As I was putting this list together I realized that I has not seen enough 2013 movies that I was truly excited about. I thought about just putting together of the movies that I truly thought were the best however when all was said and done I was able to find ten movies that could speak positively about so here they are.
There will be spoilers!
Than Hangover Part 3: I am ok with a movie that takes the plot structure of its first movie and uses it for the second movie just in second location, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York and Clerks 2, but I curious to see if Part 3 was going to be more of the same or something new. I was pleasently surprised to see that they kept the mystery/scavanger hunt theme to the movie without the guys blacking out. I really applaud this movie for not trying to go bigger and crazier than Part 2 but instead focusing on telling a smaller story that wrapped up the series. It is not a great movie but I am happy I saw it.
Computer Chess: This period piece movie about a group of people who gather together to pit their chess playing computer programs against one another to see which one is the best. I really enjoyed the personal politics of this world, the competition and hearing them talk about their computer programs. Unfortunately this movies has some strange seventies influenced story lines that didn’t really work for me. Definitely worth checking out though.
Red Dawn 2013: I openly and freely admit that I have not yet seen the original, though it is waiting in my iTunes rental que, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was a great action movie that was a little heavy handed in its themes but still had me on the edge of my seat. Next to The Raid: Redemption this was the best action movie that I saw all year. I liked the fact that the movie ended on an up note without everything being fixed.
Dredd: As a glasses wearing individual I try to avoid 3D movies as it is hard for me to enjoy watching a movie while wearing two pairs of glasses. However this is a movie that I wished I could have seen in 3D since there were places through out the movie that were meant to be seen in 3D and looked pretty good in 2D. This was another movie that really surprised me with how much fun I had while watching it. The story is simple and engaging, the action is fast paced with out being ridiculous and the villain is solid.
Evil Dead: This movie made me excited to see what is to come with the franchise. From what I have heard/read there is going to be more movies, Ash is coming back, and there will be over lap between the original and 2013 Evil Dead. While I found the story lacking I really liked how the gore walked a very fine line between just right and excess. It was very stylish and fun to look at. I was particularly excited that the survivor at the end of this movie was a woman and I look forward to seeing what lady Ash can do.
A Monster In Paris: I really don’t want to talk about this movie, I really just want people to go and see it. This animated film isn’t covering new narrative ground as it borrows a lot from Beauty and the Beast but still manages to be delightful and inventive with a strong European sensability. The music in this movie is light, wonderful and will be stuck in your head for days; in a good way.
This is a Disaster: A dark comedy about a group of friends who gather together for brunch and end up trapped in the house due to a terrorist attack. This is very much in line with several of the other end of the world movies that came out this year except, instead of global, is focuses on a small group of people and the end of their world/lives. The character development in this movie is very strong, the dialogue is fun and quirky and for a movie that takes place entirely in a house the plot goes in some very interesting directions.
Hansel and Gretel Get Baked: I honestly don’t know why more people are not talking about this movie. Maybe I am just not reading the right blogs or listening to the right podcasts but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and have been trying to get everyone and anyone to see it. Hansel and Gretel Get Bake is a clever retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story. Instead of a ginger bread house the witch sells pot in order to lure kids to her house…wait wait…don’t stop reading. This isn’t some stupid stoner comedy. I know you will scoff but I found this to be a clever horror comedy as it isn’t about scoring weed and everything gong wrong but about finding out what happened to Gretel’s boyfriend once he goes missing. There are several story lines operating at once in this movie which all come together nicely in the end. Seriously, I know that the title makes this movie sound stupid, but at the very least check out the trailer on line. You won’t be disappointed.
The Battery: This is another movie that I have been telling to watch all year. It’s a low budget zombie/survival film that focuses more on the two main characters avoiding zombies then it goes fighting them. The movie takes a real life approach to what is would really be like to be alive during the zombie apocolypse. There are no hero’s, there are no ass kickers, there is no cure. This movie takes advantage of its low budget to do some really smart and insightful story telling.
The Worlds End: It feels a little disingenuous to say that this was my favorite movie of 2013 when I saw it three days after Christmas, thus it is so fresh in my mind, but I was honestly blown away by Simon Peggs performance. It is one of the best depictions of an addict that I have ever seen. Nick Frost also gives an outstanding performance that shows he had real range as an actor. For me the action/fighting scenes were a bit lacking for me and I really could have done without the ending wrap up, which gave a movie with a dark undercurrent an underserved up beat ending.
All in all I thought that 2013 was a really good year for movies. I have since watched Pain and Gain, loved it, and wish I could have put it on this list but I wasn’t able to get to it until the first week of 2014. Oh well, rules are rules no matter how arbitrary.
Oh and I hated Star Trek: Into Darkness. Good lord was that movie pointless and a waist of talent. I liked the first Star Trek and was looking forward to following their continued adventures but oh boy was I disappointed.
Anyway sorry to end on such a down note.