2009 in movies may have been Harry and his gang or you can pick Manny with his posse snatching the 1-2 spot raking about $1.8-billion combined sales worldwide but in the US the eternal battle of good and evil (Optimus Prime vs Megatron) lorded the box office with $400+ million … that’s 8 zeroes zooming around 20-billion Philippine Pesos in case you’re interested. But as 2010 enters the Na’vi tribe in the Pandoran system became the fastest movie to reach $1 billion sweeping every big hits in 2009 in just 17 days.
Yepp! Movie is still the cheapest, rewarding and superfluous dosage of visual vitamin people enjoy. Me? I been fed in front of a B&W tube (to big screen) at a tender age and hooked since. I would like to believe that I developed a gut feel in films by their title, director or actor, if it’s worth a ticket or not. Decades ago when you anticipate big budget, mega actor and yet the film sucks as you rely much on reviews from Premiere, Rolling Stones and local dailies. But now you have an absolute free resources online like Wiki to guide you. I’m bias with films, artsy for me is fussy like film adaptations because at times it relates to intellectuals and critics alike (which I’m not) I bend toward more on clichéd films that makes you feel good in a dimly lit big screen. I equally hate gore-fest where evil triumphed … it’s not entertainment and too dumb for characters running in circle, acting scared and yelling their lungs out.
Flicks I have yet to see — Sherlock Holmes, Invictus, The Informant, The Lovely Bones, Coco before Chanel, A Serious Man, Crazy Heart, Precious, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Brothers, Up in the Air and bunch of other DVD/BluRay films that I can wait from my friendly pirata.
Here are my (personal) best films for 2009 and my reason why:
Watchmen – the box office sales will not show the movie’s true value but Zack Snyder did it! Again sticked with Alan Moore’s graphic novel just like his previous 300. Some would disagree but it owns my best sex scene of the y ear.
Earth – my son never gets tired of watching it over (and over). The journey will take you from North Pole in January to the South in December. A beautiful documentary with a call for (environmental) change, brilliantly narrated by Patrick Stewart, yes, I’ve got the English version but would love to hear the James Earl Jones US edition.
Star Trek – best reboot of any series! Thanks to JJ Abrams it may have been the best USS Enterprise adventure yet. Long live and prosper!
Up – I am biased with 2D/3D animation; it’s where live actors cannot go beyond with perfection, I have waited (and waited) for this when Ronnie del Carmen held a local symposia here two years ago for budding animators. Another homerun from Pixar come Oscar and Annie Awards.
Moon – I saw the film in DVD, the film is about human cloning with Sam Rockwell as a solitary miner up the moon suffering from identity crisis nearing his three year stint when his clone rescued him from near death and finding out dozens of himself awaiting resurrection from GERTY.
The Hurt Locker – indie film at its best, maybe the best war-drama this year, does not have heavyweight star power but everything on it was big.
Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs – the inclusion of the one-eyed weasel Buck (Simon Pegg) may have carried the entire movie. Perhaps the best scene was crossing the “chasm of death” where characters inhaled the gas fumes and almost laugh themselves to death.
District 9 – my runaway choice for sleeper hit of the year not the moronic “The Hangover” but the box-office receipts-critics review tells a different story. Again, no big actors but big concept, excellent plot, well done for a debuting director, impressive visual effects from Weta Workshop (Peter Jackson) and Image Imagine.
Avatar – James Cameron much publicized epic and after years of long haul finally opened last December with a bang. In just 2 weeks it earned $700++ million worldwide. As producer Jon Landau says “It’s a movie you cannot talked about, you need to watch the film yourself”.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – locally released in January 2009, a beautiful film from cradle to grave, Pitt’s haunting and stoic acting made this 1922 F. Scott Fitzgerald short story to screen with stylish direction from David Fincher (well known for his Se7en, The Game, Fight Club and Zodiac) a must see!
(500) Days of Summer, The Blind Side, Julie and Julia are inspirational, heartwarming tales not to be missed.