Saturday, January 2, 2010

7 Best Films of 2009 - Substance over Spectacle

Cruising the internet, reading the mags, watching entertainment news.. It seems everyone has a Top 10 list of the Best Films of 2009. Even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has widened the Best Picture field of nominees to 10. It's possible to pare down that list - not that many slots are necessary when you consider how long some of these movies will resound in perpetuity, and that hype had a lot to do with some of these films even being noticed. If this list were to be placed in a time capsule, with a battery-powered DVD player with limited showing time, these are the movies of which the viewer should know the human race of 2009 was proud.

1. The Hurt Locker - War is Hell. And Hell is a state of mind. There were many war movies this year, but this one, shot almost like a documentary, features honest performances and the realism of military conflict.

2. Up In The Air - A perfect portrait (human and painful) of the repercussions of the economic turmoil of our time.

3. Star Trek - A reboot of a beloved science fiction franchise, that revitalized and regalvanized legions of fans, that never should have worked. But thankfully, it did.

4. Crazy Heart - Sometimes, to do what you love, you suffer. But what you leave people with is that you lived your life for your dreams, and in so doing, made no compromises.

5. Michael Jackson: This Is It - Once upon a time, The King of Pop was the most revered music video artist in the world for his golden voice and spectacles of innovation and choreography. The film stands as the last testament of his genius, may he rest in peace.

6. 500 Days of Summer - A romantic comedy about the misadventures of two 20-somethings falling in and out of love. Its a non-linear story; That makes sense, because the path to love is hardly ever a straight line.

7. The Princess and the Frog - A refreshing return to form in classic hand-drawn animation set to ragtime jazz capturing the magical atmosphere of pre-hurricane New Orleans. Not to mention, the long overdue presence of an african-american princess in the Disney repetoire.

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