Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Motski's 2009 Film Review

Hiya folks, seeing as it's the end of the year and all, I thought I'd announce my FILMS OF THE YEAR 2009. It was actually quite hard to find 10 films that I'd feel worthy of the list (through a mixture of not going to see enough films and going to see crappy films when I did go) so the list has been left quite open to ridicule, but here goes (in no particular order)...

1. Star Trek
The most enjoyable film of the year. A great cast and a fast paced storyline blew the cobwebs away and created a tight, punchy blockbuster. The action sequences never failed to put me on the edge of my seat and always managed to dispel my disbelief, which rarely happens to me anymore. I didn't even mis the mighty Shatner too much.

2. Synedoche New York
Some will hate, but I loved it. Bewildering and captivating in equal measure, it's a very emotional film that you will either be dragged into and be affected by or you'll find it confusing and self-indulgent(I'd hope most people will be dragged in)

3. District 9
Up there with Star Trek in the blockbuster stakes. Great pacing and character development created a thrilling film that also greatly benefited from it's South African setting. It also had some of the most believable visual effects of the year despite a relatively small budget. I'm looking forward to seeing the films lead, Sharlto Copley, in the A-team next year.

4. The Wrestler
A real shame that Mickey Rourke didn't get and Oscar for this touching but unsentimental film. Darren Aronofsky also deserves plaudits for his least showy direction to date, which prefectly suited the story.

5. In the Loop
A fantastic ensemble cast banter hilariously, making the political system more worrying by the minute, but at least very funny.

6. Let the Right One In
Atmospheric, thoughtful and restrained but still with enough shock and gore to please hard-core horror fans. A vampire film for those who do and don't like them.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ambitious animation full of quirks and imagination that I think will reward repeat viewers. I especially liked the use of "cussing" and "cuss" to replace all the expletives.

8. Zombieland
My guilty pleasure of the list. Great fun, an on form Woody Harrelson and a fantastic cameo...

9. Up
Should be on this list for the first ten minutes alone, but I thought it was great throughout, with spot-on comedic timing and real emotional pull.

A great performance by Sam Rockwell and clever use of a small budget makes this one of the best Sci-fi films of recent years. It also had a great poster.

Honourable mentions:
Broken Embraces, Gran Torino, Frost/Nixon, Drag Me to Hell, Coraline, Gamorrah, Where the Wild Things Are, Looking for Eric, Down Terrace, Milk

Films I didn't see/should have seen/meant to have seen that I heard were very good -
Hurt Locker, Bright Star, An Education, A Serious Man, Bronson, Fish Tank, Mesrine 1 and 2.

Slight Disappointments...

Inglorious Basterds - Really enjoyable, yet not the more focused return to form I'd hoped for. Less dodgy casting (Eli Roth does not convince as "The Bear Jew") and more self restraint would have made a tighter film, but then again that's probably not what QT intended.

Watchmen - Possibly the best adaptation you could do in the time allocated, but still missing far too much to feel satisfying. The disastrous casting of Matthew Goode ruins the murder mystery element of the storyline that could have helped the films narrative backbone(although to be fair to Goode, he could have been asked to play the role that way). Perfect Rorschach from Jackie Earle Haley.

Avatar - Visually stunning (although it doesn't quite live up to the photo realistic hype) and impeccably made, but the story was a bit too straight forward and predictable for my liking.

Public Enemies - I'm a big fan of Manhunter and Heat, so I had high hopes for Michael Mann's latest. It was an enjoyable look at John Dillinger's lifestyle, but unfortunately I found it a bit emotionally cold and it failed to fully engage me.

The Men Who Stare at Goats - Some very funny flashback sequences, but it failed to maintain the laugh count, while also not fully exploring the darker elements of the story.


Transformers 2
Wolverine Origins
The Spirit.
Terminator Salvation

1 comment:

  1. I actually watched District 9 the other day, and I didn't like it at all. I actually felt like I had wasted the 112 minutes it was on.

    Apart from that, and the fact that I still haven't seen 6 of your top 10 (I have seen Up, Star Trek, In The Loop, and District 9)... very good