Favorite films of 2009

Top 6 films of 2009 (because i cant make up my mind on top 5)

My best cinematic experience in recent memory. I was critical of James Cameron’s previous work because i felt that it was simply the result of lots money thrown into making a genre typical movie, and a genre with proposition that i do not like, namely dating a young handsome guy is romantic and older rich guy is cynical. Avatar is similar in a way that its also lots of money thrown into a familiar story, but the world Cameron envision is so attractive and his means of delivering his envision so immersive, i helplessly felt in love with it.
There are weakness in Avatar. The culture of the human race was unconvincing. Human that live long enough to develop the advanced technology to reach Pandora would not behave in such crude belligerent manner. I understand the  anti military privatization/resource imperialism message that Cameron want to use to help people relate, but i selfishly hope that those problem no long plague human civilization in 2154. Other weakness are insignificant enough to warrant a mention here.

District 9
I felt like District 9 is Avatar’s more brutal more mature but cheaper made sibling. With similar human abusing alien then found humanity in aliens theme but far more powerful than Avatar in its ability to force us into repentance about our action towards each other (racism) and towards other species (speciesism), both individually and collectively.

What a heart warmer, tear jerker of a movie is Up. I absolutely adores it. the screen play is efficient, character are lovable, and montage are insanely effective. There is something about delivering simple emotions through animated characters thats is very effective (counter intuitive, i know). Its probably because the cast is as good as the animator can make it (unlike with human actors, where you have to scout for someone with the closest resemblance and settle on less than perfect) and; there is no preexist impression on any of the cast to interfer with effective performance, because they there are completely new. Animated characters will probably have problem with coveting nuanced or ambiguous emotions. *spoiler alert* only complaint i have is the scene where Muntz got stuck on too few balloons, suggesting death is either contradicting the nature of the story, or ineffectively executed if the director is meant to show that Muntz got drop off the house safely.

Inglourious Basterds

If terrorism, suicide bombing and inhuman treatment is ever justified, its when used against Hitler’s Nazi. In my book this movie made the best case for aforementioned acts. Quentin Tarentino did it with great dialog, character and pace. Best supporting actor of the year belongs to Christoph Waltz (A.K.A Col. Hans Landa) for its gripping performance in English, German, Italian and French.

The Hurt Locker
Gripping, heart wrenching, unpredictable, surprise use of actors and i cant remember the last time i was kept at the edge of my sit like the way this movie does it in recent memory.

500 days of summer
Innovative screenplay on the ageless theme of ordinary boy meets Indie dream girl. I really liked its play on cynicism vs. faith-in-true-love.

Honorable mention
Synecdoche, New York – Glorious, ambitious and original piece of art, but too hard on the audience perhaps.

Let the Right One In – Original melodramatic take on the vampire genre.

This is it – Intimate insight into the creative process of an genius, however limited by the death of its main character.

In the loop – Witty hit job on the bureaucrats in the 10 Downing st and White House.

Ponyo – Sweet and imaginative fairy tale, I heart it.

Infuriating Movies
The September issue – Vogue infomercial / Anna Wintour cult worshiping that i got scam into watching. The possibility that some reviewer rated this movie favorably to get on Wintours/vogues good side disgusts me. This documentary needs to show more intimate insights like This Is It. A total waste of an good premise.

Red Cliff 1&2 – Inadequate character/background building, unconvincing depiction of originals battle wits, alter the original story for the worse and crappy acting. John Woo successfully turned a Chinese classic into a mindless action flick.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
– last years movie i saw this year. arch-typical character and story annoys me so much i wrote this in response.

Blood: The Last Vampire – Shitty even if its reviewed as an genre film.

Twilight: New Moon – No one consequential in the making of this movie took their job seriously. I mean no filme makers serious attempt can be this bad.


2 thoughts on “Favorite films of 2009

  1. I must say that I agree with you on the weakness of Avatar. The nature of the human race was unnecessarily hostile and lets face it, aren’t we all sick of the “greedy humans destroyed the whole planet” plot? As you mentioned, having that level of technology capable of long distance and most certainly high speed galactic travel but not being able to rejuvenate earth doesn’t make much sence. Also the whole movie reminded me of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, Naussica laputa, princess of mononoke and even some totoro. There is nothing wrong with getting influenced but it seemed to me that it was a bit too obvious.
    Well, having said all that, I still think that it was a great movie and certainly ground breaking in terms of cinematic experience. The 3-d effect was more than I expected and the sceneries were absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. I reckon I still would have enjoyed the film even if there was no sound. 8.5/10

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