Jack’s Best of 2013
Before 2013 is truly finished with, I decided to make a spur-of-the-moment list of the best things of this year. Here goes! Mostly spoiler free, but be wary of The Walking Dead spoilers!
Winner – Rush
This was so difficult but in the end it really came down to 2 films; Gravity and Rush. Really they are both excellent movies but Rush wins out at the moment by just a little bit. The true story of F1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1970’s works thanks to an amazing performance by Daniel Bruhl as Lauda and great direction by Oscar winner Ron Howard. The race scenes were some of the most thrilling things I’ve ever seen at the cinema and the sound is just astounding. As the cars are revving their engines on the starting line you will feel like you’re truly there. A film for everyone, not just F1 nuts.
Runners up – Gravity, The Wolverine, Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3, Only God Forgives, World War Z, Thor 2, Oblivion.
The Desolation of Smaug and World War Z win the award for being surprisingly good. Gravity was as good as you’ve heard and Only God Forgives split opinion. The Wolf of Wall Street would probably have made the list but alas it is out in 2014 in the UK. The Marvel sequels this year were as good as we’ve come to expect from the studio, both immensely enjoyable movies but I think The Wolverine was better than both. The best thing to happen to that franchise I think, thanks to director James Mangold and Logan himself Hugh Jackman. Also, Oblivion was underrated.
Winner – The Last of Us
This was a REALLY tough one. It’s been a great year for games, a really great year. I narrowed it down to 3, Bioshock Infinite, GTA V and The Last of Us. After getting rid of Bioshock (I love it but it’s a little too pretentious for its own good) I was left with 2. It was going to be GTA V until a week ago and I got a PS3 bundled with The Last of Us. It’s just magnificent, and Ellie battles Elizabeth from Bioshock on the brilliant NPC front. You play as Joel, a weary, often grumpy man tasked with getting Ellie to the militant group named the Fireflies. Along the way you fight a shit ton of humans and possibly video games scariest enemies: clickers. These mutated humans will make sure you’re never truly comfortable playing this game. The combat is great, little comes close to the feeling of satisfaction after taking down a building of enemies. The game is an experience to say the least, no description I could give will do it justice. Warning however, it rivals The Walking Dead in how utterly bleak it is.
Runners up – Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinte, Dead Space 3, Gears of War: Judgement, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Saint’s Row IV, Tomb Raider.
Blood Dragon offered us a piece of neon soaked 80’s awesomeness and it was just that, AWESOME. Saints Row IV was the best in the series and Dead Space 3, though not as good as 2, offered the most fun I’ve ever had in co-op. Gears of War: Judgement was a surprise as well, a move away from the big stories of the previous games to focus on arcade style action and level design. Tomb Raider brought life back to a dying series. Like I said, a great year for games and a brilliant year to be a gamer.
Best of TV
Winner – The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8, “Too Far Gone”
Ok ok, yes I realise that OTHER show had a big finale episode this year as well.But Bryan Cranston has had enough praise for once! This episode was perfect, and it was how season 3 should have ended. It saw the death of Hershel, The Governor and the prison itself. It’s nice to see the show being shook up like this, just when the survivors were getting comfortable. It was emotional, it was action packed and it had some really GIF-able moments. Season 4 of The Walking Dead has been so strong, I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for Rick and the gang. Sure, Breaking Bad is technically better (and I love the show so much) but I have a soft spot for zombie stories and this was just brilliant.
Runners up – Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who,
Breaking Bad did sadly end this year with a brilliant ending. It was difficult to choose between this and The Walking Dead but in reality, either could be the best episode of 2013 and Tom was already doing Breaking Bad. Over in Westeros there was a wedding, a red wedding in fact. Game of Thrones was the strongest it’s ever been this year. And it would be silly of me not to include Doctor Who which had 2 great episodes this year. Which one is better is still up for discussion.
So there you have it, the best of 2o13! It’s been a great year for movies, games and TV and here’s hoping 2014 can carry on being this awesome. Thanks for reading, have a great 2o14! 😀
Reviewed by Jack 😛
Tom’s Top 2013 Choices
Winner – Only God Forgives
Only God Forgives is a film that will probably fall on most peoples ‘worst of 2013’ list but not me, I loved it. And it was a year of great films as well, in fact Only God Forgives is pretty much tied with Gravity and Rush for first place but as Jack put Rush, I’ll put something a bit different. Only God Forgives was the best film of the year for many reason’s but the stand out reason for me is the visuals; Only God Forgives is a truly gorgeous film from the awesome colours and camera work to the great sets and lighting, it was downright beautiful.
While people criticised Ryan Goslings performance in the film (he did only have something like 8 lines) I personally think he was great in it, playing the part of expatriate gangster Julien with a sort of understated, creepy menace. The real star though was Vithaya Pansringarm’s Chang, the cop with the magic disappearing sword who goes around dispensing his own sort of street justice on criminals. Only God Forgives reminded me a bit of Taxi Driver. And like Taxi Driver, Only God Forgives subjects us to the mind of a creepy loner as he goes through the surreal, seedy underbelly of a city, with brilliant performances, great visuals and a kick ass soundtrack. Plus, Taxi Driver was also booed at Cannes, so there’s that as well. Whether you will love it or hate it, Only God Forgives is not to be missed.
Runners up – Rush, Gravity, Trance, Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, World War Z, Oblivion.
This year was a great one for cinema with some great films being released. I’ve already wrote about Gravity on this blog, but that was seriously awesome as well. It wasn’t my number 1 though as I feel it needs to be seen in cinemas, and that is no longer possible. 2013 was a great year for superhero films as well with the absolutely brilliant Iron Man 3 being and early best of 2013 contender. But my personal favourite superhero film of 2013 has to be the extended cut of The Wolverine. In fact it was a good year for extended cuts as well, with World War Z being made much better with inclusion of missing footage and healthy dollops of gore. 2014 is gonna have a tough time beating 2013, but with The Wolf of Wall Street being released in a few weeks I’m quietly confident it will blow it out of the water.
Winner – Grand Theft Auto 5
There’s not much to say about GTA V that hasn’t already been said by critics or isn’t reflected in its metascore. GTA V succeeds where most games fail in that it gets everything right. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is the best of it’s kind with shooting and driving mechanics good enough to rival games dedicated to just one of them, and the story is brilliantly funny and action packed. The voice acting is the best it’s ever been and it didn’t even need famous people to make that possible. The Online portion of the game may be broken beyond repair at the moment, but when it works it really works. Allowing you to do the crazy random stuff you’d do by yourself with your friends instead. But at the same time, GTA Online isn’t at all required to make this game my game of the year. While my second favourite game of the year, The Last of Us, may have had superior graphics, gameplay, and story, GTA V is just the perfect game. Allowing you to do almost anything, accomplishing stunts bigger, better and more imaginative than any Hollywood blockbuster. Its pure unbridled fun, and is the true reason gaming appeals to me.
Runners up – The Last of Us, Batman Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell Blacklist
The Last of Us is probably as good if not better than GTA V. But because of the amount of fun to be had in GTA, the amount of craziness and randomness that you can do in it, it wins out. It really is the better ‘game’. The Last of Us is amazing still, with the best animation and voice acting in any game I’ve ever played. It’s one of the few games where I’ve really felt for the characters, which doesn’t bode well when the game is even bleaker that The Walking Dead. I’ve never cried at a TV show, a movie or a game so you can believe me when I say; make sure you bring tissues when you play The Last of Us.
Best of TV
Winner – Breaking Bad
There wasn’t much choice for me here. It really was the big three of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad for me this year. And Breaking Bad won out, mainly because it’s gone completely. The Walking Dead only broke for a mid-season pause, Game of Thrones will be back in the New Year, but except for the Saul Goodman spin-off, Breaking Bad has truly ended. And what a ride it was, it’s now been cemented as one of the best shows of all time and anyone with half a brain cell has heaped nothing but praise upon it. It was the best looking show on TV, the most well acted and the one that kept me guessing the longest. Hopefully we will see more of the awesome powerhouse acting duo of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in the future but, for now at least, they are off doing there own thing. The fifth series was perhaps the best Breaking Bad had ever been, and along with all of the other shows of 2013 us telly addicts have had a really good, abiet a really busy year. For me Breaking Bad isn’t one of the best shows of all time, it’s THE best show of all time, and everyone should watch it.
Runners Up – Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who
What a year for TV, and no matter what your preferred show is it seems we’ve all had favourite characters killed off this year. Hopefully, unlike me your not a fan of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who, because if you are I feel your pain. So many cool and awesome characters so little time. Happy new year everybody, if anyone needs me I’ll be crying into my Breaking Bad box set.