2013 brought us some truly astounding and fun movies that failed to get Oscar's attention and that largely missed the general public's radar. If you don't know the five films below you should. They are all now available on DVD (including thru the Roanoke County Public Libraries) and they are definite must-sees for any and all movie buffs.
"The World's End" - director and co-writer Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz") re-team for a third horrific evil battling and social commentary comedy. Pegg is a lovably rowdy middle-aged non-conformist who recruits his four begrudging best mates to reattempt a failed 12 pub crawl from 23 years earlier. They find a Stepford-like all too idyllic town that soon places them in a sci-fi nightmare. It's surprisingly as contemplative as hilarious.
"The Way, Way Back" - a funny and enriching coming of age tale that honestly shows supposedly respectable adults at their worst and frowned upon slackers at their best. Sam Rockwell does his best work yet as the playfully carefree operator of a water park who helps an awkward fourteen year old improve himself. Steve Carell and Toni Collette co-star in a story that will hit your heart and funny bone.
"Parkland" - an astounding and gripping adaptation of Vincent Bugliosi's account of events at and surrounding Parkland Memorial Hospital on and immediately following the day of President Kennedy's assassination. Paul Giamatti, as the tragic Abraham Zapruder, heads a great ensemble cast in a work so realistic it plays like an intense documentary.
"Mud" - Matthew McConaughey is at his most honest career best as the tailor made enigmatic romantic dreamer title character. He stands between two boys and the abandoned boat they hope to claim in this beautifully told and photographed look at life along a remote section of the Mississippi River.
"Instructions Not Included" - a brilliantly poignant and funny gift from Mexican star and director Eugenio Derbez. Setting off after the woman who left him with her baby, he accidentally becomes a movie stuntman as well as a father who works too hard to give his daughter a happy life. Charming, funny and richly rewarding, you'll be surprised how this movie grabs you and never see it coming.