Friday, January 15, 2010

THE OTHER TOP FIVE OF 2009


Following the Hamster's lead, I'll dish out my top 5s in a few categories for 2009:

TOP FIVE FILMS IN THE THEATRE of 2009:

1) ZOMBIELAND--I didn't care for it as much the first time around, but with the guest cameos, the clever titles, and the role Woody Harrelson was born to play, this was unquestionably the winner.

2) THE WRESTLER--this comes in a close second, for a whole host of reasons. I've never cared for Mickey Rourke that much, but this film hits a home-run, if only because it's one of those rare films which has a vision of the world, and then unrelentingly plows forward toward the inevitable conclusion. I sat stunned after it finished. Technically, this was "2008" film, but I saw it in 2009 in the theater, so whatever. It was incredible.

3) I LOVE YOU, MAN--saw this one three weeks before the wedding with Matt Moser, and totally identified with this film. It's so true, and while the Hangover may have more laughs, this was a more likeable film than The Hangover. Paul Rudd can't compete with Zach Galifinakis for the comedic genius, but he's still pretty freaking funny.

4) INGLORIOUS BASTERDS--saw this for a second time the other night at Matt's, and upon a second watching, I like it better. It's a return of Tarrantino to story-telling, apart from the crap he's dished out for the last few films, and an excellent commentary on what is art, and how life and art implicate one another.

5) UP--I teared up a couple of times during an animated film. That alone gets it a mention. I hate the phrase "family friendly", but it fits. I should own this one.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
--Avatar--visually stunning, but the plot left a lot lacking.
--Star Trek--I'm a sucker for reboots. I love what Nolan has done with the Batman franchise, for example, and word has it, the same is in store for Spiderman.
--The Hangover--Zach Galifanakis.
--Julie and Julia--I heart Amy Adams, and Meryl Streep--how can you not love Meryl?

TOP FIVE RENTALS OF 2009:

1) LET THE RIGHT ONE IN--what Kevin said. This was subtle, and the kind of monster movie that is not restricted to a sub-genre.

2) THE KING OF KONG--can a documentary about video games get me jumping up and down? This one did. Sarah does not get it; I love her anyway.

3) MURDERBALL--another beautiful documentary that I alternately laughed and teared up while watching.

4) ATONEMENT--this film has me thinking about what narration is and does in completely different ways. I still haven't figured out how to write about this movie.

5) JESUS CHRIST, VAMPIRE HUNTER--plot: Jesus comes to rid the world of a vampire horde who is stealing all of Montreal's lesbians. Need I say more? It's really smart, and laden with Scriptural references, and surprisingly, Jesus comes off pretty great.

FIVE I DIDN'T SEE IN THE THEATERE BUT AM CHOMPING AT THE BIT TO SEE:

1) THE ROAD--once again, Waco stays true to form and keeps an apocalyptic film destined for an Oscar nomination out of the theaters.

2) UP IN THE AIR--on everyone's top 10 list, but I reference the reasons for #1.

3) THE HURT LOCKER--I feel like I'm getting repetitive.

4) A SERIOUS MAN--I do love the Cohen Brothers.

5) CRAZY HEART--Jeff Bridges in a much-talked about Oscar buzz role.

and, last but not least....THREE DOGS OF 2009:

1) TERMINATOR: SALVATION--all of the explosions, none of the plot nuances of the other Terminators.

2) GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA--I am so glad I only paid a dollar at the Red Box for this turd blossom.

3) WOLVERINE--I can't really talk about this. Too soon.

10 comments:

Moser said...

I haven't seen Zombieland or the Wrestler but the rest of your top 5 list is solid. Even more solid is your list of rotten tomatoes. Whew... Terminator, GI Joe and Wolverine... so bad.

I think you guys need to do a "Top Ten Movies of the Decade" list.

the hamster said...

moser - you write up your ten of the decade, and i'll post it myself.

myles - i like how you included the titles that got away from you. seriously, i don't know how i missed UP, CORALINE, and THE HURT LOCKER. my priorities whacked out somewhere.

good lists, sir. and i can see that, for the most part, we see eyeball to iris here. and you've talked me into ATONEMENT.

i like the term "turd blossom."

myleswerntz said...

wow--a top ten of the decade may be beyond my abilities. That's like threshing through a wheatfield for the ten best pieces of wheat, or something small like that.

I'm putting CORALINE on my Netflix list.

Next week, I'm planning on going to the dollar movies to see MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS and FANTASTIC MR FOX, in one night! I feel like Buster Bluth in a juice factory!

Scott Rushing said...

I just saw Up in the Air a couple of weeks ago here in Waco. Has it already left?

I enjoyed all 5 of those top films. Although The Wrestler needs more qualification than just to say "I enjoyed it." Hard film to watch, but excellent.

Sounds like I need to netflix the King of Kong.

Kelly Riad said...

CORALINE is awesome, i'm obviouisly bias toward Gaiman and can't wait, CAN'T WAIT until they turn THE GRAVEYARD BOOK into a movie, which he's said is going to happen, but what i loved most about the CORALINE DVD, are the special features showing how it was made. they made FLOWERS out of DOG TOYS - que la f??

John Barber said...

as usual, I agree with durn near everything you say. But I think I'm solo in the fact that I didn't love INGLORIOUS. I thought it was missing what I love about Tarantino films - the feeling of joy that the characters seem to have about everything they do. I need more of Brad Pitt and his crew and less of the other folks. More Eli Roth and the dude from The Office. Less of the German detective. I liked the thing, but it was no KILL BILL.

r4i card said...

Hi all,
I like to say my own review for the terminator salvation is A futile popcorn flick that fails to live up to the franchise standards. Dedicated Terminator fans continually crave to see humans and machines slug it out.

beebranch said...

perhaps my reading of Inglorious Basterds was a little obtuse. perhaps i missed the point. but i just thought the reveling in violence took a difficult turn in this one.

it was easy for me to root for Black Mamba or, really, any of tarantino's characters before, because those characters were just that--they were only characters.

nazis, however, were nazis. they were not fictional hitmen. they were not lone assassins seeking revenge. they were real people who represented real ideologies. it was disconcerting for me to feel happy that they were crawling around like rats trying not to be killed.

while i can see your point, myles, that that is a kind of commentary about both the effects of history in making monsters and of the narrative form, i have to wonder how many people saw that as an element of irony. i suspect most people were just happy to see the damn nazis crawl around before they exploded.

beyond that, i thought the movie was well done, but no Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction. I thought the way the narrative built was just too basic for Tarantino.

myleswerntz said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say we just had a COREY GREEN sighting on here!

beebranch said...

not nearly as exciting or exotic as a jackalope.