Wednesday, January 8, 2014

F This Movie! - Our Favorite Movies of 2013

Patrick, Doug and JB count down their favorite movies of the last year. You know the deal.



Download this episode here. (53.9 MB)

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20 comments:

  1. Terrific show, gents, as usual. Thanks for summarizing your lists of movies at the end (my suggestion!), makes keeping track of recommendations easier. Except for "Dallas Buyer's Club," "Lone Survivor" and "August: Osage County" I got in through the Q4 flood of big releases. Yay, me! :-)

    2013 was a great year and this is the hardest Top 10 list I've ever had to decide; any one of my Top 20 could have been in the top 10, and my top 3 movies could swap spots with one another easily because I pretty much love them all the same. If 2014 can deliver half as many great movies as '13 it will still be a struggle to come up with a top 10 list. And, for the record, "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "The Act of Killing" tied at No. 11.

    So, untabled! :-P

    10.- Haifaa Al-Mansour's WADJDA: The scene when Waad Mohammed is reciting a chapter of the Quran perfectly and her face lights up, contrasted with what she is actually saying (which she is too young to fully grasp), is one of the best movie moments I've experienced in theaters in this or any other year. "Wadjda" has stakes so small and relatively insignificant that it makes its lead character's troubles all the more universal. This is what "The Past" should have been but wasn't.

    9.- Spike Jonze's HER: In a movie directed by Jonze with his usual flare, amazing production/photography and one of Phoenix's best performance to date the real standout is Scarlett Johansson's voice, the through line that unites an amazingly moving, funny and peculiarly romantic film.

    8.- Disney's FROZEN: Thank you Patrick, it was your review that pushed me to sample the type of movie I didn't knew Disney was making again: Family-friendly (which means single folks can enjoy them) entertainment that is character-based, gives a new spin to tried-and-true Disney formulas and doesn't make me hate the musical interludes because the music is so damn catchy.

    7.- Martin Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: You know Scorsese and DiCaprio (in their best collaboration to date) are on to something when the immediate/inevitable comparisons to "Goodfellas" and "Casino" fade away and the lunacy and intensity of "Wolf" become their own. My only, very real fear: The assholes from "The Act of Killing" will take on this film the same way they and their ilk looked at old Hollywood 'gangster' movies for inspiration.

    6.- Alexander Payne's NEBRASKA: Will Forte steals the movie from a gauntlet of heavyweights (Dern, Keach, Squibb, Odenkirk, etc.) that both hold their own and enhance Payne's patented bag of emotional, hilarious and pathos-soaked story-telling tricks. It's also, ironically, one of the most gorgeous and best-looking films of the year.

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  2. 5.- Woody Allen's BLUE JASMINE: Cate Blanchett breathes so much life and intensity into this character that I don't think even Allen knew how much Jasmine would leap out of the screen, bouncing off a talented cast (including new-to-Woody-players Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay!) as a fire-breathing dragon lady on Zoloft. If Dern is a lock for Best Actor for "Nebraska" then Blanchett is likewise for Best Actress, and deservedly so.

    4.- TIE: Edgar Wright's THE WORLD'S END/Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen's THIS IS THE END: Though completely different films that happen to share a premise, both work at degrees of meta fandom (between fans and filmmakers, filmmakers in love with both their own myths and the media that inspired them) in a symbiotic dance of equals that yields, for those into their groove, some of the more gut-busting laughs and genuinely heart-felt moments of pathos in mainstream movies. "This Is The End" benefits from timing as it came out at just the right moment to capitalize on the good will its cast and engendered with fans (a year or two from now the same movie would feel desperate and reaching), and "The World's End" on a couple of viewings has matched and is likely to surpass "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" as the standout of the trilogy.

    3.- Abdellatif Kechiche's BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: One of the greatest movie romances ever made, given ample time to breath and showing with borderline-acute precision the little moments (gestures, caresses, casual looks, etc.), intense ones (passionate and explicit sex that, yep, actually enhances the story) and average ones (dinners with friends, trying to get through the work day, etc.) that come into the fabric of a relationship running through its natural course. Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux are both excellent (why one is getting more ink than the next is beyond me) and, visually, it's one of the most gorgeous and pleasant movies to look at.

    2.- Gore Verbinski's THE LONE RANGER: This is the reason I go to movies, to lose myself in the playgrounds and lunacies of talented filmmakers and actors given close-to carte blanche (earned from the sweat of three "Pirates" blockbusters) that bend over backwards to not only entertain me but to also make me think about the house of cards the Western movie myth Hollywood has created is. There is substance, pathos (the last scene between Tonto and the kid never fails to make me cry), amazing photography, a Hans Zimmer score for the ages, jaw-dropping production/stunt work/SFX and Johnny Depp making Jack Sparrow look like the warm-up for his Tonto role. The most fun I've had in theaters in 2013, by far.

    1.- Rama Burshtein's FILL THE VOID: Like going into outer space in "Gravity," this drama ventures into a place (Hasidic Jews living in Israel) removed from our everyday reality but in which humanity, through the conflicted choices that life imposes on young Shira (Hadas Yaron, sensational), shines through. Even as true devotion gives hope to those characters that allow themselves into the comfort their devout community provides, the sincerity of the performances and story won over my cynicism. Amazing and powerful final shot, one hell of a sticking the landing of a quiet, unassumingly powerful film that avoids an easy target (criticizing oppressive religious institutions) by letting those criticisms come from each individual viewer's perspective and not the characters themselves.

    Oh, so close to top 11, but no cigar: The Selfish Giant, The Spectacular Now, Gravity (3D), Captain Phillips, A Touch of Sin, All Is Lost, Prisoners, The Past, 12 Years A Slave, The Great Beauty, Philomena.

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    1. Thanks, J.M. Everyone please save all top 10 postings for this weekend's Weekend Weigh-in (as mentioned on the show).

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    2. Oh, I have something special planned for the weekend. Consider this a preview. ;-P

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  3. I have not finished my list yet, but Patrick, as of this writing Stoker is still in my top 10 (and for a long portion of the year was in my top 3).

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    1. It bummed me out that I couldn't make a spot for it. It's great.

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  5. Only part way through the show but I just wanted to say how glad I am that you speak so highly of The Stories We Tell. Its playing as part of a film festival here at the moment and, after a couple of rave reviews from friends, we are planning on seeing it this weekend (fiances recovery withstanding).
    Really looking forward to it now

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  6. Great show! Love the thought process and discussion that goes into the list shows. Still working my way though all the last months releases to actually create a definitive list for 2013.
    Love the discussion around "The World's End" and how you had a "Gary King" in high school, that made for a good laugh.
    Keep it up, looking forward to more great shows to come.

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  7. About the "is the lady at the end of Captain Phillips an actor?" question that's brought up in this: She's not. A good majority of the Navy personnel on the ship were actual crew members. I work with one of the people that was on the ship while they were filming and know another.

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  8. Hey guys, this is the first comment I’ve ever posted on this site (I posted a few reviews for scary movie challenge, but that’s it). Firstly and very quickly I would like to say that I’ve been listening to your show for about a year now. As soon as I discovered your site I started listening to older podcasts, and now I’ve almost run out of shows to listen to. I’ve found that out of all the movie reviews/opinions I’ve seen online, yours seem way more genuine and unbiased to me, and resemble a lot of my own views as well. You guys are quite funny and I thoroughly enjoy humor in anything, so bonus points. You also have a very fun and smart way to talk about movies, and notice things other people overlook. You really have changed the way I see movies now… [I had a joke here about only watching movies in black and white from now on, but it was stupid so I deleted it]. Anyway, I really like the sincerity and humor you bring to the table, so kudos on a great show! You have now gained a new Mexican fan in me (as in Mexico the country, like, for reals, not New Mexico), so just letting you know you’re doing a great job in reaching new audiences.

    Alright, I’m done geeking out. I just figured this would be a good show to start commenting on, because I love movies, I love to comment on them and this show is about the best movies of 2013. I just wanted to say I really liked your selections. I didn’t get to watch all the movies you mentioned, but I did see a lot of them and I agree with many of your choices. Thanks to Patrick’s recommendations I have ended up watching movies I normally wouldn’t have seen, like ‘I Declare War’… which was F'ing brilliant! I won’t give you my own list because you have asked to save it for the weekend weigh-in, but I have to say I agree with JB with American Hustle being worth a spot in the top 10, and I really liked Doug’s selection of Hunger Games: CF. HA! I didn’t particularly like the first one, nor did I read the books, but this sequel was amazing! Didn’t see that one coming.

    Also, on a weird side note, Patrick mentioned Gael Garcia Bernal as a great actor in Motorcycle Diaries (although not sure if it was a joke). I actually went to school in Mexico with Gael, believe it or not. It was a British school. He’s 2 years older than I am so I didn’t know him very well, but we were on the same school soccer team. He was already acting and doing a soap opera at the time and he was never particularly nice to me. So when I saw him years later in Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ I really didn’t want to like him. He was really good in it, so in my head I just said “dammit! Why are you such a good actor?!?”. I believe he’s my life nemesis, he just doesn’t know it. And speaking of Alfonso Cuaron… Gravity: Abso-f’ing-lutely! What an experience!

    Anyway, very long comment, I apologize. Just wanted to let you know I really like your show and this entire site. So, great job guys! Looking forward to more F This Movie!

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    1. Welcome Diego S! Great to hear from you.

      Gael Garcia Bernal sounds like a real cabron. We got your back. I've always been more of a Deigo Luna fan anyways.

      #FHeads4Life

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    2. Thank you for this message, Diego. It meant so much to me. We are very lucky to have you with us.

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    3. Bienvenido al culto de 'F Esta Pelicula,' Diego. Es grandioso saber que el alcance de las opiniones de Patrick, JB, Doug y el resto de la pandilla de Chicago alcanza hasta Mexico (D.F. u otro estado de La Union Mexicana?), pero ese es el alcance del internet para ti. Si alguien con el que fui a la escuela (que me trataba mal) se hiciera un actor o cineasta famoso lo putearia en privado, pero si el/ella es bueno en lo que hace trataria de admirar y juzgar su trabajo independiente de lo que el/ella me hizo en el mundo real. G.G. Bernal para mi es un buen actor, pero hey! Yo no jugue futbol con el y no me ignoro durante nuestra infancia. :-)

      Nos vemos cuando nos veamos, hermano. Si se puede, si se puede! ;-)

      (Summary For English readers: Hi.)

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    4. Hi Diego.
      I remember the good ole days of first coming across F this Movie and binge listening the hell out of it. Ah, memoires. Now you have to wait all week for more ear cunnilingus like the rest of us chumps. Welcome to the real world.
      Fuck Bernal!

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    5. Thanks everyone for the warm reception! I think it's kind of hilarious that I unintentionally sparked a small outrage against G.G. Bernal. I'm sure he's changed since we were 12, but who knows haha. But thanks for being on my side!
      To J.M.: Muchas gracias! Soy de la Ciudad de Mexico, pero llevo un par de anos viviendo en NY. Me gusto tu mensaje, sobre todo lo de "si se puede!" :D

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  9. Diego, nice to have you aboard.

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  10. JB, just finished watching Francis Ha at your repeated recommendation. What a great character piece. Some really lovely moments (I feel like a bad mother in 1987, the look on her face when she comes home after dancing down the street, Paris......PARIS?!?!). Not sure how I feel about the whole, but the sum of the parts is wonderful. Glad I saw it.

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  11. Just an FYI about filming underwater to simulate weightlessness - the Russians di the same thing in a couple of films in the 80s.

    One called To The Stars By Hard Ways was used by MST3K when they were only on local tv. Then it was called Humanoid Woman (http://youtu.be/WSz8FsRn1cU).

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