Sunday, January 17, 2010

The 2009 Movie Post

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! I know that you were all waiting with bated breath for me to do this post. This is, like, the most popular post on the internet.

Okay, okay. Not really. Sorry that it took me so long to get to this post. Remember 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005? Just checking.

So, I guess I didn't end up seeing that many movies that were released in 2009. Hmm.

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Honestly, this one was hard to decide. The top three on my list were all quite excellent, and it was hard for me to decide in which order they should go. I think that the brilliant use of comedy in this movie was the deciding factor. The Harry Potter saga is in one of its most depressing stages with this film, but they somehow smoothly wove in so many opposing emotions. They contrasted the bleakness with hilarity and a little bit of romance. The movie blended ordinary teenage life (for wizards at Hogwarts... work with me here) with life-altering events. This movie was the most highly-anticipated movie of the year for me, and it completely exceeded my expectations. In fact, if I were to grade it, I would give it an Outstanding.

2. Star Trek - I guess this one was highly-anticipated, as well. In preparation for the release of Star Trek, a couple of my friends and I watched every other Star Trek movie in order. Really, this one could be better than all of them. I won't commit to that statement until I've watched it at least 20 times and it's been at least 5 years. Nevertheless, this Star Trek was pretty riveting. There were no five-minute scenes of checking out all the contours of the Enterprise. Those were only brief shots. Also, they stuck R2D2 into one of the shots, and frankly, that's awesome. I liked the actors. They were able to keep some of the mannerisms of the old characters without using them as crutches. It's a keeper, except for my usual issues with fictional time travel and my bland feelings for Winona Ryder in her role.

3. Up - The first five to ten minutes of this movie were fantastic. Pixar seems to rock at the first five to ten minutes of movies. The character development and theme set-up were so successful, and that is what really caused the rest of the movie to be so enjoyable. That, and Russell. He is pretty much, so hilarious. I also thought that the dogs were humorously quirky.

The Princess and the Frog - The voodoo guy in this movie was so scary. Really. He rivals Ursula, the Sea Witch in scariness. Point of randomness: Today, I actually found a voodoo doll that I made of myself once. It's actually a pin made partially out of matches. I did a good job on it. So, anyway, I like it when I can relate at least a little bit to a character in movies when I watch them, and I thought that Tiana was an excellent character. And even though I knew, just knew that the writers wanted me to think that Ray was so funny, and I like to be contrary, I have to admit that I did think that he was so funny. I guess I can't be contrary all of the time. In the scheme of all Disney movies, this one is probably somewhere in the top 25%. Not too much higher, though.

5. (500) Days of Summer - Again, I could relate to one or more of the characters in this movie during various parts of it. (Sarah, there's this part in the first fifteen seconds of the movie where the title character does something that to me, is extremely reminiscent of you.) Also, this movie has an excellent soundtrack. An excellent soundtrack can cover all manner of film sins. Okay, it really can't, but it can help me more fully enjoy an already-enjoyable film, which it did in this case. I don't think that I could watch this movie repeatedly like I can with, say, the previous four movies on this list, but it was enjoyable. I will be seeing it again.

Julie & Julia - Again, I don't think I could watch this movie repeatedly, but I thought that it was a fun and funny movie. I have a problem, though. I recently watched "Enchanted" again, and I was getting kind of annoyed by Amy Adams. Previously, I thought that I liked her in movies, but she really started to get on my nerves. Could someone please remind me of why I should like her before she goes the way of Nicole Kidman, Liv Tyler, and Renee Zellweger? Thanks, in advance. And now back to the film: One thing that I love about this movie is that it is about food. I love food. I can relate to the characters who love food. Food is beautiful and generally tasty. If you love food, then I recommend this movie. Also, Meryl Streep was amazing in the role as Julia Child.

Sherlock Holmes - I actually just saw this movie the other day. I had a problem with the movie. When I think of Sherlock Holmes, I think of a delightfully-dignified, brilliant sort of nerdy awesome guy who has a fantastic heart and a passion for music and solving people's problems. In other words, he could have been my fictional dream man. I don't know where I got the idea that he was like that. It could have had something to do with too much exposure to "The Great Mouse Detective" or listening to a really tame short story as a podcast. The reader had a fantastic and dignified voice. Anyway, the movie character of Sherlock Holmes was kind of a cad, which is unattractive to me and also, from what I hear, much closer to the character from the books, which I haven't read. I think I read about five pages of the Hound of the Baskervilles once, but that doesn't count. So, I had to remove my personal let-down of the movie and accept it for what it was, and it was pretty alright. One thing that I liked was that it made use of the indestructible and gigantic bad guy, who shows his face in the form of different actors in various films. If you ever decide to be an evil genius who is trying to take over some government entity, don't forget to put one of those in your group of henchman.

The Blind Side - If this movie had not been based on a true story, I probably would have hated it. They probably couldn't have written it from scratch to get to the point where it ended up. Inspirational movies that are fictional don't seem to really strike a chord with me as much as well-made ones that are based, however loosely, on true events or people. I didn't necessarily relate to any of the characters in this movie, but I did see a lot of characteristics in the depicted persons that I would like to more fully develop. And that is how they succeeded in this movie. Also, oddly enough, Sandra Bullock's accent never bothered me like I thought it would. Kudos to Sandra.

He's Just Not That Into You - The thing about this movie is that it wasn't really very original. This movie is like the bastard child of "Love Actually" and "Every Typical Chick Flick," which is, in fact, not an actual movie. So, I guess that they just artificially inseminated the DNA from every single Chick Flick into "Love Actually" and got this movie. (Was that too much? Do you blog readers think I need to edit this?) Anyway, the good thing is that they were able to make me laugh. Some of the situations were so extremely ridiculous, that I heaved a hearty laugh over it occasionally.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - When I think of this movie, the five words that come to mind are stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, and enjoyable. There really isn't a whole lot more to say about it. (And yet, I still continue.) It was an excessively stupid, stupid movie with terrible lines and an absolutely horrible leading man, that somehow turned out to be enjoyable and entertaining. How that works, I do not know. It's a mathematical enigma. In fact, I remember thinking shortly after I had seen it, that there were only a couple of actors that I could have considered to be any good at all. The rest were seriously garbage. So, somehow, they took garbage actors and absolutely terrible lines and made an entertaining movie. Yeah, I'm still perplexed over it, too.

Not in the Top Ten:

That's right; these are the losers.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - I really liked the first two X-Men movies. The others have been okay, but really, that's it. Just okay. I love Liev Schreiber, but they really should have done more with him than scenes with Liev S. and Hugh Jackman running at each other to collide. They really overused that one.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian - Honestly, this one was kind of enjoyable. These movies are incredibly and amazingly stupid, but at least they can be enjoyable.

Race to Witch Mountain - Oh, Dwayne Johnson. Are you friends with Vin Diesel? You kind of remind me of each other, only you got stuck on the random Disney movie phase. (Sidenote/Funny Story: So, I totally spaced on Vin Diesel's name, so I was like, "Ah, Google." And so, I typed in the first movie that came to my mind that Vin Diesel was in. The movie was xXx. D'oh, Google! I quickly switched to imdb. Ah, imdb.)

Monsters vs Aliens - To me, this was an after-school cartoon, only in movie form.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - There were some funny parts, some predictable parts, and some really annoying parts. Also, Matthew McConaughey: blech.

The Time Traveler's Wife - I watched this on the plane back from Europe over Christmas break. I was soooooo tired, and I was all weepy over it. It was quite the tragedy (my crying, not the movie). I'm pretty sure that this dude sitting in front of me probably thinks I'm kind of deranged because of my weepiness. Hey, when I'm tired, I can cry easily. It's just how it goes. Oh, right. And the movie was okay, I guess.

Movies I wanted to see from 2008 that I saw:

Son of Rambow - I really didn't enjoy this movie that much until the end, and I was so embarrassed that I cried at the ending, even though there was nobody around to see me cry. (In my defense, I was hungry and tired.) I guess that I can recommend it based on the ending. Also, it was kind of weird and quirky, and that's enjoyable sometimes.
Kung Fu Panda - Well, it was Jack Black playing himself in a cartoon panda form, so yeah, I liked it.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Meh.
Bedtime Stories - I enjoyed it, even though it was so obviously stupid and reeked of the Adam Sandler movie that it was.

Movies from 2008 that I didn't necessarily want to see, but I saw them anyway:

Fireproof - Well, it had a good moral. And... I guess that's all I'll say about that.
Slumdog Millionaire - It really was a good movie. It held my interest the entire way, and I especially enjoyed the credits.
Frost/Nixon - It was a movie about an interview. How do you think it was? Okay, okay. It was alright. FYI: This movie is not rated G.

Movies I still want to see from 2007:

Rescue Dawn

(Fortunately, I signed up for Netflix. If they are not already in my queue, I will put them there.)

Movies I still want to see from 2008:

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

I kicked off The Veggie Tales movie and Nim's Island because I don't seem to care about those anymore. I'm sure I'll see them someday, though. Like The Tale of Despereaux. I think I'll probably see that someday, too.

Movies I still want to see from 2009:

Terminator Salvation
9 (Not "Nine." 9. Why they made 2 movies with the same name in the same year, I don't know.)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Where the Wild Things Are
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Do you think I missed anything? Was there a movie that you absolutely loved that I have overlooked?

And just to make this post a little longer, let me just say that reading through the lists of movies that were released was interesting. There were some titles that were hilarious, but after I got about 10% through the list, I became angry because of the stupidity of the movie titles. Too many of them are too punny, and too many of them are just random words. Albuquerque. See, I can do it too! Snorkel. Anyway, should you ever decide to read through a list of movies that came out during the year, beware.


cash said...

Watch 1408, but don't watch it alone at night in your apartment or hotel room.

Jess and Dusty said...

Cardine, you crack me up. Seriously. Loved all of the reviews, even if I didn't agree with all of them..... You really should like Amy Adams because she is like a clone of my sister Cubby, who, by the way, is moving here in August.

Cardine said...

cash - I know! Part of my problem is that I have to watch it with people, but it's hard to find the right people to watch it with.

Jess - Good point. If she is a clone of Cubby, then I should totally like her. What did you disagree with? Did you not like some of the movies? If so, which one(s)?

tearese said...

I feel like there is too much for me to talk about here. I loved your post, especially the artificially inseminated, and the xxx parts. hahaha.
I saw the first three and the 10th movies on your list. I thought GI Joe was lame too, but Joseph thinks we need to buy it sometime. I think its a guy/nostalgia thing.
I bought Start Trek for Joseph for Christmas, and I actually loved it...suprising since I've not seen most the original Star Trek movies, and was more a fan of Next Generation. Now I desire to see the earlier films. Although, I kept waiting for Spock/Sylar to throw out his hand and cut someones head open with his other powers that they didn't mention. Oh, and where was R2D2?
I saw Terminator Salvation and liked it. I never saw the movie before that one in the series though, with the girl, because i heard it was lame.
I didn't realize there were two "9" movies. I saw Cloudy WACOM the other day, it was weirder than I expected. I felt like the end of the movie was written by the writers from Ren and Stimpy, it was so random and bizarre.
Where the Wild things are had cool sets and cinematography. I took Elora to it, and felt sad that it wasn't as lighthearted and happy as the commercials depicted. It was a lot of arguing and meanness.

We bought Harry Potter too, FYI.

Mellissa said...

Love the National Treasure reference. Kudos to you. You have a very varied taste in movies. Interesting. Good interesting. :)

banana said...

Good thing you do this movie review and not me. I don't even see 10 new movies in a year to be able to make a list.

I think I liked Star Trek best of all the (3 or 4) new movies I saw this year.

I saw Harry Potter in the theater, and it bugged me. I liked it a ton better when I saw it on video. I think I just have to get over the variations from the book story line in order to like the H.P. movies. Now, I like them all.

Thanks for the reviews. Always entertaining.

buy r4 dsi said...

It's a largely empty moviegoing experience because the characters and story don't demand any emotional investment.

tearese said...

looks like you've got a spam comment here. Anyway, I forgot to comment on UP- I also really liked the beginning of the movie, and Russel. My favorite line is, 'Whew, I thought you were dead." Just the way he says it is hilarious.

KieraAnne said...

You should watch Nims Island I just saw a preview for it on some movie we got and I remember it Gerard Butler? ;) I liked Wolverine...and Sherlock Holmes. My mom didn't, but I thought they portrayed a deranged drug taking, alcoholic genious very well. :) I liked Harry Potter. We just saw the second Night at the Museum...I thought it was funny, but was glad we didn't pay to see it. I agree with your assessment of He's Just Not that into you...haven't seen most of the other ones. :)

Cardine said...

tearese - I always liked The Next Generation better, too. And yeah, Spock/Sylar was a little creepy, but he did such a good job as Spock.

Mellissa - I am glad you caught the National Treasure reference. It was kind of random, and I wasn't sure anyone would. :)

banana - Well, I guess it partially explains why it took you guys a month to watch HP6 on DVD! I was glad to have experience Star Trek with you, too.

tearese - Yeah, for some reason, I've been getting lots of spam recently. I'm leaving that one there, though, because it's so funny that it's a totally random comment that doesn't actually have anything to do with my post. It's like a misapplied form letter.

Kiera - Thanks for the recommendation for Nim's Island again. It just seems like I didn't hear about a lot of people liking it.

Anonymous said...

Someday I'll have to watch the 500 Days of Summer... and then ask you "why?" if I can't figure it out. :D

I haven't seen Blind Side, but I worry her accent will bother me, too.

I just watched He's Just Not That Into You last weekend... and was a little surprised. The way my friend talked about it, I thought it would actually function as a "self-help" movie for delusional girls (which I have considered myself in times past). I was a little shocked to find out that it was actually the opposite - yes, another chick flick.

My parents really like Fireproof. I thought it was hard to deal with as a single person watching it... but I sometimes take things too seriously when I don't need to.

Was the National Treasure thing a Riley quote?

dub said...

One of my favorite movies of the year was "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." I think I know why you overlooked it.

Miranda said...

Yeah Movies! I didn't think it was a particularly great year for movies.
I wouldn't put the Blindside in my top ten, as Sandra did bug me more than she usually does.
Frost/Nixon--I forgot how awesome it was.
After a second viewing I would put Julie/Julia higher on my list.
Your Princess and the Frog rating surprises me. It was cute, and I laughed out loud more than a few times, but still, so...expected.
I very much want to see 9--not nine--so let's get on that. Also I really want to see New Moon with you. Because of you, not because of it being New Moon, at all.
That is all.

Dana Cheryl said...

You hit the nail on the head with the Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson comparison. At least for me. The have a sort of "sameness".

Not that it matters but I think that I'm gonna agree with you on ranking HP as number one. I'm totally surprised by that but I did go see it four times. That's gotta say something about how much I enjoyed it.

Reading your post reminds me that there are a lot of movies from last year that I haven't watched yet. I should renew my netflix subscription.

Cardine said...

Sarah - Really, it's in the first minute, basically. Yes, it was a Riley quote.

dub - You are right. Claymationy. And the sad thing is that I'm sure I would have really enjoyed the story.

Miranda - It's on. 9 and New Moon, that is. Yeah, there was nothing really objectionable for me for The Princess and the Frog. It wasn't awesome, but it was good.

Dana - I recently joined Netflix and have been enjoying it a lot. But I might quit soon. I just don't watch a lot of stuff.