Now that the calendar now says 2014, it’s time to look back at the films I saw for the first time in 2013. I tried to put a focus on seeing things that weren’t just new movies, aiming for at least 20% of the films being at least 20 years old. I was successful in that pursuit, with 31 of the 154 films I watched meeting that criteria.
Yep, I said 154. Two short of hitting 3 films per week… unless, of course, you count the hour-long “Thomas & Friends” short-films I watched with my son. There were at least three of them… though none of them are going to get any awards, and that’s what this write-up is all about.
For the list of what I saw, in the order I saw them, check out the base page for Film Quest 2013.
Most Pleasant Surprises
HER – I went into this with low expectations, and really all I thought it would amount to was a clever film that I might enjoy rewatching at some point. I never considered that it might be the type of film I’d recommend to my sisters, but I absolutely would.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED – The premise sounded interesting to me, and I was expecting a fun little indie flick, but I really, really enjoyed this film… and so did my wife!
DREDD – I figured this would make for a fun evening with some decent action, but I never thought it would be the type of movie I’d want to watch more than once or twice. Seriously, this movie is proof that it’s not a terrible idea to revisit source material where a previous movie failed 15 years ago.
TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL – Horror isn’t exactly my favorite genre, but this was one of the best I’ve seen of its type. It took absurdist humor, and sometimes physical comedy, and folded it into the plot so excellently that it’s hard to say whether it’s “horror” or “comedy”, but it does great with both.
INTOUCHABLES – This was a film that I hadn’t heard about before someone recommended that I watch it, and it was so good that I watched it twice that first week. I didn’t even mind the subtitles, which typically aren’t my favorite.
THE HEAT – I had heard this was a funny movie, but I wasn’t expecting to laugh nearly as much as I did.
TINY FURNITURE – Some of the episodes of Lena Dunham’s GIRLS show on HBO are actually really entertaining, and there are some strong characters… but clearly she wasn’t as inspired for this film as she is for her show.
SHAME – It’s not a terrible movie, but for all the hype it gets, this Michael Fassbender vehicle was very average. His performance was good, as was that of Carey Mulligan, but there wasn’t much about the story to enjoy, nor how it played out.
PRINCESS MONONOKE – Although I’m not a huge fan of Anime, there have been a couple that I enjoy, and given the high praise that some people give this film, I thought it would get onto the list with Akira and Vampire Hunter D… but it’s nowhere close.
THE DESCENDANTS – Hard to believe this film was nominated in the Academy Awards’ Best Picture category, but I’m glad it didn’t win. It wasn’t a terrible movie, but I wouldn’t watch it again.
FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT – Thus far, I think I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen from Jason Segel, and yet, this film is one that I have to leave off the list of things I’d ever CONSIDER watching again. I even enjoyed “I LOVE YOU, MAN” more than this.