Movies that move us

Tuesday, 2 February 2010
With Oscar nominations announced this morning, I started thinking about top 2009 flicks. 

My picks:  Precious for the intense drama and excellent acting by both Mo'Nique and Gabourey Sidibe.  The plot tackles both racism and poverty. 

For comedy, my favorite was Hangover.  I cringe while typing that because I deplore the college slap-stick humor genre but the movie was not what you'd expect.  The cast gels to create a whirlwind of on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense which sets you up for laugher every time.  Sure, there were parts I hated but I'm picky like that.  If you haven't seen it, rent it and watch with friends and a microbrew.

Biggest surprise:  District 9.  I liked it.  The concept was different and if you've spent any time in South Africa, the plot makes you uncomfortable because the alien shanty towns represent the shanty towns in place now.  The "white" government leaders walk around in an ignorant haze and the aliens are persecuted.  The movie appeals to a wide audience (action, sci-fi, romance fans) and then weaves the subtle struggle of discrimination throughout.  The special effects are also fab.

Coolest extras:  State of Play (Reporter #5).  Haaaa!  Couldn't help myself...but really, if you haven't seen this political thriller, it's pretty good.  There's a wicked twist in the end that still has me shaking my head.

Worst movie of the year:  Night at the Museum II.  I watched this on the plane coming back from London because there were no other choices.  Half way through I had to restrain myself from gouging my eye with a plastic spoon.  Wow.  The onscreen chemistry between Ben Stiller and the Amelia character was as dry as a paper cut.  Really, there's only so many scenes one can sit through of characters dumbly racing around a musuem before it becomes incredibly boring.

Movies I still want to see:  Sherlock Holmes (yes, I may have a slight crush on Robert Downey Jr. and I like Guy Ritchie's style ), Food Inc. (documentary on corporations and the behind the scenes control on the food industry) and The Cove (documentary on dolphin killing in Japan).

Movies that may be good but I haven't seen and probably won't:  Inglorious Bastards (excellent director) and Avatar (3-D!).

Give me your faves and tell me why my picks are good or bad.


Teri's Blog said...

Christmas day here in Provo people usually don't go see movies. For some reason there were a TON of people at the theatre this year, so we ended up on the front row for Sherlock Holmes, but it is a good movie!

JJ said...

I just watched Inglourious Basterds last night. I'm a Tarantino fan, but this one ran too hot and cold. His talent for great conversation just didn't come through to me. Some scenes were pretty memorable though.

I agree about District 9. Good movie..probably not the award winner type though.

Pixar's Up was much better than expected too.

We have not seen Avatar (we are holding out to be the last to see it),Precious or Hurt Locker, but look forward to seeing them.

LizP said...

Sherlock Holmes was good! Precious is on my list to see.

Anonymous said...

The Hangover was definitely one of my favorites. I have now seen it multiple times (PPV!) and can confirm that it still makes me laugh. The script is smart - even if the characters aren't. What do tigers dream of, when they take a little tiger snooze?

Also, you really should see Inglorious Basterds. I am not a Tarantino fan in the slightest, but the movie is really well done. Christopher Walz's performance alone makes the movie worth seeing.

I thought Avatar sucked. Bad script. Bad acting. Great sepcial effects. Best picture? Don't make me laugh.

Precious is worth seeing for the performances. Monique and Gabourey Sidibe are magnificant. But I do wish the theater I visited would have served adult beverages. Because I really needed a drink (or 2) after sitting through this film. It did not leave me with a very strong faith in humanity.

Also, Up in the Air is worth seeing. But I do think it was a bit overblown in the critical press.


Nana said...

I took Lauren to movies tonight for a birhday treat...both were excited to see Avatar...bacause of the hype.....we took our pop-corn and walked out after was awful...and I really don't like Tall people with tails .... we then walked into Sherlock Holmes 3D and that wasn't much better..with all its satanistic weird stuff..A good blue-ray at home might have been better !!!

Anonymous said...

Julie and Julia was pretty good, Meryl Streep's acting was excellent.

Inglourious Basterds was good overall, but I found the subtitled scenes difficult to watch since the dialog is fairly rapid and the subtitles are light yellow frequently displayed against a light colored background (such as a tablecloth)

Hurt Locker was well acted, well directed, & intense. Jeremy Renner will surely be in more films after this one.

UP was great!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was ok and had some good animation.

Youth in Revolt, Save your money on movie tickets and buy the books instead.

The Visitor, and Taking Chance (2 slightly older films) are also well worth a watch.

Anonymous said...

I thought Invictus ranked right up there with Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon certainly deserving, but no mention of Clint Eastwood for Best Director nor for Best Picture.

Denae said...

Update - I saw Inglorious Bastards and it was amazing! The main villian deserves an award. The story line and directing was so-so.