Saturday, January 16, 2010

The 10 Best Movies of 2009

Top Ten Movies of 2009

Okay, I promised a top ten list and here it is. Let me first say my criteria for this list is which movies I enjoyed watching the most. Not which one had deep ideas, or which one had the best special effects. Simply which ones I enjoyed the most. Okay here goes:

1.(tie) Star Trek/(500 Days of Summer)
It was really hard for me to choose between these two movies. So they will share the top spot. Anyone that's read this blog knows of my love for J.J. Abrams and "Star Trek." Combine the two and you get a great movie. I hope people who say they don't like sci-fi or "Star Trek" will give this movie a try. The writers did a great job of appealing to hard core trekkies and those who don't know what a "mind meld" is. I loved this movie.

"(500) Days of Summer" on the other hand, came out of the blue. I had heard a few good things.. but went in not knowing what to expect. What I found was a charming, true to life, taste of modern day relationships. Not only is it a great look at the highs and lows of relationships, it's also one of the funniest movies of the year. I probably laughed more in this movie than any other movie this year. The film doesn't follow a linear narrative, which is fun, but I think even if it did, it would still be a great movie. The thought that went through my head the most as I watched this movie was: "I've been there." I think that's a great compliment.

3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
The second funniest film of the year came to us from the mind of Wes Anderson. I loved this movie. I'm not sure it's a movie for everyone. But I know I've found a kindred spirit when I hear someone use the words: cluster cuss. The old school animation technique is fun and beautiful to look at. It's not as bright and shiny as Pixar.. but it's cool and quirky. The voice cast is also superb. One of the best Roald Dahl adaptations yet.

4. "Up"
Speaking of Pixar... they did it again. I've read and listened to numerous accounts of the way Pixar makes their movies... and it makes me wish Hollywood would adopt their techniques. These guys are so original and so talented, I don't expect that they will produce many duds. This movie is funny, touching, and exciting. The creative team behind this film has found a great way to balance all of it. Buy it on blu-ray... it looks amazing!

5. "Inglourious Basterds"
This movie was really cool. I love not knowing where a movie is going... and Tarantino is very good at keeping me guessing. I had no idea what was going to happen next in this movie. The acting was great.. the set pieces great.. the dialogue great. Just a great movie.

6. (tie) "Drag Me To Hell"/"Paranormal Activity"
Two horror films tie for fifth place. Sam Raimi redeemed himself for the sadness that was "Spiderman 3" with this fun little film. It was intensely gross in many places... and I thought that was great. The parking lot scene is scarred in my brain.

I recently reviewed "Paranormal Activity," so I won't discuss it too much, but I will just say how impressed I was that the filmmaker made a movie with less money than I have in my bank account. He made this scary little movie for around $11,000. And it made millions and millions of dollars. I don't know how much of that money he ended up getting. But, way to go.

8. "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

I've always enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but this one may be my favorite. I found the movie to be funny, exciting, and, yes, magical. I did have a few problems with the movie. I'm not sure what the scene at the Weasley house was all about. And the end battle sequence could've been a lot cooler if they'd stuck to the battle from the book. But I'm hoping we'll see a really cool battle sequence in "The Deathly Hallows." If you're not a Harry Potter fan I'm not sure how much you can enjoy this movie, but if you are one I think it's definitely worth your time.

9."The Princess and the Frog "

I know some people who thought this movie wasn't very good. But they are wrong. I went to the movie with some children... but in the end I think I enjoyed it more than they did. I left the movie in a good mood and talking about how much I liked it. That doesn't happen too often, so I have to put it in my list. Here's hoping Disney's next traditionally animated film, "Rapunzel" is as good.

10. I am going to leave this spot open because I haven't seen every movie made in 2009. I still haven't seen "The Hurt Locker," or "Up in the Air".... and a number of other buzzy movies. So here's hoping I can put something in here that I can be passionate about.

On a completely unrelated note... I had a commenter ask about my take on the whole NBC late night fiasco. Here it is: Jay Leno sucks!!! Jay Leno hasn't been funny since the 80's. Long live Conan O'Brian! I will follow him wherever he ends up. (hopefully with Andy Richter intact).


Nells-Bells said...

here, here!! dan and i have very different views regarding leno and conan. i laugh and smile when conan is on. with leno, i don't even move my face. i look like i'm paralyzed when watching him. that should tell you right there how un-funny he is. why won't he just retire???

i love your list of movies. i probably would have put 500 days of summer above star trek but both were seriously excellent. did you watch the globes last night and see that Up won in a couple of different categories? i was really glad because it was such a creative and perfect movie in so many aspects. i still haven't seen basterds, paranormal activity or drag me to hell. a couple i would add to your list is gran torino and julie and julia. have you seen those??

Nells-Bells said...

sorry...just realized gran torino was 2008. but it was good! ;)

Erik A. said...

Great list. There were some on your list I wasn't planning on seeing. After reading your reviews I think I will see all of them. Glad to see that we share the same opinion of conan. Loved his final show.