September 2013- Best & Worst

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September was a slightly slower month in terms of movie-watching since school is just starting to get in gear, and I assume it will get worse in the following months. In September I watched 18 movies for the first time, and 26 total with re-watches.

My month in film started with one of the best movies of the year, and one of the most underrated in recent memory: The Lone Ranger. It’s a fantastic adventure/western that manages to mix comedy, action, and some serious drama properly. Plus, it features Johnny Depp’s best performance since Sweeney Todd.

The month also saw me complete the Studio Ghibli cannon. First I gave a long-overdue re-watch to Princess Mononoke, and it’s as great as ever (and gorier than I remember). That led to watching Goro Miyasaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill, which is a huge step up from his Tales from Earthsea (the studio’s worst) and ranks among their best. And finally I managed to find Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday. At first its contemplative pace (a Takahata staple) threw me off, but it’s grown on me since then. I still don’t think it’s one of their best, but I appreciate it.Finally, in preparation for the Emmy Awards I watched Steven Soderbergh’s  Behind the Candelabra and it was so bad that it prompted me to write my first full review in a long time. Alas it was not the worst film I watched this month.Anyways, here is the month that was:

Top 10

  1. From Up on Poppy Hill (Goro Miyazaki, 2012)
  2. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery, 2013)
  3. In the House (François Ozon, 2013)
  4. Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943)
  5. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
  6. Passion (Brian DePalma, 2013)
  7. The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski, 2013)
  8. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2013)
  9. I’m So Excited! (Pedro Almodovar, 2013)
  10. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanber, 2013)

Honorable Mention: “New Girl”- Season 2

Best Rewatch: Princess Mononoke

The Worst: The King’s of Summer (in my Letterboxd I have Ken Park ranked last, but it’s a good movie, but the content just doesn’t sit well with me)

Superlatives

Best Director: Goro Miyasaki, From Up on Poppy Hill & François Ozon, In the House

Best Actor: Ernst Umhauer & Fabrice Luchini, In the House

Best Actress: Onata Aprile, What Maisie Knew & Rooney Mara, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Supporting Actor: Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra

Best Supporting Actress: Cecilia Roth & Lola Dueñas, I’m So Excited!

Best Screenplay: Annie Hall

Best Cinematography: Passion

Best Costume Design: Passion

Best Production Design: Heaven Can Wait

Best Music: From Up on Poppy Hill & In the House

Check out all of my rankings for the month on Letterboxd

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3 thoughts on “September 2013- Best & Worst

    • The Lone Ranger, simply put, has a fine filmmaker behind it that clearly has art in mind before how much money he is going to be able from it. Should it have cost $250 million? No, but I’m glad that the money is clearly on the screen, and it’s all put to good use, with not one prop feeling superfluous (well, I could have done without the framing device, but it did give us one of the best images of the film). Plus, the script balances fun and some darker material pretty well and Depp/Hammer have great chemistry. Shame there won’t be a sequel.

      “John Carter” was Andrew Stanton trying too hard to prove that he could also do live action. I mean, most of it was CG anyways, so why not just do it all that way? Mike Newell gave us one of the most awe-inspiring uses of CG with the dragon scene in Harry Potter 4, but in “Prince of Persia” it felt like he was going through the motions. I remember having fun with it, though, But it was a long time ago. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was just pure mediocrity in all regards.

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