28 January 2014

Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

(Dir: Kenneth Branagh, 2013)

There's a sense of desperation with how the American studio system seems so keen to get a Jack Ryan franchise properly off the ground. Surely this is rooted in a need to replicate the money-printing, decades long success of the Bond films, as what do the Americans have to offer as an equivalent? The Mission: Impossible films are fun but not much more, whilst the superb Bourne franchise regenerates itself. So we do this dance again with the fifth Jack Ryan film in twenty four years and the fourth actor to play the man. This version, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opts for full reboot which is a wise decision when the characters history has been so fractured and twelve years have past since he last appeared in the guise of Ben Affleck in the hardly memorable The Sum of All Fears

We now have a Jack Ryan more fit this modern world and a forced ideology that he's radicalised into service by the events of September 11th 2001. This also means a youthful Ryan, someone that audiences might find more credible and theoretically want to watch, although I'm not convinced Chris Pine has got himself to that position in audience minds yet, regardless of the Star Trek franchise. He proves to be adequate in the role as the focus of the character is more on brains than brawn and he brings a certain all-American charisma and drive. Yet compared to a young Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October) or Harrison Ford (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger) he still feels pretty vanilla.

On the other hand Kevin Costner's role in the story, which proves to be bigger than expected, is one of two strengths. He convinces in the older, mentorish role which he seems ready to grow into now (see also Man of Steel) whilst also getting to wield a sniper rifle. Hopefully he takes on more of these roles in the future. Kenneth Branagh turns out to be the other strength, but solely from an acting perspective. His Russian accented Viktor Cherevin is of course slightly over-played in a very obvious way, but is quite fun to watch regardless of whether he truly lacks menace or not. The film is most enjoyable when either he or Costner are on screen, and at it's worst when Keira Knightley awkwardly bumbles her way through an American accent and the contrived nature of her character's presence. 

Limitations are also felt by Branagh's perfunctory directing, despite it being fairly snappily paced and utilising geopolitics and economics for a potentially interesting set-up. There never feels like much threat and most good scenes are undermined by stupid plotting and feeling like they could just be so much better. It's pleasing to see a return of the the classic Cold War enemy of spy films, particularly after A Good Day to Die Hard completely screwed up it's Russian setting last year, but it's still not a patch on what we've seen done in the past with either Jack Ryan films or spy thrillers in general. Matters aren't helped by some shockingly bad cinematography, with that modern "need" for action to be edited uncontrollably fast making scenes indiscernible, whilst some strange ideas about focus when it comes to the Russian scenery bemuse. 

All this leads to a thoroughly average film that never feels like it gets out of second gear, even if it still manages to offer some entertainment. Perhaps this is growing pains, but there's potential for another Jack Ryan film that could offer what really works in spy films, if Chris Pine can develop the character and we're given a more exciting and adventurous story. Oh, and no more of Keira Knightley's character, please!

20 January 2014

Short review: American Hustle

(Dir: David O. Russell, 2013)

The greatest hustle pulled by American Hustle is the number of award nominations it's garnered this season. Perhaps there's a guilt that David O. Russell's far superior Silver Linings Playbook didn't win enough last year? The reality is that American Hustle is a film deserving of recognition for the strange combination of it's acting, music and hair. It's not a special or exceptional film in any shape of form, it's merely a good film where these elements shine. 

At what point does it become cliché to say Christian Bale is damn good in a film? Inevitably he is again here, going somewhat method with weight gain and a sleazy nature. The same can begin to be said for Amy Adams who throws around a salacious confidence that brings every man to their knees before they realise they've been played. Bradley Cooper continues on the path of wise career choices after The Place Beyond the Pines and the aforementioned Silver Linings Playbook, playing in a slightly off the cuff and mildly volatile way. Whilst Jennifer Lawrence again sheds her Hunger Games sterility in a lightly crazed but intriguing manner and Jeremy Renner is a convincingly smooth man of the people. All good con's should be based in some form of reality right? The quality of the cast is just that.

Where American Hustle falters is with it's story. It all feels blandly unexciting and seems to lose grip of what it wants to achieve as it builds and builds and begins to sprawl, culminating in a pay-off that's both unsurprising and underwhelming, but more engaging than most of what's come before. There are pockets of good stuff along the way, chiefly in the relationships between these characters, but after the first half hour or so of establishing them you begin not to care so much. The seventies vibe permeating throughout feels like a character of itself, with the intricately ugly hairstyles, bad fashion and funky music, which helps lift things but only in an intangible way. Would the film be any different set in another decade? Probably not. Acting aside, this is a curious film to be receiving such high praise as it's a long way from Russell's best work and is hampered by a lack of personality and originality. After all it's just another film about people conning people. The lethargic pacing doesn't help either and it's much longer than it needs to be. All that said American Hustle still manages to be a good film, but that's it, and if it weren't for the quality of the cast it would be almost immediately forgettable.

19 January 2014

Short review: The Wolf of Wall Street

(Dir: Martin Scorsese, 2013)

Money, greed, drugs, debauchery. We've been there before, seen it all already. So what does The Wolf of Wall Street bring to the table to thrill us, to horrify us with? Honestly, nothing new. Here's another story of abuse of the stock market and the crazy things people do when they only exist to feed their addiction to ludes, hookers and dollar bills. Except this is a true story (apart from the bits dramatised for cinematic effect of course) yet that hardly differs it from the hue of film's like Wall Street, Boiler Room, etc. It's a three hour masterclass on how to party hard and fuck your life up. That's not such a bad thing but damn is it wearying. One act of carnage in the name of partying hard bleeds into yet another as you can but wonder how these people survived if this is an accurate representation of reality, but the film proves there is too much of a good thing as the cavalcade of narcotics and scantily clad women becomes nothing but bland wallpaper. This is a party drawn out to the point where it feels you're overstaying your welcome, and maybe that's the point, but that only forces your interest to wane.

The entire film hangs on Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort. He is absolutely the highlight, totally inhabiting the manic nature of a man who's happily lost himself down the tunnel of greed and obsession. This is the third role in a row for DiCaprio playing a decadent millionaire after The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained, and it's something he's got down pat. It suits him. He's suitably aided by Jonah Hill in another of those interesting, semi-break from the norm characters he occasionally plays and succeeds in being enjoyable doing so. This is still obviously a Martin Scorsese film, even if it does frequently feel like it's Marty cutting a little loose. All the hallmarks are there in the camera work, editing and excellent attention to music. He nails the excess and the bellicose stock trading floors and manages to make a far funnier film than expected (the country club sequence being a particular highlight). Yet it all feels pretty hollow. There's nothing new here and the ultimate message is blindingly obvious, whilst the horrible effects of the evil's of corporate greed have been handled far better by aforementioned films above. And all this at an hour too long. The Wolf of Wall Street may be fun, but if it weren't for it simply being a Scorsese film and the sheer quality of DiCaprio, I doubt it'd be generating quite the same amount of hyperbolic praise.

10 January 2014

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

If expectations for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were high on the basis of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's fair to say that expectations had dropped considerably for The Desolation of Smaug thanks to the languid letdown that was An Unexpected Journey, even if we all know what Peter Jackson is really capable of. This second film had to inject some life into the story and deliver us a dragon. A year on from that first film and I think my review of it (read that here) was generous, as I can't help but look back upon it unfavourably, nor could I summon any motivation to sit through it again to remind myself of the story. But that doesn't matter since The Desolation of Smaug is thankfully a better film.

This proves to be a film of two halves. Initially it carries on with more of the same, as this troupe of dwarves and a hobbit trek to the mountain where they believe they will claim back what's theirs. A diversion with the elves (including the reappearance of Legolas) and the introduction of Luke Evans as Bard all offer more than we got first time round, even if none of this is particularly exciting. But more importantly there's a bit of life injected into the film as a sense of urgency to their quest builds, along with a fear of what they might meet in the mountain. Which leads to the second half where we finally meet the loquacious monster, Smaug himself. Immediately this is the best part of these two films as Bilbo's treacherous challenge arises at last and his hobbiting skills become essential. This is far more visually thrilling with the mountains of glistening gold in this cavernous room rolling ocean like around the lithe movements of the dragon. There's something pernicious lurking beneath the alluring surface.

Speaking of visuals I hunted out a 48 frames per second (high frame rate) screening, much as I did for An Unexpected Journey. And much like that first part I thought it enhanced the experience. Most of what I said about this new format a year ago still stands (you can read that here), yet this is still only the second opportunity to watch a feature shot at such high quality in your local cinema. There's still of course a period of adjustment as the first scene has an air of awkward fakeness, but that's undoubtedly a byproduct of the setting and to fully appreciate this technology we need to see it applied to a modern day set film or sci-fi. Yet again the darker action scenes are pleasingly enhanced, like everything with Smaug or very noticeably the spider attack in the woods. In this latter sequence, although we're dealing with cgi spiders, the extra clarity heightened the sense of reality and thus the terrifying nature, something which surprisingly struck me as I sat there. And again all the usual frustrating issues that come from polarised 3D were diminished thanks to the higher frame rate, bar of course the uncomfortable glasses. I'm still a firm believer in the usage of 48 frames per second and wish more directors and cinematographers were pushing to use it as I again can't wait to see more in this format.

The Desolation of Smaug is ultimately a vast improvement on An Unexpected Journey, but like that first part it too lacks not only the epic scope and depth that makes the Lord of the Rings trilogy so satisfying, but also the interesting characterisation. If the first film was an introduction drawn out to it's death, this part finally delivers some of what we've been promised, even if it still takes a while to eventually get there. As a whole this doesn't rise beyond being anything more than merely good and it's tempting to speculate what more Jackson could've done, but the answer really only is 'less'. Here's hoping the final part is not just an interesting first half and a ridiculously drawn out conclusion, after all, we're paused at a potentially exciting point. At least this has left me more curious about the final part than how uninterested the first film left me.

1 January 2014

Top 10 films of 2013

Last year I was surprised my films of the year skewed beneath the main Hollywood radar (see that list here). This time I expected it since it's hardly been a vintage year for bigger studio productions, and so again it's mostly a smattering of small indie and foreign films that I connected with the most. But first, for perspective and because I love stats, here are some numbers. In 2013 I watched:

- 246 individual films (only 12 less than the previous year)
- 6 films more than once in the 12 month period
- 96 films at the cinema (39% of total films watched and the first time in 4 years this is sub 100)

If you're vaguely interested, I've again used Letterboxd to keep a list of everything I watched in 2013, in order: http://letterboxd.com/davidhunt14/list/2013-films-watched/

And so, in alphabetical order, these are my top 10 films of 2013. This is not to say they are the "best" films of the year (how do you even quantify that!?), but these are my favourites:

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Blue Is the Warmest Colour puts love through the wringer. It shows love in all it's resplendent glory, from the excited thrill through to the debilitating loneliness caused but it's loss. This is a girl's journey of self discovery down a road she seemingly wasn't expecting, shot in a realistic and raw style that's redolent of everyday life, ensuring it has an impact. The excellent acting from the two leads, in brave highly-revealing roles, can't be over-stated. It's an entirely engaging film with a core subject matter so prevalent in film-making, that it's amazing so few films manage to recreate it in such an honest way.
[Read my full review here]

The Broken Circle Breakdown

In many ways The Broken Circle Breakdown is the film that emotionally hit me hardest this year. It's a romance shrouded in tragedy that eschews cliché through clever editing, managing to tell the story of a relationship in a multi-layered way forcing you to never be caught up in one emotion for too long. The two leads are fascinating characters with depth, always feeling left of centre and their acting is superb. But what really seals the deal is the application of American country music to this Belgian setting and when the leads perform on stage, the film feels electrifyingly alive. This is a country song brought to life with a satisfying emotional weight.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas was probably the most audacious attempt at storytelling I saw all year. It's ability to weave six wildly different stories, set across a range of era's from the distant future to the past, is a masterclass in editing as the film continually jumps scene by scene from one thread to the next. Add to this that the same cast feature in all six stories, playing different roles and many times under huge amounts of prosthesis, it remains a fascinating film even if certain elements or stories don't always work. And not forgetting the music - this is a key component in making the film so beguiling, particularly as it reaches a crescendo. A film like very little else this year that's so easy to become lost in.

Ender's Game

This may seem like an unlikely inclusion on an end of year best of list, considering it only reviewed so-so, but something about Ender's Game just thoroughly worked for me. The story follows a direct line, shorn of unnecessary sub-plots that might otherwise distract. Visually it's stunning and may have taken so long to adapt from it's original literary source as it needed modern special effects to be at a requisite standard. But more importantly it's a film with ideas. Ideas about humanity's arrogance and survival instinct. Ideas about what it takes for youth to become both strong and leaders. And for this, alongside the sucker punch ending, it's a film that both excited me and made me think.

The Great Beauty

A film about the beauty of Rome, about aging and living life to the full. The Great Beauty is exuberantly full of life as we follow our protagonist, an aging writer, as he's immersed in the beauty of the city, the women he loves and has loved and wistfully wishing he could get back to that moment of true beauty that escaped his past. It's a film that unexpectedly sneaks up on you, washing over you with a natural insouciance that leads to a seductive experience full of life, comedy and a touch of drama.
[Read my short review here]

Only God Forgives

Staking claim as probably the most divisive film of the year, Only God Forgives is no doubt appearing on as many best-of lists as worst-of. It's the work of a perpetually creative director and one of the hottest stars in the world pulling further into esoteric territory, ensuring desires for Drive part II or something more accessible be damned. It's good to confound expectations and the darkness perpetuating deeply within is uncomfortably intoxicating. It's a metaphorical descent into hell. It's beautifully shot and lit, savagely visceral, makes dramatic use of colour and is accompanied by a score dripping in deleterious portent. All the while the story grips and Ryan Gosling's performance of near wordless moodiness fascinates. Love it or loathe it, this is an undeniably creative and challenging film.
[Read my full review here]

The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines may just be my favourite film of the year. An entrancing triptych of interlocking stories, on the surface it's a mixture of bank robbery, police corruption and youth gone wild, but it's what's bubbling underneath that sets it apart. A fascinating study of patriarchs and how their absences and legacies scar their sons - this is the thread that runs throughout, explored in different tangents. But everything coalesces thanks to exhilarating camera work and a moody as hell score, and of course not forgetting the great performances from an excellent cast. This is a fantastic film that delivers confidently on multiple levels and is one that has firmly stayed with me throughout the year.

Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers may be a film quickly dismissed for what it appears to be on the surface - an easy attempt at titillation - but that's a facile viewpoint that only sees stars in bikinis and the carnage caused by spring break exuberance. No, this is a neon-clad nightmare where the pressures and aimlessness of modern youth need escaping from, and where it's easy to get lost seizing power in the most dangerous way possible. Through and through it's entirely off-beat, with snippets of scenes, minimal dialogue (mostly from James Franco in the best of his many roles this year), wild roaming camera work and creative editing that helps tell the story more through feel and experience. It's a Harmony Korine film after all so what else would you expect? This is the multi-layered ennui of modern youth brought to life in the most thrilling way possible.  [Read my full review here]

Upstream Color

Where to even begin with Upstream Color? It's the kind of creative, low budget indie filmmaking that fills the heart with joy. Taking a shifting story that's always opaque, what is clear is that this is portraying a cycle of life and is concerned with existential questions. It's confident work that wants the audience to have to reach and question. There is no straight ahead. Shane Carruth is the auteur, taking on a myriad of roles in the production and again justifying the reverence with which he's held thanks to Primer. This is exhilarating filmmaking on all levels, from the way it's shot and edited, the use of sound, the story and acting. It's unequivocally one of the films of the year.
[Read my full review here]

The Way Way Back

This was something unexpected. The Way Way Back is one of the sweetest journeys of self discovery seen in recent years, set against the backdrop of summer in Cape Cod, a run-down water park and adults who use this place as a way to escape reality. There's the requisite comedy, notably from an excellent Sam Rockwell playing to his strengths, and the drama of a broken family and an awkward youth who doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere. But watching him find himself with Rockwell's tutelage is one of the most dizzyingly heart-warming moments on screen this year in a superbly balanced film.  

Note 1: This list is based on films released in the UK from 1st Jan - 31st Dec, be that a cinema release or direct to DVD/VOD release. Most end of year lists tend to be dominated by the big "award-worthy" films, but as the UK generally doesn't see these films until January / February thanks to BAFTA's rules, it makes UK lists seem weirdly out of step with the US, as Oscar consideration requires at least a week's US theatrical run by 31st Dec. And in case you're wondering, of the films that dominated the 2013 awards season, those I liked best were released in 2012.

Note 2: Reviews are only linked to where I have written one. Unfortunately I don't have time to review everything I watch and sometimes the hardest to write are for the films I like the most.

Note 3: You can see my list of the worst films of 2013 here.

The worst films of 2013

There's a very valid point of view that as a film fan you should be able to find something to like in every film. As happily as that applies most of the time, there will always be films that either don't live up to expectations or you flat out don't like. Regardless of how much you want to celebrate film there's always a need for criticism, and besides, as this is a film blog, it's as useful to understand what the author doesn't like as much as what they do. These then are the films I liked least in 2013, split out as the plain worst and the most disappointing:

The worst films of 2013:

A Field In England

In my review of Sightseers last year (read that here) I commented how director Ben Wheatley has a good visual eye but desperately needs to figure out how to tell a story, and a decent one at that. Yet again he's fallen into the same trap, but this time with a story so inanely boring it's a miracle I stayed with the film for it's duration. The acting here is sub amateur dramatic awful, the writing and story nonsensical and the entire setting just a field, meaning the film is entirely reliant on the aforementioned aspects. The only moments of mild interest appear during a psychedelic visual freak-out that is enhanced by the monochrome cinematography. This year we saw the best thing Wheatley's produced, Unearthed, his exciting and creative few minute long segment in The ABC's of Death. A Field In England is the absolute antithesis - the most lifeless and boring film I've seen in a long time and easily the worst thing "the most over-rated director in Britain" has produced.

A Good Day To Die Hard

I don't think anyone was expecting A Good Day To Die Hard to be a particularly good film, but considering Die Hard 4.0 has some decent elements to it there was proof these films could still work in the modern age. Alas, within the first few minutes it was clear that any hope should be abandoned. The action scenes feel uninspired, the story wrapped around these severely lacking and worst of all, Bruce Willis seems to be lazily sleepwalking his way in front of the camera amidst a range of wooden acting. Under any other name this may have been a barely passable action film, but with the Die Hard name attached it's reduced John McClane and the franchise from the exemplar of the action genre to poorly clichéd, unexciting filmmaking lacking any essence of what made the first three great. No-one wanted to see the Die Hard films end up like this.
[Read my full review here]

The Hangover Part III

The cardinal sin committed by the second Hangover film was replicating the original's story almost exactly beat for beat and making it less funny in every way. Thus shifting the structure of The Hangover Part III's story and returning the Wolf Pack to Vegas was the one wise decision made here (and maybe throwing Melissa McCarthy into the mix too). Alas it made no difference. The story limps from one uninspired set piece to the next and seems to have suffered a humour bypass in the process. In 100 minutes of screen time only two actually funny jokes were spotted, one of which was during the credits. Both Hangover sequels have felt like they're dragging the carcass of something enjoyable and funny into the town square and beating it in the desperate hope something good will come from it. Clearly nothing will. Let's erase these sequels from our minds and keep our fingers crossed that no more ever appear.
[Read my full review here]

Olympus Has Fallen

And the award for the most wooden performance of the year goes to Gerard Butler. No wait, that could instead read, and the award for the worst script of the year goes to the team behind Olympus Has Fallen. But should any of that matter with a film like this? Well, when you're trying to root for a hero to save the day and he seems totally stilted; when the tone of the film is all wrong, it begins to matter. Everything is imbued with a savagely violent patriotism that sits uneasily throughout. I'm all for violent action films, but this transcends the fantastical violence of most as a po faced 'Merica jams a knife in the head of it's "enemies". The almost identical White House Down provides much needed perspective, being so well cast and written that it's not only a hell of a lot of fun, as this story should be, it's funny too. Olympus Has Fallen missed that memo as it becomes a laughably bad footnote in the annals of the action genre.


Over recent months I had the pleasure of watching Blow Out, Dressed To Kill and The Fury (all superbly remastered on bluray by the ever excellent Arrow Video) which show director Brian De Palma at the height of his creative powers in the late seventies and early eighties. Perhaps this helped fuel my distaste for his latest film, Passion. Aside from it starring two leads who are usually much better than this material, everything about the film feels amateur. From the no budget look and feel of the whole picture, the terribly clichéd story rife with moments that just don't work, to the general mis-casting and poor acting throughout (including those two leads). It's confounding seeing De Palma's name attached. As with A Field In England, this is the only other film this year where I had to desperately resist the temptation to turn it off halfway through. And like that film, this was so bad that sticking it out was really really not worth it. 

The most disappointing films of 2013:


I should've learnt by now never to trust any film with Eli Roth's involvement, unless it's under the guidance of the estimable Mr Tarantino. Everything he does continually disappoints, yet somehow he wasn't the worst aspect of Aftershock, a film that seemed to be generating great buzz online. Or perhaps I should just stop following Roth on Twitter. A raw and more graphic take on the earthquake movie is a good idea. The Chilean setting adds character. I didn't even mind the build-up where we get to know the characters. But as the film quickly devolves into a survival horror where a bunch of frenzied males only seem concerned with chasing and raping the attractive female protagonists, we're left with such a thoroughly disappointing film that any reason to watch quickly dissipates. Why the filmmakers chose to go this route is an absolute mystery, with all potential from the build up rapidly destroyed.

The Counsellor 

Directed by Ridley Scott; written for the screen by critically adored author Cormac McCarthy; starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt. Unfortunately no, The Counsellor is not on the wrong list, as this was one of the most squandered opportunities I saw all year. The whole film amounts to a massive "so what". The focus of the story lies in the wrong place so it rapidly becomes boring as scenes that are visually appealing pass before the eyes without any real care about their significance or whatever. It's clear why this fantastic cast wanted to be involved, it's just a shame that talent of the likes of Scott and McCarthy couldn't craft something even vaguely interesting for the viewer.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek film that ignores the huge potential within it's grasp - surely that should be a crime? I was a big fan of the 2009 Star Trek, it being the kind of film I never wanted to end and would happily have sat through a couple of hours more. Into Darkness had the opposite effect on me - an hour in I couldn't wait for it to be over. It's a sequel trying too hard to be the film preceding it, including replication of certain sequences. It doesn't seem to want to leave either the Enterprise or Earth and serves up a villain big in folkloric potential, but both terribly realised and acted. But the biggest sin - it's lost any sense of wonder by almost entirely ignoring the incredibly rich universe available to it and focusing on a human villain. Not even the dynamic of the characters we know and love can save it. Into Darkness had so much potential to be a great sequel. That it failed so easily is thoroughly disappointing.
[Read my full review here]

Warm Bodies

I'm generally not a fan of zombie stories sanitised for a friendlier rating as I want to see viscera ripped by the teeth of the rotting. But strangely that wasn't the issue with Warm Bodies. There's a really intriguing story at it's still heart, something that feels like a neat little twist on the hackneyed zombie tale. Thus it's a shame the actual realisation of this is so inert it feels dead on arrival. It's hard to pin down the exact cause for this infection but a myriad of factors are at play, from the casting and acting, the voiceover, the set design, the lifeless pacing and the fact it all feels so glossy. All the fun was drained from this twitching corpse right from the start and no matter how much electricity was applied, nothing could shock it back to life.

The World's End

The appearance of The World's End on this list is less to do with expectations and more to do with over-reactions and wasted potential. I'm of the view that Edgar Wright's best film by a long way is Scott Pilgrim vs the World and that his so-called 'Cornetto trilogy' is comprised of only one decent film. And that isn't The World's End. This is a film deeply mired by characterisation. The lead is one of the most horribly unlikeable I've seen on screen in a long time and he thoroughly overshadows the supporting cast of wholly bland characters who rarely get a chance to stand out. It's a comedy that desperately lacks laughs and the whole story amounts to a tiresome slog despite Wright's usual interesting visual touches and musical savvy. Wright is capable of so much more and this was disappointing to see. That critics and other viewers fawned over this is even more inexplicable.
[Read my full review here]

Note 1: This list is based on films released in the UK from 1st Jan - 31st Dec, be that a cinema release or direct to DVD/VOD release.

Note 2: Reviews are only linked to where I have written one. Unfortunately I don't have time to review everything I watch and although it's fun to write reviews pulling apart films, sometimes it feels unnecessary, or you just want to forget the badness.

Note 3: You can see my top 10 films of 2013 here.