A Year In Review: The Best of 2013

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Thoughts and Reflections

#5 Gravity

Gravity wallpaper_2013

When a significant portion of your audience speculates how long the cast and crew shot in space, you know you’ve done your job right. Gravity is a prime example of a film that can make groundbreaking achievements with breathtaking CGI while still creating a strong narrative (unlike Avatar, which is a visual spectacle but falls utterly short when it comes to story). While you’re marveling at the authenticity and immaculate attention to detail, you’re also in that Apollo 13-like daze of “are they gonna’ make it?” It’s a film that excels in nearly every way, visually and story-wise.

(Review)

#4 Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks_2013

Kudos to the studio and director that can take a film with a cotton candy shell and make you cry. Not tear up, but cry. We all know Mary Poppins, and we all know Walt Disney. But we don’t know the story behind the story. We knew it was a bit heated, to say the least, but to what extent was relatively unknown to the general populace. Even though you could tell that the Disney studio was cautious to prevent their perfect image from being smudged, I appreciated that they were willing to show audiences that their founder wasn’t quite the epitome of moral uprightness; that he did indeed smoke, swear, and even pour himself a cup of brandy at 4:00 in the afternoon. It was a pleasant surprise to see even a hint of honesty being conveyed on screen, something I didn’t think Disney would be willing to do. But on top of that, they also hired a director who brought to life a wonderful film filled with both pleasant charm and stark realism.

(Review)

#3 Man of Steel

Man of Steel_2013

Man of Steel was an attempt to bring to screen a more relatable and realistic Superman who wasn’t the invincible force of power that he was in the comics. A bit darker than we’re used to, yes, but an altogether more convincing and grittier character, a mood that will set the tone for the future of the pre-Justice League universe. Apart from the over-the-top, bombastic action, it’s an amazing film that deals with a host of moral questions and dilemmas.

(Review)

#2 Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness_2013

It’s hard to imagine a film that could surpass the first Star Trek, but they did it. They raised the energy and upped the ante without weakening the story structure. Everyone reprises their roles to perfection, and the villain is one of the greatest that cinema has ever seen. Regardless of how far Abrams’ Star Trek is to the originals, these new films are merely great movie-making on a grand scale that never lose their focus, regardless of how hectic they may become.

(Review)

#1 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: DOS_2013

The first Hobbit  took off at a meandering pace in order to allow proper introductions of the characters and objectives, but The Desolation of Smaug creates an even amount of tension throughout. We quite naturally become sucked into the story for a second time and stay engaged throughout. It’s a superb middle act to an ever-improving trilogy filled with spellbinding visual effects, a surmounting climax, a host of new characters, and all the action anyone could ever ask for; ultimately, a film that gives us another dose of Middle-earth.

(Review)

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