Episode 13 – Our Oscars Conversation Continues: The Highs and Lows of 2013 Films – Part II
Why Watch That
The Critic and the Referee are still at it. This is part two of our post Oscars’ conversation to help you decide which films to watch based on our top picks. It also explores some movies from 2013 that you may not have heard about. We hope you enjoy the conclusion of 2013’s Film Highs and Lows.
The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting.
Rush is set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing, this film portrays the exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the world has ever witnessed–handsome English playboy Hunt and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Lauda. Taking us into their personal lives on and off the track, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error. If you make one mistake, you die. (wikipedia)
If you want more…
- Senna is a British 2010 documentary film that depicts the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia. The film was produced by StudioCanal, Working Title Films and Midfield Films, and was distributed by the parent company of the latter two production companies, Universal Pictures. The film’s narrative focuses on Senna’s racing career in Formula One, from his debut in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to his death in an accident at San Marino in 1994, with particular emphasis on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost. It relies primarily on archive racetrack footage and home video clips provided by the Senna family, rather than retrospective video interviews, and has no formal commentary. (wikipedia)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adéle – Chapitres 1 et 2) is acclaimed French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche’s latest, based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel, and was the sensation of this year’s Cannes Film Festival even before it was awarded the Palme d’Or. Adèle Exarchopoulos plays a young woman whose longings, ecstasies, and losses are charted across a span of several years. Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) plays the older woman who excites her desire and becomes the love of her life. Like the films of John Cassavetes, Kechiche’s movie is an epic of emotional transformation that pulses with gestures, embraces, furtive exchanges, and arias of joy and devastation. It is a profoundly moving hymn to both love and life. (wikipedia)
Parkland is a 2013 American historical drama film that recounts the chaotic events that occurred following John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The film is written and directed by Peter Landesman, produced by Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and by Bill Paxton with Exclusive Media’s Nigel Sinclair and Matt Sinclair. The film is based on the book Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. (wikipedia)
Inside Llewyn Davis chronicles a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles–some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the basket houses of the Village to an empty Chicago club–on an odyssey to audition for music mogul Bud Grossman–and back again. (wikipedia)
The Referee’s Nominee for a “Razzie” Award
Matt Damon in Elysium
Why Watch That DON’T WATCH
Elysium is a 2013 American dystopian science-fiction action-thriller film written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, and starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.
Oblivion is a 2013 American post-apocalyptic science-fiction film based on Joseph Kosinski’s Radical Comics-edited unpublished graphic novel of the same name. The film was co-written, produced, and directed by Kosinski.
Riddick is a 2013 British-American science fiction film, the third installment in the The Chronicles of Riddick film series. Produced by and starring Vin Diesel as the title character, Riddick is written and directed by David Twohy, who previously wrote and directed the first two installments, Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).
Thor: The Dark World is a 2013 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011’s Thor and the eighth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was directed by Alan Taylor, with a screenplay by Christopher Yost,Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman,Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston,Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander and Rene Russo. In Thor: The Dark World, Thor must team up with Loki to save the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves led by Malekith, who is out for revenge and intends to plunge the universe into darkness. (wikipedia)
Pacific Rim is a 2013 American science-fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by del Toro and Travis Beacham, and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman.
Visual “Glitter” Shoutout
The Great Gatsby is a film that follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan.
The Referee’s Pick
About Time has a premise that is revealed during the night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, when Tim’s father tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life. So, he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out to be not as easy as you might think.
The Critic’s Picks
The Spectacular Now is a 2013 American film directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”
Short Term 12 is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, based on his short film of the same title, and starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr., Keith Stanfield and Kaitlyn Dever. A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
Enough Said is about Eva, a divorced and single parent, who spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her daughter’s impending departure for college. She meets Albert–a sweet, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest. As their romance quickly blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne, her new massage client. Marianne is a beautiful poet who seems “almost perfect” except for one prominent quality: she rags on her ex-husband way too much. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini.
In A World is a movie about Carol Solomon who is a struggling vocal coach. Propelled by the hubris of her father, Sam Sotto, the reigning king of movie-trailer voice-over artists, Carol musters the courage to pursue her secret aspiration to be a voice-over star. This is the feature-film directorial debut of actress Lake Bell, who also starred in, wrote, and co-produced this film.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Don Jon is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Produced by Ram Bergman and Nicolas Chartier, the film stars Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, and Julianne Moore, with Rob Brown, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, and Tony Danza in supporting roles. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2013 and had its wide release in the United States on September 27, 2013.