My Top Movies of 09

with a wax figure of Hugh Hefner at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

While reading the endless articles by film critics all over about their top films of the year I realized what bothered me about every article. Average people do not have access to all of those art house movies. Plus even if you live in a big city that shows them (I do not) people who don’t see movies for free have to make a choice. I know if it’s up to me and I have to decide to spend $10 seeing either something that makes me laugh or something that makes me cry, it will often be the former. I think I’m in the middle, I enjoy some weird shit but am also into big popcorn movies. Plus, I usually catch up on everything during the next year. At the end is a list of films that I am eagerly awaiting catching on dvd (as that is your only choice when you live in the boondocks).

COMEDY:

Dance Flick
This was by far the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. Combining a parody film with all of the teen dances movies is fantastic.
Bonus: Follow Shoshanna Bush , Damien Dante Wayans & Marlon Wayans

Spring Breakdown (direct to DVD)
This movie stars Amy Poehler, Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch. I knew going in that it would either fail fantastically or be hilarious. It was hilarious but unceremoniously dumped direct to DVD. In a nutshell it’s 3 adult women who were outcasts in college running around during spring break finally getting to let loose.
Bonus: Follow Seth Meyers

Miss March
If you saw the trailer you probably thought that this looked pretty ridiculous. Well it is, but it’s too funny. A guy goes into a coma in high school and when he wakes up he finds out that his ex-girlfriend is now a Playboy Playmate. Craig Robinson has a great role.
Bonus: Follow Hugh Hefner & Craig Robinson

The Hangover
I don’t have to sell this to you, you know that it’s funny. I went in expecting to like it because I’ve been a fan of all of the principal actors for years. Initially I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up to repeated viewings. I bought it watched it for a second time though and I think that will be a classic for me.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Jeremy Piven can’t get no respect. It seems like this movie was rushed in and out of theaters. Then it was released on Netflix prior to getting a regular release to test sales. That’s sad. It’s very entertaining. I’m still a little surprised that Piven now plays these suave guys when he started out as the loser second banana in flicks but I dig it.
Bonus: Follow Jeremy Piven

Bride Wars/Labor Pains (direct to dvd)
I’m not gonna lie and say that these are not formulaic chick flicks but if are a chick (like me) and would like to indulge in a new one from ’09 you could definitely do worse.
Bonus: Follow Lindsay Lohan

Santa Buddies
(direct to dvd)
Yes, the kids’ movie about labrador retrievers. You can read my Associated Content review here

DRAMA


Spread

Ashton Kutcher plays a womanizer who targets older women but sleeps with basically everybody. Lots of sex and callousness abound. Imagine if Brian Kinney and Samantha Jones had a son then he might be a lot like this. Unfortunately they try to give him depth that doesn’t really mesh but nothing’s perfect.
Bonus: ah, too bad Kutcher’s not on twitter. xd

The Informers
If you are a fan of Bret Easton Ellis’ books and hopefully the film adaptations you should check this out. It would take a far better person than I to analyze him.
Bonus: Follow Bret Easton Ellis

Powder Blue
This is known as that Jessica Biel stripper movie. Of course it’s much more than that if you actually take the time to watch it. I don’t really want to give anything away because it’s better if you have no idea what’s going on. I will say that it’s about a bunch of screwed up people just trying to live. Also the cast includes Forest Whitaker (who always shines) and Ray Liotta (who I have a tiny thing for).

EXPLOITATION

Crank 2: High Voltage
This film is a million times more over the top than the first. The 1st was about a guy who has been poisoned running around trying to keep his heart rate up. Now he’s running around with an artificial heart trying to get his heart back. Everything is completely over the top, the violence, the sex and a weird fantasy sequence. If I hadn’t seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated I would ponder at how they were able to get an R rating on this sucker.

Bruno
This movie is all about fame and homophobia and exploiting that for laughs. It’s not as funny as Borat but perhaps just because you’ve seen the premise from the other film with the whole fish out of water thing. Very graphic.

HORROR:

Drag Me To Hell
I am a huge fan of Army of Darkness and Alison Lohman. I was pretty worried that this couldn’t live up to my expectations but it was amazing. Plus it actually scared me. I had nightmares for 2 nights. Justin Long (whom I’ve had a major crush on) annoyed me despite playing a really nice boyfriend. I have no idea why. I was a little disappointed that there was no cameo by Ted Raimi. This film has layers and subtext. You can do a quick search after watching to find out what I mean. I don’t want to give it away because then you’ll notice while you are watching it.

My Bloody Valentine 3D
I liked the use of 3D and the actors that they chose. The story was kind of TV movieish but still fun. Definitely get the original. It was the better film if you can get over the old hair and clothing styles.

The Final Destination
I’m a fan of the series. Plus they used a lot of 3D in this, much more than My Bloody Valentine. (Note: Unfortunately the 3D Blu-ray was later recalled so you can only buy this 3D movie in 2D.)
Bonus: You can follow Nick Zano

ACTION:

Inglourious Basterds

If you like Tarantiono, you’ll like or love this. I was worried I wouldn’t because it is a “war” film and I hate those. It really isn’t though, so I had no need to worry. I was so stoked to see Eli Roth really acting in something.
Bonus: Follow Eli Roth

Fast & Furious

As most FF fans will tell you the best was the first. Then they started losing people. I’ve never even watched Tokyo Drift because I didn’t give a shit. In the 4th installment we get back to the original characters. Chicks want the guys and guys what to be them. (Or theorize that they are gay because they are jealous). Yes, there are ridiculous feats but come on, that’s what you want.
Bonus: Follow Michelle Rodriguez & Paul Walker

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I really enjoyed all of the gadgets and Sienna Miller’s character in this movie.
Bonus: Follow Channing Tatum & Marlon Wayans

Streets of Blood (direct to dvd)
It’s a cop movie starring Val Kilmar and 50 Cent. It was right up my alley. Read my Netflix review

UNSEEN
The Slammin’ Salmon
An Education
Dorian Gray
Crazy Heart
Bad Lieutenant
Moon
The Hurt Locker

2010 Update: I eventually saw all of the ‘Unseen’ movies. The Slammin’ Salmon was hilarious, Dorian Gray included tons of quotes from the book (my all time favorite book!) so I loved that aspect of it, I enjoyed Moon, Bad Lieutenant & The Hurt Locker, & I felt that Crazy Heart & An Education were overrated. You need to care about the characters to make a film work & I didn’t even like, let alone care about them. I liked the 60’s look of An Education though. My late brother was a bigger alcoholic than Bridges’ character & I still didn’t feel empathy for his character.

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