Yes, I know this is a very specific type of list. But I only started keeping track of the movies I see in June, and since then I’ve only barely seen 10 movies in theaters so a top-ten list just wouldn’t really work — it would have everything. Instead, here’s the five best films I saw, based mostly on the somewhat arbitrary rating I gave them at the time. My resolution for 2013? See more movies.
5. Taken 2* – This movie was exactly what it should have been. And, as such, was perfect. Liam Neeson continuing his general badassery, this time in Istanbul. What else do I need to say?
4. Pitch Perfect – A cappella movie! Anna Kendrick? How can you go wrong? Only with lots and lots of unnecessary vomiting. Other than that, this was great! The plot makes no sense at the end, but whatever! Singing! Woo!
3. Frankenweenie – Anything in stop motion is going to be high on my list, pretty much automatically. (Note: I didn’t see Paranorman, which I heard was better, otherwise it might be here instead). I liked this movie a lot, although it’s almost too Tim Burton-y (there’s no difference between the setting of this and the setting of Edward Scissorhands), but the way it looked was great, even when the plot goes a little off kilter at the end. I love the black and white, and the story is sweet.
2. Django Unchained – People had been telling me to see Pulp Fiction for years when I finally saw it. They said that it was my kind of movie, that I would love it, and of course when I saw it I was worried to see what people thought I enjoyed. Turns out they were exactly correct — I loved that movie and I love this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of Kill Bill (either), so not every Tarantino movie is a hit, but this one is. Christoph Waltz fully deserves the Golden Globe (and hopefully Oscar?) that he won for his character — both moving and funny and just plain weird. The rapport between him and Foxx was perfect, and although I understand that this movie doesn’t necessarily portray things the way they should be (it’s basically about revenge, not racism and slavery), I still loved it. It was a little long, but that’s my only complaint.
1. Skyfall – I wouldn’t be far off to say that this was my favorite Bond movie. I’m not sure if it’s actually true or not, but it’s definitely up there. Javier Bardem is amazing, the plot is fun and exciting, and the set pieces as good as they should be — komodo dragons, anyone? My only qualm about this movie was the end — I can say without spoiling (I don’t think it’s really a spoiler) that, effectively, the ending means that the last X number of Bond movies basically never happened. Which I’m okay with, it’s just a little odd. No more grit? But that aside, I loved this, and it redeemed the franchise fully from the horrible Quantum of Solace.
* Technically, Brave and The Dark Knight Rises were tied for fifth place, but I thought it would be more entertaining to discuss Taken 2. So I did.
This is a weird list. But it’s weird because I didn’t see that many movies, as previously mentioned. I didn’t see Lincoln, or Life of Pi, or Zero Dark Thirty, or Cloud Atlas, or any of a number of other movies that would almost certainly be up here if I had actually gotten to a theater. But I haven’t yet. And so, my list is my list.
Honorable mentions go to The Nightmare Before Christmas 4D, National Treasure 2, and The Bourne Identity, all of which were rated highly but were not new in theaters.