Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Cause I was bored today at work (Updated)

Here’s some short reviews of the movies (I remember) I saw in 2009 in no particular order:

Star Trek – JJ Abrams did the impossible and found actors who could replace the original cast with ease, restoring respect to a franchise on life support and making it accessible to a larger audience. Trekkers/Trekkies are now filled with excitement and not dread for a sequel.

Avatar – James Cameron comes out of hibernation to deliver a thoroughly entertaining movie that fully realizes an alien world and culture. Everything pays off and the visual spectacle never overwhelms the story or characters.

District 9 – Like Avatar, some will criticize this movie as derivative. But also like Avatar, it’s done so much better that it doesn’t matter. Extremely entertaining film.

Terminator: Salvation – Despite what some would say, this movie wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great and that’s too little, too late to save a stale franchise.

Capitalism: A Love Story – A solid entry from Moore, but not really as memorable as “Fahrenheit 9/11” or “Sicko.”

It Might Get Loud – Good documentary featuring my personal guitar hero The Edge, as well as Jimmy Page and Jack White. I’m sure fellow guitarists will get the most out of it though.

Sherlock Holmes - Fun take that clearly sets up for a sequel. Robert Downey Jr. is good as always, but I loved Jude Law's Watson.

Inglourious Basterds – Not as good as other Tarantino movies like “Pulp Fiction” and the “Kill Bill” volumes, but it well exceeds the extremely low bar of being better than “Death Proof.”

Public Enemies – Michael Mann’s visual style is there but he and the actors have trouble making anyone really care about the characters.

Watchmen – Has really good parts (any scene with Jackie Earle Hayle’s Rorschach) and mediocre to awful parts (everything else) that make up an interesting, but not particularly good movie.

Zombieland – Pure 100% hilarious, zombie-killing fun.

Drag Me To Hell – Fun enough, but overrated. This isn’t “Evil Dead” and doesn’t give me instant faith Sam Raimi can make a “Spider-Man 4” good.

Taken – 90 minutes of Liam Neeson kicking ass because his daughter got kidnapped on a trip to see U2 concerts in Europe. There are worse ways to spend my time.

The Princess and the Frog – Doesn’t achieve “Beauty and the Beast” greatness, but it’s cute. And a good date movie ;)

Moon – Proved a thoughtful science fiction movie can still be made. Looks really good for a shoe-string budget (probably less was spent on this entire film than the hilariously awful CGI version of Professor Xavier in Wolverine).

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - The last entry seemed like filler but I wasn't as completely bored as I was with this. Directed like a BBC movie (seriously, it made me yearn for Christopher Columbus and that's not good) instead of an epic fantasy film and with actors who are clearly tired of playing these characters, the plot lacks any main thrust and seems to be made up of stitched together scenes that may or may not have anything to do with each other. The only halfway interesting part is Dumbledore's death which seems fairly underplayed. I hope the last installment is much better, especially considering they've split it into two parts. It better be if they hope that anyone other than die hard HP fans are going to care.

Wolverine – Speaking of, I couldn’t believe how bad this movie was. Really, not a single thing was done right.

The Men Who Stare At Goats – And the point of this was?

Whatever Works – Funny enough at the time, but easily forgettable once you step out of the theater.

2009 movies I haven’t seen yet but wanted to at least a little: The Hurt Locker, The Road, Up, Up in the Air, The Girlfriend Experience, Invictus, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, 9, The Hangover, Paranormal Activity, State of Play, The Lovely Bones, Where the Wild Things Are, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

…and here’s movies I’m looking forward to in 2010 so far: Alice in Wonderland, Tron: Legacy, Inception, Iron Man 2, The A-Team, Green Zone


Nat-Wu said...

Well, for once I can say I agree on pretty much all of that. As for the movies you haven't seen, I can't believe you missed 9 and Coraline or The Hurt Locker. That last is a damn good movie. I would not bother with Where the Wild Things Are. As K said, it's a pretty movie but there's nothing to it. The characters are boring and rather annoying.

Xanthippas said...

I hate to admit it, but I've only seen three of those movies in the theater. And actually, I only saw three movies in the theater this whole year (unless I make it to Avatar this week.) I think Watchmen is under-rated, and I predict it'll garner more appreciation as time goes by, though I could be wrong.

adam said...

I'd actually be interested in seeing the extended cut.