Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Review Of 2013

It's that time again when we embrace a new year and take a look at the past. After the monster year that was 2012, I didn't know what to expect in 2013. At the beginning it was looking a bit dreary but by the end it was a brilliant year for cinema. If 2012 was for the blockbusters then 2013 was for the more independent films, as most of the big films disappointed this year whereas the smaller films did anything but. Keep reading to find out my top 10 of the year, and although in the UK we didn't get Her or The Wolf of Wall Street in December, my list is made of what I think are still some pretty impressive pieces of work. In fact, some of my favourite films of all time are on this list.

10. Thor: The Dark World
I see thee yay! Thor: The Dark World was the least disappointing of the blockbusters and Marvel films this year. What we got was a great action, adventure film that was packed full of punches, hammer time and Tom Hiddleston. The end result was great and the film was one of the most enjoyable of the year! You can read my full review here.

9. Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt wasn't messing around when he made his directorial debut. He's no fool when it came to casting himself as the porn addicted John who gets to date Scarlett Johansen. He's also no fool as a director and writer as he proved by making a fast paced, very funny film about a subject that has been rarely touched upon in cinema. A great piece of work, I look forward to what he comes up with next!

8.  Catching Fire
This film surprised me as I was very negative towards it in the build up to it's release. But what came was a great sequel that was on par with its excellent predecessor and even made me question as to whether I enjoyed it more than the book. Katniss Everdeen and Jennifer Lawrence herself are great role models and I can't wait to see what's in store for the character and the actress next! Read my full review here.

7.The Dirties
After hearing about the film through one of Kevin Smith's podcasts, I made sure to check it out. The found footage film genre may be getting a bit tedious but this film goes and reinvents it all over again! A great story about young filmmakers and a subject that could cause a lot of controversy, but is handled in such a great way. If you haven't seen it yet then check it out! It's a very well made, touching and funny film. Read my full review here.

6. Blackfish
This is a documentary that made me very angry but thankfully in a good way. It's one the best documentaries I have seen and came as a bit of a shock to me. If you haven't seen it then you must do so straight away. You will never go to Sea World again. A well made portrayal of a scary and shocking subject. A must see.

5. Prisoners
Prisoner is one of the best made thrillers I have seen in a long while and it contains two of the best performances of the year from Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman. A brilliant film that will have you on the edge of your seat for the whole viewing. You can read my full review here.

4. Gravity
Every now and then a film comes along that pushes the boundaries of filmmaking further than ever before. This year Gravity was that film. An absolute masterpiece of a film of the likes that I have never seen before on the big screen. Cinema at its best. Gravity was truly exceptional. Read my full review here.

3. Mud
Mud is a great example of brilliant storytelling within a film. I am a sucker for a good story and this one feels straight away like an untold american classic. Matthew McConaughey puts on a brilliant performance as Mud, the fugitive who needs the help of two young local boys to reunite him with his love. It's a heartbreaking tale of love and innocence that really struck a chord with me. You can read my full review here.

2. Rush
Ron Howard may have made his finest piece of work in Rush, the true tale of two Formula 1 drivers and their competitive rivalry. The film itself is a high speed spectacle that truly does justice to the men and their stories as well as giving us a racing film for fans and non-fans of the motorsport a like. The story is almost too good to be true, but it is! And it is one that must be seen to be believed. A superbly brilliant film. You can read my full review here.

1. Before Midnight
Although I came in late to the Before trilogy it still saddened me deeply when we finally started to see some cracks in the what seemed perfect relationship of Jesse and Celine. After falling in love with both of the characters from the previous two films, it was easy to love this film straight away but, also like the first two, it feels honest and real. Richard Linklater is a brilliant writer and director but he would be nothing without his perfect leads who truly bring the film to life with a film that made me laugh and cry. I hope we see the couple again in film 9 years from now or, if we're lucky, maybe sooner. I haven't reviewed Before Midnight on my blog fully yet but I will probably soon do a piece on the whole trilogy as they are some of the best films I have ever seen.

Now onto my favourite TV shows of the year, this definitely could be one of the biggest years for TV yet.

5. Arrow Season 2
Arrow season 1 was a bit hit and miss, with a lot more misses than hits! However after its explosive finale it seems as if the show has embraced its comic book mythology and superhero genre with every episode of season 2 being solid. Black Canary, Deathstroke and The Flash are just a few of the exciting things already being pushed in the season. I cannot wait to see how the rest of it turns out!

4. Eastbound & Down Season 4
Eastbound & Down never fails to make me laugh, like really laugh, and that is why I love it! I'm not going to lie, the finale of the show was a bit of a letdown for me but the rest of it was comedy gold. The great thing about the show is that it also has these great heartfelt moments that really make it something special. It also proved to me that TV wasn't dead after the finale of Breaking Bad. Surely this isn't the last we've seen of Kenny Powers is it? I demand a film!

3. Girls Season 2
There is something about Girls that really gets me. Although I am male, I seem to find something in all the characters that I can relate to that really makes this show close to my heart. I feel Girls is doing for my generation what Kevin Smith did with Clerks for his. It truly captures the emotions and heart of the moment in my life that I am going through right now. I cannot wait for the third series to start!

2. Game of Thrones Season 3
The Red Wedding. I think that's all I need to say. One moment that truly captured the spirit of the show. Nobody's safe and unfortunately now in its third season I am starting to connect more and more with characters, making me worry as to who is going to make an exit next. The show looks incredible and boasts one of the most well rounded series around at the moment.

1. Breaking Bad Season 5
I'm not going to lie. I love Breaking Bad  more than any film I've seen. Blasphemy from a film student I know but it truly is a gem. We will not be seeing a show like this for a while. The story, the characters, the cinematography, I fell head over heels for it all. I'm still getting over the final episode but one thing is for sure, Breaking Bad will always have a special place in my heart. It's TV at its very best, the Citizen Kane of the small screen if you will. You can read my farewell post to the show here.

That concludes my review of the year. It's been a good one hasn't it! Next we have 2014, the passing year whilst we wait for the big daddy that is 2015. However we still have some crackers to come. If you want to check out what I am most looking forward to next year then you can do so here.

What were your favourite films and TV shows of the year? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

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