Monday, December 30, 2013

Favourite Movies of 2013


Okay lovelies, I have a confession. I watch a lot of movies, and oftentimes, I'll watch a movie instead of reading a book. But that just means I have a ton of favourites that I'd like to share with you-- as usual, this list is personal, biased, purely my opinion, and based on how much I liked a movie, not me evaluating "how good the movie is." You'll probably be able to tell that yes, I do like those blockbuster movies, and nope, I don't care if you judge me. Also, if you're interested, you can click here for my favourites from last year. It's a long post, so sit tight :)

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TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2013

you can click the picture to make it a wee bit bigger... I guess...
10. 12 Years a Slave
-I can recognize that this movie is a true achievement in filmmaking with incredibly visceral performances, but I can’t exactly say that I loved it. I just know I walked out of the theatre with a heavy, heavy heart.

9. The Way Way Back
-One of my favourite underdog coming-of-age films that was thoughtful, heartwarming, awkwardly funny and made me smile contently. It also seemed to achieve the impossible by making me hate Steve Carell. It flew a bit under the radar, but it’s a wonderful ‘family’ movie.

8. The Heat
-laugh out loud raucously funny, a bit vulgar, with female characters in the most brilliant light. I remember sneaking into a showing of this with my friends (in between sneaking into a different movie) and just not leaving til the movie was over, cause it was so funny.

7. Prisoners
-I’m not one for scary or suspenseful movies, and this one had me on the edge of my seat and my heart beating fast. Intense, exhilarating performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal that really has me thinking to what degree one might go to save someone they love. I really liked the plot twists, and one of the suspects gives such a convincingly creepy vibe it gave me heebie-jeebies.

6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
-guys, I’m a LOTR (movie) fangirl, and any movie that gives me a taste of Middle Earth has my complete gratitude. I adore the world that Peter Jackson has brought to life, and this installment was equally fun, action-packed, elf-packed (eff yes, Tauriel and Legolas), with magnificent Smaug-CGI and gosh, do I adore Thorin and Bilbo. I’m hugely biased since the LOTR movies are my favourite of all time, but honestly I just walked out of the theatre feeling entertained and that I got my full money’s worth.




5. Frozen
-OMG you guys! This movie! I didn’t expect to adore it as much as I did, and I bet I sound like every other Tumblr blog out there, but I just loved the fact that it was about sisters saving each other. I adored both Elsa and Anna, along with Sven, Olaf, and Kristoff.. basically everyone. It was funny, heartwarming, and full of great songs (I have “Let it Go” on repeat right now). It’s a Disney movie so it’s understandably joyful and fluffy (but if I had my way, I’d love to have made it full of heartbreak, sacrifice, and darkness).

4. Iron Man 3
-I love Iron Man. I love RDJ’s portrayal of him, I love the witty quips, the action scenes, the plot twists, even the ridiculous amount of flying suits (okay, scratch that last part). Everything just works for me, and I don’t care about you rolling your eyes at my mainstream favourites. Are you not entertained?! I really was. 

3. Catching Fire
-*breathes into a paper bag* I saw this at the midnight showing in IMAX and I just remember it blowing all my expectations out of the water, making the first movie seem like utter crap with its brilliance, and making me remember just why Jennifer Lawrence is like a perfect human being. It made me cry a few times (this is a good thing) and I forgot just enough of the book to be caught off guard by the timing of events, which just made it better in my mind. I didn’t have the book fresh in my memory so I could enjoy the movie for what it was- and I thought it had great character development, cool arena action scenes, excellent pacing, and stayed faithful to the book, setting up a third movie that I’m personally very eager to see. 

2. Star Trek: Into Darkness
-I was so, so close to making this my top movie of the year. Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto… who says I’m not superficial…but seriously, there is some seriously eye-catching *cough* upsides to this movie… performance-wise, of course. But my shallowness aside, I just really loved this because I was just so gosh-darn satisfied when I was watching it. All the twists and turns, the fight scenes, the Spock-Kirk interactions, the spaceship scenes… it just made me happy as I was watching because I was enjoying everything about the movie so much. I’m just like, vigorously making hand motions trying to convey just how elated I felt when watching, and I don’t really know why. I think it was just exactly what I wanted. 

1. Before Midnight
-Okay, after some serous debate.. I made this number one. Because I wanted to bring attention to this trilogy (I’m going to mention the other two below, in my non-2013 list) because I love it so, so much. It’s just so full of life, feelings, love, authenticity, and surreally realistic dialogue. This entire series is just two characters that talk about life—but not in like pretentious philosophical terms, it’s just them carrying a conversation—and it just completely works, on every level. It just feels so intimate and this last one especially was tough to watch at times, but these two characters are really something special, and Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy completely embody them. It’s a quiet drama and a brilliant movie, and I dearly hope in 9 years, they'll make another one.


Honourable Mentions (2013 movies):
(in no particular order)

Don Jon
-an interesting view on relationships, but just didn’t exactly hit the notes exactly right for me

The Book Thief
-HANS HUBERMANN AND RUDY STEINER give me my tears back 

The Place Beyond the Pines
-Intense, three-act type of plot that was completely unexpected for me, but nevertheless engrossing and with top-notch performances

Mud
-I adored this story, and with a great performance from Matthew McConaughey, it’s a touching story from a boy’s point of view about romance. But that’s not it, there’s so many other themes in there and I think it deserves a rewatch.
This is the End
-I laughed a lot, which is always a bonus. The plot kind of went awry for me when they had to get serious about actually having a plot, but hey, there’s a lot of funny moments

Rush
-I knew almost nothing about this movie going in, but from the first moment of the hyper-intensified roar of the engines, I was caught up in this great rivalry between these two competitive, polar-opposite men and Daniel Bruhl’s performance is especially praise-worthy. Really, this was one of the unexpected gems of the year, and definitely give it a try even if it doesn’t seem like your thing.

Pacific Rim
-I don’t care what you say, I found this hugely enjoyable, and if I liked watching giant robots fighting each other for two hours, I’ll consider that time well spent. Kudos to the ending and how kick-ass Mako Mori was.. and the soundtrack rocked. 

The World’s End
-the winning combination of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright just makes me smile—it’s cleverly funny, action-packed, full of plot twists and some unexpected introspectiveness and thought into our life trajectories. It wasn’t exactly as amazing as I hoped it was going to be, I think Hot Fuzz will still remain my favourite of the “Cornetto Trilogy”


WORST MOVIES WATCHED IN 2013

Grease (1978)
-gahhhh I couldn't stand this

Rent (2005)
-ughhh, annoying

The Bling Ring (2013)
-didn’t realize I could hate these characters and Emma Watson’s character’s stupid accent so much

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
-you just ruined one of my favourite movie series (the first Die Hard is still one of my top movies ever) and I will never forgive you. In fact, I actually kind of hate Bruce Willis for allowing this cash cow to continue and insulting viewers with such utter BS. This was such a crap movie and such a huge disservice to the character of John McClane. /rant



TOP 9 MOVIES NOT RELEASED IN 2013


9. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
-great dialogue and a plot that surprised me, plus it was overall pretty funny. 

8. The Breakfast Club (1985)
-I went on a John Hughes binge this summer, and this one remains my favourite—I see why they call it a classic.

7. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
-There was also a Quentin Tarantino binge at the beginning of the year, and I loved this movie and its take on WWII… or maybe I just thought Christoph Waltz’s performance was off the charts.

6. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
-my brother just hates Robert Downey Jr. but I don’t… and this movie is just fabulous. Val Kilmer’s performance as Gay Perry had me laughing out loud, as did some of the crazy moments that happen (“Who taught you math?!”). I loved the look and feel of the movie with the cinematography and the music, and sheesh, did I love the dialogue. 

5. Forrest Gump (1994)
-It took me forever to finally get around to watching this movie, and it was fantastic. Apart from Jenny being a total bitch. 



4. Lost in Translation (2003)
-Ughhh you guys, I love this movie so hard. It’s one of those things that you feel as if you watched at the exact perfect time, with the right mindset and age so that it really speaks to you (such as reading Ender’s Game when you’re 12, or reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower when you’re 15). I thought this weird relationship between the two characters and their various adventures with each other while trying to navigate their own lives was so enchanting. The movie managed to create a quiet, intimate mood within such a short time span, and I loved it.

3. Before Sunrise (1995)  &
2. Before Sunset (2004)
-These two are going together, Before Sunrise is the first installment, Before Sunset is the second (and Before Midnight is the third). Each movie is filmed like, nine years apart, and each is like a snapshot of these two characters (Celine from France and American-born Jesse) at a specific time in their lives, on a specific day. In Before Sunrise, they’re meeting for the first time as university-aged students, and they just spend one night talking and walking around the city, and it feels so real. Each personality really shines through and these characters just feel like actual people with doubts, insecurities, and beliefs. It’s a bit similar to the premise of Just One Day by Gayle Forman, and I know this sounds scandalous, but I liked this movie version much better. The second movie, Before Sunset, takes place 9 years later where these two have moved on and have their own lives in different countries, but unexpectedly meet up and again, just walk and talk and really, I can’t explain how freaking good it is. They’re different people, they’ve got different life experiences, but as they collide again it’s just sparks and unmatched chemistry.

1. Once (2006)
-This movie!! Ahh, it is soooo freaking good. My friend watched it and thought it was boring, but gosh, I just loved everything about it. The quiet-ness, the music, the tentative friendship, the awkwardness, the beauty that is these two characters. These characters just came to life and jumped off the screen and into my heart. 


MOVIES I WANT TO WATCH BUT HAVEN'T:
  • Dallas Buyer’s Club
  • American Hustle
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Gravity (I know!)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
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Yes, I will get around to watching those five movies! I love this season when all the Oscar contenders are playing, as opposed to the meh-movies you usually get at the beginning of the year. Anyway, if you read/skimmed through this entire list, good job! If you haven't, I totally don't blame you, I realize how exhaustingly long it is.. I just had a lot to say.

I'd LOVE to know what YOUR favourite movie of the year was-- whether it was one that was released this year, or just one you watched. Did I miss something? Are you going to watch the "Before" trilogy now? I'm always looking out for new recommendations (as long as it's not horror!) so please leave your comments below. And of course, you can always tweet me to talk about movies, I have a lot of free time. 

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog this year, and have a wonderful and safe New Year! 

-Audrey

12.30.2013

14 comments:

  1. I haven't seen most of the movies on your list yet. I'm slowly catching up though.

    I really want to see Once. I've heard that is so amazing! And The Breakfast Club is one of my all time favorites.

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  2. Ahh, Audrey, your movie-watching impresses me! Especially since most of these I've only vaguely heard of. So that makes you a hipster movie-watcher to me. :P I've added Lost in Translation and the Before trilogy to my to-be-watched pile.

    2013 was actually a pretty good year for movies for me, considering how few I watch; Pacific Rim and Frozen are my undisputed favourites, and I also thoroughly enjoyed Thor 2 (DARCY FTW) and the first two Iron Man films. (Super hyped up to watch the third, because apparently ScarJo plays a much bigger role??) OHH, and I also finally watched Lilo & Stitch! So many tears, how even.

    Movies I'm looking forward to watching include TBT (I know, I should've watched it already by now!!) and Rise of the Guardians, because I am a Disney-and-super-hero-movie type of person. :P

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    1. Now you realize why I read so few books! And I watch so many blockbusters, haha! I really liked Thor 2 as well, it was sooo much better than the first one, and I don' t think ScarJo has that big of a role for IM3, but Gwenyth Paltrow does though. Eeeek I haven't seen Lilo & Stitch, I really need to fix that!

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  3. I just saw Catching Fire yesterday, and yes, it was SO. GOOD. That's all I'd been hearing from people, so my expectations were high but totally met. And I was impressed they stuck so close to the book! I liked how it set up for the final movie and I actually think that the events of Mockingjay may be more engaging on screen than they were in book form.

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    1. YES ISN'T IT?? I saw that it had a crazy high rating on Rotten Tomatoes before I went to see it, and I thought it was a bit ridiculous... but I was so wrong, haha.

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  4. Okay. Favorite movies of the year: Pacific Rim and Frozen. :)

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  5. -I just watched Once a couple of weeks ago. 'Falling Slowly' has to be one of the most gorgeous songs I've heard in a while, but it's gorgeous in such a subtle, quiet way, just like the rest of the movie.

    -I really, really liked Frozen, even though I still think there are ways that they could've made it even better (the Fixer Upper song in particular bugged me). But sister relationships are my ultimate weakness ahhh

    -The Heat!!! I'm halfway through this movie and I'm loving it. (I'm also halfway through Mud, I need to get around to finishing things...)

    -The Hobbit- man those action scenes were fantastic, I really missed seeing that brilliant choreography when LOTR ended. Smaug was amazing, although the love plot was veering into terribad cheesy territory imo. I'm glad that Tauriel was there though!

    And yes I do want to watch Before Midnight now ;D Pacific Rim was great, and I also want to see Llewyn, Catching Fire, and American Hustle. I also glanced at your favorite books post and it was a nice coincidence that I started Eleanor & Park just a few days ago - I'm pretty excited to read the rest, and Rainbow Rowell's other books later.

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    1. Ahhh right?? I loved the song before I saw the movie, but after seeing it I think I love it even more (if it's possible), the set up was just so, so perfect. And yeah, there are definitely a few songs on the Frozen Soundtrack that I'll skip, although I don't mind Fixer Upper as much cause it's so like, upbeat.
      I think for Mud, I need to be in the right mood cause it's better if it's processing in my brain, but yes, I hope you like The Heat! There were definitely some good laughs for that one.
      UGH the love "triangle" was my least favourite part of the Hobbit :(

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  6. Oh my gosh Audrey, this is the best... I always love your movie posts! Okay so a few things:

    First of all, John Hughes!!! 80s movies are my weakness. I love them so much. The Breakfast Club is definitely an all-time favourite of mine, and I find that it appeals to people who normally hate movies like that (*cough* my step-dad who leaves halfway through pretty much any movie I watch). So I'm guessing you watched all the John Hughes movies then, what about some other 80s movies... St. Elmo's Fire is another one starring the Brat Pack, Dirty Dancing is an obv. classic, ohh and what about When Harry Met Sally?

    Second, The Heat was hilarious. Did you see We're the Millers? I thought it was pretty funny too. And I watched The Bling Ring yesterday, I thought it was AWFUL. Why does Emma keep trying to do an American accent when she really can't?? Honestly I didn't even like Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I thought she was going to be amazing in.

    Catching Fire = ah maze ing. I loved it so much, it completely blew me away. The Book Thief isn't in my theater so I have to wait for it to come out on DVD which sucks.

    Did you see Captain Phillips? I thought it was really well done but also sooo stressful, I had to go home and watch calming TV before I could go to sleep haha.

    Okay I think that's it, this is an insanely long comment. I'm planning on keeping a log of all the movies I watch in 2014, and actually keeping up to date with new releases as well as watching some classics. Let me know if you have any recs!!

    PS now I'm desperate to watch these Before movies!

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    1. I watched Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Ferris Beuller, and Pretty in Pink (don't think that one's John Hughes though) in a couple days, but not St Elmo's Fire or When Harry Met Sally, I'll have to put those on the list. Dirty Dancing is definitely a favourite though.

      Yeah, I did see We're the Millers! I was almost going to put that on my Honourable Mentions list, I agree, there were definitely some hilarious moments-- the guy who plays the "son" is just freaking hysterical. "No Ragrets" hahahha

      Haven't seen Captain Phillips-- I was unsure about the premise but so many people have been telling me to see it lately, I'll probably have to watch it soon, I'll drag my mom along or something lol.

      And yeah, I'd recommend keeping a list, i did that this year and it was always fun to go back and see which movies were my favourites. I also keep track of stuff on IMDb so I can have ratings and stuff. So far, nothing too exciting for me in 2014 especially early in the year, but there's definitely a TON of YA movie adaptations coming out, and the summer stuff like 22 Jump Street, How To Train Your Dragon 2, and whichever Marvel movie I'll watch regardless LOL

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  7. I love The Breakfast Club! I have watched the movie a million times. So glad you enjoyed it. I have been wanting to see 12 Years a Slave- so glad you enjoyed it so much. Thanks so much for sharing. Awesome list!
    ~Jess

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