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2013 Film Discussion/Recommendation Thread

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#1 theremin



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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:44 PM

I'm thinking about posting below, and also updating this first post with stuff about  2013 films. Hopefully it'll give  a good rundown at EOY time. Hopefully caley will do the same.  



Iron Man 3: Unabashed love for this. I remember when Shane Black said that one of their goals was to go back to the roots, and make it more of a mystery, and less suit. Those scenes were really just as thrilling, if not more, than a bunch of stuff flying around the screen blowing up. 


Oblivion: A good looking sci-fi film that is also just this huge mash-up of other sci-fi films. Some thrilling scenes, and some fairly well-kept secrets puts it in a category I'm not sure about. Both much better and much worse than a lot of similar big-budget films. 


The Place Beyond The Pines: This movie REALLY surprised me. I had read a couple synopsis's that were a paragraph or two and was very surprised that it only covered the first 50 minutes of the movie or so. At that point the next 50 minutes is completely different, and the last half hour takes place 15 minutes later. It's honestly almost epic in scope. 


The Pool: This film has a VERY limited run in 2008. FINALLY showing up on DVD. This thing won a jury prize at Sundance. It's directed by Chris Smith (American Movie, Yes Men), but it's a quiet narrative about human interaction. It takes place in India/is in Hindi. 


Promised Land: Seemed to have an OK release in 2012, but no one voted for it, so I'm not sure if anyone saw it. I thought this was going to be a typical hippie save the world movie (this time about fracking), but it actually had some really interesting twists and turns. 


Robot and Frank: Another Sundance film. Frank Langella is great as an old retired man whose son gives him a robot to keep in company.  (Too bad the "robot's are going to take over the world" thread is gone.)


Room 237: An absolutely fascinating look at a handful of people's intricate theories on the secret meanings behind Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. I'm not sure if these people are insane or brilliant. Or both. 


Samsara: My favorite movie I saw in 2012, this had a limited run in 2012 and came out on DVD at the very beginning of 2013. It's from the director of Baraka. RIYL: Koyaanisquatsi. I liked it better than both. 


Side Effect: Was very surprised by this one. I thought it was going to be a pretty straight-forward drama, but there were some REALLY interesting plot twists that, while I saw them coming, I only saw them coming 5 minutes early, not 45 minutes early. 


Upstream Color: Shane Caruth's (Primer) 2nd film is actually a lot easier to understand than his first film. While its structure may seem difficult at first, when the film was over we realized that we understood everything that was happen as the movie was going. This and Room 237 are the movies I saw this year that have stayed in my mind the most. 


Warm Bodies: I enjoyed this zom-rom-com a lot. It's funny, not completely stupid and the characters are very likable. 



#2 caley



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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:46 PM

I've only seen a handful of 2013 flicks and all of the action variety.  I had really planned on seeing 'Stoker' but never got around to it.  'Oblivion' and 'Place Beyond the Pines' are still likely.


Any this is everything from 2013 I've seen from best to worst



The Last Stand: Completely fun and absolutely improbably action flick with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a smalltown sheriff who ends up having to defend his town from an escaping drug cartel leader and his squad of goons.  Schwarzenegger is great, adding in the "I'm too old for this shit" wrinkle to his tough persona and as it's directed by a Korean filmmaker, it's often much bloodier and more violent than it needs to be.  The Johnnny Knoxville comedic sidekick element from the commercials was way underplayed in the film (which is good because it looked DREADFUL in the previews).  Plus, I love the fact that it ended with a straight-up hand-to-hand fistfight.  This probably won't be anywhere near my Top 10-20 at the end of the year, but it was really good fun.


Gangster Squad: This was also terrific.  A loosely-based-on-fact-but-really-mostly-fictional take on a group of cops taking down Mickey Cohen in 1940s Los Angeles.  Ryan Gosling is handsome, Josh Brolin is rugged, Sean Penn is at his mugging best as a slimy bad guy, Nick Nolte growls around in his old way, and Robert Patrick turns in this great performance that leads me to wonder why he hasn't been doing Westerns for years.  It's big and loud, fairly dumb, but always, always entertaining.  If you're looking to be informed or educated, stay far away (Also, what are you doing watching a Ruben Fleischer flick if you're looking for historical accuracy!), but if you're just looking for some silly dreamy fun, go nuts.



Bullet to the Head: I really wanted to love this.  Sylvester Stallone as a hitman who goes after the people who sold him out, directed by Walter MF'ing Hill.  But, it was just average.  The action scenes succumbed to that quick-cut mentality that you can't see what's going on and it was more of a buddy cop film than the aforementioned Schwarzenegger film that was advertised as a buddy cop film.  Anyways, it's all young-Asian-cop-uses-Internet/cellphone-to-solve-crimes but when it comes down to it old-guy-who-beats-people-up-does-it-better and that, but it's got a nice brisk pace and it's never terribly boring.  Also, Jason Momoa is so much better as big bad guy who's an asshole than he was as Conan the Barbarian that it's like night-and-day.  Momoa from 'BTtH' I'd watch all day.  Momoa from 'Conan' was awful.


G.I. Joe: Retaliation: This movie pretty much sucked.  I hated the first one but held out hope for this one because even though they lost Joseph Gordon Levitt, they added The Rock and Bruce Willis.  But, yeah, it was still awful.  Action scenes are practically unwatchable.  Comedy is ill-suited and bad (Cobra Commander saying "Destro...you're out of the band!" pretty much sums this up).  Even as a childhood G.I. Joe fan I could spot problems with character backstories (Since when did Firefly the ninja assassin/bad guy become Firefly the biggger than The Rock/master of robotic fireflies).  It was all so annoying that by the time Willis turns up (And The RZA, oddly enough) that I couldn't be bothered to care and just wanted it to be over.

"'I Love My Dad' is the only one that slightly annoys me, maybe because I never loved my dad."