Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top 20 Favorite Movies of 2013!

Let's start my annual year-end lists with my favorite movies! I'm once again limiting my list to movies I've seen in the theater. There's also one movie included which is a 2012 release overseas but was only shown here this year. My basis for the ranking is basically the movie's  impact to me. There are movies in this list that have major flaws but the positive side is stronger so they still made my list. As a recap here's my list for 2012 and 2011. So without further adieu here are the twenty movie that I loved for 2013!

20. This is The End

I'm not really a fan of the actors of this movie so I was hesitant to check this out but good thing I watched this because this is one hilarious movie! Danny McBride stood out for me and it was surprising because I really hate his douchebag antics in his previous movies but his douchebag character here was so much fun. Aside from the crazy humor, I quite like how they talked about friendship and how sometimes people drift apart because of their personal issues. Plus points for featuring Backstreet Boys!

19. Purok 7

One of the few movies I saw in Cinemalaya this year and the movie's sweet tone over a tragic incident won me over. The lead kids in the movie were really great and they captured the sibling bond perfectly. It's also a beautiful movie with lush cinematography capturing the lovely atmosphere of small town life. 

18. Pacific Rim

I really love the concept of this movie where two people "uniting" their brains electronically to control a giant robot figthing monstrous aliens! The battle scenes were also spectacular! It also features one of the most emotional flashback scene I've seen ever. The humanity that scene delivered is the biggest advantage this movie over the other big budget blockbusters of 2013. 

17. Ilo-ilo

Singapore's entry to the Oscars tells the story of a Singaporean family who hires a Filipina nanny during the 1997 Asian Financial crisis.I like that there are no big dramatic scenes here but it's nonetheless affecting as the movie properly developed all 4 main characters without going overboard. 

16.  The Heat 

My favorite Hollywood comedy this year. It started a little off me with too much swearing from Melissa's character but once she and Sandra Bullock's character finally interacted, it was nothing but pure entertainment. 

15.  Ekstra

As someone who loves TV and is fascinated with the TV production process, this movie is such a treat! It makes you understand the plight of not just the bit players but everyone from the production team. It makes you understand how this world is working and how people will have to make compromises along the way.

14. Iskalawags

One of only two movies I've seen in this year's Cinema One Originals Film Festival and what impressed me about this movie is the "voice" of the narrator. It's distinct and such a compelling story teller. The film tells a story of a group of friends in a province in the Visayas. The movie is set in the 90s and the era was also a character in this movie. The movie truly captures how friendships form and last with a group of kids in a small town. 

13. Four Sisters and a Wedding

This star-studded movie won me over because of its portrayal of the complex but loving relationships of siblings as they grow older. Sure there is a dramatically -staged confrontation set piece towards the end but the insecurities and issues each of the sibling experienced are realistic and relatable.

12. Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin

A very funny but heartwarming story of a relationship between a Filipina and an American. I like the mockumentary format as it was used quite effectively with the punchlines. But beyond the jokes, the movie was also successful in telling that despite the social stigma of a relationship that started online, true love can truly blossom.

11. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

  I liked last year's The Hunger Games but Catching Fire is just on another level with its compelling story and  strong central performance from Jennifer Lawrence. The movie is over 2 hours but unlike other movies with that  long runtime, my mind never wandered even for a second as I was totally glued to the screen scene per scene

10. Rush

 I'm pretty confident that most F1 racing fans will like this film but the movie greatly succeeds in telling a sports drama even if the viewers have no idea what the sport is all about. It also excelled in making the audience care for a true-to-life story of people that you never knew before.

9. It Takes A Man and  A Woman 
 A romantic-comedy series is not a common movie franchise simply because most love stories told in this format follows a template and there's not much really left to say after the girl and the guy gets together in the end. However, It Takes a Man and a Woman manages to find new grounds in the Laida-Miggy love story that's so strong that you just can't help but fall for its charm all over again

8. Frozen

I grew up watching the 90s Disney animated classics so it's really great to see the animation studio reclaiming the magic that somehow got lost in the past decade.  With its fantastic music, engaging characters, and amazing visuals, this movie will surely melt the hearts of viewers of all ages.

7. Captain Phillips

True-to-life stories are not easy to pull off in the big screen especially if the viewer is unfamiliar of the real story but thanks to strong direction, Captain Phillips offers the viewer a pulse-pounding thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat.  It also features one of the best performances of my all time favorite actor Tom Hanks

6. Life of Pi

Visually gorgeous but most importantly this film is food for the soul with its inspiring story that will make you reflect about life.

5. Transit

This year's Cinemalaya New Breed winner and our country's entry to the Oscar is one of the most impressive directorial debut I've ever seen. The film is so strong on all accounts but the way it deals with issues of identity left me amazed because it's so succinct and affecting.

4. Before Midnight

Usually movies will get the viewers' attention with its flashy effects or showy scenes with scenery-chewing performances but the "Before" series is just about a couple talking and talking and yet it's so absorbing, The third movie is just a worthy entry to the series. I just like the rawness that this movie delivers and Before Midnight simply hits it right out of the park. If this is truly the end of the "Before" series then it ends on such strong note.

3. Sana Dati

The winner of the Cinemalaya 2013 Director's Showcase tells a love story which encompasses a variety of emotions from bliss, to pain and finally acceptance. It told a story how an unexplainable connection to a person will make you do things you never did before. More importantly, it presents a love story that isn't perfect or ideal but it doesn't mean it will not work anyway.

2. Gravity

Gravity is one hell of a ride. More than just a story, it is an unforgettable experience. This is definitely one of the most immersive films that I've ever experienced and I'm pretty sure this film will be remembered in the years to come. It's simply a masterpiece.

1. On The Job

OTJ is just outstanding. With a timely topic especially during the time it was shown, OTJ will just make you ponder about the justice and political system of the country. We are quite aware of what's going on for a long time already that we tend to just shrug it off because it will never change anyway but OTJ will show you ugly it really is and we really should not just let this be this way. OTJ reminded me that movies is not just about escapism as it can be a powerful tool to get to your senses and make you think about the world we live in.

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