As we hit the halfway point of 2013, it's time to look back on what the cinema has provided film fans with so far, and what's still to come!
Discovering and naming a Film Of The Year to win our annual award each December can often be rather tough, not least because it comes as a sudden shock to have to recall great movies that released nearly twelve months ago. With that in mind, this year we're trying something different, looking at the greatest films, TV shows and video games of 2013 so far in order to make the final transition into awards territory more smooth.
This first entry in a series of features will look at where the Film Of The Year 2013 award currently stands in terms of all of the best entries that have come before and indeed in terms of what's still to come. We've split the article into three sections- Q1 Retrospective, Q2 Retrospective and Q3/Q4 Preview- to provide a comprehensive overview of the award as it stands right now. Without further ado, then, let's dive in...
As per usual, the first three months of the year proved to be varied in terms of the rate of film releases. Nevertheless, they contained Les Miserables in January, a truly groundbreaking musical movie experience which revolutionised the entire genre and earned a mighty 5* score from yours truly. It's important to note that Les Mis remains the only 5*-rated film of 2013 so far at On-Screen, so it's up to the remainder of the Summer Of Film roster and indeed 2013's movie roster to top it during days to come.
Don't be surprised, though, if within our Top Ten list Django Unchained, Lincoln and Wreck-It Ralph all perform well, as they were each innovative entries in their respective genres that warranted two impressive 4.5* ratings. The other two major films of the first quarter were Oz: The Great And Powerful and Pitch Perfect, although as both of those entries only managed 3.5* scores, it seems rather unlikely they will find their way into the Top Ten. Of course, do not expect Movie 43 to come anywhere close to the big list, as that one managed a rather shocking 1* here.
The Summer Of Film got off to a rather low-key start at first in April, with Scary Movie 5 and Oblivion both managing only 3* scores from On-Screen. Iron Man 3 thankfully managed to take things up a notch, earning 4.5* from us thanks to a blazing sense of action blended with some impressive light psychological drama beneath its shiny exterior bonnet. From there on out, the blockbusters have just kept coming, with Star Trek Into Darkness next managing a fairly impressive 4* score.
Undoubtedly the next big hitter was The Great Gatsby, a 4.5* scoring DiCaprio epic which I dubbed "perhaps the perfect literary film adaptation" recently. While it wasn't a perfect standalone film in itself, expect Gatsby to rank highly come awards season. On the other hand, don't be surprised to see that The Hangover: Part III probably won't, having earned a measly 3* here. Finally, most recently, I brought you a review of Man of Steel, with it earning 4* due to a focus on action over substance. Perhaps it'll find its way to the bottom of the Top Ten, but only if there's not enough quality content between now and December to fill the space.
July is bringing with it a host of big Summer blockbusters, including Despicable Me 2, This Is The End, Now You See Me, Monsters' University, The World's End, Grown Ups 2 and The Wolverine. I've got high hopes for World's End and Wolverine to fare well out of those, but as ever we'll see. August isn't quite so packed, only offering Kick-Ass 2 and Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, however the former could well be one of the greatest superhero sequels of recent times. As per usual, September remains virtually release-less, with only a few indie films and 3D re-releases filling the roster.
Thankfully, October and November do each bring with them two notable blockbuster releases each, Halloween providing us with Thor: The Dark World and Carrie and then the month of Bonfire Night seeing the releases of both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Each of those has potential to do magnificently, while equally the potential to bomb and fail to make a big impact. Closing out the year are The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, each potentially spectacular blockbusters in their own right.
THE CURRENT VERDICT
Right now, Les Miserables remains the best film I've seen in 2013 so far. There are still six months of movie goodness to come, though, so don't be surprised if that all changes by the time we reach December...