I really hope that the Academy doesn't overlook Jackie Earle Haley's outstanding performance as Rorschach.
- Star Trek
I have a few quibbles with it, but it was a much-needed revitalization of the franchise. A very entertaining passing of the torch.
- Julie & Julia
What food lover didn't see this film? I know people are all Meryl, Meryl, Meryl, and she's wonderful as always, but Stanley Tucci was excellent as Paul. I also liked Jane Lynch as Julia's sister before I saw her in Glee as Sue.
- Inglourious Basterds
I think many critics assume that they're going to hand Christoph Waltz the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at this year's Academy Awards, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised. This is some of Tarantino's best work, and I cannot think of a film that I enjoyed more in 2009. I left the theater with a big smile on my face.
You'll rarely hear me say this, but the plot is just about irrelevant. This is one that you simply must see on the big screen. You have my permission to watch it with the sound off (though the script actually isn't dreadful), but definitely see the spectacular visuals before it leaves the theaters.
- Sherlock Holmes
Saw Sherlock Holmes tonight and enjoyed it, particularly the atmosphere and score. It's the tiniest bit slow in spots, but it's clearly the first of several films, so I'll forgive a little exposition. I wouldn't say it's the best film of the year or anything, but I was entertained. Robert Downey, Jr. can do the Charming Rogue in his sleep, so no acting challenge for him here. The script was a bit meh, your basic two-dimensional dark rites fare, but Jude Law and RDJ had good chemistry, and I was pleasantly surprised by Law disappearing into the role of Watson.
Movies that were okay or about what I expected in 2009:
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The young leads have really improved as actors, especially Daniel Radcliffe, who may well actually have a career after this. I quite enjoyed the Tom Riddle flashbacks, too. I just ... I guess I find the movies a little anticlimactic at this point, given how disappointed I was with Deathly Hallows.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I went somewhat reluctantly, expecting to hate it, but so much of it is done with self-aware good humor, I just couldn't. It didn't take itself seriously, and for that, it was a bit better than I thought it would be. Just about every actor in it knows that he or she has been in better films, so most of them just decide to have fun with it for the paycheck.
- District 9
Good film for its budget. I'd heard enough about it before seeing it that it was exactly what I expected: a moving story with better-than-average performances in a well-directed script. It wasn't what I was in the mood to see at the time, because I just wasn't really in the right frame of mind for a message film about man's mistreatment of other sentient beings, but I didn't have strong objections (it's just a movie, for crying out loud), and I was outvoted, which is okay. It isn't all about me. :)
Movies that disappointed me in one way or another in 2009:
- Angels & Demons
I expected that the movie would be at least as entertaining as The Da Vinci Code, which is to say, about average for its genre. This was a bit below average, in my opinion: Tom Hanks seemed to really be phoning it in. Props to Ewan McGregor, though, for at least trying to demonstrate some enthusiasm and energy. He chewed the scenery a little bit, but at least he actually showed up and attempted to give the audience a good time.
I know some people will flip out about this one, so I'll go on and give my reason: it wasn't a bad movie; technically, I liked it. Unfortunately, it had one of the most misleading trailers I've ever seen. After a week from hell, I thought, "This will be a nice, light film that will make me laugh." Instead, I found myself bawling in the first fifteen minutes. Not what the trailer had led me to expect at all.
- Public Enemies
This had such potential. :( Again, it's not that it was bad, but with that cast and that topic, I thought it'd be a sure-fire Oscar candidate (the Academy loves period pictures). Billy Crudup was excellent, but otherwise, it wasn't all that.
Favorite movie of 2009: Inglourious Basterds