I must admit, I haven't been to the movies this year. In fact, I've only watched a dozen films in the theater this year. Seeing the line-up also, this year's offerings were not as great as last year's. I've been catching up with movies I've missed at home, and still, nothing has made an impact to me. Compared from last year, when Slumdog, Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button, Juno, Doubt, and the rest of the gang wowed me. It was even difficult to make a top 10 list with all the nice movies. Now, I'm complaining there's no good movie yet. So, as plain as it is, here are my top movies for 2009.
10. Inglorius Basterds
It's a Quentin film on the Nazi occupation, so it must be interesting. I can't help but be reminded of Kill Bill, which I thought was better. Despite the long dialogues, Basterds was suspenseful, and kept me impatient on what's to happen next.
9. Star Trek
One of the first good movies of the year, Star Trek received high grades from the critics. There was never a dull moment in Star Trek, and the movie even made me interested in the entire epic. I'm not a Star Trek fan, but seeing the growing years of Spock and Kirk felt like I was watching them since the 80s.
Ok, I am a fan of disaster films, so when i heard about 2012, it became my most anticipated film of the year. This time, I didn't care how impossible the limo survived a massive earthquake and how stereotypical the characters were. 2012 satisfied my craving for disaster porn. It also fed me with overflowing curiosity on how much of the events in the movie could be true.
7. Julie & Julia
At first, I thought it was a chick flick or a period film. Little did I know that it was both, but Julie and Julia was more than that. The movie was all about the joys of cooking, and how goals do change lives. It made me smile all throughout, seeing butter, poached eggs, lobsters, and beef bourguignon. I pigged out afterwards.
The movie that set the standards in animation and visual effects. You have to see it on 3D, or better yet in IMAX to experience the full force of Avatar. Though the training scenes were too long (they could have shortened everything to one scene), Avatar's amazing animation kept me breathless for 2.5 hours.
5. The Hangover
The comedy of the year. Nuff said. Seriously, the movie made you forget what happened the night before, and instead, made you focus on the bogus incidents that happened the day after. And when the credits roll, the movie just drops the bomb to reveal the mystery of the night before. Brilliant.
4. Where The Wild Things Are
I downloaded the soundtrack after hearing Heads Up. If the soundtrack was great, the movie must be also. Music plays a big part in movies. And so, even with some script flaws, Where Wild Things Are gifts us with its wild emotions, then hurls us back to reality.
3. Up in the Air
This recession tale starring George Clooney tells us the story of a man who doesn't believe in commitments. Of course, the movie shows the realization that he is wrong, and after falling for a woman who doesn't seem to care about relationships as well. The movie was well written and directed by Jason Reitman, who also directed Juno and Thank You for Smoking. It has quirky dialogues and an ending that will leave you stumped and thinking what you really have in your backpack.
2. District 9
There was abuzz when it came out, some liked it, but more people were appalled by it. So, I had to find where I stand. I watched the film and found it quite good. I liked the documentary style, and the surprisingly simple plot.
1. The Hurt Locker
Easily the only film that has made an impact on me. The direction was superb. It really made me feel the unfortunate circumstances of these bomb detonators. It was gripping, moving and concise. Definitely one of the best war movies I've seen as well.
I am finishing this article after the Oscar nominations have been announced. I am against 10 nominations for best picture. It just degrades the category by letting a lot of movies into that prestigious list. I really don't know why this was done. Anyway, my vote goes out to The Hurt Locker of course, but I wouldn't mind if Avatar becomes king of the world.