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The best of 2013 on the big screen

Original post made on Jan 3, 2014

When the Weekly film critics assemble their lists of the top 10 movies of the year, it's anyone's guess whether anyone will agree. Some years a blockbuster title crowns more than one list; some years the reviewers don't see eye to eye on anything.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 3, 2014, 9:39 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by C, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

Very disappointed that there was not a mention for my favorite of the year. Philomena was a phenomenally good movie, based on a true story, with so many undertones that it still provokes discussion long after viewing. Judi Dench was magnificent and deserves an Oscar for her role.

If you think a movie is more than just entertainment, if you want some thought provoking insights into the life of those involved in adoption, from the mother's point of view as well as the grown up child, then you have it here. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants more than a chick flick or an empty drama.


Posted by Roger Herbert, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:38 am

Man of Steel is my pick for the top movie of the year. Superman rules and Judi Dench drools.


Posted by P.A. resident, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

Llewyn Davis is a stupid film; one feels nothing at all for the main character: Boring. BUT, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is a pornographic film: T&A plus everything imaginable. And the "F" word is used hundreds of times in the 3 hours. Martin Scorcese's mother must be ashamed of him. I wanted to get up in the theater and shout: Porno Movie.


Posted by anne, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Animated and family films really deserve separate consideration!

I thought Frozen was one of the best Disney films in a very long time. It turned the typical across-a-crowded-room romance on its ear and was infused with themes of innocence, the difference between infatuation and relationship, and unconditional love.

I usually think songs inserted in films like these are maudlin and corny, but these were done just right, beautiful, infused with just the right amount of emotion and meaning, and catchy without taking you out of the story. The humor was on a whole other level than the usual Disney film. I especially loved the sequence in which the snowman dreams of what it would be like in summer, a sweet metaphorical interlude paralleling the young princess's naive imaginings of romance.

Plus, Frozen was just such a feast for the eyes. Anyone who enjoyed that extra artistic dimension of Kung Fu Panda will find the same here, in Nordic style. I'm ready to go out and buy some Scandinavian-themed stencils for my kitchen cabinets. It was worth seeing in 3D even just for the short film at the beginning and the beautiful credit imagery at the end, but it also delivered at most parts in between, especially in the opening sequence with the ice breakers. I saw the movie first without 3D, and the short film starter with Mickey Mouse was a completely different story with the added dimension, literally.

If I had any criticism, if you could call it that, it would be the desire to see the 3D technology conjure more depth in the very distance of big panoramic shots. In a few scenes it seemed like all the animation energy went into the foreground, understandably, but it occasionally gave the impression of almost a sound stage with a backdrop. In the most visually sweeping scenes, I would have liked to feel like the depth of the scenery extended into infinity. A very minor artistic quibble.

I am not someone who makes a habit of repeat-watching any film, no matter how good. I will watch Frozen again for the 3rd time when it comes out on DVD. I wouldn't turn down an invitation to see it again in a theater. It's such a visual joy, it's worth seeing in theaters and in 3D if you can still catch it — we saw it on New Year's Day at the Mtn Vw Cinemark in 3D, it may still be available.


Posted by Marty Hefflin, a resident of Community Center
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Best movie I saw this year was The Artist. It should get nominated for all the major awards, deservedly so.


Posted by ME, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm

WOLF was like watching porn. I've never watched a porographic movie, but I can't imagine anything worse than this. I was disgusted, shocked and sickened. What is this world coming to? I hope it doesn't even get mentioned at the Academy Awards.


Posted by carol, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Wolf should be a XX movie not R rated. I was also disgusted especially the way women were depicted only as sex objects. I agree with Willy Brown in his Chronicle critique, Sunday 12/29/13.


Posted by Discenting Voice, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 4, 2014 at 7:36 am

Wolf was awesome. [Portion removed.] Wolf is Scorsese's best movie since Hugo. Wolf deserves all the alcolaids.


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

Carol-- which film did you see? His first wife pushed him to carry on when he was ready to quit. The aunt was a strong willed woman who knew how to get what she wanted. One of the founders of the brokerage house was a woman ( remember how the main character singles he r out in the speech near the end).
There was no graphic sex, so it was not a porno. For those that complain that it was too intense, may I suggest a Disney film.


Posted by Anita Felicelli, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I thought Frances Ha, Her and Before Midnight were some of the best, too. Thanks for compiling these great lists.


Posted by Bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Bru is a registered user.

Of the movies listed I'd have to say Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmim" was the best, most human, funny, had a point, nice acting and photography and something to think about.

Though I'd like to see a list of all the 1013 movies because I'm sure there was something as good or better, certainly as good or better than the movies on the list here.

"The East" was a movie that was pretty good, a point, a plot that does not insult your intelligence.

"The Way Way Back" was a pretty good family oriented movie with a good human aspect to it.

There were some OK movies that had some fatal flaws that were fun to see ... "Oblivion", "Mud", "Elysium", "Prisoners". All in all every year movies seem to be getting worse and I am enjoying old movies at the Stanford theater more.


Posted by Woops, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

THE ARTIST was LAST year, dude, and it DID win!


Posted by Woops, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Did no one see American Hustlers? It was great: great story, great acting.


Posted by anne, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Bru,
Thanks for the rec re: Way Way Back. I've been looking that one wondering if it's a downer. Sounds like it's worth a watch.

Yes, Oblivion was flawed, but it was still a much more satisfying movie than I expected. Better (with a similar idea) was Moon from a few years ago. Still, I thought Oblivion was worth watching.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

Inside Llewyn Davis is an outstanding movie, quintessential Coen Brothers. It is refreshing for accomplished filmmakers, yet Hollywood outsiders, to continue to produce such quirky and compelling work! The music is also a kick.


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