Wednesday, January 02, 2013
(Frankly I am still shocked that I saw enough movies in 2013 to fill up a Top Ten List...Way to go complicated private life!) 1.) Coriolanus Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes. Ralph will always get props from me for adapting a Shakespeare play for the screen that the late Orson Welles insisted was "Shakespeare's worst play for film treatment". And moreover, he got Gerard Butler out of the action movie ghetto and into a serious part, what more can we ask of any Shakespeare movie? 2.) The Avengers. Stan Lee is a credit stealing hack who loves money the way a hog loves slop. Just needed to establish that...because Joss Whedon did indeed take Stan Lee's superhero franchise and did something seemingly impossible, he pulled off a great multiple super hero team up. That and he got Mark Ruffalo off the rom com circuit...hell Ruffalo is best Incredible Hulk since....Bill Bixby. For better or worse this is will be the Gold Standard Superhero movie they will all be riffing off of for the next twenty years. Remember this when it comes time for Superman and Batman to team up in the movies. 3.) The Dictator Normally I can't stand Sacha Ben Cohen's act, mostly because it is predicated on persecuting the unsuspecting in comical ways...but give him a script and a character to play lo Cohen can really step up. Kudos to his sentimentally unsentimental ending as well. 4.) Moonrise Kingdom Best movie I saw all year hands down, Wes Anderson is a genius, Harvey Keitel in a Boy Scout Uniform and a walrus moustache is worth the price of admission alone. 5.) Hit and Run There are some old genres I will always linger over, we thought the car-chase movie had gone the way of Burt Reynolds' hairline...but no thank Ghod Dax Sheperd and Kristen Bell and co-director David Palmer believed enough in this project loopy gearheadeness and all to invest their own money!. And anyway, one willing to drag Tom Arnold out of obscurity and dress him up as a gay US Marshal is ace's high in my books! 6.) Bachelorette Y'know, Kirsten Dunst is funny because she realizes when she has to throw her beauty and poise onto the comic bonfire. The rest of the cast, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Lizzy Caplan have to squeak thru by being merely excellent in every way. Besides we are long past due for a purely distaff response to the berserker antics of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill...and these ladies threw down with aplomb. 7.) Seven Psychopaths Another scene stealing triumph from Woody Harrelson who shines here in every way when he isn't being upstaged of course by Christopher Walken. Yeah I know Colin Farrell is in this thing somewheres as well. 8.) The Queen of Versailles Cautionary tale on what happens when David Siegel a real estate mogul and GOP fundraiser builds a bloated super mansion to dwarf Hearst's own ode to Gigantism, San Simeon, only to have the economy crash as the tile is being laid...How will his willfully optimistic trophy wife Jacqueline ever adapt? I could be a Chevy Chase comedy or a bad sitcom starring Mark Harmon, but no...did I mention this is a documentary? 9.) Flight Denzel Washington has been in some bad movies, but he rarely if every turns in a bad performance. So it's all the more pleasurable when he gets a script worthy of his talents. 10.) Lincoln I was skeptical of Daniel Day Lewis as the Great Emancipator, but this guy IS LINCOLN...the midwestern drawl, the clumsy grace the weird charisma of the man and even the tendency towards prolonged anecdote it is all there in once package. This is another film that'll be the measure of future Lincoln based projects going forward.