Friday, February 28, 2014
Although my picks won't necessarily line up with the Oscars this Sunday, I wanted to share my Top 5 Favorite Films of 2013:
5. Elysium - After watching 2009's District 9, I knew Neill Blomkamp was the next great sci-fi director... And thankfully, he didn't disappoint me! Filled with social commentary, this futuristic tale mixes the grittiness of an apocalyptic earth with high octane action adventure. I think this film was forgotten in the Oscar hype, but I'll continue to enjoy it after many re-watches.
4. American Hustle - This was my first David O. Russell film. I like Marky Mark and Jennifer Lawrence, but I needed a crime film to get me acquainted with director (I promise, I'll eventually visit The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook). The plot is intriguing - When the FBI uses a conman to con politicians, how does the conman con his way out of the situation? Complimented with "Scorsese-like" narrations, all of the actors are fantastic - Jeremy Renner is surprisingly likeable, Bradley Cooper is despised, Amy Adams is beautiful, and Jennifer Lawrence is purely wild. However, it's Christian Bale's performance that made me love this movie - For a fat and grimy conman, he is the hero of the story and the man we root for. On top of that, I'm once again amazed how he can transform his muscular abs to a chubby potbelly.
3. Pacific Rim - For something that's not related to the King of the Monsters (meaning Godzilla for you naysayers), this is the best Kaiju film in years. Guillermo del Toro grips the attention of the audience with mind blowing effects showcasing gigantic monsters fighting enormous robots. Although the story isn't an award winning script, the plot is still fun and serves it's purpose in this visually intense film. I don't think this movie did as well as expected, but I'm hoping there's a Pacific Rim sequel in the future.
2. The Wolf of Wall Street - Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite directors of all time. Once again casting his "new De Niro," Scorsese proved he's the King of the Crime Drama... or should I say Jester of the Crime Comedy? DiCaprio plays the resourceful stoke broker Jordan Belfort. Although he's not really a good person, he charms us by talking directly to the audience. But unlike Goodfellas and Casino, this crime film has no murders or killings. Instead, it focuses on the dirty shenanigans that can happen in the corporate world of Wall Street. Mixing sex and drugs with midget throwing and chest singing, this movie creates uncomfortable situations inducing laugh after laugh. With a mesmerizing story and an extraordinary cast, this was easily one of my favorite movies of the year.
1. Man of Steel - After Bryan Singer introduced Lois and Clark's love child, I had no interest in seeing another Superman film. However, Warner Brothers changed my mind by putting Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan at the helm. So why do I consider this the best movie of the year? To start things off, choosing Henry Cavil to play Superman was a superb choice. His physique truly captures the build and demeanor of the ultimate superhero. Second, everybody knows the origin of Superman. Unlike The Amazing Spiderman which rehashes the hero's backstory at the very beginning of the movie, the Man of Steel perfectly sprinkles the Smallville scenes throughout the film to enhance emotion. Finally, the Man of Steel puts Action at the forefront. Rather than focusing on how Clark is going to keep his identity a secret from Lois, he's battling robots and aliens. The visuals were stunning and the fight scenes were creative. So for those of you who complained this film had too much action, realize Superman originated from ACTION COMICS! I know I may be biased because I'm a comic book fan, but I can re-watch this movie over and over again.