Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Movies of 2009: She said

District 9- What a year for sci-fi! I never thought of myself as a sci-fi fan, but since there are two movies on my top 10, I think I should really reconsider that statement. District 9 completely blew me away. I was completely sucked into the story and the world that Neil Blomkamp created, and to achieve it with a mere 30 million dollar budget is unheard of. What I loved best about this movie is I kept thinking about it afterwards, and I wanting to dissect every layer of the movie. This movie was so smart. It made social commentary about the apartheid that happened in South Africa and how humans treat others that are considered “different”.  It kept me thinking way after the experience was over. Again, this movie was brilliant, and my favorite of the year.

Up in the Air- This was so close to being my top movie…I wish I could have two top movies of the year. Jason Reitman’s film about a man who seemingly has everything figured out was so much more than I expected. What I loved most about this movie is the story and characters don’t take the route you expect them to, which is so refreshing. There are many times where the movie could take a cliché turn in the plot, but Reitman’s script is so brave, it decides to take its own direction. I cannot believe this is only his third movie; I cannot wait to see what he comes out with next.

Inglourious Basterds- This was actually the first Tarantino movie I’ve seen in theatres, and it’s brilliant. Tarantino proves again he is a master storyteller. He develops these long, drawn out scenes that makes you think they’re going in one direction, but then completely takes you in an alternate route that usually ends in gun fire. If this is how WWII really ended…history class would have been much more interesting in school.

The Hurt Locker- When you stop breathing during a movie, that’s the sign of something special. From beginning to end, The Hurt Locker is an intense look at the dirty job of disarming bombs in the army. In this job, you could die, literally, at any moment. This was by no means a hit during the summer-popcorn movie season; however, The Hurt Locker was the most unpredictable movie I’ve seen this year.

The Princess and the Frog- I love classic Disney movies. They were one of the staples of my childhood. Now, I enjoy all the Pixar movies, but sometimes, you need a reminder of how things were. The Princess and the Frog takes animation back to its Disney roots. Every character has a song that makes you want to sing-a-long with. There’s the evil bad guy, the good-hearted prince, the heroine who lost her father, her bubbly best friend, a jazz-trumpet playing gator, and a Cajun firefly. This movie was pure magic and fun and a favorite for me.

Up- Every summer when Pixar comes out with their new movie, I always wonder how are they ever going to top the year before? Wall-E was one of my top movies last year, and I was convinced they were never going to top it. I was wrong. Up is a near perfect animated movie. It also made me cry…which I never do in animated films. The story and characters were so well written, I felt as if they were real. Up also played with our inner-child imaginations because who didn’t want to fly away with balloons as a kid?

Harry Potter- I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I love the books, and yes, I even love the movies. I understand that the movies cannot hold a candle to the books, but I can respect the movies in their own entity. The Half-Blood Prince is the best HP movie to date. Yes, the script left details out from the book, but I never missed them. I am excited that David Yates has found his own within this movie which makes me stoked that he’s directing the final two movies.

Avatar- Avatar reminded me why I love movies so much, and why the experience of going to the movies is so important. I love going to the movies and seeing something I’ve never seen before. The world of Pandora that Cameron created brought movie magic back to life. This is a movie that has appeal for everyone: romance, action, sci-fi, fantasy. By the time this list goes up, I will have seen this movie again. It’s the kind of movie you need to see twice because it is that amazing and to take in more of the world of Pandora.

The Hangover- It’s not hard to make people laugh in a movie. It’s hard to make people laugh at the same jokes when they see the movie a second time. Any movie that can achieve that is comedy gold. The Hangover was the comedy of the year. The Hangover takes a little bit of the heart of Apatow, unexpectedness of Smith with a dash of American Pie crudeness to create a well-rounded hilarious movie.

Zombieland- Thanks to Zombieland, I found a new favorite genre in movies: horror-comedies. I don’t know if that is really a genre, but I like it. This was the most fun I had at the movies this year. It was the perfect combo of blood and humor. Also, any movie that pokes fun at Garland, TX holds a special place in my heart.

Honorable Mentions:
Moon,  Drag Me to Hell,  Where the Wild Things Are,  Star Trek, (500) Days of Summer

Worst Movies:
9, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,  X-Men Orgins: Wolverine

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