|Posted by Adam Krause on December 30, 2009 at 8:21 AM|
Honorable Mention: Star Trek
I bought my ticket to this film a wary skeptic with little hopes of being amused. I left the theater a full-blown Trekkie. J.J. Abrams' reboot of the iconic franchise was a monumental success that solidified a new generation of Star Trek fans while pleasing the existing ones, who have been patiently waiting for a film like this for ten years. In what was without a doubt the best casting of the year, Abrams gave new life to such memorable characters as Captain James Kirk and Spock by bringing in young, talented blood like Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg. Hands down, Star Trek was the most fun I had watching a movie this past summer; a perfect popcorn flick. And with the success that this film had, I'm just going to take logical guess and say that the Star Trek franchise will live long and prosper in years to come.
5.) Up In The Air
In my opinion, George Clooney has gotten by mostly on good looks and a great smile without much real depth as an actor. But never has the man's charming demeanor worked as well as it did in this film with his portrayal of an unattached loner who spends the majority of his life in airplanes as he travels from city to city firing people for a living. Helmed by the extremely talented Jason Reitman, the movie beautifully depicts the heartbreak of the recession, the stark differences in the generation gap and the power and importance of finding love in your life, all while keeping a smile on your face. With Up in the Air, Reitman once again proves that Juno and Thank You For Smoking were not merely flukes, but the beginning of what is sure to be an illustrious directing career for the young filmmaker.
4.) Inglourious Basterds
Despite the lack of screen time that the titular Bastards actually received in the movie, Quentin Tarantino's take on WWII was easily one of the funniest and entertaining films of 2009. It was his best film since Pulp Fiction, Brad Pitt's best film since Fight Club and the best Christoph Waltz film I've ever seen, mostly because this was the only film I've ever seen of his. And with a well deserved Academy Award nomination most likely on the way for the German actor, I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in American cinema. And even though I would love to see the sequel to Inglourious Basterds that Tarantino is already spreading rumors about in Hollywood, I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm still annoyed that The Vega Bros. prequel never happened.
Did the trailer give too much of the plot away? Yes. Did the marketing campaign get ridiculously out of hand? Absolutely. Will it be one of the best experiences you ever have in a movie theater? Without a doubt. James Cameron's film not only breaks new ground in filmmaking with it's stunning 3D technology and breathtaking visual effects, but it also delivers an engaging storyline that will move you, appall you and thrill you for the duration of its 160 minute running time. Regardless of how silly the "blue people" look to you, do yourself a favor and put all doubts aside, pay the extra few bucks for the 3D showing and prepare to be truly amazed. Mr. Cameron once again proves that he is one of the most prominent and influential filmmakers around. Lets just hope it doesn't take another twelve years for him to make his next feature.
2.) (500) Days of Summer
If all Hollywood rom-comes (romantic comedies) were as authentic and heartfelt as (500) Days of Summer, men would no longer put up a bitch fit when their lady friends force them to go. Rarely a movie captures the realism of falling in love with such validity as Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber did with their script for this wonderful movie. Perfectly directed by newcomer Marc Webb and with outstanding acting from Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (one of the best young actors working today) who both hilariously depict the trials and tribulations of young love without being sappy and cliché. After all, it was a story of a boy who met a girl, but it was not a love story.
1.) District 9
I knew this movie was going to be my personal pick for the best film of 2009 the minute I walked out of the movie theater in awe of the masterpiece I had just witnessed. I just couldn't foresee another movie being released that was going to blow me away as much as Neill Blomkamp's directorial debut did. With its sheer creativity and unbelievable originality, the gripping storytelling and those remarkable special effects, there truly was no other film from this past year that I enjoyed watching as much as District 9. It's my must-see movie of 2009. I can only hope that Christopher Johnson makes good on his promise to Wikus Van De Merwe and returns to planet earth with the cure to his anomalous condition so we can all be treated to a sequel. Hell, as long as this Blomkamp is in the director's chair, I'm down for a trilogy.