From tales of protagonists desperate to stay airborne to those determined to land, I laughed, cried and tried to ignore illuminated mobiles as cinemagoers checked their texts. Enough preamble. Here's my pick of the 30 best films of the year.
There were plenty of bombs, turkeys and over-rated smashes which either left me cross or emulating an indifferent Frenchman winning first prize in a 'So What?' charades contest.
When asked to select your 'favourite viewings of 2013' you realise that it's not an easy task. It's personal and they're not presented in a preferential order but they all have that 'something' that makes them stand apart and were a joy to watch.
In four and a half billion years of existence there have been no creatures more dramatic or scarier. Whether they would be as popular if they existed today and were stomping down the high street, I don't know, but they're perfect for films because they are more spectacular, more awesome than most animals today, more like monsters, and yet they are real.
There's still plenty to recommend it, but it never lives up to the promise of the original, but who knows, over time there might be enough quotable goodness to elevate Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues into a cult favourite.
The new Walking With Dinosaurs film as I think this is the most realistic portrayal of dinosaurs that's ever been done on the big screen. I spend my life studying dinosaurs, pouring over the dry remains of their multi-million-year-old bones. This film brings dinosaurs to life unlike anything I've ever seen before. It brought a tear to my eye seeing the Gorgosaurus for the first time.
Alexander Payne (along with Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson and Todd Haynes) is one of the few American directors still able to make sophisticated, distinctive, independent-minded films.
Shape Creatives is a series of seven films highlighting the cream of talent within the Disability Arts scene. Funded by the Arts Council and the Lottery Fund through the arts charity Shape Arts it captures a moment at which I feel Disabled Art is about to break through into the mainstream.
At the weekend the world watched in sadness as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in the lush green hills and valleys of Qunu, his childhood home... This time last year my sister Jacqui and I travelled there to try and discover what it was about this place that made Mandela the man he became and provided him with a framework for leadership from which he could draw forever.
The day I was diagnosed, my psychologist (a highly-experienced man who'd dealt with hundreds of Aspergers) told me unequivocally that he'd once seen Lawrence of Arabia and that T. E. Lawrence (as written by Robert Bolt and played by O'Toole) had displayed unmistakable symptoms of Aspergers.
The characters, as always, are a well-realised and charismatic bunch, although the dwarves outside of Thorin, once again suffer due to the sheer number of them running about.
Having sat through the enormous letdown that is The Hobbit 2, I feel like I have breathed the dwarves' air; lived part of their life and was happy to have done so... for about two hours.
LOCO is the London Comedy Film Festival and this year coming it is spread over four days. Arriving in London on the most miserable week of the year, 23 - 26 January hopefully the films, panel discussions and workshops will give you something to smile about.
Back in the early 90s, I was a person who wanted to make movies. People who wanted to make movies tended to go and work in video stores whilst waiting for that elusive big break to come. Not one to buck the trend, I worked in Blockbuster.
The pacing of the film is a big improvement and the narrative wastes no time in getting into gear. The opening scene set in a dank, fetid drinking hole, shows Gandalf convincing Thorin to take a Hobbit with him on his quest to reclaim his homeland from Smaug.
For no other reason other than I'm a cinematic masochist, I suggest to my friend Benno we should watch a brace of seemingly unnecessary sequels, to find out what makes them tick.