However, as much as I love going to the movies, this year has been kind of slow for me as far as actually getting out for that experience. Chalk that up to a slew of extra-curriculars on my plate over the past year, such as touring and playing out with The Banana Convention, and the fact that I’ve had a real, live girlfriend for a year, and you can see why my movie going time has been limited.
That said, I have still found a spare 120 minutes laying around, occasionally, to make it out to my local Multi-Plex for a cinematic adventure or two….or eighteen. Below is the list of films I’ve actually gone and paid to see at the theater this past year, for better or worse:
500 Days of Summer
Friday the 13th
I Love You, Man
Where the Wild Things Are
For my money (and it IS my money after all), District 9 has been the movie of the year. I immediately loved this movie. I love every aspect of the movie, from the story to the effects to the acting to the action to the gore, everything. It’s this year’s Iron Man for me. The movie that I was in love with right off the bat and left the theater knowing that I just EXPERIENCED something and that I wanted to go and see again immediately.
Other notable films to fill out my “Best of the Year” list would be The Hangover, I Love You Man, Star Trek, Surrogates, Watchmen, Zombieland, and, of course, Taken. If any movie would come close to threaten the throne of District 9, it would be Taken – aka Liam Neeson Is Going To Kick Your Ass - but nope, District 9 is there at the top and there it shall stay.
On the other side of the coin, there is The Unborn. Definitely the worst movie I saw all year. I admit that I got suckered in by the marketing since it was written by David Goyer, writer of The Dark Knight, as well as the fact that it had Gary Oldman in it. But, wow, was this a pile. Not even the infallible Gary Oldman could save this turd. The less I say about this the better, so I’m done.
Then there’s the “Yeah, it was OK and a nice way to spend 2 hours but nothing I’m gonna run out and buy on DVD on release day” list of Friday the 13th, Public Enemies, The Informant, Wolverine, and Where The Wild Things Are. That last one was a surprise to me.
Sure, I liked Where The Wild Things Are well enough and thought it was an absolutely beautifully shot movie and the effects of the way the creatures were created was phenomenal, but overall it kind of fell flat with me. That kid was a dick. Sorry, but he was. And there was no resolution to that. I get that the island is his imagination and each creature is a different aspect of his personality and he’s trying to cope and understand all these emotions and blah blah blah. But at the end of the movie, after BITING his mom and running away, he comes home and gets to eat cake. No apology based on what he learned when he was on the island or anything. No understanding of what he went through or coming to terms with his emotions. No tying together of him running away and having this experience on the island and then coming back home. Just……”Oh you’re home, here’s some cake”. Also, I found a lot of the middle with Carol and the other creatures a bit tedious and even a little boring at times. Kind of sounds like I’m shitting all over this movie, but I’m not really. I did enjoy it for the most part, I just wasn’t blown away by it like I thought and hoped I would be.
I do place it above G.I.Joe, at least, which I honestly enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. Thinking about it, G.I.Joe is sort of my anti-thesis of WTWTA. Where as with WTWTA I went in with expectations that were perhaps too high and could not be truly met leaving me slightly disappointed, I went in to G.I.Joe with the lowest of low expectations and came out actually having enjoyed what was essentially a live action Team America: World Police.
There’s still a month left in the 2009 movie season with a few flicks I’m hoping to check out, such as Sherlock Holmes, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Me and Orson Wells, but I don’t see any of those surpassing District 9. I guess overall, it’s been a pretty disappointing 2009 for the relationship between me and Hollywood. But, like an abused puppy just looking for some affection, I’ll return in 2010 and keep paying exorbitant prices and dealing with talking people and crying babies and 30 minutes of commercials and previews before the feature because that’s how movies are supposed to be watched. It’s Still Real To Me, Dammit!!