Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Year in Movies 2009

Man, I love movies. 2009 was a great movie year. A lot of good action, drama, and well made movies. 2009 showed us you do not need a huge budget to be successful (Paranormal Activity and District 9) but it helps (Avatar). I am going to list my top ten movies of the year but wanted to show all the movies I saw that are not on my top ten.

Here is all the films I saw in 2009:

My Bloody Valentine (3-D)
Slumdog Millionaire
Gran Torino
Still Waiting
Friday the 13th
The International
Watchmen (IMAX)
I Love You Man
Sunshine Cleaning
Observe and Report
The Soloist
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Star Trek (IMAX)
Terminator Salvation
The Hangover
The Brothers Bloom
The Taking of Phelam 123
Public Enemies
Transfomers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
I Love You, Beth Cooper
(500) Days Of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Funny People
G.I. Joe - The Rise of Cobra
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
The Informant!
Couples Retreat
Where The Wild Things Are
A Christmas Carol (IMAX 3-D)
The Blind Side
Avatar (IMAX 3-D)
Sherlock Holmes
Up in the Air

When I see a movie sometimes I need to see it more than once to get the full effect. Here are some movies that did not make my list but I feel could if I was able to see them more than once. I will call them the very honorable mentions:

Where the Wild Things Are
I Love You Man
Up In the Air
Sherlock Holmes

My Top Ten Films seen in 2009:

10. Watchmen - Director Zack Snyder tried to take on the best graphic novel ever written in Alan Moore's masterpiece Watchmen. The end result is not a perfect film in the least, but the overall film is as close to copy of the graphic novel. I am almost putting this on the list for the scope of the overall production, trying to take on this material and make it into film is such a daunting task. I really think Jackie Earle Haley stole the show as Rorschach, a very anti hero. The movie was a great overall effort and I give everyone kudos for making a very enjoyable comic book movie which did not adhere to the typical superhero movies you see today.

9. Moon - Duncan Jones directed a great piece of science fiction and Sam Rockwell gives an amazing performance as a man who is very isolated working on the Moon. The movie really is more like the science fiction films of old, it is slowly paced but it works really well for the movie. Once Sam (Rockwell, a very unrrated actor) realizes that something is up the movie goes in a trippy and sometimes funny story. Overall the movie really gives you that feel of isolation and despair.

8. Funny People - Funny People is the least acclaimed Judd Apatow movie, and I can understand why. This is not a normal feel good movie that is all jokes. The movie is more grounded in how real people act towards one another. Adam Sandler stars as George Simmons, a man who is mega star comedian but has found out he has a type of cancer. He takes on a up and coming stand up comedian Ira (Seth Rogen) to help him write jokes and keep him company. I believe their relationship is the main story going on here. George also finds an old flame and tries to rekindle things with her. Overall I enjoyed the movie because I have some friends who do stand up and can relate easily to that world. I also think the way people act in this movie is realistic, this is somewhat how me and my friends act. We always make jokes and poke fun but like George and Ira, in the end we are just friends who enjoy one anothers company.

7. The Hangover - The Hangover is probably the best straight up comedy to come along in a few years. The cast was just perfect, and I could not stop laughing at the inventive ways this movie played out. It is all about a bachelor party that was so crazy no one remembers what happened. Slowly through the movie we get to see how the events of the previous night unfolded and involved Mike Tyson, a tiger, a naked Chinese man, and a pulled tooth. I am not saying this movie is deep, but my lists usually tend to go by how I was entertained and I was very entertained by The Hangover.

6. (500) Days Of Summer - Director Marc Webb creates the way all us guys feel when we are so in love and it goes so wrong. This movie really shows how a relationship can go right when you are so in love and how nothing else matters and yet it also shows the reality of when you get your heart broken into a million pieces, even though the writing was on the wall all along. Joesph Gordon Levitt (another underrated favorite of mine) is the main star and gives a great everyman performance as Tom, the man who's relationship was doomed from the star. Zooey Deschanel plays Summer with a laid back way, she tells Tom that she is not serious but she goes along with him and we still feel terrible when the end happens. The movie shows how love can be, great and yet at times heart breaking. Great film.

5. Star Trek - I was so entertained and taken in by J.J. Abrams new Star Trek that I am slowly warming up the Star Trek stuff after being a Star Wars fan for my whole life. This movie is just plain fun, nothing is held back. You get some great action, acting, and a movie that keeps you entertained the whole way! I think the cast was also handled nicely, they choose some good young actors who really make the film have that hip in the now feel, yet also these actors are good at what they do. To be able to remake a much love classic and make it appeal to the old fans and draw in new fans was a very daunting task, one that Abrams was able to do. I cannot wait to see the further adventures of this world that was created.

4. The Hurt Locker - This is a great movie, one that follows the life of a bomb squad solider in Iraq. Kathyrn Bigelow really creates a very tense movie, I felt as if that bomb could go off at any minute during many of these very tense scenes. You really get the feeling of how it would be to in these situations. The movie also shows the toll that being in a war takes on its soldiers, and how for our main character William, the war is all he knows how to do. When he goes back home he feels alienated, his life is to disable bombs and he actually likes it. This movie was very powerful because of the way anything can explode and kill off people in an instant. The performances are all outstanding, and no superstar is in the film. If you want to see a great war movie that speaks to what is happening today go and see The Hurt Locker.

3. Gran Torino- Released very long ago (January 9th) Gran Torino still sticks with me. Clint Eastwood stars and directs. Eastwood is Walt Kowalski a recent widower who lives in a very diverse community in Detroit. Eastwood as Walt is pure pleasure to watch, he really was one of the best performance's I saw in 2009 and was a shame he was not recognised more for it. Gran Torino was more of a movie for fans of movies, the movie did commercially well and is still sitting at #84 on imdb's top films EVER, wow. This movie was vastly underrated, I am thinking the release date may have had something to do with that. Anyway, the film is about Walt and he warms up to the world around him yet still maintains his rough exterior. Honestly, Walt in some way reminded me of people I really know and that is why he stuck such a cord with me. The ending of the movie is sad yet also shows how great a man and character Walt really is. This is also the last acting performance of Eastwood, who know is going to stay behind the lens as a director. Go see it to witness a great performance.

2. District 9 - District 9 is a great piece of film making and all on a small budget. Director Neil Blomkamp's story of an alien race who has crash landed and is now housed in slums. We follow a racist (towards the aliens) man Wikus Van De Merwe who also happens to be a great family man. When something happens to him and he becomes an outlaw he has to hide and become friends with the aliens, all the while trying to get his own life back. The first time actor Sharlto Copley gives an amazing performance as Wikus. The movie really sucked me into the world, if I ever thought aliens would be in our world District 9 represents the world that I think they would be in. The aliens are treated as second class citizens and not given much in life. The movie was shot on an extremely small budget yet makes the effects look amazing, like they spent 100 million not 30 making this movie. Like a great sci-fi movie, D-9 is a commentary on racism and how we view other people or cultures not like our own. This is a great piece of filmmaking filled with amazing acting, great effects, and is easily one of my favorites of 2009. It currently sits at #98 on imdb's best movies ever.

1. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS - This was the BEST movie I saw in 2009, here is why: The movie just has amazing dialogue and has the BEST performance I saw all year by character actor (well, not anymore) Christoph Waltz, as Hans Landa. He gives you the chills and in the next second can have you laughing your ass off. I was just so taken in by his performance, I give mastermind Quentin Tarantino many props for finding real actors who can speak his witty and non-stop dialogue. The movie is about 3 main characters, one is the aforementioned Hans Landa, the other is leader of the basterds Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) who leads all Jewish Americans to revenge against the nazi's with the goal of collecting 100 Nazi scalps, and finally the beautiful yet vengeful Soshanna who's family was killed by Nazi's. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. It has many hilarious moments yet also is so suspenseful, the first scene alone kept me on the edge of my seat. The acting is top notch all around, Soshanna is played by Mélanie Laurent an actress who usually does only French films yet she was just amazing. I think it also helped that Tarantino let many of the actors speak their native language, not just English. You have some amazing scenes like the bar gun stand off and the finale of the film in the theatre. Enough already I could go on for a while as to why this is my #1 film.

Well that was my Top Ten films of 2009, hope 2010 is just as good!


Wesley said...

Um... I see at least one repeat... your number 1 film and your number 12 film....

were there two versions??

Wesley said...

oops, nevermind... this top ten is for this year, not the decade. Don't confuse me like that, bro. lol

Mummbles said...

that whats happens when you do not actually read the blog and just skim it

Colonel Mortimer said...

3 of these would be on my list and I like all the others I saw to some degree. And you got # 1 right!

Gran Torino is technically a 2008 release, but it may not have opened in SJ until 2009 which is probably your barometer.

Where's your Top Ten of the 2000s?