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Movies of 2009


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I like movies. Good movies. Recently, I've been catching up on some I've made note of over the duration of this just passed year, and I'd like to share my [one or two or three line] thoughts of them. I've also had the displeasure of sitting through some very horrible movies in 2009 (due to friends and stuff, etc), and I'll warn you of those.

 

Recommended:

A Prophet: This movie came out of no where and blew me away ... along with everything else from the past few years. I dare say this is one of the best movies I've seen of this decade, and among my top 5 crime dramas in existence. The most I will say is that it's a "prison crime drama," and--as lame as that may sound--it's unlike anything else I've ever seen. This is not just another movie I'm casually recommending. If I could force you to watch this, I would.

 

The movie is not in theaters yet (out on Feb. 26th, but I doubt you'll ever see it in your average, everyday theater anyway), but I've watched the screener and I plan on purchasing it on DVD the moment it's available. I'm tempted to share the torrent link to the screener (because there are a lot of hoaxes out there), but I'm assuming that's not permitted on this forum. If there's no issue with that, let me know and I'll post it. Otherwise, you can PM me I suppose.

Moon - The best science fiction movie I've seen in a long, long time, and a very original (as far as I know) plot too. If you plan to see this, do not watch the previews; it is best to go into it without any prior knowledge of the plot.

A Serious Man - Typical Coen brothers dark humor and genius--perhaps one of their best to date. If you enjoyed movies like "The Man Who Wasn't There" or "The Big Lebowski," I'd say you should take a good look at it.

The Road - Very gripping and sobering. Explores the inner and external conflict a father faces when struggling for his and his son's survival in the hopelessness of an apocalyptic world. This movie has acquired many negative reviews for simply being too depressing (amongst many good reviews), but I'm glad I took the chance with it (well, glad, except for the nightmare I got). Without doubt, it is the most convincing representation of what such a future may actually be like, and it is scary. Based on a book by an author whose name escapes me.

Goodbye Solo - Also very good, but this post is getting longer than I had intentioned.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: I just want to say that--after watching this movie--I redeem Nicolas Cage of all of the shit he's been involved in over the past few years (and that even includes "Ghost Rider" and the "National Treasure" crap). If you are so adventureous as to give this one a shot, don't approach it with a serious mindset.

 

Decent:

District 9: There is nothing revelatory about this movie, but I enjoyed it (and can look past the stupid stuff) simply as a result of a personal curiousity with the atypical protagonist. While watching it, I get the impression that the director is trying very hard to "escape" Hollywood (but they're not quite there yet).

 

Not recommended:

Avatar - A very boring (the script, the characters, the plot, the acting...), predictable, and cliche story (using blue aliens (yet still humanoid, in appearance and emotion?) this time does not make it original--who "it" is does not really matter). One good thing about this movie is that now I feel completely desensitized to special effects.

Terminator Salvation - Another embarrassment to the originals (for the first 10-15 minutes, I was pretty hooked, though).

Book of Eli - In a post apocalyptic future (this is really getting too buzz-wordy), Denzel Washington is a blind ninja on a journey across the desert (walking in "dramatic" slow motion for half of the movie, mind you), where he regularly encounters and righteously slaughters bands of meandering ruffians (quite spectacularly, and only after letting them encircle him, naturally), while sermonizing and listening to a FUCKING IPOD ... to a deliver a "weapon" (the fucking King James bible) to a library on Alcatraz island (the supposed stage of "the new beginning"), guided by the fucking VOICE OF GOD. I think having to sit through this movie might have induced a hernia.

Bruno - This is trash.

* - Probably some other stuff that wasn't worth remembering.

 

 

Still on the list:

O'Horten

Crazy Heart

Red Cliff

The White Ribbon

The Messenger

Edited by woah
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I like movies. Good movies. Recently, I've been catching up on some I've made note of over the duration of this just passed year, and I'd like to share my [one or two or three line] thoughts of them. I've also had the displeasure of sitting through some very horrible movies in 2009 (due to friends and stuff, etc), and I'll warn you of those.

 

Recommended:

Moon - The best science fiction movie I've seen in a long, long time, and a very original (as far as I know) plot too. If you plan to see this, do not watch the previews; it is best to go into it without any prior knowledge of the plot.

A Serious Man - Typical Coen brothers dark humor and genius--perhaps one of their best to date. If you enjoyed movies like "The Man Who Wasn't There" or "The Big Lebowski," I'd say you should take a good look at it.

The Road - Very gripping and sobering. Explores the inner and external conflict a father faces when struggling for his and his son's survival in the hopelessness of an apocalyptic world. This movie has acquired many negative reviews for simply being too depressing (amongst many good reviews), but I'm glad I took the chance with it (well, glad, except for the nightmare I got). Without doubt, it is the most convincing representation of what such a future may actually be like, and it is scary. Based on a book by an author whose name escapes me.

Goodbye Solo - Also very good, but this post is getting longer than I had intentioned.

 

Decent:

District 9: There is nothing revelatory about this movie, but I enjoyed it (and can look past the stupid stuff) simply as a result of a personal curiousity with the atypical protagonist. While watching it, I get the impression that the director is trying very hard to "escape" Hollywood (but they're not quite there yet).

 

Not recommended:

Avatar - A very boring (the script, the characters, the plot, the acting...), predictable, and cliche story (using blue aliens (yet still humanoid, in appearance and emotion?) this time does not make it original--who "it" is does not really matter). One good thing about this movie is that now I feel completely desensitized to special effects.

Terminator Salvation - Another embarrassment to the originals (for the first 10-15 minutes, I was pretty hooked, though).

Book of Eli - In a post apocalyptic future (this is really getting too buzz-wordy), Denzel Washington is a blind ninja on a journey across the desert (walking in "dramatic" slow motion for half of the movie, mind you), where he regularly encounters and righteously slaughters bands of meandering ruffians (quite spectacularly, and only after letting them encircle him, naturally), while sermonizing and listening to a FUCKING IPOD ... to a deliver a "weapon" (the fucking King James bible) to a library on Alcatraz island (the supposed stage of "the new beginning"), guided by the fucking VOICE OF GOD. I think having to sit through this movie might have induced a hernia.

Bruno - This is trash.

* - Probably some other stuff that wasn't worth remembering.

 

 

Still on the list:

O'Horten

Crazy Heart

Red Cliff

The White Ribbon

The Messenger

Wow. Avatar rocked. Although I know not everyone would agree, how could one not be entertained by Avatar? It was a frickin spectacle! Not to mention its reception was a complete critic success. And it being the whole highest grossing film ever (or to be).

Terminator Salvation turned out a lot better then I thought it would (wasn't great though).

I'll definitely have to check out A Serious Man and The Road though.

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I definitely agree on Moon, but completely disagree on Avatar and District 9. All three totally knocked my socks off, mostly for different reasons.

 

If you're watching Avatar for the plot, of course you're going to be disappointed. The plot is really not the point. :) The visuals are utterly spectacular, and watching the final battle scene in 3D gave me an eyegasm. It helps if you sit close to the screen (or see it on a MASSIVE screen) so it fills your entire field of vision.

 

And I say that as someone who normally doesn't care for explosionfests. The recent Terminator movie (the first one; I didn't bother with the sequel) had me yawning during the "climax".

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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I liked Moon and District 9, haven't seen Avatar or A Serious Man yet. I read the Road and found it to be good (it's by Cormac McCarthy who also wrote No Country for Old Men), but saw no need to further depress myself by watching the movie so soon after reading it. :) I also liked "Up in the Air." The dark comedy and drama elements were handled well, with good characterizations and performances.

 

Have to inject a minoriy report on Book of Eli: I came in with very low expectations, pretty much limited to seeing some machete ballet, and that is what I got, plus some nice desert wasteland atmosphere. Also, woah spoiled the one real twist of the movie (not the obvious one, the other one). Although that twist was so nonsensical that I'll just pretend it didn't happen.

 

If we're counting movies that just came out, I saw Youth in Revolt, and thought it was terrible. A few funny moments in there, but mostly terrible.

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Personally I wasn't to thrilled with Avatar's special effects and all that stuff. Honestly I think that old movies which used puppets like Alien and such are way more believable. Everytime something become CGIed I notice the poor fluid movement of the characters and the cartoonish style of everything which takes me out o the movie. To get into a movie I need a really good plot and Avatar definitely didn't have that... I felt the plot was contrived, it capitalized on the trend of environmentalism (I know I may sound stupid saying so but that's what I saw) and had stereo-types of evil business man and so on mixed with predictable plot devices resulted in a poor movie experience. I also didn't like the plot holes, the illogical stuff, and what I perceived as the re-enactment sci-fi adaption of settlers vs natives. So it was like 5/10 for me.

 

Moon was pretty good I'd give it 8.5/10 (moon had very limited CGI and it looked awesome to me) I liked questioning what was going on, it kept me drawn to the movie and interested 100% of the time.

 

District 9 was anti-climatic imo. I was waiting the entire time for the spaceship to do something awesome. However I liked the cool visualization of the sci fi tech used in it. 6.5/10

 

 

Everyone's different of course :)

I've always thought a website that reviews games / movies from 3 different perspectives would be cool. For example review from the story lover, the eye-ball lover and fantasy lover. That way you can identify with one of them and get a way better idea of what to expect rather than a generalized review.

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jdude, I disagree on many levels concerning Avatar. First things fist: the business man (whatever the character's name was) seemed to have some guilty feelings about the way the natives were being dealt with, however he pushed them aside for economic gain. But that's only how I saw it.

 

But my main point is a completely different one: To be successful, Avatar couldn't have been made any other way than it really was. To explain what I mean, just look at Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. This movie was the first fully CGI one for a grown-up audience. No Toy Story, no Antz, no Monsters, Inc. Instead, we had the realistic depiction of humans and a fairly moving and deep story at that. I know that many disagree on the story part, because that was what made the film finally bomb. FF was IMO a revolutionary movie that did not appeal to the masses. If it had, I imagine we'd see way more full-CGI movies than we do now.

 

So now you have another revolutionary movie that pioneers two "new" techniques at once: Performance Capturing and 3D (I know, the technique itself is fairly old, but going digital represents a new take). Both techniques stand for themself, if you've seen Avatar there's no further explanation necessary. But in order to not go down like FF, Avatar needed to have a story that will please the Average Joe Moviegoer. Joe is not a smart person, in fact, he is a rather simple one. Cameron, being the certified genius he is, certainly knew this (and to his defence, if you look at his filmography, he made many very good movies that didn't insult the audiences intelligence). So to be truly successul, this otherwise enormous film had to appeal to a broad range of people, among them many who don't like any complexity, story-wise. Thus, it had to be toned down considerably.

 

And so we are stuck with what is basically Pocahontas in Space. It's not that I liked the story much, and I can imagine that in a few decades the movie will be largely forgotten. Still this movie opened 3D for the masses - and for real, this time. In time, Avatar will be followed by similarly spectacular movies that in addition have thought and depth (just compare Jurassic Park 1 with Lord of the Rings, which both were CGI wonders of their time). Think of Avatar of a door-opener to fully appreciate it, and if you watch it, try to switch off your brain and give in to the eyegasm - then you'll LOVE it.   :D

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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I don't go to movies, they are a rip off. I do enjoy DVD's though.

 

I felt the same way about moon. When I rented it the description wwas basically 'one man in a moon base' and I skipped it a few times, then was really bored and just eenie meeni minny moe'd it. It turned out to be a pretty good movie.

 

I watched Avatar up until the aliens started speaking natively. But it was sub-titled in french :(

Looked like good visuals, I don't know, I typicla alien movie meets Jurrasic park.

 

District 9 was unique, deffinately a political and intersting movie. At first the 'documentary' part caught me off guard but it was an interesting way to show it.

 

Surrogates is another Sci-Fi thriller that was pretty good. Cross between I-robot and Blade runner. Good effects, good storyline, another what-if the future is like this movie.

 

Terminator, I liked the originals but not something I'd look to watch again really, Salvation was alright. Movies are a dime a dozen anymore.

 

Looks like I'll pass on Eli, slow mo desert stroll sounds boring.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I've seen two films at the cinema this year.

Moon and Avatar.

Moon, I'm afraid I was left a little disappointed. It started so well and had a great, sad loneliness but it just didn't capitalise on it.

It was good, just not great. Maybe it's because Silent Running is one of my favourite all time films.

Now Avatar, appalling dialogue with a clichéd, hackneyed script.

But wow oh wow.

I wonder if those who weren't impressed saw it as it was meant to be seen, at an Imax?

I have never been so blown away by the sheer spectacle of cinema as when I saw it last Sunday.

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Another movie:

 

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: I just want to say that--after watching this movie--I redeem Nicolas Cage of all of the shit he's been involved in over the past few years (and that even includes "Ghost Rider" and the "National Treasure" crap). If you are so adventureous as to give this one a shot, don't approach it with a serious mindset.

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I agree that cinemas are a rip-off, but I do visit them sometimes, mostly for 3D-Movies. Everything is better in 3D!! :)

 

I also did like Avatar quite a bit although it was really predictable most of the time. The scenes with those flying animals were simply awesome, especially the big one... ;)

 

The thing I liked most about District 9 was that instagib-gun. It felt like Unreal Tournament as a movie! :D

 

Here are a couple of other movies of 2009:

The Invention of Lying - I really liked this comedy because it was something completely different for once. Of course it still has some hollywood-moments and the classic happy-end, but if you manage to overcome that, you're faced with a excellent comedy, featuring an antihero in a perfect world without lies.

Nine - Well I love Tim Burton's movies, so this one was a must-see for me. It was rather OK-ish, but I liked the overall atmosphere very much.

Raging Phoenix - Sometimes I like it simple! :D Like most movies of the "Thai Film Association", this one features sheer amazing martial arts paired with a rather unambitious story, but not as weak as the story of "Tom yum goong - Revenge of the warrior". This movie comes along pretty pseudo, but there were many moments that forced me to scream out of joy, because of those really sick moves!!! =)

2012 - I am really no fan of catastrophe-movies, but this one had some nice eye-candy here and there. Aside from that, it was a weak movie though.

Crank 2 - Disappointing! Loved the first part, but crank 2 just didn't bring anything new on the table, but overexaggerated things from the first movie instead.

Dragonball Evolution - Unintentionally hilarious! :D

Zombieland - Zombie-comedy. This combination works really well for me.

 

Disclaimer: Some of the movies only go by with a couple of beers. I agree that I do watch a lot of crap sometimes!

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The Fourth Kind

 

Watched it last night, some creepy stuff. Alien abduction movie with real footage from shrinks working the town in Nome Alaska.

Not too many movies like this and had similarities to Communion (an old movie with Christopher Walken). Like how people just freeze when they see aliens because they are so scared, like a deer in the headlights, frozen because your brain can't comprehend the situation.

 

I liked 9 and Zombieland too.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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  • 4 weeks later...

A Prophet: This movie came out of no where and blew me away ... along with everything else from the past few years. I dare say this is one of the best movies I've seen of this decade, and among my top 5 crime dramas in existence. The most I will say is that it's a "prison crime drama," and--as lame as that may sound--it's unlike anything else I've ever seen. This is not just another movie I'm casually recommending. If I could force you to watch this, I would.

 

The movie is not in theaters yet (out on Feb. 26th, but I doubt you'll ever see it in your average, everyday theater anyway), but I've watched the screener and I plan on purchasing it on DVD the moment it's available. I'm tempted to share the torrent link to the screener (because there are a lot of hoaxes out there), but I'm assuming that's not permitted on this forum. If there's no issue with that, let me know and I'll post it. Otherwise, you can PM me I suppose.

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Well the forum policies are pretty clear about warez. But that aside, I'd strongly recommend not to share copyrighted data via torrent, because this system is pretty unsafe for anyone using it, unless you use an anonymous proxy, which apparently will lower your download rate in most cases quite a bit.

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