I’ve been in a bad mood for the last few days, so I thought I’d follow my Best of the Decade article from earlier this week with a look back at 2009’s worst films. Then I realized that admist all my 2010 celebrations, I’d neglected to list the best of 2009 as well. I’m sure, like everything in the world of film, these are debatable. One person’s nightmare is another’s wet dream, so while I wanted to commit hara-kiri during I Love You, Beth Cooper, another person might have been clapping with joy and slapping their knee at all the fun and hijinx ensuing on screen. Such is the beauty of le cinema. Anyhow, take a peek at my lists and please, as always, dish your two cents.
I Love You, Beth Cooper
Hayden Panettiere (TV’s Heroes) might be cute as a button, but this beauty and the nerd tale was literally unfunny from start to finish. If Panettiere hadn’t of dropped her towel for a nanosecond in the middle of the movie, I’d probably not have made it to the end. And what’s with Paul Rust? I’m supposed to believe he’s actually 17? He looks 35.
Roland Emmerich has a chubby for disaster movies, but while Independence Day was a-ok, the rest – Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow – have sucked big time. They are emotionless, void of character and chock full of preachy environmental messages. I’m okay with message movies, but I can’t keep my eyes open in Emmerich’s to get the message. I’ve heard people tell me this was fun and the special effects were cool. Those people are idiots.
I thought Borat was ingenious and funny and a nice social commentary. Sacha Baron Cohen’s second film is nothing of the sort. In fact, it’s pretty offensive. As a gay fashion corespondent, Cohen manages to make himself look like a complete jackass. If I was a gay person, I’d be extremely pissed at this movie.
Land of the Lost
The TV show was lame, so why would the movie be in better? Oh, I know – because it has Will Ferrell and Danny McBride! Imagine my surprise when every part of this movie sucked. The only parts that kept me from giving this a F were the jokes about Ferrell’s Florsheim boots and the drugged out pool scene. Other than that – this movie was pure crap.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
I didn’t catch this in theaters, but I definitely kept on pace with all the “America Loves Paul Blart!” hysteria. Well, America must be pretty hard up for a good time, or our collective IQ has hit rock bottom, because this movie was neither heartwarming or funny. It was 100 percent stupid. The only positive was the lovely Jayma Mays, who I can now ogle while watching TV’s Glee.
Best movie of the year. Period. Best directing, best original writing, best cumulative acting and a fantastic Ennio Morricone score. I absolutely love this movie and it gets better upon continued viewings. Bravo to Quentin Tarantino.
The Hurt Locker
The second best film of the year is an engrossing treatise on the war in Iraq without ever taking a political position or becoming preachy. It’s part action movie, part character-driven drama. If you haven’t seen this, you absolutely must rent it next week on DVD or Blu-ray.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Who would have thought a stop-motion animation movie from quirky Wes Anderson would upstage Up and Coraline for the best animated film of the year? Not me. In fact, who would have thought it would actually be one of the best films of the year? Not me. This is a charming, funny, well-voiced and intricately detailed work of art by Mr. Anderson.
After the first two previews for Avatar, I thought for sure James Cameron had overextended himself, but after watching this visually stunning film, I see Cameron has perhaps birthed the second coming of Titanic. Word of mouth is powering this movie like no other, and rightly so – it has action, awesome special effects, solid acting and a love story to suit the starry-eyed females and hairy-chested dudes in one shot.
(500) Days of Summer
Fresh, original and spot-on honest movie about love and the mess it leaves behind. Powered by a great screenplay, great editing and directing, solid acting and a engrossing soundtrack, this movie is in the When Harry Met Sally realm of romantic comedy greatness for me.