Thursday, December 31, 2009

LiE Awards 2009: The Films

When push comes to shove this has been a rather interesting year for cinema. If I dare say anything it's been a year of heavy mediocrity caught in between some extremely bad (Street Fighter, Dragonball, Transformers 2) and some extremely good (see below). Most of all I would say this has been a year of surprises. Out of the 25 films I listed last year as films I'm looking forward too, only about 5-10 received positive scores. Even then many of them just felt uninspired. Alas though I've narrowed it all down to my top 10 films of the year (note: that I've seen this year). What lay ahead? Who knows. A new year, and decade, in film begins, let us hope we all manage to find those hidden gems. My top 10 of the year is coming up after your hop.

The Life in Equinox Top 10 of 2009:

10. District 9 - Few films maintained such an abundance of style and intrigue as well as Neill Blomkamp's 2009 sci-fi film, District 9. It holds up exceptionally well on repeats viewings, and even then it's hard to understate how important it will be in the growth of sci-fi films to come (perhaps the world is ready for a bit more substance).

9. The Brothers Bloom - Ignored by most mainstream filmgoers, The Brothers Bloom is an edgy, funny, and intelligent con film. Filled to the tee with in jokes to classic con films and books, The Brothers Bloom is one of the most enjoyable movie going experience of the year. Hilarious, fun, and with great performances (including a small blink and you missed it cameo from Joseph Gordon-Levitt). No matter how I cut it, I couldn't find anything I didn't enjoy about this film from start to finish.

8. In the Loop - Perhaps the best comedy far too few people watched this year, In the Loop hits the funny bone more often than any other film this year. Perhaps too realistic for our own good, In the Loop is strikingly intelligent, while maintaining good footing to get those great one-liners that'll keep you laughing well after the credits.

7. Up in the Air - While it may not win a lot of awards for creativity, I find myself hard pressed to keep this film out of my top 10 films of 2009. Not because everyone thought it was so great, but rather because it's one of those films that is perhaps the right film at the right time. Capturing the wide collection of angst found in many homes throughout the nation, Up in the Air throws an interesting spin on the current economy, filled with wise-crack humor and captivating characters.

6. (500) Days of Summer - There's something about this movie, no matter how many times I see it, I instantly fall for its charm and unique style. Capturing all the stages of a romance, and breathing new life into a dull genre (especially this year), (500) Days of Summer just has a little bit of everything for everybody. Definitely one of my most enjoyable film going experiences of the year.

5. Up - Say what you will Wall-E lovers, but Up caught me so off guard with its honesty, heartfelt emotion, and captivating combination of visuals and action. I laughed, cried, and thought (see Jimmy V for reference - I mention it enough) to the bitter sweet end of this tale. No matter how you slice it, the tale of Carl caught my attention ten-fold, and there's been no looking back since.
4. Where the Wild Things Are - Some movies ask its audience to simply sit back and entertain, Where the Wild Things Are is a call for its audience to analyze. This journey through the mind of Max (amazing newcomer Max Records) is a captivating, painfully dark, and yet wonderfully creative look at the hopes, dreams, and struggles of a young boy whose life is not as easy as it may seem. Dealing with a variety of issues, we see what the Wild Things represent to Max, how they reflect him, and the importance they maintain on his life.

3. Watchmen - I may lose some of you here, but bear with me. While this film may be more polarizing then most, no movie this year intrigued me more than this graphic novel adaptation. Caught between the need to appease mainstream film-goers and hardcore readers, Snyder split the difference, and created a film my mind hasn't forgotten one scene of. The second the credits rolled on this my body was instantly propelled to the nearest computer, desperately seeking out every bit of informant it could hold on to. With the Director's Cut all of it came into perfect light. The transitions, the shots, the emotion, all culminate in one of the best films of the year (for me at least).

2. The Hurt Locker - Bigelow's breakthrough film of 2009 became the measuring stick by which all other films of the year would be judged. Strikingly realistic, with a strong message, and the talent to deliver it, this character study on soldiers of war is by far one of the best films of the year. If War is a drug, then The Hurt Locker is the scientist dissecting it.

AND MY #1 FILM OF THE YEAR IS...........


I make no secret of the fact that I'm head over heals in love with Duncan Jones 2009 breakthrough film, Moon. Captivating, and yet quiet, riveting, and yet grounded, Moon is the science fiction film I've been waiting for for years. Sam Rockwell's inspired performance delivers all the emotion you could ever dream of, while Jones makes good on all his cinematic promises. Never a dull moment, always thought provoking, and jam packed with emotion, there's no doubt in my mind, that Moon is my absolute favorite film of 2009.

Alright, that about wraps it up for this year's Life in Equinox 2009 Awards! Hope you enjoyed them. Be sure you keep checking back, 2010 is only a few hours away, and we have many more films to review!!!!

3 better thoughts:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

The explanations are good, even if some of the choices leaved me non-plussed. Enjoyed the awards.

Anonymous said...

Great list, of the six I have seen only two make it to my top ten. The Hurt Locker and Watchmen. You probably saw some of my choices last year as we get them later than you do!

Vanessa said...

Everyone is so in love with the Hurt Locker. That movie completely passed me by...its definitely going on my Netflix list though!

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