Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Films That I Saw: December 2013

The new year is approaching as it’s certainly been a crazy holiday season as far as the number of films that have been coming out. At this moment, I’m going to take a break from the world of film-watching in order to do a few other things as of right now. Especially as I am working on my year-end reflections piece for New Year’s Eve where I will tally the number of films I saw for the entire year and make a list of the 50 best first-timers that I saw in 2013 which will not count films released prior to 2010.

In the month of December, I saw a total of 39 films, 27 first-timers and 12 re-watches. Up from last month where the highlight of the year was my final Blind Spot assignment for the year in Battleship Potemkin.  Here are the 10 best first-timers I saw in December 2013:

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

2. Fallen Angels

3. Au Hasard Balthazar

4. La Notte

5. Days of Being Wild

6. Late Autumn

7. Blue Steel

8. Nebraska

9. Early Summer

10. Dallas Buyers Club

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

I like apocalyptic films when it’s done right but this one was a let down. I like the cast and the premise but I felt it wasn’t well-executed where it wasn’t really sure what it wanted to be at times. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley do have their moments together but they’re not really given much to do but talk and endure certain craziness throughout the film. I like the soundtrack but there wasn’t really much for me to really recommend the film.

Sports in America

I’m a sucker for HBO sports documentaries yet this one is one of the best. It’s about the joy of sports in America where it brings people together. It talks about these great moments that make sports a place to escape all of the troubles of the world or how it can bring families together. Even communities and races when things are down or they feel left out. It’s one that is very touching where it features commentaries from regular people and a few athletes and celebrities talking about these great moments in sports and why it is a good thing in America.

Triple H: Thy Kingdom Come

While Triple H isn’t likely to be in my list of the 20-25 best wrestlers of all-time, there is no question that he’s made a great mark in the world of professional wrestling. Even as he started out in WCW for a couple of years as a low-card talent and then arrive in the WWE with a horrible gimmick only to work his way to become one of the company’s top guys. The documentary not only made me respect him more because of his work ethics but also what he is trying to do for the WWE behind the scenes though he’s still got a long way to go as 2013 is certainly the worst year the WWE has endured creatively.

Jack the Giant Slayer

I don’t think this film is one of the great disasters of 2013 but it is still a pretty disappointing film. I like the cast as I think Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor make a great team while Eleanor Tomlinson is pretty good. I was just unimpressed with the scale of the film and the overemphasis on CGI. Plus, the look of the giants weren’t so great after all which made the overall result a very mediocre film.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. City of God

2. Black Narcissus

3. The Princess Bride

4. Hoosiers

5. White Men Can’t Jump

6. Skyfall

7. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

8. Namath

9. Point Break

10. The Cowboy Way

That is pretty much it for December and certainly the last of these monthly reports for 2013. In January, I’m going to do a lot of work on silent films from the works of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd as well as some films by Kathryn Bigelow for the upcoming Auteurs piece on her plus films by Pedro Almodovar, Francois Truffaut, and Steven Soderbergh as they’re going to be subjects of the Auteurs series later next year. New releases I hope to review will be films like Her, Labor Day, and The Past. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off.

© thevoid99 2013

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