Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cinderella Mans Best and Worst of 2013

Before we sit down and take in the highest honors of the year for Hollywood and beyond, let's take another look at what sucked and what didn't. Now granted I didn't watch every film that came out and certainly not every film that got a nomination. Unfortunately in our age of On Demand and Netflix I feel the need not to subject myself to astronomical ticket prices, overpriced concessions, and most of all annoying idiots who feel the need to be a-holes and ruin it for others. So..................enjoy!
10. Spring Breakers
Now when I first saw this, I hated it. I'm done with Franco, he's so overhyped. And a couple of Disney girls gone bad? Ok. But I let it sit for awhile. Talked about it. Sat for a little more. And then I said, ok! Three white girls pull off a robbery and take their friend to spring break. A little too much partying lands them in jail and they get saved by a white rapping drug dealer. Their friend goes back home and the 3 white girls live his lifestyle and eventually get away with murder. Literally. This blew my mind. And Franco, well he did a good job, better than most of the crap he does. The soundtrack is one of my favorites, featuring Skrillex.
9. A Band Called Death
I know, it's a Documentary. It's not even nominated. And I was told by another reviewer that it was a very good Behind the Music episode. Such simple minds. Detroit had such a rich legacy, so finding out the birth of punk started and effectively was killed there till the "rebirth" in the late 70s wasn't suprising. After you hear Death and then listen to the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Bad Brains, and Living Colour, how could you not think that there wasn't some conspiracy going on? Another story of geniuses way ahead of their time.
8. The World's End
The end of the "trilogy" and hands down the best. Sorry, Shaun of the Dead was crap, Hot Fuzz helped cover the crap, and The World's End shoveled up the covered crap and made everything shiny and clean again. Hands down my favorite role of Simon Pegg's career. And who doesn't love a pint or 12!
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
I debated long and hard if I really wanted this film in my top 10. First, it was too long. Second, this seemed more like a Tarantino film and not a Scorsese gem. I expected better from Marty. But the performances were incredible. Jonah Hill now gets my respect and admiration. His performance was flawless. DiCaprio also brings that role alive. How could you not crap yourself laughing at the fight scene on Quaaludes? This is one of 3 films on here where the performances in the film saved it and elevated their rankings and appeal to me.
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coens almost fucked this up. This would be the second film where the performances saved the movie. Before I saw this, I made the fatal mistake of predicting this to be my favorite film of the year. The only flaw, and a big one, was the story itself. Six days in the life a failed folk singer? Well, thank God the actors pulled together and made this a worthwhile film. Oscar Isaac could easily win a Best Actor award in my mind. The cinematography also hit its mark and made it visually beautiful. And once again T-Bone Burnett put together a soundtrack to die for.
5. Gravity
I honestly didn't think this movie could be held together for the most part by one actor, Sandra Bullock. But she did it and did it well. The visual beauty of the cold, dark aloneness that is space; I remember holding my breath for periods of time during it. I can see why it's almost a lock for Alfonso Cuaron to win Best Director. Visually stunning sir. Well done.
4. Pacific Rim
Jaeger, Kaiju, Idris Elba, oh my! I don't care what anyone else says. Besides one other film yet to come on this list, no other big budget action flick came close to this. Yes, that includes Thor: The Dark World. Could have been better, sure. But you know what, Guillermo Del Toro put together a Robot vs. Monster flick that gave me everything I wanted. Who else couldn't resist saying "batter up" when the Kaiju got clocked with an battleship "bat"? Great stuff. Can't wait 'til Pacific Rim 2!

3. American Hustle
Here is the third film on my list whose collective of actors saved this boring and uninteresting story. Silver Linings Playbook was my favorite film last year and American Hustle couldn't hold a candle to it. I have to say Amy Adams and Christian Bale hit it hard and hit it perfectly. Hands down my favorite role of Adams. Bradley Cooper did what was needed. Jeremy Renner......well he's Hawkeye. My only issue is Jennifer Lawrence. Now I love me some Jennifer Lawrence. Her science oven scene is hilarious, but I felt her time and role weren't enough for a Supporting Actress nominee. She was a delightful topping but not filling enough. Sorry Jen, but you'll forgive me in 15 seconds....................

 (co-)1. Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Told you Jen. Now I had a hard time this year deciding between 2 films. This was one of them. I had a hard time finding fault with this movie. When I left that theatre I knew I had seen one of the best films of the year. Jennifer Lawrence elevated her role from the first movie and found some confidence with the newly won golden lady. Josh Hutcherson dusted off the stink from the first movie and impressed me. And Thor's brother got some much-needed screen time. If I have to have a disappointment from the movie it's the much anticipated appearance in the sequels of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

1. Her
Well Joaquin, if you pull that Andy Kaufman shit again there are no more second chances. Your performance was.........mesmerizing. Where did that come from? I didn't think you had it in you. An OS love story was due and this was a superb telling of it. I just want to say Scarlett Johansson can be in my head anytime and stay there. What a sex kitten. Just hearing her voice was even more erotic than I thought. I'm just being honest here, people. Don't hate. Interesting vision of the "future." Love the high-waisted pants.

There are some special mentions that didn't make the list:
Dallas Buyers Club
Ender's Game
The Great Gatsby
Now You See Me

Now to the Worst of 2013

These could have been so much more, but instead they decided to crap in a bag, light it on fire, stomp it out, and then crap in another bag and did it all over again!

Well, folks, that's all I've got for you this year. I'm not sure what to expect for 2014. I hope the mega blockbusters perform. Thor and Star Trek and the Hobbit gave lackluster performances. Here's to Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, the last installment of The Hobbit, and Mockingjay.