Monday, January 4, 2010

Best Movies of 2009

Yeah, so my "best of" list is a few days late. So what. Wanna fight about it?

As I do every year, I'll also toss in my two cents when it comes to what films I enjoyed most in 2009. I actually think this year has been particularly strong one-- well, at least when it comes to film...

I'm going to keep it short and sweet. In fact, the list is not even really in any order. It's just the ten films that I enjoyed most this year.

My Favorite Films:

1.) The Cove - I'm a huge animal rights guy, and this was one of the more well made and moving documentaries I've seen in a while. Brutal and heart breaking.

2.) Drag Me to Hell - Sam Raimi's Brand of Old School Horror. Saw it twice in the theater and twice on blu-ray so far. Fantastic!

3.) Inglorious Basterds - Great upon first viewing, and infinitely re-watchable. The Bowie song alone makes the film.

4.) Anvil: The Story of Anvil - Seriously touching portrait of friendship, faith and truly never giving up on a dream. Another extremely re-watchable film.

5.) District 9 - Refreshingly inventive Sci-Fi. Despite early reports, it's not necessarily a game-changer for the genre, but Neil Blomkamp is what Michael Bay only wishes he could be.

6.) Pontypool - My favorite horror film of the year. Neat twist on the zombie genre that plays out through what you hear more than what you see. Terrific film. Oddly not yet available on DVD or Blu-Ray in the U.S.

7.) Watchmen - I wasn't the biggest fan of it in the theater, but upon repeated blu-ray viewings at home I have really come to enjoy this film. And-- is it seriously not on anyone else's top 10 or even 20 list? It was released this year, correct? Screw it. I'm a genre guy. It's on my list.

8.) Coraline - A bit dark for the kiddies, but for anyone who enjoys Tim Burton-esque dark fairy tales, you'll love it.

9.) Where the Wild Things Are - First film in years to actually elicit tears from my cynical eyes. Especially meaningful if you are a child of divorce, or of a single parent.

10.) Up - Pixar continues its streak of solid films. Third act was a bit typical, but enjoyed the film overall enough to warrant a spot on the list.

Six films that I wanted to see but didn't:

1.) The Road - Looks interesting and depressing. Not necessarily in that order.

2.) Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans / My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done - Werner Herzog. That's more than enough reason to see these two.

3.) The Hurt Locker - I'm not so hot on the contemporary war films as of late, but I have to admit that I want to see this one. And I like Jeremy Renner, too.

4.) Fantastic Mr. Fox - Too many people whose opinions I hold in high regard raved about this for me not to want to check it out. I think it'll be a blind buy on blu-ray release day.

5.) The White Ribbon - Call him pretentious, but I think Haneke is tremendous filmmaker.

6.) Antichrist - I really wanted to see this from the first trailer. Sadly, I just didn't have a chance to. DVD will be released soon, I hope.

Four Films that left me underwhelmed:

1.) Avatar - Pretentious. Ludicrous. It was pretty-- sure. But who cares. As a writer, I was offended by the story being put way on the back burner. Waaaay back there...

2.) Food, Inc. - I'm something of a health nut, and I thought I'd love this film. Don't get me wrong, it was okay. But that's it-- just okay.

3.) Zombieland - Yeah, the cameo was great. It was okay overall. Still liked it, but it could have been so much more.

4.) Avatar - Yes. It was that underwhelming.


D. T. said...

Great list! I haven't been to the movies much last year (that feels weird to say this earlu), but I did see Up and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I enjoyed both! I didn't want to see Avatar based on people only saying how great it looked and not hearing anything about plot. Based on your list, I see some that I need to rent!

Unknown said...

Can't believe I forgot about Pontypool. It slipped under my radar after really anticipating it. Will probably watch it tomorrow. I disagree with you on Coraline. It looked gorgeous but I was really disappointed with it. Zombieland and Avatar were awesome, but I can see them being overhyped for you. I have an underhyping process where I dance only wearing socks and pour jelly beans in my hair. It puts hypeness into perspective.