As my lists slowly but surely are unveiled, here is my next one! So I decided to make this a thing. I love movies. Obviously. But sometimes there are scenes within a movie that are just....well.....unforgettable. The movie itself may not be the best, but the moment is awesome. Maybe the movie put all of its money into one scene? Maybe? Well, whatever. It doesn't matter, for at least a few moments, the movie was incredibly enjoyable. So, here is a short list of some of the best moments of the movies in 2013!
1) 13 minute opening shot-Gravity (Detached Clip)
I have absolutely no idea how this movie was shot. From start to finish. While there are several fantastic and unforgettable moments located all throughout the movie, and almost every single one of them deserves a spot on this list, I will just pick one. Even this is a rather easy decision. The opening 13 minutes of Gravity easily stand above and beyond as one of the greatest shots I have ever seen in a film. Easily the best moment of 2013, the 13 minute single shot opening has the camera "floating" between all of the various characters and scenery, from initially showing the Explorer floating towards us from off in the distance, to having close-ups of Clooney and Bullock as they continue to try to reboot the satellite they've been working on for a week. Not to mention wide shots of earth that were absolutely breathtaking to see in a movie theater. Additionally, the first major crash scene is filmed within this single shot, (see the clip) and somehow the scene is captured flawlessly. Despite the mass chaos occurring on the screen in front of me, I never once felt nauseous or overwhelmed. I have watched the scene many times by this point, and it has yet to NOT leave me completely breathless. 10/10, Alfonso Cuaron. 10/10.
2) DiCaprio's Speech-Wolf of Wall Street (Full Scene WARNING explicit content!)
Easily the most controversial movie of 2013, The Wolf of Wall Street is full of....well.....things. There is so much crap happening on screen at once in this movie. It is utterly amazing in its production value. And in a movie filled with many great scenes, one stands out. The moment that just might get Leo that Oscar he deserves. Well, there are three big speeches in the movie, but the speech where he convinces his crowd of misfits to sell Steve Madden's IPO is one for the ages. There's an electricity in that scene that you can only fully appreciate by watching it on screen. And hey! There's a link where it says full scene! Here's the background on the scene: according to the writer, Terrence Winter, (longtime writer of many Scorsese projects) he asked the real Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, to come in and recreate these speeches for him and DiCaprio so that they could implement them into the movie as accurately as possible. Boy did they. The amount of intensity DiCaprio puts into these speeches, and particularly the Madden IPO, is breathtaking. Beautifully written and masterfully acted, this is one of the best speeches in recent movie memory. It is easily one of the best moments of the year.
3) Takeover of Philly-World War Z (Edited Scene)
Don't worry guys, you won't see this movie anywhere else on any lists. While I personally really liked this movie, and it was arguably one of the best of the summer blockbusters, the movie also received a lot of criticism for it not being anything like its source material. I say who cares. When you watch it from a movie perspective and acknowledge the fact that virtually the only similarity between it and the book is the fact that they share the same name, you will realize that it is a really good movie! Anyway, here's the part that you cannot deny, no matter how you feel about the movie, the opening of it is really freaking cool. To see a huge city go from normal to completely overrun with zombies in about 4 minutes is just, well, scary as hell. The chaos that unfolds in front of you is breathtaking, and really sets the mood for a frantically paced movie. Fortunately for us, it's used as a trailer, so you can watch the scene as many times as you like without watching the actual movie! But seriously, that wide shot of Philly in chaos gives me chills every time.
4) Let It Go sequence-Frozen (Full Scene)
Think what you want about the song, (I think it deserves best original song personally) but you cannot deny how beautiful the scene behind it is in terms of its animation. Just watch the clip. The attention to detail made by the animators to create this scene is breathtaking. The castle created is so complex and colorful that it really is mind-blowing, as well as the fact that you actually watch the creation of the castle unfold in front of you. Really makes you realize how far good animation has come over the last few years. Not to mention the part where Idinia Manzel's voice could stop a war. Proven fact. While Lord knows the song has been played about 9 kajillion times, you cannot deny that she's good.
5) Khan's Reveal-Star Trek Into Darkness (Full Scene SPOILER WARNING if you continue watching the scene after the reveal)
Ya this is kinda here because of Benedict Cumberbatch. I had a feeling that Cumberbatch was Khan, but the reveal still gave me goosebumps in the theater way back in May. It was also a special moment for me because this was the beginning of my (somehow) manly relationship with the actor Benedict Cumberbatch. I actually watched this scene with my parents, and definitely shared a moment with my dad (somewhat of a Trekkie) as this scene unfolded and he realized it was Khan. (He had no idea.) So....you may not agree with this moment at all, but for me personally, it was one of the best moments of the year. Also definitely the best scene in the movie from all three of these actors. Sure there were some flaws with the movie, but it was still a good sequel to Star Trek. And lots of fun. If you are freaking out over how good Star Wars 7 is going to be, go watch J.J. Abrams (directing Star Wars 7) and his recreation of the Star Trek universe. We'll be fine, guys. That was an unnecessary tangent but whatever. Bite me.
Honorable Mentions (In no particular order)
Solomon Northup is beaten and ignored-12 Years a Slave (Solomon Featurette sorry can't find the actual scene)
A truly unforgettable and heart-wrenching moment within a heart-wrenching movie.
"I'm the captain now."-Captain Phillips (Full Scene)
Already a Hollywood joke, this scene is chilling, and that line gives me goosebumps every time.
The Fight Scene cameos-Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Full Scene WARNING: If you want to see this movie DO NOT WATCH THIS SCENE. If not, enjoy it, for it is absolutely hilarious)
I could not stop laughing with these cameos. So incredibly ridiculous yet....so great.
Opening: Pacific Rim (Full Scene-start at :30)
A really cool way to open a film. Lots of exposition that is actually entertaining! Good job guys.
The part where The Lone Ranger actually became The Lone Ranger briefly-The Lone Ranger (The only part worth watching)
I feel like I need to explain this one, because I am actually serious here. This movie sucked. Definitely one of the worst movies of last year. Now, while most of it was awful, and it definitely didn't deserve any nominations at the Oscars, there was about 3 minutes of movie in here that was actually wildly enjoyable and yes, one of the best moments of last year. When the classic song that has come to define the Lone Ranger FINALLY comes on, and he's riding through the rooftops and onto the train, a huge smile crept onto my face. Then the movie goes back to being terrible where all of the sudden there are multiple train tracks! And trains! And you can't tell where anything is or what is even happening etc, etc. Whatever! But for 3 minutes (the clip I have captures 1 of those 3 minutes) it was really really fun. If this movie isn't in my bottom 10, this is the sole reason why.
Wolf of Wall Street: http://www.slantmagazine.com/assets/film/wolfofwallstreet.jpg
World War Z: http://www.cgsociety.org/stories/2013_07/wwz/cinesite/streetd458.jpg
Star Trek: http://www.crushable.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Star-Trek-Into-Darkness-Khan-Benedict-Cumberbatch-Zachary-Quinto-Chris-Pine-Kirk-Spock.jpg
Hello Internet! So I've watched a lot of movies from 2013. I'd say that of my 61 reviews on this site thus far, about 45 of them were from 2013 movies. And I watched a lot more from a pleasure standpoint as well. I'd say all in all I watched somewhere around 80-90 movies from 2013. So those are the credentials I bring to the table. Will you disagree with the list I'm about to present to you? I bet that you will! For one you will notice that both Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o are missing from this list. Sorry I just did not think the acting in that movie was what made it memorable. Rather, the events that happened in the movie itself were memorable. Ok? So please don't say I forgot about them because I didn't. It was a tough choice leaving them off the list/honorable mentions. But they were close! So, now that I addressed that, let's get this party started!
DISCLAIMER: I have not seen Nebraska or Philomena at the time of this writing, as no movie theater within 100 miles of me are playing either of them, so if you are wondering why Bruce Dern or Judi Dench are not on this list, it's because I have been unable to see these two movies. When I finally see them if I decide they are worth a mention or even an appearance in the top 10, I will make the necessary changes.
10) Joaquim Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (Her)
A romantic story is only as good and convincing as the actors playing the leads. And this movie is one of the best movies of the year. This happened via Phoenix and merely the voice of Johansson. It takes some serious acting to convincingly fall in love with something you can't see. It's just as hard to create a convincing character using only your voice. Both come together here as well as peanut butter and chocolate. You root for these characters from start to finish, and really feel for them by the end. Many emotional moments to say the least. Also I should mention this is quite possibly the most grounded role I've ever seen from Phoenix. If you harbor something against him for how he has presented himself over the last few years, just know that none of that shows in Her. Finally, Scarlett Johansson's voice is almost as beautiful as Scarlett Johansson. Just saying.
9) Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
"Look at me. Look at me. I'm the captain now." It's already becoming a bit of a joke in Hollywood, but it's so chilling and well-spoken! So this guy was a limo driver in Minneapolis at this time last year, guys. Yep. He answered an open casting call two years back and received the nod to start opposite Tom Hanks as the leader of the Somalian terrorist group that attacks Hanks and his crew. His cold demeanor, chilling delivery, and frightening presence makes him almost outproduce Hanks in the lead role. This is his first role ever, and thus his first nomination, and is a heartwarming surprise to the Oscars. If it weren't for Jared Leto, he might even have a legitimate shot at winning the damn thing! What a story that would be right? While a major problem of this movie was that every other terrorist in his crew are just cardboard cutouts with no character development whatsoever, Abdi easily stood out. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he has to offer Hollywood next!
8) Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
I love Bradley Cooper ever since his performance as Face in The A-Team, and the fact that he puts so much time into preparing for his roles, so this may be a little biased. But he is just fantastic in this movie. Seriously fantastic. He's hilarious, he's intimidating, he's crazy, and he's unpredictable. So many great scenes. So many great moments! His interactions with Louis C.K. may be my favorite, though. Particularly with how that story resolves featuring a certain telephone. Sure the FBI agent that he's playing is wildly unbelievable, but does it matter? When you play him like this, absolutely not. Hilarious. Well done, Mr. Cooper. Well done.
7) Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
To all you McConaughey haters out there, shhhh. This man was a terrible actor. I will be the first to admit I was a huge McConaughey hater back in the day. The Wedding Planner? Awful. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days? Laughably bad. But when he played himself ironically in Tropic Thunder, it turned my head. Then I saw him in The Lincoln Lawyer, and he started convincing me that he was turning it around. Then he BLEW me away in Mud. Mud is charming, charismatic, lovable, and yet....so incredibly evil. He has so many quirks with his body language that he has it honestly reminded me of (deep breath) Heath Ledger as the Joker. Remember all his hand motions and everything? Same goes of McConaughey as Mud. Seriously. Go see this movie so that you can start to change your mind about this actor. He really deserves a second chance. I honestly wanted to put this higher on the list. I wanted to label this as the second-best acting performance of the year, guys. I intimidated myself out of it and moved it down to seventh, but it is an unforgettable performance regardless.
6) Amy Adams (American Hustle)
I feel like I did not praise Amy Adams enough in my review of American Hustle. I apologize for that. She has to effectively transition between two different personalities as she lives her life as a con artist, which includes using a well-spoken British accent. She has to convince Bradley Cooper's character as well as us that she's a British banker, and she does it flawlessly. Without a doubt my favorite moment from her in this movie is when she transitions between her British personality and her American personality in the same shot. This is not an easy thing to do as an actor, guys. She nails it, and it translates to one of the best scenes of the entire movie. Definitely the most tense scene at least. Thanks to David O. Russell, this actress has shot up the food chain and has successfully established herself as one of the best actresses in Hollywood right now. It will definitely be a close one between her and Blanchett for Best Actress, though my early favorite is Blanchett. As the Oscars get closer I will release my official predictions.
5) Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Arguably the best performance by an actress from 2013, Cate Blanchett somehow figures out a way to take a totally despicable character and make you appreciate her and root for her. How? By successfully conveying a huge range of emotions, everything from smugness to happiness to fear to full-blown depression. This woman had everything, and she took it for granted. And it all fell apart right in front of her. Her scenes of depression and confiding in her sister are the best scenes of this movie. Honestly, this entire movie is single-handily carried by Blanchett, so give her a lot of credit for making Blue Jasmine as good as it was.
4) Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Easily the best performance by a supporting actor this year and a sure-thing for the appropriate Oscar, Leto, as big of a jerk as he may be in real life, puts in the performance of a lifetime in Dallas Buyers Club. I will never forget his initial reveal and thinking to myself, "Is that Jared Leto? No. No way is it him. Holy shit it's Jared Leto." this may have been a result of initially not actually knowing what role he played in the movie, but upon researching it after watching the movie it became incredibly obvious that he easily deserves the award. He lost a ton of weight for the role, bringing his body to dangerously low levels of, well, everything. Then he cross-dressed and learned how to play a transvestite. Then he learned how to play a woman trying to be a man for his father. This was one of the hardest scenes to watch in the movie. I can barely even grasp the notion of being a guy playing a guy who's really a girl trying to pretend to be a guy. Tongue twister. Where's Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder when you need him? Anyway, this was an incredible performance from him. As weird as it is to say, I look forward to what he has to offer next.
3) Robert Redford (All is Lost)
Definitely the biggest no-show in this year's Oscar nominations, Robert Redford puts in an unforgettable performance as a nameless man in All is Lost. He says about 10 words throughout the entire movie, so it is entirely up to his facial expressions and body language to create this character fighting for survival. For a great example, when he sees a giant storm heading straight for him in his already damaged yacht, he shows fear, then determination, then resilience and fortitude, all in the same shot. Absolutely breathtaking. By the end of the movie I was just as engrossed in this man's fight for survival as I was any other character in any movie this year. Flawless execution from a worthwhile actor, this movie is worth seeing solely based on Redford alone.
2) Mattew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
What a McConassance this year has been. After he blew me away in Mud, he goes out and does one better in Dallas Buyers Club. This guy is 2013's Ben Affleck story. I can't help but love actors that finally start to turn their careers and reputations around in Hollywood! The current favorite for this year's Best Actor award, Matthew McConaughey went all out in playing this role. Losing an incredible amount of weight and basically putting himself through what Hugh Jackman did to look like he did in the opening of Les Miserables, McConaughey does an incredible job as the lead in Dallas Buyers Club, from creating a convincing story arc in how he treats gays (which is done entirely via acting, almost no writing involved whatsoever) to his story arc as a person in general and how he deals with his own HIV/AIDS ordeal, McConaughey does not just deliver one standout moment, but rather he creates an entire movie of standout moments. The only actor to be mentioned twice on this list, McConaughey really is the best story of this past year. Please give him a chance!
1) Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
I've hinted at this a lot throughout the last month or so, but DiCaprio's performance in Scorsese's latest work is easily the best of this man's highly distinguished career. Nothing else even comes close. Asked to basically ruin his real-life reputation in one movie by putting himself in countless provocative positions, Leo literally lays it all out on the line as the lead. From various sex scenes to a candle wax fetish scene, Leo shows that he has no problem doing whatever his director asks of him. Taking his clothes off on camera? Not a problem. But that isn't the only thing memorable in this movie. Throughout the movie he has several monologues that he gives to his employees at Stratton Oakmont, and each one of them are unforgettable. One in particular stands out: when Leo delivers a monologue to his employes to get them to sell an IPO of Steve Madden's shoes, it is absolutely breathtaking. There's an electricity to this scene that I haven't seen from anyone else this year. And let's not forget to mention the part where he, in a "cerebral palsy" phase of drug highs, crawls through a country club, down some steps, and into his car to get back to his house. If DiCaprio didn't show that he can be hilarious in addition to being phenomenal in Django Unchained, he definitely shows it here. Oh, and on top of everything else, he creates some of the best voice-over narration I've ever heard in any movie, much less previous Martin Scorsese movies. While he may not win the Oscar for Best Actor due to how controversial the role is, he most certainly deserves it. However he does earn the title of Enter the Movie's Best Acting Performance of 2013! Now to find Leo and give him this great award I wrote on a piece of paper.....I'm sure he'd be thrilled!
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
One of the more overlooked roles of the year, he was definitely the best part of this great racing movie.
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
You forget that, before she became Oprah, she could act. She delightfully reminds you here.
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
A huge surprise, Hill brings his comedic timing to a great character story. This dude can act!
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Robert Redford in space, Bullock has to carry the back half of this movie by herself, and she definitely shines.
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Another fantastic reminder of why Tom Hanks is one of the greatest actors ever.
ADDENDUM: After seeing Judi Dench in Philomena, I must add her to the list. A wonderful reminder of how talented she is. Charming, funny, and emotional, she knew just how to tug on my heart strings. (If I wanted to keep this list to 15, I would probably remove Sandra Bullock. But, I can do whatever I want! So NO. I'm going to have 16 names on this list.
Joaquin Phoenix: http://images.contactmusic.com/images/feature-images/her-joaquin-phoenix-03-600-370.jpg
Barkhad Abdi: http://www.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/CapPhillips_1.jpg
Bradley Cooper: http://oracleoffilm.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/o-american-hustle-gifs-facebook.jpg
Matthew McConaughey (Mud): http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2013/5/9/1368099273534/MUD---exclusive-video-cli-001.jpg
Amy Adams: http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2013/10/17/832/n/1922283/231cb679d2e2aac8_-3.xxxlarge/i/Amy-Adams-American-Hustle.jpg
Cate Blanchet: http://lisathatcher.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/blue-jasmine-2.jpg
Jared Leto: http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/jared-leto-dallas-buyers-club-1012013-123830.jpg
Robert Redford: http://cinema-scope.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/all-is-lost-robert-redford.jpg
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club): http://focusfeaturesmedia.com/uploads/image/mediafile/1377714277-d4458dd16e2059a8362b1c7024c2cfea/x900.jpg
Leonardo DiCaprio: http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/Wolf-of-Wall-Street.jpg
So the 2014 Oscar nominations came out today. Obviously I'm going to have some things to say about them, because why wouldn't I? If anything is to be learned from this blog it's that I talk about movies way too much. So let's talk more about them shall we? Now this is just some immediate reactions. Not my most well-written work, and it's incomplete because I have yet to see some of the movies nominated, like Nebraska and Blue Jasmine. Working on it. But here's a discussion about the things I have seen, what surprises me, so on and so forth. Enjoy!
First of all, here is the list in case you haven't seen it: http://oscar.go.com/nominees
Big Winners: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity
No big surprise from the first two, however Gravity received 10 nominations, including Best Picture. This is one of the big surprises of the list. Sure it's my current number one movie of 2013 (oh wait that list isn't out yet) but it's also sci-fi movie with a not-entirely-gripping story. We shall see if it sweeps its categories, but American Hustle is also poised to sweep. David O. Russell deserves a lot of credit, as his movies have come out of nowhere and are getting a lot of nominations over the last few years. Additionally I think 12 Years is going to be a big loser here. It will definitely win a few awards, but probably only two or three.
Leonardo DiCaprio and The Wolf of Wall Street
The hope that he wins Best Actor is alive guys. Definitely the number one performance from the nominations list, it's time to cross our fingers and pray that DiCaprio FINALLY wins his first Oscar. We'll see! Also kudos to the Academy throwing politics out the door and giving Wolf of Wall Street a deserving 5 nominations, including Best Picture.
Saving Mr. Banks
Only one nomination for score? Wow. The Lone Ranger received more nominations than it. That's just laughable. What was in my opinion a dark horse to win best picture isn't even nominated for it. Without a doubt the biggest disappointment of this list.
Do we just expect him to be a phenomenal actor now? I predicted that he was going to be nominated for Best Actor for Captain Phillips and Best Supporting Actor for his role as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. And he gets neither. The Walt Disney role I can understand as it was a great year for the supporting actors, but Captain Phillips? He deserved it more so than Bale did for American Hustle at least! We really do just expect greatness from him now.
Pacific Rim not nominated for Visual Effects
The Internet has already blown up over this one. This category is for sure Gravity's to lose no matter what, but Pacific Rim's effects were definitely the second best effects of the year. And Lone Ranger is nominated? Those effects weren't even all that good. Criminal.
The Lone Survivor
Kinda figured that it wasn't going to get much, but only two nominations? I mean for one, it too deserved to be nominated for visual effects over Lone Ranger.
Bad Grandpa earns a nomination
Kudos to the Academy for nominating Bad Grandpa for makeup and hairstyling! The best part of that movie was absolutely the job they did turning Johnny Knoxville into Zimmer, or whatever his name is. The grandpa! That guy. Not that it's going to win, as Dallas Buyers Club is a heavy heavy favorite to win that (at least) that category.
THE LONE RANGER RECEIVES TWO NOMINATIONS
THE FREAKING LONE RANGER. One of the worst movies of 2013 has received two nominations, neither of which it deserved. Since it was one of the biggest box office busts of the year, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there is something under-the-table going on between Disney and the Academy to try to increase DVD sales and warrant a sequel. Not going to happen guys. But I guarantee you all of the sudden there's going to be a big marketing campaign for the movie as they say HEY LOOK! WE GOT TWO NOMINATIONS! GIVE US MONEY. An absolute travesty.
Finally, here's a bold statement: Martin Scorsese beats out David O. Russell for Best Director. Why? Because American Hustle is shot like a Scorsese film. Like Goodfellas or Casino. If Russell wins it's an insult to Scorsese because Russell borrowed so much from him. But we'll see! Anyway my actual predictions will be up soon!
Thanks for reading guys! It's an open discussion so feel free to comment and tell me that my opinions are bad and that I should feel bad etc. etc.
Another loser of the nomination list is The Butler. Not one nomination. Not one. Everyone clearly forgot about this movie. (myself included) But it is kind of a shame. The big loser from the movie is Oprah Winfrey. She was a favorite to receive a nod for Best Supporting Actress. Such a shame. I did have a feeling it was going to happen. Sure it was a good movie, but it was rather forgettable, and due to the fact that it came out in August, that's exactly what happened.
Hey how are you doing? Fantastic. So when you get done here you should go over to Facebook and "Like" Enter the Movies for the latest and greatest on all things movies. If you don't, Puss In Boots will be sad. We wouldn't want that now would we?
I believe you've gotta have fun in everything you do. Otherwise, what's the point?