movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BEST MOVIES OF 2009

10. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
This movie captures the mind and emotions of a young boy dealing with the real world problems of divorce and abandonment with the only thing he has… an overactive imagination. There is a magic and truth to this film that transported me as I watched it. The relationship that develops between Max and the leader of the Wild Things, Carol is touching and at times frightening. Sure the plot to the movie is thin, but the emotions and relationships are deep and complex. I salute a major studio for backing the vision of Spike Jones and allowing his to bring this personal and heartfelt story to the screen in only a way he could.

9. THE BROTHERS BLOOM
The script is sharp as a razor and the dialogue is crisp in this stylish and unique con-man film from second time director Rian Johnson (BRICK). This movie is simply fun. The entire cast digs into this material and delivers a gem of a film. With a one two punch of BRICK and no BROTHERS BLOOM, Johnson has announced himself as a major player in the film world.

8. UP
Yes… Pixar did it again. The opening sequence of this film is on par with the miraculous first 25 minutes of WALL-E from last year. I’m not sure how this studio does it, but time and time again, they create fresh and original stories that never cease to captivate and entrance audiences. If by some chance you’re one of the few that haven’t seen this film… please do.

7. AN EDUCATION
This is a great film. The thing that struck me the most of this film were the layered and clever script by novelist Nick Hornby and the performance by relative new-comer Carey Mulligan. To call this a breakthrough performance is an understatement. She is a revelation here as Jenny. I found myself carried away in the wildly inappropriate romance between her and David (Peter Sarsgaard) because she brought me into her world. I knew it was wrong and he was not what he represented himself to be, but I still got carried away in the story. This is a film that flew under the radar, but I hope that come Oscar time that more people will discover AN EDUCATION and this great new talent.

6. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER
The best romantic comedy I’ve seen in years. It is fresh, original and extremely clever in it’s storytelling and script. This is a movie that wouldn’t have existed without a film like ANNIE HALL and while I’m not saying it’s as good, it’s certainly from the same mold. I expected a cute harmless little indie film going in and got one of the best films of the year. The “expectations vs reality” sequence is maybe my favorite single scene of the year.

5. DISTRICT 9
I was blown away by this film when I saw it. This is what I’ve been looking for when it comes to summer blockbuster entertainment. It’s smart, exciting, thought provoking and has incredible action. This film also has the best integration of visual effects with real people that I saw this year (including AVATAR). If you factor in the low budget of the film, it is perhaps the most impressive feat of filmmaking of the year. It’s rare that you get a summer action film that is actually about something and has multiple levels (I’m looking at you Michael Bay and Steven Sommers).

4. THE HURT LOCKER
Katherine Bigelow has proven herself as a master filmmaker with this one. I have always been a fan, but the skill and precision that she displays here, she’s created one of the most tense and gripping movies in the last few years. The performances by Brian Geraghty, Anthony Mackie and especially Jeremy Renner are flawless. The first time I saw THE HURT LOCKER, the unique structure made the film seem longer and drag a bit, but seeing it a second time, I find that it is that structure that makes the movie that much better. There is real danger and this five act structure makes you feel lost at times and that anything can happen. It is a shame that the studio never found a way to properly market this movie because it deserved better.

3. FANTASTIC MR. FOX
After his first three films (BOTTLE ROCKET, RUSHMORE, ROYAL TANNENBAUMS), Wes Anderson quickly became one of my favorite filmmakers. With his next two (LIFE AQUATIC, DARJEELING LIMITED) his movies were underwhelming and seemed to be retreading on the same story but without the magic of the first three. Then cane FANTASTIC MR. FOX and wow did he deliver. This movie just makes me smile ear to ear every time I watch it. I feel that Mr Anderson has found his format with stop motion animation. He has always been specific in every visual aspect of his films, but here he is allowed to have complete control of everything visually and it shows. This is a gorgeous film and wonderfully scripted to make for not only one of the best family films of the year, but also one of the very best films of the year. There are three family films in my top ten this year, but this one stands far above.

2. A SERIOUS MAN
Joel and Ethan Coen have proven time and time again that they are masters of the craft of film. This is no exception. A SERIOUS MAN harks back to my favorite of the Coen’s films (BARTON FINK) and is a critical look at religion, the search for reason and what it means to be a good and serious man. No other movie I saw in 2009 made me think more than this one and no other film I saw a second time was more rewarding. This is a complicated and thought provoking film yet is also intensely and awkwardly hysterical. Only the Coens could make this film and I am very happy they are around to do so.

1. INGLORIOUS BASTERDS
When it came to picking my favorite film of 2009, it wasn’t even a choice. For me, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS is the best of the year, without question. It’s as simple as that. While I’m not sure he’ll ever top the masterpiece of PULP FICTION, he come close with this one. INGLORIOS BASTERDS is not only a brilliant script, but it is hands down the best directed film of Tarantino’s career. He announced himself as a real talent with RESERVOIR DOGS 17 years ago and has continued to back that up with each film. This is the most fun film of the year. I have seen the film seven times already and it is still as entertaining as the first time. The highlight of the film is the powerhouse performance from Christoph Waltz. He is a marvel from start to finish in the film and if he does not have an Oscar come March, there is something wrong. If you like movies at all, watch INGLORIOUS BASTERDS…



Here are my 11-20 in order (if you’re curious):

A SINGLE MAN
AWAY WE GO
AVATAR
GOODBYE SOLO
THE WHITE RIBBON
THIRST
ADVENTURELAND
MOON
BROKEN EMBRACES
ZOMBIELAND

5 Comments:

Anonymous watch movies said...

Thanks for sharing good list of film. I liked it. The film I liked MOst in 2009 are : Avatar , District 9 and 2012 in Hollywood And "3 idiots" In bollywood.

5:24 AM  
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Love your blog.

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7:33 PM  

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