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.