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Added by robertstackvoice on 1 Dec 2013 07:17
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side B 2013

Essentially ten of my favorite overlooked, bashed and general genre films of the year. No ranking this time. Rolled out in good ole' fashioned alphabetical order.
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It had me in tears within the first twenty minutes. And with a big dumb smile on my face for the next 90. The film is a pure joy to watch. It twists modern TV news satire and layer almost every scene with a range of gags to keep things fresh and moving. I would say this becomes one of the select sequels that surpasses it original at almost every turn.
I still can't get over how this franchise got me into it. And that its one of the few that actually has gotten me excited for whatever they have in store next. Of course you can't neglect the unfortunate loss of Paul Walker. He really did help bring this whole thing together. As far as last hurrahs go Furious 6 seems like the proper send off for the actor.

I loved Fast Five and this just adds to it. Goes big and does so in the grand fashion of action extravaganzas of yesteryears. Its creatively bombastic and still manages to get you kind of into these soap opera-sque family dynamics.

The future is very grey for Fast 7. We now know it'll be coming out April 2015 instead of July 2014. But beyond that we'll have wait and see how this cliffhanger concludes.
Like 'Son of Rambow' if even greater influenced by classic action troupes. In a nutshell I Declare War lands you in a capture the flag game viewed through the eyes and imagination of these kids. Sticks turn into real machine guns, rocks to grenades and so on. But handled wisely not gorily.

The core though is a play on varied unspecific war story troupes. I won't spoil any as that kind of kicks the film into high gear by making it complexly funny and a little dark.
Keanu Reeves' directorial debut really is a hell of a kung fu picture. Wisely the well shot fight scenes take center stage over the fairly familiar plot. Starring and choreographed impressively by martial artist\stunt coordinator Tiger Chen and shot with tons of energy its easy to get sucked into it. Fight sequences are detailed and shot exceptionally well without a million quick cuts. They never go on too long; creating the dreaded fight fatigue.

Now in addition to Reeves directing the film he also stars as the big boss type bad guy. There is something equal parts hilarious and awesome in how he does it. Sometimes it is off kilter but more so it feels like he's doing Lazenby like in 'The Man from Hong Kong' (another awesome martial arts film) and it hits the mark. Keanu clearly had fun making this and it shows.
Boy was this not what people were expecting as the follow up to Drive! Only God Forgives definitely sits within the love it or hate it category. I lean towards love, but I can more than understand hate.

I've seen this probably three times completely now. Its a sensory experiment that uses western and crime genre structures to operate. Its virtually devoid of dialogue, but when you get it you pay attention. Mainly this is because Kristin Scott Thomas 110% kills it as his Gosling's mother. Its not my favorite of Refn's but I'm glad he aimed at a less conventional film to follow up Drive with. Usually when a filmmaker makes that sort of commercial ,sort of art film and it becomes a success that next picture is usually even easier to digest.
I kind of live for these moments when Michael Bay reminds us that he can sometimes make fun and interestingly weird stupid shit. Not just long, loud robotic shit. I was well aware of the true story and the magazine story it was based on. Indeed it is a weird as fuck crime story. It was bold telling it as a dark comedy. I debated back and forth on if this would make the list or not. Ultimately upon thinking it over from top to bottom I had to include it.

The Bay hyper styled R rated world filled with idiots, freaks and assholes banging and shooting each other while doing blow is...well pretty funny to me honestly. Not always, there is a fair amount of made up stupid in the film that can generate a turn off. However there's so much more of the real story injected into it and that's when things comes together most. This is a story that really does fit Bay's world. It's a weird, sleazy and idiotically funny tale and he jives with. The trio of Wahlberg, Mackie & Johnson was pretty perfect and together its a sleazy and crazy entertaining two hours.

David Gordon Green has an interesting range but Prince Avalanche brings him back to what he's strongest at. The studio system was all over him after Pineapple Express and really none of his studio films after that have landed as strongly. He started out extremely well with the dramedy George Washington and continued in the independent market with dramas like Snow Angels and Undertow.

DP Tim Orr beautifully photographs the burnt down Texas forest that's a great backdrop for the story. Rudd gives probably the best performance I've seen from him yet. Its emotionally and thematically layered. Honestly this almost makes my full blown best films list. Its just the kind of thing that barely gets edged out, but its absolutely worth seeing.
Unlike Keanu's Man of Tai Chi, Wong Kar Wai's beautiful yet flawed The Grandmaster is geared to the more art house martial arts film fans. It tells a slightly fictionalized biography of Wing Chun style grandmaster Ip Man. Over the last few years there have been many bio pics done on Ip Man, but this one definitely will stand out as one of the boldest and visually strongest. Its hard to take your eyes off the screen as the entire film is just so arresting.

The only issue I have (and this is with both the US and foreign cuts) is it drags on a bit too long. I will say that with the US version most of the excess feels connected to the ending. Whereas the Asian cut there's pieces throughout mostly the first hour that feel somewhat redundant. These issue don't ruin the film and really this is a complaint of many of WKW movies. Its still a very unique martial arts action drama.
A worthy finale to their trilogy. I love seeing Edgar advance in one way or another with each of his films. Here it was clear fight choreography and a perhaps honest and real back bone to the story were a key focus.

Like their other films The World's End is funny as hell and jammed with a great ensemble plus some surprises. The action is creative and fun, but the real test is how people feel about a slightly more mature plotline. I did hear many complaints, but I guess for me it just seems like their team branching into something a little different after keeping pretty strongly the same level of carefree comedy from Spaced and on.

Regardless it was a joy to watch and can't wait to see what's in store next.
Hands down one of the most fun films I saw in a theater this year. I wish, wish, wish this could've blown up a bit bigger as it deserves a audience. Its genuinely filled with surprises and is grimly funny in the best subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) ways.

People piss and moan about not seeing any good horror movies, well once again you can only blame yourself for that.

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