‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘All is Lost’ and ‘Iron Man 3’ are the three films of 2013 that didn’t quite make my top ten but were films I still remember and enjoy, so I thought I’d acknowledge them here. There are others that could easily be here too but these three were the ones I picked for varied reasons.
Firstly with the speak-easy alcohol fuelled jazz age of Gatsby, directed by the slick director Baz Luhrmann. He always has an eye for glamour and mixes up ideas with a funky exterior and this film packs a punch with the 1920’s look blasted incredibly with well fitting urban and contemporary music, we move swiftly from Wall Street to the hidden bars and are accompanied by artists such as Jay Z and Lana Del Rey. One blend that really worked was Will.i.am’s upbeat charleston-RnB number at Jay Gatsby’s party where you can’t help but marvel at the liquor flowing, the flappers dancing and the sheer rich visuals of the mansion celebrations. It’s a unique tale on the story to appeal to present day audiences but it works with the addictive lifestyle of the story, in terms of obsessions this film shows it all. It looks beautiful, sexy and glossy and delivers the ultimately simple love story with a heightened degree of modern flair.
The lone and powerful story of one man trying to overcome his loss in the middle of the ocean is an interesting story and all credit to delivery lies with Robert Redford who plays the captain of his tragedy with waves of expressions considering he speaks barely in the film. That in itself is a brave move to have no words but the story is still told and probably better as words would feel forced and ruin any interpolation. Having no dialogue leaves us imagining how we’d fare, we’re left to hear the sea splashing, the water seeping into his ship/home, hear the eerie emptiness of nothing in that void of the ocean. The ending is one key factor that made me put this film in this list as it’s different and leaves an element of interpretation. It’s a dramatic story and one with ‘Gravity’ like feats to battle but whereas this has less visual wizardry it utilizes smarts and silence as it’s trump card.
Lastly I put ‘Iron Man 3’ in the list, yes it didn’t compare at all to the first Iron Man movie but it’s more a story centred on Tony Stark as the hero and choosing to have the Marvel character without his suit was a bold move, most of the time it is Stark fighting as the man and not the machine, even the whole plane/monkeys in the sky sequence is not as it seems and the suit is just a clever…and expensive accessory to the wit and brains of Tony. Shane Black directed this feature and with that you get a more buddy cop dynamic as with the ‘Lethal Weapon’ films. It’s an often funnier affair with blacker moments of Stark trying to deal with the aftermath of ‘The Avengers’ wormhole saga. Pepper Potts too becomes a hero and I don’t care what anyone says, all the comic book fanboys and girls may disagree but the twist involving Mandarin was highly enjoyable and Ben Kingsley revelled in that role with such feverish glee that I couldn’t help but love the idea. An entertaining blockbuster film.