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THE Lowly Peon


Best Movies of 2009 (a Year Late) 
27 January 2011, 4:22am

While writing up a comment on benji's movies of 2010 post over at tsp, I realized 2010 was a weak year for movies, but 2009 was not.

Living in China, I didn't watch too many movies in 2009, but since then I've seen a bunch of 2009 movies. Here's my list, in honor of doing things a year late. Ones I like are at the top, but not necessarily in order.

Up - I think I say this about Pixar's newest movie every year, but this is one of my favorites. It's funny and cute, but it's got a timeless quality to it that some of Pixar's other movies may miss. An quite frankly, the sequence in which Ellie and the old guy meet and fall in love is priceless. (Spoiler: And who didn't cry during the Ellie Badge giving?!)

Up in the Air - Perhaps it's just because my lifestyle has somewhat become what Clooney's lifestyle is in that movie. Or perhaps I'm just a sucker to his charm. But I had a really good time watching that movie.

If You Are the One - My favorite Chinese movie to date (except perhaps Hero), this is a love movie that has a twist. It's about a guy who made millions selling a brilliantly hilarious invention, and spends his time going on blind dates, set up by dating websites. He finds a girl that he likes, but she's still nursing a broken heart. It's filmed in Hangzhou, and is fun to see my new home town on the big screen, with my favorite Chinese actor (Ge You). This is well worth watching.

(500) Days of Summer - I saw this movie for the first time on a plane, and was so taken aback that I bought and watched it again when I got home. I'm a sucker for a good love movie, but I liked the noir-ish feel to this, and the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt wore suits throughout the whole film. I also really liked how they animated parts of it, in such a way that tied in with his architecture thing yet still didn't piss me off. (A lot of movies do that just for the art, and either fail miserably, or do it in a way that is so out of place that it draws too much attention to itself. Another movie good at this is The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.)

Inglorious Basterds - I'm going to come right out and say it: aside from Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and maybe Natural Born Killers, I think Tarantino is overrated and hyped just because everyone can remember his name. I never got into the Kill Bill series, didn't like his Grindhouse stuff or any of that other garbage in the middle. But I really liked Basterds. Those of you expecting a certain level of gore from Tarantino won't be disappointed, but it was done in a much more reasonable way than most of his other movies, that tend to throw blood in as much as possible. I also appreciate that (spoiler!) he took a time in history that 1) everyone knows the ending, 2) is taboo and most people are afraid to poke any kind of fun at it, and 3) has hundreds of movies about already, and he made this: he changed the ending, poked fun at it, and made the movie special and different from all the other WWII movies out there.

A few other movies I saw include:

  • A Serious Man - a bit over the top
  • Invictus - I generally hate sports movies like Rudy, but this one got me going a bit. And it also piqued my interest in Nelson Mandela.
  • In the Loop - This was a fast paced movie making fun of American politics
  • The Informat - I watched this on a plane, and I'm glad it was on a plane. Interesting, and exciting, but not stellar.
  • Sherlock Holmes was garbage.
  • I really wanted to see 9. Anyone see that?

Note that Avatar is not on any positive list. This movie was absolutely horrendously horribly garbage-tastically crappy. I cannot see why everyone says this movie was so good. Yes, the graphics were unbelievably awesome. They were. But that does not make a movie! I don't even know where to begin in criticizing this I-can't-believe-I-paid-to-see-this movie. Has anyone actually listened to the dialog in this movie? Or thought about the story? Or the fact that James Cameron hasn't made a single good movie in his life? Ugh. Such garbage, this movie is.

Anyway, that's my list of 2009 movies, as written in January of 2011, a bit behind schedule. Maybe I'll get my 2010 list out before the end of this year!

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comments

Benji!

[27 January 2011]

So, it might be about time that I get around to seeing Up!

And in regards to James Cameron, did you forget about a little movie called Titatinc ? I have a feeling another reader of this site might disagree with you about that one...

Though she did also hate Avatar. I have to admit, I was drawn in by the graphics the first time around. Second time (from a $1 redbox rental) I got pretty tired of it pretty quickly.

Oh, and I also just loved 500 Days of Summer . I really wish they had ended the movie about 30 seconds earlier though. But then they would have lost the "Day 0" bit that was pretty awesome. So, I don't know.

 

Saulemander

[27 January 2011]

got to disagree with you here peter. 2010 was way better than 2009. i actually thought overall 2009 was crap...ur right it had a few good movies, but compared to 2010...i think 2010 kills it. you had:

inception

despicable me

how to train your dragon

shutter island

the town

social network

easy a

kick-bottom*

crazy heart

scott pilgrim

127 hrs (i havent seen it yet, but have only heard good things)

black swan (see above)

king's speech (see above)

buried

true grit

the fighter

toy story 3

tangled and princess and the frog were also fun disney movies.

you could also throw in expendables (pure man fun) and i think you have to include avatar. yes the story sucked balls, but as an experience it was like nothing else before it.

2009 on the other hand...quite boring...

 

Saulemander

[27 January 2011]

my mistake....avatar was 2009

 

Benji!

[28 January 2011]

Yeah, I have to agree with Saulemander, I think 2010 was one of the best year for movies in a long while! I really liked a lot of them.

 

THE Lowly Peon

[28 January 2011]

i don't disagree, i suppose i just mean i haven't seen many good 2010 movies. more than anything, i'm excited to get out from under my rock soon and get back into movies!