Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Drew's Favorite Movies from 2009
I shared my annual, dorky "Favorite Movies" list on Facebook and forgot to post it here as I usually do! A few days late, but better that than never:
DREW'S FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2009
It's time once again for my incredibly dorky list of personal favorite movies for the year. Despite the embarrassingly large number of new movies I saw this year either theatrically or on video (54, anyone?), I still missed a couple that I really wanted to see. Naturally this list can only draw from those I did see.
1. UP (May 29, 2009)
For the third year in a row, Pixar has the top movie on my list. I'm not doing it on purpose--I just find them to be that good. Especially this one. UP had everything one could ask for in a movie: Comedy. Action. Drama (even a couple of bonafide tear-jerker scenes). Fun characters. Beautiful animation. And don't forget the great story. There's nothing more to be said--squirrel!
2. (500) Days of Summer (July 17, 2009)
This was an atypical romantic comedy in every sense of the word, and that's why it's so good. The age-old story of falling in love was told here with a little dose of reality, in that things don't always work out so perfectly as we hope or imagine. The disjointed timeline the story followed was also a nice touch, as were the performances from the actors, especially Zooey Deschanel in the title role.
3. Coraline (February 6, 2009)
Easily the most aesthetically pleasing movie of the year. Henry Sellick's unique style of stop-motion animation perfectly suited this dark tale, adapted, faithfully enough, from Neil Gaiman's novella of the same name. This movie also gave us possibly the creepiest villain of the year. Not for extremely young kids, but great fun for everyone else.
4. Where the Wild Things Are (October 16, 2009)
While potentially enjoyable to people fo all ages, this adaptation of a children's book should hit especially close to home for adults. It thoughtfully explores many of the uncertain and volatile emotions of childhood, all the while providing a unique story and strong, memorable visuals.
5. Watchmen (March 6, 2009)
I know audiences (especially nerds like myself) were divided over this one, but I fall into the camp who loved it. It's certainly an imperfect adaptation of the source material, but anything would be. I think the movie we got--especially in the Director's Cut which later came out on Blu Ray--distills the massive story down in a respectful and workable way. It was great seeing the characters brought to life, most of them, especially Rorshach, with great success.
6. Up in the Air (December 4, 2009)
An engaging and thoughtful comedy with appropriate doses of drama. I really enjoyed this one.
7. Inglourious Basterds (August 21, 2009)
Just as over-the-top a film as you'd expect from Tarantino, this one grabs you early and never lets go. Funny and entertaining, yet consistently tense and unnerving. A uniquely fun ride.
8. Away We Go (June 5, 2009)
A funny and hearfelt story with great performances from all involved. I was even occassionally able to forget that I was watching Jim from The Office!
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 25, 2009)
This movie had every ounce of quirkiness you expect in a Wes Anderson movie, only this time it was set to animation. The highly stylized, somewhat herky-jerky style of stop motion animation, in fact, only added to the movie's charm.
10. Moon (June 12, 209)
Sam Rockwell turns in a great performance in this overlooked gem about a man going stir-crazy (or so it would seem) during an extended solo stint on a moon
A Few Random Honorable Mentions:
Pirate Radio was a surprisingly enjoyable, irreverantly funny little movie. Funny People delivered a dose of typical Judd Apatow humor to a largely (and effictively) dramatic storyline. Ponyo, while not my favorite movie from Japanese animation master, Hayao Miyazaki, this still retains all the charm (both visually and story-wise) that one has come to expect from his films. The Princess and the Frog was perhaps imperfect, but an enjoyable return to traditional animation from Disney. Zombieland was just loads and load of good old fashioned zombie apacolypse fun! And it just happens to feature probably the best celebrity cameo of all time. Drag Me to Hell delievered loads of tongue-in-cheek camp in this fun little "horror" flick. Star Trek was an excellent summer blockbuster, enjoyable even for those, like me, who were previously non-Trekkies. District 9 was a unique and original sci-fi tale, while 9 was an enjoyably dark sci-fi flick in its own right (not to mention gorgeously animated), and Earth was an enjoyable nature documentary with surely some of the most beautiful nature scenery ever!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was likely the most disappointing movie of the year. Not the WORST movie--not even close--as it had its merit here and there But it could have been so very, very much more that it felt like a wasted opporunity.
Now, what were some of your favorites?