Tuesday, 19 January 2010
The year in films: 2009
We all know that the whole point of these "Year's best and worst" lists is to get you all annoyed that your fave films didn't make the list while I get even more angry that I wasted so much of my life watching rubbish. So in an attempt to defuse the hate, let's group the year's best and worst into categories rather than singling out individuals for the love - or the hate. So to kick off with the love, 2009 was a good year for...
Clint Eastwood: Damn, but Grand Torino was a great film (caution: view not shared by Rochelle). Well, if you're a Clint fan it was - otherwise, it was just the story of a grumpy old racist.
Films that defy easy category: A classy movie about wrestling? The Wrestler. A crazy World War 2 mash-up? Inglorious Basterds. A serious mockmentary using aliens as a metaphor that turns into a ray-gun shoot-em up? District 9.
Australian film: Because whether you liked them or not, Sampson & Deliah and Mao's Last Dancer did exactly what they were supposed to.
3D films: Avatar might be getting all the press now, but where was the love for the excellent My Bloody Valentine 3D and The Final Destination 3D?
Horror films: Mostly because Paranormal Activities was amazingly creepy. Oh, and Unborn was the best evil kid movie of the year.
Comedy: Some people liked Funny People. Some people liked The Hangover or Observe and Report. Hell, some people even liked Borat. With so much to chose from, how could you go wrong?
Horror-comedies: Zombieland really looked like it was going to be a dud. Guess there's life in the undead yet. And Drag Me to Hell was this close to being the film of the year, it's that good.
Foreign Criminals: The Baader-Meinhof Complex and Gomorrah were both based in fact, and still managed to be more gripping than any number of so so "action" films (as listed below).
Disaster films: Because 2012 might have been dull once it stopped wrecking up the place, but when it was throwing LA into the ocean it was awesome.
And the film of the year... Star Trek. Whether you were a long-time fan or couldn't stand the adventures of Starfleet, this was pretty much the most fun you could have at a cinema in 2009.
Meanwhile, on the dark side of the moon, an awful lot of crap movies were lurking, waiting to pounce. And pounce these ones most certianly did...
Ricky Gervais: Remember when people still thought saying something clumsy and then lingering was funny? Ricky does. Everyone else moved on the second his clumsy twaddle - AKA The Invention of Lying - hit the screen.
Australian films: Because whether you like crime films or not, Two Fists One Heart and The Combination would have gone direct to DVD anywhere else in the world. Others like Last Ride simply proved we like our arthouse a little too much.
Vampires and Werewolves: Two great tastes that taste crap together. Twilight: New Moon was, er, not good - but really, neither was Underworld 3.
Horror films: Mostly because Friday the 13th was pointless. Oh, and Case 39 was the worst evil kid movie of the year.
Horror-comedies: Lesbian Vampire Killers sucked in all the wrong ways. And if you don't think Dance Flick belongs here, you didn't suffer through it.
Chick flicks: Sure, it's easy to pick on them - but that's because films like Bride Wars and He's Just Not That Into You and The Ugly Truth are just no damn good. Confessions of a Shopaholic did have its moments though.
Action films: 12 Rounds got a cinema release but Crank 2 and Punisher: War Zone didn't? Weak.
Spin-offs: They almost always suck. Still, you might have thought Wolverine would have got it right. And you'd have been wrong.
Remakes and sequels: They got The Taking of Pelham 123 right the first time - why do it again? Saw 6? Even the fans stayed away from that one. And don't even mention Terminator: Salvation.
And the worst film of the year? No question or doubt: All About Steve. It's only because she always has at least two movies in the pipline that Sandra Bullock even has a future after this nightmare of a stinker. And even her emergency planning shouldn't be enough to salvage her career after laying a turd this big.
Anthony Morris (this appeared in Forte #470)