There are a couple movies I have yet to see. No 2009 film list, as with any list in life, is complete without the Antichrist. That being said, Antichrist and White Ribbon aren’t coming here anytime soon, and are most likely the only ones that have a chance at cracking this. Plus, I just got sick of waiting. So, here ya go.
10. Trick ‘r Treat- The first great Halloween themed movie since Halloween III: Season Of The Witch. Why this was dumped on video instead of becoming a massive holiday release is a complete fucking mystery to me. Great cast, fun stories, fantastic fx work. One of the better feature directing debuts I’ve ever seen. Had this been successful, it could have led to a whole series of films, one that I would be much more excited about than another Saw film. Oh well.
9. Up- How often does a movie make you cry in the first 10 minutes? There are a number of emotional moments in this film, in fact, but none quite so brutal as that early montage. I watched this in a theater, and the 3D effects were quite amazing. The usual Pixar attention to character, and some breathtaking animation (Love the scene where the balloons are “coloring” that kids room as they fly by). It would be higher on the list, but it also has the traditional Pixar “Lame Villain and Climax”. Pixar’s great on ambiance, not so good on plot.
8. The Hurt Locker- Welcome back, Katherine Bigelow! This movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time; How she managed to sustain that level of tension is beyond me. Is it Pro-War or Anti-War? Who gives a shit?! Does it have to be one or the other? It’s a great, “real” story, solidly told.
7. The Princess and the Frog- This one’s still pretty fresh in my mind, and the most subject to change. The songs were good, but not amazing. The character of the Prince was kind of. . . confusing. But overall, I loved the return to the classic Disney style. It’s meta, and very aware of itself, but thankfully not snarky and full of pop culture references that will be stale in a year (I’m looking at you, Shrek series!).
6. A Serious Man- It’s a Coen Bros movie. What, is it going to suck?! A perfect movie, from beginning to end.
5. G.I.Joe: The Rise Of Cobra- I had a permagrin affixed to my face during the entire running time. I wish that I had brought cereal and pajamas to the theater to completely recapture the experience of watching cartoons on a lazy morning. Cheesy goodness from beginning to end. And the chick who played Scarlett is the hotness.
4. In The Loop- Some of the smartest and funniest dialogue I’ve ever heard in a movie. . . even compared to other british films! The story is great, too. Dr. Strangelove for the modern age.
3. Drag Me To Hell- Almost everyone I know loves the Evil Dead series, and they’re all waiting for a part 4. So, how did this movie bomb? This is essentially a new Evil Dead movie, folks! Maybe a little less gory, but quite a bit darker. Raimi knocks one out of the park, again.
2. Adventureland-My favorite soundtrack of the year. My favorite “fun” movie of the year. And the one I most relate to. Coming of age movies aren’t usually this dead on. Trumped only by the awesome power of. . .
1. Where The Wild Things Are-Hoooollllyyyy shit. Just a prediction; Out of any movie released this year, this is the one they’ll still be watching 50 years from now. Certainly not “fun”, but a melancholy and beautiful journey into the mind of a boy on the verge of manhood. Did more damage to my tear ducts than Up, even.
So, that’s that. What didn’t make the cut? Here’s the also rans that came close:
World’s Greatest Dad
Julie and Julia
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Whew! Glad to get all that off my chest. Bring on 2010!