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The Best And Worst Films And TV/Web Shows Of 2013

Before Midnight DVD Bates Motel Season 1 Blu-ray The Place Beyond The Pines Doctor Who- The Day of the Doctor Blu-ray New World Blu-ray Breaking Bad

After an underwhelming 2012 film year, 2013 was a definite improvement. While there weren’t a ton of films I would consider great, I did see a fair number of good ones. Yes, a majority of the “mainstream” films were clunkers (as they usually are), but there were a surprising amount of indie, VOD, and documentary gems released this year.

Over on the TV and web series side, it proved to be a solid year for these mediums as well. New shows like “Bates Motel” and “Orange Is the New Black” wowed audiences, returning favorites (such as “Game of Thrones” and “Doctor Who”) continued to have viewers glued to their screens, and a few shows ended with a bang (namely “Breaking Bad” and “Tron Uprising”).

So, without further adieu, here is my annual list!

2013 Films

Best Films

  1. Her- Spike Jonze outdoes himself with this weighty tour de force about love, relationships, connections, communication, and technology.

  2. Before Midnight- Simply put, the “Before” trilogy is some of THE very best cinema about love, relationships, romance, and marriage. I only hope this is not the last we see of Jesse and Celine on the big screen.

  3. The Place Beyond The Pines- A wonderful crime drama. The less you know about it, the more rewarding it is.

  4. 12 Years A Slave- A harrowing and gut wrenching cinematic masterwork about America’s repugnant past.

  5. Captain Phillips- Director Paul Greengrass returns with a gripping seafaring thriller based on true events.

  6. Rewind This!- There may have been more important documentaries this year, but this loving, nostalgic tribute to VHS was the one that won my heart.

  7. New World- Hoon-jung Park’s riveting gangster film is the best little seen movie of the year.

  8. I Declare War- An inspired coming-of-age story.

  9. Frozen- Disney’s best animated feature film since the 90’s. An absolute delight from start to finish.

  10. Mud- With recent films like “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Bernie,” “Magic Mike,” “Killer Joe,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Mud,” Matthew McConaughey is having quite the career resurgence after languishing in Rom Com hell for years. While ‘Dallas’ and ‘Wolf’ may be getting more attention, the engrossing “Mud” should not be overlooked. 

Other Favorites: “Stories We Tell,” “Blue Is The Warmest Color,” “Short Term 12,” “Sound City,” the RiffTrax version of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” “42,” “Disconnect,” A Band Called Death,” “The Act of Killing,” “Metallica Through The Never,” “The Bling Ring,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Blue Jasmine,” “The Kings Of Summer,” “Nebraska,” and “The Hunt.”

The Worst and Most Disappointing Films

  1. A Good Day to Die Hard- An excruciating sequel that doesn’t remotely resemble a “Die Hard” film.
  1. 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- The spoof genre reaches a new low with this one.
  1. The ABCs of Death- An ugly and unwatchable horror anthology film.
  1. 21 and Over- This “Hangover” wannabe was an obnoxious and woefully unfunny college comedy.
  1. The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse- Quite possibly one of the worst comic book adaptations to date.
  1. The Rambler- A rambling pretentious mess.
  1. Scary Movie 5- When will this series end?
  1. Oz the Great and Powerful- Sam Raimi’s big budget prequel has no identity of its own.
  1. Hell Baby- Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are better than this frightfully flat horror comedy.
  1. Movie 43- This was further proof that 2013 was not a good year for comedy films.
  1. Planes- A cheap Disney cash-in.

2013 Shows

Best TV and Web Series

  1. Bates Motel- Like many, I was skeptical about a prequel series to one of the greatest films of all time (“Psycho”). To my surprise, not only was ‘Bates’ respectful to the original film, but it was also the most satisfying new drama of the year. Bring on season 2!
  1. Game of Thrones- The only thing wrong with this series is that the seasons are comprised of a mere 10 episodes.
  1. Doctor Who- The 50th anniversary of the cult sci-fi series proved to be a memorable one with winning episodes like “The Night of the Doctor” and “The Crimson Horror.”
  1. Breaking Bad- While the series finale was a bit too safe and predictable for my liking, there’s no denying that ‘Bad’ ranks as one of the all-time best TV series.
  1. Tron: Uprising- Only 4 episodes aired in 2013, but they were nothing short of thrilling. It’s a crying shame that this series has allegedly been canceled because there is so much potential here.
  1. An Adventure in Space and Time/The Five(ish) Doctors- In addition to getting new episodes, “Doctor Who” fans also got 2 specials. ‘Adventure’ was a moving bio drama about the show’s inception and William Hartnell (the First Doctor) while Five(ish) was a clever, uproarious scripted half-hour comedy about several of the actors who portrayed the Doctor trying to score a role on “The Day of the Doctor.”
  1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars- The fifth season may have started slowly, but the last batch of episodes contained some of THE most exciting “Star Wars” stories.
  1. Toy Hunter- Infectious and addicting.
  1. Mob City- The ultra talented Frank Darabont made a welcome return to television with a compelling gangster series set in the 1940’s.
  1. Orange Is the New Black- Far and away the best Netflix series to date. A fresh, bold, funny dramedy that is supremely well written and acted.

Other Favorites: “Behind the Candelabra,” “In the Flesh,” “Tabletop,” “Homeland,” “Spellslingers,” “Impractical Jokers,” and “Geek Love.”

The Worst and Most Disappointing TV Series

  1. Banshee- A mindless, trashy action series.
  1. Avengers Assemble- A watered down superhero toon.
  1. Under The Dome- Having one of the best comic book writers (Brian K. Vaughan) run a series out of a Stephen King novel sounds like a great idea on paper, but unfortunately, this series stumbled out of the gate and only got worse as it went along.
  1. Low Winter Sun- The only entertaining thing about this series was the plethora of jokes about it on Twitter from a vast number of comedians.
  1. Uncle Grandpa- An animated children’s series so bad that you have to wonder how it got made.
  1. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Going into 2013, there was an inordinate amount of hype for this show. At the end of 2013, very few are even talking about this colossal disappointment.

December 31, 2013 - Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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