Monday, December 28, 2009

2nd Annual End of the Year Movie Review

The Best of 2009


Best Comedy:

Zombieland

My review

I was actually a little disappointed in the quality of the comedies this year. There weren't that many true great comedies. Funny People was much more a drama about comedians than a comedy, Land of the Lost was just unfunny through most of it, Observe and Report was a pretty dark comedy with few funny bits in it. But there were some really great ones nonetheless. Hangover was much funnier than I ever thought it would be and almost won this category but Zombieland was just priceless. From Woody Harrelson's crazy gun happy character who loves to let loose once in a while to Jesse Eisenberg's neurotic and paranoid character to the best cameo I have ever seen. This movie is fun and funny from start to finish

Best Action Movie:

Avatar

My review

This year did bring us many great action movies to enjoy, such as Terminator Salvation, Transformers 2, 2012, the brilliantly reinvented Star Trek, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, G.I. Joe, Wolverine and many more. But James Cameron's Avatar surpasses them all. The movie is loaded with beautiful graphics, a compelling story line and some of the best action and battle sequences I have ever seen. This movie really is a must see. It isn't just an action movie, it's also a great drama. The movie grabs hold of you and doesn't let go for the entire 2 hour 40 minute run time.

Best Sci-fi and /or Comic Book Movie:

District 9

My review

This year saw some great Sci-fi movies as well, and lots of them at that, great movies like Moon, Star Trek and Avatar top my list but District 9 was amazing. It is a beautifully done movie about a race of aliens being held captive on Earth just outside Johannesburg, South Africa. The movie is a beautiful metaphor for the time of Apartheid in South Africa. It is one of the most original movies I have seen in a very long time. This movie looked spectacular, which is amazing given that it was made for just $20 million dollars. The movie really touches your heart and your mind. It's not your daddy's E.T. that's for sure.

Best Drama:

Up In The Air

My review

Tough competition this year with movies like Sunshine Cleaning, Taking Woodstock, The Soloist, Invictus (which I have not seen yet) and Hurt Locker (again, I have not seen this yet). My personal favorite was definitely Up In The Air with George Clooney. Clooney gave such an amazing performance in this movie doing a wonderful job showing this character's hidden vulnerabilities. New comer Anna Kendrick did an amazing job with her role. The story was moving and interesting. Really everything about this movie was great. It is loaded with top notch performances, the direction was great, the cinematography was beautiful, there was just the right amount of drama and just the right amount of humor.

Best Family Movie:

Up

My review

There were some great family movies this year, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Ice Age 3 and Night at the Museum 2. Up however was in a world all its own. The people at Pixar really out did themselves with this one. I actually at times have a hard time defining this movie as a kids movie because there are parts of it that deal with some really grown up issues. The story was great and funny and emotional. An old man being forced into a retirement home decides to float away to South America and along the way he makes a new friend. Every aspect of this movie was just great. In fact, it was so good that I keep saying that I hope it gets nominated for best picture this year at the Oscars, not just best animated movie, because it really is so much more than that.

Best Horror Movie:

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

My review

There were some good horror movies this year like this and Drag Me To Hell and many bad ones like the Friday the 13th remake and Halloween II was disappointing. I usually get nervous about prequel movies, they rarely turn out well, but this one was done very well. It's story is briefly told in the first Underworld movie and so they decided to make a whole movie about how the war started between the werewolves and the vampires. It was done very well and the action scenes were very intense.

Best Movie Nobody Saw

Whatever Works

My review

So many great movies come out that nobody ever seems to know about and they'll only play at one or two theaters in town if you're lucky. I must encourage everybody to seek out these movies in any way you can and watch them: 500 Days of Summer (did become a moderate hit), Away We Go, Moon, The Brothers Bloom, Big Fan, Bronson, Management, Sleep Dealer, The Girlfriend Experience, $9.99, Adam, Cold Souls, Paper Heart, Crazy Heart, World's Greatest Dad, A Serious Man and Black Dynamite. Whatever Works, though, was definitely my favorite movie that when I tell people about it they stare at me because they have never heard of it. It is written and directed by Woody Allen who I haven't liked any of the movies he's done for the last decade or so but this one is great. He actually wrote it back in the 70's but put it aside when the actor he wanted for it died, he then picked it back up when the writer's strike hit. Larry David is pure genius in the main role and I love everything he says. This movie is brilliant and very funny and definitely worth watching.

Biggest Surprise

All About Steve

My review

I really thought this movie was going to be a terrible and clich├ęd romantic comedy but what I got, and I am a little ashamed to say this, was a genuine and heartfelt comedy about a woman who doesn't quite fit in with what most people call normal and I loved every second of it. She is traveling across the country in pursuit of a guy she recently met and is determined to be with. The trailer gives the impression that she will change who she is and wind with the guy at the end. So not the case. This movie is really worth watching so check it out if you can.

Biggest Disappointment

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince/Inglorious Basterds

My review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
My review of Inglorious Basterds

This year didn't have any major disappointments on the level of Indiana Jones and the Butchering of a Great Character, but there were two movies I was really excited about and I feel equally let down by each. I was disappointed in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince because after the events in the previous movies I felt the movie was going to take place in a really dark and scary time where everybody is fearing for their lives because Voldemort is back and he is seeking his revenge. What I got was a movie about a bunch of teenagers falling in love with each other and a bunch of random shenanigans going on around Hogwarts. I still liked it I just feel it could have been better. Inglorious Basterds looked like a fun, funny and violent romp through German occupied France during WWII following Brad Pitt's character and his men. What I got was a boring story about a girl who runs a movie theater. This movie could have been great but Tarantino named it wrong and filled it with long, boring and, most of the time, useless dialogue.

Best Cameo

Bill Murray in Zombieland

My review of Zombieland

In my opinion the movie has been out long enough that if you don't know about this by now you were probably literally living under a rock. Bill Murray proved that he can still be very funny and entertaining in Zombieland. In the movie Murray plays himself and is done up in Zombie make-up because "you don't see zombies attacking other zombies right?". The part of the movie that he was in I could not stop laughing as they re-enacted some favorite scenes from Ghostbusters. The movie is worth watching just for this scene.

Best Performance

Sam Rockwell in Moon

My review of Moon

Again, see this movie. It is amazing. This one was a little hard to pick as there were some great performances this year but it really came down to George Clooney in Up in the Air and Sam Rockwell. I chose Sam because he had to carry a movie by himself, he is the only actor in it, Kevin Spacey did the voice of a robot, GERTY, but Sam was the only person you saw on screen. Spoiler: On top of that he had to portray two different aspects of the same character, the Sam that just got to the Moon and the Sam that's been there for three years by himself. Then on top of that they interact. It is one of the best performances I have ever seen.

Worst Movie of 2009

Bruno

My review

Bruno is easily the biggest waste of time and money that there ever was. Thankfully I didn't pay for my ticket but my friend and I still left about 20 or 30 minutes in because we realized there were better things we could be doing with that time, like beating myself over the head with a frying pan or stabbing myself in the leg with a pen or even gouging my own eyes out with a rusty spoon.

Best Movie of 2009

Watchmen

My review

There were many great movies this year but for me Watchmen was hands down the best movie of the year. This movie was the best and most perfect adaptation of a comic book/graphic novel/novel I have ever seen. The graphic novel is one of my favorite novels of all time and now the movie is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is the only movie I own two copies of, ever. I own the Director's cut blu-ray and the Ultimate Cut blu-ray that has the animated Tales of the Black Freighter woven back into the story line like it is in the graphic novel. Every shot of the movie is just beautiful, the acting is great, the writing is amazing, the music is so perfect, simply put, everything about this movie is amazing. This movie has possibly the greatest opening title sequence ever, watch this movie for that if nothing else. The movie contains some of the most dynamic characters ever written and some of the best social commentary as well. If I had the time, I could watch this movie over and over. It is a shame that it will be overlooked at the awards shows simply because it's based on a graphic novel. I still strongly encourage everybody to watch this movie.

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