This is my first blog post for 2014 and I just wanna say Happy New Year!
2013 was a huge year if you are a film lover like me, the whole year was just packed with amazing films. Since we are getting close to the season for Golden Globe and The Oscars i would like to dedicate this first blog entry to ten of my favorite films in 2013. In this list I've chosen the top ten films that best represented the year of 2013, thought I gotta say I still got few films I have yet to see so your list might be totally different then my.
so without further ado here are my top ten recommanded films from 2013.
Coming in at number ten is the Disney new feature film titled "Frozen", which I believe this and Tangled are truly the second coming of a new Disney Renaissance. After years of uncertainty I feel that Disney finally found its magic again. After seeing Tangled back in 2010 I know that Disney was back in full swing. Frozen was a magical tales about the hardship between two sisters. Thanks to the help from Pixar, Disney is finally embracing the new age of computer animation. Just like Tangled this movie was funny and emotional at the same time and along with breathe taking animation it's the perfect film during the holidays for years to come. After watching Wicked, I know that Idina Menzel would end up in a Disney movie someday, and this was the perfect movie for her.
#9 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
This movie was one of my most anticipated movie during second half of last year. After seeing the trailer before The Wolverine I know this was gonna be a special film. The last Ben Stiller movie i watched was Tropic Thunder way back in 2008, so its been awhile since I saw a new Ben Stiller movie. Aside from the critics, I really liked this film, especially the message it cares. The onscreen relationship between Ben Stiller and Kristen Wig was a perfect match. This movie had the perfect balance of been an Indie film but also a hollywood blockbuster.
#8. Star Trek: Into Darkness
Been a Star Wars fan all my life, so Star Trek was never on my radar. But back in 2009 JJ Abrams brought back this franchise into something complete new. The new direction was what got me hooked to the 2009 film, so I've been patiently waiting for this sequel to release. I gotta say the JJ really took his time and crafted an amazing sequel that is somewhat better then the first film. 2013 was a huge year for Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and this was one of his shining moment, his performance was spot on and what makes this film so much fun to watch.
#7 Pacific Rim
Giant Mecha + Huge Ass Monsters + Guillermo del Toro = what more do you want? I have grown up with Japanese Anime and Power Ranger so this film was a must see for me. Guillermo took this crazy idea and turned into a masterpiece. This movie had the perfect balance of action and story telling, something which Bay's Transformers can't get it right even after the third try. The art direction for this film was one of the most unique experience I had in the past few years, the lavish colors really make the film pop and stand apart from all other films. In my opinion, I believe this was the perfect summer blockbuster for 2013.
#6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Desolation of Smaug was step up from The Unexpected Journey in my opinion, I felt that Peter Jackson found his groove again and this was close to his work on the Lord of the Rings. Even thought there are some parts that was not in the book, but from the film point of view it doesn't really matter since all the added characters are very well tight together into the main story. Weta did an fantastic job on Smaug, probably the best dragon ever to put on the screen, along with the astounding soundtrack by Howard Shore this film was truly a spectacle.
#6. American Hustle
David O. Russell will not give up until he wins an Oscar for best director and this is his latest attempt. American Hustle is comedy/drama that takes place in the late 70s and early 80s, in which was loosely based on the infamous FBI ABSCAM scandal. I felt that script was written with the actor/actress in mind, it was very well written and everyone gave an such amazing performance that insure its spot in the run for this year Best Picture. Both Christian Bale and Amy Adams played their role extremely well, and alone with Bradely Cooper this film was a powerhouse of central characters. As for supporting characters, Jeremy Renner gave his best performance since The Town, and Jennifer Lawrence proves once again why she is the defining actress of this generation.
Ron Howard is back doing what he do best: Event Films. This time is about the story of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, and the race for the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix. It tells the events that leads to the big race and also the struggle that Niki Lauda after the horrific accident at the German Grand Prix. Niki Lauda is played by the talented german actor Daniel Brühl. and Chris Hemsworth took the lead role of the crazy party animal James Hunt. it's been awhile since we seen a film about F1 racing, but Ron Howard totally took us back to the golden days of racing. Strong performance from both actors, but huge applause to Daniel Brühl with his portrayal of Niki Lauda. The film was beautifully shot, the race in the rain was pure eye candy for racing fans. Above all, this is Ron Howard best work since A Beautiful Mind.
#3 Blue Jasmine
At the age of 78, Woody Allen still got it. Cate Blanchett performance in Blue Jasmine was an triumphant; its rare to see Cate Blanchett with a cup of cocktail on one hand and a bottle of anxiety pills on the other. Blue Jasmine is a drama about how someone who was truly at the top of the world suddenly crashing down to the lowest level of despair. The film was very well structured from the beginning to the end, Woody Allen created a smart and intriguing intersection of lives, relationships and anxieties that really brings out what defines reality in modern cinema.
#2 12 Years A Slave
i have reviewed this film a couple post back, and still it hunts me even now that I am typing this post. Steve McQueen latest film is about the struggle of Solomon Northup as he was kidnapped into slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor in my opinion is this year Best Actor in a Leading Role, like I said in my review this was a really tough role to portrait to begin with, the actor must embody the physical and the emotional aspect of the character, which makes why his performance was truly inspirational. There are some parts in the film that is really hard to witness, but this is what makes a Steve McQueen film a Steve McQueen film.
Besides Cate Blanchett, this is the other movie that has Best Actress in a Leading Role written all over it. It also happens to be my favorite film of 2013. Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) is back and he is bringing what is to be the best Sci-Fi movie since The Matrix. The technical achievement for this film was groundbreaking. I saw this film in Dolby Atmos with 3D and it was a life changing experience. The sound design, the animation of the debris, the cinematography, I think Alfonso really pushed the boundary of modern Motion Picture with Gravity. Sandra Bullock probably just gave the best performance of her career, during the whole movie I was emotionally connected with her character, there were times I was cheering for her dedication of not giving up, it was her strength and her courage is what made this film so special. Alfonso has brought back the roots of Motion Picture, and that is the optical illusion of moving pictures, for that one and half hours and in 24 frames per second I truly felt I was in space.
Honorable Mentions: Hunger Game: Catching Fire, Enders Game, The World Ends, and Monster University
Still Needs to See: The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Saving Mr. Banks, Captain Philip, and Inside Llewyn Davis
Disappointments: Man of Steel, 47 Ronin, and The Lone Ranger.