10 Films You Will Likely Never See from 2013

tenopenerI should start calling my annual compilation of neglected indies, unknown documentaries, and mishandled and mistreated Hollywood films the “Lost Cause List.” Not only are these films hampered by the inequality and inadequacies of contemporary distribution and exhibition, but most lack the millions of marketing dollars routinely spent by the studios on the most mediocre of releases. Others suffered from the Monday morning quarter-backing by media pundits too eager to declare a film a failure if it does not live up to their box-office projections.

In his top ten list for Variety, critic Scott Foundas pondered how the best films of 2013 “managed to get made at all in a climate that has rarely been less hospitable to mid-budget, non-franchise movies by personal-minded auteurs. . . .” Each year, I am more disappointed by the output of the Hollywood studios and more fearful that the movies—once the art of the people—have been reduced to eye candy for adolescents. Here’s hoping that some of you will take the time to seek out some of the films on my list, or others like them.

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My Top Ten Genre Movies of 2010

I was able to see more movies during the year than this guy. To honor him, I’m going to run down my favorite Genre Films of 2010. As top-ten lists rain down upon us, a general consensus emerges and recurring titles get chewed over like regurgitated cud. So while I greatly admire The Social Network (#2 on my year-end list here), I feel no need to spill more metaphorical ink over it. What doesn’t get recognized during the awards season hullaballoo are the disreputable action/sci-fi/horror movies that earn profits and low Rotten Tomatoes scores. I’m using the colloquial definition of “genre films”, of macho flicks with b-movie scenarios, but in reality everything that’s produced slots into one genre or another (David Bordwell persuasively argues that even the art film is one). So forgive my semantic fudging for the sake of headline-writing brevity. In any case, anonymous disfigured corpse from The Crazies, this is for you.

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This Year’s 10 Films You’ll Probably Never See—Unless. . .

Last year, I joined the “list brigade,” that huge contingent of writers and reviewers who feel compelled every December to offer lists of films they have seen during the previous year. I have a confession to make: Once you step into those waters, it’s addictive, and there’s no going back. Usually the lists are generated by movie reviewers obsessed with the year’s ten best films, but I prefer lists of overlooked gems that slipped through the cracks. Many movies that might appeal to a mainstream audience, or to a large segment of the population, are treated shabbily by distributors and exhibitors, and they don’t receive a decent distribution in the theaters. For movie-lovers who don’t live in a major market, the only chance to see some of these films is on DVD, if at all.

My tastes are fairly populist; none of the titles on the list are esoteric art-house movies or quirky British fare with eccentric characters offering life lessons. They are all films that adults with an interest in good drama and appealing subject matter will appreciate. In the spirit of bringing attention to some decent films that were shafted by the conditions of the current industry, I bring you my list of ten favorite movies from 2010 that deserve a second chance or a second viewing.

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