My Favourite 10 for 2013

Since I have now viewed most of the 2013 releases I had originally intended to here are my favourite 10. I know I have already posted My 2013 Awards but here is a more formal list, fortunately I don’t have a habit of going to bad screenings so my list was a bit of a headache to conclude and finalise.

#10

“Different”, “Refreshing” and “Tense”

#9

“Fun”, “Alive” and “Heart-felt”

#8

“Thrilling”, “Clever” and “Chilling”

#7

“Pleasant”, “Touching” and “Powerful”

(Reviewed Here)

#6

“Fun”, “Entertaining” and “Brilliant”

(Reviewed Here)

#5

“Master-class”, “Violent” and “Brave”

#4

“Fun”, “Entertaining” and “Simply Great”

(Reviewed Here)

#3

“Touching”, “Inspirational” and “Magical”

(Reviewed Here)

#2

“Visually-Flawless”, “Tense” and “Special”

(Reviewed Here)

#1

“Breath-Taking”, “Tense” and “Stunning”

(Reviewed Here)

Captain Phillips concludes my 2013 list and gets named my favourite film of the year. I only wish I had reviewed more of them but I’m sure I shall with second watches. Feel free to debate and comment about my choices and it would be great if you’d name your top 10 films of 2013 below!

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My Challenge Progress- Pixar Shorts

A week has passed and that means I only have one week left, so far I haven’t failed my challenge and I hope you’ve been following along. I have so far managed to review and watch 10 Pixar animated shorts, here are the links to my reviews and my current ranking, I hope you enjoy and I do really appreciate it if you’ve been following along.

1- Day & Night (2010)  – ★★★★½

2- Boundin’ (2003) – ★★★★½

3- For the Birds (2000) – ★★★★½

4- Geri’s Game (1997) – ★★★★

5- Paperman (2012) – ★★★★

6- Knick Knack (1989) – ★★★★

7- Red’s Dream (1987) – ★★★½

8- Luxo Jr. (1986) – ★★★½

9- Tin Toy (1988) – ★★★

10- Adventures of Andre and Wally B (1984) – ★★½

 

Boundin’ (2003)

Genre: Animated, Short, Family

Director: Bud Luckey

Writer: Bud Luckey

Staring: Bud Luckey

Rating: ★★★★½

Another three years had passed for Pixar without a short being made but that was once again going to change but this time due to a new creator, Bud Luckey. With Pixar’s last two shorts winning Oscars expectation and pressure was both high but the inventive director and writer didn’t fall too short creating a funny, happy and heart-warming story that’s very lovable. The story follows a young sheep happy and dancing around he has not one care in the world however one day being plucked out and sheered naked he becomes depressed, shy and a laughing-stock and with this the dancing stops. One day a cheerful Jackolope appears spreading his wisdom as well as cheer, he teaches the sheep how to leap around proudly with no shame and with that the sheep cheers up and dances away but more prouder and happier than ever. The story is very lovable and cheery and is simply a work of brilliance from Pixar.

Boudin’ is very bold, it has a somewhat simple message that reads its only what’s on the inside that counts cause appearances can easily differ with that in mind it makes the brilliance of the animated short even more brilliant. Pixar hadn’t created a short with a message since Day & Night and I think it was good for them to do so. There’s also other reasons Boundin’ stands out from the rest, it has a narrator telling the story in a cheerful rhyme, it’s the first time Pixar included voices and for me it was very successful and a very nice addition. The animation as usual was amazing and so was the storyline and execution however surprisingly Boundin’ didn’t win the academy-award. The short standing at around five minutes is one of my favourites and that’s just due to its cheerful and all round happy feel and lovely message, not to forget about the brilliance on the creative side too. Pixar keep on providing and for me they get better almost each time.

Watch Boundin’ here and have your say?

For the Birds (2000)

Genre: Family, Animation, Short, Comedy

Director: Ralph Eggleston

Writer: Ralph Eggleston

Rating:  ★★★★½

Pixar were developing quickly making huge big-selling popular feature films, with their shorts somewhat taking a back seat three years after their last (Knick Knack 1997) it was up to new Ralph Eggleston to buck the trend with “For the Birds”. To say Pixar were developing quickly is somewhat an understatement, the quality, graphics and all round animation is flawless. As always it’s witty, fun and sweet all with that magical Pixar feel making you feel like a child again, that’s if you’re not already one. Ralph Eggleston’s story follows a group of “stuck up” snooty birds sitting on a telephone wire, they mock a recently arrived “goofy” looking bird but get there just desserts in a shocking accident. You find yourself rooting for the goofy bird, feeling sympathetic and when he gets his revenge you laugh and cheer and then of course after realise it’s just a short film.

It was Eggleston’s first edition for Pixar and lasted a very entertaining enjoyable three minutes. Being released with Monsters, Inc. a very popular feature it stole some of the headlines winning an Oscar, for Pixar that was two successful wins in the last two attempts. What makes me love For the Birds so much was the way you could relate to the big goofy bird being shunned upon and when karma played its role you couldn’t help but laugh and smile. In a way from the story, quality and characters it is flawless however I do feel there’s an element missing nevertheless its brilliant and simply great.

Let me know you views, watch it here.

Geri’s Game (1997)

Genre: Short, Animation, Comedy

Director: Jan Pinkava

Writers: Jan Pinkava

Staring; Bob Peterson

Rating: ★★★★

Geri’s Game was Pixar’s return to short films after an eight year gap without making one, with that came a new writer and director in Jan Pinkava that made a change due to John Lasseter’s dominance previously. The story itself is different and in a whole Geri’s Game is refreshing and unique. You can certainly see that in those eight years a lot had changed, with the quality of the animation taking a huge leap forward furthermore our main character is actually human. We follow Geri an old lonely man with a passion for chess, we see him in a tough game against his biggest opponent himself. It’s completely different and in a way bizarre but it works and is absolutely hilarious.

Jan Pinkava deserves a lot of credit for an inventive idea that is superbly executed from sound, story and animation. Geri sitting in a completely empty park begins the game and switches seats physically moving from black then white, as the game looks to heading to only one conclusion Geri makes an aggressive move that changes the whole game. It’s crazy to think that there’s a film focusing on an old man playing himself at chess but its even more crazy to think that it’s so entertaining and funny. The short film lasting just under five minutes was released with Pixar’s very popular feature film A Bug’s Life  and deservedly won an Oscar. It was definitely with the eight year weight as its simply brilliant, one of my favourites.

Watch Geri’s Game here and tell me what you think?

Knick Knack (1989)

Genre: Animation, Short, Family

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★★

Knick Knack is another Pixar animated short, again the ever so talented John Lasseter playing creator. In my opinion this is the most hilarious and funny story yet providing many laughs, its also accompanied by a fun feeling score only adding to the entertainment. This time Pixar bring a bunch of holiday souvenirs to life as the story follows a snowman trapped in a snow-globe who attempts to escape in order to attend a hot party with the other souvenirs however the dome around him causes more than a few problems. As the other souvenirs watch on the snowman attempts to smash the dome, drill through the globe and even blow it up but that only leads to more trouble as the globe frantically leans over the edge of the shelf. The attempts provide us with many laughs and the persistency of the snowman only makes it more entertaining.

Knick Knack is certainly funny with a good inventive story by John Lasseter but for me the adding of the fun score is why this animated short stands out from those previously made. More so the addition of more “characters” and those extra details just show how amazing Pixar have progressed. The short film of just over three and a half minutes was released with the feature of Finding Nemo (2003) but surprisingly didn’t win an academy-award nor get a mentionable nomination. Out of those watched so far I think that Knick Knack is my favourite just for its fun feel, it also has more of that modern Pixar touch. Simply brilliant and unique.

Let me know your views on Knick Knack, watch it here.

Tin Toy (1988)

Genre: Family, Animation, Short

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★

Pixar and more so John Lasseter by 1988 had started to get the hang of making animated short films and in their latest edition Tin Toy it well and truly showed. Just falling short of five minutes long it shows how a one man band tin toy has to choose between survival and doing its job. Fun, Inventive and simply brilliant Tin Toy shows the life from a toys perspective bringing objects to life once again. A one-man wind-up toy finds trouble with a big destructive baby, doing everything to flee and survive he hides under the sofa however when the baby falls to the floor and begins to cry he chooses to do what a toy does and risk his safety. Its hilarious and at the same time adorable due to the behaviour of both our characters and the expressions shown by the fantastic animation.

The animation for a 1988 production is unbelievable and the progress from their first “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B” is remarkable and this was deservedly noticed as it won an Oscar. The expressions and from the characters is amazing and so is the detail surrounding them, something that’s improved. The sound also plays an important role in the film. Tin Toy was released with Toy Story in 1995 one of Pixar’s biggest features and names. It will make you laugh and chuckle, and the whole thing together has that special feeling, simply brilliant.

Let me know what you think and watch it here.