TOP TEN: Films of 2013

Hundreds of films come out each year. Most of them are rubbish. Below is a list of ten 2013 cinema releases that this film goer thought were worth watching. A couple have already been labelled landmarks in movie making history, while others will no doubt soon disappear into the obscurity of the IMDb catalogue. Only one is still in cinemas (The Hobbit – review is up on the home page) so get to that if you’ve not seen it.

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10. This Is The End – What a premise; James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson – playing themselves – all trapped in Franco’s post-modern mansion as the apocalypse rages outside.  OK, so it had a couple of dick jokes and one Jay Baruchel too many, but the unscripted banter from the ensemble cast was palpable and more than made up for it.

Best moment: On the brink of dehydration (some have begun drinking urine) the guys find some emergency water in the basement. In celebration they hold an H2o party, downing the live giving liquid from champagne flutes as ‘The Next Episode’ blares out.

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9. Pacific Rim With Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, you get what you pay for. Few things are more satisfying to watch than giant robots smashing giant monsters in the face with cruise liners in IMAX 3D. Embrace the meta-madness and you’re bound to have fun.

Best moment: Idris Elba has a knack for starting a sentence with soft spoken eloquence before all OF A SUDDEN SHOUTIN IN A COCKNEY ACCENT AND FORGETTIN HE WAS PLAYIN AN AMERICAN! As the ludicrously named Stacker Pentecost he gets the best movie line of the year though:

 

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8.  Gravity – When a film receives such overwhelming critical and commercial success, there is always the fear that it will be an overhyped one trick pony like Avatar. Thankfully, the crowd pleasing Gravity is fully deserving of its praise. Sandra Bullock is fantastic as the embodiment of the human struggle and Alfonso Cuaron’s remarkably detailed and intuitive style of direction makes the space-set thriller gripping from start to finish. Awe inspiring visuals and atmospheric (sorry) levels of suspense make for an excellent 90 minutes of film fun.

Best moment: Ryan Stone (Bullock) methodically fiddles with some space shuttle thingy-ma-jig, her back turned to a fast approaching storm of satellite debris. In 3D, you can pretend you get killed every time a bit of twisted metal shoots out of the screen. BAM, you’re dead….BAM, you’re dead.

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7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Better than the first, but hopefully not as good as the third…though we’ll have to wait a year to find out. The Desolation of Smaug felt like a brand new adventure, not a heartless CGI clone of The Lord of the Rings as did Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit film.

Best moment: SMAUG

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6. The Wickerman – Yes, this was a re-release extended version of the 1973 cult classic but it STILL counts. Director Robin Hardy (celebrating his 84th birthday) was present for the screening at the surprisingly plush Stockport Plaza. Post-credits he answered some questions – mostly about the bizarre soundtrack – and threatened to kill himself by jumping from the stage if anybody upset him.

Best moment: Oh GOD! OH JESUS CHRIST!

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5. Elysium – The second feature from saffa director Neil Blomkamp, Elysium was a gritty sci-fi depicting an Earth ravaged with poverty, disease and dubstep (same thing?) Falling victim to an industrial accident, the streetwise ex-con Max (Matt Damon) has just days to get to the space station of Elysium, home to the social elite and their magical ‘heal everything’ machines. It didn’t match up to Blomkamps’s debut District 9 but the visceral dystopia is brilliantly realised and the slow mo action sequences make you want to high five everyone in the cinema.

Best moment: Indestructible mercenary Kruger (a genuinely terrifying Sharlto Copley) is so tough that he tends his barbecues with a katana.

 

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4. The World’s End – The final chapter in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. Edgar Wight’s last Cornetto was never going to match up to Shaun’s earnest zombie- bashing charm or Fuzz’s genius, reference friendly script but it’s undeniably ambitious and contains LASHings of laughter. The World’s End has layers – you’ll still be picking things up after three viewings – and the excellent soundtrack is worth multiple listens too.

Best moment: ‘Smashy Smashy Egg Man’.

 

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3. Iron Man 3 – Replacing John Favreau at the helm, Shane Black brought a levity to the Iron Man franchise which really thrust it to the top of the super-hero movie ladder. In a post-Avengers world, Tony Stark is haunted by the events of the New York invasion as well as his own hedonistic past. Part comic book movie, part road movie, part drama, the believable acting is interspersed with inventive action set- pieces. There’s even a kid side kick that, for once, doesn’t ruin everything.

Best moment: The Ben Kingsley ‘Mandarin’ reveal. You have to see it really.

 

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2. Filth –James McAvoy gives hands down the best performance of the year as venal Scottish police detective Bruce Robertson in this riotous Irvine Welsh adaptation. Bruce fronts a carefree swagger as he goes about his repulsive, coke snorting, pill popping, back stabbing ways but inside his head it’s a different story all together.

Best moment: There are too many to choose from. Just watch the film, ‘ye fu***ng bofty!’

Here’s a clip:

 

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1.  Django Unchained – Some critics panned it as a three hour indulgence and excuse for Tarantino’s excessive use of the ‘n’ word, but it’s so much more. An epic tale of love and vengeance, Django Unchained has a perfect cast, the best original score of the year and hilarious dialogue which belittles the slave trade and racists everywhere.

Best moment: Big Daddy and the masked townsfolk pre-ambush, bickering over the impracticality of their disguises. Well SHITFIREE!

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