Saturday, 11 January 2014

2013 in Films

Okay! Last week was books, now we have my movies of 2013! The full list, then a little bit about my top ten.

Similar categorising as before:

Bold indicates a first-time viewing.
Italics indicate that I saw it at the cinema.

Pitch Perfect
People Like Us

Les Miserables (two - possibly three times at cinema, in addition to seeing it twice in 2012)
Rise of the Guardians

Silver Linings Playbook
The Castle
Looking for Alibrandi
Bedazzled (the Peter Cook/Dudley Moore version)
Reefer Madness
The Boat That Rocked
She's The Man
Teen Wolf
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Much Ado About Nothing
Behind The Candelabra
Imogene (Girl Most Likely)

Fun Size

17 Again
Josie and the Pussycats
Shaun of the Dead
Hot Fuzz
The World's End
Whip It
The Man In The Iron Mask
Beautiful Thing
The First Time
One Direction: This Is Us 
(twice at cinema)
Road to Perdition
White Frog

Maid in Manhattan
Leap Year
For A Good Time Call
Now You See Me

About Time
Thor: The Dark World

The Prestige

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
An Adventure in Space and Time

Miracle on 34th Street

That's a clean 50 all up, not counting repeats. There's a few things I haven't categorised here, like concert DVDs (This Is Us counts as a film, I think, but some concert DVDs I watched do not) and cinema-broadcast or bootleg theatre performances. Those will go into the next post, where I'll talk about live events like concerts and plays and such other good things.

In addition to movies, I obviously watched a lot of TV. I cannot record all the TV I watch, it would be sort of impossible, but the shows I follow regularly are Glee, Teen Wolf, Doctor Who, New Girl, The Legend of Korra, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones, all of which had stand-out moments this year. My absolute guilty pleasure show is Reign, which is so bad in so many ways, yet so brilliant in so many other ways. My favourite new TV obsessions this year were Orange Is The New Black, Vikings, Greek, Castle, and The Great British Bake-Off. Bake-Off is legitimately the only show this year I've been angry about getting spoiled for.

Here's a bit about my top 10 film experiences of 2013:

10) Star Trek: Into Darkness
Been waiting a long time for this one. Watched the red carpet of the London premiere. Saw the actual movie with Megan and Leo - and let me tell you, ages and ages ago Megan joked that I should come to London for the Star Trek sequel release to watch it with her, because I got her into it in 2009 and it's meant so much to us since then. LOL that it ended up actually happening? The movie isn't perfect, but the entire main cast is, and the reverse-Wrath of Khan death scene is a punch in the gut. I think I love the characters and the universe more than I objectively loved this film as a stand alone, but it made the list for the investment, excitement and anticipation of it FINALLY coming out.

09) Imogene
I went to Paris to see the premiere of Imogene (called Girl Most Likely in the USA) at a French film festival that happened to coincide with my visit to the UK - well, actually I sort of extended my visit to fit it in. Getting tickets was a freaking nightmare - seeing Darren on the red carpet for his first feature film was worth it. The movie itself is a bit of an odd one, but there are some parts that were incredibly well written, and D himself is so so so good in it. It's one of those movies that's sort of hard to deal with because it's so painfully real - people doing the gross or weird things that they do in real life but that you don't often see portrayed on screen because people usually watch media for escapism and they don't actually want things to be too real. Imogene is very real, that is, until like, the last 20 minutes, where it seems like everyone involved in movie took a shitload of drugs and made something up. Still, it's pretty good. Weird, but good, and the acting is great, and I am proud of Darren for holding his own in this cast of big names.

08) Much Ado About Nothing
How long have Joss fans been waiting for this damn movie to come out? This movie really has to be experienced to be understood, but what a brilliant adaptation. Alexis Denisof was unbelievably perfect, Clark Gregg went beyond perfect into sublime, and - unusually for me - I loved the physical comedy in this movie. It manages to avoid dumb slapstick while still being uncontrollably hilarious. Much Ado is such a timeless play and it's just so cool that Team Joss made this film for the hell of it. I saw this with Toy in one of my favourite cinemas in Notting Hill, and I took so many photos of the Tube posters for it.

07) For A Good Time Call...
Leo watched this movie on the plane and made me watch it when we got home. It's about two girls who hate each other and become roommates and start a phone sex business. It's the best movie about female friendship I have ever seen. It's written and produced by one of the female lead actors, it's so lovely and so funny and it has zero hype, because misogyny. The main girls are totally shippable, but it's also kind of nice not to, because there's so little out there about the importance of friendship, in a realistic way, and it is so gorgeous. Justin Long co-stars as the gay bff of both girls - he sets them up as roommates - and there's a ridiculous Kevin Smith cameo.

06) Josie and the Pussycats
I cannot believe I had never seen this movie until this year. I watched it with Nat and Mimi and Leo after a totally ridiculous night of homemade pizza, a lot of candy, and making Nat's Harry and Louis dolls do very stupid things, and FUCK. I had sort of a mental block on this film for a long time because I had a bad association with one of the songs from it, really old high school ex stuff, but since I'm well over that now, I finally watched it and I was not, in any way, expecting the level of satire and hilarity. I had no idea it was so clever and I hate myself for spending over ten years pointedly not watching this movie.

05) One Direction: This Is Us
This movie wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be - as in, not enough candid moments and it didn't teach me anything I didn't already know about them - but it is beautifully done and fun and very dear and it made me cry and made me feel so good. We got to see this at a preview screening and we may have taken in a fair amount of alcohol and then taken a lot of drunk selfies with the 1D cardboard cutouts in the foyer afterwards - and then Nat and I saw it again later in the run, like, in the middle of the day, so we could swear angrily at the screen about Zayn buying his mum a house and like, Liam's dad crying and stuff. EMOTIONAL TERRORISM.

04) Pitch Perfect
I blogged about this right after we saw it. What a fucking masterpiece that movie is. It's going to be a classic, and I still cannot believe how much Francesca cried.

03) Thor: The Dark World (MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW)
Saw this by myself, cried SO FUCKING MUCH. Like curled in on myself in my seat crying. So so so sos ososososo well done. Thor was easily my favourite MCU film pre-Avengers (not that Avengers is my fave now anyway) and this was just the best follow-up to Thor and Loki's story that I could have imagined. I love Jane, I  love dumb, Liam Payne-esque labrador puppy Thor, I love Darcy, I love Sif, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Frigga, I love the imagery, I love the London scenery, I love Asgard, I love the relationship between Frigga and Loki. I have massive empathy for Loki, and so much of this movie fucked me up - his reaction to her death and obviously his own as well. I am not sure exactly where they're going to take this now, given that end scene showing he's alive, because I found out from a source involved in the production - I have no idea whether this is common knowledge or not - that originally that death scene was legit, like it really was a sacrifice and a redemption, and he was meant to be gone, as a redeemed anti hero. But test audiences did not respond to it well, like, the idea of actually losing him for good, so they stuck him in again at the end. I'm not sure about that, because I really don't want the fact he's still around to take away from the integrity of what he did, for it all to be a trick or a double/triple/quadruple cross. His character is absolutely built for a redemption arc, villain to antagonist to antihero to reluctant hero, and that death moment was genuine. It was intended to be genuine. So I really hope that the reappearance is like, more similar to Spike coming back in Angel after season 7 of Buffy - something not entirely in his control, and less similar to like, Horcruxes or something. I admit I am glad he is still around.

02) The World's End
Leo and I got to attend a special premiere screening of this with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. We ate Cornettos. We had a Q and A and I got to ask a question. The audience was so fantastic and responsive. The movie is one of the saddest, most wrenching things I've ever seen. I legitimately forgot, for the first half of the film, that anything supernatural/sci-fi/action was going to happen (as is the deal with the Cornetto trilogy - some bland small town life gets interrupted by Shenanigans) - I got so involved with the personal story, and I would have been totally cool if it had just been a weird emotional black comedy about Gary King and his Musketeers and his dissatisfaction with life. Gary King is Sirius Black, if Sirius had been a Muggle and not, you know, died. That is what people like that turn into, which made the whole thing hurt more for several reasons. So many little painful moments, like him still using a reference from a school in-joke everyone else had long since forgotten, that kind of stuff just stabs you, it is so awful. It's hilarious as well, at times, obviously, but yeah, it's heavy. I love these men, I love what they create together and their ethic about it - it's so complex and they put in references that like, only about 14 people will understand and they just don't care, they do it for themselves, you could dedicate years to unpicking the Trilogy, but here's a good blog about it, and a brilliant blog (weirdly, by a girl I used to know IRL, but didn't know this was her tumblr) about the ethos of Shaun of the Dead - and I am glad I got to see the film in this situation. Also, wow, Edgar Wright has some SERIOUS issues with his hometown. I demanded that Jonathan watch this, and I think I traumatised him.

01) About Time
SEE THIS MOVIE IF YOU HAVEN'T. SEE IT SEE IT SEE IT. There are no words for how good this movie was, but I attempted some for Hypable's Movie of the Year post: "Confusion would be a valid response upon hearing that the latest project from Richard Curtis – the beloved writer/director of Notting Hill, Love Actually, and Four Weddings and a Funeral – is a film about time travel. But About Time is a masterpiece, ticking every box for a perfect Curtis romantic comedy – love, death, family, a focus on the little things in life, a dopey leading man, and beautiful on-location English scenery – with the fantastical element hardly seeming out of place at all. When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to travel back in time, his life is, understandably, somewhat changed. After a few do-overs, he gets together with Mary (Rachel McAdams) and learns how best to use his unique ability to help himself and his loved ones. About Time is one for the ages – an indescribably beautiful and surprisingly realistic look at this science-fiction concept, and it may just be Curtis’s best film yet."

Next up - gigs, plays, musicals, comedy, talks - live events basically.

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