I thought long and hard about this one. You’ll see a lot of things missing here: no Byzantium (though I quite enjoyed it) or Iron Man 3 or Catching Fire (which was good until the last 5 minutes) or Upstream Color or The Hobbit 2 (the latter of which I think is utter garbage).
With that said, here’s the list I came up with:
While I’d argue that there are films better than Pacific Rim in terms of style or depth, I also can’t ignore just how much fun this movie was for me and how much it has remained part of the conversations I have with my sf/f geek friends (though some of my “geek in name only” friends hate this movie because they don’t have taste — there’s snark in here). I saw it more than once last year and loved the hell out of it from the start. Giant robots + kaiju = potential for great fun! Pacific Rim is the only blockbuster I saw fit to nominate based on its quality. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch, but it is an honest film, if that makes any sense.
Honestly, I think this film deserves to win. It is easily one of the top 5 films of 2013 and definitely the strongest sf film, too. Her is almost ambitious in a way, exploring what is a definitely science fictional conceit with careful attention to character detail and growth. It’s not every day we get to see a film where characters actually change in any real or serious sense. Here, the change is profound, thought-provoking, and utterly engrossing.
I feel like I’m the only one that understood this movie. I loved the film’s dystopian imagination, particularly in its deep allegory about poverty and the “third world” and the growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor in our own world. That and I’m a sucker for Matt Damon…I don’t expect this one to win, but I do think it deserves the nomination.
We covered it on The Skiffy and Fanty Show last year, in case you’re interested.
The World’s End
It’s funny. It’s cute. It has alien robots who take over a small English village. What more could you want? OK, so it also takes a stab at the looking glass of middle age, alcoholism, lost loves, and masculinity. Really, you just need to see it.
We covered The World’s End on The Skiffy and Fanty Show last year, too.
I don’t think Gravity had the depth of Her or the larger interpretative frame of Elysium, but it was one of the most tightly-plotted, hair-raising thrillers of 2013 with visuals that would give wet dreams to Fritz Lang (maybe). It’s a stunning film, even if it is not the strongest of the 2013 lot. Oh, and it won a bunch of Oscars, which is pretty cool.
And there you go. What do you think?