2013 – Best & Worst Films
Best and worst lists always bring out the best and worst in people. Construct a list any way that you will and some people are gonna love it, others will send you death threats. Some lists contain the expected, some contain so many little indie films that most people are left scratching their heads. What it really comes down to, outside of personal preference, is just how many films a reviewer has seen in a year. Outside of the New Zealand International Film Festival, I try and see one film a week, so my pool of available films to choose from is limited compared to some reviewers, but a lot bigger than if my mother were doing this list.
So without any further waffling, here are my personal highlights, and low points of my cinematic journey this year.
BEST FILMS OF 2013
1 – You’re Next
A surprise gem from the NZFF this year that not only had me on the edge of my seat, but falling off it in fits of laughter as well.
2 – Captain Phillips
A tense enjoyable ride that finished with a scene that showed Hank’s best acting ever. Emotional powerhouse of a performance.
3 – The Best Offer
Enjoyable, original story, that whilst the ending was predictable, the journey wasn’t.
4 – Flight
Washington in a film that made you both despise him and love him at the same time.
5 – The World’s End
Films just don’t get any better, or funnier than those using the talents of Wright, Pegg and Frost.
WORST FILMS OF 2013
1 – Gravity
A film with more eloquence that Michael Bay film, but far less substance.
2 – Runner Runner
Ben Affleck in a short story padded with fluff. Need I say more?
3 – The Lone Ranger
Over long and under funny, Depp playing his usual role, sans humour.
4 – GI Joe: Retaliation
Adding a scene at the beginning of the film just to get more Channing Tatum was never going to make this humdrum anymore entertaining.
5 – Olympus Has Fallen
Two words: Gerard Butler.
As predicted a few of you don’t agree with my placing Gravity as the worst film of 2013. Well, you’re right. It wasn’t. Especially if you take into account some of the truly awful DVDs I watched throughout the year. So then why did I pick it as my worst film of 2013? Because of what was promised. With Runner Runner I knew there was a good chance that it would suck. I went in with this possibility so didn’t feel so ripped off when it did indeed suck big time. With Gravity I was promised much, but the film delivered little. It was the one film this year where I struggled – and still do struggle – to see what people were raving about. The special effects were nothing that I hadn’t seen before and once again, the 3D was a waste of time. To be honest, I had contemplated putting the second Hobbit film in my top five, but in reality it was pretty much as expected, so not really a disappointment, and more watchable than the other contenders. I even contemplated putting Catching Fire in my top five best films of the year, for similar but opposite reasons.
But it’s 2014 now and I’m looking forward to watching a heap of amazing films, and expect to see a few mediocre ones as well. So here’s to another year of leaving the comfort of home on a cold winter night (as well as hot summer nights) to make our way to our local cinema to be swept away by the magic of the story.