Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! Year-end recap, Favorite Things, Blindspot and a note of THANKS

NewYear2014Another year has come and gone! Wow, what a year 2013 has been. There’s been ups and downs in my personal life, with me losing my dear brother this past Summer being one of life’s biggest blows. But I believe God never gives us more than we can bear, and there are certainly many, many things to be thankful for. It was such a blessing to see my sister in-law got married this year, and I also got to spend Thanksgiving with my best friend in San Diego which was awesome.

Blogging-wise, it’s been a pretty busy and fruitful year. Thanks to the press screenings via ALLIED Integrated Marketing, plus the two film festivals in town, I got to see over 65 new releases from 2013, not counting some films released prior to this year that were screened at TCFF or MSP Film Fest. There are dozens of older films plus all the rewatches that I simply can’t keep track on, yes even with a movie blog, ahah.

JoyeuxNoel_2005This Christmas weekend I stumbled onto a 2005 French film called Joyeux Noël which was about the truce that took place on December 24, 1914 during World War I. I don’t know why I haven’t seen that one sooner as the premise intrigued me right away and the fact that it was based on a true story made it even more worth seeing. Once again I was impressed by Daniel Brühl, so that’s three this year with RUSH and The Fifth Estate. I also love the performance of Guillaume Canet, Benno Fürmann and Diane Kruger. Such a wonderful film that shows an uplifting lesson in humanity, though the truce is such a brief one and the troops from three countries had to pay the price for their disobedience. I’m glad I finally saw it and it’s become one of my favorite Christmas-themed films!

BLOG STATS (Thanks WordPress!)

TOP 10 list is coming later in the week or this weekend. I’ve got at least five shoo-ins but I think the last half would be tough to pick. There’ll be some surprises (to those who follow my blog regularly anyway), some good, and some bad. January will be full of list posts, as I’ll be compiling Favorite Performances list, etc. from 2013. In the meantime, here’s …

Top Three Brits I Love in 2013… whom I will likely still adore in 2014 (and beyond!)

Richard ArmitageYup still obsessed w/ the dashing Richard Armitage… but really, can you blame me?
He’s moved to NYC recently so my wish for 2014 is to see more projects from Richard, TV, miniseries, movies, whatever, come on Hollywood!!

Tom Hiddleston
The oh-so-charming Hiddles… Tom Hiddleston ought to do a musical soon, the man oozes charisma… plus the dude can sing & dance! Check him out doing an impromptu Karaoke of Stand By Me!

Benedict CumberbatchIt’s Benedict Cumberbatch‘s banner year, even his voice made headlines as Smaug the dragon. Looking forward to see more of this uber-talented Brits on both movies & TV (hello Sherlock season 3!)

Suddenly obsessing again over …

2004_PhantomOfTheOperaMovieThanks to Cameron Macintosh’s new stage production of The Phantom of the Opera, which I saw twice at The Orpheum this month, I’ve fallen in love again with this gothic romance. Andrew Llyod Webber is such a musical genius, all the songs still have that power to haunt me after all these years. Though I LOVE the stage production, it also makes me appreciate the 2004 Joel Schumacher’s movie. Despite how I feel about his recent casting choices, I shall forever treasure Gerry Butler’s mesmerizing performance as Phantom. The chemistry with young Emmy Rossum (who’s 18 years apart in age!) is positively scorching and she made for an innocent yet sultry Christine.

I saw this movie three times on the big screen when it came out, and I would go again in a heartbeat if it ever got a re-release. It still captivated me so much that I too rewatched the Blu-ray twice in one weekend! Watch for a special appreciation post in the coming year 😉


One particular blogathon that has eluded me the past couple of years is the Blind Spot series. Originally spearheaded by Ryan at The Matinee, and so when I saw Dan at Public Transportation Snob and a few others posting their list, I thought why not join the fun?

I’ve always said that I need to catch up on more classic movies, so this is the perfect way for me to get on that. The idea of this blind-spot series is to come up with twelve acclaimed films for the year — so one film per month — and write a post on it. Ryan has designated the final Tuesday of every month to post his entries, I might as well do the same.

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1. All the President’s Men
2. Double Indemnity
3. Mr Smith Goes to Washington

4. How the West Was Won
5. Time Bandits
6. The Apartment
7. The Philadelphia Story
8. The Sting
9. Purple Noon
10. Rebel Without A Cause
It Happened One Night

12. Rebecca

Btw, I haven’t decided when I’ll be seeing each of these films, so the list is set in random order. I figure I’ll surprise you which one I’d pick for the month 😀

And last but certainly NOT least, I just want to say…


… to all my blog contributors this past year:

Ted S., Kevin G., Ashley S., Becky R. and Dave W.

… everyone who has visited and commented on this blog:

Shout out to my top 20 frequent commenters Keith, Mark, Fernando, Josh, Chris aka Terry Malloy,  Michael (thanks for kindly retweeting my posts, too!), Sati, Novia, Eric, Terrence, Dan aka CMrok93, Paula, Dan Stephens, Tim, Chris, Niels, Asrap, Rodney, Nostra, and Ckckred.

… new people I *met* this year whom I’ve enjoyed interacting with:

Steven (Surrender to the Void), James (JJames’ reviews), Zoë (The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger), Katy (The Drama Llama), V (The Verbal Spew), Chris W. (This is Madness), Gene (Let There Be Movies),Kim (Tranquil Dreams), Mikey (Screenkicker Blog), Mark (Three Rows Back), and Cindy (Cindy Bruchman’s Blog). Hope to see more of all of you here in the coming year 😉

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making FlixChatter one of your online spots to talk about movies! I look forward to connecting with you more in the coming year. There are a bunch of movies I’m looking forward to which I’ll surely be blogging about, and stay tuned for my Top 10 list from 2013 coming soon! 😀

Here’s wishing you all the best in 2014… and beyond!

So any plans for New Year’s Eve/Day? Whatever you do, I wish you peace, love, and great movies! 😀

91 thoughts on “Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! Year-end recap, Favorite Things, Blindspot and a note of THANKS

  1. Hi, Ruth! I’ve had such a great time visiting and reading your blog this year. I’m positive 2014 will be even more amazing. Thank you for the mention & link! 🙂
    And, I send my deepest (belated) condolences for your brother’s passing.

    1. Hi there Katy! Thank you and likewise, I’ve enjoyed discovering your blog too, glad we *met* each other this year. And thank you for the condolences, I really appreciate that.

  2. It was an eventful 2013 wasn’t it. You really did a glorious job this year and I love what you bring to the movie blogging community. Thanks for the constant flow of great content and for the wonderful movie conversations. Now, considerations my ludicrous love for Top __ Lists, I can’t wait to see yours!

    May God bless you with a wonderful 2014 Ruth!

    1. Hello Keith! Glorious? Wow, that’s the nice thing anyone’s said to me about my blog 😀 I’ve enjoyed reading your posts as well man, you’re such an excellent writer! As for lists, we both love ’em and there’ll be plenty of those in January 😀

      God’s blessings to you and yours, my friend!

  3. GB is baccckk!!!???!!! haha. 🙂

    Ruth, I love the way in which you can still take positive things from this past year. It is a blessing knowing you and I pray that your 2014 brings even bigger and better things to you! God bless.

    1. Ahah well not quite. I still hate his stupid role choices, but Phantom is NOT one of them 😉

      There are always things to be thankful for no matter what… God is good 😀 Thanks T, have a blessed New Year to you as well!

  4. We have the same taste in Brits apparently! Mmm… Richard Armitage in North and South.

    I’ve never seen Phantom of the Opera, but I like Emmy Rossum. I didn’t know she could sing, methinks I should check it out!

    1. Hi Anne! We should do a meet up at TR w/ Ashley, she mentioned you a few times 😉 Yes I love the Brits, as Ashley do I believe, and period dramas.

      Oh you MUST see POTO! I’d be happy to lend you my Blu-ray too! 😀

      1. Definitely! Ashley, can you make it happen?!

        And I’d love to borrow your copy, but I’m not quite cool enough for a Blu-ray. Still rocking the Xbox 360. 🙂

        1. Ahah well I used to have the dvd but I gave it to someone. Bummer! Well, you must give it a rent though Anne, trust me, you won’t regret it 😀

            1. High five Ashley! I began my love affair w/ Gerry because of POTO as well, I mean seriously, wait ’til you get to the Point of No Return, there’s no turning back after that, ahah. Well, his role choices of late has turned me off him quite a bit, but I shall always have his Phantom performance to treasure forever 😉

  5. 2013 certainly was an interesting year, Ruth. Definitely happy to have crossed paths with you along the way, and I look forward to what this next year has in store for us! 🙂
    (Also, Tom Hiddleston in a musical? Yes please!)
    (Also also, thanks for the mention!!)

    1. Hello Chris, likewise! Hope to swap movie opinions more often w/ you 🙂

      Yeah Tom Hiddleston really should do every genre, but I think musicals would lend naturally to him.

  6. That’s a strong line-up of blind spots. I saw Mr Smith Goes to Washington this year, and I think it deserves the “classic” tag. Look forward to reading your thoughts on those.
    Appreciate your comments over at my site, and thanks for the mention above! Happy New Year 🙂

    1. I can’t wait to see the Jimmy Stewart movies on my list, there are three of them 🙂 I figure it’s a good way for me to catch up on his films this year.

  7. That’s a great list of Blind Spots, Ruth. I haven’t seen How the West Was Won and Purple Noon, but there aren’t any bad ones in the rest. It Happened One Night, All the President’s Men, The Apartment, and Double Indemnity are classics. Have a great 2014!

    1. Thanks Dan! Well, w/ How the West Was Won, I figure I’ll combine a Western that has Jimmy Stewart in it (PLUS Gregory Peck), so it hits three birds w/ one stone 😀 I had to include one Alain Delon movie too, hence Purple Noon!

    1. Happy New Year to you James, hey hopefully we can wish each other in person pretty soon 😉

      Thank you, it’s still tough to fathom he’s gone, but I’m taking one day at a time.

  8. Wow, that’s a nice Blind spot list you got there. I’ve seen half of those. Hiddleston sings? Is there anything this man can’t do? He should be in a musical. And a good one. I’m currently editing my final post for the year which I’ll release in a few hours. Anyways, thanks for the mention and have a happy new year.

    1. I figure I should catch up on more classics, you’re much better at that than me Steven. Yeah, Hiddles is obviously a perfect human being, he’s so talented, charismatic and just so fun to watch, both on screen and off.

  9. Ted S.

    Thanks for shout out Ruth, always fun to share my useless knowledge of movies, good or bad. Ha ha. Can’t believe 2013 is almost over!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Oh no thank YOU! You’ve been such a loyal reader and contributor to FC, I can’t thank you enough man. No way are your knowledge useless, I mean I wish I knew as much as you!

  10. Some good strongly-reputed films in those blind spot choices, Ruth. The only one of those I’ve seen is The Sting, but it’s an excellent film. (I’d join in on the blind spot bandwagon, but that’s pretty much the day-to-day theme of my blog anyway…)

    Here’s hoping 2014 is a good year!

    1. Hi Morgan! I saw Redford/Newman duo last year in ‘Sundance Kid’ and I loved it! Naturally I gotta see The Sting at some point. Happy New Year to you and yeah, may it be a good year for us movie bloggers 😀

  11. You’ve done some fantastic work this year Ruth and it shows in your impressive stats. Glad to be considered a regular a visitor too. All the best for the forthcoming year.

    1. Thanks Mark, likewise mate! Wish I could say the stats don’t matter but then I’d be a liar, ahah. My traffic has dwindled since IMDb took out the external links from their homepage, those are such awesome traffic boosters when you got picked! Wishing you the happiest and best New Year, my friend!

  12. Even though I’m a slacker at saying it, I gotta say that I do love your blog a lot and you’ve done a great job this year! And – I love the Phantom of the Opera as well, even if I’ve only seen the film 😉

    1. Hi Elina, thanks so much! Nice to see a fellow POTO fan! I’ve seen the stage version five times now but I’m still very fond of the film version.

  13. Happy new year, Ruth! I hope 2014 is a good one for you. It’s been fun, interesting and educative visiting Flixchatter in 2013 and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store this year. All the best! Dan (Top 10 Films)

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    1. Hi Steph! Yeah, it’s tough and at times it’s hard to fathom he’s gone, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?

      Wishing you a blessed New Year, too!

    1. THANK YOU Sati! Ahah yeah, Hiddles is a cinematic god to be sure, WAY more interesting than the god of thunder himself, ahah. LOVE your blog too, cheers girl!

    1. Happy New Year Iba, long time no see 😉 I actually missed the whole ball drop thing but ah well, it’s gonna be there later this year, ahah.

  15. 65 new releases is nice 🙂

    Have not seen much of Daniel Brühl, but will check out The Fifth Estate, don’t know if Joyeux Noel is for me.

    Some nice stats! I was pretty happy with mine as well.

    I have to say that out of your blind spots picks I have seen quite a lot and I’m sure there are some of them you will enjoy.

    Looking forward to your top 10 list! I also did my “look back at 2013” post, so please drop by if you have the time.

    Best wishes for 2014!

    1. Hi Nostra! Yeah I’m pretty happy w/ that number, I mean those are just films released in 2013! Brühl is fantastic in RUSH, he hasn’t disappointed me since I saw him in Inglourious Basterds.

      I can’t wait to start on my Blindspot, hopefully I can start as soon as this weekend 😀

      I’ll be over to check your post later tonight, Nostra!

    1. Hi Chris! Aw thank you for the kind words. Well thanks to friendly people like you we have a nice community here 😀 I really appreciate your constant support man, cheers!

  16. Your blog is one of the few I always turn to for inspiration, information and to share some thoughts on film. I’m looking forward to the new year and to keep reading a lot more from you.

    So sorry about the passing of your brother. Not long ago I had to endure some really big losses in my family as well, so I share your pain. I’m very glad you decided to look forward and continue to work hard despite all of the setbacks.

    Keep it up Ruth. I’ll be looking for your top 10 lists whenever you get to posting them. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi there Niels! Thanks for the kind words and support man.

      Sorry to hear about your loss in your family too, hope you are hanging in there. I think since we don’t live in the same country, it’s not as hard as it otherwise would’ve been but of course I still miss my brother a lot. There are a lot of things to be thankful for, and for that I’m very blessed.

      Are you gonna post your Top 10 too? I’ll be sure to check it out when you do!

  17. The Sting and The Apartment are fantastic choices! Really enjoyed the both of them. Rebel Without a Cause is a good film, though I think it’s got its iconic status more so for James Dean than anything else. But watch it and let us know 😀

    Happy New Year, Ruth!

    1. Hi Jaina! I’m so thrilled The Apartment is now on Netflix Streaming, can’t wait to see that one. Yep, that’s pretty much the only reason for me to see Rebel Without a Cause, as it was deemed an iconic performance from Dean.

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  19. Looking forward to reading your Top 10 list. 2013 ended up being a pretty good year for film. It’s never fails. Halfway though every year I wonder if I’m going to be able to put together a meaningful ‘Best Of’ list. Then December comes and I’m struggling to include everything I enjoyed. I’m really pleased with my published list. Please check it out at your convenience.

    Ruth, my condolences regarding your loss. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!! Happy blogging!

    1. Hi Mark! I have my Top 10 list in my draft but will be finalizing it this weekend. I just saw your list and I’m glad we agree about HER!

      Thank you for your condolences, and all the best in the new year as well!

  20. So glad to see this recap of a very productive year! Happy to be one of your top commentators, too! 🙂 Looking forward to 2014 at FlixChatter, especially the Blind Spot blogathon (I LOVE Philadelphia Story).

    1. Hi Fernando! I feel that towards the end of the year I kind of slacked off a bit, thank God for guest bloggers 😀 I kind of got my mojo back though, I reviewed a ton of stuff the past week or so. I’m excited to see all the Jimmy Stewart movies on my Blindspot list, including The Philadelphia Story 😀

        1. At one point I was hoping to do a Jimmy Stewart marathon, he was sooo good in It’s A Wonderful Life. I saw Hepburn and Grant in Bringing Up Baby, can’t wait to see Philadelphia Story!

  21. WOW, that is one awesome blind spot collection! You’re in for a treat with so many of those, especially The Apartment, which is still my favorite Billy Wilder film. Can’t wait to read your writeups of these!

    Here’s to an amazing 2014!

    1. Thanks Eric! I’m super excited for it! And The Apartment is now on Netflix Streaming, yay! That could very well be the first one I take on, stay tuned 😉

  22. Hohohoho Sherlock 3 is brilliant!!! My spoiler free (trying hard to) will be out tomorrow 🙂

    Happy new year Ruth and thank you to you are in my top commenters too ((hug)).

    Sorry about your brother ((hug))

    1. Very cool Nov! I have to wait until Jan 19 for Sherlock 3, so yeah, please no spoilers!!

      Happy New Year, Nov, hope to see you around more often 😉

  23. Happy New Year, Ruth! 😀 Thanks for the shout out. Looking forward to a great 2014.

    Awesome stats! Keep up the great work!

    I really need to see Joyeux Noel. Good luck with your blind spot list by the way. You’ve picked some great films to see this year.

    1. Thanks for being one of my top commenters Josh! Looking forward to what 2014 has to offer in terms of movies.

      Joyeoux Noel is fabulous, great for any time of the year but definitely around Christmas. You’ve probably seen most of my Blindspot list right? Yeah I’m excited to take part!

  24. Ruth, All The Presidents Men is in my top 10 so get on that one pronto. It’s remarkable how it holds your attention especially when you know the outcome beforehand. One of the best scripts ever by the great William Goldman.

    Just saw the first episode of Sherlock season 3. Brilliant as ever. Really puts Elementary to shame..

    Thanks for the blogging shout out. Thanks for deeming us worthy of a spot in your blog!

    1. Hiya Dave! Hope to see you doing guest posts more often here man 😉

      Very excited to see all the Blindspot movies, esp. All The Presidents Men as I’ve been wanting to see it forever! Can’t wait to see Sherlock 3!

  25. I don’t know how I missed this!!! Great wrap up post. I also love your Blind Spot choices. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on them. I just watched Purple Noon this past weekend. I’m interested to read your thoughts.

    1. Hi Andrew! I was curious to see Purple Noon since last year but never got around to it. Are you gonna review it? Yeah, I’m excited to catch up on all 12 classic films!

  26. I know this is late but THANK FOR THE MENTION! I must say it was great to get in touch with you, it has been a blast! I do apologise profusely for being so scarce recently, been so hectic this side!

    1. Hello Zoë!! Hey there is no such thing as a late comment, that is my motto as a blogger, he..he.. I’m thrilled to have found your blog and glad that you joined Twitter too. Hey, no need to apologize, life is busy indeed. Thanks for stopping by. Always fun whenever I see your smiley gravatar pops up on my blog 😀

      1. I am so glad to hear that! December was hectic and then we moved straight into January and work started and registering for the new semester and all… what the hell sheesh!

        I am glad that you enjoyed the year, even though you had some heavy things happen (again, I am sorry about your brother), but a new year begins and I am sure it will be a good one!

        1. So how many more years until you graduate? I never ask you but which college do you go to? It’s amazing how you can write such excellent reviews whilst you’re studying AND working. You are a super woman!!

          Last year was tough but hey, whenever God closes the door, He always opens a window, that’s how I see it. So I’m taking one day at a time in terms of mourning my brother. I still miss him a lot, esp. whenever I see a nice car on the road, as he loves cars. Usually I’d be able to text him about it. He’ll always be in my heart. Like you said, a new year begins, so onward and upward! 😀

          1. Two, then I am done. I am studying psychology through UNISA (the University of South Africa), they offer distance study so I don’t have to attend classes, though that can make it difficult sometimes. We don’t have a lot of universities here. Why thank you kindly!

            It is a good outlook to have! 😦 That is a hard thing to deal with, but taking each day as it comes is a good way of making it all work. Good positive outlook Ruth, I am happy for you!

            1. So you take your classes from home? That’s awesome! I’d be too distracted to learn anything but it sure is nice to have that flexibility! I love that you are such a voracious reader. I wish I were, but I’m lucky if I could get through even two books a year. Yeah I know, pathetic right?

              THANK YOU girl, I really appreciate your kind words and support. That means a lot!

              1. 🙂 Yep, I do. Not always easy when there are so many other things to do, but I love learning new things so I can manage! It’s ok, it’s more than most people I know! I actually managed to get one of my colleagues onto a book challenge (he’s going to try for ten this year – it’s already bringing him to his knees!). A lot of people just don’t have the time or patience.

                😀 Anytime!

                1. I really wish I do have the patience to read more books though. I find that people who love to read are so much smarter because of it 😀 You are an inspiration, Zoë, hopefully one day I can do it!

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  29. Pingback: May 2014 Blind Spot Film: The Apartment (1960) – FlixChatter Film Blog

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