19 February 2014
I saw 90 movies in 2013 (or shortly thereafter, if we’re being honest- I don’t know how anyone is expected to see all the Christmas releases in one week!). 90 is a lot of movies, or at least it is for me (I head up My Theatre and My TV, My Cinema is Rachael’s problem). I think 90′s a lot for anyone (to clarify- that’s 90 movies that came out in 2013, not movies in general). It’s especially a lot in a year that was something of a disappointment film-wise. Following up the greatness that was 2012, 2013 left me feeling a little uninspired. There were some highlights, certainly- some tiny movies, some huge, some blockbusters, some critical favourites, some flops that got a bad rap- but little of the excitement that I felt the previous year.
To recap the year, I decided to replace a top 10 list (or top 15, if you’re 2012) with a full ranking of My Cinematic 2013. All year long I kept tabs on what I saw, jotting down a few notes and fitting each film into the ever-growing list wherever I instinctively felt it should go. With the perspective of time, some have moved up or down a few spots but both #1 and #90 have stayed firmly in their hard-earned territory as the best and the worst.
Read #80-90 then read on for #70-79
70. Blue Jasmine
Ugh. No. Why?!? First of all, what is the point of Woody Allen if he leaves his wit in the car? But, more importantly, how can the world be so whole-heartedly celebrating a film that hinges entirely on gross stereotpes? It’s not funny, it’s not clever, it’s not charming (and the exposition is crazy clunky). All Blue Jasmine is is an indictment of cartoon rich people, a take-down piece that’s at least 5 years too late to be topical and far too simplistic to move anyone not already chomping at the bit to see the 1% suffer.
71. Touchy Feely
Lynn Shelton is a genius. Your Sister’s Sister and Humpday are both the sort of films that are unparalleled emotional experiences. But Touchy Feely is weird and draggy. Shelton’s first fully scripted film, I just kept waiting for Mark Duplass to show up and make everything better. He never came, everyone continued to follow the script, I started to wonder if I really ever liked Lynn Shelton all that much.
The first two thirds of this movie made me want to hurl things at the screen. Thank god for the eternal wit of George Clooney because nothing has ever been quite as boring as watching Sandra Bullock panic for a full hour. I’m not easily impressed (or impressed at all) by fancy visuals so the fact that Gravity has a completely bogus story just pissed me off (what’s the point of a film about how scary space is if nothing’s real?). But the final act is really pretty good. Sandy kills it from the moment George floats improbably back into frame and Gravity, for a few minutes there, reminds you of how good Apollo 13 was.
73. The Book Thief
I was really excited to see this film. I rushed to read the book before I saw the movie because I wanted the full Book Thief experience. I should have left it at that. While admirable efforts from Geoffrey Rush and Ben Schnetzer tried to save it, this was possibly the worst book-to-film adaptation I’ve ever seen. It’s cheesy, forced and full of Hollywoodification when the book is way too famous for that to be necessary. Most offensively, they screwed with the plot in ways that ruined my love of Rudy Steiner. And no one gets away with ruining my love of Rudy Steiner!
74. Struck by Lightning
I’m so very fond of Chris Colfer. He’s so sweet-faced and charming. He’s well-spoken and well-mannered. He gives good acceptance speeches. He writes children’s books and screenplays and wants to be more than “that kid from Glee”. He made a movie with Allison Janney and Rebel Wilson! Unfortunately, a fairly mediocre movie; sweet and charming, but mediocre.
75. The Lone Ranger
A fire drill in the theatre interrupted my viewing of The Lone Ranger about 10 minutes from the end. Nevertheless, I think I pretty much got the gist. Johnny Depp is campy. The Lone Ranger is outdated. Disney is running out of ideas. Armie Hammer needs a new agent. (Guys, Armie Hammer is amazing. How is he not the king of Hollywood?).
I would have liked this movie a lot more if it had a melancholy ending instead of the super pretty one it has. A layer of sadness lain over the Jennifer Coolidge+ cute boys+ Darcy fun could have made this a pretty great film. Instead it’s just trite and predictable. Also, Keri Russell is not a relatable heroine; stop pretending that she is.
77. Out of the Furnace
Christian Bale is always good and Casey Affleck is always better than you remember but this film left me completely unaltered. I barely remember it beyond a vague sense of depression and annoyance at the filmmakers having wasted the great Woody Harrelson on a simplistically brutal villain.
78. The To-Do List
Yes, yes, it’s a step in the right direction for there to be female-driven un-self-conscious comedies on par with the Apatow oeuvre. But this thing is over-the-top crass, and not quite funny enough to pull off being just massively icky in so many ways. Amazing cast, though (here’s to you, Scott Porter and your utter willingness to look stupid).
79. The Best Man Holiday
In all fairness, I didn’t bother to see the original Best Man so I was a little confused. But mostly I was confused because this thing was marketed as a rom-com and is definitely a god-laced cancer drama instead.