I would be alone if not for you
The Girl Most Likely… (2013)
Kristen Wigg & June Diane Raphael are lost & wasted in this cutesy comedy. Kinda bad.
American Hustle (2013) dir. David O. Russell
American Hustle does Scorsese way better than anything Scorsese did past Goodfellas. A super fun con-caper romp with a great soundtrack and a very memorable turn by Jennifer Lawrence. The ending is weaksauce but the film is filled with a light and bubbly goofball charm. Highly enjoyed.
Before Midnight (2013) dir. Richard Linklater
So much talky talk, as expected, often times like being trapped in a small car or dinner party with pretentious folks - some of it interesting, some of it maddening. It is not without charm - a summer on a sun-drenched Greek isle drinking wine does sound pretty sweet. Ethan Hawke is his usual man-child douchey self and Julie Delpy is still super cute. Whatever.
20 Feet From Stardom (2013)
I could watch a whole movie about Darlene Love cuz she’s so fucking kick ass. This documentary also introduced me to Merry Clayton (the amazing woman above) and had a ton of amazing footage. But it also covered a lot of ground (maybe too much?) and I just wasn’t interested in some of the later back up singers. An enjoyable ride regardless and if I could find the performance (Clayton covering Neil Young’s Southern Man) above on YouTube I’d post it.
12 Years A Slave (2013) dir. Steve McQueen
A beautifully shot, powerful and complicated film about the true story of a free man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery. It’s very much a McQueen film - artfully composed shots with stunning lighting that would equally be suited to an art gallery. There’s also long-held shots of torture and suffering coupled with an incredible score & sound design that skirts into horror film territory. Highly recommended.
Wolf of Wall Street (2013) dir. Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s last good film in my opinion is the much maligned Bringing out the Dead (& maybe that’s not even good anymore). This film should have been a comedy, maybe it would have had more impact. As it is, it’s 3 hours of douchebags who turn into mega douchebags after copious amounts of drugs/sex/money/power. I didn’t care too much as I sat at my neighbourhood movie theatre eating buttery popcorn and drinking an IPA.
In a World… (2013) dir. Lake Bell
I liked this film a lot. I like Lake Bell. The jokes are small, but in a good way. It’s witty, smart and pointedly fresh. Loved it!
Fruitvale Station (2013)
This film starts with actual cel phone footage of transit cops shooting an unarmed Oscar Grant on the BART station platform. Its a tough and real start to an important film about the last 24hrs of a young man on the verge of a new year, in flux, about to make some life decisions and being cut down way too early. It’s not a great film, in fact, it delves a bit much into melodrama which makes things a bit too saccharine, but it’s got fire, passion and soul.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
I gave the novel 4 stars on GoodReads a couple years ago and I was pretty happy that the movie lived up to the book. There’s no mush, no gushy stuff…just sweetness, charm and some good ol’ natural realness. Highly enjoyable.
Muscle Shoals (2013)
I saw this a few months ago but forgot to post about it. I can’t remember everything about this music doc except that it was pretty fucking awesome. Except for that dick head, Bono, popping up as a talking head. That part wasn’t awesome.