Crash! Landen’s Best 10 Films Of 2013

I haven’t see all of the big films of 2013… Movies like ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ or ‘American Hustle’ could very well make it onto the list. I just have to see them first. There are a few films that almost made it into my top 10 like ‘Mud’ (the indie film starring Matthew McConaughey that faltered slightly in the last 10 minutes) or  ‘The Way, Way Back’ (a light comedy that won me over when I had every intention of hating it). Overall, the list was a pretty easy one to make this year from my pool of watched films.. I didn’t feel like there was an abundance of great films out there, anyway, being somewhat of a ‘down’ year as far as quality was concerned. But, here’s my list that I came up with. Most have links to a review of each film, save for a few.

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10) Elysium Neill Blomkamp’s second film; another successful science fiction film that’s probably a little more of a pure ‘popcorn’ movie than his previous outing.

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9) The Great Gatsby I think it was the last line or two of the film that won me over, but I’m not sure. I think I wanted to hate this one, but it turned out to be better than I thought it would be.

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8) The Lone Ranger  I AM sure of what won me over with this one: the William Tell Overture. Should have done better at the box office than it did. i blame the trailers and marketing.

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7) Only God Forgives Not quite as good as Refn’s ‘Drive’, but still a great film. Much like ‘Drive’, you’ll probably either love this or despise it. Scenes of bloody violence, disembowelments and the severing of limbs are followed up with strange Asian Karaoke. Even more stripped down to its bare bones than his previous film, this one can only be described as abstract; any more so and he would have to just flash color blotches onscreen without actors. The criminal underworld seems to be Refn’s playground of choice, but there is a purpose.. An underlying morality.  I was not a fan of Ryan Gosling until ‘Drive’, but it appears that he takes more chances in the roles he chooses than any other actor out there at the moment.

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6) Captain Phillips A great film where the best performance in the film comes as a bit of a surprise.

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5) The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug I would consider it a bit of a letdown, yet it still makes my top 5.

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4) Gravity The visuals, at least how I saw them – in IMAX 3D, made up for  astory that borrowed a lot from more serious science fiction (and historical) films.

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3) Saving Mr. Banks A great film about two artists that got past childhood trauma through their art I think.

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2) The Place Beyond The Pines A movie that may have been a little predictable, but was ambitious in what it was trying to say. It was interesting how the baton was passed early on in the film between two of the bigger players in the story 9and it’s one of those poetically epic stories). I think this is easily the best film that Bradley Cooper has been a part of (at least of the ones that I’ve seen). All of the characters  in the story are flawed in some way. There are some things that you know are coming, but are so well executed that it was hard not to feel uneasy or downright uncomfortable watching how some of the events unfold (as one motorcycle chase in particular). I think it was better the second time I viewed it.

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1) Pacific Rim I know what you’re thinking… “What? Giant robots and monsters hitting one another? that’s your movie of the year? Yes. Yes, it is. The detailing of this film is just extraordinary. You can tell Guillermo Del Toro was really enjoying  himself making this movie. As I’ve said before, I don’t know how much this film cost, but it looked like it cost a billion dollars and unlike a lot of other big budget FX films, every dollar appeared to be onscreen. Has some lulls in the middle, but this is by far the best film of its kind. you know, the kind of film that features giant robots hitting giant monsters. i loved every single frickin’ minute of it. Should have been the biggest box office film of the year, but sometimes people like to watch crap instead of good films that they’re unfamiliar with… But that’s just one man’s opinion.

Happy New Year, Folks!

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