Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Five of 2009, Barber Style.


This was the best year in a long time for movies (for me anyway, the Academy may disagree). It was a wonderful year for blockbusters and for little films. In fact, my top five list has some of both. Without further ado, here's the list, 5 to 1.

THE TOP 5

5. UP - It's not my all-time favorite Pixar film - that honor still goes to WALL-E, but it's a darn good follow-up. The scenes between Carl and Russell are beyond lovely. A kids movie that espouses the importance of family at the same time it's giving us talking dogs and flying houses... I loved it.

4. AWAY WE GO - I already reviewed this here, but a quick recap. This is a movie that has really funny funnies and really sad sads. It's completely ridiculous and you still by in for the journey. And the two leads are just great.

3. ZOMBIELAND - The one movie to end up on all three of our lists. This one had so much blasted joy in it, so much zombie-killing joy. If any film ever threatened knocking FRIDAY THE 13TH off its perch as our golden calf around here, it would be this one. I didn't see this movie until a couple of weeks ago, and from the opening five minutes, I knew it would end up on this list.

2. FANBOYS - I think I'm the only person that saw FANBOYS. Really. I've asked lots of actual Star Wars Fanboys, and no one has seen it. Come on, people! Seriously, what's the hang up? Just because it's a movie about four nerds breaking into the Lucas Ranch to steal an early print of Episode 1, does that mean it can't be funny? This is the closest thing we've had to a John Hughes movie since Watts was smooching Keith. And Kristen Bell wears the Princess Leia outfit. Come on.

1. THE HURT LOCKER - Will it win Best Picture this year? Maybe not. It's got a lot working against it - it came out early, it's got no Clooney-factor, etc. That doesn't make it any less powerful or compelling. It's not a movie about the Iraq War, it's a movie about people who are in the Iraq War. Please see this before Oscar season.

THE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

STAR TREK - As a life-long Trekkie, I was a little worried about the reboot. But after walking out of the theater, I couldn't have been happier with it. The brilliantosity factor comes in JJ Abrams ability too change all the rules without breaking any. This is a long-running franchise and it can go wherever it wants, without being beholden to history. Brilliantosity at its finest.

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG - Go watch it with your daughter. Heck, go watch it without your daughter. It's really good.

CORALINE - In a year filled with great animated fare, this one ranks up there with the Disney/Pixar stuff. Creepy, shoot, downright scary in places, this is more Tim Burton than Walt Disney. We own it...

FANTASTIC MR. FOX - Again, the kiddie stuff shined this year. Wes Anderson is still Wes Anderson.

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER - This one is as remarkable for its structural innovation as for its story. Plus, Gordon-Leavitt outshines Zooey in it, and that's saying something

MEGA SHARK VS GIANT OCTOPUS - Yep.


THE MOST DISAPPOINTING MOVIES OF 2009

WATCHMEN - Meh. It was ok. And ok it not good enough for WATCHMEN.

FRIDAY THE 13TH - Why couldn't JJ Abrams do this one too?

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE - Again, ok. Disappointingly so. Why invent scene for a movie that you had to cut so much from?

6 comments:

the hamster said...

you have two films on your top 5 that i chomped at the bits to see in the theater but missed: UP and THE HURT LOCKER. i'm positive these two would have been in my top five.

i'm proud of you for including MEGA-SHARK. nice.

you hated FRIDAY THE 13TH that much? crazy. i thought it was great. it's no original, but it blew half the franchise out of the water. just bought it this past week for $3.

this makes me curious about your take of michael bays' TEXAS CHAINSAW remake verses his TEXAS CHAINSAW: THE BEGINNING prequel. and what say ye about bay's 2010 release of ELM STREET. i'm kinda stoked. i think after the TEXAS remake, he took his criticisms to heart and started make good homage films. such as this FRIDAY. i'm a wee shocked you didn't like it.

also, i'm surprised DRAG ME TO HELL didn't make your list anywhere. you were stoked to see that.

and, yes, '09 proved the power of family film. i think we'll be seeing much more quality kids' fare in the cinematic seasons to come, which is very good news.

hurrah to us hockey maskers for getting three lists up so quickly!

wonderstuff said...

Wow, my list and your list are eerily similar, and we don't even know each other. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Star Trek, but I agree with you on the greatness of Zombieland, The Hurt Locker, and 500 Days of Summer, and I also agree that HP and the HB Prince was well made, but confusing (you're right - why invent new scenes and cut other scenes from the book that are almost identical - and what's with burning down the Weasley's pad?).

Good list. I'm going to go watch The Fantastic Mr. Fox right now, because I found it online, and they're not showing it in Germany.

John Barber said...

Wonderstuff, my good man.... Here's the kicker. Using all of my extra-sensor powers, I can see that you are a Bill Mallonee fan as well. That makes you darn awesome in my book.

Burning down the Burrow was the exact scene I was talking about. Huh? Why? Silliness. I'm still excited for the last two, though.

You'll love MR FOX. I watched it with my seven year old daughter and about half of the jokes went over her head, but she still loved the movie. If you like Wes Anderson, you'll like MR FOX.

myleswerntz said...

How in the WORLD did I not include MEGA SHARK in my top 5 rentals???? I'm so ashamed.

John Barber said...

Just to single myself out even further, let me say that another movie I could have included was GI JOE. I know, I know... it was terrible. That is exactly why I liked it so darn much. It had exactly the same spirit as the cartoon that I got up early every day to watch. I reveled in this movie. It was delightful. I'm a dork. But you love me anyway.

Pete Peterson said...

With a little editing and in a more sophisticated cinematic era, Watchmen would have easily made Best Picture. But alas, since the death of mise-en-scene sometime in the early 80's, I fear movies will never be the same. And because of that, much of the brilliance of Watchmen goes totally unnoticed.

One of the best movies of the year by a mile for more reasons that I can list.