As we come to the close of yet another great year in film, it is time to once again gather up those top lists and begin the epic debate of what was 2009. So without further hesitation, My lists this year will be simple and broken up into two separate lists, films I thoroughly enjoyed and those that met disappointment.
Top Favs for 2009 (in no particular order):
1. Star Trek – One film that not only met my expectations but went beyond. Though the story was simple and a tad predictable, the writers somehow made it their own and seem like it was something completely new. The acting and casting was superb, though a little more character depth for Nero would have made the film that much better.
2. Zombieland – A huge surprise for me, I went into it thinking it would be just another run of the mill zombie story, but what I encountered was something completely different, a character driven comedy where the Zombies are simply an after thought. Bill Murray’s cameo is by far one of my favorite cameos to date. Simply put YOU MUST WATCH ZOMBIELAND!! Nuff’ said.
3. Fanboys – Another comedy, it seemed to be the year of Comedy, as there were quite a few good comedies to fill the vacant void left by comic book flicks of 2008. I digress, Fanboys is not for everyone, it was really written for the true die hard Star Wars fans such as myself, if you are not a fan of Star Wars, avoid at all costs.
4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – All inconsistencies with source material and the defamation of Deadpool aside, the film by itself works and is really entertaining. Wolverine actually went a little beyond my expectations, which is a lot considering I had initially written the film off as absolute crap and the mere fact that its on my favorites list for 2009 says something.
5. The Ugly Truth – You will never hear me praise chick flicks, but there is the occasional one that I really enjoy, The Ugly Truth falls into that rarity. What makes it stand out from other said films, is the raunchy humor typically not found in the average chick flick. Gerard Butler is charming and even though I particularly loath Katherine Heigl, she is actually enjoyable. You want a flick to see with your chick, definitely look for The Ugly Truth.
6. Angels And Demons – Though not nearly as good as The Da Vinci Code, it was still a satisfactory film, the acting was solid and it was nice to see Hanks ditch the horrid hair piece from the first, it of course is not without it flaws, but managed to entertain me and keep me invested.
17 Again, Public Enemies, District 9.
Top Disappointments (Again in no particular order):
1. Fast and Furious – I had no high expectations, but neither did I have low expectations. The film failed on so many levels, and ended up being a “same story, but the names and locations have been changed” scenario. The story felt rushed and thrown together, and the demise of Michelle Rodriguez character came across as an after thought. Nice to see the crew back together, but poorly executed.
2. Up – Before you tie me up and whip me to death, hear me out. While I agree that Up was a good film, the whole thing fell apart for me in the first 10 minutes of flashbacks, they managed to suck all the fun out in that 10 minutes leaving nothing for the remainder of the film. In comparison, Up lacks the fun, the excitement and the downright good times that we have become accustomed to from Pixars predecessors. Again, not a bad film, but we expect far better from Pixar.
3. Terminator Salvation – While I did enjoy Terminator, it lacked a lot of the heart and soul that made the first three, especially T2, worthwhile and enjoyable. A solid performance by all cast members, the story felt rushed and whether McG inteneded to or not, it did not feel like other Terminator films. I was looking forward to seeing actual war scenes, man verses the T-800 and tons of carnage. Not the case, instead a terminator with a slight case of amnesia and a million other terminator-esque machines that served merely as CG eye candy. A huge let down in that area, with such potential to blow my brains all over the theater, not even a nosebleed, very unfortunate.
4. Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen – There was so much wrong with this one that its tough to find a starting point. While it made for some spectatular action scenes, that we have come to expect form the mind of Michael Bay, TROTF’s biggest flaw is n the story and the horrid acting that occupied the 2.5 hours of mindless entertainment. Mr.Bay and company, if you are going to make a film about Transformers, then make a film about Transformers not some half assed story about Sam Whitwicky and his slutty girlfriend. The human element in the Transformer realm is essential, but should play second fiddle to the robots in disguise. Ditch the boy and his car routine from the first film and focus more on Optimus and crew. And one last thing, if you are going to introduce new Transformers, at least give us a name and a snippet of back story, it makes the characters more relatable to the audience. Here is hoping that when you get to number three, you will get it right.
5. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – Ice Age is one of those series that started out fresh and original, but like a bag of chips that has been left open, has become stale and distasteful, with the odd chip that has somehow maintained its freshness through it all. Dawn of the Dinosaur, is sad last attempt to cash in on a franchise that deserves so much better from its sequels. The films saving grace is in the weasel like creature Buck, voiced by Simon Pegg, he definetly makes the film tolerable to sit through, I actually really was sad that Buck had not been introduced into the franchise sooner. The story lacks so much and is redundant, as we have heard and seen the same song and dance millions of times before.
6. Monsters vs Aliens – Not a good year for animated features for this avid film goer. MVA advertised it to be more than what it was. Though there were some comedic moments, it was too short and a prime example why Dreamworks continually has their asses kicked by Pixar each year. The writing quality was terrible and felt like the all the ideas were thrown into a blender and hit puree, becoming a mess of one liners and adult innuendos. It could have been so much better than that.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra, G-Force
Of course this is all debatable and that’s what MG is here for, let us know what you thought of 2009.