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Projector No.1: Best of 2013

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Hi everyone! Today I will begin a series of weekly chronicles about the world of cinema. A look over what I enjoy and what I hate. In “Projector” I will share with you some of my ideas and feelings. In this first chronicle, I shall talk about the great movies of the year. So, turn off your lights and your phones because the “Projector” will begin now…

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In the beginning of the year, the Oscar nominees started to invade movie theaters. There was the magnificent masterpiece by Ang Lee “Life of Pi” filled with amazing special effects and with a great story about a tiger and a boy lost in the middle of the ocean. A movie so powerful and unique that touched the hearts of everyone who watched it. We also had the opportunity to see the great talents of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in the adaptation of the well-known musical “Les Miseràbles” and a really good chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the great romantic comedy directed by David O. Russel “Silver Linings Playbook”, a movie with a touching and powerful love story. For the Tarantino fans around the world there was this spaghetti western about a slave who managed to escape with the help of a bounty hunter and wanted to rescue the love of his wife. I am talking about “Django Unchained”, a really great movie with Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson. Steven Spielberg also gave a contribution to this great begriming of the year with “Lincoln”, a biographic movie about the life of Abraham Lincoln.

(L-R) JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

After the Oscars nominees we had to wait a little bit to see great movies in the theaters, but in what I call “The Oscars Hangover” there were a couple of movies that deserved my attention. There was this romantic comedy about a zombie that fells in love with a human (I know it seems a little bit like “Twilight” but it’s really really really (x10) better) “Warm Bodies” and there was the return of Sam Rami with “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, a prequel to the classic “The Wizard of Oz”.

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In the final days of April, Marvel Studios brought to us all “Iron Man 3”, a hit in the Box-Office around the wold with a really funny and entertaining story that perhaps is the best super-hero movie of 2013.

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In May, Baz Luhrmann, the director of “Moulin Rouge”, invited us to huge parties and extravagant sets, with his adaptation of the novel “The Great Gatsby”. A movie about the 1920’s with a really cool soundtrack and effects. Seriously, there were really bad reviews regarding the choice of Baz in incorporating music by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Fergie, Will-I-Am and Lana Del Rey in the 1920’s atmosphere but I have to confess that his choice only made the movie more interesting.

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In the summer, Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University” brought back joy to kids and grown-ups. This prequel to the great hit “Monsters Inc.” was funny for everyone and it was like a return to my childhood days.

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Here in Portugal, the opening of the first IMAX DMR theater was celebrated with “Jurassic Park 3D”, a great remasterization of Steven Spielberg’s classic. The 3D only brought more magic to the movie and the whole concept of “The IMAX Experience” really amazed me. The way that the screen involves the spectator is really impressive.

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Woody Allen also made a comeback this year with “Blue Jasmine”, a really great movie about a woman deeply troubled and in denial with Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

In the final days of the summer we also had the opportunity to see the great finale of the “Cornetto Trilogy”, “The World’s End”, which was a really funny movie with the always special interpretations of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

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Perhaps one of the greatest surprises and joys of this year was the romantic comedy “The Spectacular Now”, which is a fresh, deep, emotional and lovely story about two teens completely different that fell in love with each other. It’s a movie that connects this really great love story to their family dramas and ambitions.

specnow_projectorIn October, Alfonso Cuarón presented one of the most ambitious movies I have ever seen, “Gravity”, a movie so awesome and brilliantly executed that involved me from the beginning to the end. Since “Avatar” and “Hugo”, there was no other movie using the 3D like “Gravity”. 

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Denis Villeneuve directed a really great thriller filled with mystery and suspense, “Prisoners”, with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, about two families that are trying to find their daughters. A movie that focuses in the family dramas while provides us one great mystery story.

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Richard Curtis, director of “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually” brought a story of love and time-travels that is deeply sentimental, “About Time”, with Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, that is in my opinion of the best romantic comedies I have ever seen.

2013, ABOUT TIME

Another movie that really surprised me was “The Way Way Back”. This drama about the summer vacations of one shy boy and his mother really got me as it teaches us to believe in ourselves in a rare and honest way. It’s a movie about divorces, love and growing-up that is really pleasant to watch.

THE WAY, WAY BACK

In the last days of November, Francis Lawrence managed to continue the franchise “The Hunger Games” in a really fascinating way with a sequel that it’s by far better than the first movie. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a thrilling ride that provides enough emotion and curiosity for the final chapter of the story. Fully packed with action and special effects, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a great movie for everyone.

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Disney also brought a little bit of magic to this season with “Frozen”, a wonderful movie about two sisters that are separated while children and a city involved in deep winter. A movie for the whole family.

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Peter Jackson gave another gift to the Middle-Earth fans with a really great second part of “The Hobbit”. A great improvement in the trilogy that impresses with great action sequences and top quality special effects.

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In “Dallas Buyers Club”, Matthew McConaughey is Ron Woodroof, an electritician and hustler that tries to help the AIDS patients by getting them the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. A movie that got me since the beginning and one sure nomination for this year’s Oscars. 

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Finally, the Coen brothers brilliant work about a week in the life of a young folk singer in “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a funny and sentimental work of art that focuses on the relationships among him and his friends while he travels around the country looking for a better life. Another great pick for the Oscars and a suggestion for this holiday season.

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And so we are done with this little 2013 retrospective. I really hope you had a great time reading this first edition of “Projector”. Next week I will comment on the most anticipated movies for 2014! Check out my reviews in the sections HOME and CINEMA (Some available in English)!

Merry Christmas and happy new year filled with great movies!

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