Friday, January 1, 2010

The Len Ten for 2009

So, 2010 is mere hours old. So, let's bring in the new year with a quick look back at the year just past. And top it off with a photo of the wonderful Grauman's Chinese Theater from 1965. The vacant space at the right of the photo is now the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are now held.

Everybody does lists. Here is mine. Of the 2009-released movies I actually saw, here are my selections for the five worst and the five best. There were certainly more contenders for the former than the latter. And so it goes.


5. Sherlock Holmes: I wrote this up yesterday. Dust off your vodka haze and reread it now.

4. 2012: A disaster movie in more ways than one. The world needs to end sooner than later for all those involved in the production.

3. Paranormal Activity: Who knew that the spirit world could be so boring? When I wind up with ghosts in my house, I sure hope they're a lot more interesting than the ones in this movie.

2. I Love You, Man: Paul Rudd and Jason Segal make way too many movies. Correction: Paul Rudd and Jason Segal make way too many bad movies. Hollywood, please remember that there are people going to the movies and some are actually over the age of twenty. If you liked this movie, I hate you, man.

1. The Hangover: Heralded as the comedy of the year. By folks who are clearly deaf, dumb, and blind. This was an unfunny sewage spill from the first reel to the last.


5. Julie and Julia: A rather simple script brilliantly enhanced by two actresses totally in the zone. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in a dead-on portrayal of Julia Child. For this performance, Meryl can be easily forgiven for the seven other shitty movies she made last year.

4. Good Hair: Chris Rock's terrific documentary on Black women and their maniacal desire to have straight hair. It was educational, insightful, and hilarious. I am waiting for a follow-up that will concentrate on Michelle Obama.

3. Pirate Radio: A movie largely ignored by the public. But, almost magical in its ability to transport me to the world of British rock in the mid 60s. Hands down, the best movie soundtrack since "American Graffiti."

2. Up: The best Pixar movie since "Toy Story." The ten minute flashback at the opening of the movie is arguably one of the most poignant sequences ever captured on film. But, please stay for the rest of it as well.

1. Up In The Air: I can't wait to see this again and again and again. The best movie of the decade. It captures the tone of my favorite alltime film, "The Apartment." The perfect blend of romantic comedy and corporate drama. Director Jason Reitman might be the next Billy Wilder. George Clooney might be the next Jack Lemmon. Go, go, go, go see it.

Dinner last night: Skirt steak at Jar.


chris said...

just for the sake of comparison, heres my 5 and 5. there might be a match or 2 in the dud category.

5 Worst:
5. Twilight Saga: New Moon
-good story suffered horribly from bad acting
4. District 9
-way overdone. clever plot, but it was way too graphic and preachey for what it shouldve been
3. Paranormal Activity
-will the most overrated movie please stand up?
2. Bruno
-2 words: i refuse
1. Angels and Demons
-my favorite book ever written, ruined. i understand why you were mad about Holmes. the difference however, is you knew it was coming.

5 Best:
5. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
-number 5 was essentially a powerpoint story. 6 however was able to take all the best elements from the book and finally make a movie that works on all levels. restored my faith that book 7 (my 2nd fave book ever) will not be butchered
4. Inglourious Basterds
-yes, it was a fake story. theres nothing wrong with imagining. it doesn't make history not true
3. Watchmen
-yes, it was wasted on those who have not read the graphic novel. for those of us geeks who have, it was as faithful as it could have possibly been. and for that, i am grateful. ron howard, take note
2. Avatar
-its been a long time since i've gone to the movies and marveled at every frame. most movies that "create a new world" don't do a very good job. Avatar did. and the 3D was not thrown in simply for the sake of 3D like other 3D movies of late
1. Star Trek
-i have never had an interest in the Star Trek movies. and with the old ones, i still don't. but this is proof that its not always a bad thing to remake or reboot a series.

Anonymous said...

You both overlooked my favorite from 2009: Adventureland, a film so well-written and acted that it had to be ignored by audiences in favor of CGI-bloated no-brainers.

I just watched it a second time and that only confirmed my high opinion of this bittersweet tale of a summer job.

The miracle of an original screenplay getting made should only be repeated this year, please movie gods.

Anonymous said...

Pianoman here....I have to say I wasn't blown away with Up In The Air...Ending was predictable and he changed too fast from a non-family man to very involved. The Apartment is my number two favorite movie of all time and while I see many similarities the ending while predictable still captivated me unlike the Up In the Air which appeared to be dissapointing.