2013 Year in Review – Films #11-25

I only half-apologize for splitting these last twenty-five movies into two posts. I really did need the extra room to talk about some of these films.

25. Last Vegas
24. Delivery Man
23. World War Z
22. Rush
21. Short Term 12

I think World War Z is the runner-up for most deceptive trailer. I was quite worried about this movie. That they were going to take a movie about the Zombie apocalypse and make it a love story instead (already saw Warm Bodies and it didn’t go over particularly well). Fortunately, the trailer shows all the awful longing in the entire film. Instead I get a very good movie with Brad Pitt visiting various human strongholds in search of the source of the disease and any potential cure. The imagery and plot keep this film moving at a good pace with few lulls. This is certainly one of the better zombie films I’ve seen, a good thriller that’s not too focused on the horror aspects. While it doesn’t follow the book it take it’s title from, I feel it provides a different look at societal shortcomings and cooperation in an apocalyptic scenario.

20. Elysium
19. Iron Man 3
18. Now You See Me
17. Redemption
16. Lone Survivor

Now You See Me is a film that has some flaws and yet I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Sure some of the twists didn’t make so much sense. Also some of the cool concepts introduced as narrative devices were woefully underused. A secret magic society?! Sign. Me. Up. Each actor played their roles well even if some of the magic tricks weren’t top shelf. This movie isn’t deserving of any awards but it was a fun summer romp that I’d see again.

Redemption is the story of a war veteran, played by Jason Statham, who’s done a lot wrong in his life. The film follows him as he starts to pull himself out of poverty and a drunken stupor by beating people up for a gang. Statham is absolutely awesome in this movie. While he’s still a rough-and-tumble not-so-nice-guy, he’s a guy you’re clearly rooting for to get on the right track. Also he actually has some acting chops on display. I’m really hopeful we’ll get to see more of this side of Jason Statham in the future.

15. Fast and Furious 6
14. Star Trek Into Darkness
13. Philomena
12. Thor: The Dark World
11. Europa Report

In Europa Report, we listen and watch the story of a mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, through found footage and narration by the Chief Executive of Europa Ventures, played by Embeth Davidtz. I’ve never been a fan of found footage films, the camera shaking generally makes me nauseous. Fortunately, the film makers skipped that trope when making this film. It’s still a suspense thriller set in the near-future. A group of astronauts have left the safety of Earth to explore Europa. At somepoint, their communications array fails and this starts the found footage portions. The discoveries and trials this group faces as they explore far from home is interesting and still in the realm of possibility. It’s a great little film that deserves far more attention than it received.

One more post to wrap up my Year in Review Films series, I finally get to my Top 10 Films of 2013.