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Best of 2009: Movies February 2, 2010

Posted by David Card in Media.
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The Oscar noms are out. Here are my faves of 2009, some of which actually got nominated:

  • Up in the Air. Sweet and sad and funny: snappy patter from great cast.
  • Red Cliff. Big spectacle; LOTR-class battle scenes.
  • It Might Get Loud. Charming doc about guitar heroes; Jimmy Page is still god, er, the devil.
  • Star Trek. Tons of fun even without added nostalgia bonus.
  • Avatar. Justifies 3D and CGI: just let it wash all over you.

I gave all of these 3.5 stars (out of five), but I probably enjoyed Star Trek and the documentary the most. Last year, I gave one 4-star rating (Dark Knight, of course, I concede that I am a nerd), and only two 3.5’s.

To get to a Top Ten, here’s the next five:

  • The Hurt Locker. With a better script you’d have a really taut, heroic-though-still-ambiguous, classic.
  • District 9. Killer premise and technical execution that doesn’t quite deliver on the morality play. Or was that satire?
  • Where the Wild Things Are. Very, very smart re-imagining with convincing kid’s-eye view.
  • Crazy Heart. Riddled with cliches, but, hey, what do you expect: it’s a movie about country music!
  • Inglourious Basterds. Some great scenes, but the whole thing barely hangs together. And it’s not nearly funny enough to justify its indulgences.

You can see that, as usual, I have no problem with genre flicks. You know, what used to be B-movies, before they cost $200 million. Along with District 9, Paranormal Activity (also 3 stars) showed just how much fun you can have making a B-movie on a B- or even C-movie budget.

I like movies for grown-ups, too; they just don’t make all that many of them. Unfortunately, I don’t think on-demand, Hulu, or iTunes is going to help much.

Here’s the list of 2009 box office champs. At least the Top 15 has one chick flick (The Blind Side: a chick flick disguised as sports move – great for dates! 2 stars), and it and three of the franchises have books behind ’em. And if you look close, you’ll see there’s a raunchy comedy mixed in there with all the cartoons.

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Comments»

1. Oscar, Oscar, Oscar « Silicon Valleywood - March 8, 2010

[…] from Up in the Air, esp since that meant Air ended up shut out completely. It was probably my favorite movie of the best picture […]


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