Top 11 movies of 2009: (with complaints and annoyances on one side / and the highlights and personal-reasons-I-loved-it on the right)

here’s my list, with brief thoughts.

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox ( … / perfect film on all levels)
2. Moon (not sure about the cheesynister intro commercial / powerfully moved by the rest, loved the genuine retro style and pacing, loved that technology was never the bad guy, sam rockwell gives the best “interacting performances” ever?, this was a first time director?!?!?! david bowie’s son is another sort of entertainment genius?)
3. Star Trek (lacked any good science really / powerfully thrilling and emotional, incredible pacing and camera movement, loved how spock-was-sorta-the-bad-guy-really, dug the purposeful “fate” contrivances that many mistook for bad writing, loved how it offered dark characters but still promoted an optimistic future “the human race can grow into”)(I think star trek is literally about “striving for the stars”)
4. Inglourious Basterds (wish the basterds could have had more screen time / incredible dialogue from the other characters, had a 30 minute scene that was never boring, had undeniable historical importance regarding film and how we perceive WWII)
5. Coraline (“a bored city girl” is not one of my preferred themes, slightly bored by low key pacing at start / otherwise perfect. especially visuals and characterization, better than novel)

6) Avatar (i just can’t pretend to enjoy realD’s stereoscopic 3D effect, wasn’t that interested in the fakey kitty faces acting or design, some of the lines were annoyingly unnapproachable / loved how the story joined spirituality with science to make a concrete point about modern culture’s biggest flaw, and of course it had incredible design and innovation that i’d never remotely seen on film before) (I’d place it higher if one could say “and we’ll never see visuals like this again.” that’s the problem with CGI. And hollywood’s obsession with “spectacle” in general.)
7) The Box (i completely hate cameron diaz / i love James Marsden, was the best thematically-complimentary “second half that wasn’t in the book” movie ever, weird symbolic philosophizing equals: my kind of movie)
8 ) Watchmen (the bullshit “energy cures all” ending was a retarded devation from the original story’s whole point, ozymandias was miscast / loved everything else)
9) Pandorum (paul w.s. anderson’s dreaded name merely appeared during the end credits, some of the editing seemed rough / paid tribute to ‘deadly cannibal mutants, and hommade arena of death’ movies i adored as a kid, lot of great plot twists between the start and finish, Ben Foster was the lead)
10) Food, Inc. (some sections and facts were rehash for me / serves as a well done, easy to digest, appetizer to many important under-reported issues).
11) The Road (the more i read about the director’s intent, the more i realized i took all the wrong ideas from this picture / to hell with it I still really liked the left-field-themes which I mistakenly thought were driving this movie, probably the most gratifying experience I’ve ever had completely misunderstanding a picture)

Most underrated:
Ninja Assassin (some shitty camera work, overediting the fight scenes was a crime / incredibly great tribute to cheesy ninja action movies from the 80s, great original plot with epic subtle twist in the title)

Guiltiest pleasure:
Halloween II (bizarrely stupid and vulgar characters / fascinating dream psychology and symbolism. felt like he was actually saying something about the series and horror movies in general)

Wish I’d Seen:
Tetro (did this really come out? really? damnitall, i want to see this right now. Fuck you, Netflix, for not having this available)

feel like i should mention (since this is a personal blog, really), the most watched movies from this list:
star trek (5)
watchmen (5)
inglourious basterds (4)
Avatar (2, with IMAX viewing in the cards asahp)
Food, Inc. (2, though i don’t plan to watch it again anytime soon)

this probably speaks volumes about my true “top 5” list. or maybe just that the first four were the height of hollywood spectacle this year?


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