and dramatic ones as well. Martin Scorsese has I believe another classic on his hands. This will go down with Casino and Goodfellas as one of his best.

1. Drew: The Man Behind The Poster

Now I have to admit I didn't see this one in theaters, actually I saw this film yesterday, on Netflix. but it still counts seeing as it was released in 2013. This film isn't giant robots, or astronauts lost in space, or even Wall Street assholes. It's not even a narrative film, it's a biographical documentary. I don't even like documentaries that much but depending on the subject matter they can be fantastic. This one in particular shines the light on film poster artist Drew Struzan. You might not know his name but you've definitely seen at least one of his pieces in a theater over the past 30 years. The doc talks to different actors and directors, his friends and family and they all seem to love him. his just a humble artist who doesn't even understand the impact his art has had on so many people and that's what makes him and this film so great. What he did (he's now retired, sadly) is heartbreakingly a lost art with all movie posters being photoshopped pieces of crap, nothing compared to what he would put on canvas for people. But at the end of the day as sad as you are that he won't be making any more posters, you can't help be happy for someone so genuine, a true human being.    

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