Here’s another short list. Because I’m out of time. I turned 30, and I am ashamed.
…And for the somewhat Jackie Robinson biopic, w. Harrison Ford, the N-words kind of obscure the picture enough that I don’t know what to take away from it, other than hatred and death threats… something I already got.
One of the best movies of 2013, in my opinion. (Not as influential as Dallas Buyers Club, which I’d finally seen last night, but Oblivion made history too.)
Starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough (the chameleon), Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo… Set in the future, “Jack Harper” (Cruise) is sent out to make repairs to unmanned drones, but finds some really bizarre activity along the way. Aliens?
As the plot unfolds, things only get stranger. Freeman with a cigar, testing Harper… the writers keep you guessing until it’s revealed exactly what’s going on. Without spoiling it, I’ll just say it involves clones.
A lot of reinvention was made for the sci-fi genre, against the blackness since Alien, this film dares fill the brightness of the sky, night and day with projection.
And quite literally— projection. Stanley Kubrick’s idea, around 2001: A Space Odyssey, the method of recording and projecting them— all these mountainous environments, onto a platform screen. Reflections in the eyes, practical lighting— like magic.
This film is so visually stunning, so remarkable that it’s worth buying on Blu-Ray.
Yes, I said it: buy it.
The Frozen Ground (2013)
Scott Walker spent quite some time writing this, trying to find the right movie, but finally landed on a quasi-documentary. Nic Cage as an Alaskan detective, and John Cusack as a serial killer, in a real-life story, where the names of the people involved are altered, respectfully.
Cusack was forced to play his role realistically, how real serial killers behave: like normal people during the ‘daytime.’ Not a monster, but a person with a double life.
But ultimately, the girl (Vanessa Hudgens) stole the show. Originally titled, “17,” the drive was her story, the actual woman now living a normal life, this dark past, helping put the killer away, far in the past.
Keri Russell and some other name stars bring a somewhat silly dream to life: Jane Austen’s time and characters, with reenactment and little-to-no tolerance with modern life, in “Austenland.”
A huge fan, of the books, the realization in media, buying a life-size cutout of the big actor of the time playing one of the biggest Austen charaters… our lead spends a small fortune to get into Austenland, albeit the ‘cheaper’ ticket.
She grows tired, of course. But in the end, something nice works out.
Don Jon (2013)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s first time as writer/director/actor, this movie puts po rn addiction in the spotlight. He’s unable to climax without visual stimulation. Our lead character eventually falls, hard. (No pun intended.)
The film also has an unexpected ending. You’d think it’d be Scarlett, but no; she actually ends up being kind of the bad guy in this picture. Manipulative and unforgiving, one slip up on delivering her demands = betrayal. She has her own habit/addiction, to romance movies.
But in real life, Joseph is… mundane. The movie turned out, in my opinion, a little corny. It delivered the message, and it flashed its way of ‘true love,’ with faces almost merging together, Don and Esther (Julianne Moore) ‘becoming one.’ I’m sorry, but it sounds like starting and ending with fantasy.
Enough Said (2013)
James Gandolfini’s final film before his untimely death. Julia L. Dreyfus plays a woman who accidentally has a relationship with both the guy and his ex-wife, not putting the puzzle together until late that she’s the ex’s massage therapist.
The film also co-stars Toni Collette, in her about-native Australian accent, as another masseuse in the biz. Then there are the kids, some of the difficulties in life.
The movie kind of leaves you wanting more.
In A World… (2013)
Sort of a nod to the late Don LaFontaine, the voice artist who passed away some years ago, this fictional tale was crafted by Lake Bell, a.k.a., indecisive woman (Lucy) in No Strings Attached.
It’s… interesting. It co-stars Fred Melamed, a.k.a., “Mr. creepy neighbor who’s porking your wife” from A Serious Man, for his deep voice. It ends with Bell landing the job, and getting the guy. Not to spoil it, I won’t say what job and what guy.