2013 was probably the first year that I've been consistently reviewing pretty much all the titles I've watched, both movies made during this year and previous years. I hope to keep the tradition going, because movies are a big passion of mine - I love watching them and I feel useful leaving a review when I do - so a post about the best movies of the year seems like the logical next step.
I wrote something about sequels I was looking forward to in 2012, and made a follow-up on that real quick, but this year I'm not about to delve into what movies I want to see: I'm just going to watch the ones that land in my path and have a blast doing so. Apart from Fast & Furious 7 and The Expendables 3. I'm already looking forward to those. Anyway...
The year of 2013 was a year packed with action. Looking through my reviews it strikes me yet again that this entire decade feels like a renaissance of specifically action. It's like the eighties all over again, and I didn't live during the eighties (apart from that one year before I was one year old) so I'm going to make the best of this era; appreciate it to the fullest!
And who knows, maybe it's not a new trend, maybe it's a new standard?
Here's my favorite ten movies of the past year, in particular order.
1. Homefront (2013)
I didn't watch this one till just recently, but as far as action movies goes it's top-notch. Jason Statham is on a roll with titles like Parker and Redemption, and more to come in 2014!
2. Chennai Express (2013)
I didn't know how beautiful Bollywood movies could be until I watched this! Maybe I was in a strange state of mind at the time. Maybe I was lonely. Maybe I was out of my mind. Maybe this is actually one of very few romantic action movies I don't mind giving a top score to. It was just so inspiring; impacting.
3. White House Down (2013)
Olympus Has Fallen was the other good and very similar terrorists-attack-the-White-House movie this year, but White House Down was the one that really did it for me. Crazy action and as much of an elaborate plot as a movie like this merits, and Channing as main character. There was never a dull moment in this one.
4. Oblivion (2013)
Apart from two incredibly similar and incredibly great action movies, this year also had two incredibly similar and incredibly great sci-fi movies: Elysium and Oblivion. The first had Matt Damon, and this one had Tom Cruise, and they were both awesome. Shame there's not space for more than one on this list.
5. Special Chabbis (2013)
Must be a strange year when I place two Bollywood movies in my all-time favorites, but Special Chabbis was one of those strange movies. The plot is like a mixture of Ocean's 11 and... well, that's it. It's a bit like Oceans 11, but much more down-to-Earth, much more subtle... overall, it's much more. Just not as flashy.
6. Ninja – Shadow of a Tear (2013)
I watched the new Universal Soldier with Scott Adkins recently, and was amazed. I wanted more, and I found this one. Seeing how I didn't give this movie a 5 in my review makes me seriously question my ratings from the year passed... but it's a movie I recall easily, a perfect blend between Asian and American with Awesome martial arts.
7. Frozen (2013)
If I have to include one animated movie, it'll be this one. It's a romantic fairytale prince and princess type of story, for kids, but I liked it. So there. The alternative favorite would be Planes, but I think this one just about wings the top spot.
8. Machete Kills (2013)
If you loved the first Machete, you'll love this! It's the only movie this year (and one of few movies ever) where you'll be able to fully immerse yourself into a B-movie milieu with that stereotypical gritty violence, a wild creative storyline and for a change: professional actors. Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr and Charlie Sheen just to name a few. It's like the B-movie version of Expendables, but they're not all on the same team.
9. Escape Plan (2013)
Silver Stallone! Arnold Schwarzenegger!! And 50 Cent. It's not the most flawless, most elaborate movie in this list, but it was entertaining, and the script as creative as a generic action movie'll ever get. I wouldn't mind watching this one a few times more, and not just because I'm a huge action fan and a combo with Stallone and Arnold is a dream come true, though not the first time it's happened. Arnold made The Last Stand too, but it's not near as good as this.
10. Pain & Gain (2013)
Lone Survivor wasn't bad either, but that was just Mark Wahlberg. This is Mark Wahlberg and The Rock, and it tells the crazy story of a fitness-crazy duo that do some crazy things that spirals completely out of control and leaves you doubting how much of it is really based on a true story. Did I mention Lone Survivor was also based on a real story? Even if they weren't based on real stories they'd be great movies, but that just makes it one step more amazing.
11. Police Story & Special ID (2013)
There's one more movie category I just have to include here, even if the slots are full! The Asian martial art videos category. Ninja somewhat moved into this genre, but both Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan made great movies this year, and I can't choose just one! Normally these would be much higher up on my list of favorites, but this has been one amazing year when it comes to the big screen, and it feels like Bollywood/Hollywood did slightly better.
2013 is full of other candidates for greatness, such as the highly anticipated World’s End, the newly restarted Young & Dangerous series, the grotesquely creative Snowpiercer or that one Marvel movie.
All Is Lost seems particularly highly valued at IMDB too, but it's not one I'd class as a favorite, even if it is very well-made. I'd rather rate the movies I watch by what impact they have on me, by how much they entertained and moved me and how much I'd want to watch them again rather than based on how immaculate the film quality is or how perfect a performance the actors put on - even if that obviously plays a large role in what I like or no. Some actors just can't act anyone else than themselves, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching them be the people they are! Charisma plays a huge role in what movies hit or not, it's the difference between a blockbuster and a B-movie, and the people in the movies have a lot to do with how these favorites are ranked, just their being in a movie has a very positive effect on how I interpret and experience everything about that specific movie.
Well, enough attempting to explain one facet within the obviously much more complex and unexplainable logic behind my ratings. What it all boils down to at the end is: opinion, and first impressions. At the time of writing these are my definite favorites of 2013!