Hello dear six readers of mine(And followers)
Time’s up for a reckoning, and what a year it was. Sadly, we were departed from Peter O’Toole, Paul Walker, Joanne Fontaine, among others.
Arik Einstein and Rabbi Obadiah Joseph two cultural and social icons of Israel passed away.
And as for movies? Well, I started my blog with a disappointment,(“See:Why Remakes?” My first blog and ending it with something optimistic, or semi optimistic, Quite frankly, I haven’t made up my mind.
That the way it is, when you’re a Ph.D in history, you, as a historian can’t really look at the world in a b/w situation, but rather in a 50 shades of grey.
So, let me begin the summing up, with a rule, I’ll write on movies that been made this year, let me break this stupid rule, I’ll mention movies that being made in 2012.
There were movies, which I didn’t see(“The Counselor”, really I wanted, but it was like the famous joke of Richard Pryor, concerning his father’s death during humping:”He came and he went”, so between preparing my Louis, and going, I didn’t manage to see it, so I can’t tell if it’s the worst movie of 2013, the missed movie, the best, I can’t tell for sure)
Anyway, I will try also to do a list, and like a rule breaker that I am, the list will be, shall we say it dear readers and followers, not according to what some people say or write , especially film pundits and gurus who, as you may have guessed been around since Noah’s Ark, and so are invaluable and erudite, knowledgable to a point of a near deity. Sorry, you’d have to settle with me., .
Anyway, let’s start with Hollywood
HOLLYWOOD MOVIES OF 2013- CROSSROADS
First, there were some surprising movies, the thriller came back with two movies, which delighted me to no end. Steven Soderberg’s last movie:”Side Effects”(“Life behind the candelabra” is actually a TV film) is a masterpiece of suspense A delightful two femme fatale in the guise of a manipulative Rooney Marah and a chilly and elusive Catherine Zeta-Jones, and an excellent performance of Jude Law as the psychiatrist who turn from victim to victorious man, all adds up to a fantastic thriller, worthy of the great film noir, this fantastic movie went under the radar, sadly, in my opinion.
Next came , a successful Noir in all terms:”Prisoners”.Made by Canadian Dennis Villeneuve, the movie is a searing and tense portrayal of families coming apart, when one girl is disappear, and also it’s about obsessive police detective Locky and Mr. Cleaver the missing girl’s father, it presented us the American Masculinity and Femininity at their most vulnerable, and also a portrait of a disturbing back door of USA.
If the thriller genre came back a winner, the blockbusters were a case in point. Time and again we have been exposed to a luna park of movies, event movies spiralling out of control, and give the impression that Elvis didn’t just leave the building, but left L.A. California and perhaps the US altogether. A Case in point is:”Man of steel”, Superman’s life was a gruelling, tough, destructive movie, which left me uncared, without any empathy, and worse, I was suddenly missed:”Superman 4″, the worst instalments, even that movie had something, “Superman returns”, had some redemptive points. Here, there was desolation, desperation, a stupid attitude of let’s-make-it-quick-and damn-the story acting, this attitude of marketing over production values as story, can be found in another WB/MGM film:”The Hobbit 2-The desolation of Smaug”, Peter Jackson fared slightly better than his last installment, it certainly had some story line, but inventing new characters, and then finding them little to do, is a waste of talent(Evangeline Lilly), and exhausting the audience ad nauseam is not my idea of a film. Still, there was one movie, a sequel surprisingly, which delighted me :”Startrek-The enemy within”, had a three-dimensional villain in the guise of Kahn(Benedict Cumerbutch, the quintessential “Sherlock”), and some morally murky Kirk, which manage to make it a more interesting blockbuster and J.J. Abrams is proving himself as an interesting director adept at both exciting action sequences, and intimate character study intimate scenes..
If Epic was a bad one, the comedies did supply us with one of the best Women Pics”The Heat”, was Paul Feig’s delightful feminist piece, an absolutely funny and even yes some touching moments(The bar scene is a case in point), it boasted a very funny performance by Kate Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and it was a feel good movie, and a well deserved hit and a movie which stood out among some terrible and embarrassing examples of the genre supplied to us by Hollywood this year. “Red 2″, despite my aversion to sequels, actually worked. an action comedy, sadly without Morgan Freeman, which might add his own lunacy to this film, but I was throughly enjoyed it.
Another comedy, which turn to a sinister film noir is Michael Bay’s”Pain and Gain”, I admit, that Mr. Bay’s films were not my cup of tea, however “Pain and gain”, is his best film so far, A wonderful disturbing and cynical delight of a film, a reminder to all of us non US citizens across the globe, that the American dream has simply gone ape(It based on an actual event),a Combination of comedy, and a caper film its fast paced and combine slapstick and a funny character study, augmented by Mark Wahkberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie , in what I deem to be one of their best performances,(Johnson is surprising delight and came a long way from “Scorpion “) all poignantly tells us what’s really wrong with the American Dream, and how one can simply avoid it(Don’t listen to self-made gurus, and don’t treat fictional characters as role models, the actual life are much )
The Biopic is a very problematic one, and Hollywood for lack of better original stories rush to the biopic genre,like a parched man , who discover a well in the middle of the Sahara, “Captain .
Phillips”, is one example of a good biopic. Tom Hanks in a wonderful performance is a very different hero,Richard Phillips a skipper of a cargo ship, whose suddenly under threat of piracy, is a man who rise to the occasion, Paul Greengrass movie is an accurate, makes both Phillips and Muse the Somalian pirate leader into victims of a cruel and cold capitalistic system in a crude(Somalian) and sophisticated(Phillips) way. The thoughtful portrayal of both men whose virility, resourceful and loyalties are tested time and again is a work of a fascinated psychological study.
One can’t finish the Hollywood Reviewing of 2013 without a praise for “Gravity”, this movie was, in my opinion the right kind of movie one want from Hollywood, a chamber and intimate film, wrapped inside a very scary F/X, and a huge budget, which didn’t interfere with the story, Alfonso Cuaron proved himself to be a versatile and interesting director, his movie focus on characters, rather than action(The action sequences complemented, rather than were the main focus), the film was a morality tale of both the fragility and ultimate triumph of mankind, and Kate Bullock , with the aid of George Clooney, gave us some wonderful performances, thus make the movie a winner from all angles you can think of. Is it going to be the right direction Hollywood is going? Lord please make it happen(OOps I remember, I’m aetheist)!!
<BEST MOVIES OF 2013-HOLLYWOOD
3)Pain And Gain
7(Startreck-The Enemy within
THE WORST MOVIES
1)”Man of steel””
2(“The Hobbit- Desolation Smaug