By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist December 24, 2013 at 12:40PM
Violence, Doom & Death
SPOILERS Other films were more gore-packed, but undervalued slasher "You're Next" was one of the best horror films of the year, and had a number of cracking kills across its running time. We have a soft spot for director Ti West getting a crossbow bolt in the forehead and the grisly wire-trap that sees to Amy Seimetz, but by far the most satisfying is when heroine Erin (Sharni Vinson) puts paid to lead villain Felix (Nicholas Tucci) by smashing a blender on his head and then turning it on. Mmm, smoothies. And a special mention to poor Shariff the astronaut in "Gravity," who demonstrates it could be worse for Sandra Bullock: her helmet could have smashed, and the insides of her face could have been sucked out.
Most Doomed Love Interest
There are plenty of nods to old-school melodrama in Hayao Miyazaki's gorgeous "The Wind Rises," and not least when it comes to love interest Naoko: it couldn't have been clearer that the poor girl wasn't long for this world if she'd come on screen wearing a t-shirt with a ticking clock on it. Pale and tubercular like the heroine of a long Victorian novel, she's so fragile that we're surprised she doesn't just blow away as soon as the titular breeze picks up.
Most Deaths By Head-Stabbing
Perhaps the reason "White House Down" didn't make it on the Worst of 2013 was that "Olympus Has Fallen" always nudged into the conversation then too and then everyone got annoyed and gave up. If 'WHD' is a stupid, brainless, vapid exercise in early-'90s nostalgia filmmaking, 'Olympus' is just as fucking mindless, but slathered in layers of gratuitous, graphic, grimy violence, in which the method of offing du jour is either throat slitting or head stabbing, or any fatal injury one can inflict with a knife and gory sound effect after one has beaten one's assailant to a bloody pulp. It's nasty that this much pointless, po-faced bloodletting can masquerade as a big summer release, but hey, modern life.
We’re fairly confident that for years to come, people will still be quoting James Franco’s Alien from “Spring Breakers,” whether it’s the Best Catchphrase, a whispered “sprrannnngggg breeeeaaakk… sprang break forever, bitches,” or his infamous monologue, saying “look at my SHEEEEET.” Everyone’s got a favorite line from this tribute to his stuff: “... shorts, every fuckin’ color,” “dark tannin’ oil,” “‘Scar.Face.’ On. Re.Peat.” This is part of the overall absurdist-consumerist theme of the film, and just a moment of downright silliness, one of the tonal extremes that the film can swing to, between dark and funny and back again. Or dark and funny, which describes the Best Threesome of the year, between Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, and Franco, who gets up close and personal with part of his arsenal, in one of the most shocking sex scene moments of the year. He goes for broke though, and the result is an inextricable bond and true love story between Alien and his girls.
Worst Thematic Monologue That Starts Out Great, Goes On Too Long & Becomes Super Boring
Like much of the Cormac McCarthy-written “The Counselor” there is poetry and beautiful lines of dialogue to spare. But holy shit is it repetitive. You’ve already seen above how everyone warns the Counselor ad nauseum in the movie (serious listening skill problems), but Ruben Blades’ monologue at the end takes the cake. It starts out pretty crushingly about fate and circumstance, but it ends up being a 10-minute-long way of saying, “Look, you’re fucked here every which way til Sunday” over and over again. We’re surprised the Counselor just didn’t hang up mid-call and go, “Dude, I get it.”
Most Uselessly Quotable Line From A Biopic
No idea why, but very probably because it was the most heavily promoted and marketed (to press) film of this or possibly any other year, but the one line that's stuck with us more than any other in 2013 is "Everything you are, everything you have, is because of that butler" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler." It swims in circles round our brain. It slips from our lips at inappropriate moments (are there any appropriate moments for it?). We're mouthing it right now. It happens at the 2.20 mark of this trailer—don't wear it out.