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Old 12-20-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

1. Her -
[Show spoiler]Her is the film of our generation, the generation of touchscreen interactivity, instantaneous worldwide communication and various once in a lifetime experiences within reach from your household. Yet we've become more inward and antisocial with social networking taking over conversing with one another. Her is the sort of film that could easily wave it's walking stick at you for two hours and tell you everything that wrong with the world, but it doesn't. Cynicism is replaced with the uphill struggle of making "a man falling in love with his computer" not only believable, but incredibly touching. The result of this is an incredibly complex study of what love really is? No two people will come out with the same opinion, some people will be moved and some will be creeped out, but the fact that the film can split audiences acceptably and question what they saw and their reactions, is a masterclass of filmmaking.

2. The Wolf of Wall Street -
[Show spoiler]Scorsese's three hour epic of coke snorting and hooker fondling came in late, yet it even surprised me by how good it was. The film's twisted morals entice you in and you get taken on a high speed ride led by DiCaprio as some deranged Willy Wonka driven by money and you find yourself disgusted by the repulsive actions this self-deprecative man-child come false prophet engages in, when in the films final moments Scorsese twists the knife into your back reminding you why you paid money to see this. Diabolically satirical and heavily rewatchable.

3. The World's End -
[Show spoiler]Even as a huge Edgar Wright fan, I had trepidation when approaching this one. Needless to say I needn't had, while not as reference heavy as the team's previous films, The World's End is still as rapid paced and hilarious as they've previously proven themselves, while still giving off a new flavour. The film revolves around 5 heavily flawed characters yet likeable characters as their night of heavy drinking descends into a horrific nightmare, the film maintains a central core look at loss of identity and addiction despite it's high concept idea. Although a few people have been left disappointed by the film, I think it will earn more respect as time goes by.

4. 12 Years a Slave -
[Show spoiler]Not my favourite film of the year, but easily the best. Completely harrowing and unbearably heartbreaking, Steve McQueen's film doesn't cop out by fuelling his film cheap techniques to tug at the heart strings but employs intellectual thought in the audience members to carry the films weight. A film like this would of garnered easy accolades by taking the simple route but instead the importance of the film is made by the questions on human nature.

5. Inside Llewyn Davis -
[Show spoiler]One of the most earnest and rewarding Coen's efforts to date, Inside Llewyn Davis is very funny and often somewhat from beginning to end, despite it's cynical script, there's an element of Llewyn Davis inside everyone. We all have ambitions and lofty dreams, but we might never reach the potential we feel we deserve, either through our own wrong doing or simply the feeling of the universe being against us. There's something somewhat comforting about the film despite the fact it's down beat message is one we all usually don't want to hear, so at least we can always trust the Coen's to break hard news softly.

6. Pacific Rim -
[Show spoiler]Taking place of guiltiest pleasure on the list, Pacific Rim charmed it's way into my heart like no other blockbuster came close to this year. Frantically kinetic and a feast for the eyes with it's neon colour palette, the film is as corny as the popcorn you eat yet it thrives from it's sheer enjoyment of it's ludicrous plot and old fashioned comedy. Pacific Rim is dumb, but at least it has the good nature of being fun instead of being pompous and self absorbed like most the Summer films where.

7. Nebraska -
[Show spoiler]Dry and dreary, Nebraska is a film many will dismiss because of it's bitter unpleasant aesthetic. However once you drill past the exterior, there is a warm fuzzy core about reconciliation, as a Bruce Dern's delusions and fragile character drifts in search of a quick buck, his son begins to discover more to his father and the lives he's touched (and possibly harmed). There are many layers to this heavily funny film that will prove more and more rewarding with rewatches.

8. The Act of Killing -
[Show spoiler]Possibly one of the more hard hitting films of the year, it's arguably one of the most important and hard hitting. Director Joshua Oppenheimer creates a documentary that sneaks so close to the truth, you feel both in part privilege and horrified by what you see. Without spoiling much of the film's concept, the subjects are tasked to make a film about things they have done in the past, which leads to some of them to question what they have done, and others to celebrate the war crimes they committed. In part a study of violence through a lens and audience preconceptions, and part insight to a corrupt country unable to develop and face what it had done, The Act of Killing is simply riveting and is nothing like you've seen before.

9. Before Midnight -
[Show spoiler]The Before series closes it's doors again allowing us to catch up with the most genuine screen couple placed on screen. Richard Linklater again crafts a lovely film that rich in emotion and comedy, without any contrivances. Developing these characters and their relationship either further than ever before, we never wish to be in anyone else's company throughout, even when the mood turns sour in the latter half. Before Midnight is just a sheer delight, and I'm hoping to see the return of Celine and Jesse in another 9 years.

10. All is Lost -
[Show spoiler]Tense and taunt survival that never let's up. Robert Redford plays the unluckily sailor of the film, who uses many methods to survive the onslaught of storms. The interesting thing that hooks the viewer into All is Lost is it's lack of backstory, other than a few ambiguous clues, the audience are left to craft a story for the character. By this, the film becomes a self reflective image of your own means of survival.

11. Gravity -
[Show spoiler]Technical craftsmanship in everyone's favourite film of the year. Gravity is a rollercoaster thrill ride like no other, using state of the art technology, the sort of feels like what we would get if we blasted Hitchcock up into space. At the end of the day, Gravity is just a fantastic experience that's refreshingly basic and tight.

12. Captain Phillips -
[Show spoiler]Captain Phillips is one of the years biggest surprises for me. Not being a big Paul Greengrass fan, I went into the film a bit uneasy due to his style of filmmaking. But his docu-drama camera work added to the intensity and fluidity of the picture, as the superb script kept slowly turning these characters into positions where you never expect the to go, which all boils into the most phenomenal climaxes of the year, that just leaves you completely drained.

13. Frances Ha

14. Don Jon -
[Show spoiler]Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut is confident and flashy as can be, thankfully it has substance to back up the effort put in. Despite not being subtle in it's strokes, Don Jon is not just a study at porn addiction but the pornographic assault from the media leading to false expectations and disconnect from reality. Don Joh has plenty of flaws, but it's blunt, honest and endearing sensibility makes it an easy and enjoyable watch.

15. Blue is the Warmest Colour -
[Show spoiler]Despite the hoorah made around the explicit sex scenes, Blue is the Warmest Colour is as heartfelt and honest as they come. A coming of age story like no other yet all to familiar, Blue makes for occasional heavy viewing, but the lengthy three hour runtime flies by before you even notice it, as you find yourself so endeared and captivated by the wonderful relationship and performances from the two leads.

16. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire -
[Show spoiler]While the first film was a decent attempt at bringing big sci-fi themes to the young adult audience, the sequel nails the tone of the novels while ironing out the issues the original film had. The dystopian future presented here is absolutely devastating and the film never eases up on the overbearing misery presented, making one of the more stronger blockbusters of the year. It's only let down by it's fairly anti-climatic ending and disturbingly ironic marketing campaign.

17. Upstream Colour -
[Show spoiler]One of the strangest films of the year, Upstream Colour is enigmatic throughout, even after watching you'll question what you have just seen. Shane Carruth's sensationalist film relies on visuals and soundscapes to put across a story based upon a complex and imaginative Eco-system to leads to the most original and compelling film plot of the year, while dealing with huge themes of omniscience, identity and the nature of suggestion. Every scene ties in with any other scene creating infinite room for interpretation.

18. Sightseers -
[Show spoiler]Darkest comedy of the year. Ben Weatley's odyssey of sex, drugs, murder and oversized pencils is hilarious throughout. Often leaving you unsure whether to laugh or cringe, the performances bring a wonderful sense of dimension to it's peculiar characters and the bizarre script leaves many quotable lines and weird scenarios that'll make you look upon the English countryside in a whole new light.

19. The Place Beyond The Pines -
[Show spoiler]While the film is a bit of a mess in hindsight. It's one of the more ambitious films to come out this year. Attempting to be epic yet intimate, Place Beyond the Pines delivers some terrific performances, stand out scenes and a foreboding atmosphere to fit it's decade spanning parable. The longer it runs, the more contrived it becomes, but by that point you're completely captivated to forgive it's missteps.

20. Stoker -
[Show spoiler]Most stylish thriller of the year. Stoker is the Gothic B-Movie the arthouse audience loves. Rich in themes and cinematic gusto, the thin plot is made complete thrilling by Chan Woo-Park's terrific direction that creates very uncomfortable scenes and WTF moments.

21. Dallas Buyers Club

22. Prisoners -
[Show spoiler]Prisoners is one strange film. Despite the fact the film was ever so disappointing in it's final act, where the nuts and bolts loosen up a tad too much, the film still won't leave my memory. The film is simply a mighty impressive thriller, it looks amazing, acted brilliantly and the whole tone of the film never lets up, it's always downbeat and miserable as these characters further descend into desperation and despair. By far one of the best made films this year.

23. American Hustle -
[Show spoiler]Terrific 5 star performances in a film that's relatively three star for the most part. David O'Russell's vibrant ode to the 70's is a lot of fun and it creates very fun personalities that bounce off one another with ease, most the fun is in trying to work out who's playing who but the film's major problem is that it never fully builds to something substantial, meaning when the film begins to slow down, it really drags in those moments because you lack something to grasp. The performances really carry this film though.

24. Pain & Gain

25. Iron Man 3

Last edited by Foggy; 02-14-2014 at 06:57 PM.
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