2009: A Year in Movie Reviews

Photo credit: I Watch Stuff

2009 was a year of surprises (more on that in a later blog entry), and some movies just took me by surprise. Take for example, “Star Trek,” which was released on my birthday and jumped started a dying franchise. Now, I’m not a Trekkie, and I don’t know much about it, but I did like how it didn’t alienate (excuse the pun) people who weren’t into sci-fi. And then there are your CGI movies like “Up.” As much as I love all the Pixar movies, I didn’t think I could relate to this movie because the main character was an old man and an Asian boy in the boy scouts. I was wrong. When I saw that 3 minute montage (or however long it was) of an entire lifespan of a marriage being played out, I almost cried at how beautiful and tragic it all was.

Now, I got a chance to see 30 movies this year. By my calculations, if a movie ticket costs an average of $10, that means I spent $300 at the theaters, not to mention all that money on popcorn. But luckily, I watched 95% of the movies for free, thanks to the UCLA Blood and Platelet center, where for every time you donate platelets, you get 3 movie tickets for free.  I could only judge movies that I’ve seen. But keep in mind some of my biases: I’m a sucker for action and fight scenes; I love psychological dramas; I like movies that teach me an important lesson on life; I love comic books or movies that relate to some kind of power; and I love adventure movies.

What you get is this list of the Top 20 movies I loved:

  1. Up, released May 29, 2009 – Loved the innocence of the story, had lots of laughs, dealt with death and moving forward (quite mature for a Pixar movie) and finishing things that you started. There was definitely a lot of healing, and I felt like I appreciated life even more. It was somewhat a tear-jerker. It has quickly become my all-time favorite movie.
  2. Star Trek, Released May 8, 2009 – It was action packed! It was a refreshing take on the series. Superb casting. Being a nerd is cool. Heck, I even bought a Star Trek costume for the UCLA Dance Marathon.
  3. 500 Days of Summer – A bittersweet romantic tale, lots of times when you can laugh, and the twist in the end…very punny.
  4. Avatar, Released Dec. 18, 2009 – Can I just say wow? Sure, the storyline lacked a bit, and it felt like an alien version of “Pocahontas” and “Dances with Wolves,” with a mix of the Green Movement, but watching it in 3D was so worth the extra dollars. The jungle looked magnificent. I want my own avatar.
  5. District 9, Released Aug. 14, 2009 – I thought it was going to be like “Cloverfield.” I was glad I was wrong–I can’t take any more shaky camera movements. I loved the special effects and the “realness” of the storyline. And those robot weapons were cool too!
  6. Sherlock Holmes, Dec. 25, 2009 – It was quite a bromantic comedy filled with mystery. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were hilarious as the 18th century Batman and Robin without the costumes. I loved the mystery too. I didn’t mind the storyline.
  7. Inglourious Basterds, Released Aug. 21, 2009 – Lots of blood, but not as much as “Kill Bill.” It was still fun and smart and quite artistic. Go Bear Jew! And Brad Pitt’s performance was comedic! And the villain…was just psychologically cruel. It made the movie leaving you wondering when he’ll get scalped. I only wished they introduced more of the Basterds though.
  8. The Blind Side, Released Nov. 20, 2009 – This was just an inspiring movie and I loved the fact that it was based on a true story. Loved how it taught about how family is beyond blood, that we need to be color blind, and how we can just start over if we could only be given a chance. Everyone should watch it. Great performances by the cast, especially Sandra Bullock.
  9. The Proposal, Released June 12, 2009 – Another Sandra Bullock movie with Ryan Reynolds. I thought it was going to be a chick flick. It was. But it was quite an entertaining chick flick at that, I’m not ashamed to say that. I never knew I could laugh so hard in a chick flick and still have my manhood intact.
  10. Invictus, Released Dec. 11, 2009 – Sure, it started out slow, but it was an inspiring movie. Matt Damon was excellent, and he had the South African accent and rugby body to prove it. I never realized how sports can bring a nation together. And it was definitely eye-opening to see what apartheid and segregation was like in a country that wasn’t the U.S. My only problem was they didn’t remain historically accurate. Mandela didn’t give the “Invictus” poem to the captain of the Rugby team.
  11. Harry Potter 6, Released July 15, 2009 – Harry Potter grows up and becomes even darker. I loved the action sequences. And Potter gets to kick Malfoy’s ass.
  12. Zombieland, Released Oct. 2, 2009 – Rule #1: Cardio. It was a fun flick. I loved all those survival rules.
  13. Taken, Released Jan 30, 2009 – It was a thriller about a father who would do anything to save his daughter from the sex trafficking industry. Liam Nielson was bad ass. And the beginning scene when the daughter gets kidnapped–it was so real and definitely every father’s worse nightmare.
  14. The Informant, Released Sept. 18, 2009 – Chubby Matt Damon as an informant to the FBI. It was pretty funny, although there were some things I didn’t quite get.
  15. Terminator 4, Released May 21, 2009 – A lot of people hated it, but I liked it. I wasn’t quite fond of Christian Bale’s performance in this one, because the storyline didn’t really need him. But I liked the whole reverse Pinocchio effect that the terminator doesn’t realize that he’s a robot.  And, I have a man crush on Sam Worthington. He could protect me any day.
  16. Transformers 2, Released June 24, 2009 – Lots of explosions, wished there were more robots. Not much of a storyline either, but I was okay with it.
  17. Wolverine, Released May 1, 2009 – It sucked. Well, I guess I thought it would be better because it was a bad-ass character like Wolverine, but the whole Deadpool fiasco was just stupid. I wished there were more mutants who displayed their powers. I did like the cameos–just not Will.i.am.
  18. Watchmen, Released Mar. 6, 2009 – I liked the whole deconstruction of the hero, which is sort of the same effect with Nolan’s “Batman.” And I liked how it stayed true with the comic book for the most part. I felt like there was something missing, I just don’t remember what it was–it’s been a couple months.
  19. Push, Released Feb. 6, 2009 – It was good, not great. I loved the fighting scenes when there were those kinds of scenes, but the heroes don’t even get to face-off with the main villain. What kind of superhero storyline is that? I did like all the twists at the end and how it came together. I just felt it was missing a huge conflict and the heroes who needed to avenge or redeem something.
  20. Twilight: New Moon, Released Nov. 20, 2009 – I surprisingly liked it. Loved the werewolves and the scene where they hunted down the red-headed Victoria. It was some-what artistic.

Seen, but it was just blah or okay (In no particular order):

  1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Released Jan. 16, 2009
  2. Gamer, Released Sept 4, 2009
  3. Whiteout, Released Sept. 11, 2009
  4. 2012, Released Nov. 13, 2009
  5. Inkheart, Released Jan. 23, 2009
  6. Race to Witch Mountain, Released Mar. 13, 2009
  7. Fast and Furious 4, Released Apr. 3, 2009
  8. Dragonball, Released Apr. 10, 2009
  9. Crank 2, Released Apr. 17 2009
  10. Angels and Demons, Released May 15, 2009
  11. G.I. Joe

Yet to See (In no particular order):

  1. The Reader
  2. Coralie
  3. Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs
  4. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
  5. Duplicity
  6. State at Play
  7. Night at the Museum 2
  8. Surrogates
  9. Men Who Stare at Goats
  10. Precious
  11. The Box
  12. The Fantastic Mister Fox
  13. Me and Orson Welles
  14. Ninja Assassin
  15. Brothers
  16. Up in the Air
  17. The Princess and the Frog
  18. Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus


Filed under Entertainment, Movies/TV

3 responses to “2009: A Year in Movie Reviews

  1. Pingback: 2009: A Year in Movie Reviews « Identity Revealed Reviews Me

  2. Pingback: 2009: A Year in Movie Reviews « Identity Revealed | filmworkz.us

  3. Like you, Star Trek and Up took me by surprise. I thought Up was just another cheesy kids movie (which I have seen more than enough of, thanks to younger brothers), but I was proved wrong. And Star Trek is amazing! I was beyond words at the end.

    Watch Night at the Museum 2. It’s so much better than the first!

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