Its February, we are officially well into the year 2014! Although we are all waiting with baited breath to see what life changing, mind blowing awesomeness cinema has to offer to us this year, we cant quite help but hang on to some of the better movie moments of 2013. So to mourn the end of 2013 and celebrate a profoundly diverse year for cinema, we here at The Eighty Sixth Floor have brought to you our top 5 blockbusters of 2013!
5. Iron Man 3
Now we all love superhero movies right? Right. And we all love Tony Stark right? Right. So that’s why no one was surprised when Iron Man 3 was the second highest grossing movie of 2013. Iron Man 3 was a raw and emotional take on a superhero film with less action and bravado than the other two Iron Man films. Less Iron Man was shown to make room for more Tony Stark and when Iron Man did show up it was a bit sloppy and unremarkable with suits breaking left right and center, mention of relationship issues and a full blown identity crisis. Not to mention the largely disappointing plot twist that resulted in the shattered dreams of comic book fans everywhere.
However, despite its flaws, Iron Man 3 is still Robert Downey Jr. being the ever-witty Tony Stark in the funniest Iron Man movie to date. No matter what you think of an insecure superhero, Shane Black certainly bought psychological depth to the Iron Man franchise. This film works well mainly due to the acting and Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark’s internal torment without losing the characters laid back and comedic value. No matter what your opinion of Iron Man 3, Tony Stark can never go unnoticed and that is why Iron Man 3 deserves its place on our top 5 list of blockbusters 2013.
4. Les Miserables
*The following should not be read but sung to an unintelligible tune of your choice*
Seriously, 99.9% of dialogue in this film is sung. That is not a criticism however, as this film kicks serious artsy ass! One of the most adapted stories ever, literally translated as ‘The Miserable Ones,’ proves that we all love to watch a film about misery. As hinted at, this film gives you many epic stories of people who, shall we say aren’t in the best place in their life. Awesome performances from Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman prove that almost anyone can hold a tune if they are being paid enough money to do so. Not to be forgotten is the performance of Samantha Barks playing everyone’s favorite underdog Eponine.
Other than being utterly miserable on the surface this film is essentially about hope and the power of belief- a notion that you really need to cling on to for fear of hanging yourself mid-way through this epic musical! We are offered small comedic respite in the form of Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, the brilliant and unscrupulous guardians of Cossette.
All in all this epic adaptation of a classic story deserves a place on our top 5 list of blockbusters 2013.
One film that couldn’t go unnoticed in 2013 was the unconventional, based on a true story, thriller, Argo. On paper, Argo sounds like it shouldn’t work at all. You have elements of an international drama that touches upon serious political issues, a wacky Hollywood comedy and a nail-biting thriller all in one film. But does it work? Absolutely.
Director and lead actor Ben Affleck takes you on a journey that leaves you literally perched on the edge of your seat or even standing up for the whole second half of the movie. This film shows, that you can achieve nail-biting intensity without a shot being fired. Brilliant acting teamed with a well-written script results in a natural and effortless dialogue. John Goodman and Alan Arkin steal the show with a notably powerful performance also demonstrated by Brian Cranston.
All of this stacked together, along with the fact that this wonderfully absurd storyline actually happened, makes for a definite mention in our top 5 list of blockbusters in 2013.
2. 12 Years a Slave
One of the most highly anticipated films towards the end of last year was 12 Years a Slave. 12 Years a Slave is not necessarily the transcendent movie that you expect but it certainly is a powerful one… and surprisingly gory. The film doesn’t hold back and touches upon extremely sensitive historical topics. At times this film can be slightly gratuitous and heavy handed in its nature, which makes for a difficult watch. However, this doesn’t take away from the compassion and emotional heft. The acting is fantastic with believable performances from chiwetel ejiofor and the brilliantly chilling Sarah Paulson. Despite what we were made to believe from the trailer, Brad Pitt shows up for all of 5 minuets, only to be the only character throughout the movie with a voice of reason. But we can forgive this almost self-gratifying display as, lets face it, Brad Pitt is THE MAN.
This film is just exquisitely put together with engrossing production design that makes for a historically gutting portrayal of slavery in the pre civil war US.
It turns out this film was worth the hype. The film that had everyone sitting wide mouthed and stupefied with just the trailer, hit cinemas last year with not a single disappointed face upon its demise. Gravity was a film where everything that could possible go wrong in an outer space situation, goes wrong. But for all of the widely entertaining near death and ‘we think it’s all over’ moments, there was also great character development. The breakdown of Sandra Bullock’s character was touching and emotional. You root for her the whole time, even when she contemplates suicide, you are still screaming for her to pull through. Considering this film is in space the majority of the time this is an impressive achievement, aided by the visually mind-blowing cinematography.
Everything in this film looks believable and detailed. That teamed with kick ass outer space action, a dash of wit from Clooney and the sheer popularity of the movie, wins it the number one spot for 2013!