Top Ten Movies of 2009…Or Top 9, it wasn’t a good year.

So I like to consider myself a film aficionado, and I got tired of reading all these 10 Ten Movie Lists for 2009 from people who don’t know a damn about movies (namely movie critics). So, while this may have relatively little to do with New Age Values or Politics here is my Top Ten Movies of 2009…

…Or Top 9…I sat down and looked over the movies that came out this year and realized…what a crappy year! I will admit I have not seen everything and thus a few movies could possibly round out the whole list (I hold out hope for Invictus, The Blind Side, Brothers, Up, and Up in the Air… but not a lot of hope.) So, the Top 9…

#9 Defiance. Why is Defiance #9….because technically Defiance came out in 2008. Otherwise it should be much higher, because a movie about Jews killing Nazis is always a feel good moment.

#8 Coraline. Entertaining, but marred by the unmistakable fact that the book was much, much better.

#7 State of Play. It was fun, kept me guessing, raised some interesting political questions without getting preachy. But really this movie should not be making a Top 10 list. Shame on you Hollywood for not putting out more good movies!

#6 Taken. Pretty much the same complaint as State of Play. This was fun. We all loved the unquestionable moral clarity of Liam Neeson doing whatever it takes (including going Jack Bauer on most of Paris) to get his daughter back….but I still should just be able to think of this as a fun and forgettable movie…not a top pick.

#Whip it. Who knew Drew Barrymore could write? Still I’m hoping this proves to the opening salvo to much better work to Barrymore’s future career and not the magnum opus of her stint as a writer.

#4 Watchmen. Dark. Thoughtful. Satirical. And one hell of a great soundtrack. I know I will probably be speaking anathema to the fans of the original graphic novel, but the movie did an excellent job of smoothing out many of Moore’s more psychotic philosophical stands, and provided an insightful look into the darker side of humanity.

#3 Inglourious Basterds. Again what’s not to love about Jews killing Nazis. Was it historically accurate? Not remotely. But it was fun. And it clarified an larger thematic issue of Tarentino’s films as a whole for me: the importance of names and what they mean…I’m now going to have to go back and rewatch all of Quentin’s works and see how this issue plays out.

#2 500 Days of Summer. Given that I think to one degree or another we have all lived this movie, I loved how they made what we have all experienced fresh, original, and in the end happy.

#1 The Hangover. It wasn’t deep or meanful, but goddamn was it funny. I have seen it 4 times and not a scene has become old or dull…and I don’t think it ever will.

Notable mentions: G.I. Joe, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Angels and Demons were all two hours of stupid fun… … … But I never need to see them again.

And the special distinction for WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR…and damn did I have options…Transformers and it’s horrific script….Avatar, with it’s evil belief that special effects can replace things like plot and characterization… but while it was close, I am going to give worst film of the year to Star Trek. The glaring plot holes, the fan-boy writing style, the complete inability to understand or respect your source material. It committed the sins of Avatar in thinking special effects could replace writing and acting. It committed the sins of Tranformers in thinking bad jokes replace human drama. And it added the absolute insult of destroying a cultural icon. Shatner may not be the greatest actor on Earth, but that little James Dean wannabe was not Kirk.

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