Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 2009
Well this is the year they expanded the Best Picture category and it already seemed like there were too many movies and movies that you kinda think were good...but Best Picture? Oh well. Glancing across the year I noticed that this was a really good year with me and horror's relationship. We actually rekindled greatly with a certain film that will appear on this list. When I had my big list that I had to cut down, a lot of it was horror movies. I know I'm already a blowhard for the genre to begin with, but this a year that maybe restored my love for it.
Here's the now much bigger list of Best Picture noms
WINNER - The Hurt Locker
The Blind Side
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
I'm not conforming though, keeping my picks at 6
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Yea, I know, I was just talking all horror...but...anyway. I love this movie. Its probably my favorite comedy from the whole year. The humor is unique, weird and it tickles my funny bone. Its also pretty damn good storywise in its own right. The voice acting is great too as its a film that prominently features comic genius Bill Hader. My soon to be 2 year old son has taken a liking to this movie quite a bit recently (watching it multiple times a day) and its yet to get the least bit old. He simply refers to it as "Meatball". But, this one is terrific. Surprisingly, I've still not seen the sequel. I'll fix that very soon, I wager.
I suppose they put a cap on the Best Picture noms at one animated film, because this one should have been up there. This one has some outstanding animation work and is one of THE best movies I've seen in 3D in the theater. Its my kind of cartoon, nice and Grimm Fairytale type dark. The film is a fantastic spectacle whether it be the 3D or stopmotion or the great little tale it tells. I can't wait to see what this animation team cooks up next.
Halloween II (Rob Zombie)
We have defended the HELL out of this film recently on this site. So I'll spare continuing to do so. If you're new and you may wonder about this choice, please see HERE and HERE
The House Of The Devil
Before I first sat to watch this film, I knew nothing of it, only that it was coming highly recommended from a lot of credible sources and websites. So, I went in blind. When I turned it on and saw what this movie was, my heart melted and I was glued. I was immediately transported back to my childhood, alone in my dark basement after having rented the next in line random horror VHS from Dave's Video on a Saturday night. My parents and sister were asleep, it was nearing the midnight hour and all that existed were me and this horror movie on VHS. And like that experience, I was so drawn into House Of The Devil I actually was genuinely frightened at times and held in suspense all the while marveling at the masterwork and lengths that director Ti West had gone to in order to make this film feel as genuine as possible. And it did. Unlike another film that used this method to tell their story, The Artist, West NEVER once crutched on any noticeable modern techniques or winked at the audience. I am actually far more impressed with this film and something like Tarantino's Death Proof than I am The Artist. This movie is absolutely fantastic and completed renewed, restored, rekindled and refreshed my love for horror again. Not that we were in a bad place, I just wasn't as "into it" by 2009 as I had used to be. The film also introduced me to two actresses whose work I have enjoyed following since, Jocellin Donahue (with that perfect era-relevant look of the Margot Kidder/Karen Allen look...although Jocelin is far more good looking) and Greta Gerwig (who I was introduced to in Hannah Takes The Stairs but I had long forgotten that one). Oh and yeah, of course, I now follow Ti West's career with great interest too.
I'll admit that when I saw the trailers for this one I wasn't too thrilled or excited. Tarantino then backhanded me when I saw how great this film turned out to be. It turned out to be his best work since Jackie Brown...maybe since Pulp Fiction (I waiver with Jackie and Inglorious as my #2 Tarantino film). The film oozed with glorious film style of the era and was quite fun. But oh man, this film was INSANELY suspenseful. And all of it was done merely through scenes with heavy dialogue. Incredible work and brilliance once again from Tarantino. I know a lot of people like to dog the man for "not being original" or "aping from other things" but seriously, the guy finds a way to do his own thing with this material and he makes HELLA entertaining movies that are incredibly iconic, memorable and play very well over the course of time.
At this point it was almost at that "Ugh another zombie movie?" type deal...but oh wait, this one was friggin awesome. It was a comedy zombie adventure that featured what I said back then, "the best characters in a zombie movie since 1978's Dawn Of The Dead. There was a lot of originality and damned good humor in this one to make a stale concept feel fresh and fun. Woody Harrelson adds a great dimension to the film as he brings, well, himself to the table. They tried to make a TV show off of this and well, I'd rather they just do the unnecessary sequel than that. It felt familiar but was missing what helped this movie...the cast.