Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Favorite Films of 2013:

[edit: please not I intend to keep this list update via my letterbox account. Click here to see my up to date list].

Whilst most list for ones best and/or favorite films where release a good two weeks or so ago I have only finally managed to key together what my own personal favorite films released in 2013 where. At this point I should point out this list is for my favorite films, which in no way equal to best. Part of the reason for this is I find the notion of list of the ‘best’ films to be spurious effort at best. In other words this is a list that is completely down to my subjective opinion. The list is also based on the local release date for the films. Meaning some of these films where released elsewhere in earlier years. Likewise The Wolf of Wall Street and Her may or may not be among the better films released recently but as they are 2014 releases where I live they are not included. One last note is that the list is simply presented in alphabetical order and not in order of preference.

Another Earth:
Another Earth is a film that many will argue about what the core themes are. It delves into themes that are more about asking questions that have no set answers and doesn't thoroughly explore what the film makers think of the questions. Instead it leaves that up to the viewer and characters present to decide for themselves. I personally found this to my liking though I would venture a guess that many will not.

Before Midnight:
What is there that one can say about this film that hasn't been said numerous times elsewhere? This is simply a must see film that is the presumable finale to the Before series and once again follows Jesse and Celine and there relationship. It is rather hard to define what genre this film is from as was the case with the first two films; this film however is about what the characters lives are like now they have been in an extended relationship.

Byzantium essentially had a non release in Australia. Released on blu-ray and dvd in September it was seemingly only available for its first few months of release by ordering online. Which is a shame as this a true gem of a film and is how film about vampire and love should be done (along with Let The Right One In and Let Me In as two other excellent examples). Click here to see my full review.

Carrie is without a doubt the most underrated film I saw in 2013. Whilst it is true that it does have several very similar scenes to the 76 Brian DePalma film I thought this worked to its benefit and utilized the best aspect of both the Stephen King Novel and 76 film (excluding the ending from the novel which whilst spectacular in the novel and one of my favorite endings to a story, is also most likely unfilmable without a ludicrous amount of voice over that would remove the impact it has in the novel). I would put this film as a tremendous example of a hybrid remake and re-adaptation done right. Click here to see my full review.

God Bless America:
An empathy inducing Bonnie and Clyde’esque’ duo who feed up with society go on a killing spree throughout America. Full of dark humor and brutal violence the film will not be for everyone. However for myself I found it to work brilliantly and is easily the film I have revisited most this year.

Much like Before Midnight there is little I can say about this film that hasn't been said many times. Put simply it is one of the most thrilling and visually spectacular films in recent years that I would strongly urge everyone to see in 3d (it is a film that truly utilizes 3d in a way that enhances the film to a degree that I find it hard imagining the film having the same level of impact in 2d). Click here to see my full review.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is probably my biggest surprise of 2013. Whilst I did enjoy the first film in the series Catching Fire was one of the few sequels that improved on its predecessor in nearly every area. With a richer exploration of its themes, characters and a notably improved production values I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Click here to see my full review.

Oblivion much like the directors previous film is in many ways a silent film that just so happens to also have dialogue. This may seem and odd statement but I fell the entire story is more then sufficiently explained through its visuals and score alone. Personally I loved this, though I imagine many will have a more mixed response. I would highly recommend one not view the trailer though as it spoils far to much about the film.

Star Trek Into Darkness:
JJ Abrams once again releases a fantastic summer (or where I live winter) blockbuster that is jam packed with exciting well staged action, likable and well acted characters, a nice sprinkling of effective humor and a film that manages to do all this whilst also successfully encompassing what Star Trek is about at its core. Put simply this is another great example of both another Star Trek and a blockbuster film done right. Sadly JJ Abrams is set to direct the upcoming Star Wars movies (does anyone really want more Star Wars?) and thus Star Trek next film will have another director at the helm.

Stoker is Park Chan-wook first English film and the first screenplay by Wentworth Miller which makes it all the more surprising how well realized and detail Stoker is. As one would expect given the director the film delves into areas that some well simply find enjoyable to watch. Those however interested in a meticulous character study within a horror film should certainly put Stoker on there watch list. Click here to see my full review.

Upstream Color:
Upstream Color is not a film that immediately grabbed me. Upon my first viewing I felt it was both tedious and overly vague. None the less I couldn't get the film out of my head after viewing it and it has since easily become one of my favorite films of 2013. It is hard to say to much about this film without spoiling to much but it is about the formation of a relationship between two people who have had there life largely destroyed.

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