Top Films of 2013′ part 4, the Top 3 Best Movies of ’13

3. Much Ado About Nothing

So while making Marvel’s The Avengers, one of the most successful movies of all time, Joss Whedon got a few weeks off. During his time off he got a wild hair up his ass and decided to make ANOTHER movie. Much Ado About Nothing is that movie. Shot at Joss Whedon’s house with a cast featuring various Whedonverse alumni like Amy Acker, Alexis Dennisoff, Francis Kranz and Nathan Fillion, the movie takes William Shakespeare’s comedy about matchmaking shenanigans, manipulation and slander and places it in a modern setting while maintaining the Shakespearian dialogue. Yes, this has been done, but there is a key difference between the way it’s done here and the way it’s done in Romeo + Juliet. Never once does it feel like the actors in Much Ado are reciting Shakespeare. Every actor in this movie clearly knows the play front to back, and not only the words, but what they mean and how the language and arrangement works. They speak the words as if they’re actually holding conversation instead reciting lines at each other. The acting in this movie is not only fantastic, both comedically and dramatically. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisoff are terrific as the leads, Beatrice and Lord Benedick. Francis Kranz delivers naïveté and intensity in the role of Claudio while Clark Gregg oozes charisma and gravitas as Leonato. Nathan Fillion steals the show as lawman Dogberry, who takes being called an Ass by Riki Lindhome’s Conrad very personally and make sure everybody knows it. The score, composed by Joss Whedon, is sparsely used, allowing for the actors to emote in silence, but when it comes it is a joy to listen to, ranging from sweeping whimsy to smooth jazz. The cinematography makes great use of the environment, both in doors and outdoors, never falling into the trap feeling like a stage show on film. The actors and actresses interact with their environment, again making their dialogue and actions seem natural. Joss Whedon, largely lauded for his strengths in writing, has finally crafted a film huh at firmly establishes him as director of skill and vision. Whedon’s fun little detour from superheroes and alien invasions is a joy to watch on nearly every front and I cannot recommend it enough.

2. The World’s End

There are very few movies that I think are “perfect.” Jaws in the only one I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. Jaws…and The World’s End. That does not mean that I think it is the greatest movie of all time. It simply means that this movie, above all the other movies I’ve seen this year (save for one) managed to entertain me on both an intellectual level and a thrill seeking movie-going level. It was funny, brilliantly acted with great, well defined characters and possibly Simon Pegg’s best performance in an already impressive filmography. The script is witty and layered with detail as well as endlessly quotable dialogue. It has the same manic, rapid fire editing and kinetic cinematography that made Hot Fuzz one of the greatest actions movies I’ve ever seen resulting in hit he best choreographed and shot fight scenes of the entire year. The soundtrack, as with all of Edgar Wright movies, is fantastic and actually conveys the meaning and tone of the scenes over which it plays (a seemingly novel concept these says). Hilarious, thrilling, creative and emotional, Invasion of the Body Snatcher’s send up caps off Edgar Wright’s Blood & Cornetto trilogy in the most satisfying way possible.

And now, my number one movie of the year
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1. Gravity

To speak boldly, Alfonso Cuarón’s space faring survival thriller Gravity is a monumental achievement in film making. The special effects put to work here perfectly simulate the weightlessness and isolation of being in space in a way no other film has ever done before. Sandra Bullock delivers a palpable performance as a woman set adrift and alone after a storm of orbiting space shrapnel tears apart her ship and kills her crew, leaving her to find peace and the will to survive in only herself. The story and characters are simple, secondary to the spectacle, resulting in a rare occasion where the spectacle is all you truly need. It’s a story about survival in a hostile environment, and this movie creates an environment so tense and horrifying it may kill the ambition of an entire generation of future astronauts. Imagine the shark from jaws, and now imagine if said shark encompassed every thing around you. That is what Gravity does to outer space. The vacuum of space is now a classic movie monster, with Sandra Bullock in the role Laurie Strode. If you pay close enough attention you’ll find that it’s also a movie about Buddhism, specifically about looking inward for salvation instead of praying to some god, which is refreshing to see in a Hollywood picture, making Gravity a powerful work of humanist fiction, rather than science fiction as the setting would ordinarily indicate. This is also the first movie I’ve ever seen where the 3D not only enhanced the viewing, but was a necessity. This may wind up being a detracting factor, but this is truly a movie that deserves to be viewed on a big screen in 3 mind fucking dimensions upon a every viewing, but is still a wonder to behold on the small screen. Either way, go see it. Then tell your friends to go see it, and so on and so forth.

Thank you bearing with me and I hope you enjoyed the countdown! Any thoughts on my choices, or thoughts in you’re own choices please don’t be afraid to utilize the comment function. Thank you for your time!

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