Seeing that we are already one month into 2014, it’s an odd time to be publishing a “Top Anything” list, but what can I say; for lack of inspiration, I missed my chance before 2013 ended, so I’m making up for it now. Also, it didn’t help that there were so many year-end lists coming out then from all the media outlets and blogs, I got tired of reading them, so I certainly didn’t want to write them.
Mine is a subjective one, because really: who am I to say which are the ten best movies of last year, or whatever? It’s not as though I am versed in the arts of filmmaking and have the clout to substantiate my choices. The only thing I can tell you for sure are the movies which were my favourite, and so that’s what I’m doing. They may not be anyone’s idea of the best movies, but I liked them most, and will gladly rewatch them over and over again. (As compared to, say, 12 Years a Slave, which I think is a damn fine movie and should win all the awards, yadda yadda, but one of my favourites? No.)
Though now that I think about it, looking back at all the movies I watched last year, I can’t even name five that I’ll consider as my favourites; though I liked most of them or at least found them ok. (I suppose this is another reason why I was uninspired last month.)
But here are the ones which I have no question about loving:
1. Iron Man 3
This was the movie I had the most fun watching last summer, as I mentioned in my review.
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
It lived up to my extremely high expectations for the adaptation of my favourite book in the series.
3. Now You See Me
This choice may surprise some, because of its muddled ending and suspect plot; but truth is, long before the movie came out, it was already on my must-watch list. (As were both the films that I mentioned above.) The premise of the magic tricks intrigued me — like all good ones, I really wanted to know how they managed to transport a man to Paris and steal the money from the vault — and the trailer did a great job in teasing the audience without revealing too much.
Plus, I adore Mark Ruffalo, and this is one of the rare times he ventures out of the indie world to do a big commercial film — The Avengers not withstanding — so of course I had to watch him in it. (And he looked really good in the trailer.)
While the ending left me feeling off-kilter, the things I went to watch the movie for (i.e. finding out how they pulled their tricks, and Mark Ruffalo) didn’t disappoint, so I could forgive the parts that didn’t make sense. (Though I would have liked to know how Jesse Eisenberg’s character put his handcuffs on Mark Ruffalo, but I suppose magicians can’t reveal all their secrets.) The rest of the cast was great too — I have developed a newfound appreciation for Woody Harrelson and his drawl, especially after watching him in The Hunger Games; and Jesse Eisenberg’s cockiness is a much better fit here than in The Social Network. Also, the audience was left guessing till the end, and problematic or not, no one could have expected that twist, which makes for the fun-nest kind of movies.
Yes, my tastes are very commercial, but I’m not ashamed to admit it. (You are talking to a girl who counts Transformers and Armageddon among her favourite movies of all time, and who dreams of making Hollywood blockbusters for a living.) Critically acclaimed films are lovely and all, but it’s like comparing wholesome food to candy: I’ll eat vegetables because they’re good for me, and if they’re cooked well, I’ll like them; but give me chocolate and ice cream any day for something that makes me really happy.
Besides, after reading dozens of “best movies” lists, and even more tellingly, “worst movies” lists, I’ve decided that there’s no reason for anyone to put too much stock in film critics’ opinions, or anybody else’s. They are all just individuals with wildly diverse opinions who can’t even come to a consensus among themselves — with some even putting what many think are good, if not great films into their “worst” categories — so why should we take their words to heart?
Just trust your own taste in movies, and know why you picked them, and you can face the world with even the most questionable of choices.