Although 2013 drew to a close nearly two full weeks ago, I’ve been reluctantly but purposefully holding out on compiling and sharing with you with “Best of 2013” list. Granted, timeliness can prove to be a factor regarding readers’ interests, however I hate depriving myself of presumably valuable and worthwhile viewing experiences. Whether a film didn’t screen near me or I didn’t have the time to see it, I’m sure I’m not the only one that can attest to either unfortunate reality. This in mind, I plan on seeing Her and/or Nebraska this weekend and should have a finalized top ten – along with preceding honorable mentions – ready for tomorrow afternoon.
As for the state of the blog itself in the new year, my plans are to alternately begin and revive several projects I’ve had milling about in my head for quite a while. First and foremost, I’d like to pick up where I left off with my Genre Wiki endeavor, if only because the prospect of completing it excites me (and only me it seems). Two more things are still in the works and will be kept a secret for now, and considering I didn’t have a chance to post a December ’13 post, below are the films I watched and felt stood out.
Relentlessly derivative but charming in equal measure, Rian Johnson’s sophomore feature is an aptly emotional take on a traditional narrative formula, the chemistry between its two leads benchmarking what’s otherwise a straightforward if convoluted tale of two con men swindling their high-profile target, etcetera. Predictability inevitably gets the best of it, but fuck me if a bulk of the proceedings aren’t enjoyable in the basest sense of the word.
Breaking the ice among new coworkers is a common occurrence, so when I mentioned my total lack of experience with the Rambo legacy, I was promptly lent all four films spanning the entirety of the series. While an intendedly heavy-handed post-Vietnam allegory, First Blood is – for all intents and purposes – a serviceable exercise in baseline entertainment laden with appropriately explosive action-heavy bits. Partially evocative but heavily involving, this initial entry in John Rambo’s cinematic canon covers all of its engagement-centric bases.
Anticipating it for what felt like a lesser but tangible eternity, my experience with the Coens’ latest was one of prolonged and utter bliss. Focusing on the titular struggling folk singer in early 1960s NYC, Inside Llewyn Davis is a consistently and strikingly incisive chronicle of the individual’s agreeably self-deprecating but admirable artistic integrity and perseverance. It isn’t the happiest of affairs, however this particular film succeeds thanks to its creator-heavy steadfastness in conveying the tale told in the most satisfying of ways.
Other first-time viewings (in alphabetical order):
Moon (Jones, ’09)
Total number of films watched (including re-watches): 6