Here we are for the seventh time, dear readers: a new year begun, meaning it’s time to look at the one just passed.
2013 was an above-average year for 100 Films in purely numerical terms: I watched 110 films that were new to me, a number higher than I managed in four of the blog’s six previous years. There are a whole host of ways I’ll be (over-)analysing that viewing, both throughout this post and another in a few days’ time — perversely, this is one of my favourite bits of the year.
Anyway, because there’s a lot of long lists stretching out this post, let’s begin with a list of handy links, enabling you to jump down to whichever bit interests you:
- 2013 As It Happened — links to 2013’s monthly updates, containing the chronological list of my viewing;
- The List — the full alphabetical list of my viewing;
- Alternate Cuts, Other Reviews, and Shorts — lists of stuff I reviewed that doesn’t qualify for the main list;
- The Statistics — the bit where I really overanalyse what I’ve watched;
- Coming Next — a brief reminder that I’m not done with 2013 yet.
So without further ado:
Below is a graphical representation of my viewing, month by month. More importantly, each of the twelve images links to their relevant monthly update, meaning this is where you can find a numbered list of every qualifying film I watched in 2013.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
- And Now for Something Completely Different (1971)
- Animalympics (1980)
- Anonymous (2011)
- Armored Car Robbery (1950)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- The Artist (2011)
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part II (2013)
- Battleship (2012)
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
- Bicycle Thieves, aka Ladri di biciclette (1948)
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
- Black Death (2010)
- The Bourne Legacy (2012)
- Broken Arrow (1996)
- The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
- City Lights (1931)
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
- Conan the Barbarian (1982)
- Dawn of the Dead (1978)
- Day of the Dead (1985)
- The Debt (2010)
- Diary of the Dead (2007)
- The Dinosaur Project (2012)
- Django (1966)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013)
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
- Dredd (2012)
- Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012)
- Everything or Nothing (2012)
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, aka Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)
- The Extraordinary Voyage, aka Le voyage extraordinaire (2011)
- The Falcon and the Co-eds (1943)
- The Falcon in Hollywood (1944)
- The Falcon in Mexico (1944)
- The Falcon in San Francisco (1945)
- The Falcon Out West (1944)
- The Falcon’s Alibi (1946)
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
- Fast & Furious (2009)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- A Field in England (2013)
- Final Destination 5 (2011)
- Flight (2012)
- Flightplan (2005)
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
- Garfield (2004)
- Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Extended Cut) (2013)
- Haywire (2011)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- Hanna (2011)
- It Happened One Night (1934)
- The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
- Immortals (2011)
- The Imposter (2012)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- The Italian Job (2003)
- Jack Reacher (2012)
- Johnny English Reborn (2011)
- Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
- The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976/1978)
- Lady of Deceit, aka Born to Kill (1947)
- Land of the Dead: Director’s Cut (2005)
- The Last Boy Scout (1991)
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
- LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite (2013)
- Macbeth (1948)
- Man of Steel (2013)
- Man on a Ledge (2012)
- Meet the Parents (2000)
- Les Misérables (2012)
- The Muppets (2011)
- My Week with Marilyn (2011)
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991)
- The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)
- The Night of the Hunter (1955)
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- North by Northwest (1959)
- On Dangerous Ground (1952)
- On the Waterfront (1954)
- Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
- The Pearl of Death (1944)
- The Raven (2012)
- Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2012)
- Real Steel (2011)
- Safe House (2012)
- Seven Samurai, aka Shichinin no samurai (1954)
- The Seventh Seal, aka Det sjunde inseglet (1957)
- Shane (1953)
- Shanghai Noon (2000)
- Shanghai Knights (2003)
- Sharknado (2013)
- Side by Side (2012)
- Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
- Survival of the Dead (2009)
- The Tale of Zatoichi, aka Zatôichi monogatari (1962)
- Ted (2012)
- The Tempest (2010)
- Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece, aka Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d’Or (1961)
- Touch of Evil (Reconstructed Version) (1958/1998)
- Underdog (2007)
- Underworld Awakening (2012)
- Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)
- Wolf (1994)
- The Wolverine (Extended Cut) (2013)
- Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Deluxe Edition) (2013)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Extended Version (2001/2004)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Extended Version (2002/2005)
- Akira (1988)
- Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)
- Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- A Trip to the Moon, aka Le Voyage dans la lune (1902)
- Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (2012)
- Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (2013)
- Toy Story of Terror! (2013)
As I expect you know by this point, I watched 110 new (to me) feature films in 2013. (All are included in the stats that follow, even if I’ve not posted a review yet.) This makes 2013 my third best year ever, behind 2007’s 129 and 2010’s 122.
I also watched three features I’d seen before but were now extended or altered in some way. I also chose to review ten others for the fun of it. Between those two groups there’s all eight Harry Potters, watched and reviews as part of my thorough retrospective. All 123 films are included in the statistics that follow (except where indicated).
I also watched four shorts this year (which shan’t be counted in any statistics… except for the one that says they are). That’s one fewer than last year and one more than the year before, but as I own literally hundreds on DVD, I really should be doing a lot better.
The total running time of new features this year was 209 hours and 10 minutes, a huge increase on last year; indeed, it’s the highest ever (by 58 minutes), over a year that had about a dozen more films. Lots of long ‘uns this year. The total running time of all films (and this is the one that does include shorts) was 239 hours and 29 minutes — which, as you can see in the graph below, makes this year the longest by some way; in fact, new features alone definitively tops the entirety of viewing from all but one previous year!
This year’s most prolific viewing format was, for the first time, Blu-ray. HD discs accounted for 59 of films watched, which is also the format’s highest tally to date. Second was television, bumped off the top spot for the first time since 2008 (when it finished fourth). I watched 42 films on the gogglebox (just four of them in HD), which is also its lowest total since 2008 (when it accounted for just 10!) Also-rans include DVD with eight (considering my vast collection, I ought to invest a bit more time in them) and downloads, also with eight (mostly Falcon films nabbed from iPlayer, but also two others in HD).
Finally, after ‘storming’ from nowhere to a massive four films last year, streaming continued its (minor) resurgence with six. Last year it was thanks to Netflix and LOVEFiLM, this year it’s Now TV (which also means they were all in HD, something the other two services didn’t offer through my Wii). To be honest, I’m surprised that number’s so low — I really ought to have made better use of the service. Maybe in the early months of 2014.
For the first time since this blog began — indeed, for perhaps the first time in almost 20 years — I didn’t make a single trip to the cinema this year. Put that down to personal laziness as much as apathy with the current state of the cinematic experience. Sad in a way, but so often I find it such a palaver, and an expensive one at that: when you can get a new release Blu-ray for little more than the total cost of a solo cinema trip (and these days, if I cared enough to go to the cinema for it, I’m almost certain to want the Blu-ray too), it makes financial sense.
This year’s closest temptations were The Wolverine (now the first X-Men film I’ve skipped theatrically), Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special (I was going to catch an encore but, of all things, a broken boiler got in the way), and Gravity (“see it in 3D on the biggest screen you can find,” they wailed. I forgot.) Maybe next year I’ll be tempted to make the arduous shift from my sofa to a cinema seat by the likes of X-Men: Days of Future Past and… um… well, I’m sure there’s something else to look forward to…
The most popular decade in 2013 was the 2010s, with 54 films. Unsurprisingly, 2013 itself accounted for a goodly chunk of that. At 43.9% of my total, the ’10s are also up a fraction on last year. Continuing that pattern, the ’00s finish second again, with 22 films (17.9%) — numbers close to 2012’s.
In all, my viewing spanned eight decades — as with last year, every decade since the 1930s is covered (I really must make an effort with my silent film DVD/BD collection). With post-millennial years taking the top two places, it falls to the last millennium to round out the list: the ’40s and ’50s come joint third with 10 (8.1%) apiece, while the ’60s are just behind on nine (7.3%). In descending order, the ’80s claim seven (5.7%), the ’90s account for five (4.1%), the ’70s manage three (2.4%), and the ’30s have just two (1.6%). Finally, if I included shorts in these things the 1900s would also feature, thanks to 1902’s A Trip to the Moon.
Last year, 106 of the 108 films I watched were wholly or significantly in English. Poor. This year, it was 115 out of 123 — still not great if you’re looking to take in the vastness of world cinema, but 93.5% vs. last year’s 98% is clearly an improvement. A distant second was Japanese with four (3.3%), and there were two apiece containing significant amounts (or being wholly in) French, Italian and Mandarin. Still, as last year’s complete list of languages was “English, German, Cantonese and Mandarin”, the total of 11 this year (plus “silent”, if you count that) is a step in the right direction. Others of note include Sioux (thanks to Shanghai Knights) and Klingon (guess). OK, maybe I shouldn’t count the last one. Call it 10 languages, then.
Moving on to countries of production, the USA is similarly dominant, producing or co-producing 102 films. At 82.9% of my viewing, that’s actually marginally up on last year. Second place again belongs to Britain with 36 films (29.3%), also upping its share from 2012. A mixture of co-productions obscure the true numbers for country-of-origin, but other numerical highlights include France (8), Germany (6, all co-productions if I remember rightly), Canada (5), Italy (4), Japan (3, none of them co-prods), and South Africa (3, an increasingly popular co-production destination I believe). A further 12 countries have one or two productions to their name, although I think only Sweden’s sole entry was entirely their ‘own work’.
This year I also totted up the BBFC and MPAA certificates of films I watched. From the BBFC, the PG, 12 and 15 certificates were all pretty well balanced, with 31, 34 and 33 films respectively. Of the outliers, 12 were rated U and nine were 18s, leaving four that somehow weren’t BBFC certified at all.
The MPAA are a funnier lot: the top certificate from them is “Not Rated”, with a total of 39. That’s because they don’t insist on reclassifying old titles, plus a few “unrated cut”s. The highest genuine rating was just behind: the ubiquitous PG-13, with 37. Elsewhere, R-rated films totalled 27, there were 18 at PG (compare to the BBFC’s 31), the surprisingly-rare G put in one appearance, and there was even an NC-17! Feel free to go hunt that one out.
(I was going to include a graph here, but it didn’t really show anything the numbers don’t. That is to say, the BBFC are more reasonable.)
After just three of 2012’s films appeared on the IMDb Top 250 — the lowest number ever — this year has seen a resurgence. As of New Year’s Day 2014, 13 films from 2013’s main list appear upon that hallowed chart; one of my higher totals, though not a patch on 2007’s 21. This year’s lot is made up of the 11 I saw from What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? (which had to be on the IMDb Top 250 to qualify), plus Django Unchained (53rd) and It Happened One Night (135th). The positions range from 18th (Seven Samurai) to 197th (The Night of the Hunter). For all that, I still have some 114 Top 250 films to see.
At the end of all six previous years’ final summaries, I’ve included a list of 50 notable films I’d missed from that year’s releases. Taking into account 2013’s viewing, I’ve managed to see (deep breath) two more from 2007’s list (bringing the total for that 50 to 29), no more from 2008’s (leaving it at 14), two more from 2009’s (bringing it to 17), one more from 2010’s (bringing it to 23), and four more from 2011’s (bringing it to 20). It’s now a year since I published 2012’s 50 (obviously), and in that time I’ve managed to see 14 of them. A solid start, but as I own or have access to over 20 more, I could do a lot better.
A total of 96 solo directors and three directing partnerships appear on the main list this year. Foremost among these numerically is George A. Romero with six films, while there are two each for William Clemens, Justin Lin, John Madden, Orson Welles and David Zucker. Elsewhere, Jay Oliva appears once on the main list and once in the additional films. The latter also gives us four films for David Yates, two each for Chris Columbus and Gordon Flemyng, and two shorts for Louis D’Esposito. Most of those multiples are thanks to franchises: “the Dead” (Romero), the Falcon (Clemens), Fast & Furious (Lin), Naked Gun (Zucker), Batman (Oliva), Harry Potter (Yates, Columbus), Doctor Who (Flemyng), and Marvel (D’Esposito).
I noted previously that there seemed to be an uncommonly high number of noteworthy directors who I was encountering for the first time this year. They include Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal), Frank Capra (It Happened One Night), John Cassavetes (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie), Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves), Georges Méliès (A Trip to the Moon), Nicholas Ray (On Dangerous Ground), and George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead, and the rest). There could be said to be more (Andrew Dominik, Richard Fleischer, Charles Laughton, Ben Wheatley…), but your mileage may vary.
Lastly, the scores. 2013 ushered in 22 five-star films (the most ever!) and just one one-star film. 2012 saw three-star films top the tally for the first time; 2013 saw the highest number of three-star films ever, at 44… but they were nonetheless bested (just), by the 46 four-star films. Hurrah for quality! Last but not least (literally), there were 10 two-star films.
To be frank, I expected the number of films I awarded three stars to have again exceeded the number given four. Last year I wondered if I was being harsher or just watching poorer films; this year, I’d felt certain I was doing the former, with multiple movies that would previously have benefitted from my benevolence being cruelly stripped back to that middle rank. And I only felt a little bit bad about it. In fact, the only thing that ever gives me pause is that there are archive four-star reviews which, for parity’s sake, ought now to be three-stars. I guess I’ll just have to live with that.
Finally, then: after last year’s record-low average score, this year saw it rise back into regular territory, finishing up at 3.6. Hurrah again!
It’s time to definitively wave goodbye to 2013 with my final summary post. My bottom five are already chosen, my top ten currently has fifteen entries, and the long list for my “50 unseen from 2013” stands at 113… but fear not, dear reader: choices will be made, and all will be revealed this weekend.