#59 The Impossible (2012) Dir. J.A. Bayona
I really love Bayona’s previous movie The Orphanage and his development as a filmmaker is even more interesting now considering he’s made something completely different with The Impossible. This is a technically and emotionally superb movie full of visceral punch and delicate intimacy. Naomi Watts’ performance especially is brave and unforgettable and Ewan McGregor hasn’t had the chance to flex this many acting muscles in years. The kids too are terrific. I also thought the score was very unconventional in places which made many sequences that much more interesting. It leans too far on the sentiment here and there but with a true story this powerful, I’ll give it a pass.
#58 Maniac (2013) Dir. Franck Khalfoun
Been looking forward to this and while there’s a bunch of stuff I liked, it didn’t really amount to enough for me. I really enjoyed the retro score (it has the same 80s New York-at-night neon pulse as Drive) and thought Elijah Wood was a clever casting choice, being a complete 180 from Joe Spinelli in the original. He delivers an effective if not very subtle performance not too far from his turn in Sin City. Khalfoun’s daring aesthetic choice to shoot the whole movie from his protagonist’s POV gives it an interesting gimmick that surprisingly never becomes tiresome. Everything on the surface is great but once you start digging a little deeper there’s not much to chew on. Still, a fun experiment and a nice companion piece to William Lustig’s grimy original.
#57 Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Dir. Robert Wise
I’ve seen a good 20 or so episodes of the Original Series and really dig it but hell fire this movie was painfully slow paced and close to watching paint dry. The special effects and art direction are great but the story is just a real snooze-fest. From what I’ve read it seems the worst is over with now so I look forward to getting stuck in with the rest of the series. Up next: Wrath of Khan!
Attempting to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture but jesus christ this thing is so slow paced and boring kill me now then wake me up when it’s time for The Wrath of Khan.
#56 Iron Man 3 (2013) Dir. Shane Black
This movie is great, a massive piece of entertainment. Marvel have skyrocketed their golden streak into Phase 2 with their most confidently authored stand-alone movie yet. It also proves once more that the key to these movies is by picking a filmmaker with a very distinct style that can improve the foundations already in place. The Batman movies soared because they felt at home next to Nolan’s previous films like Memento, the Spider-Man series was at it’s most thrilling when Raimi let the right amount of his sensibilities seep into the action and ofcourse The Avengers was destined for success once Joss Whedon signed the dotted line. What Shane Black brings to Iron Man 3 is his signature Christmas setting, buddy-comedy banter, a pitch perfect tone and an ear for sharp, biting dialogue, I mean, let’s face it, who better to write lines for Tony Stark than the man behind Martin Riggs? This is my favourite Iron Man movie by far and while at least one of the twists has me torn between declaring it bold and brilliant or devastatingly disappointing, it’s still an awesome, thrilling piece of popcorn fun.