MovieBob's Best Of 2009

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MovieBob:
Okay, might as well do this at least ONCE...

Regarding any and all of the following films: "Coraline," "Brothers," "Observe & Report," "Drag Me to Hell," "Hurt Locker," "Ponyo," "Paranormal Activity," "Bad Lieutenant" and "Invictus;" if it was a top TWENTY list, they'd have made it.

What about the Princess and the frog oh you Massachuesetts Mustang you?

I liked the begining of the Brothers Bloom, but it went down hill for me after that and by the end could have cared less about what happened to any of them. I had seen several reviews on how good it was, but it didn't really do anything for me.

I thought district 9 was ok, but nothing spectacular and I didn't quite hate Transformers 2 as much as Bob did. I sort of liked the new Star Trek this coming from someone who has seen every episode of the Original, TNG, DS9, Enterprise and most of Voyager.

MovieBob:
3.) District 9

I believe a rather audacious scoffing on my part is in order here.

Gee, talk about a movie who's chief failing is encouraging you to think upon the subject matter it presents, only for you to figure out that you've just been handed a rather pretentious plate of bull crap.

Wait, wait. Sam Rockwell was in Hitchhiker's Guide, Matchstick Men and Galaxy Quest? Before knowing that, I could have made a convincing case that they were all different people. Awesome people.

That said, I haven't seen Moon. May yet still at some point, though.

Now, I'm not a comics buff, and, more to the point, haven't read the original series, but I don't think Watchmen deserved that place. Judged by its own merits, it's a great movie until the third act. I could almost pinpoint the minute when my opinion of the movie went from "great" to "pretty good" to "Zack Snyder must die."

Of course, anybody can agree and disagree about choices and positions on a top ten list. What I would take issue with is this statement instead:

this will cover what I'd like to think of as the middle ground between "stuff I liked best" and "stuff that objectively was the best."

I'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as objective superiority when it comes to movies (or games, books, or anything for that matter): it's all subjective.

I have only seen about half of those, but the ones I have seen I completely agree with their presence on the list

This seems like a great list. I'm a bit disappointed that you never reviewed A Serious Man. I mean, that seems like it deserves an episode more than that obscure ninja movie you already reviewed.

That lisst a a lot of movies that I meant to see (Mr. Fox, The informant!, District 9, Moon), but didn't get around to due to friends not wanting to see them. I can see Myself argeeing with alot of, except Inglorious, Wich I'm not sure if I liked or not, there was stuff in it that could be seen as very clever and subversive, or self-indulgent and immature (although I've been leaning more to the former the more I think about it). And Watchmen, which I really didn't like.

I honestly feel like I'm the only one who went to go see Pirate Radio. I realize that it's not exactly Academy Award Material, but the movie is downright fun without needing any of the following key words:
Campy, Heartwarming, Family Friendly.

The movie felt like it was almost a mockumentary about a bunch of guys out on boat, and it managed to show me why humor surrounding awkward moments has ever worked at all (instead of just being stupid and awkward in many movies.)

District 9 =)

saw it with the girl, didn't know what to expect really but the movie was amazing

The Big Eye:
Wait, wait. Sam Rockwell was in Hitchhiker's Guide, Matchstick Men and Galaxy Quest? Before knowing that, I could have made a convincing case that they were all different people. Awesome people.

That said, I haven't seen Moon. May yet still at some point, though.

Now, I'm not a comics buff, and, more to the point, haven't read the original series, but I don't think Watchmen deserved that place. Judged by its own merits, it's a great movie until the third act. I could almost pinpoint the minute when my opinion of the movie went from "great" to "pretty good" to "Zack Snyder must die."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen

I wouldn't be upset at the plot, considering that the plot is what made this the 1984 of Comic Books.

A good selection. One thing I never got about District 9 was while everybody mentioned racism and apartheid in relation to the film no one, as far as I could see, discussed immigration as an issue that the film was exploring.

The economic and social collapse of neighbouring Zimbabwe has resulted in South Africa being flooded by refugees, many of whom are desperate and starving. In response the government has hearded these refugees into camps not dissimilar from District 9 and done their level best to keep them isolated from the rest of populus.

And if you think about it the film works much better as an allegory for that issue than it does for the problems surrounding apartheid. I mean in order to be an effective allegory for apartheid surely the humans would have to go over to the alien planet, take their land and impose racial segregation upon the aliens?

Just some brain food.

I agree with bobs "best of" list, but calling The Blind Side the worst movie of the decade... I don't get it. It was a true story after-all, so you're calling someones own life a shitsack of cliche'd-ness. Nice.

Supp:

The Big Eye:

Now, I'm not a comics buff, and, more to the point, haven't read the original series, but I don't think Watchmen deserved that place. Judged by its own merits, it's a great movie until the third act. I could almost pinpoint the minute when my opinion of the movie went from "great" to "pretty good" to "Zack Snyder must die."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen

I wouldn't be upset at the plot, considering that the plot is what made this the 1984 of Comic Books.

Partly plot, partly visual style, partly symbolism, partly a lot of things, right?
All I'm saying (okay, not all) is that either Alan Moore completely failed to understand anything about the Cold War beyond that there were Americans and Russians and Vietnam in it, or that he did manage to create a plausible Cold War alternate history scenario that was then glossed over or outright ignored by Zack Snyder in the movie adaptation. Either way, it made me a great deal more angry than I usually get about movies.

I would of found room for Coraline and Observe & Report on that list somewhere.

I really love those movies.

AkJay:
I agree with bobs "best of" list, but calling The Blind Side the worst movie of the decade... I don't get it. It was a true story after-all, so you're calling someones own life a shitsack of cliche'd-ness. Nice.

Just because a movie's based on a true story doesn't make it good. Nor does saying a movie based on a true story is shit equal calling someone's life shit, especially since in an adaptation of anything to film (truth or fiction) some events are going to be changed around for narrative purposes (see: "Public Enemies", or any movie based on real events ever). Therefore, Bob's saying that "The Blind Side" trivializes what was an interesting real story by turning it into sippy-cup level tripe is a comment on the movie, and only that.

Anyway, back to the list: I think the only thing I can disagree on is "Watchmen." Tonally, that movie was all over the place, and most of the time, that tone was off. The scenes that were supposed to be horrific induced giggles in the audience I saw it with, while the scenes that were supposed to be darkly comical were given the most dramatic weight (and fell flat). The selection of music and the slow-mo gimmick were jarring, and the movie deflated the big twist (one of the greatest twists in literature, comic book or otherwise) by having a terrible actor mumble Ozymandias' dialogue into a run-on sentence. Zack Snyder might have had the guts to tackle the project, but he tore out the heart and intelligence in favor of his fetish for gore and music videos. Oh, and he should have just cast Josh Brolin to play the Comedian, instead of wasting money doctoring up the "Grey's Anatomy" guy to look like Brolin with crappy-looking makeup.

awh very good list, and someone wrote up there "no star trek?"
i laughed so much when i saw that.

thanks for the list Bob!
guess i have to go watch Moon. only one i havent seen

Can't really find a whole lot to yell at, although from what I hear The Informant! was also one of the year's most polarizing films (I know people that absolutely hated it). Haven't seen that or Moon (damn it, where the hell is the DVD release of it?), but everything else I think deserves to go on this list.

And also, to All hail Christopher Johnson? Hells. To. The. Yeah.

Marohen:

MovieBob:
3.) District 9

I believe a rather audacious scoffing on my part is in order here.

Gee, talk about a movie who's chief failing is encouraging you to think upon the subject matter it presents, only for you to figure out that you've just been handed a rather pretentious plate of bull crap.

Not that funny, most movies that encourage you to think and dwell on the subject matter are described by somebody somewhere (who 'doesn't get it') as a pretentious plate of bullcrap.

Beat the hell out of Avatar though.

I disagree on Watchmen, out of all the movies on this list that I've seen, and I would toss Zombieland in there.

Watchmen was good, but not #1 good--although of course I realize you said yourself that it was largely a personal thing for you. It simply felt too rushed for me, too much content crammed in to make it awesome. But it was good, no mistake--and I read the picture book (=P fantastic graphic novel, I meant) and everything before watching it.

As for Zombieland, I personally liked it more than Inglourious Basterds by a very narrow margin, but I still put it lower on my list because I think the overall construction of the package is better in Tarantino's flick. Those would be in my top five, too. But number one?

I don't know, tough call. This was a good year for movies. Good list, MovieBob.

Needs moar Avatar.

ProfessorLayton:
It seems you neglected to watch the Hurt Locker, which was by far better than all of these movies combined and multiplied by 10.

QFT

No "The hurt locker"? Pah! disappointment. Well, I guess thats inevitable, can't agree with everything.

The Informant? Really, Moviebob? And here I thought we shared some similar tastes in movies. The Informant was the first movie I ever walked out on, and that was after an hour of terrible acting, terrible cinematography, and absolutely no point in the story. I honestly can't say a single good thing about it.

Maybe these types of movies aren't my thing. You know, the types that pseudo-stylistic way of zooming in on random objects and panning around the room without any real purpose other than to try to show the world how brilliant you are at manouvering the camera around the dreadfully boring forced humour going on in front of them.

Of course, it might have just been the Cameraman's way of keeping from falling asleep.

Damn right Watchmen got the #1.

They got EVERY scene from the comic, with exception to how Rorsach got his mask, and they changed the ending for the better (more logical in the long run)

Now I'd probably move down the list from inglorious basterds down one, and replace that spot with UP (making it #4) I agreed fully with the list.

I'm also happy you didn't do the "Oh it's Transformers" and jump on a bandwagon of hating Micheal Bay (Well justified, but alas his shit is so obvious that pointing it out changes nothing) and mentioned another movie.

Pretty good list, though I was impartial to Watchmen. Up was my Number 1, followed by Christmas Carol. Blind Side actually takes number 3 on my list, so I heavily disagree with your choice there. There is no justification for calling it the worst of the year. There were DEFINITELY worse movies made this year, and the acting was superb. You may not agree with the message, but Sarah Palin it was not. Instead, it was actually pretty smart. There was nothing about "bucking the system" or being Mavericks, in fact it was quite the opposite. They worked WITH the "system", and the only "Man" they stuck it to was that one idiot from the NCAA. Did it communicate morals that are conservative? Yes. Is that bad? No. Avatar could be described(and has been described) as a heavily liberal movie. Yet I don't really care. Do I believe in the whole "White man bad, save the trees!" message? No. I still want to see the movie, because the message is always up to the viewer. Always. There may be an intended message an author or director encodes, but you can take whatever you want from something. As to the kind of preachy stuff that sticks around for decades, I think your being a little hasty there. This movie wasn't near as beat-you-over-the-head preachy as some (See Facing the Giants....), and while I personally don't mind that kind of movie, I know some people do. However, to dismiss Blind Side as "Sarah Palin fantasy" is to do it a great dis-service. It's much more than that.

No avatar? a pity, I loved that movie.

Skylane14:
They worked WITH the "system", and the only "Man" they stuck it to was that one idiot from the NCAA.

See, that's one of the reasons WHY it made my "Worst" spot - I HATED that scene. I always hate that scene.

MINOR PLOT-SPOILERS FOR BLIND-SIDE FOLLOWS:

It's the worst kind of "true story" deck-stacking - taking something that was a very REAL controversy (and which the Blind Side BOOK regards with a certain "well, maybe" detachment) - and twisting it so as to deflect critique. It's an ancient, cheap screenwriter's trick: Take the most obvious criticism of your plot and have one of The Bad Guys say it. That way, it LOOKS as though you've mentioned it but you've also sent the audience a subliminal hint: "Hey! If you're thinking on these same lines, you'd better not! Cuz that makes YOU on the side of this baaaaaaaad person!" It's lazy, cynical and pandering writing of the worst kind.

You can see a slightly-less-agregious version of it in "Avatar," where the only person who "calls out" Sully on being a traitor to his own home planet is Quaritch - who is, of course, a total douchebag. My favorite use of it is in "The Ten Commandments" (a movie I LOVE, just for the record) which actually takes time out onscreen to mention all of the "natural phenomena" explanations for the Ten Plagues... except that they person SAYING IT is The Pharoah ;)

Watchmen was about as profound as soiling yourself while reading George Orwell.
You know there's something substantial at work right in front of you, but you're too busy coping with the shit smeared on top of it to really notice.

Watchmen gets #1, and no mention of The Hangover or Star Trek anywhere? Buuuuuullshit.

And also, aren't you forgetting this was the year of Dragonball, Legend of Chun-Li AND Super Capers, and you pick Blind Side as worst movie?

I hated watchmen!

Just going to nitpick a bit here: Why call the Inglourious Basterds counter-terrorists? Is there even such a thing, or is it just a word invented for terrorists as the good guys?

MovieBob:

Skylane14:
They worked WITH the "system", and the only "Man" they stuck it to was that one idiot from the NCAA.

See, that's one of the reasons WHY it made my "Worst" spot - I HATED that scene. I always hate that scene.

MINOR PLOT-SPOILERS FOR BLIND-SIDE FOLLOWS:

It's the worst kind of "true story" deck-stacking - taking something that was a very REAL controversy (and which the Blind Side BOOK regards with a certain "well, maybe" detachment) - and twisting it so as to deflect critique. It's an ancient, cheap screenwriter's trick: Take the most obvious criticism of your plot and have one of The Bad Guys say it. That way, it LOOKS as though you've mentioned it but you've also sent the audience a subliminal hint: "Hey! If you're thinking on these same lines, you'd better not! Cuz that makes YOU on the side of this baaaaaaaad person!" It's lazy, cynical and pandering writing of the worst kind.

My response to that is as follows:

I will be the first to admit that I "always hate that scene" as well. I'm about as cynical as they come, despite my beliefs. I think the world is a mudball populated primarily by people looking to further themselves. It would be easy for me to give in to the more cynical views given about both The Blind Side and Avatar. However, I think we can both agree that one way or the other, I'm going to miss out on a good movie. Hell, Iron Man can be viewed with some cynical undertones, with some terrible ideas, and so on and so forth. But I'm not going to skip it, because I don't believe those ideas. Even if they're true and what the director wanted, they sure aren't what I took away. If I were to skip Iron Man(or even worse, Dark Knight) because of possible ties to ideas I don't like, I would miss two of the greatest movies I've ever seen. I'd be discounting two truly great movies simply because I didn't agree. Now, I'm human, so I'm perfectly capable of such things, in fact I'm sure I missed out on more than a few good things (Kirby for one, for the same reasons you outline in Game Overthinker) because I didn't agree with what I thought they represented. It's the reason I still refuse to read Twilight(Don't even get me started on that one, we'll be here all night :P ), so I can't really fault anyone for it. I can only ask that we try and look beyond the perceived message and let it teach us something. Maybe you think it's preachy, or like Sarah Palin, or a dozen other reasons. But let's let go of that for a minute, and draw what we can from it. Sometimes, you'll get nothing but crap. But I will stake my reputation on the theory that 90% of the time, you can find something good. Except in Shaolin Soccer. That movie sucked, and will burn for all eternity.

theflyingpeanut:
I'd disagree with Watchmen, but that's just because it ddn't feel right to me. It was good, but I just couldn't enjoy it after the book. The voices seemed wrong, everything just seemed ... off somehow. Probably just me though, seeing how everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

Yup just you.

It happens though.

LiquidGrape:
Watchmen was about as profound as soiling yourself while reading George Orwell.
You know there's something substantial at work right in front of you, but you're too busy coping with the shit smeared on top of it to really notice.

So you read books while hanging bare assed over them?

Otherwise your little metaphor there certainly breaks down mechanically.

The Big Eye:

Partly plot, partly visual style, partly symbolism, partly a lot of things, right?
All I'm saying (okay, not all) is that either Alan Moore completely failed to understand anything about the Cold War beyond that there were Americans and Russians and Vietnam in it, or that he did manage to create a plausible Cold War alternate history scenario that was then glossed over or outright ignored by Zack Snyder in the movie adaptation. Either way, it made me a great deal more angry than I usually get about movies.

The whole one great tragedy bringing the world together is one of the oldest stories in human existence. It is the staple of one of the largest religions on Earth. I think that was his inspiration for the idea. Plenty of popular media uses the same cliche however in Watchmen it at least makes you uncomfortable, normally it ends up being boring and tedious.

I think that's why I like the hopelessness of it, all those people died, all those lives changed in an instant, and in a matter years (tops) it'll all fall apart as Rorschach's journal begins to be published.

The idea is that people will act entirely nonsensical if something more powerful than they can imagine is acting against them. Be it God, space alien, or a blue man who can change matter at will and teleport across lightyears of space in an instant. It is true and has been proven true over millenia. That's how you control people, you give them some spectacular story about an all powerful thing they could never match existing and having a problem with them in some manner. Keeps people in line.

Overall though this was the best adaption of a comic to a movie I've ever seen. Not to say I haven't liked others a ton (I usually do) but this was very well done. While they did change some things they still matched much of the atmosphere and raw emotion that the book presented.

I'm just surprised you were able to accept Dr. Manhattan but not able to accept the whole cold war bit. Nice job picking which was more unbelievable ;). (Basically just pointing out it is an alternate reality where we don't fully comprehend the psychology of all individuals nor the laws that make up the universe there. But I'll leave it at that since usually when I bring this up someone goes into an all caps rant about how it doesn't matter what they found most unbelievable was the most unbelievable part.)

Y'know, I hear a lot of bad things about film industry these days, and quite a bit is true. However, when you boil it down to 10-20 films in given year, this was pretty good.

Moon, an amazing sci-fi film that really showcases an actors talents and has great atmosphere.
District 9, out of left field and best action sci-fi I've seen in years.
Up, which contained the one of the most profound montages on life I've ever seen.
Where the Wild Things Are, a work of genius that equals and succeeds one of my most cherished childhood memories.
Watchmen, which despite insane expectations managed to be very good despite flaws.

Several others, and I will find way to see Hurt Locker and Pernasses someday. Even lately Avatar, Fantastic Mister Fox and Up in the Air all have been good entries.

If you're willing to mine films, they still make good ones.

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