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My Year in Movies 2009 (and 2008)

As the Oscars passed me by, I thought it might be time to do my Year in Movies 2009, in which Your Humble Blogger details all the movies I have seen so far that came out in that year. I had been thinking, last night, that it was Not a Good Year for movies for YHB, but that turns out not to be so true. Here are the flicks, as best as I can remember them.

  • Coraline: Certainly the creepiest movie of the year, and a strong contender for Most Disturbing Movie Ever. Of course, that’s a personal thing, mostly because the great Neil Gaiman and the great Henry Selick happened to hit my sensitive subjects: needles, eyeballs, spiders. Ick. And definitely would have been my top animated pick over Up (see below), but then I haven’t seen Ponyo or The Fantastic Mr. Fox yet.
  • District 9: My comment about halfway through this one was that it was more like the specfic I had been reading lately than most specfic movies are. There were some flaws, sure, but I enjoyed it a lot. I was pleased to see that they avoided the scene where the infected human lead and his wife meet and, well, that wouldn’t have been a good scene however it went.
  • Invictus: This was enjoyable, although I was disappointed in the portrayal of the rugby, which was the last four or five hours of the movie. Also, I felt that it was a mistake for the stadium people to install a digital clock that makes a really loud thud noise whenever the display changes. On a more serious note, I was irritated by the pointless ghost scenes of Mandela in prison, and was very impressed with the supporting actors. Also? Needs Moar Cricket.
  • Julie and Julia:Too much Julie. Stanley Tucci was brilliant (as he so often is), and Meryl Streep was a hoot. On the whole, I didn’t find the movie as annoying as the book, mostly because of the bits that were based on the other book.
  • Inglourious Basterds:What a mess. Good bits, but it sure seemed like it aspired to profundity without wanting to make any actual statements. Yes, I see, we-the-viewers are contemptuous of the Nazis in the movie theater as they cheer for the soldier on screen killing Americans, and then we cheer for the Americans on our screens killing Nazis. Yes. It is possible to construct highly self-referential situations at once reductive and regressive. But all of that was distracting from the fun, which this movie promised me and did not deliver.
  • Love Happens: Was I on a plane? I can’t remember why I saw this, but it was terrible.
  • Monsters v. Aliens: This was quite close to being a good movie, but it never happened. It just didn’t.
  • Up: A lot of fun, with some really brilliant bits at the beginning. I never really warmed to the boy, though, and it is probably one of my more serious character defects that I fear and loathe dogs, so that kinda detracted from the experience for me. I mean, a good movie, all in all, but not a Great Movie. Loved the beginning, though.
  • Watchmen: See, here’s the thing. YHB inadvertently picked up from the local public library not the theatrical release, which I probably would have thought was too long, nor the Director’s Cut for people who have lots of time, but the Ultimate Unending Uncut Version, where they threw in extra footage of people standing around and some extra stuff they had in a can in the shed, and I think they may have just shown some clips of people looking at each other more than once, and, and, well, all of this in addition to the acting being terrible, just terrible, and, the point is, I gave up during the prison riot. Maybe if I had seen the short version, I would have enjoyed it, particularly if I had seen it in the theater, but not this version. As a side note, I also shut off Zack Snyder’s film of 300, which makes me two-for-two on his. And I don’t give up on movies that often.

That’s it for the year. So far, anyway—I do most of my watching at home now, so it’s likely that I will see more 2009 movies over the next few years. There are half-a-dozen or so I really do want to see at some point. The only ones I saw in the theater were Coraline and Invictus, by the way.

It seems I never did a 2008 list, either. I won’t go back and fix it, but for y’al’s information, the movies I have so far seen from 2008 are Bangkok Dangerous, The Bank Job, Be Kind, Rewind, Burn after Reading, Death Race, Hellboy II, Hulk, Igor, In Bruges, Leatherheads, Milk, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, The Tale of Despereaux, Tropic Thunder (much of it, anyway), and Wall-E. I think Wall-E stands out as my favorite, but Miss Pettigrew was wonderful, and both Milk and Be Kind, Rewind were good as well. The others range from has-good-bits to oh-dear-me.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

Have you read the book from which Miss Pettigrew was adapted? It's subtly different in a few ways and just as enjoyable, IMHO.


No, I haven't read it, and it seems as if my library doesn't own a copy. Which is odd, since popular novels of the early 20th Century are pretty much a sweet spot for our collection, and that one in particular seems to be the sort of thing (I'm guessing from the movie) that would come in handy for a course in Representations of Pre-War Women kind of course. Hm.

Thanks,
-V.


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