Sunday, January 03, 2010

*Revised* 2009 Movie Rankings: 23, Not 22, Movies; I Forgot About "Taken"

I keep forgetting to include "Taken" among my movies that I saw in 2009. lists it as a 2008 movie because it was released in 2008 in a few dozen countries, but it didn't make it to the U.S. until 2009.

I admit, "Taken" is another 2009 movie I didn't see in theaters, though I always meant to. I saw it on DVD at a friend's house and then rented it via TiVo a few months later. But, I'm still counting it.

I'm glad to count it, as it was one of the best movies of 2009. It was a surprisingly well written action movie about a character, played with perfection by Liam Neeson, that is smart, capable, and fast on his feet but without seeming superhuman. It's relentless & fast paced but without feeling spastic or lacking a human element. It's like a Daniel Craig-era Bond movie or a Jason Bourne movie without the memory loss subplot.

So, here's my revised list of 23, not 22, movies I saw in 2009...

All 23 Movies I Saw In 2009
23. (F) Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
22. (C-) Push
21. (C) The Soloist
20. (C+) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
19. (C+) District 9
18. (B-) Monsters vs. Aliens
17. (B-) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
16. (B-) Terminator Salvation
15. (B) The Proposal
14. (B) Julie & Julia
13. (B) 2012
12. (B) Moon
11. (B) Sherlock Holmes
10. (B) Avatar
09. (B+) 500 Days of Summer
08. (B+) Gran Torino
07. (B+) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
06. (B+) The Time Traveler’s Wife
05. (B+) Watchmen
04. (B+) Taken
03. (A-) Up
02. (A-) The Blind Side
01. (A) Star Trek

Note: I just got back from seeing Avatar a 2nd time, this time in 3-D. I know I may be in the minority on this, but I still have to give it a B, not a B+. Despite how amazing it looked, I still got a little bored both times. Without a less predictable story and multidimensional characters, it's not much more than an exercise in amazing special effects. I'm not alone. I've read reviews where the writer has said you could turn the volume down on the movie or listen to an iPod while you watch, and it would still be amazing. Sorry, not good enough for me. I don't want *just* great visuals. I'd rather have lesser visuals if it means a greater story. In fact, even the story wouldn't be so bad if not for so many aspects of it feeling done before. Don't get me wrong, the movie overall was still good, just not great.

Friday, January 01, 2010

My Ranks for All Twenty-Two 2009 Movies I Saw This Year

This wasn't a great year for movies. Last summer's big three were The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Wall-E -- and that was just the summer. This year didn't seem as big. Sure, the Star Trek franchise was resurrected with a shockingly good reboot/re-imagining, and The Blind Side was a surprising Thanksgiving success that continues to sell out and earned Sandra Bullock a Golden Globe nomination. But, the year also gave us one of the worst movies all time with Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.

There weren't enough excellent movies to have a top 10 list of 2009, so I'll just rank all 22 that I saw, from worst to best. I admit, I saw Push, The Soloist, and The Proposal on DVD rather than the big screen, but as 2009 movies, I'm still counting them.

All 22 Movies I Saw In 2009
22. (F) Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
21. (C-) Push
20. (C) The Soloist
19. (C+) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
18. (C+) District 9
17. (B-) Monsters vs. Aliens
16. (B-) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
15. (B-) Terminator Salvation
14. (B) The Proposal
13. (B) Julie & Julia
12. (B) 2012
11. (B) Moon
10. (B) Sherlock Holmes
09. (B) Avatar
08. (B+) 500 Days of Summer
07. (B+) Gran Torino
06. (B+) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
05. (B+) The Time Traveler’s Wife
04. (B+) Watchmen
03. (A-) Up
02. (A-) The Blind Side
01. (A) Star Trek