Monday, 11 January 2010

TOP TEN BEST FILMS (THAT I SAW) IN 2009

I can't speak for all the Oscar-worthy films and hidden gems I failed to go and see such as:

- Milk
- Synecdoche, New York
- The White Ribbon
- Adventureland
- Drag Me To Hell
- The Cove
- Thirst
- Humpday
- Fish Tank
- The Hurt Locker
- Antichrist
- A Serious Man

(I left out Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr Fox because I saw it at an inferior cinema and want to view it a second time to help realise what I think of it. Oh and I don't think Inglourious Basterds isn't the masterpiece some people seem to think it is) But here are my personal faves:

10. ABATAP (AVATAR)


It's a touch too long (or epic as James Cameron Diaz might put it), but gawsh it's purdy. Many can attack the flimsy story, but it sets up some pretty sweet visuals. I can guarantee you, if you set your expectations low and see it at an IMAX screen you will be thoroughly entertained.

9. STAR TREK


More or less everything Abatap wasn't. Although the running time is a little over two hours you don't feel it at all thanks to some great performances, accomplished direction and alot of lens flare and hanging off cliffs. What really made Star Trek enjoyable (wasn't just that they realised they should make it more like Star Wars) was how it was rewritten in such an intelligent way that it wipes out the rest of the Star Trek mythos. Jabrams does it again.

8. THE CLASS


Now for something completely different. A French film, documentary style, positive use of "real people" instead of actors and genuinely compelling and thought-provoking throughout. Parents like it a lot.

7. CORALINE


The masterful Henry Selick takes on the legendary Neil Gaiman's story and pulls it off without a hitch. Not only is Coraline beautiful to look at, it's a kid's film that does not condescend. Featuring some genuinely creepy moments and showcasing Selick's recognisable stop-motion style. Many disagree with me but I think it's better than The Nightmare Before Christmas.

6. MOON


Sam Rockwell should win both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Oscars for Duncan Jones's thoughtful Sci-Fi debut. It really shows that you can make a good-looking and simplisticly brilliant Sci-Fi movie with a low 5 mil budget (something Michael Bay can't quite grasp).

5. DISTRICT 9


Another low budget Sci-Fi classic (YEAH classic!) film that people will remember for years to come. If not just for pig throwing, people-exploding guns, but for the emotionally intact performance from Sharlto Copley and whoever animated Christopher Johnson and son. Like Moon, this film references all the right Sci-Fi predecessors and yet remains, somehow, completely original.

4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY


Just thinking about it now has me looking over my shoulder and shutting the door to the landing. One of the only films on this list that I never want to see again. However, to propperly enjoy this film I insist that you leave your cynicisms at the door and watch it at a cinema or in a dark room without any distractions. I know you shouldn't have to do this if the film is genuinely brilliant, but you do if it's SCARY. And this film isn't fourth because it's good, it's fourth because it made me lift my knee to my chin and hide behind it.

3. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE


As we are aware, us white people love Spike Jonze. We also love the book "Where The Wild Things Are". So when the two are combined with a lovely and unique soundtrack by Karen O (some dismiss as shouting, but obviously don't remember the first song in the film) we get a film that perfectly evokes childhood and looks unlike anything you've ever seen before. I still dream of that wide shot of the fort. Deserves Oscars. It's also kid friendly don't listen to idiots.

2. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN


If it wasn't for my unashamed favouritism this Swedish vampire film would be number one. It has some fantastic unforgettable moments that really must be seen and also a completely genius mix of graphic horror and unbelievably sweet moments. Also fuck bullies.

1. UP


Sigh... unlike any other PIXAR film, or any other film for that matter, Up made me laugh throughout, but most importantly made me cry twice and only once from sadness. The second time I cried from pure happiness and upon leaving the cinema I realised that Up is one of my favourite films of all time. I saw it twice at the cinema, I don't know how many times I'll watch it on Blu-ray, but it needs to win Best Picture and Best Animated Film Oscars. Siiiiiiiiigh.

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