Month: December 2013

My Favourite Five Films of 2013

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2013 has been a quiet year for quality film in comparison to 2012. However, I have managed to bring together a list of my favourite five films of the year.

As suggested in my worst five films list, this is completely based on my opinion and there maybe a number of quality films that have missed the cut simply because I have not yet had the pleasure of viewing them. Nevertheless, here are my favourite five films of the year:

5. Despicable Me 2

It is perhaps slightly odd to find an animation film in a list like this. However, I went to see Despicable Me 2 just a few days after seeing the third instalment of The Hangover and it is safe to say the former offered far more laughs (granted The Hangover Part III was poor).

Wreck-It Ralph just missed out as the animated inclusion on my list but Despicable Me 2’s vast range of comedy made it impossible to leave off the list.

Despicable Me 2 takes a significant step forward from its predecessor, with more chaotic comedy coming from those Minions (voiced by directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud) playing a key role.

4. Prisoners

Hugh Jackman is brilliant in this chilling crime tale. The audience are constantly on edge and enthralled in Prisoners with Jake Gyllenhaal adding an impressive cameo.

Prisoners expertly portrays the vast emotional struggles of child abduction and its dark and disturbing themes are certainly an absorbing feature throughout.

Tied in with it’s complex and intriguing storyline, Prisoners perhaps loses its face towards the end and is longer than warranted, but it definitely is a tense thriller for the majority.

3. Philomena

To say Philomena pleasantly surprised me would be the understatement of the year. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are both excellent in this heart-breaking story of a Catholic woman who is in search of her son after he was taken away as a result of her teenage pregnancy.

Philomena shares some harsh realities of life as a Catholic schoolgirl and the true story is well adapted.

Coogan shows a very versatile aspect of his acting capabilities, of which we may perhaps have not seen before, as well as Dench who is of course well established in the acting department.

2. Rush

Ron Howard can comfortably add Rush to his list of impressive films as this sports drama looks at one of the fiercest rivalries in Formula One.

Don’t let the sport aspect deter your interest. Rush has the perfect balance of driving and drama and both are impressive pieces of filmmaking.

One of the best features of Rush is the sound that is generated. The noise of the cars on the big screen, alongside Hans Zimmer’s exhilarating soundtrack make for a thrilling listen.

Impressive performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl also feature in this fast paced joy ride of a film.

1. Captain Phillips

Quite comfortably my film of the year. Based on the true story of the Somali pirate hijacking in 2009, Captain Phillips has your heart racing from opening to closing credits.

As well as Tom Hanks arguably putting in his best performance to date, all cameo roles – in particular head pirate Berkhad Abdi – are highly impressive.

Director Paul Greengrass expertly adapts and portrays the tale of the hijacking and unsurprisingly Hanks delivers on every emotional front in his acting performance

I will certainly be upset if Captain Phillips fails to win a number of awards come February, as it is by far my film highlight of 2013.

So Captain Phillips is officially my favourite film of 2013. As I have already mentioned, there may be a number of films that I have yet to see that could quite easily make this list such as Mud and 12 Years a Slave.

Do you agree with my list? What were your favourite films in 2013? 

My Five Worst Films of 2013

Now, before I reveal my choices for the worst films of this year, let me just remind you that they are based on my opinions only and you may well disagree with me.

Secondly, I have not seen every film that was released in 2013, so Movie 43 and Run For Your Wife along with a number of others, have perhaps had a lucky escape.

5. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Don’t get me wrong; I was as much as a fan of the first Anchorman as the next person and Will Ferrell is one of my favourite comedy actors. However, when they announced that there was to be a sequel, I immediately had worries. 

Anchorman 2 only exists due to the success of the first and it certainly disappointed many including myself. Everything great about the first instalment is lost in the second, trying too hard with the comedy to the extent of it actually being slightly annoying.

Anchorman 2 makes it in my list because it shouldn’t exist and it ruins what was so brilliant about the first instalment, which is one of my favourite comedy films, and that is a huge shame.

4. The Internship

Imagine watching a two hour-long advert for Google. That is what The Internship is. Only difference is, people actually paid to watch this ‘advert’ and Google will be laughing as a result.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are established comedy actors and both have featured in films that I like. But their acting counts for nothing in this film, which for two hours tells you how great Google is. I know Google is great – I certainly don’t need to pay someone to be told that.

The Internship is a painful watch and its lack of comedy fails to make up for it’s underlying message of how good Google is.

3. White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen

I’ve put both these films together because they are effectively the same movie and are both as terrible as each other.

Let’s start with Olympus Has Fallen. I can only imagine the paychecks for Aaron Eckhart, Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman were substantially more than anything else they invested towards the film.

The storyline is desperately weak and predictable. The special effects are dreadful and I could hardly take the film seriously with such a talented cast aboard.

The same can be said about White House Down, yet I have a little bit more respect because its slight comedy element shows that it perhaps isn’t taking itself as seriously.

Nevertheless, Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum star in White House Down which is as bad in every department and I sat watching it thinking, this film can’t decide what genre to fit into which is pretty important when you want to blow up the White House.

2. Kick Ass 2

Another example of a sequel completely destroying all the values and positive aspects of the original is Kick Ass 2.

I loved the first Kick Ass as did so many and I believe much of that comes down to Brit director Matthew Vaughn who approached Kick Ass with his Snatch/Lock Stock experience.

So when the sequel to Kick Ass was announced and he had demoted out of the director’s chair, I had worries.

Very similar to Anchorman 2, Kick Ass 2 tries to overdo what was so brilliant about the first and fails miserably. It is very generic and bland, losing the dark fun side from the first instalment and using it as an excuse to add more blood and gore and silly gimmicks.

1. Grown Ups 2

Another comedy sequel to make the list!

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a comedy and not laughed at least once. However this was the case with Grown Ups 2.

The first Grown Ups was by no means spectacular – there are at least some laughs but definitely nothing to warrant a sequel.

Worst of all, Grown Ups 2 took $234,000,000 at the box office which can only mean a third instalment is just around the corner.

It’s got to a stage in Adam Sandler’s career where he could probably make any film – good or bad – and it will make money.

Is he complaining? No, of course not. But for me, Sandler hasn’t made a comedy which has made me laugh since 2006, and that’s a shame because I enjoyed much of his work up until then.

So there we have it. Grown Ups 2 is officially the worst film I have seen this year. Do you agree? Have you seen a film that is worthy of making the list? Grown Ups 2 will take some beating…