Dying Animal’s Best and Worst Films of 2013

 | Fri 27 Dec 2013 16:14 ICT

Tilda Swinton is brilliant as one of the film’s villains


There are so many double standards metaphors in this fast-paced socially conscious us/them realistically paranoid train-ride thriller it might have been made in a country with mad draconian measures on free speech where metaphor is a risky necessity…But it was just made in America, where you don’t have to use metaphors and it’s amply possible to talk about widespread inequality, corruption, and Orwellian style propaganda. I did wonder why the cinema was empty. Hope I haven’t been blacklisted or something… maybe the Thai censors just didn’t get it, which is more likely. Hollywood folk (It’s a Korean production, in English, with mostly English speaking actors) wanted to chop 30 minutes off the film. Likely they wanted to keep all the fighting bits and lose the more meaningful parts. If that happens then please try to get the director’s cut. This is a very good film, it’s clever, it’s creepy, and it’s, well, it’s just right, or wrong. Imagine Karl Marx, Franz Kafka, and the Wachowski Brothers working on the same project, providing they could get Franz out of bed.

DA Score: 10/10

American Hustle

A 70s romp where everyone smokes all the time and people are properly fat and just kinda normal looking. My favourite part is a segue from a disco inferno type scene to a restaurant karaoke bit with pals singing Delilah.

DA Score: 7/10


Totally depraved. Every book Irvine Welsh (the Scottish novelist who wrote Trainspotting) wrote had to contain coprophagy, thugs, hard drug use, extreme pornography, and general mental illness. Filth contains just about all these things in excess, besides shit eating. James McAvoy is brilliant as devious, delirious drug addled cop on a self-destructive mission.

DA Score: 8/10

Unusually, they are not talking here.

Before Midnight

If you haven’t seen the first two films, Before Sunset and Before Sunrise then don’t bother with this one. These are concept films where all the action is dialogue and it takes place over twenty years. I love them all, a lot of people don’t.

DA Score: 7/10

Casey Affleck’s time in Iraq didn’t do much for his psyche

Out of the Furnace

Masculine film in which Woody Harrelson plays a psychopath and might just out-hardman Christian Bale. It’s a tough film where all the characters are unhappy and all the streets are mean. It’s Bruce Springsteen meets Bob Dylan meets depression meets guns meets drugs meets get me out of here I’m dying. It aint life’s a box of chocolates… more like life’s a trough of shit punctuated with very few incidences of happiness that usually follows alcohol and precedes a fight. The American Nightmare, in the style of Deer Hunter and a little bit of Fight Club. If these two films were to have a back alley late nigh liaison Out of the Furnace would be the horrible bastard they created.

DA Score: 8/10


I can’t really remember why I thought this was so good. I do recall a young girl having an orgasm while playing the piano and thinking about something some really nasty. Good stuff.

DA Score: 7/10

Open Grave

You won’t have a clue what is going on in this film for most of it, but the good news is you will know when it ends. It’s scary, edgy, and keeps you thinking.

DA Score: 6/10


A good documentary that makes you wonder if taking a huge mammal out of the ocean and away from its family, sticking it in a swimming pool surrounded every day by thousands of fatuous screaming idiots that think it’s a toy, smacking its nose when it doesn’t do a somersault or balance a dwarf on its nose, and putting it on Prozac – all for family fun and corporate profits – might be a bad idea.

DA Score: 7/10

The Dirties

School killings, love ‘em. Films about them. This is a strange seems real take on killing that becomes demented at the end and leaves you asking if killing might be ok in some circumstances. Well, at least that’s how I felt.

DA Score: 8/10


I like Danny Boyle…this has good music in it and a totally outlandish script that involves messing with people’s memories. The kind of film that is paradoxical if you think about it too much, but if you let it have its fun you can kind of believe something as impossible is possible. I’m aware that made little sense, neither does the film. It’s still really good though.

DA Score: 7/10

Slavoj Zizek…reaching the masses

The Perverts Guide to Ideology

Slavoj Zizek (world’s most dangerous philosopher) – I bet he hates this epithet – tells you how Hollywood is damaging your mind, sometimes, and how the occasional good film carries a more intelligent message. Jaws is propaganda, as is ET, as is basically everything coming out of Hollywood. It’s good to see a philosopher coming down from the high tower, and Zizek should be heard, even though it’s likely his anti-capitalist message will one day end up on a t-shirt (with Che) or become little more than a Zizek Burger.

DA Score: 8/10

Crowds outside Central Festival on Monday after the release of the Hello Kitty mouse warmer

World War Z

I had to add one mainstream flick to this list. This was my favorite zombie film of the year. Being a long-term resident of the Nimmanhaemin part of Chiang Mai I imagine Maya Mall to look something like scenes from this film sometime in the near future.

DA Score: 6/10

Worst films get no picture

The Wolverine

Two hours of toss…couldn’t give a toss…someone please kill this wolf. Oh, that’s right, you can’t, he’s fucking immortal.

The Internship

One scene was good, with Will Ferrell, then this pink monster spirals into some kind of My Little Pony for guy’s flick. These men are usually pretty funny. If Owen Wilson is still in Chiang Mai – and you should meet me – then I want to say that occasionally you’re better than ok. But this was rubbish. Rom-coms should be banned. Yes, now I’m against free speech. That’s the problem with freedom, it’s sometimes oppressive.

The Purge

A good idea with a good lead actor. How could it become such a horrific film?

Pacific Rim

Why would a talented director put his name on such an atrocity of human consciousness? It belongs in the toilet, maybe where it can a fight with a giant shit, under the Pissific Rim… And don’t think about filling your children’s mind with this violent montage of human stupidity.

Films I haven’t seen but believe they would have been on my best list

12 Years a Slave

I heard a white man saves the day which could be dodgy, but I trust Steve McQueen won’t fuck this tragic piece of history up.

The Selfish Giant

I was born “and bred” (they like to say that) in Bradford where this film takes place.

In Britain we make three kinds of films:

Stark working class realism that involves things like angry drug dealers abusing their grubby daughters who become untalented prostitutes and end up marrying men whose destiny it seems is to jump in front of late dirty trains.

Essex gangsters saying fuck a lot and talking about their rise up the ranks of criminal stupidity until they reach a point of coke madness that they decide to go straight just when all their mates die after which they write a book about the good ole days when you could ‘kick a facking ‘ole in sam cunt’s ‘ead and it wa just culture wan it…’

Upper middle class twerps falling in love but never having a job, crying a lot, and blushing mostly just because they’re English and therefore attracting American audiences who assume English people are all a little bit like Princess Diana.

This film is of the first category. It’s based on extreme badness of life in Bradford and involves very poor people selling scrap metal and getting into trouble. It’s also supposed to be beautifully shot and poignant to take words from those nice twats at the Guardian who once drove past Bradford on their way to the Lake District… and despite the abject state of this crumbling town, a once prosperous (if you owned more than a button on your shirt, or a mill) textile dystopia, the film emanates humanity, again, according to The Guardian. What would I know, I’m just a dumb scrubber with a chip on his shoulder.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Because the Coen Brothers just never make bad films, and I heard this one is really good.