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Friday, January 24, 2014

North/South Film Awards Part II

Time to talk about all the best (and worst) from movies in 2013.
We've divided our awards into three parts and have over thirty categories to cover.
Click To Read Part One
Click To Read Part Three
The links will jump you to some cool videos or articles.
So click away and enjoy!

Best Moviegoing Experience

North: Gravity- Ninety-one minutes of filmmaking perfection. Possibly the greatest 3D film ever made (depending on how much you like Avatar). Most thrilling trip to the theater in years.

South: 12 Years a Slave at The New Orleans Film Festival - the movie is, of course, brutal (though great), but the premiere I went to with director Steve McQueen and the cast (and getting to interview them also) was awesome. Read about it here.
I also saw Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc in New Orleans' famed St. Louis Cathedral with live organ music accompaniment from an acclaimed French musician. It was pretty surreal. 

Worst Moviegoing Experience

Prisoners- Loved the film, but it was long and the theater was hot. Oh and a drunk girl and her boyfriend sat right behind me, beginning this saga: Drunk girl "whispered" non-stop for the first hour. She was immediately and completely befuddled by the film. Drunk and lost, not knowing what the hell was happening on screen, she tried to figure it out at full volume, ruining the movie for everyone in the audience. At one point someone dared to shhhh her and she became louder and more irritated. The boyfriend finally got fed up and left the theater. Her phone then rang loudly four or five times times. She answered it on speaker, it was the boyfriend, he said, "You're completely wasted and you're embarrassing. I'm leaving, if you want a ride, leave now." She cursed him out and literally stomped out of the theater. Easily the worst in-theater experience of the year, but it was so funny by the end that I'm glad I was there for it.

South: R.I.P.D. - I went to a press screening for this. I was late because of traffic (there was a car accident) and it was pouring down rain. So I finally get to the theater, and lo and behold, the movie is excruciatingly awful, and then after, it was still raining like a monsoon. So basically, I wasted two hours of my life and I was soaking wet.

Best Scenes
The Funeral Dinner- August: Osage County- Powerhouse actors going for the jugular.  
The opening of Gravity- It's a long take that will be talked about and dissected for years. 

The hanging scene in 12 Years a Slave, the Britney Spears "Everytime" scene in Spring Breakers, the final scene of Captain Phillips, "Please Mr. Kennedy" in Inside Llewyn Davis,

Worst Scenes

The sex scenes in The To Do List- Really handled poorly and all disgusting. Instantly reminded me of Roger Ebert's great one star review of Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Also, all of Movie 43Identity Thief and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Nothing worse than a bad comedy.

Every single second of The Canyons. But for a specific scene, there is one in the middle of Fruitvale Station (a decent, but not great film) that completely ruined the rest of the film for me. The scene in question is when Oscar is pumping gas and witnesses a dog getting hit by car. The entire scene (obviously made up for the film specifically and not based on the real life story) is just so heavy-handed and out-of-place. The director explains it by making the connection between society's pre-judgement and abandonment of both pitbulls and young black men. I get the symbolism (how could you not), but it is just terribly mishandled.

Most Underrated Movies
Ender's Game- A well shot, pure sci-fi film. Too bad it won't become a franchise.
Girl Most Likely-  A 20% on Rotten Tomatoes but it made me laugh and had some heart.

Every year, there are tons of overlooked films. My Top 5 Under-Appreciated Films Of 2013:
The Place Beyond the PinesShort Term 12Prince AvalancheStoker, and Side Effects

Most Overrated Movies

Pain and Gain- I would put this at the very bottom of my Michael Bay List. Truly hated it.
The Bling Ring- Huge Sofia Coppola fan, but it was a boring and un-filmworthy subject. 

South: The Great Gatsby and Oz, The Great Powerful (I have no idea why Dan likes this movie so much) (Dan's Note: I thought it was funny and beautiful. Full review here)

Most Underrated Performances

Bradley Cooper – The Place Beyond the Pines- Better here than he was in American Hustle.
Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now- Subtle and real. Glad she won a Gotham Award.
Asa Butterfield - Ender's Game- A difficult role and his performance carried the film. 

Daniel Brühl – Rush Brühl deserves to be a much, much bigger star.
Bradley Cooper – The Place Beyond the Pines - Cooper was nominated for the wrong film.
Brie Larson - Short Term 12 - Larson has been delightful for years and she definitely gave one of the best performances of the year in this overlooked indie.

Most Overrated Performances
Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks- Awesome actress, but this was one-note/easy for her.
James Franco- Spring Breakers- Love Franco and it was fun, but awards buzz? C'mon now.

South: Christian Bale - American Hustle - It is not that he is bad in the film (far from it actually), it is just not even remotely worthy of his Oscar nomination.
*And James Franco is beyond phenomenal in Spring Breakers, shame on you.

Best Cameo

North: Michael Cera- This Is The End- From slapping Rihanna's butt, to blowing coke in Christopher Mintz-Plasse's face, to getting impaled, this was some glorious work from an always hilarious dude.

South: Michael Cera was certainly a standout in a film full of great cameos (Emma Watson too), but the best was Channing Tatum's - also from This is the End - for two main reasons: it was a complete and total surprise - and - it was so damn weird and self-deprecating.

Worst Cameo

North and South:
Most of the ones in Anchorman 2- Liked Jim Carrey and John C. Reilly. The rest? Yikes.

Best Cast

North: Prisoners and August: Osage County- Scared of everyone in both films. 
South: 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street a distant second.

Worst Cast
North and South:
Gangster Squad- Chris and I usually love all of these actors (especially Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), but this thing was brutal from start to finish. Sean Penn went so over-the-top I was waiting for someone to grab him off-screen with a big hook. This movie wanted to be L.A. Confidential so badly, instead it was just a waste of time and talent. 

Thanks For Reading Part II
Read Part I Here
Read Part III Here
Part III Coming Soon
Follow Us On Twitter For Daily Movie Links and News: @NorthSouthFilm

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