in Reviews, Year's Best

Best of 2009: Movies

Kicking off my annual (and no doubt much coveted) ‘best of’ lists, a bit belated this time. Some may actually slip into 2010, but oh well 🙂

So, movies! Continuing my trend of recent years, I didn’t see very many new movies in the theater this year. But of what few I saw, here’s my nominees for best movie, in no particular order:

District 9
Star Trek

District 9 came out of left field and blew me away. I haven’t been so pleasantly surprised by a movie since The Matrix ten years ago. It’s a gritty realistic-ish take on mankind’s reaction to refugee aliens showing up in the near future. Amazing effects and newsish camera work did much to draw me in.

I was nervous about Star Trek, having no idea what J.J. Abrams’ attempt to save the franchise would wield. Thankfully he nailed it, managing to reboot the classic story with new actors in a way which didn’t alienate the Trekkies/Trekkers. Fun from start to finish. I never thought I’d actually enjoy hearing the Beastie Boys on a Star Trek soundtrack.

Lastly I’m going to go ahead and reserve a nomination spot on my annual list for whatever Pixar releases in a given year. From the opening montage, which brought a tear to my eye, I knew Up would be special. Pixar got a whole new level of emotional response out of me with this one. The cliche apples – I laughed, I cried, etc etc. Even the 3D effects managed to blend into the film, without resorting to cheap tricks.

I could give any of these three movies the award and sleep soundly tonight. And not that Pixar needs more accolades, but Up ultimately eeks out the competition. It achieved amazing levels of emotional response blended seamlessly with wacky humor, amazing visuals, and remarkable acting. I’m looking forward to the Blu-ray.