Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Best films of the year, not really

I don't see enough movies in theaters to honestly make a list, dammit.

Most everything good that came out this year I'll probably see on video in the next year.

The best films I did see in theaters were District 9, Adventureland and The Hangover.

Inglorious Basterds
was an interesting and sharp production by a master craftsman. Not perfect by any means, but as with any Tarantino film, I will definitely purchase and will probably become more fond with repeated viewings.

Year One was terrible.

Then again, what the fuck else came out this year? I only vaguely want to see Public Enemies. I wanted to see Terminator: Salvation until I realized it was PG-13. Something is seriously not right in the world when a Terminator flick is anything less than an R.

The top grossing film at the box office was Transformers 2. I'd probably laugh harder at that than with most of the comedies forced upon us this summer. Paul Blart. Really, America?

I read that Star Trek managed to be a blockbuster uncursed by cynical, pandering stupidity or inane plotting, so I guess I'll rent that. And, as with all Pixar productions, I'm sure Up will be fantastic, but again, I didn't see it.

A Serious Man has not yet come to my crappy Illinois city, but I could probably just put it on the top of my list without seeing it.

I am intrigued by master-provocateur Lars Von Trier's latest art-squirm fest Antichrist, and fellow cinematic knife-wielder Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon.

Any suggestions? What are your top-of-the-year lists?


bahlerrrrr said...

I just saw The Men Who Stare At Goats and I want those 90 minutes of my life back. District 9 and Inglorious Basterds are the only other films I have seen since June, when the Hangover had me in tears.

Michelle said...

I agree with your assessment of "Basterds." I thought it was funny and well-done, but I know I will become more fond of it the more I watch.

I thought "Star Trek" was a great, great film (I'm partial to all things Trek, though) and that JJ Abrams was able to take the entire franchise in a whole new direction without making it hokey. My father-in-law didn't like the movie so much, but I think that's because he enjoys the campiness (Is that a word) that came with the original series.

Although it diverged from the book in far too many ways, I thought the sixth Harry Potter movie was very well-done and a great film in and of itself. However, this was the first film where you REALLY had to know what happened in the other five books/movies or else you'd be lost.

"Public Enemies" was decent, but not a favorite by any means. I did like the glaring FDIC sign in one bank heist scene. Sure, the FDIC existed in Dillinger's lifetime, but it was still so new that the banks probably wouldn't have those signs.

Uh, what else?

"Wild Things" was beautifully shot, but I don't like that it took as seemingly innocent a book as Maurice Sendak wrote in such a dark, violent direction. Carol the Wild Thing = Abusive father. A little too real-world scary for my taste.

Warped Coasters said...

Oh, I accidentally left "The Informant!" off my list of movies to see.

Brendan said...

To be honest, Zombieland isn't bad. It turned out to be pretty funny and I'm a sucker for "romantic zomedies" like Shaun of the Dead (my favorite movie of all time) or fucking awesome raging zombie flicks like 28 Days Later.

Have you seen Funny People? It's probably my least favorite of Judd Apatow's three directorial features, but it was still an excellent film. The reason I'm hesitant about liking it a lot is because I couldn't really warm up to Adam Sandler's character throughout the film. Sort of like what you said about Jeff Daniels' character in The Squid and the Whale, his actions seemed a bit too arbitrary and contrived (yes, I'm paraphrasing). Also, one of my friends, along with a million idiots on IMDb thinks that the movie is a rip off of the Great Gatsby...sigh.

Fantastic Mr. Fox, coming from Wes Anderson, has a lot of promise. Aside from the fact that it's stop-motion animation (which is inherently comedic for some reason), it's got an all star lineup.

And finally, there's this movie coming out this Friday (though I think on a limited release unfortunately) called Pirate Radio. It's got a cool premise, a group of people (Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Nick Frost [Ed from Shaun of the Dead, yes!] play rock music illicitly over the airwaves in the 60s against British laws and become really popular.

Warped Coasters said...

ima rent Zombieland.

Fantastic Mr. Fox looks better than I thought it was going to be when I first heard about Anderson working on a stop-motion project.

Pirate Radio, on paper, is the type of movie that should appeal to me -- music oriented, great cast, intriguing premise -- but the trailers make it look like a giant tanker full of festering sentiment, self-congratulation and excessive nostalgia.

The Juice Box said...

Not sure if you saw Extract (I still need to get to a review of it ... or updating my blog, period), but it didn't really live up to my expectations. Then again, not sure if I had any. Some people/critics were saying it was the next Office Space cult movie, I think only because it was a Mike Judge film. I wholeheartedly disagree, but it had some aspects of Office Space in it (except Jason Bateman was a crappier Ron Livingston, Mila Kunis was a better Jennifer Aniston).

To me, Mike Judge is kind of like Broken Lizard though -- you can try all you want, but you're never going to have another Super Troopers.

If you see it, let me know what you think. (I might actually steal some of this comment for my review, whenever I get to it.) :)

Warped Coasters said...

Shit i never saw 'Extract,' either. I thought Idiocracy was brilliant and hilariously prescient, even though visually, it sucked.

The Juice Box said...

Eh ... Idiocracy was a good concept, yes. I really hate Luke Wilson, though. I think he's one of the shittiest actors around and is constantly co-starring with Drew Barrymore, another shitty actor.