2013 has finally drawn to a close. “Finally” not because it’s been a bad year that we want to forget, in fact quite the opposite. 2013 was an exhausting year for film with quality films spread across all twelve months, not just cramped into November and December. The blockbuster season started earlier than ever this year, and the prestige season was kicked off in bold style with “Gravity” in the beginning of October.
For a year that was so packed with films we thought it fitting that we make as many lists as possible to make sure that we acknowledge as many great films as possible. So let’s boo boo!
Worst film: “Star Trek: Into Darkness”
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” stood out in a field of mediocre movies this summer. Films like “The Lone Ranger” and “G.I. Joe” were plagued with production problems, and were destined to be disasters upon their release though. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” though had everything going for it: the first film was pretty good, the cast got along great, and J.J. Abrams was on top of the world. If only studio executives had realized how monumentally terrible and unpolished the script was, which cashed in on phony nostalgia and essentially just repeated the first one, then we wouldn’t have to deal with the disappointment that made “Star Trek: Into Darkness” our worst film of the year.
Best Action Scene: Bathroom Fight (“The World’s End) & Hong Kong Brawl (“Pacific Rim”)
We have a tie for best action scene of 2013! This one was a really close category, as we were bombarded with smart action movies all summer and even into the fall. “The World’s End” gave us an amazingly kinetic fight, 5 v. 5 in the close confines of a men’s toilet. Though the camera cuts many times, the whole fight is staged like one continuous shot, with fluid camera work and an amazing sense of space. It’s ball to the wall bananas from the first moment where Simon Pegg knocks a kids head off against a toilet all the way to the end where he figures out what the f**k WTF means.
Also coming in at numero uno we have the Hong Kong brawl from “Pacific Rim,” which takes the fierce physicality and inventiveness of “The World;s End” and extends it across a whole city. It’s giant robots fighting giant monsters with swords and cargo ships. How could it not be in the number one spot?
Runner up: the barrel escape sequence from “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug”
Best Comedy: “This Is the End”
Even though we left the apocalypse behind last year with all that 2012 shenanigans, the imminent death of our planet was still on everyone’s mind. Who would have ever guessed that “This is the End” would be as hilarious as it is? What initially seems like Seth Rogen’s excuse to throw a huge party with all of his friends, “This is the End” quickly gets to the matter of the apocalypse, but more importantly how earth shattering it can be to lose a best friend. “This is the End” matches all the blood and death on screen with actual heart and affection towards everyone in the movie, except for Danny McBride. Screw that guy.
Best Film: “Gravity”
“Gravity” was worth the wait. While Cuaron was waiting for the technology to catch up to his visionary ideas, he was perfecting the story of Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock). This is the first use of 3D where without it, there would have been a huge loss to the story itself. The 3D gives the depth to space one needs to fully fathom how big, alienating, uninviting, and quiet outer space truly is. Space acts as another character in the story alongside Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). You will be drawn in with the arm-rest squeezing tension that fighting for one’s survival in the vast, unknown desert of outer space can only bring. And there couldn’t have been a more perfect ending for this stunner of a movie.
Runner-up: “12 Years a Slave”