Top 13 of 2013


Happy New Year and all that jazz! I am a little late for this post because my life has been turned upside down as of late. The last two weeks of 2013 were a whirlwind of indulgence and saying goodbye. 2014 came in a flash of parties and friends, hopes and dreams - and now here we are.

I have moved away from Vancouver to start a new chapter in my life. The decision came from deciding to remove myself from distraction and to refocus on my career and priorities. I will be in a 'Writer Exile', spending time in Edmonton, AB to regroup with my family and rediscover what being an Artist means to me.

Now that we have all that superfluous, introductory catch-up talk done with, let's get to the meet of bones of what we are really here for: The Top 13 of 2013

These are my TOP FILMS of 2013, they can be Oscar Nominees, tear-jerkers, hilarious comedies or infamous book adaptations - either way they made my top list and here's why.


13. 
Ender's Game 


Another sci-fi book adaptation that I thoroughly enjoyed. You don't expect much out of big budget Hollywood movies with movie stars like Harrison Ford. What I saw was a fun adventure film with a young cast that really holds their own. If you've read the book, you know it can be a much darker and grittier film. The adaptation does a good job of keeping that element while still making it a PG13 blockbuster. 

Kudos to the young Asa Butterfield for a great performance! 


12.  Oblivion 

This was definitely one of the underrated films of the year. I just think it's the Tom Cruise thing but this film is a cinematic exploration of sight and sound. M83 does the soundtrack for this space adventure and seeing the exciting action-packed story unfold on a beautifully apocalyptic Earth was a treat. The plot is exciting and filled with enough substance to keep you on your toes. 


11. The Great Gatsby 

 I have a soft spot for Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio. Combine the two with a hedonistic and stunning adaptation of one my favourite novels, and you get an arthouse big budget film with Lana Del Rey voicing the soundtrack.

Definitely not a hit with critics this year but it's definitely in my Top 13. And it's my blog, so there.





10. 12 Years a Slave

A jaw dropping and heartbreaking true story about Solomon Northup, I've already written about how much I loved this film here


9. This Is the End 


Look at that poster. Look at that poster. How can a film with that cast be anything but a raucous laugh? Roll a j, get the junkiest food you can and sign up for a pop-culture smash hit with Hollywood's funniest guys. Also, an amazing amount of hilarious cameos (Michael Cera, Rihanna, Channing Tatum, and oh, did I mention Emma Watson?)



8. Frozen

I've already written a whole blog post about why this film is such a breakthrough animated film! I won't repeat my extensive review here. What I will say is that this was such a joyful and heartwarming adventure. 


They say movies reflect what the world is going through at that time; uplifting movies during periods of depression/economic turmoil, reflections on past human tragedies during times of change etc. 

Humans have always been fascinated by space and by the number of movies concerning space travel and the future on my list, this interest is only increasing. For when we've conquered all of Earth and exploited her riches, where to next?

This is just my existential rambling, so let's see why I loved the Star Trek sequel.

It was another surprise! Sequels are seriously upping their game. Into Darkness definitely brought a new level to visual storytelling; the sequence where Noel Clarke's character agrees to terrorism in exchange for a cure for his daughter, all done with no dialogue, really captured my attention.

Bring in Benedict Cumberbatch as a surprise villain and you have one of my favourite movies of the year!

6. Rush 


I don't know anything about F1 Racing and I don't care to know anything about it, and this film is in my Top 13. Ron Howard brings us a vivid and heart pounding biopic about a rivalry between two real F1 racers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel BrĂ¼hl. Not much to say except that performances, cinematography and a well written script really made some movie magic happen here.


This is a modern day Hitchcock film: a beautiful woman, the handsome antihero, twisted plots concerning psychology, pharmaceuticals, and love affairs. And don't forget the well paced unfolding of characters playing a strategic game. 

This was supposed to be one of Steven Soderbergh's last films - let's hope not as this film is something that you don't see anymore. Something as good as it is surprising. Kudos to the cinematography and excellent star-studded cast. 



One of Woody Allen's best films. A witty, tragic and yet hilarious, modern retelling of "A Streetcar Named Desire". Cate Blanchett is phenomenal in this!



3. Gravity



Aflonso Cuaron's masterpiece. The opening scene itself is 17 minutes long; a gorgeous tracking shot of space and our little blue planet. The visuals and symbolism in the film take this thrilling 'lost in space' journey to a whole new level of enlightenment. 

The technicality of filming this deserves an award in itself; paired with an exciting, edge-of-your-seat script and fantastic performances by Clooney and Bullock, you get the ride of your life. 

This is one film that you must see on a BIG SCREEN WITH BIG SPEAKERS!


2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


Obviously, this is one of the biggest movies of the year. How could it not be on my list? And this is one film that is not overrated and completely deserving of it's box office success. 

Not many times do book adaptations, let alone sequels,  live up or surpass their predecessor. Catching Fire did. How shocked was I to see Suzanne Collin's complicated plot so perfectly put onto the big screen? A movie that is 2hr48mins should not be that engaging. All you want is more!

How can we not love everything about this movie? From the excellent writing, visual effects, musical score, costumes and of course the cast! Our favourite leading lady, Jennifer Lawrencedelivers. My favourite performances in this film are by: Elizabeth BanksPhilip Seymour HoffmanJena Malone and Stanley Tucci.


1. The Spectacular Now


So here is my #1 film. I know many may not agree or may be surprised but I have never been so touched by a film as much as this one.

I have raved about this movie to everyone I know. Here is a coming-of-age story that is truly modern and flips our ideas of what it is to grow up on its back. Written and directed by James Ponsoldt, this is a film that is as nostalgic as it is contemporary.

"The Spectacular Now" takes the audience back to a time when we aren't so innocent but we are invincible. The writing is natural and comes from a genuine place of innocence and hurt, of a first love that is unforgettable.


The young cast do a stand-up job. I definitely fell in love with Shailene Woodley after this and will continue to watch her star rise! (See her next in Divergent)


Honorable Mention: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (it's LOTR, of course it was in my top list of enjoyable films!) and Despicable Me 2 (a whole lot of laughs and cute moments).

Well, there's my Top 13 of 2013. A little late and missing some great movies that I haven't had a chance to catch yet! (HerAmerican HustleThe Wolf of Wall Street, Blue Is the Warmest ColorNymphomaniacThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty ... are just a few.)

Happy New Year, and here's wishing everyone good movies, inspiration and great opportunities for 2014. 










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