Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Movies of the Year- He said

Inglourious Basterds: Long story short this is a movie lover’s movie. You can definitely tell the love that Tarantino has for classic films in this movie. He has finally honed his peculiar style of long periods of conversation into something almost universally praised. While the movie does feel more like a few different episodes of the same show strung together, it is still a great and exhilarating experience. The perfect pacing in the elongated conversation scenes are the bread and butter of this movie. I find the relatively subdued violence a big surprise given how the movie was marketed. Either way, this is definitely Tarantino’s finest work (don’t shoot me Reservoir Dog fans). I do hope Christoph Waltz gets nominated for an Oscar

District 9: Umm biggest surprise of the year much? Neil Blomkamp, gets rejected for the Peter Jackson-produced Halo movie, and then smacks all them fools with this movie. A really obvious apartheid-commentary that some could argue breaks down to a crazy alien action movie on the last third, I still think that just like Inglorious Basterds and Avatar this movie is for movie lovers. The geeks freak out that this cost like 5-10 million, yet it looks so good. Bros can dig the gratuitous violence and using pigs as weapons. As was commented on the /Filmcast, this movie and Avatar are slightly the same story told differently, but once again it is how you do it. And let me tell you I like how this movie tells it.

Up: Biggest Tear Jerker of the year; if you don’t cry, you have no soul. Up is another unconventional Pixar movie that it is a funny, tragic, and entertaining movie. It is a movie that shows you that you can always grow up no matter what your age is, and how letting go can be the hardest and most rewarding thing you can do. I feel little can be said that hasn’t been said before so I’ll just tell you to get this movie ASAP

(500) Days of Summer: In the case of this movie, we have a honest-to-goodness movie that deals with love and loss. It is not a dramedy, nor is it a romantic comedy, but something in between. It was a sad experience to watch because the portrayals of heartbreak by Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Tom are done in such a real way that I swear I actually lived through them. The ever-amazing Zooey Deschanel plays a deceitfully ambiguous character, Summer, who drags poor Tom through emotional mud, and yet you don’t hate her. This is because these characters are not some cliché that you find a horrible Jennifer Garner romantic comedy. There is no dumpy best girl friend or crazy guy friend that cannot commit, just real people. The story doesn’t end happily ever after but rather on a high note, and sometimes that’s all you get out of intense heartbreak.

Up in the Air: Once again, just Avatar, my review can explain my love for this movie. On the other hand, the second time I saw this movie, I was able to notice more details that enriched the experience for me. There are details such as the subtly changing styles of cinematography depending on the scene, that I did not notice the first time around. Case in point- being the wedding scenes switching to a handheld, Rachel Getting Married, style of shooting, from the more precise shooting from the beginning. Overall, it makes you feel and think in the best way a movie can.

Where The Wild Things Are: The much talked about and anticipated adaptation that captivated audiences with its memorable trailer felt like it came and went. The critical reviews might have been mixed, but no one can deny that there is an amount of beauty and love that is apparent in this film that no one can deny. With a 10 page story expanded to an almost two hour movie, there was a lot of stuff that could have gone wrong, and in my eyes it did not fail. It was a portrayal about childhood, and all of those feelings that come with it. Among those feelings are, the need for acceptance and love, maybe some attention and support, but also uncontrollable rage. Where the movie truly shines is when Max slowly starts to fail as a king for the Wild Things,

Avatar: Read the review- One of the best experiences in the cinema ever. Only few others have compared, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and I think something like ET.

Antichrist: For such a “failure” of movie, I can honestly say this is one of the most hauntingly amazing movies. Much like most of these movies it is an experience that is bigger than the sum of its parts. As someone that could be described as moody, this movie makes me look like freaking Barney. The story could be misogynistic; it could be Satanic, but who cares? It is compelling. Charlotte Gainsborough’s performance is amazing. This was made while Lars Von Trier was under a bad depression, and it shows for better or worse. The movie is not without faults, such as forced symbolism with the animals in the forest. You get to become more intimate with Willem Dafoe’s anatomy than you would expect, and the ending is confusing beyond all hell. Still this movie moved me, in a way I cannot shake, much like the black alien symbiote did with Peter Parker but unfortunetly not with cool superpowers.

Fantastic Mr. Fox: This movie oozes so much charm like George Clooney, it’s ridiculous! Yes the style f animation is a little funky at times, but it is a stylistic choice. The story adapted from Roald Dahl’s book is one that hints at darker things below the surface. This made me enjoy it a bit more, because it gave it the same complexity that made Up so great. All the voices here are part of the Wes Anderson group, like Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. Meryl Streep and George Clooney perform fantastically here too.  Overall, it is a cute movie; it is relatable, and you’ll have good laughs. More importantly, I didn’t get the urge to kick Jason Schwartzman in the face with this performance. That counts for something!

The Hangover: Carlos, Tyson, Ed Helms singing a sweet improvised song; what else can you need for a good time at the movies? Seriously though, I’m not sure you will find a movie this funny and is able to hold its own in terms of story. It’s no Apatow type material, but as we saw this year, with Funny People, if you blur the lines between drama and comedy, the results will be mixed and leave audiences dumbfounded. This movie wants you to have a good time and it delivers. It gave Zach Galifianakis more exposure, which was sorely needed, and then it gave us hope that maybe Bradley Cooper is decent leading man.

Watchmen: Seriously I almost feel inclined to have this movie here because it was even made. Yes, it had flaws and some awkward pacing, but seriously, this movie for all senses and purposes shouldn’t exist. Thanks to legal troubles and an inadaptable source material, I am truly amazed that this movie turned out as well as it did. The actors overall did a great job, especially Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. The way Zack Snyder was able to recreate a lot of the scenes from the book made freak out like a complete nerd. Overall, it felt like this was the best movie that could have been made, and I’m glad it exists. Not since the Dark Knight have I loved anything from the comic world so much. If you check it out, you need to read the book though. I’m pretty sure if more people were familiar with it then, the movie could have been more successful. Either way Zack Snyder’s work resonated greatly with the nerds that it was targetin.

Honorable Mentions:
Coraline,  Zombieland,  Moon,  The Hurt Locker

Top 10 Worst movies of the year
Twilight: New Moon,  All About Steve, Year One, Xmen Origins: Wolverine,  Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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