Saturday, January 18, 2014

The 2013 Movie Round-Up! (Updated 01/30/2014)

It’s that time again, and this year I am feeling rather blasé in presenting my top movies of the year. I for some reason expected 2013 to be better than it actually was, but I found myself consistently underwhelmed by movies I had high expectations for. 

Maybe it was because 2012 was such an fantastic year (at least for me) that it was rather hard to top, but with all the ideas behind the content this year, I just expected more than what was delivered. For me to admit this is not easy. I usually am content and sure of the films I will love, but this was a rough year in more ways than one. Then, there were some movies surprised me like The Lone Ranger, 42, and Captain Phillips and I found myself falling in love with them when initially their trailers did not impress me. Funny how that all works. 

The main reasons why I feel this way are explained in my previous blog post ( but I am tired of the genres I love so much getting so sloppy and half-assed with their writing and development. Take your time people! We want the good stuff!

Anyway, here is my top films of the year and my “awards."

*Disclaimer: Let it be known that my system for awarding and choosing favorites is based on my own personal taste, mood, appeal, and knowledge of film. Although I do judge films based on the standard criticisms, I do not cater to Hollywood’s opinion or anyone else’s. To argue or dispute my statements would be futile, as I am not forcing anyone to accept my choices but me. I choose people based on the proficiency and uniqueness of their work and productions for the same reasons.

BEST PICTURE: Gravity, my number one.

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. He is just amazing.

BEST SCREENPLAY: Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith for Saving Mr. Banks. Clever, funny, heartwarming, and consistent from scene-to-scene. One of my favorite moments: "Stay there until you learn the art of subtlety." So great!

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Frozen, but honestly I liked a few this year.

BEST ACTOR: In light of just seeing 12 Years a Slave late in the game, I am going to have to give this to Chiwetel Ejiofor with Tom Hanks as a close runner-up.

While all the performances in 12 Years a Slave, no matter how small, we astonishing none shined as brightly as the lead himself. Wow, giving Chiwetel Ejiofor a lead role was one of the smartest decisions made in the last few years of film. Knowing him only as a character actor previously, I can say with certainty that he broke through that label like an Olympian through a finish line. Bravo!What an incredibly hard one to endure but worth it for those last few moments. I am sure both he, and the real Solomon Northrup, felt the same.

And to Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips. Boy did that guy make a comeback this year! Between Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks he rocked it!

BEST ACTRESS: Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks. Holy cow she was awesome.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: He sadly got swept under the rug by the end of the year, but definitely Harrison Ford for 42. What a breakout for him and what a transformation!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  I don’t really have one. Let’s just say Jennifer Lawrence since she’s the one everyone else picks for anything supporting haha.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: I really loved the scores of both Gravity and Ender’s Game, absolutely beautiful. 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: 2-way tie on this one: “Let it Go” from Frozen, “I See Fire” from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity. That’s a huge “DUH”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The team of Gravity, though the Smaug scenes alone in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug are pretty up there.

BEST EDITING: The team of The Great Gatsby, The editing was crucial in this film seamlessly weaving meaningful photography and setting it to music like a music video. It was perfection.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:  Trish Summerville for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Another huge “DUH” her work was astonishing in that film!

BEST MAKEUP:  The team of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The array of color and design in hair and make-up, like its costumes, is phenomenal.

BEST ART DIRECTION: The team from The Great Gatsby. The combination of the stylish roaring twenties with the fantasy of Laz Buhrman’s imagination was for the eyes like a luscious dessert that you fantasize about eating over and over again.

TOP TEN 2013

1.                  GRAVITY
2.                  SAVING MR. BANKS
4.                  THE GREAT GATSBY
5.                  42
6.                  FROZEN
7.           12 YEARS A SLAVE
8.                  CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
9.                  THE LONE RANGER
10.               STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS       


11.              MAN OF STEEL
12.              THOR: THE DARK WORLD
13.              IRON MAN 3
17.              THE WOLVERINE
18.              AUSTENLAND
20.              THE BOOK THIEF
21.              CLOUDY 2
22.              ENDER’S GAME
23.              PRISONERS

24.              OBLIVION


Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet


  1. Awesome! Happy to see Gravity on the top of your list!
    It is no surprise that Emma Thompson would be stellar in any role! hehe! I cannot wait to see Mr. Banks one day!
    I didn't realize Harrison Ford was in 42. And amen on the surprise films, like Lone Ranger! Couldn't believe how good it was because my expectations were so low! hehe!

    1. Hehe yes! I will actually be sending you copies of The Great Gatsby and 42 soon in the package I am mailing you. ;-) You will be blown away by Gatsby. I may actually going to do my next blog on the themes in it. The movie really gave the story so much more dimension and heart, and that's saying a lot because I always hated the book. You truly feel sorrow and pain for the characters, even Daisy who I always HATED haha and frankly she still kind of sucks but in this film you really understand why and you realize a lot isn't her fault. Plus Leo as Gatsby... enough said! Though it may not be a movie to watch with Nolan because it's Baz Luhrman and therefore very weird in presentation haha. :-P

    2. Yeah! Exactly! The Great Gatsby was an amazing film and Leo was perfect for the role. I think it shows the real dimension of the story and how you are supposed to feel pity for these characters, and mourn for their naivety and selfishness as well as the self-indulgence of that era. Definitely watch it, Erika!

  2. Pretty much agree with your choices for awards! ;-) Hehe! I wouldn't say 2013 was all that bad in disappointments. 2012 was just a good year, but there were really amazing films this year. Surprise films count, even if the ones we were wanting to be exceptional, didn't deliver. Haha. I would have put Iron Man 3 in my top ten, (though I know you still love it!), because I thought that as a film, it was really good. Minus Tony and his hot transformation, hehe, they did a good job story-wise. It all flowed smoothly and hit every point it needed to hit. I don't care what anyone else says, The Mandarin twist was awesome! It was clever and funny *and* it makes so much more sense that Killian was Iron Man's real nemesis. Why would some random terrorist have it out for Tony? The Iron Man series villains all have a potent and real connection with Tony and his legacy. They aren't necessarily about world domination, but they have vendettas against Tony and are close to home. I like that. It is too easy for Tony, inwardly, to fight bad guys who are objective from his world, i.e. The Avengers. Loki and the aliens were outside threats. All of Tony's *real* challenges happen inside of himself. Anyway, I know you agree with that, haha, I was just blabbing because I don't like how people complain on the whole Mandarin twist, as if that is what makes Iron Man 3 a bad film.

    Anyway! Haha! I loved this years films. The biggest disappointment for me was The Hobbit, which makes me underwhelmed for The Hobbit 3. I like how you worded it: "Take your time people! We want the good stuff!" Haha! Yep! For sure!

    1. Btw, I love that Gravity poster you found! I would want that on my wall! So awesome!

    2. Well in all fairness, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Hobbit and others were all kind of equal and hard to choose for me haha so just because it didn’t make my top ten doesn’t mean they weren’t equally loved or up there in my heart! Hehe And after a second viewing of The Hobbit, it improved immensely in my mind despite any shortcomings. The main thing it had going for it was the mind-blowing scenes with Smaug, those alone give it mega points! It was a lot easier to focus on all the wonderful things going on the second time around, since you know what’s coming with the whole Kili stuff, it wasn’t as prominent on a second viewing.

      The main films that I want to stress that are at the top for me and are there to stay are my top 5 because they were without a doubt the best films of the year, for me at least. Everything else after than kind of doesn’t have an order haha. It’s all just what I loved from the year!

      I agree, I don’t think 2013 was a BAD year, it was just not as awesome as I was hoping. I felt something missing from so many films, even the ones I loved. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’ was just weird.

      Yeah that Gravity poster is awesome! I don’t think it’s an actual poster though, it was a fanmade thing, BUT it’s funny you bring that up because I just got a second Gravity poster and was going to ask if you wanted it. ;-) I can bring it on Sunday!