Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of 2009: Movies

Top 10 Movies of 2009
1. Inglourious Basterds
2. Up
3. Sherlock Holmes
4. Zombieland
5. Where The Wild Things Are
6. District 9
7. The Hangover
8. (500) Days of Summer
9. Avatar
10. Watchmen

I saw only a dozen new movies in the theater this year: Up, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Where The Wild Things Are, Public Enemies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Watchmen, Star Trek, Zombieland, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. I thought two of them were terrible (although I suspected one of them was going to be going in), I was disappointed by one of them (Star Trek... I know, I know! Shut up!) and I was reasonably happy with the rest. I even liked Watchmen (I know, I know! Shut up!) I took a pass on G.I. Joe and Transformers 2, and I think my new "If you know it's going to be a shitty blockbuster, even if it's based on something you have nostalgic love for, take a pass" philosophy will serve me well going forward.

As far as favorite movie of the year, though, it's easy to get down to the top two. District 9 and Where The Wild Things Are were both very good, but each had its issues that keep it from being "Best Of" material. Zombieland was great, but in the end, it's really not much more than an American Shaun of the Dead. The top two, though? That's a really tough choice. It's between Up, another masterpiece by Pixar, and Inglourious Basterds, another fun, violent, self-indulgent flick from Tarantino. I know that the unanimous choice there would be Up, as some folks outright disliked Basterds or hate Tarantino, but the only one I saw twice in the theater was Inglourious Basterds, so I think I've gotta give that one the nod.

I also saw a bunch of older movies for the first time this year. I really enjoyed The Scottish werewolves vs. soldiers movie Dog Soldiers, the Oscar-bait tale of life in Indian slums Slumdog Millionaire, the dumb comedy Tropic Thunder, the Beatles tribute Across The Universe, the Spanish zombie flick [REC] (and it's American remake, Quarantine), the suspense thriller Zodiac (best Fincher movie since Fight Club) the strange con man movie The Brothers Bloom and the "magicians are bastards" The Prestige.

I loved Big Lebowksi, which I finally saw, and I'm glad I held out for the big screen. Saw it at the Paramount here in Austin, and it has gone from "I really need to see that" to "one of my favorite movies" with just one viewing. Other movies I saw that had their moments but weren't quite all there were Choke and The Bank Job. Oh, and I saw Gran Torino and found it vastly overrated.

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