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DTH316's Best and Worst in Film for 2009

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  • DTH316's Best and Worst in Film for 2009

    I've lost count to how many times I've done this but here are my picks for the 2009 Edition of the Best and Worst in Film. This year, something different I decided to do was add the reasoning behind most of my choices and nominations. It took a crap load of time and only did it to organize my mind but I also do it to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy the read and enjoy agreeing/disagreeing with me. It's ridiculous to judge art but people do it anyway so here is me, judging art (maybe I should title 2010 that):

    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    Paranormal Activity
    The Proposal

    Land of the Lost
    Time Traveler's Wife
    Where the Wild Things Are

    Avatar [Few and far in between but when Avatar gets to the well needed action scenes, the movie's excitement factor rises. The last action sequence alone almost gives this the award but it doesn't hold the adrenaline charged and edge of the seat quality as a few other films did this year.]
    District 9 [Bodies exploding just never seemed to get old while watching this film. And the action carried the central plot in a buddy movie between an alien and a... well, almost human, which is why I have to give this the award. With amazing special effects, awesome guns and robotic suits, the action in this film is dying to become a video game that we're all still hoping to play one day so we can get in on the fun.]
    GI Joe - Rise of the Cobra [I honestly don't remember much of this movie and in some way, I kinda don't want to because anything other then the action scenes were so damn cheesy. But those suits the two leads wear, whatever they're called, made for one awesome chase scene while jumping and dodging missiles.]
    Star Trek [Space action isn't my favorite but the new Star Trek delivered some pretty cool moments since Episode III of Star Wars. It doesn't top that film, nor any of the other titles in this category but it still earns a spot.]
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [I guess I gotta give it up to Michael Bay for probably holding the world record for blowing the most stuff up ever. The action scenes in the film are dumb fun and that's all one should expect from the film in general except the run time is 30 minutes too long and robots humping legs is just about crossing the threshold of utter horrible. I actually hated the movie once but due to the action scenes, I learned to like it a bit more.]

    Avatar - Colonel Miles Quatrich vs. the Na'vi [Not really the coolest fight of all time but it still grabs a spot.]
    Drag Me To Hell - Parking Garage Fight [The first of many fights in this film is probably the most hard hitting and insane. The two actresses go at it in an all out hardcore match that includes staplers, rulers, car crashing and gum gnawing. It's scary, funny and gross, everything that anyone could ever want. This would've won but there's just one other fight that goes a notch higher.]
    Up - Old Man Fight [How brilliant was it to have two old man go at it and feel the effects of their aging in mid fight? Maybe it's been done before or maybe it's a completely brand new idea but the way it was done in this now Pixar classic gives the movie that extra charm by delivering these laughs.]
    Watchmen - Comedian vs. The Intruder - [This film opens with an explosion of punches and kicks and some of the hardest hitting I've ever seen in my life. I missed this sequence when I first watched the film but on the second viewing (which was how I grew my love for this movie) this scene truly added to how amazing this film is. The movie drags a bit after this but I think your heart will be pumping long after to not even realize the slow parts.]
    Watchmen - Silk Spectre II & Night Owl II vs. Prison Inmates - [Watchmen ends up twice on here with two amazing fight scenes. But this one fails to be as impaction as the first but still an awesome fight, nonetheless.]

    The Lovely Bones [Maybe one of the more controversial adaptations but also one where I haven't yet to read the original source material. But that's okay because from what I've heard so far about the stuff cut from the novel to be transferred on to screen weren't completely necessary to service the story. Maybe extra juice and tidbits but nothing that wouldn't take away from what is already a brilliant story in the central plotline. But since the movie's pacing seemed to suddenly start to feel like it was treading into less compelling waters after the first hour, it can't necessarily win the category but is still a worthy contender.]
    Up In the Air [The screenplay for this film worked wonderfully as it sets up the main character as a likable douche you hate to love and turned him into a douche that's likable you love to hate. The transformation, minor twists and progression of the film was beautiful and wasn't something I would've expected within the first 30 minutes. The narrative gave it good pace and the ending left people thinking. Definitely earned points from me.]
    Watchmen [Pretty much going word for word from the graphic novel, it would be hard to say it doesn't deserve the best adapted screenplay award but let's face it, the graphic novel needed more than a few minor changes. But what was done for the film was good but not completely good enough as the film seems to just drag at some points which could have been cleared up in the screenplay and maybe even have added some new elements as well.]
    Where the Wild Things Are [One of the most beloved children books of all time gets the big screen treatment way beyond it's source material. Adding so much depth to barely a few words on a page of the original book and by still capturing the essence of it's source gives this film the award for best adaptation by not only adapting it but also making it it's own.]

    The Final Destination [I thought it was going to be basically part 2's opener just done on a race track but what we got was some mayhem within the stands which was beyond crazy. Also in 3D, it added an extra element that made it a must see for 3D afficiendos. It doesn't quite compete with the opening sequence of part 2 or part 1 but it's miles ahead of part 3's major disappointment. Seriously, how could you botch a roller coaster crash sequence? So part 4 made up with an awesome premonition sequence that would be hard to top if a part 5 ever comes into fruition.]
    Friday the 13th [First off, this is probably the hardest category to pick a winner. All of these films had near equally great opening sequences, especially the this reboot. The sequence lasts for 20 minutes before the main title of the film is even shown, tricking those less familiar with the story into believing that the first batch of teenagers will carry the entire movie. Well after some pretty brutal killings by the creepy as all hell baghead Jason, a few more teens are thrown into the batch. But it's the first 20 minutes that made people applaud, cheer and go "oh ****!" after what is soon to be one of the most awesome opening sequences in horror history.]
    Saw VI [My favorite Saw opener is probably number 4 but this one is pretty close to it. It had people jumping in their seats and laughing, me included. It was just so gruesome and insane, how could you not love it? Since this hasn't been out on home video for too long yet, I won't give much away but keep this in mind: how much flesh (in pounds) would you sacrifice to stay alive?]
    Up [The opening sequence and time line of Carl in his love life was worth watching the movie in general. Luckily, the rest of the movie is pretty good but nothing else compared to the first 20 minutes of this movie that had people pouring tears and ripping their own hearts out for feeling such heartache. Those 20 minutes in the beginning make the movie one of the best of the year by itself, even without what is to follow after. Without a doubt an adventure but nowhere near as genius as the film's magnetic pull with it's opening sequences. If you don't get even a little teary eyed after that opening, you simply just aren't human.]
    Watchmen [One of the best fights of the year is also the opener to the film. It's kick *** attitude and grit are enough to get your heart racing and wanting more, just unfortunately, the movie delivers more of the same in small doses far in between.]

    The Final Destination - [What makes the opening credits cool is the fact that the ending credits tie back into it. Now I liked that alot but aside from doing a gnarley 360, the x-ray vision of how the bones have been mangled throughout the series of the films was a nice way to open up the film.]
    Orphan - [Weird and creepy pretty much sums up this credit sequence but also sets up nicely for the suspense one is about to endure on this surprisingly hair raising thriller.]
    Watchmen - [Might be getting a little repetitive here with Watchmen being nominated in almost every category but really, is it my fault the movie is just so epic? The opening credits are flawless and creative with some awesome visuals thrown in that totally set the tone for the rest of the movie. It is actually one of my favorite parts of the movie and I usually HATE opening credits. In fact, I created this category just for this film and The Final Destination but this wins as it's more creative in what it's trying to convey about the alternate era this film takes place in.]
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine - [So this movie wasn't a complete piece of garbage as we get a timeline lapse of Wolverine and his brother Sabretooth going through every war which actually was pretty cool. As for the rest of the movie on the other hand...]

    Avatar - [One of the advantages of watching a movie in IMAX is the amazing sound system it provides. At times, this film had some reference worthy sonic moments but at others, there were times it was just hurting my ears and I wanted it lower. It wasn't as precise as I wanted it to be as some of the action was a bit messy. Hopefully this will be cleared up when released on home video.]
    Drag Me To Hell - [Now this wins for a couple reasons. One of them being is the sound is what pretty much makes this movie. The second, is the sound completely messes with the viewer's mind. It goes completely low just before the big scare and will literally press inside your chest when the bass kicks. Careful to those who haven't seen this film before, although this is a movie that you HAVE to watch loud and pretty close to the screen, I wouldn't recommend eating because you may just damn near choke to death. It's a sound mix from both hell and heaven.]
    The Hurt Locker - [One of the cool things about the Hurt Locker is how you can feel the explosions and are pushed back by the sound. The intensity builds and released by the sound in the film. A truly great sound mix.]
    Knowing - [The sound doesn't necessarily make this movie but damn, does it add a whole new element to it! Some parts of the film were scary and I don't even know if that was intentional but from the subtle moments to the disaster scenes, this film had an absolutely amazing sound mix. Bravo to those guys!]
    Watchmen - [From the moment the door gets kicked down in the first minute of the movie, this movie is a full on assault to the ears. It's loud but punctual and never seems noisy but holds a lot of bass and thump. Every punch and kick you can damn near feel. Watchmen has one of the best sound mixes I've ever heard.]

    Drag Me To Hell - [This film has found a nook and cranny in my heart that I shall cherish for now on. One of my main loves for cinema is the horror genre and this film is just about almost 100% of what I want out of a horror film. I want to be terrified, I want to giggle and I want to turn to the person next to me and say "that was gross!" Drag Me to Hell does all these things and more. Sam Raimi executed this bad boy perfectly and will become a staple in my horror collection.]
    Friday the 13th - [This in no regards is a remake as it proves to be just another entry in the franchise. Sure, Jason is different but nothing else is set up as a starting entry point for a franchise. It's not one of the best of the series but it's definitely a worthy entry especially after a knockout uppercut the opening sequence delivered.]
    My Bloody Valentine - [This is the ultimate slasher film. Too bad the cheese 3D effects weigh it down. With a few legitimate scares, a better ending and a tad bit better pacing, this easily could've won if it played it's cards right. Unfortunately for it, it just wasn't fun enough but I am definitely in line for a sequel.]
    Trick 'R Treat - [This pretty much falls in the same area as Drag Me to Hell does. Only difference between the two is one delivered scares every 5 minutes while the other delivered atmospheric Halloween goodness. This one is the latter but it doesn't make it less of a good movie. After hearing about this film for about 3 years and all the hype, it definitely was worth the wait. This film may not be the very BEST of 09 in regards to Horror but if there was a category for best spirit for Halloween, then this would win. This goes right under John Carpenter's Halloween as a "much watch" for the October season from now on. Seek it out as you have to see it, it's a fun time.]
    Saw VI - [After an extremely disappointing part 5, I was hoping this movie would deliver and it sure did. It wasn't the final chapter as promised but it was still a fun time. It doesn't deliver any scares but the thrills and fun element are very high.]

    Avatar [Not as impressive as some other entries but this still had some good effects, which is maybe one of the only reasons this movie is worth watching at least once. It will sweep every other award ceremonies for it's effects, but I seem to be in the minority to not be as amazed by Pandora's world.]
    District 9 [The prawns look so real, I'm still having trouble believing the movie was made on such a low budget in comparison to the big Hollywood movies that still make their aliens look like walking, shiny objects. However when watching this, I can't believe that they're not people walking around in giant suits. The effects in this film are absolutely amazing.]
    Knowing [I'm sure many will disagree with me but I thought the disaster sequences in this film had some awesome CGI effects. It didn't look necessarily real but it FELT real, and that's a hard thing to accomplish. It even had better effects than the other disaster film released this year, 2012.]
    The Lovely Bones [There were some CGI shots that looked way too fake but there were also some other ones that looked pretty amazing. Those couple of shots earn it a spot near the top.]
    Star Trek [The movie is very CGI heavy but it doesn't really highlight it's effects but uses them more as a background element which in some ways is good but I can't say I was necessarily blown away by the effects in this film.]

    Terminator: Salvation [Maybe the only thing going for this movie is it's practical effects with blowing stuff up and looking completely real. That's because sometimes - it was.]
    Watchmen [An extraordinary use of stuff done in screen even if it was miniatures but a lot of the effects were a lot better than Snyder's previous entry, 300, which was too reliant on CGI effects. Although still pretty heavy in the CGI department, it's the practical stuff that looks the best.]
    Drag Me to Hell [KNB effects always do a good job at making practical stuff look awesome. Anybody up to getting their jaw gnawed on?]
    The Hurt Locker [I don't remember any CGI fire in this film from all the explosions they set off so therefore this warrants an effect nomination. You can feel the heat in some of those scenes and it felt like they were really in it. Good job.]
    Inglourious Basterds [Speaking of KNB once again, these guys delivered the goods for this movie in which I can say I don't remember a CGI shot within it (well, other than what I believe to be fake cows in that opening segment). Scalpings, head bashings and bullet holes sprayed across skin surfaces looked incredibly real, so this easily wins.]

    Halloween 2 [Rob Zombie's first entry was just damn dreadful but this movie is actually worse if you can even believe that. I walked out of the theater feeling so empty and that one of my favorite horror franchises was officially gutted. Thanks a lot, you killed the series better than Michael did to any of his victims. My soul was tarnished a bit that day.]
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    [I didn't expect much going in since the last two HP's were boring but the only good quality about this film was how easily it was to make fun of. Why I anticipated this at all is beyond me and somehow I anticipate the next one. Bring it on!]
    Paranormal Activity [You don't get away with "one of the scariest movies ever" and expect people not to anticipate anything. Not only was this movie not scary in anyway what so ever, it barely had any entertainment value.]
    Terminator: Salvation [This easily takes the cake here with what seemed to be a promising entry in the series that only turned out to be a loud, noisy and actually kinda boring mess with bad directing, storyline and even acting. It lived up to none of the hype and fell flat on it's dull face.]
    X Men Origins: Wolverine [After the horrible "Last Stand" I was hoping this film would redeem the franchise. Not only did it not, it was almost as bad or even just as bad as part 3. Only good quality is the long awaited Gambit character who is in and out way too fast to make this film any more likable.]

    The Hangover - Jon Lucas & Scott Moore [Now, it's hard to not laugh even just by thinking about this movie, that says something about these 2 screenwriters who really put it all out there for this flick even though some of their other work is very eh. Although I think what makes this movie is the direction it was put in and the actors that delivered the performances of such particular characters but it was without a doubt the screenplay that has something to it. Sure, it's a simple plot and it may even be a rehash of "Dude, Where's My Car" set in Vegas but the ride along the way to everything that happens to the main characters is so out of control that it's almost TOO good to be made up, yet it only is.]
    The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal [The screenplay sets up the story so perfect that it's gut churning sequences of intensity are helped by the characters this screenwriter puts in the pit of danger. He doesn't go for any cheap shots, which is highly respected and didn't make just another conventional action movie.]
    Inglourious Basterds - Quinten Tarantino [How can this film be beat in the screenwriting department? It was written by none other than the master of writing, Quentin Tarantino. Others may say his talent is in directing but I have to say his skill suit is screenwriting. No doubt the combination is an amazing piece of art afterward but my only problem with this screenplay is the title characters are put on the back burner for most of the movie. But aside from maybe some poor title choosing, the movie does take too long developing some certain parts, losing it's flow and pacing. Some will call these moments masterful but I think it just too much establishment for it's own good that I just want to get to the point already. But with all that in mind, Tarantino delivers possibly the best conclusion to any film, ever, so it was all worth the ride.]
    (500) Days of Summer - Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber [This is a delightful little film that grew on me long after I saw it without repeat viewings, which is actually rare. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it's quality even though it wasn't as apparent in the first viewing, for me. However, there are some truly stand out points in this film that were masterfully written. One, ofcourse, is the dialogue since I am such a sucker for realistic but also witty-ful dialogue. Two, the instances the characters go through and it's process. Third, it's random clever moments such as seeing Han Solo in the main character's reflection and the flash musical sequence. And finally, it's narrative which explores alternate possibilities of how the movie will progress and the timeline of the movie does some switcheroos. If Hurt Locker didn't come out this year, this would've won easily.]
    Up - Bob Peterson & Pete Docter [A story that came simply out of a drawing really went above and beyond, hehe... oh, and literally. A story about an old man dealing with his losses befriends a little boy barely getting to know the world and they embark on an adventure that will be remembered as one of Pixar's best. Think Gran Torino but with an imagination.]

    Anthony Mackie - The Hurt Locker [I didn't care much for this character until the ending moments where he lets a bit more of his heart out and Anthony Mackie really showed strength in that scene. It had depth and it showed his sensitive side without losing his courageous side he tried to maintain throughout.]
    Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds [Ofcourse he won this category for every award imaginable but it's without certainty that it was well deserved. His performance is so likeable when he's such a , it's one of the most fun things to watch unfold on screen.]
    Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones [You don't get much creepier than Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones playing a pedophile rapist/serial killer. His role was so effective, I can feel the uneasiness growing inside everyone in the theater every time he was on screen. It was almost a pitch perfect performance.]
    Woody Harrelson - 2012 [Woody was actually my favorite part about 2012. Okay, maybe it doesn't go above the earthquake demolishing Southern California but his goofy and over the top performance was so funny and quirky that it was so much fun to see an actor have fun in a role. I actually pushed Clifton Collins Jr. out of the category for his work in Sunshine Cleaning for this goofy role and John Travolta's over the top role in Taking of Pelham 123 is overshadowed by this as well.]
    Zach Galifianakis - The Hangover [There isn't a doubt in anyone's mind that this performance is what made the Hangover so great. He is by far the funniest character and the most likable. The Hangover 2 wouldn't be worth watching without Zach G..]

    Emily Blunt - Sunshine Cleaning
    Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
    [I won't bore you with the details but she wins.]
    Rashida Jones - I Love You, Man
    Sigourney Weaver - Avatar
    Susan Sarandon - The Lovely Bones

    G-Force - [I don't know why I liked this movie as much as I did. I guess Guinea pigs blowing up stuff and fighting crime is enjoyable to watch. Whatever the case may be, I'd be down to watch a follow up. It wasn't anywhere near as annoying or stupid as most kids movies these days have become so that's a huge plus in my book when looking for entertainment that isn't so "adult."]
    Fired Up! - [So without a doubt this wins as I had no idea I was going to laugh so much at this movie. I think I read one tiny good comment about it by chance a while ago and decided to record it on DVR just to see for myself and I was rolling in stitches. What makes it even better is it's replay value is high. I laughed even harder the second time watching it and still continue to laugh hard when I catch bits and pieces of it on Starz while flipping through channels. Now I'm sure it won't have the same effect on you but it's definitely worth a watch just to see if you catch on to it's humor. A surprisingly fun film that I'll put in my comedy collection with things that get funnier every time I watch along with Hot Rod.]
    He's Just Not That Into You - [Maybe I wasn't entirely surprised by this movie but I definitely liked it more than I imagined, even enough to buy it. With some good performances, a well put together script and enough interesting sub plots that were actually believable for a romantic comedy, I have to say this is a really well put together film. It doesn't deserve it's label as a chick flick to be written off so easily. It has character and that's saying a lot for a movie of it's kind.]
    Land of the Lost - [I can't understand the hatred for this film. Is it because of Will Farrel? Is it because of the weird and maybe even obnoxious supporting character's behavior? Or maybe it's because it's a high budget movie made for stoners? Whatever the case may be, if you took this movie at all seriously, you in no way actually watched it. It was all in good fun, had some very decent funny parts in it, was aware of it's stupidity and USED it against the audience to deliver some very zany and totally retro B-movie elements that had me laughing hard enough to want to buy it. Sue me, I liked it.]
    Orphan - [This would win if I didn't hear some good word of mouth before I went and saw this absolutely suspenseful and thrilling movie. Seriously, I haven't been that pinned down by a movie in a long while. I couldn't wait to see what happened next for the entire 2 hours this movie lasted and it was so effective that it was actually scary. My heart was thumping and I couldn't believe how good of a movie it actually was but another thing that brings this down is it's replay value was slim. I couldn't get recharged like that again since I knew everything was coming. So for a first time viewing, absolutely cool but second time, it was actually kind of blah.]

    Halloween 2 - [After watching this, I felt like a little bit of me died on the inside. My love for horror movies was almost tarnished but I couldn't let the movie get to me that badly. From the best sequence in the film being a dream sequence to the overly brutal kills that went on for forever to the whole white horse crap and the worst ending I think I've ever seen in the history of film, it was almost like Rob Zombie was purposely pissing in the face of the fans of the series. But you know what, I won't let it because this movie simply just doesn't exist to me. His first installment has some pretty cool parts and this movie does too but it all gets worn down by scenes where I'm just rolling my eyes saying c'mon! Like seriously, the dude in the ambulance screaming "****" for 5 minutes is one of the most annoying scenes I think I've ever seen. There is so much wrong with this movie I could write an essay but I'll stop there. It's actually so bad that you have to see it to believe it. But oddly enough... this isn't the worst movie of the year...]
    The Last House on the Left - [I originally had Underworld 3 in this category but this film easily took it's spot when I caught it a month before I posted this. HOLY CRAP was this movie bad. And to think it got so much acclaim. Please, HOW? How does this even match to the original? The original is possibly the most disturbing mainstream horror film ever made and this is just a poor recreation. The scenes that trotted off and did something new, weren't creative enough. The scenes that recreated the moments from the original weren't nearly as grotesque enough. And the scenes that did absolutely nothing proved to be absolutely nothing. There was no suspense, it wasn't scary and the acting is some of the absolute worst I've ever seen. It boggles my mind when people applaud the acting talents rarely in horror movies when the acting is one of the worst parts of the film (I'm speaking in example of the acclaimed "The Ruins" which was another POS film). This movie was literally good for nothing other than it's polished look and somewhat okay directing of the atrocious screenplay with pacing issues that needed to be fixed pronto.]
    Obsessed - [I kinda liked this movie when it started but the more it kept going, I hated it more and more. It was so bad that I felt embarrassed for wanting to actually see it. Oh well, not much to say about it other than it totally sucked and Beyonce's acting made me cringe at most parts. What happened?! Oh, and the film's final freeze frame is what pretty much seals the deal on being a textbook bad movie.]
    Push - [I can't describe how utterly bored I was while watching this movie that looked so cool. Really, my mind was just turning into mush. I wanted it over 40 minutes in but it just kept going and going and going. All the talent in this film was completely wasted and the last scene was such garbage, I wanted to throw the movie across the room for wasting so much of my time. It was like watching a really bad TV show that some how got produced into a film. Oh, and by the way, it is being made into a TV show. Don't watch it and hope it gets canceled.]
    Year One - I laughed while watching this movie but never do I once think I was laughing with it. It was so horrible and all the jokes fell so flat that I just had to laugh to break the tension in the room while torturing every one else who had to endure the pain with me. I literally had to turn it off midway and start back up again another time because I couldn't do it all at once. It was simply too much and thinking about it almost makes me cry at it's cheapness. The film looks like it was made in somebody's backyard. Now, it may not be Disaster Movie bad, but in all honesty I can't even count that as a movie, but I would rank it down there with the realms of Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and the like. How this movie failed so biblicly is beyond me and I'm actually ashamed that I even looked forward to seeing it. I'm not saying nobody in the world will like this movie as I already know of people who do, it's just to me, this is one of the worst movies I've ever had to sit through. Painfully unfunny, horrible production values and a story that makes me wonder why it had to be produced even to begin with. I usually like Jack Black and Michael Cera but here, I can't believe either of them did this even for the pay check. Shockingly piss poor - worst movie of the year.]

    The Hurt Locker
    The Lovely Bones
    [I shouldn't have to explain myself for this one, it's one of the most beautiful and dirty films recorded in one, which is a huge accomplishment.]
    Where the Wild Things Are

    The Hangover - [One of the funniest movies EVER and still funny on repeat watches, this movie was an instant classic the moment it started. The characters and the wild stuff they get into make this so outrageously funny that it's begging for more wild nights with these guys.]
    I Love You, Man - [This could've won if it didn't take so long to get to the funny. About 20 minutes or so, the movie lacks any real punch in the kneeslapping department. I was about to be very disappointed until the great Jason Segel came in and stole the movie. Not that Paul Rudd isn't funny in it, it's just he worked better with his partner in crime.]
    Land of the Lost - [A very stupid movie that knew it was stupid so played along with it. Those who don't like it are the ones who just don't get the joke or can't bring themselves to be silly for an hour and a half. It's insulting your intelligence and any movie brave enough to say so gets some type of honor.]
    Zombieland - [Is this one of the most ultimate movies ever? Possibly. With maybe a longer running time, this possibly could've been the best movie of the year but it decided to cut the fun short and leave us wanting more zombie fun and laughs. I laughed hard at many parts but the cameo in the movie was done too easily in my book, even though some people enjoyed it enough to say it's the best scene in the movie. Still a very funny movie.]
    Fired Up! - [May have been the biggest surprise of the year but it just isn't the funniest although there are so many parts I like to recite over and over again. I'd say it in spanish just to make you know how serious I am about this movie but I unfortunately don't speak said language...]

    Avatar - Fern Gully Destroyed [It took a long 2 hours but the moment I was finally waiting for happened and I was very pleased. With the flying helicopter things versus the native warrior combat skills of the Na'vi, this was a cowboy versus indian battle times 100. Very cool stuff but I didn't feel as much impact on this film as I did others.]
    District 9 - District 9 shootout [The movie is filled with lots of explosions and people exploding but out of all of them, my favorite one is the ending seqeunce of trying to escape District 9. Not trying to spoil anything or give too much plot detail away, I think everyone will be very pleased as to how everything turns out and hopefully that sequel comes very soon.]
    The Final Destination - Movie Theater Destruction [Another movie theater in the best climaxes category. Although this sequence is more upscaled than the one in Inglourious Basterds, it just doesn't hold the same emotional resonance as that film does. Although, this part was flippin' straight up DOPE. Especially with that wonderful 3D, this is one of the coolest action scenes to ever brace a horror movie.]
    Inglourious Basterds - The Movie Theater [This movie pretty much exists just to deliver the ending scenes in the movie theater and it is so freakin' awesome and even shocking. People can say what they want about this movie but if you don't think this is one of the coolest climaxes in cinema history then you just... you... you suck, that's what!]
    Saw VI - End of the Maze & the Reverse Bear Trap II [The sixth Saw movie delivers one of the best endings to the films since the first. Not as shocking but it's just one where you feel like the journey through each film to get to this point was well worth it. And yes, it's left open for another sequel, but ya know what? Bring it on!]

    District 9 - Neil Blomkamp [I'd give it up if the documentary style pacing the first entire act of the film was cut short but on another note, everything else was done so wildly and unexpected. With some wonderful direction, the actors in this film and the scenic value they delivered in made some break neck speeds feel pretty steady and joyful. Please keep him on for D10!]
    The Hangover - Todd Philips [The screenplay may not have been what made this movie funny but I'm absolutely positive it was the director who got these guys going in the right direction to deliver the laughs. It's not the most beautiful work of art to ever touch cinema but from a comedic stand point, you can't deny it's brilliance on all the choices he made to bring the laughter.]
    The Lovely Bones - Peter Jackson [Even though he falls short from his previous films on this one (yes, I'm including Dead Alive and The Frighteners!), Peter Jackson still knows how to make a film seem magical even in the most dreadful of times.]
    The Hurt Locker - Kathryn Bigelow [Many people are shocked to hear when I say a female directed this film but I suppose that is surprising in this film about men at war with only one female in the film. She really tapped into the human nature of these men and how they decide to live their lives or end them. It was a really art house take on what could've been a generic action movie but it's a thoughtful and inspired piece that builds some of the most intense scenes I've ever witnessed.]
    Where the Wild Things Are - Spike Jonze [Beautifully crafted, wonderfully envisioned and performances with soul, WWTA is one of my favorite movies to watch from a directorial stand point. Each choice taken in the film speaks to the child in everyone and makes us remember what it used to be like to be 7 years old and against the entire world.]

    Alison Lohman - Drag Me To Hell [I gotta give this girl props for basically being Ash from the Evil Dead series for an hour and a half. She gets beat down numerous times and is even the one pulling the punches. She really stuck it out and is worthy of being one of the new horror mistresses.]
    Amy Adams - Sunshine Cleaning [Amy Adams really gave her character in this film a good depth that wasn't over acted or too subtle. The performance by no means tries to steal the show and does what's written to get the accomplished effect so the audience can feel what she's going through in each scene as it develops, which is the art of acting, isn't it?]
    Gabourey Sidibe - Precious [I don't see how Sandra Bullock won this over Ms. S here since it was just Sandra Bullock being her quirky self just a bit more contained. This here was a shining performance and it helps a lot to see her as her natural self to understand the depth she put into this role. She is naturally a very (don't laugh) light and vibrant person and her character is very subdued and battered. I would say maybe the second or third best performance of the year.]
    Isabelle Fuhrman - Orphan [If you are not creeped out by this little kid after this movie then you have nerves of steel. You have to give credit to this pre-teen actor for giving one of the scariest child-horror performances I think I've ever seen. Although Vera Fermiga did a good job in this in the other leading role (better than Up in the Air, in my opinion), it's Isabelle who stole the show.]
    Zoe Saldana - Avatar [Even though I don't care much for Avatar, it is without a doubt Zoe Saldana's shining moment in film history. Much like Andy Serkis (Smeagol/Gollum in Lord of the Rings) was cheated out of an Oscar nomination for doing a motion captured role, Zoe may have got the praise and the box office push but didn't receive the award recognition. So even though my award means absolutely nothing, I still think Zoe Saldana gave the best female performance of the year and that says alot when it's from a motion captured performance. Sure Andy Serkis did it for me twice for both Lord of the Rings and being the giant ape in King Kong but I think this will set a new trend where people will recognize those who can act through a green suit. And some tend to make fun of a couple of the parts in Avatar delivered by Zoe such as the dialogue and her over reaction crying but it's all apart of the character and she did it wonderfully to where it was very believable. She was completely immersed in the role.]

    Adam Sandler - Funny People - [Even though he still acted like a goof in this film, I think he balanced out the drama just right. Because he has his dramatic roles and his comedic roles but they never mingled necessarily to such great effect so I think this is exactly what Adam Sandler should be doing. The scenes of him dealing with his sickness are really powerful and you could see it on his face like he had a lot and nothing to think about at the same time. It was really captivating to see someone put on that role and do it so well. And I'm usually not a Sandler fan!]
    Sharlto Copely - District 9 - [It's really impressive for a first time actor to give such an awesome performance. He pulled off being the douchebag so easily that everyone couldn't wait for him to be accidentally shot or something and then by the middle of the movie, you were rooting for him to make it out of his situation. He showed such realism with his performance and I think some of that comes from the improvisational nature of the film but a lot of the scenes don't feel like forced acting and come off effortlessly which is the key.]
    Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker [One of very few performances that I actually believe and towards the end, his performance and depth just got better and better. To wonder what's going on in that mind of his during the last half of the movie is so effective that it's hard not to feel for him whether you like him or not.]
    Sam Rockwell - Moon [This movie for some reason got a lot of acclaim from sci-fi nerds but I wasn't all that impressed by it. I didn't think it was all that original. It just seemed like a Twilight Zone episode in space. Now instantly, you're like, "wait, awesome + awesome should equal holy awesomeness" but not necessarily for this movie. It was interesting while it lasted and that's mostly because of Sam Rockwell's performances... yeah... performances. Anywho, the movie is worth a watch for that. Not all that great but a good movie to look at to study acting.]
    George Clooney - Up In the Air [For the first two-thirds of this film, it's pretty much George Clooney being Clooney but for the last third, it's where he gives a wonderful performance. It's the change that he starts to go through and the actually pretty depressing ending where you really feel for him when you couldn't have cared for him in the beginning. Although I think this movie was a bit too overrated at pretty much every award ceremony, I think this is the one category where it deserved to be nominated.]

    District 9 [Another film just a hair away from winning is this surprise nomination in the Oscars. It deserves every little bit of attention it gets. It is this year's MOST original movie by far and never once did I predict what would happen next which is saying a lot for me. One complaint is the first act of the film does the documentary thing for too long for it to just switch up on us to be told in a different narrative. I prefer the normal narrative as opposed to the documentary style but I feel if it were going to go that route for the beginning, it should've did it for the rest of the duration somehow or just been much shorter. Nevertheless, we get an explosive sci-fi/action film that has to be seen to be believed. It includes an awesome performance from it's lead actor, this year's best CGI effects, a story that is lightyears beyond more original than anything out this year and the best action scenes to be shown on screen. It's not only action packed, filled with originality and awesome special effects, it's also very funny with it's buddy movie like quality. We root for these 2 main characters so easily that we want them so badly to succeed in their mission and even do some more missions together in the future. This is a must see, it rocks and it's awesome.]
    Drag Me to Hell [With pacing that is almost hard to endure because of the scares being delivered to the final scene that made everyone in theater's jaw drop, it was an original feast of horror for the ages and I was full. Take this buffet in and plan on staying for awhile, it gets wild, dirty, zany and scary beyond many horror movies try to even attempt to go these days. This film succeeds on so many levels that it'll make you believe even a goat can laugh.]
    The Hangover [Yup, the funniest movie of the year is also the BEST movie of the year. There was nothing more enjoyable than watching this movie and still to this day it keeps me laughing. Sure there may be more movies more plot heavy, with better performances and cinematography and what not, but this movie fleshes out so simply that it makes us wonder why it hadn't been done so well before. With a cast of mostly unknowns that easily could've had Will Farrel or Seann William Scott in the movie, this movie decided to do the best thing and bring in people we weren't familiar with, which gave it more of the "night out with some new friends" feel. From one thing after another, the movie couldn't be more perfect and more funny.]
    The Hurt Locker [This almost won it in my eyes if it wasn't for one scene that totally ruined the pacing and intensity of the rest of the movie with a moment that just felt so out of left field. Sure it gave us some more insight on our main character but it I think it could've been handled in a different way. With the rest of the movie being almost near perfect with the cinematography, acting, directing and screenplay, it almost couldn't be better. It's a definite must see and I'm glad it took the Oscars this year instead of Avatar, which is just a 3 hour 3D version of Fern Gully, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves and a hundred other Cowboys vs. Indian movies. The Hurt Locker is everything Avatar is not. It's deeper, more in touch with reality in it's characters, had more heart, more intensity, integrity and felt more daring. It took risks just by even being filmed and you can tell each actor really put their all into making this film. It's an astonishing film and I highly recommend it if you want to see a smart, intense, and realistic action movie that is a commentary not only on today's war but the soldiers involved and the ones they leave back at home and what they go out every day to fight for.]
    Watchmen [Why wasn't this nominated at least once for ANYTHING at the Oscars? This movie is freakin' amazing. I admit, I didn't care for it much when I first saw it but with repeat viewings, I saw something outstanding each time. Sure it has some pacing problems with it's theatrical cut, which is unfortunately what I'm putting against with all the other contenders, but the director's cut is a much better version of the film. Nevertheless, the film has a deep rooted message that should be heard and makes it something to be seen to fully understand. Some will say just read the graphic novel but I think this film is visually so mesmerizing that the film does the drawings justice and is even more eye popping. I'm not an originalist and that's my opinion. Each actor plays their respected characters in an honest and true way. Each scene carefully takes it's time to play out, but that may be to some people's annoyance as it was mine the first time watching it. The run time is treading the 3 hour mark and the director's cut goes over it but with a little patience, I think many movie goers will love this film if they know what they're getting into. Don't expect an action packed filled film and get ready for some political commentary and you'll enjoy this movie as it deserves to be understood.]

    In order, from best to least in 2009:
    The Hangover
    District 9
    The Hurt Locker
    Trick 'R Treat
    Drag Me To Hell
    Inglourious Basterds
    I Love You, Man
    Where the Wild Things Are

    Above Average
    Up in the Air
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Funny People
    The Lovely Bones
    The Fourth Kind
    Friday the 13th
    He's Just Not That Into You
    Time Traveler's Wife
    Paper Heart
    Star Trek
    Saw VI
    The Final Destination
    My Bloody Valentine
    Fired Up!
    Land of the Lost
    Whip It
    (500) Days of Summer

    Sunshine Cleaning
    Public Enemies
    A Perfect Getaway
    The Uninvited
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    Angels & Demons
    The Box
    Observe and Report
    17 Again
    Paul Blart: Mall Cop
    Taking of Pelham 123
    Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
    The Princess and the Frog
    Old Dogs
    Fast and Furious
    The Blind Side
    G.I. Joe - Rise of the Cobra
    Sorority Row
    Jennifer's Body
    The Haunting in Connecticut
    The Stepfather
    Powder Blue
    Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

    Below Average
    Miss March
    New Moon
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    Terminator: Salvation
    The Unborn
    The Soloist
    Couple's Retreat
    Race to Witch Mountain
    The Ugly Truth
    Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
    Monsters Vs. Aliens
    The Pink Panther 2
    The Proposal

    Paranormal Activity
    The Informant!
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li
    Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
    Last House on the Left
    Halloween 2
    Year One

    2010 most anticipated (pretty much in order):
    Toy Story 3
    Iron Man 2
    Nightmare On Elm Street
    Get Him to the Greek
    The Expendables
    Grown Ups
    The Last Airbender
    Knight & Day
    Little Fockers
    Shrek Forever After
    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    Dinner for Schmucks
    Step Up 3D
    Harry Poter and the Deathly Hollows

    Best to least in 2010 so far:
    How To Train Your Dragon
    Book of Eli
    Hot Tub Time Machine
    Shutter Island
    Black Dynamite
    Date Night
    Valentine's Day
    Cop Out
    The Wolfman
    Clash of the Titans
    Alice in Wonderland