There were some pretty good movies in 2009, and it being the season for lists, I’m going to present my own Top 5.
I’m not counting the ones I haven’t seen, yet…Inglorious Basterds, The Informant, A Serious Man, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Avatar, Up in the Air, The Princess and the Frog, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus or Sherlock Holmes…any one of which could wind up being my favorite of the year. But we work with what we’ve got. So, here’s my run down of 2009 movies, along with my Top Five. Plus, I found a cool site called Teaser-Trailer.com to help me with my memory.
The first movie of 2009, chronologically by release date if not in viewing order, was Inkheart. That was a fun little fantasy film starring Brendan Fraser. It wasn’t Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter or anything, but it was decent enough, and Andy Serkis is nice and wicked in it.
Taken came out at the tail end of January, but I didn’t see it until some plane ride I took this year. It was really just an excuse to watch Liam Neeson kick ass (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and not much else.
Then in February came Coraline. As my review at the time said, “This has got to be the most brilliantly detailed stop-motion animation picture ever. Even if you don’t enjoy the story (because you have no imagination in your rotten, twisted soul), you should go just to be wowed by the awesomeness of Mr. Selick’s work.”
Hot on the heels of Coraline was Watchmen. I devoted a ton of virtual ink to that one. Sadly, its ruined ending has preyed even more on my mind these last months, and I’m not sure I really want to go back and see it again. Maybe in a few years I’ll come back and forgive it.
Monsters vs Aliens was fun and funny, especially with Stephen Colbert as the President and Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach.
Wolverine was very disappointing. I love Hugh Jackman in the role, but the story left a lot to be desired (and some of it was just plain wrong). If you want to get my son wound up, just mention the cgi of this movie.
Finally, in May we had Star Trek. I’m going to give it all away right now and tell you that this was the most fun I had at the movies all year. I’ve seen it five times (so far), and I haven’t even bought the DVD, yet!
The next blockbuster was Terminator Salvation (aka, Terminator 4). Lots of ‘splosions, but not much of a plot. I really loved seeing the Arnie bot, though.
I didn’t really expect much out of Up before I saw it. I basically went on the “Pixar is batting 1.000” plan, and boy did they deliver. I think Ed Asner deserves an Oscar, even if his character was animated. And, seriously….SQUIRREL!
Moon wasn’t quite the awesome science fiction flick I hoped it would be. I was thinking that it might turn out to be another Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but that’s a high bar to reach. As it was, it’s a nice little sci fi movie with the awesome Sam Rockwell, so no big complaints.
Public Enemies would have been great if it hadn’t wandered around so much. It could have been a bio of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) or a hunter-prey film (with Christian Bale as agent Pervis) or a study of the machinations of J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) or a love story between Dillinger and Marion Cotillard’s character, but it tried to do all of the above while being saddled with the “I know how this ends” limitation of history.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was awesome despite a couple of nits I had to pick at the end. It doted a little too much on the teen romance aspect, but I can forgive that since we’re going to get all super dark with the last two films. I’m still just annoyed by the ending (not enough to hate it), but there was no reason to make the changes.
I avoided District 9 a bit for some reason. I can’t remember why anymore, but I’m glad I saw it. This is definitely one of the most intriguing movies of the year. I really hope there’s a sequel.
I know that not everyone loves Mike Judge’s work, and I’m fine with that. However, beyond Beavis and Butthead, he’s made three really good (if uneven) movies. Office Space and Idiocracy will continue to be quoted by this household as long as we live. Extract doesn’t have that kind of quotability, but it’s actually a better movie than the other two.
The animated 9 was a complete letdown. I thought this was going to be brilliant, and the animation was, but the story…meh.
Surrogates with Bruce Willis was an ok romp. It didn’t stack up to be as good as it looked, though.
Zombieland was an amazingly funny surprise in the fall. There’s nothing bad about this movie…especially not the awesome cameo. Two severed thumbs up!
Robert Zemeckis’ Christmas Carol was surprisingly good, considering that the trailers made it look like a farcical version of the classic. Instead, Jim Carrey was great in several roles, including Scrooge and all the ghosts.
So, considering that this is really the “Top 5 of the Movies I Actually Saw This Year”…here is my list:
1. Star Trek
3. District 9