Thursday, January 14, 2010

THE HAMSTER'S TOP 5 OF 2009


you can imagine the chagrin befalling my hamsterian realization that the list of films i did not see in 2009 appeared more impressive than the list of films i actually did see. still, i took in some winners. total winners. winner winner chicken dinners. and i would like to present our Hockey Mask readership a few lists of the best and worst films of the hamster's year, as well as links to the reviews i wrote for each listed title. (in the case of I LOVE YOU, MAN, the link goes to a great review by myles - a review so nice i left it to the master himself.) enjoy.

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THE HAMSTER'S TOP FIVE, IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE:

1. ZOMBIELAND - possibly the best zombie flick ever. tough to say because i'm so enthusiastically new to the genre, but i now gauge romero against ZOMBIELAND as opposed to the other way around - if that says anything.
2. THE HANGOVER - my new favorite comedy, after ANCHORMAN and maybe even MEAN GIRLS. the latter is still in judiciary conference.
3. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT- the most heartfelt horror film i have ever seen. saw this twice in the theaters and now own it. this is great. and i disagree with all the gorehounds of the genre who declare the original as superior: this film is brutally beautiful. shucks, i need a review on this one.
4. STAR TREK - this film won me with it's ability to tell a huge history in such a cohesive voice. no small feat. not much of a trekkie, but this was greatness on every level.
5. THE WRESTLER - gut-wrenching. honest. and the redemptive return of two stars with the best still ahead. i loved this film. loved it. probably deserves the number 4 spot, but oh well. it's gorgeous.

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THE RUNNERS-UP - NOT IN ORDER, AND NOT QUITE TOP FIVE MATERIAL:

- I LOVE YOU, MAN (mpm-w)
- INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

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THE ABSOLUTE WORST FILMS OF 2009:

- TERMINATOR: SALVATION - this film should have never been made.
- THE COLLECTOR - this film was pitiful. no heart. no brains. no purpose. this film is the reasons the horror genre gets such a bad rep.
- THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - pretty scenes. nice acting. cute concept. but painfully awful. excruciatingly long. ridiculously dramatic. and totally unbelievable. plus, what's with the humanitarian plug at the end? stupid. the only redeemable element of this entire film was Taraji P. Henson's performance, which, of course, was never mentioned alongside the title. i would have accepted a 3 hour film that simply followed Miss Henson around acting like benjamin's mom rather than this piece of bull-turd.

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THE HAMSTER'S TOP FIVE RENTALS OF 2009:

- LET THE RIGHT ONE IN - i wish this had been a 2009 film. it would have easily made #1. this is honestly one of the best films i've ever seen. unfortunately, it's categorized as a vampire/horror flick when, clearly, it's a romance. and it's lovely.
- KNOCKED-UP - even better than the sum of its recommendations. this was deliciously funny, and, surprisingly, one of the most touching films of the year. eat your heart out, della reese.
- THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS - quirky. socially awkward. devastating exploitation of one man's midlife crises and another man who's a total crises. i greatly enjoyed this film. and i cannot recommend it highly enough.
- THE HAMILTONS - this film proves that horror flicks can be artistic. this is a difficult film to digest, but there's a beauty here that supercedes the violence. and the ending twists like a corkscrew to the jugular. honestly, one of my favorite films of the year.
- REVOLUTIONARY ROAD - there is nothing wrong with this film. this is cinematic beauty from frame first to frame last. and the acting here is flawless.

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2010 is off to a great start, but the competition from '09 is pretty fierce. here's to the year ahead: a hamsterian blessing on all your viewings.

5 comments:

Tiffani R said...

I just watched "The Hangover" tonight with my parents (who had seen it before and thought it was funny) - and hands down, it was the funniest movie of 2009 for me. Hilarious acting and sight gags. Love how it keeps ramping up a notch at a time until its so totally ridiculously out there but almost believable because it started out so small.
Loved it. Totally agree that it needs to be on the list for 2009!

wonderstuff said...

I was trying to think of my top five of the year (down from my usual top ten because I now live in Germany and seeing current movies is tough, especially with slow Internet). Thank you for reminding me of THE HANGOVER. If I did have a Ten, that and ZOMBIELAND would both make the list.

myleswerntz said...

You and I agree on the top film of the year fo sho. I don't know if John will follow suit (peer pressure), but nothing to disagree with her. Haven't seen some of the horror flix on your list, and given that I still can't quite do the gross-outs, I'll probably pass on most of them.

I can't believe, though, that STAR TREK took a top 5 spot from INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. The more I reflect on this film, the more I like it. I mean, ultimately it's like saying that you like a BLT more than roast quail--both of them are awesome and you can't go wrong.

My top rental for 2010 is already set in stone 15 days in.

the hamster said...

i'm quibbling my own top 5 list on a couple of accounts. there's a good chance i really did love INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and I LOVE YOU, MAN more than STAR TREK. i'm regretting that title there a bit, but i think the reason i placed it so high is because it was the one film i had the lowest expectations for in '09. i expected it to be right there with TERMINATOR and WOLVERINE, and the fact that it wasn't just blew me away. anyway, i think you are right about INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. saw it again last week and, like you, appreciated it much more than the first time through.

john is extremely protective of the zombie genre.

Kelly Riad said...

I'm happy you and Myles mentioned LET THE RIGHT ONE IN - some of the rest i just couldn't quite jump on the boat about. THE HANGOVER, i think i saw too late, after too much hype. it was destined to fail with me. INGLORIOUS BASTERDS was awesome and I love any movie where both my father and i get giddy over. I LOVE YOU, MAN made me uncomfortable, Paul Rudd is brilliant with that, though. STAR TREK was awesome. it was the first time i saw my husband shake with pure geek glee and i guess now i gotta see THE WRESTLER...