Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:23 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10! 
Author Message
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:49 am
Posts: 372
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I'm having more trouble settling on an order this year than any in quite a while. I know that the following are my top 5:

12 Years a Slave
The Place Beyond the Pines
Her
Short Term 12
Inside Llewyn Davis

...I just have no idea what order they are in. So I'll have to get back to you.

Prisoners is #6, though, so there's a start.


Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:27 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:51 pm
Posts: 473
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Pedro wrote:
I really wanted to wait until I saw Short Term 12 and The Act of Killing but I guess that defeats the purpose of the thread. I'm thinking one of them will kick out Mud.

10. Mud
9. The Past
8. No
7. Blue is the Warmest Color
6. Nebraska
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
4. Wadjda
3. Her (not sure if A or B, but probably B)
2. The Wolf of Wall Street (A)
1. Before Midnight (A)

Honorable mentions: Berberian Sound Studio, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Blackfish, 12 Years a Slave, and The Great Beauty.

And so I saw them, plus Fruitvale Station and Stories We Tell.

10. Nebraska
9. Short Term 12
8. No
7. Blue is the Warmest Color
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Stories We Tell
4. Wadjda
3. Her
2. The Wolf of Wall Street (not sure if A or B, but probably B) ><
1. Before Midnight (A)

I think a lot of people hailed 2013 as a year of excellent cinema, but I don't really share that opinion. I feel comfortable with this top ten, but if I had to make a top twelve, I'd struggle. Most of the films nominated for Best Picture aren't anything special, and I guess that's what I want cinema to give me now. Philomena and Dallas Buyers Club are nice movies, but so what? Maybe I'm being curmudgeonly, but I want my movies to take advantage of the medium they're being produced on.

_________________
I no longer have an image here! I got away with it for so long...


Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:04 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Alright, I've deliberated on this for a while, but I think it's time. I didn't get out to see Her or Inside Llewyn Davis, which I'll have to rectify when the home release comes around. I didn't come to a complete top 10, because I didn't see enough movies this year that deserved to be included in a top 10.

I didn't put much thought into the ordering of the list. I just did as God did with the Ten Commandments and put them in kind of sort of the right order.


KEN'S END-OF-THE-YEAR TOP MOVIES

The Wolf Of Wall Street - The year's most entertaining movie, and its most deceptively challenging. I've been on board with the DiCaprio/Scorsese partnership for a while now, but this is the first time that it's gotten me really fired up. Here's a depiction of humanity's contradictory sides that rings uncomfortably true: the more we elevate ourselves and the more refined we view ourselves to be, the more debased and animalistic we become. And it has the consummate gall to be funny while doing it, although it's humor of the darkest kind.

Gravity - How about that: a space movie that successfully conveys a sense of being in space. That's the #1 reason to love Gravity; #2 is the low-key but ever-present theme of existentialist malaise that runs throughout. This is a survival movie that doesn't simply take for granted that surviving is worth doing--there's a transformative element to it that doesn't shout you down, so much as whisper quietly amid the peril. Bullock's character earns her survival in more than just the physical sense.

12 Years a Slave - This film casts a cold and unflinching eye upon one of the most shameful chapters of the American story in a way that no film before it has successfully done. Ejiofor's performance is as good as acting has ever been, but I worry that it'll be overlooked because it's not the kind of up-to-the-top demonstrative performance that grabs people by the shirt collar. Same goes for the stately and razor-sharp visual style.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - I'm not a huge Tolkien guy, but maybe that's the best way to appreciate Peter Jackson's revisionist take on The Hobbit. I'm in cautious agreement with their Lord of the Ringsification--The Hobbit is no longer the simple story of a reluctant thief who finds his courage, but of a romantic hero whose every action is freighted with dramatic irony. You don't get a lot of movies with this kind of visual imagination, let alone the purpose to which it's used.

The Day of the Doctor - Yes, it's a special installment of a television series, but it was shot for theatrical presentation and that's how I saw it, so there. As a burgeoning Doctor Who fan, I wasn't sure what to expect. (I've seen about 5.5 of the seven "revival" seasons so far.) But The Day of the Doctor has the potent mixture of cerebral time travel logic, emotionally touching moments, and humor that I've come to expect from Doctor Who at its best, and it's a high-energy set of performances by no less than three great actors as The Doctor.

Tomorrow Night - This is sort of the opposite situation of The Day of the Doctor--here's a movie that was shot on film, presented at festivals, then shelved for almost two decades before finally being released as an online download. Again: still a movie, so it's a candidate for my list. It's directed by Louis CK and stars a smorgasbord of comedians, but I hesitate to call this a comedy. It's not perfect, but it's such a bizarre wad of human neuroses that I can't help appreciate how singular it is. Is it classifiable? Is it good? How do we even evaluate it? I think it's one of the movies of the year that's most well-worth watching, so here it is.

American Hustle - No, it's probably not a deep, super-meaningful, change-your-life kind of movie and maybe it doesn't deserve all the accolades it's getting. Can we get past that now? Have we talked about it enough? Good. Because once you relieve it of a kind of expectation that doesn't even really apply to it, you'll find a cracking caper film with a lot of good humor, great actors, and style to spare. It seems like every year we hear complaints that the awards only go to certain kinds of movies and that movies can't get nominated just for being a damn good watch... but this one is a damn good watch. Let's get past the fuss and celebrate.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet - This documentary retells the events of the life of Jason Becker. There's plenty of face time for his friends, family, and musical contemporaries, as well as photos and home video footage--enough real, personal stuff that it escapes the "Behind The Music" dramatic trappings and achieves a more organic portrait. Regrettably, Becker himself was reluctant to discuss his musical process or his thoughts on his condition. (At one point, he says that people always expect him to say something deep and profound, then quips "Deep is boring.") But Becker, of all people, deserves some slack.


KEN'S WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR

Identity Thief - Sometimes, you find yourself locked into conversation with a person whose sense of humor repels you and makes you uncomfortable to be near them. Identity Thief is that person in movie form.


KEN'S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR

Man of Steel - Man oh man, did I ever want to love this movie. But, after months of hemming and hawing over it, I'm calling it: Man of Steel was a dud. Cavill plays a genuine, good-hearted Superman. Adams is good as always, albeit with a role written to neither her standards nor the standards of the character she plays. The early material of Clark lost and wandering in the world is good; it's the only material that fits the movie's somber, ambivalent mood. And the first flight scene is unambiguously excellent. Everything else, I couldn't give a shit about.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:07 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3353
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
God Bless America was to me what Identity Thief was to you, that movie made me feel deeply uncomfortable and I found the film's attempts at humor horrificially unfunny and even offensive.

Disagree on Man Of Steel, I personally loved it, it was exactly what I needed to wash down the bitter aftertaste of the throughly medioce Superman Returns.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:46 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Superman Returns was much more of a mixed bag, but the strong elements in it show far more understanding and respect for the character than anything in Man of Steel.

I won't say Man of Steel is as bad as Superman III, but I'd rank it with Superman IV as a well-intentioned misfire.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:59 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3353
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Ken wrote:
Superman Returns was much more of a mixed bag, but the strong elements in it show far more understanding and respect for the character than anything in Man of Steel.

I won't say Man of Steel is as bad as Superman III, but I'd rank it with Superman IV as a well-intentioned misfire.

It didn't come across as understanding and respect to me, it merely came across as trying too hard to shoehorn fanservice into nearly every frame of the film at the cost of the overall narrative. Man Of Steel had a different take on Superman which I appreciated, I greatly prefered Cavill's Superman to Routh's.


Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:02 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1580
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Ken wrote:
Superman Returns was much more of a mixed bag, but the strong elements in it show far more understanding and respect for the character than anything in Man of Steel.

I won't say Man of Steel is as bad as Superman III, but I'd rank it with Superman IV as a well-intentioned misfire.


You don't have the wherewithal to state that you understand Superman better than Zack Snyder and David Goyer do. In any case, I applaud Snyder for making it a balls-out action film while keeping it serious. Apparently a lot of people are bored by action. Not sure if I'll ever be able to figure out why.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:22 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
MGamesCook wrote:
You don't have the wherewithal to state that you understand Superman better than Zack Snyder and David Goyer do.

Sure as fuckfire, I do.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:24 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1580
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
You don't have the wherewithal to state that you understand Superman better than Zack Snyder and David Goyer do.

Sure as fuckfire, I do.


Nah, you don't. Anyway, it's not about what the character really is, it's about what he should be to make a good film. The director ultimately has to make certain choices. In terms of actors...Routh really is like a mannequin, one of the laziest lead performances I can think of. Cavill really put his heart into it. Character doesn't trump everything else. Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill are real people. Superman is fictional.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:26 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
That's a facile distinction and you know it. A character's ficticiousness has no bearing on whether or not that character is defined and has an identity. And Man Of Steel goofed up in that regard. There are few things you have to get right about Superman, but you have to get them absolutely right. Same for Batman, same for Spider-Man. It's why they can be so resilient after so many decades of stories.

Though, I will grant you, Man Of Steel did outshine Superman Returns purely in the performance of its leading man. Routh was earnest, but his chops weren't up to it.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:47 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1580
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Ken wrote:
That's a facile distinction and you know it. A character's ficticiousness has no bearing on whether or not that character is defined and has an identity. And Man Of Steel goofed up in that regard. There are few things you have to get right about Superman, but you have to get them absolutely right. Same for Batman, same for Spider-Man. It's why they can be so resilient after so many decades of stories.

Though, I will grant you, Man Of Steel did outshine Superman Returns purely in the performance of its leading man. Routh was earnest, but his chops weren't up to it.


For me, the distinction holds some importance. When I think about a Bond director having to get it right, I think in terms of having to get the Bond movie right. Not Bond himself. Snyder is real, Cavill is real, but then the movie itself is real too. The character is one component of it. I think of the character as being subservient to the movie, not the movie being subservient to the character. You can honestly see the 50-year Bond series as featuring six different characters because it's played six different ways. I think the purpose of film is for someone to come across an existing piece of fiction and put it through the filter of his own creative sensibilities. There's no point in making a Superman movie if its only function is to confirm pre-existing notions of his character. There's just no point. A new movie on an old concept has to put a different spin on it.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:05 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Some characters are bigger than any one story, and there is no point in using a preexisting character if you're going to ditch the things that make the character that character. A new character is a new character, even if the name's the same.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:04 am
Profile
Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1580
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Ken wrote:
Some characters are bigger than any one story, and there is no point in using a preexisting character if you're going to ditch the things that make the character that character. A new character is a new character, even if the name's the same.


Man of steel simply chooses to focus on one aspect of superman in particular: his physicality. His physical abilities and their repercussions. I think it works at least for one time. We live in an age of market-driven material but even then the execs did the right thing. Superman Returns needed more action. They had to respond to that. But I definitely don't agree that a character is bigger than his/her stories. I'm not interested in Michael Corleones teenhood or Harry Potters old age. I want the story first, character second.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:15 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:23 pm
Posts: 141
Location: South California
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
This is more of a "what I saw from last year" as opposed to a top list. I'm never good at keeping up with the new releases.

Top
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Her
Frozen

Top/Middle
Monsters University
Despicable Me 2

Middle
The Croods

I'm Not Sure What Tier
Only God Forgives

Also, I started The Act of Killing a while back, just haven't been able to finish it up. You'll notice the amount of animated movies we saw.

_________________
...


Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:50 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 773
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
ram1312 wrote:
I'm Not Sure What Tier
Only God Forgives



That one is in the Great Looking Is Not Quite Enough tier.

_________________
Which are you drinking? The water or the wave?


Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:19 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 773
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
JackBurns wrote:
Blue Jasmine----- A Woody Allen film that doesn't really feel like a Woody Allen film, yet is all the better for it. Cate Blanchett is great, but is it just me or does Woody Allen have a hard time conveying the working class?


No, it's not just you. Woody Allen now has a hard time conveying the human class. His characters come in but a few flavors: shrill women, mentally unstable women, greedy men, failed genius. And how they make the love! This new Euroflavor phase is so boring and flat out inauthentic. Still, he's written and directed some 20+ good to amazing movies so I guess I'll let him flame out in peace.

_________________
Which are you drinking? The water or the wave?


Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:51 am
Profile
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2094
Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Mark III wrote:
ram1312 wrote:
I'm Not Sure What Tier
Only God Forgives



That one is in the Great Looking Is Not Quite Enough tier.


Haha! I kind of agree. It's funny, because I thought Refn's style got in the way of Drive, where as here, it's the only thing keeping this movie afloat.


Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:41 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Thief12 and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr