Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Phil's Top Ten Films of 2013-Jan. 1, 2014

Hello again everybody and Happy New Year! Now I saw a lot films last year, at least over 130 of them!! Now that is a lot of movies to see in one year! Now I couldn't see every single film that was released (some that just came out I'll be reviewing later on), but over 130 movies is still pretty damn impressive! But remember, I am a professional and it's my job to see these films for you. So without further adieu, here are my Top Ten Films of 2013!

1) DALLAS BUYERS CLUB: Based on the incredible true story of real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live and went on to fight with the medical establishment, big pharmaceutical companies, and the U.S. government. Here, Matthew McConaughey gives his best performance ever! His portrayal of Woodroof is sensitive, sincere, funny, and touching. Jared Leto's portyal of a transgender woman Rayon is mesmorizing; he adds a lot of fun, flare, and is the perfect antithesis to Woodroof's redneck ways. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, his is without a doubt THE BEST FILM of 2013! If you don't agree, then you should see it again!

2): BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: Based on the 2010 French graphic novel Le Bleu est une couleur chaude by Julie Maroh, the film was directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and stars Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos), a 15-year-old girl who falls for Emma (Lea Seydoux), a mysterious, blue-haired art student. The film has that look and energy of the French New Wave movement from the 1960s: filmed mostly hand held, shot on real locations, and portraying love and life as a celebration. Despite all the controversy its received (namely the explicit and explosive lesbian love scene ever captured), the film is the most beautiful, breathtaking, poetic film about love that I have ever seen in my entire life!

3) INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: Written, directed and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film was inspired by folksinger Dave Van Ronk's autobiography entitled The Mayor of MacDougal Street. The film stars Oscar Isaac, who gives one of his best performances ever in front of the camera with portrayal of the struggling folksinger Llewyn Davis. With Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and John Goodman also making appearances in the film, and featuring an outstanding soundtrack by producer T Bone Burnett, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is one of the greatest films the Coen brothers have ever made! From the first frame to the last, you will never find a more perfect film to watch than this cinematic treasure!

4) MAN OF STEEL: Directed by Zack Snyder (300, THE WATCHMEN, DAWN OF THE DEAD) and produced by Christopher Nolan (director of the DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY), this reboot of the Superman franchise stars Henry Cavill in the title role. Cavill portrays both Clark Kent and Superman with such convection, strength, and vulnerability. Truly this man was born to wear the suit. He brings a new dimension to this iconic superhero. Also boasting an A-list cast of actors including Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Shannon, and you have an excellent film, full of superhero action, romance, some humor, alien invasion, and one heluva super battle finale!!

5)  WEST OF MEMPHIS: In 1993, the bodies of Christopher Byers, Steven Branch, and Michael Moore were found viciously beaten and murdered in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas. Less than a year later, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin were convicted of the crime, even though the prosecution's evidence was feeble and speculative at best. Almost 18 years later, the three wrongfully convicted men still claim their innocence and fight to overturn the injustices that have destroyed the larger part of their lives. Directed by Amy J. Berg and produced by none other than Peter Jackson, this documentary is a powerful, riveting, and unflinching examination of our flawed justice system.

6) AMERICAN HUSTLE: Writer and director David O. Russell (along with co-writer Eric Singer) once again knocks it out of the park with this film that is absolutely amazing! Bringing back his dynamic duo of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence from last year's award winning film SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK, Christian Bale gets lost in another character (his Irving is a character you love to hate), Amy Adams gives another Oscar-winning performance as Irving's love interest and partner Sydney Prosser. What I really enjoyed about the film was that story, which was so brilliantly written. There is that element of surprise which I loved. The film is just simply amazing from start to finish!

7) DESPICABLE ME 2: You want to know something? Kids movies are a lot of fun to watch! And this film made me feel like a kid again. And thanks to screenwriters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, this film has a much better script and better character development, which I thought the first one lacked. Gru's personality is enhanced, especially with the chance of saving the world. Plus being teamed up with Agent Wilde, we get to have a love interest that will take Gru to the next level. And having him be the hero gives the film a dimension, thus propelling the character to new realms. The film is packed with action and laughter, mostly from the scene stealing Minions, which are super funny, cute, and adorable! One of the best family films of 2013!

8) ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES: Director Adam McKay does a tremendous job creating a sequel that's funnier, crazier, and wilder than its predecessor.Of course it doesn't hurt that McKay once again teamed up with Farrell to write this outrageous follow up. These two madmen have done the franchise justice with this latest installment. The old gang that we know and love return to their respective characters and they are fantastic! Farrell, Rudd, Carell, and Koechner are just as rambunctious as they were in the first film, but here the laughter is cranked up to eleven! The film goes way beyond the first installment, making it truly the funniest film of 2013! Go see this while it's still in theaters!

9) BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL: Everybody knows who Bettie Page is, but does anybody really know who she is? Director Mark Mori sheds some light on our favorite "Queen of the Pinups" is this entertaining and informative documentary. Also the film was narrated by Bettie Page herself, which was culled from over 6 hours of interviews that Mori conducted with her prior to her death (she passed away on December 11, 2008 from pneumonia), so we hear the whole story from the pinup goddess in her own voice! Including interviews by Hugh M. Hefner, Bunny Yeager, Paula Klaw, Tempest Storm, and Dita Von Teese just to name a few, this is far and away the best film ever about Bettie Page!

10) STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS: In 2009, writer/director J.J. Abrams did the impossible with his re-imaging of STAR TREK. With this sequel, he expands on the characters we've all come to know and love while giving us one of the greatest villains of all time. The entire cast from the first film are once again reunited for this successful sequel and all turn in great performances. However the big star of the film is Benedict Cumberbatch, who's Kahn is one of the greatest villains to ever grace the silver screen. Unlike the previous incarnation, this Kahn is far more intelligent, more cunning, and more vicious. Overall the film is on helluva sci-fi, hi-octane, roller coaster ride of a sequel and a worthy entry in the franchise.

And there you have it folks! My Top Ten Films of 2013! Every year this list gets harder and harder to put together, but these were films that really made an impact on me, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading my picks. So if by chance there are films here that you haven't seen yet, I encourage you to check them out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by them!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

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