Not only do I watch a lot of TV, I also try to watch as many movies as humanly possible, which has gotten significantly easier since you can rent them through Amazon and iTunes from the comfort of your own couch. I have also noticed that more and more of the small budget movies are available to rent before and while they are in the theater. This is not a definitive list of the movies I have seen in 2013 but it is the best and/or notable (AKA BAD/BORING) movies I saw in 2013. There will be SPOILERS so you have been warned 🙂
Dramedies are my favorites
I really love a good dramedy (half drama/half comedy) and I saw a lot them this year as usual here are my faves.
Enough Said, was bittersweet as it is one of James Gandolfini’s last films, it is also proof that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is under valued as an actress and quite frankly should be in EVERYTHING!
Frances Ha might just be my favorite film of 2013. I had kind of thought I might find it pretentious (the trailer was kind of twee) but I thought it was fantastic at showing what friendship in adulthood is like. I really hope Greta Gerwig continues to make these small character movies because she is fun to watch on-screen. [Definitely my favorite movie of 2013, due to my strong connection with the characters and friendships. -M]
The best thing about Nebraska is the acting but the stand out is June Squibb, if she doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for her role as Bruce Dern’s long-suffering wife it will be a shame.
Next to June Squibb, Jennifer Laurence gave the second most phenomenal performance of the year as Christian Bale’s hilarious wife Roslyn in American Hustle. The costumes, hair, production design, and music is also outstanding in the 70’s set caper flick.
There is nothin’ like a dame, especially when it’s dame Judi Dench, who plays an Irish woman who teams up with a jerky reporter played by Steve Coogan to find her long-lost child in Philomena. Coogan is very good as a man who doesn’t want to get attached to the story but in the end is a surrogate for the audiences anger toward the Catholic church for stealing the child in the first place.
Twilight is over but there are even more YA heroines
I saw not one but four movies based on YA books–one was fabulous, one was good, and the other two were “interesting.”
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was awesome and has currently made 797 million at the box office (yay for movies with strong female leads making money). Jena Malone’s character Johanna is FUN but the real highlight in Catching Fire is just how comically inept Peeta is at everything but public appearances and baking. [But I love Josh Hutcherson! He is so damn charming. -M]
How I Live Now is far more topical than most dystopian YA fiction as it takes place now if World War 3 were to break out. It also has some really nice performances by young actors, especially Saoirse Ronan as a bratty American who has to grow up and take care of her younger cousin.
Beautiful Creatures is basically Twilight: Witch Edition, though it does feature performances by Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Viola Davis who I hope were all paid very well for this shit movie. This is a YA series but this movie made less than 30 million so I doubt the other books in the series will be made into film.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was better than Beautiful Creatures but then Melissa pointed out to me that it was originally conceived as Harry Potter fan-fiction (which made total sense) and that the author has been accused of plagiarism. This movie also did poorly at the theater so again, I doubt the other books in the series will be made into film.
Zombies, Monsters, Robots, Superheroes and Benedict Cumberbatch*
I have seen a LOT of nerd movies probably my second favorite genre after the dramedy (asterisk denotes the fact that I have yet to see Thor: The Dark World which is apparently better than the first one which I enjoyed quite a bit.)
The movie that I had the most fun watching was Pacific Rim–nothing beats Guillermo Del Toro’s Monsters vs Robots summer movie spectacular especially when it has Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam.
J. J. Abrams continues to be an excellent updater of beloved science fiction classics with his second Star Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness which is a kind-of remake of the Star Trek classic Wrath of Kahn. It features British hottie Benedict Cumberbatch as the smarty pants Kahn.
In The Hobbit: The Desolution of Smaug we finally get to meet the dragon Smaug and he is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. We also got to meet Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman AND Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel the badass (that’s my name, not Tolkein’s).
World War Z isn’t a perfect movie but I found it jump-in-my-seat-scary in some spots and found Brad Pitt oddly compelling as a man trying to find out the cause of the Zombie apocalypse.
BORINGIron Man 3 and Man of Steel were both standard superhero movies and also super boring. If I had to recommend one, it would be Man of Steel because Amy Adams is in it [NOT HENRY CAVILL?? -M] but her talent is kind of wasted.
Movies I saw at home while they were still in theaters
I love that more and more movies are available to a person via their TV, it’s very convenient for those of us who only like to wear pajamas.
Melissa and I watched Paradise, C.O.G., and The Heat (no The Heat was NOT a watch while it’s in theaters movies but I need to fit it in somewhere) in one weekend we loved them all. Paradise was funny and touching and I felt that it shook up a lot of the tropes associated with its naive girl goes to big city storyline. C.O.G. which is based on a David Sedaris essay and did a good job of keeping Sedaris’ humor without making it a biography which could have gone terribly wrong since most Sedaris fans know how he sounds and looks and no actor would want to imitate that. The Heat was ridiculous fun and is well worth renting on Amazon or iTunes. [I recommend all three of these. C.O.G. is now on Netflix streaming, so get to it, readers! -M]
Byzantium staring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother daughter vampires made me realize that you can still make a compelling movie about vampires.
I watched a bunch of foreign films this year on Netflix and Amazon and these two from 2013 were my faves.
Populaire is a lovely French film set in the fifties about typing contests it is adorable. It stars French looker Romain Duris.
Peirce Brosnan stars in the Danish film Love is All You Need about two people who meet at their children’s wedding and fall in love.
The White House has been compromised
I saw both White House under siege movies: White House Down was awesome stupid fun (Channing Tatum FTW); the other one, Olympus Has Fallen, was terrible (Aaron Eckhart what has happened to your career). [Aaron Eckhart is in I, Frankenstein! I love that I keep getting to mention this shitty movie. I miss Aaron Eckhart of yore, like Thank You For Smoking. I guess he needs money. -M]
The worst movie I saw all year
[I don’t mean to hijack Katie’s post, but my favorite movie this year that wasn’t Frances Ha was A Band Called Death, a documentary about 70s Detroit punk band Death and their recent revival thanks to record nerds and their children. It’s on Netflix streaming! -M]