2009 was a rocky year.
As far as quality of movies go 2009 could be one of the weakest on record.
Funny, that the Academy Awards picked this year to nominate ten movies for best picture.
Sure there were the surprises, early in the year you had Liam Neeson’s revenge film, TAKEN, the summer’s THE HANGOVER and late summer’s DISTRICT 9.
Then you had studio hits like STAR TREK, HARRY POTTER, TRANSFORMERS 2 and PIXAR’S UP.
But to find deep movies that said something or challenged you as a viewer, they were few and far between. I did find that 2009 was also a celebration of genres. Sci-Fi, Action and comedy all saw amazing resurrections.
Over the next two days we will take a look at the Best and Worst of 2009.
The movie came out of nowhere and became the best straight action flick in five years.
Sure it was released almost a year before in France and trickled out across the world.
But Liam Neeson fighting back to save his daughter really resonated with audiences. For me, it was like the 80s TV show The Equalizer was back but on steroids.
Why it makes the list: It proved that the action genre isn’t dead. And that a character actor like Liam Neeson can hold an action picture.
#9 Sunshine Cleaning
Two of the best actresses (Amy Adams & Emily Blunt) working movies today play sisters who open a business to clean up crime scenes so that they can send one of their sons to private school.
The movie is a true story and shows how valuable or troublesome family can be. Adams and Blunt are also both brilliant.
Why it makes the list: It is one of those diamond’s in rough. The reason it makes my list is because it marks the sign of the times, the recession has hit us all really hard and this movie shows us if we adapt we can survive.
#8 Star Trek
To ignore that Star Trek was a miracle is to be silly. It took a franchise that had 28 seasons of TV and ten movies and made it fresh. You would think that every story had been told and every angle pursued. J.J. Abrams proved us wrong.
Why it makes the list: We all had dropped a tombstone on the Star Trek franchise but the new film brought it back. 2009 was the year for Sci-Fi so it was perfect timing for Trek to be back. Also has Chris Pine, breakout star of the year!
#7 The Princess & the Frog
Princess and the Frog marked the third era of Disney 2D animation, it felt like so many of the late 80s/early 90s classics. It was also a reimagining of the classic tale of fairy tale told over a bowl of Southern Gumbo.
Why it makes the list: It makes my list because it gave me faith that 2D animation isn’t just for DVD. Here’s hoping they keep bringing us more like this one.
What a surprise, another movie that changed the face of a genre. And when it comes to zombies that isn’t an easy task. This horror-comedy hit sprang from a dead TV pilot to be one of the most entertaining films of the year.
Why it makes the list: Woody Harrelson’s dynamic performance was one of the most memorable heroes of the year.
Stay tuned tomorrow for PART TWO