2013 Movie Wrap Up: A Year of Weird Movie Expectations – Disappointments, Surprises, and why it sucks to be a movie enthusiast in the Philippines

 2013 was a weird year for movies for me, why? Because the things that I thought were going to shine didn’t and the things that I didn’t think I would like, I loved. It was also not a great year for superhero movies but an amazing year for intellectual comedies and sequels. For example, Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 were a bit of a set back from the amazing success of The Avengers. Man of Steel and Elysium were just so-so and was not all magnificent (as they should be). I mean this was Man of Steel – a Snyder – Goyer film produced by Nolan himself and it felt untamed. I thought Nolan would provide the leash that Snyder and Goyer needed but this movie was way too indulgent in its action scenes that it erased the good story behind it. And Elysium – I had extremely great expectations for Blomkamp as Dystrict 9 is one of my favorite movies of all time but despite the amazing cinematography and shots of this movie, I think the message missed the mark. And to top it all off, the much anticipated bring back to form movie of Disney – Frozen, was in no way near the tear jerking story of last year’s Wreck It Ralph. Now I do not know if this is just hedging of expectations or what but somehow, these movies should have made 2013 better but they just simply didn’t.

 But on a better note, the sequels in 2013 were amazing, Kick Ass 2, Catching Fire, The Desolation of Smaug and Into Darkness were so good I still think about them very fondly until now. These movies are so good that I cannot wait until the next movie of the franchise is released. The independent films (well, the ones I was able to see, no thanks to their availability) I think were great. Drinking Buddies and The Spectacular Now were so awesome. I mean The Spectacular Now really wowed me to the point that it’s probably my favorite coming of age film (sorry Perks of Being a Wallflower, but a guy with an addiction is much easy to relate to than a guy who got abused). The World’s End and This is the End also proved that comedies can be smart and entertaining and be over the top (haven’t seen Anchorman 2, bohoo for me 😦 ). I mean Edgar Wright’s cornetto trilogy is just a unique blend of movie fan service in his own personal touch. And any Rogen – Goldberg written story could be hilarious because yeah, they made Superbad.

 So like any other year, there were great, good and bad movies (and it’s a good thing I’m cheap because that decreases my chance to watch horrible movies –I’m talking about you After Earth). 2013 wrapped up for me with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This was extremely disappointing since a ton of critically acclaimed movies hit the cinemas in the last week of December with me not being able to see ANY of them AT ALL. This is the reason why I couldn’t make a top 10 movie list for the year because I feel like I am in no position to establish a great list for 2013. I feel like without seeing 12 years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street or even Mud, I just can’t bring myself to say that I know what 2013 movies were the best.

 After the bad and the good of 2013 movies, I’m going to segue on a mini-rant on why I have not seen the Oscar buzzed movies for 2013. So if you live in the Philippines, the film festival occurs in the last week of December starting on Christmas day. This so called film festival launches a parade of stupid TV grade comedies that intend to drain the money from movie goers without providing any quality whatsoever. Needless to say, I did not participate in this festival and refuse to acknowledge the trash they put on screen to enrich the money hungry producers who take out the good movies to see just for this laughable thing they call a film festival. I know I can always not see these films but the it really angers me that they pull out the good movies to make way for this crap. And I know a lot of people will call me Hollywood-y and snobby because I prefer to watch other kinds of movies to movies made in my country but those people are missing the point. I plainly like good movies and refuse to watch garbage, whether or not these are made in anyone else’s country or mine is irrelevant. If the Manila Film Festival can dole out a movie that is at least decent (meaning there are not info-fucking-mercial / endorsements during the film, or cast an actor with actual acting abilities, or has any substance rather than playing out the other genders as amusing and not at all socially relevant,), I will go in line to see that movie. But sadly, movies with substance don’t get made pretty often here in the Philippines, and it is heartbreaking. I weep for Philippine cinema that peeked with Muro Ami and slowly died and decayed as we progressively accept a culture that portrays that girls in bikinis as entertainment that includes children as an audience.

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