Best of 2009: Movies February 2, 2010Posted by David Card in Media.
Tags: Academy Awards
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.