Tuesday, 19 January 2010

BamBi's Filmography 2009

You know the drill (see 2008 and 2007's versions in case of any confusion). All the films released in 2009 that I saw, each reviewed in twenty five words or less and a score out of ten.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Pitt is fantastic, and Blanchett supports superbly. Absorbing with some beautiful cinematography. Highly polished and crafted. Wonderful.

Slumdog Millionaire
The story kept me hooked from start to finish. Some powerful scenes are peppered throughout. A gritty fairytale told through high quality cinema.

Marley & Me
Very average, very safe. Wilson and Aniston are decidedly bland, with Arkin providing some relief in his scenes. Oversentimental and a bit too long.

Starts well, but loses pace and focus, concluding in an unsatisfying and preachy way. A couple of impressive disaster scenes, but ultimately poor.

Monsters Vs. Aliens

Genuinely funny all the way through, even though the story is a bit too simple. Great characters and some clever humour.

17 Again
Never terrible, but never special. Efron has potential, Lennon provides a few funny moments.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Stays safe, delivering a film lacking in point or substance. The story in the opening credits would have made a much more interesting film.

Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs
Buck is an excellent addition, but some established characters feel sidelined. The Scrat segments are potentially the best we've seen.

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
Broadbent and Felton largely save a half-hearted, patchy and at times incomprehensible adaptation. Even the magic is underwhelming. Not awful, just distinctly average.

The Proposal
The collective charm of Reynolds and Bullock drags this below-average rom-com back up to average. One or two funny scenes, but ultimately forgettable.

Night At Tbe Museum 2
An enjoyable and lighthearted sequel that in many ways is better than the first. An endearing film that's great fun.

Land Of The Lost
Ferrell on autopilot and one-dimensional characters bumble through a second-rate parallel universe of dinosaurs and ice cream vans and make boob jokes. Lame.

The Time Traveler's Wife
Sold as a chick flick, but ultimately more than that. Flawed and at times oversimplified, but intelligent and enjoyable at the same time.

Terminator Salvation
Strong casting in Bale, Worthington and Yelchin and an absorbing depiction of the post-Judgement Day world make a very enjoyable addition to the franchise.

(500) Days Of Summer
Wonderfully difficult to define. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is superb. Structurally, comedically and emotionally intelligent. Apart from an overly corny ending, an excellent film.

Inglourious Basterds
Sets the bar incredibly high and achieves everything it attempts. Flawless casting, astounding script and direction. A Tarantino masterpiece.

Emotional, funny, expertly crafted. The first twenty minutes are some of the finest cinema I have ever seen. Another Pixar masterpiece.

Star Trek
Great action sci-fi reboot. Strong cast, fairly tight script and an interesting story if somewhat oversimplified in places. Very good opening film to the franchise.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
A quirky, fun take on the Roald Dahl story. Never reaches the heights of Wes Anderson's previous films, but still worth seeing.

By-the-numbers action disaster. Impressive CGI, rubbish script, overlong story, flat characters. Just watch the best bits in the trailer.

Hamlet 2
Disappointing and dull stuff from Coogan. Realises its complete misfire too late to save itself. Some funny songs in the final act.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past
Tries to be more than an average rom-com by desecrating a Dickens' story. Fails. Michael Douglas hams it up fairly well.

Not as excruciatingly bad as it could have been; low expectations made it better. Wootton grates in every scene.

Style firmly over substance. By-the-numbers forbidden romance story set in a breathtaking CGI environment. Good action-fantasy-sci-fi. Cameron makes it work.

Sherlock Holmes
Not as clever as it thinks it is, slightly lacking in character depth and robustness of storyline, but a strong cast makes this very good.

And the one's I never got round to seeing:
Sunshine Cleaning
The Soloist
Public Enemies
In The Loop
Funny People
District 9
The Informant!
The Invention Of Lying
A Serious Man
Where The Wild Things Are
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Me And Orson Welles
The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus
Harry Brown
Is Anybody There?
Looking For Eric

So, that's 2009 wrapped up. There seem to be a lot of "best films of the decade" lists going around at the moment, so I may start work on one of those if I feel it's not beyond me and a worthwhile exercise. For now, 2010 has cinematically begun very much on a high for me with the excellent Up In The Air. Review to follow.

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