Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: It's Been Reel

The year has come and gone and I've seen a lot of amazing things happen within my life and those of others close to me.

A lot of films also came and went this year. I probably didn't see most of them. While most people agonize over a list of the best 10 films of the year, I'd rather not waste the time. I'm posting what I consider the best three movies of the year, plus a runner up or two. Each film hit the list based on their own merit and some of them I could watch repetitively at home. So enjoy my definitive list, and try to trim yours down for next year.

1- The Road.
I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic movies, and this is one of the craziest best I've seen hit theaters in a long time. No stupid CGI vampires, or stalker zombies to muddle the plot. Emotional story and great acting. Plus the scenery is phenomenal. I also identify with the father protecting his son part of the story a little more this year than other years prior.
Go figure, right?

2- The Hurt Locker.
A compelling, adrenaline-inducing film about the Iraqi war has finally hit theaters and there's no politics to distract from the great acting and storyline. Jeremy Renner does great and so does director Katherine Bigalow. This film would have made it to #1 on my list if I wasn't such a sucker for good post-apocalyptic movies. But the Hurt Locker does a great job at blowing away all the other competition.
Funny, I know.

3- Star Trek.
Wow. Talk about a film that was a surprise. I vehemently despise movie remakes. They only strengthen my belief that studio executives are trying to cash in on cheap reboots that exploit and destroy the cherished memories of devoted fans. Leave it to JJ Abrams to invigorate, redesign and instill wonder in a film series that went stale years ago. Abrams accomplished everything for Star Trek that Star Wars fans wish Lucas had been capable of achieving instead of his 2&1/2 failures of movies. So suck it, George. Gene Roddenberry is laughing at you from space.
Man, I could geek out over the new Star Trek for a week's worth of watching. It's that much fun.

Runner-up #1
A big contrast to the sci-fi franchise above, Moon was one of the best under the radar films made this year. Since his minor role in Galaxy Quest 10 years ago, I've been a fan of Sam Rockwell and it was great to see him carry a movie like this all alone. Literally. Being alone on the moon for three years can do some crazy things with your head. I'll leave it to you to find out exactly why. Duncan Jones made a great flick and truly captures the essence of a science fiction film. You should catch it on DVD when it's finally released here in the States.

Runner-up #2
Shane Acker accomplished some wonderful animation with this film. It also hits post-apocalyptic film territory, and presents a beautiful visual story. The best non-human centered animated film I'd seen since Wall-E of last year. I'm definitely looking forward to multiple viewings of this movie.

Runner-up #3
I'd be a fool not to include Avatar, if only for what it achieves with the medium of film-making. James Cameron is always one to push the boundaries of film-making and does some fantastic things with this movie. The story is, I think, typical for his style of writing but it also pushes some concepts that most people overlook in our society.

But then so do the other films on my list.

A lot of the other movies of this year were entertaining. Others, not as much. And then some made me wonder what the hell people were thinking by either making or watching such a soul-stealing disappointment.

So make it a point to go check out any flicks on my list that you haven't seen yet. And if you want to see anything else that came out this year, well, that's what Redbox is for. It's been reel, 2009. Bring on 2010!

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