Upstream Colour (2013)
Soooo... this was this director's first movie since "Primer" and also Gabe Toro's movie of the year. Look Gabe, I think you are a fantastic reviewer and 300 times the writer I'll ever be BUT I am having no luck with a large proportion of your end of year recommendations these past few years.
I reviewed Primer recently (review here - along with a negative review of Gabe's sixth favourite film of 2012 - Sorry!) and I gave it the very decent score of B-. The thing about "Primer" is that the majority of it is excellent. It starts out a little odd because there's a load of fairly incoherent dialogue, but it quickly becomes clear that this is a pretty realistic depiction of a group of electrical engineers messing around.
As the film unfurls two of them come to understand what the new technology they are tinkering with is really worth and the film explores the consequences of time travel quite clearly, cleverly and methodically from that point on. That is, until the final 10 minutes when the filmmakers either completely forgot how to tell a story or ran out of time in which to do so. In the ridiculous flow chart diagrams fans have tried to make of "Primer", the main problem is that the film simply doesn't give us enough details to be fully clear on what happens in this final section - since you don't really need a diagram to help you with anything prior to that 10 minute slot.
"Upstream Colour" seems to have taken that bizarre obscurantist style of storytelling from that last 10 minutes of "Primer" and used it for the full-length of the movie - except with less dialogue, less interesting characters and even less coherency. It's almost like the director thought to himself: "Oh yeah, everyone loved that bit at the end of Primer where absolutely nothing made any sense - let's do an entire movie just like that!"
( Click here to read the full review... )