Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2013

Let the top 10-a-palooza commence! Over the next couple weeks, Paul and I will be looking back at our favorite things of 2013. First up, films; next week, TV series; and finally, comics. As always, these lists are imperfect and incomplete, reflecting only on what we’ve seen and love at the moment. Or as Paul writes:

I intentionally refer to the films on this list as favorites, not best. I rank films based on how much I enjoyed them, for whatever ephemeral or esoteric reasons unique to me, not on some system of objective filmmaking truths. These are the ten films I liked the most. YMMV.

Regarding omissions, neither of us have been able to see Inside Llewyn Davis, which makes me want to die, but oh well. I also haven’t seen The Great Beauty, Cutie and the Boxer, or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, among others. Meanwhile, Paul hasn’t gotten around to Her, The Act of Killing, Stories We Tell, Short Term 12, or Blue Jasmine, to name a few.

Here we go!

– AJ

PAUL: 10. WARM BODIES (dir. Jonathan Levine)

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The zombie genre is by this point a bloated undead thing feasting on its own rotting flesh. But director Jonathan Levine (50/50) makes this adaptation of Isaac Marion’s novel fresh, fun, and full of life. Yes it’s a (very) thinly veiled Romeo and Juliet pastiche, but the two leads, neo-nerdhunk Nicholas Hoult and Australian beauty Teresa Palmer, are both engaging and committed. Hoult in particular gets praise for being monstrous and vulnerable, and for selling the cheesy-but-hilarious voiceover with nothing more than his eyes. Also, Rob Corddry as a zombie lamenting, “Bitches, man,” is the best comedic line delivery of the year.

AJ: 10. GIMME THE LOOT (dir. Adam Leon)

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You walk out of Gimme the Loot immediately wanting to know what first-time writer-director Adam Leon is going to do next. His voice is sharp and fresh, chronicling a day in the life of two teenaged petty criminals in a way that feels authentic but never gritty. His Bronx streets are unvarnished, rife with economic and class divisions, but there’s so much damn heart. Newcomers Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson give performances devoid of pomp or flash; they simply find the souls of these two aimless kids. They’re one of the most affecting screen duos in recent memory, in one of the biggest surprises of the year.

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Listen to Episode 164, “Spinning Patellas”

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Gobbledygeek episode 164, “Spinning Patellas,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and AJ lack a plan. As always, when they lack a plan, they tend to just talk a whole bunch. Like, a whole bunch. First up, AJ gives the audience what he knows they want: an update on his health. (Here at Gobbledygeek, we want to make you feel like you’re part of the family.) Then there’s talk of music, with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ second album coinciding with the release of On Air: Live at the BBC – Vol. 2, along with Paul McCartney’s New. On the movie front, Paul falls in love with About Time while AJ falls decidedly out of love with Robert Rodriguez after witnessing Machete Kills. Then they talk about comics. Boy, do they talk about comics.

Next: the boys take the week off, while Bat-Turkey sharpens his claws for the annual killing season known as Thanksgiving. The week after, Gobbledygeek returns to talk with friend of the show Joseph Lewis about his upcoming pilot, Nowheresville.

(Show notes for “Spinning Patellas.”)