I’ve been uncharacteristically absent from the 2015 movie scene so far (only 4 new releases and 9 theatre trips!) but I’m hoping to more than make up for lost time this summer. Last summer’s movie crop turned out surprisingly well (at least in my opinion) so hopefully this year follows suit.
I love movies. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to sit down and write about them but I love them! In 2013, I made 57 trips to 9 different theatres to see 50 different features: 47 different new releases, 3 return trips to This Is The End, 1 encore each for Spring Breakers, The Conjuring, The World’s End and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, crazy-fun screenings of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as part of a “Cornetto Trilogy Marathon” and a special one night only 3D screening of The Time of The Doctor, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Quite a year. Read on for a spoiler-free round-up of the films that resonated with me the most.
As far as movies go, 2013 has been a bit boring so far. There were the movies we assumed would be great (Spring Breakers and Side Effects), the movies we assumed would be bad (A Good Day To Die Hard and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. No offense, Bruce Willis.) and a couple of small but pleasant surprises (I enjoyed Warm Bodies and Oz: The Great and Powerful more than I ever expected to). But think about last year at this time: we already had movies like The Cabin in The Woods, 21 Jump Street, Chronicle and The Grey under our belts and we were mere days away from The Avengers! I’m hoping that the upcoming summer movie season is just an embarrassment of riches because the spring movie season was kind of just embarrassing.
But when it comes to movies, I am eternally an optimist so I’ve compiled a list of 15 movies that could most definitely turn 2013 around. Here’s to hoping!
I accidentally never got around to writing my “Best of 2010” last year (I finally posted a commentary-free version today, just to finally have it out of my hair.) which is a shame because I was much more enthusiastic about that year in film than I was about 2011. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the films in 2011. I did! There were plenty of fine films. And that’s kind of the problem. Most of them were perfectly fine. Some of them were pretty bad. (Looking at you, Sucker Punch.) But for the most part, there was no Scott Pilgrims, Black Swans or Social Networks. Oh, don’t get me wrong: there were a handful of 2011 releases that truly floored me. (One in particular that I found so spectacular, I paid to see it twice IN A ROW.) But for the majority of the year, when I walked out of the theatre, I was more interested in talking about my dinner plans than I was about discussing the film I just spent $12 on.
It’s not that I expect every film I see to blow me away, I just would like to walk out of a movie and have something to say about it. And sadly, in 2011 that was rarely the case. In fact, until the last few weeks of the year, I was having trouble coming up with a Top 10, let alone a Top 25. Then I saw a couple of movies (no list spoilers, I’ll discuss this further below) that reminded me why I love going to the movies, why I love sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and experiencing a film on a big screen for the first time. So I went back, rewatched (with a new attitude) some 2011 films I had previously been lukewarm on and composed this list. Some of them I loved, some of them I just liked. But of the 69 different 2011 releases I saw, of the 57 trips to the movies I made (51 different movies: 41 new releases, 2 repeat viewings of Drive, 1 encore each of Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, X-Men First Class and Horrible Bosses, the 10 films screened at AMC’s Best Picture Showcase, special event screenings of Sixteen Candles and Taxi Driver and of course, the American debut of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair at the New Beverly), these are the ones that stuck with me. Are they the best 25 movies in all of 2011? Heck if I know. But they are the 25 films in 2011 that I talked about when I left the theatre, films that made me feel something, movies that reminded me why I love movies.
Oh and fear not, this post is SPOILER-FREE. Unless you consider basic, broad plot details spoilers in which case, I think you’re being a bit silly. But hey, it’s your life.
I really have no excuse for not posting this sooner. It’s stayed mostly untouched in my blog’s queue for over a year now, even though I finished the actual list itself before 2010 was even over. But as much as I enjoy procrastinating, I also quite enjoy finishing things I’ve started so I am still going ahead with this list even though it is wildly irrelevant now. What follows is my Best of 2010 list, minus the commentary. Because let’s be real, you’ve probably seen all these movies by now anyways and if I had to sit here and write about 25 different movies that are 2 years old, this would NEVER get done. The intro remains intact because it was already finished and I like to have my movie totals every year. Apologies for my laziness and many thanks if you care enough to click.
Early enough in the year to still be effective, late enough in the year that I had to strike 2 films off the list (The Green Hornet and The Adjustment Bureau) because their release dates already passed!
Back in the old days of my Xanga blog, July 18th was the arbitrarily chosen official date for my to post my unofficial reviews of the year’s movies I’d seen so far. I’d been hoping to carry on that tradition on this new blog, but various factors beyond my control (illness, family vacation, inconsiderate landlords who give you less than 24 hours notice when he’ll be doing repairs that require you to leave your home for days, etc) derailed that plan unexpectedly this year.
HOWEVER, the majority of this post was written pre-July 18th and I don’t like change, so for all intents and purposes, we’ll consider the July 18th tradition alive and well. (So obviously all of the following stats & reviews are only up until July 18th. Because otherwise the majority of this would be discussing Scott Pilgrim and honey, that would make this a much longer and much more hysterical post.)