Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quentin Tarantino's favorite films of 2013 so far; check out my list as well

Quentin Tarantino is known as one of the most prolific directors in Hollywood. He's also one of the most respected cinephiles in the world, due to his extensive and almost random knowledge of obscure films. So when he says that he likes a movie, people notice. That's why I found it interesting that Tarantino came out with a list of his ten favorite films of the year so far today. It's a very interesting list, mixing heavily panned blockbusters, critical smashes and obscure indies. Check it out (the list is in alphabetical order):

-Afternoon Delight- directed by Jill Soloway- R
-Before Midnight- directed by Richard Linklater- R
-Blue Jasmine- directed by Woody Allen- PG-13
-The Conjuring- directed by James Wan- R
-Drinking Buddies- directed by Joe Swanberg- R
-Frances Ha- directed by Noah Baumbach- R
-Gravity- directed by Alfonso Cuaron- PG-13
-Kick-Ass 2- directed by Jeff Wadlow- R
-The Lone Ranger- directed by Gore Verbinski- PG-13
-This is the End- directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg- R

It's certainly an odd list. But for every Kick-Ass 2, there's a Gravity. So it all evens out and I'm really happy that Tarantino knows what he likes, and I wish that I could be so sure in my opinions as he is in his. I've only seen Gravity off the list but I know that I'll make an effort to see The Conjuring, Blue Jasmine and Frances Ha, along with potentially seeing This is the End and The Lone Ranger. However, the main reason that I posted this was that I wanted to share my list. I figured that we're in the calm before the fall storm right now, and I really want to get some of my opinions on the year in film so far out there. Here's my list:

1. RUSH- directed by Ron Howard- R

Rush is a fantastic action/drama mixing thrilling action sequences, good old-fashioned tension, a strong script, two great performances, fantastic pacing and a cool factor that hasn't been matched by a movie in a long while, Rush will entertain and delight whatever audiences find it for years to come.

2. GRAVITY- directed by Alfonso Cuaron- PG-13

Gravity has its share of problems, led by a couple of lags in the story, a runtime that's a bit too short and a slightly subpar performance by George Clooney, but once it gets going, it's some of the best cinema in recent history. There are so many great moments and Sandra Bullock is spectacular. I'm going to make sure to see this again in theaters, just to see the 3D so I can say that I got the full experience.

3. THE WORLD'S END- directed by Edgar Wright- R

The World's End is without a doubt the funniest movie of the year. It's also possibly the most entertaining. One of those comedies that you can pop in any time, but also works as a film in its own right, The World's End is infinitely quotable, immeasurably cool and was a great way to end the summer.

4. FAST AND FURIOUS 6- directed by Justin Lin- PG-13

The best popcorn blockbuster of the summer, Fast and Furious 6 is a blast of popcorn entertainment that really got me in the summer spirit. It starts out with a bang and is filled with some of the best choreographed action scenes in recent history. Not to say that it isn't full of humor and heart too, because it is. It's a really fun action film. 

5. LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER- directed by Lee Daniels- PG-13

The Butler is a historic drama that is very entertaining, emotional and raw, and it is filled with great performances. Oprah actually does a great job and David Oyelowo is the standout. It slips up in a way that had a big impact on me, but The Butler was still a very effective and entertaining film that is perfect for what it was trying to do.

6. ELYSIUM- directed by Neill Blomkamp- R

A science fiction epic that is filled with grimy futuristic detail and a darkly violent vision, Blomkamp's Elysium gets bogged down in places but never enough that it overshadows its greatness. It has an incredibly likable protagonist along with a spectacular supporting turn from Wagner Moura. Elysium isn't quite visionary, but it comes close in several ways.

7. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS- directed by JJ Abrams- PG-13

Star Trek Into Darkness is a film that I was initially disappointed by, but in a way, have come to love. If you go in expecting The Dark Knight with Star Trek, you won't get it. If you think of it as this generation's Indiana Jones or even the original Star Wars trilogy, you won't be disappointed. STID is filled with great action, beautiful special effects, and a well written take on the characters.

8. PACIFIC RIM- directed by Guillermo del Toro- PG-13

I think that I just really want to see this movie again, but Pacific Rim has grown on me with time. It's so visually delightful and so packed with detail that you can't help but love it. It's got a weak story, but the supporting actors keep it afloat and it ends up being a really great homage to the monster genre.

9. ROOM 237- directed by Rodney Ascher- NR

Room 237 is a movie that I had almost forgotten about when I was compiling this list, but when I compared it to other films I considered for this slot, it blew almost all of them out of the water. Room 237 is a documentary that is so compelling, so intriguing, so filled with somewhat plausible detail that you just can't help but be drawn in. It's a great work of documentary filmmaking.

10. IRON MAN 3- directed by Shane Black- PG-13

Iron Man 3 feels slightly more like a Disney film than The Avengers did and it has its share of flaws. But you can't help but overlook the flaws and really enjoy this movie. It's got a great plot twist, some great action scenes and works well as a superhero mystery. It's a really good addition to The Avengers canon.

So that's my list and also Tarantino's. Sound off below. A few of these movies have almost guaranteed spots on my final list at the end of the year, and others are just having their moment in the sun today. I'll see you for the final list in December.

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