Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Best and Worst of 2013: Movies

Last year I went through every one of the movies I saw in 2012, from worst to best, and gave a tiny capsule review. I am... not going to do that this year. But I will give you my ten best and ten worst and then a few extra silly awards handed out for good measure.

Top Ten Worst Movies I Saw in 2013 (From Least to Most Terrible)
10. Warm Bodies (2013). All the more frustrating because the first half hour was so creative and original. Then it's all thrown away with the stupidest ending they could possibly have thought of.
9. The Devil Is a Woman (1935). A confusing melodrama that plays up all the annoyingness of the femme fatale.
8. She's the Man (2006). A terrible modernized version of one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Amanda Bynes is ever so unfunny.
7. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). Good thing I watched this one with Jacob and was able to snark loudly at it the whole way through. That's the only way to get through it.
6. Men in Black II (2002). This sequel is annoying and not in the least bit funny.
5. The Birth of a Nation (1915). I know it's important, but it was so boring.
4. Pierrot le Fou (1965). I can't even remember what this was about, but I remember disliking it.
3. Barry Lyndon (1975). Barry has to be one of the most unlikable characters in the world.
2. The Mask (1994). My siblings heard me literally screaming at this movie the whole time I was watching it from my room upstairs.
1. Identity Thief (2013). One of the least funny comedies I think I have seen in my entire life. Even funny people like Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy couldn't save this. This was so painful.

Top Ten Best Movies I Saw in 2013 (From Least to Most Awesome)
10. Ruby Sparks (2012). A fantastically creative and original story about relationships. This one kind of flew under the radar, but it's absolutely worth the watch.
9. Seven Psychopaths (2012). I had so much fun with this one, I watched it three separate times because I kept telling people they needed to watch it. Hilarious and poignant and moving, and Sam Rockwell wins everything.
8. Silver Linings Playbook (2012). The only one of last year's Best Picture nominees I really loved, with a compelling script and great performances.
7. Pitch Perfect (2012). No judging. I can't help how awesome Anna Kendrick is at freaking everything she does.
6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Yes, I did watch movies not from 2012. This is one of the few westerns I've seen that I really enjoyed. James Stewart is just wonderful in this.
5. Trust (2010). A dark, marvelously scripted drama with some incredible acting.
4. Much Ado About Nothing (2012). Joss Whedon knows how to get good performances from his actors, whether they're speaking Buffyspeak or Shakespearean verse.
3. The World's End (2013). Loved this and laughed so hard all the way through. Wonderful end to the Cornetto Trilogy.
2. Better Off Dead... (1985). The most surprising discovery from my 28 Days of Romance challenge. It's darkly hilarious and absurd. The only movie that made me laugh more in 2013 was...
1. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). Everything that was good about the first Anchorman movie, times a thousand. I almost could not breathe during the fight scene because I was laughing so hard.

And now, some random awards.

Made Me Feel Most Awkwardly Embarrassed For Everyone Involved: The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012). Let us particularly note the "Low Rider" scene.

Made Me Most Hate Likable Actors: Admission (2013). How do you make Tina Fey and Paul Rudd so annoying?

Most Awkward Christmas Special: Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977). Let's celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: an awkward donkey whose mother froze to death and who was led by Cupid to Bethlehem.

Most Unnecessarily Long Shots Ever: Stalker (1979). We've been watching them look pensively into that tunnel for like three minutes now. Is something going to happen? No? Then why are we still watching?

Had Most Fun Live-Tweeting: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). You can all look forward to me live-tweeting the sequel as well when I get around to it.

Creepiest Appearance From a Non-Creepy Actor: The Paperboy (2012). JOHN CUSACK PLEASE DON'T EVER PLAY A BAD GUY AGAIN.

Most Show-Stealing Side Characters: Wreck-It Ralph (2012). Could not have cared less about Ralph and the girl. This should have been an entire movie of the soldier woman and Fix-It Felix.

Best Brad Pitt: Burn After Reading (2008). Alternatively, it's the runner-up in the Most Show-Stealing Side Characters category.

Most Confusing To Me That It Was a Big Deal: ParaNorman (2012). It was a super generic horror flick, but it got all this acclaim because it was animated. Whatever.

Most Disappointing Ending (Besides "Warm Bodies" Which Was So Disappointing It's In My Worst List): The Call (2013). This was very nearly a 4 1/2-star movie, guys.

Least Team-y Team Fighting Movie: The Avengers (2012). Assemble, dang it, assemble!

Best Rescue Scene Ever: Sharknado (2013). If you've seen it, you know EXACTLY what scene I'm talking about. Because there is no better rescue scene in the history of mankind.

Most Surprisingly Good, Given That the Last Thing I Saw This Director Do Is At the Very Bottom of My Flickchart: Chasing Amy (1997). I may have to rethink my disgust for Kevin Smith.

Best Michael Shannon Being Crazy: Premium Rush (2012). Never stop playing crazy, Michael Shannon. NEVER.

Most Shockingly Awesome Sequel: Men in Black 3 (2012). Who'dathunkit?

The Movie My Video Store Almost Never Got Back Because They Suddenly Shut Down Before I Had a Chance to Return It: The Woodsman (2004). I did manage to get it back to them when they had their big "buy all our DVDs" sale. I wouldn't even have returned it then, but they called me and asked for it back.

Least Like The Cover: The Sessions (2012). Like Lars and the Real Girl, though not to that extent, this is a thoughtful, sweet movie whose marketing kinda makes it look like a cheery sex romp.

Best Silent Movie: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927). To my recollection, this is the only silent non-horror, non-comedy I have ever enjoyed.

Most Inferior Original Version: Open Your Eyes (1997). Generally originals are better, but I gotta go with Vanilla Sky on this one.

Best Noir: In a Lonely Place (1950). Does exactly what noir is best at: showing the darker side of humanity. Fantastic.

The Movie You Had To See In Theaters: Gravity (2013). In 3D. Possibly the only movie I will ever say recommend seeing that way.

Made Me Feel Most Oddly At Peace Despite Being a Horrifically Depressing Movie: Melancholia (2011). Maybe it's because you can't actually get more depressing than Kirsten Dunst in this movie, so I felt awesome by comparison.


  1. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance so much! I'm also down with Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and I agree with you about Wreck-It Ralph. I don't really have anything else to add, I'm afraid!

    1. I think my issue with most westerns is that I seldom identify with any of the characters. I just don't in any way connect to the cowboy archetype. For me, James Stewart in Liberty Valance gave me a lead character I could sympathize with, somebody through whose eyes I could easily *see* the story.