Best of 2013

We once again decided to list our best in various categories as well as our overall best.  Please add your comments with your views as that is half the fun.

 Bill I's PicksBill C's Picks
Best Overall1. 12 Years a Slave
2. American Hustle
3. Dallas Buyer's Club
4. Captain Phillips
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
6. The Spectacular Now
7. Mud
8. This is the End
9. The Way Way Back
10. Fruitvale Station
1. American Hustle
2. Mud
3. 12 Years A Slave
4. Fruitvale Station
5. Dallas Buyers Club
6. This is the End
7. Amour
8. The Way Way Back
9. The World's End
10. Saving Mr. Banka
11. A Band Called Death
12. Gravity
Best Film Based on Historical Events1. 12 Years a Slave
2. American Hustle
3. Dallas Buyer's Club
4. Captain Philips
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
6. Fruitvale Station
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Dallas Buyers Club
3. Captain Phillips
4. The Act of Killing
5. The Attack
6. War Witch
Best Unique Film1. This is the End
2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
3. Blue is the Warmest Color
4. In a World
5. Concussion
1. This is the End
2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
3. In a World
4. Elena
Best Crime Film1. American Hustle
2. The Wolf of Wall Street 
3. Ain't Them Bodies Saints
4. The Attack
1. American Hustle
2. The Wolf of Wall Street
3. The Angels Share
4. Graceland
Best Romantic Film1. The Spectacular Now
2. Drinking Buddies
3. Blue is the Warmest Color
1. Amour
2. The Spectacular Now
3. Drinking Buddies
4. Don Jon
5. The Bounceback
Best Comedies1. This is the End
2. The World's End
3. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
4. In a World
1. This is the End
2. The World's End
3. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
4. In a World
5. The Heat
Best Documentaries1. Blackfish
2. We Steal Secrects; Story of Wikileaks
3. Elena
4. Sound City
1. A Band Called Death
2. The Act of Killing
3. The Armstrong Lie
4. The Gatekeepers
5. Hawking
6. Elena
7. Linsanity
8. Getting Back to Abnormal
Best Foreign Language Film1. Wadjda (Saudi Arabia)
2. The Great Beauty (Italy)
3. The Attack (Israel)
1. Wadjda (Saudi Arabia)
2. Graceland (Philippines)
3. The Attack (Israel)
4 War Witch (Canada)
 Bill I's PicksBill C's Picks
Best Music Related Movies1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Twenty Feet from Stardom
3. Sound City
1. A Band Called Death
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Muscle Shoals
4. Good Ol' Freda
5. Sound City
Best Actor (Not in Order)- Chiwejel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave
- Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Mud)
- Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
- Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Christian Bale (American Hustle)
- Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)
- Chiwejel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave
- Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
- Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Best Actress (not in Order) - Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Rooney Mara (Aint Them Bodies Saints)
- Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
- Amy Adama (American Hustle)
- Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color)
- Olivia Wilde (Drinking Buddies)
- Emanuelle Riva (Amour)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
- Lake Bell (In a World)
- Judi Dench (Philomena)
- Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
- Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Best Supporting Actor (Not in Order)- Tye Sheridan (Mud)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Will Forte (Nebraska)
- Barkadh Abdi (Captain Phillips)
- Keith Carradine (Aint Them Bodies Saints)
- Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
- Tye Sheridan (Mud)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
- Jackson Nicoll (Bad Grandpa)
- Will Forte (Nebraska)
- Barkadh Abdi (Captain Phillips
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall street)
- Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Best Supporting Actress (Not in Order)- Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
- Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
- June Squibb (Nebraska)
- Shailene Woodley (Spectacular Now)
- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Reese Witherspoon (Mud)
- Eva Mendes (The Place Beyond the Pines)
- Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
- Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
- Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
- June Squibb (Nebraska)
- Shailene Woodley
- Julianne Moore (Don Jon)
- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Worst Movie1. The Wait
2. Maladies
3. Thor, The Dark World
1. Computer Chess
2. The Lone Ranger
3. Maladies
4. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
5. The Internship
Worst Actor/Actress1. Christina Applegate (Anchorman 2)1. Jody Foster - Elysium
2. Steve Carrell - The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Wadjda

Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5

I believe it’s the first film by a female director in Saudi Arabia, and an excellent one. It’s centered on a 10 year old girl, Wadjda, in her middle class life going to a religious, all-girl school school (of course), so fascinating to see the everyday life. Wadjda is different from the norm however, although to our eyes she’s a typical pre-teen who listens to rock music, doesn’t care much about school work, and follows her own interests. Her main interest here is to earn enough money to buy a bike. Problem is that girls don’t ride bikes over there, as everyone tells her including her stern principal and distracted mother. Wadjda has such a determination and is so captivating that this seemingly simple plot carries the film, and in an understated way, shows how girls are second class people. At ten, they have to come to terms with that they can’t be seen in public by men without their veils, they can’t keep their husbands from taking a second wife, in fact they can’t control who they are married to. The actor playing Wadjda is fantastic, I highly recommend if you can find this film. It’s not overly dramatic, somewhat comedic, and ultimately inspiring.

Saving Mr. Banks

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

The ultimate Disney movie, produced by Disney, about the production of a Disney movie, with Walt Disney as a main character, some have objected that it’s an infomercial for the corporate giant but I had a different perception. I found it engrossing, enjoyable, and interesting, with excellent acting (Tom Hanks is very credible as Walt, but the dominant character is played by Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, the auther of the Mary Poppins book whom Walt has been trying to convince to let him create the movie for 20 years). It’s set in 1963 during a couple of weeks when Mrs. Travers deigns to come to Hollywood and give Walt a chance, and is intertwined with flashbacks to the author’s childhood (alternating enchanting and tragic) in the Australia sticks. Parallels are drawn, and the Mr. Banks of the title, superbly played by Colin Powell, is a key figure in the author’s creative, social and emotional roadblocks. Paul Giamatti is excellent as her dedicated limo driver, and the Mad Men style of workplace is a backdrop to providing insights into the creative process, and helps you realize how great some of the original musical numbers are.

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Saving Mr. Banks gives you two good movies for the price of one!  Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tries to cajole P. L. Travers  (Emma Thompson) into providing movie making rights and collaborating as Disney tries to turn Travers series of books into the Mary Poppins movie.  In a series of flashbacks  from Travers’ childhood, you see the key events and her relationship with her father (Colin Farrell) that influenced her work and outlook on life.

As portrayed in the film, Travers was demanding, the collaboration was difficult, and her giving rights to Disney was not a given until late in the process.  Some accounts say Travers was even more difficult to work with than portrayed in the movie, and ultimately she does come across as a sympathetic figure (with the help of a totally fictional character played by Paul Giamatti) that helps to humanize her. Despite the difficulties and some of her ridiculous requests (that lead to much of the comedy in the movie), the collaboration did result in a better movie.

The performances are good, especially Emma Thompson. The basic facts of the movie are pretty accurate, although how they portray various characters is open for debate (this is a Disney movie, so there is some conflict of interest). This is a moving movie and worth seeing.

Article About Authenticity of Film

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Saving Mr. Banks Movie Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5

Alternating between the drab reality of life at the bottom of the office food chain and unable to take any sort of initiative other than do his job exceedingly well (managing the photo negatives of a soon to be defunct Life magazine), and an incredibly realistic fantasy life, Walter (well played by Ben Stiller) goes into a trance while he fantasizes what he would really like to do at the moment, whether that be a super hero or romantic player. He paralyzes in the simplest act of asking out a cute office colleague, played straight by Kristen Wiig. I found this film enthralling, aided in great part by the fantastic photography and action scenes, some of which are imagined, and some of which are real. Wait for the skateboarding down a mountain road scene. Sean Penn and Shirley Mclain are perfect as a famed photographer and Walter’s mom (repspectively, do I need to say?). Family friendly, with a life affirming message, I recommend it for all ages.