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2013- New Films Viewed

by thebones
Movies that are new to me in 2013. Reactions: Zero Dark Thirty- Engrossing and deftly crafted. Much better than Hurt Locker. Truely satisfying. 8/10 Brothers McMullen- Doesn’t really hold up, but still watchable and has heart. 6/10 The Last Picture Show- More bleak than I thought. Acting isn’t great but it’s so well put together. Classic. 8/10 Sleepwalk With Me- Suprisingly charming. Made by a fellow Shrewsburian. Funny and worth a look. 7/10 2001: A Space Odyssey- Not something I’ll be revisiting soon, but an incredibly dense and satisfying experience. Gorgeous film and left me with a lot to chew on. I do love going over a lot of the… Read more

Movies that are new to me in 2013.

Reactions:

Zero Dark Thirty- Engrossing and deftly crafted. Much better than Hurt Locker. Truely satisfying. 8/10

Brothers McMullen- Doesn’t really hold up, but still watchable and has heart. 6/10

The Last Picture Show- More bleak than I thought. Acting isn’t great but it’s so well put together. Classic. 8/10

Sleepwalk With Me- Suprisingly charming. Made by a fellow Shrewsburian. Funny and worth a look. 7/10

2001: A Space Odyssey- Not something I’ll be revisiting soon, but an incredibly dense and satisfying experience. Gorgeous film and left me with a lot to chew on. I do love going over a lot of the meanings in the film but will say it’s not the most entertaining ride. 9/10

She’s The One- Same idea as McMullen but with better production value. Little “student filmy”. Aniston is actually good. 6/10

Silver Linings Playbook- Really entertaining for about 60% then turns into a screwball comedy. Loses some of it’s grounding. 7/10

Sound of My Voice- Draws you in. Brit Marling is absolutely frightening. LOVE the ending. Logic is a bit flawed but really good. 8/10

Sleepwalk With Me- Charming and funny. A good first effort. 7/10

Valhalla Rising- After a lot of recommendations, I did not have a good reaction to this film. The violence is out of place and strange. Overall, not enjoyable. 3/10

Despicable Me- Charming animated flick with some heart. Not great. 5/10

Primer- Too much science. It gets bogged down in these inane details. The stuff between the two friends is strong. 6/10

The Perks of Being a Wallflower- This book meant a lot to me in high school. I was afraid they wouldn’t get it right. I think they did and then some. Really good performances (the worst of which was Emma Watson who’s still good). Logan Lerman was really good. Good soundtrack. Hit all the right notes and was something I look forward to revisiting. 9/10

FLIGHT- Denzel Washington’s performance is good because it’s against type. The guy is a great actor and it’s nice to see him play something different but everything else cobbled around this is laughable. He’s the saving grace. 4/10

The Last of the Mohicans- Day Lewis is solid here but I could not get into this film. The action is fine but I never bought the romance or what was at stake. 4/10

The 400 Blows- Pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to take out of this. The main character was great. Don’t know if it’s a rewatch but I’m glad I saw it. Pretty impressive cinema. 8/10

Before Sunset- Great follow up to ‘Before Sunrise’. Linklater keeps two people talking really interesting. I really did enjoy this more than ‘Before Sunrise’ because of the end. 7/10

Argo- I can see why this would win Best Picture. While I don’t agree, it is a very well done, competent and solid film. The opening was really great. Performances were strong. My one pet peeve: Narration during the credits. Well done. 8/10

Lincoln- I feel stupid, but the script was so wrapped in a style of dialogue that it was hard for me to follow. But theres no denying Day Lewis’ performance. Pretty to look at and fun to watch DDL, but I couldn’t latch on to it. 6/10

On the Waterfront- A bit overblown for me and stagey. Brando is great and the score is great. I can see how important it was to famous filmmakers, but I didn’t love it. 6/10.

Yojimbo- You can see how a lot of westerns and Tarantino-esque action films took a cue from this film. Colorful characters and good performances. There is an energy that’s a bit off for me, but you can’t deny it’s championing of style. Worth my time but didn’t thrill me. 6/10.

Raising Arizona- A ton of fun. Great opening; great chase scene. Performances are wonderful and it plays like a trashy fairy tale. 8/10

Upstream Color- Missing some parts but totally engrossing and enthralling. I love the tone and the pacing. 8/10

Holy Motors- At first catch, not something I was getting into. But it wraps you in and delicately gives you answers to the many questions you have. It’s funny, tight and moving. One of my favorites of the past year. Unique and crazy. 9/10

Smashed- Mary Elizabeth Winstead is really strong here and Aaron Paul is doing his best work as well. Choppy, short and fragmented take the punch out of it. 5/10.

Margaret- A really tough film to wrestle down and wrap my head around. It had some great performances and where it wanted to go was pretty awesome. But it’s an unfortunate mess that goes really broad and theatrical. I may have missed the boat, but if you had any interest in seeing it, do so. It’s a film I’m still wrestling with but not necessarily loved. 7/10

Annie Hall- This is a bit of a cheat. I consider this new because I saw it once VERY long ago. I remembered none of it. But a classic rom-com and Woody Allen at close to his best (still partial to Manhattan and Hannah and her Sisters). 9/10

A Late Quartet- A surprisingly pleasing drama. Solid performances. Script is a bit weak but it’s at it’s best when we let the players play. Direction is stodgy and doesn’t help. 7/10

I just realized that these were three NY films in a row. Solid multiple feature

Room 237- A very so-so documentary. Confusing and really only worth it for Shining fans. Nothing illuminating. 3/10

Celeste and Jesse Forever- Performances are solid and it has it’s moments but nothing amazing. 5/10

The Spectacular Now- A very rich, gorgeous and well performed film. It has moments of pure emotion and rawness that has still stuck with me. My favorite from IFFB. 8/10

The Way, Way Back- Other than Rockwell, a very so-so feature. Felt very short and thin. 5/10

V/H/S 2- Great concepts and great formatting but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. Fun, but really not anything strong. 4/10

The East- Starts good; goes nowhere fast. Brit Marling is good and it’s pretty solid but it has some big problems in terms of stakes. 5/10

Star Trek: Into Darkness- Aside from being a mild Trek fan, this was a really fun action flick with good performances. Chris Pine is once again great as Kirk and it’s hits the dramatic notes. A really pleasing, fun ride. 8/10

The Apartment- I’m so glad I filled this hole in my cinematic catalog. An utterly charming, romantic and touching film. Lemmon is genius and the emotion is so earned. One of the smartest and tightest scripts I’ve ever seen put into production. One of my new favorites. 10/10

Rust & Bone- A very nice surprise. Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotilliard are both brilliant and have great chemistry. I love how the plot weaves together. Ending falls apart but really solid up until then. 8/10

Side Effects- Pretty boring and languid. The twists and performances are kind of ‘meh’. Felt pretty by the numbers and boring. 4/10

To Rome with Love- Woody Allen lite but still enjoyable. 6/10

Spring Breakers- I love the look and tone of this flick. The acting is solid and the story arc keeps you guessing. I liked it, heading toward loved, then backed off by the end. Good film. 8/10

The Impossible- Say what you want but this movie got to me. I thought it was really well done and powerful. 8/10

Pacific Rim- Another “say what you want” film, but I really liked this. The script is a total clunker and the acting is par when at it’s best, but the structure and story are sound and the stakes are high. Great action and a fully realized world. A ton of fun. 8/10

Pitch Perfect- Really not that bad. Charming, mildly funny and the music is catchy as hell. Anna Kendrick is good in this with everyone else being fine. Solid. 7/10

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind- Rockwell is great in this and this is another example of great directing mixed with a Kaufman script. The tone is right and the editing is superb. A real underrated gem. 8/10

Promised Land- Really good film-making. A little thin on the story and the ending was pretty silly but I liked the performances. 8/10

Only God Forgives- Outside of Kirsten Scott Thomas and the style, I couldn’t really grab on to the narrative enough to want to re-watch it. A solid experience but nothing that shook me. 6/10

Ruby Sparks- Started like a typical quirky and annoying indie and ended up having a bit more heart and narrative to grapple with. By the end, I didn’t hate Paul Dano quite like the beginning. 7/10

Blues Brothers- Catching up with this classic. It’s kind of gonzo comedy and music, coupled with Belushi, makes this a gem. A lot of fun but not sure I’d revisit it. 7/10

The Place Beyond the Pines- Engrossing and totally wraps you in it’s web. I love the performances and direction and how the plot is weaved through the three chapters. A new American Classic. 9/10

The Great Gatsby- Glossy and impressive to look at with good performances but something felt a bit off. Not a great reaction. 6/10

Eyes Wide Shut- Kubricks last film and a fine one at that. A bit tough to slog through as I think there are parts that are not necessary in the film. Tom Cruise is really good here. The score and the long shots really draw you into the dangerous maze. The best part is the feeling of still unknown menace that our protagonist is willing to let exist and not explore deeper. The feeling of unease after this film was perhaps it’s strongest part. 8/10

Searching for Sugarman- A really nice documentary with an interesting subject. 7/10

Take the Money and Run- Not one of my favorite Woody Allen’s but had moments of screwball humor. 5/10

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger- Funny and enjoyable but a bit thinner than I wanted. 7/10

+1- I’d be interested in maybe checking this again for some of the things I may have missed if it wasn’t such a student-filmy mess. So many threads and characters left as archetypes without any type of emotional meat to them. The logic in this movie is often times preposterous. The writing is aimless and the acting is beyond dull. Yet, theres something still culling for understanding. Intrigued only because I think there may be more here. Otherwise, a wreck. 2/10

Mad Max- I love the story and tone behind the movie. Even the plot is pretty badass and while I can get behind the Lo-Fi ness of this, it didn’t grab me the way I hoped. Fun, but not revisitable. 6/10

Gravity- A real triumph and breathtaking to see in IMAX 3D. The way movies should be. 9/10

Stories We Tell- A real good film. Beyond the fact that it’s a documentary, there’s something so germaine to the purpose of family here. Fun twists and turns and a film worth seeing. 9/10

Lars and the Real Girl- Beyond Ryan Gosling, the real stars here are the supporting players who give this film humanity and warmth. Gosling will break your heart but the cast puts it back together. Great score. 8/10

Walk the Line- Forgot to add this a few months ago, but this was well acted. I didn’t love it but I could certainly appreciate the look and performances.
7/10

Fitzgerald Family Christmas- Ed Burns again. The warmth in this was fantastic if albeit a bit predictable. I loved the performances and the casting but the movie went in a direction I thought was really safe. I’d watch it again but I was bit let down. 6/10

Man of Steel- Call it heresy, but I was not a fan. It’s solid sci-fi blockbuster fanfare but there wasn’t really any connective tissue piecing it all together. It felt very edited and that it should have been a longer film. 4/10

The World’s End- A really fun romp with a great cast. I enjoyed the going home parts more than the larger sci-fi story but really a good time with some great moments. 7/10

The Queen of Versailles- A great documentary about the perils of wealth and a good mirror for the current economic climate. A gut check and a solid documentary. 9/10

Hunger Games: Catching Fire- Really enjoyable and well executed. They really focus on the performances and casting with this and let the effects play out. A darker, more engrossing engagement than the first movie and worthy of a watch. 8/10

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb- Catching up with the classics here, but another one I just did not connect with. Had moments of humor but just not engaging to me. 4/10

Lawrence of Arabia- Finally caught up with this masterpiece. Different than I expected but amazing. A must watch classic. 10/10

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