Overall, 2013 was not a very good movie year. It started out with dissing the masterpiece called Lincoln and recognizing Argo as the year's best movie (don't make me laugh), continued with the sudden loss of the great Roger Ebert, went through summer mode with only one worthwhile blockbuster, and provided lousy superhero movies: a Thor sequel, a Wolverine sequel to prequel, and an attempt to resuscitate Superman, which failed ... again. And to be honest, I think I was too kind to Iron Man 3.
Don't know - maybe it's because TV got so good this year ("Breaking Bad", "House of Cards", "Game of Thrones", "The Walking Dead", "Downton Abbey", ...), it's become as entertaining as cinema. Or maybe just that the great 2012 movie year spoiled me. A few months ago, I was thinking of listing only 6-7 movies as my favorites of the year.
But then suddenly during the past two months, there was an explosion of surprisingly great movies - to the extent that I had to eliminate some very good films (Oblivion, Frozen, Enough Said, Catching Fire) to narrow the list down to 10. At the last minute I saw The Act of Killing, and was forced to kick the great All is Lost off the list too. In the end, I had a hard time deciding which was my top favorite movie of 2013.
So here's the final list. All have earned the "MoMagic!" score. Yeah ... the year ended that good:
1. The Act of Killing
2. Before Midnight
4. Fruitvale Station
9. Star Trek Into Darkness
10. The Wolf of Wall Street
Yep; no 12 Years a Slave, no American Hustle.
So for the favorite movie of 2013: Considering that my main criteria to call a movie "good" is its ability to entertain, and considering how bad the year was going, when I saw Star Trek Into Darkness, I thought: this is it. Nothing will be able to overpower this.
But then Gravity came along, and renewed the feeling of enjoying the moment, the power of 3D, and the philosophy behind watching sci-fi. And then Her happened, which redefined the meaning of human relations, both in the past and in the 21st century, making me think in a way not reading so many books could. These were two movies that disconnected me from this world, and made me want the experience to last a very long time.
Am I allowed only one pick as the best movie of 2013? Okay, if someone was holding a gun to my head, for my favorite movie of 2013, I would go with ... Gravity.
How can you top a movie, that gives the act of Sandra Bullock, all alone in space, woofing like a dog, so much meaning? How can you top that?
For the worst movie I saw this year, I don't care if famed directors made Pacific Rim or Trance (Guillermo del Toro and Danny Boyle, respectively). I thought both were terrible movies. And Trance was a little worse than the other.
Let's see who's nominated for an Oscar tomorrow morning.