1/01/2010 11:51:00 pm

Movies 09

Posted by Tom French |

District 9 2.jpg

Warning: There may be a few minor spoilers

It's the first day of the year, which means it's time for my top and bottom ten movies of 2009. I only made it to the cinema 43 times this year. You can tell it was lean year, I'm 15 films down on last year. But it was a good year for movies. Getting the top 10 has been tough. It's certainly been a good year for film in my books.

This year I've decided to include any film that was on in an Australian cinema in 2009. That means that films like The Wrestler which was technically a 2008 release can be a 2009 movie because it was in Australian cinemas then. Alternatively films like The Hurt Locker haven't been released in Australia yet, but if it was, there's a good chance I've had seen it and it'd be on my top 10.

There are some movies which I haven't seen though I probably should have (Such as A Serious Man, Zombieland and An Education) so I can't include them.

Lastly, as before the worst films of the year take into account not just the quality of the film but the disappointment associated with the film. So it could be not a terrible movie, but it should have been brilliant (I'm looking at you McG and Michael Bay).

Anyway, here they are the top and bottom 10 for 2009:

Bottom 10

10. 12 Rounds

This movie was pretty dumb. But it was good fun. So it shouldn't really be in the bottom 10, I didn't have much else to put in.

9. Watchmen

Screwed up superheros is a good idea, but this was a mess: too long, the story was all over the place and confusing, the villain explained his diabolical plot at the end and there was a naked glowing man on screen half the movie.

8. Couple's Retreat

It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't very good.

7. Terminator Salvation

I have something against this movie because I have something against McG. Why didn't they get Christopher Nolan to direct this? Killer robots should be cool, but as 2009 has proven, they don't save a film. McG you take something which should be awesome, lose any sense of fun, and then make dumb things happen. Bring back James Cameron.

6. Knowing

What started off a bit intriguing, ended up being some kinda Christian thriller, where God saves the world using space ships and little kids as Adam and Eve. Not so cool.

5. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

I don't know if I had high hopes for this film, but I really wanted it to be great. Alas, it was just silly.

4. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

I was so bored.

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Michael Bay what have you done? You lured us in with giant robots fighting and then forced us to perve on teenage girls, racist charactered robots, incomprehensible plots, and just general stupidity. The fighting may have been cool, but this film was the biggest disappointment of the year.

2. New Moon

This would have been the worst film of the year if it wasn't for the giant, dancing penis in Bruno. When you need a giant dancing penis to beat you for the position of worst film of the year, you know you've made a bad film. Ella is dumb. Edward's an idiot. Jacob should put a shirt on. Stephanie Meyer needs to apologise to the world.

1. BrĂ¼no

Borat was inappropriate, but rather funny. This film was not funny, offensive, homophobic and dumb. It's like Cohen was just trying to be as offensive as possible. But offensiveness is only worthwhile if it's got a point. This seemed rather pointless. Let's make fun of gay people and celebrities who adopt babies, as if these are the two greatest evils in the world to poke fun at. Useless.

Oh and did I mention the giant dancing penis?


Top 10

Honourable Mentions: Drag Me to Hell, Funny People, Public Enemies, Red Cliff, The Hangover, Revolutionary Road


10. (500) Days of Summer

This film was smart, poignant, self-aware, funny, and well made. It was only really let down by its self-betrayal of an ending.

9. Observe and Report

This rather dark comedy was Paul Blart for grown ups. I'd rather be a grown up.

8. State of Play

A good old, political thriller about private security companies. I love it when journalists go investigating stuff especially when they're being chased by a creepy sniper dude.

7. Avatar

James Cameron has made something pretty amazing here. While the story is nothing all that ground breaking, this is can be easily overlooked because of the amazing beauty of the world they've created. The depth of imagination and the execution of the imagery is phenomenal. This is a game changer for 3D and CGI. Plus the battle at the end is pretty awesome.

6. Where the Wild Things Are

It's like the whole film just ached with the loneliness and impotence of childhood, a broken hallelujah for doing life together. And it all just looked so good. Spike Jonze kicks ass.

5. Up

Story is king. Pixar never fail.

4. Star Trek

It's Star Trek for non-nerds. J.J. Abrams going where many have gone before, but going better. This was a very cool movie. Good fun, good action, exciting, and just sci-fi enough to hurt your brain as you tried to figure out how that whole wormhole thing worked.

3. The Wrestler

This is a movie that stays with you. Mickey Rourke owned his sad, broke down wrestler. It was a thoughtful mediation on loss and identity. Perhaps poignant for me in the year I stopped being a Youth Minister.

2. Inglorious Basterds

Who hasn't wanted to machine gun Hitler in the face? Excellent.

1. District 9

Message. Aliens. Gore. Cool Guns. Action. Yeehaa! I loved all of this film. I want to watch it again and again. So much fun, yet it still managed to rebuke your inner-racist at the same time. Thank you South Africa for giving us cinematic brilliance.

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