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Archive for January, 2010

My Top Ten Movies of 2009

Posted by samgr on January 2, 2010

The rules are that I have to have seen them.  Also, I separated them into fiction and documentaries for some reason, despite the fact that I saw fewer than ten documentaries.

FICTION

#10 — Bright Star

A romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne.  Mostly makes it in because everyone in it is an incredibly good actor.  The characters seem like real people without getting caught up in weird speech patterns and silly costumes.  And Paul Schneider gets mad props for his extremely entertaining (and for all I know, accurate) Scottish accent.

#9 — Il Divo

Neat, stylish biopic of Italian PM Giulio Andreotti.  Unflaggingly entertaining, and frequently extremely funny.  Has a killer (and bizarre) hybrid opera/punk soundtrack.

#8 — Sugar

Story of a Dominican who goes to the US to play baseball.  Realistic, interesting, and ultimately unexpectedly optimistic.

#7 — In the Loop

Amazingly funny satire of how we got into the Iraq War in Britain and the US.  Really really grim, or it might have gotten a higher spot, but has the best swearing I’ve ever seen in any movie ever.

#6 — Avatar

Yeah, what the Hell.

#5 — The Hurt Locker

Basically a really well-made action movie about bomb squads in Iraq.  Manages to say something about the Iraq War without being preachy.  All the acting is great, and it has a lot of approximately thirty-second cameos from big stars without being distracting.

#4 — Coraline

Beautiful stop-motion animation, which I really want not to die, and a smart story.  Also 3D!  Hooray for 3D.

#3 — Goodbye Solo

Don’t really know how to summarize this…  A Senegalese cab driver n North Carolina befriends (sort of) an old guy who may or may not be planning to commit suicide.  It’s great.

#2 — Moon

I loved this movie: Sam Rockwell on the Moon with only Kevin Spacey as a computer to keep him company (sort of).  More or less hard science fiction, but smart and funny and beautiful.  All the special effects look amazing despite the film having a very small budget.  ($5 million, considerably less than the overrated District 9!)

#1 — Star Trek

Yeah, I know.  The thing is, I think I enjoyed Star Trek more than anything else I saw last year.  There was not a single second that I was watching it when I wasn’t having a really good time.  The acting was good, everything looked cool, it had Leonard Nimoy, there were spaceships and monsters: I dunno.  The plot is kind of stupid if you take a moment to think, but the writing is good enough moment-to-moment that it’s very easy to sit back and happily miss the forest for the trees, which is okay by me.  I feel like I would immediately jump at the chance to see this movie again at almost any time.

DOCUMENTARIES

#1 — Anvil! The Story of Anvil
#2 — Beaches of Agnes
#3 — The Cove
#4 — Tyson
#5 — Every Little Step
# 6 –Under the Sea 3D
#7 — Of Time and the City

BONUS — BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Bruno — This was really a bummer.  I loved Borat, whereas Bruno was just stupid and mean-spirited; you felt like they were missing the point.  Bruno’s character and intelligence-level seemed to vary wildly scene-to-scene.  And it just wasn’t very funny.  Boo.

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