Tag Archives: James Franco

Andrew’s Top Ten Films, Favorite Performances, And Other Bests of 2013

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Although in the past couple of years it’s taken me a few more weeks to see every film I’ve needed to from the year prior, 2013 was such an excellent year that I simply couldn’t wait for every film to come to me. And so I made my annual journeys up to Boston to see many of the films I was anticipating, even with the knowledge that they would be released where I live just a week or two later. What can I say? I’m an addict, and with my addiction comes the yearly, painstaking process of chopping my favorite films list down to ten. Doing so after a year that was particularly strong like 2013, especially in terms of independent film, has honestly never been more difficult. For 2013, a top twenty may have been more reflective, but I have to fit in and thus, only ten will do.

In addition to compiling my top ten, I’ve also singled out my favorite performances of the year, while also calling attention to those directors, writers, cinematographers and editors who I personally feel did the best work of the year. I’ve also decided to single out those movie scenes and shots that left an indelible mark on me when I left the theater. Also, while nine of the films in my top ten will not be ranked in any particular order, I will single out my favorite film of the year.

With 2014 now upon us and many new big-screen experiences to look forward to in the coming months, it’s always important to reflect on the year that has just past. Here’s hoping the year in film that was 2013 will stand the test of time as a great example of the eclectic tastes of the various members of both the Hollywood and independent film communities. Away we go.

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Andrew’s Journey Through TIFF 2013: Episode III

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The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the first stops on the journey through film awards season. This year, Andrew was fortunate enough to be in attendance and is now recapping the films and events he attended while at TIFF.

TIFF Day 6

With bright and early screenings now a thing of the past for my festival experience, I had the great pleasure of sleeping in on this day. I dreamed of what might occur if I was to meet my idol who just so happened to be the star of the next film on my docket.

David Gordon Green’s Joe

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Nicolas Cage. What else needs to be said? Some love him and some hate him, but the haters always seem to forget that not only does he have an Academy Award bearing his name, but when on he remains one of the most talented actors in the biz. Now I get it, his recent string of endless sub-par action films leaves a lot to be desired, but every once in awhile he chooses a role that truly lets his artistry shine. Thankfully, Joe just so happens to be the latest. Playing the titular ex-con with an underlying mean streak, Cage gives a nuanced and (for the most part) subdued performance. Youngster Tye Sheridan is every bit his equal as Gary, a kid new in town who is looking for work and who Joe takes under his wing. Gary’s father (Gary Poulter) is abusive and is constantly taking money from Gary to fuel his rampant alcoholism. Under the helm of David Gordon Green, who has already released one great film this year in Prince Avalanche, the film is visually stunning with his signature brand of cinematography. While the film loses its focus at times and certainly has its fair share of disturbing moments, Green and his actors make sure to ground the film in a dark reality that seems true to life in this small Texas town. Whether you love him or you hate him it’s hard to argue that this isn’t another great Cage performance, and while us fans would certainly love for him to keep choosing these interesting off the beaten path roles, somebody’s gotta pay those taxes. Long live The Cage.

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2013: The Year in Film So Far

With June upon us and nearly half the year in film gone already, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the films that have come and gone in this sixth month span, with a specific eye on my favorites of the bunch. It’s also time to look at the best performances of the young year as it’s simply never too early to look toward awards season this Fall. Each year, there seems to be a film or performance that sneaks through the cracks and somehow, someway stays relevant long enough to take the Academy by storm (i.e. The Hurt Locker in 2009). There are also those films that I didn’t have much expectation for, but that took me completely by surprise. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at a few films and performances that struck a chord with me and may just end up on my year-end list come early 2014.

Best Surprises

Fast & Furious 6

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A film that I had absolutely no expectation for until the positive critical notices started rolling in was Justin Lin’s latest entry in the Vin Diesel led Fast & Furious franchise. I had been fooled once before with Fast Five, so it was to my great surprise that this entry finally backed the critics up. With a simple yet effective story and some of the most absurd stunts ever committed to film, Furious was quite simply an entertaining time at the cinema. While not a great film, it’s a whole lot of fun, even for an automobile amateur such as myself.

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