Friday, January 1, 2010

Lizzie's 2009 - Movie Edition

Its official. My family is completely made up of movie people. We like stories and we like art and we like music and movies are the perfect cross section of all of those.

I may or may not have a list in my blackberry of release dates of movies that I want to see, another list of movies that I have seen that year, and another list of movies recommended by other people that I should queue up on Netflix.

There also may or may not be versions of those lists for books, CDs restaurants, beauty products and comedians.

I like lists Okay! Don't judge. I also don't trust my memory and don't like forgetting things. I write things down. Its what I do.

*Theater releases*

The Brothers Bloom - I love love love smart movies and smart storytelling. I love caper flicks and I've had a massive crush on Adrien Brody since I saw him eating chicken fingers at the Johnny Rockets on Melrose once. All of these lovely things make up this movie. I also love movies that make you feel something without assaulting you, again deilvered with class and wit. Real wit. That's a rarity you know. It was directed by Rian Johnson (a relative new comer) but hes brilliant. It takes amazing acting/direction/editing to make the best character in the movie a completely silent one but they did it. Viva la Bang-bang

Bright Star - I was excited for this one for a while. Keats is one of my favorite poets on the planet. My senior quote was a line of "Ode on a Grecian Urn". I'm a raging geek. I know. I was an angsty profound adolescent at the time. Now I'm a silly over educated eccentric and I like it that way. I love Empire fashion and poets and chaste love stories. It was a perfect storm. Go buy it an love it today.

(500) Days of Summer - There is not a more perfect relationship movie out there than this one. It deserves every ounce of praise it got. I love Zoe Dechanel too. Not just because I've been told we look alike (which I find amazingly complimentary) but because she has the gift of coming off as genuine like the movie. Its a sweet, honest film and it was shot here in my beloved Los Angeles. My fair city isn't romanticized very often in film but it really is an enchanting city. The music was flawless, the characters are amazing, there is dancing in the park and animated birds and real tears or horror and its just an amazing bite of life.

UP! - I saw this with my Ace Gang and as the bunch of hyper intelligent and verbal girls that we are we ADORED this movie, cried through the last 20 minutes, and then proceeded to have an intense 40 min discussion about the concept of true love and relationships in the movie theater directly after the credits and shared stories about our families and lives. All of which was conjured up this movie. Its a cartoon but its that good. I'm convinced they mixed love, hummingbirds, babies laughter, daisies, saltine crackers and red balloons together one day and out popped this script and cast. I've never wanted to hug a cartoon character more than Russel. Except for maybe Appa

Star Trek - So not only have I been a Trekkie since I was a zygote, I love JJ Abrams. I think hes one of the best storytellers to come along since Lucas and when I heard the two were joining forces (Star Trek and JJ Abrams) I almost lost my hat. I was excited but scared because I knew this was either going to be mind blowingly amazing or a train wreck. There was no mediocrity option when working with a concept on the scale of Star Trek. Like, Godzilla doesn't just trip and scrape his knees up. A city gets destroyed in the process. I'm happy to report there was no city crushing. Godzilla danced Swan Lake and then made dinner. It was that good. I adore confident movies and this one was just that. It wasn't a remake. It was its own entity and it was brilliant. I've been a Chris Pine fan since Princess Diaries 2 and he was just amazing as Kirk. Kevin Smith said it right that only he could have played Kirk without doing a Shatner impression.

Theater releases that I think you should stay away from:
Year One - total Jack Black letdown. It just goes to show if you have horrible writing no amount of direction or acting can make up for it. Or bathroom comedy and heracy in this case.
I Love You Beth Cooper - I'm really glad I didn't pay for this movie or I'd be writing the studio.
Wolverine - It should have said under the title "starring Hugh Jackman's jeans" because they were the most interesting part of the whole movie. Once again - webbernet - hear me! If the writing stinks no amount of special effects or muscly arms can make a movie gel. Put the money in the writing and you'll be good.

*Netflix Exploits*

John Adams tops this list. I adore Laura Linney and John Adams is my favorite founding father. Mostly because he was always faithful to his wife. Abagail Adams is one of my heroes. As in capital "H" heroes. As in I want to name my future daughter "Abagail". I highly recommend the series and the book David McCullough wrote that inspired it.

I finally saw Wall-E and loved it. Yay for environmental treatises and yay for the Hello Dolly soundtrack.

I apparently have a lot of movie catching up to do because I hadn't seen American Beauty till this year as well. Like I've said before and I LOVE confident movies and this one defines that genre. I was speechless for about 5 min after I finished it. It was one of those moments when you get the feeling that you're in the presence of greatness. It deserved every single Oscar it walked away with. I could write blogs and blogs about how great this movie was but I'll spare you.

*TV Shows*

I'm so glad that TV has finally gotten its act together and hired some real writers and decent actors. Also, I think that DVDs have made TVs shows a bit relative. Like - I've discovered TV shows and bought the DVDs after they were canceled but they're still "my shows" that I regularly watch (re: Firefly, Arrested Development, West Wing). So considering that, along with Hulu it's a rarity that I actually view something on the day and time it airs or is even still *on* the air. I'm just not all with the TV in real time. However, there area few shows that I've discovered/been turned on to this year that I wasn't aware of before. I felt like my had my TV viewing time full with my regular LOST and 30 Rock exploits but now, thanks to the good taste of my amazing friends I've been turned on to

Glee - as a former band and choir nerd I feel an alarming connection to this show. It makes me happy and I am SO glad that music and dancing and art and expression are starting to come back into the public eye as SOMETHING IMPORTANT that needs to be funded in our schools and is essential for healthy development as an individual. Go dust off your clarinets and dancing shoes people. It's time to be ourselves again.

How I Met Your Mother - NPH is back in the saddle and that makes me happy.

Bones - I just kind of want to be her.

I don't have enough time to be this entertained but they're such good shows!

Alas - I must peel my face off of whatever relative screen it's been looking at for the last few hours and go smell a flower or something.

May 2010 be as full of wonder and bonding type media as 2009 was.


Quixotic Healer said...

We got The Brother's Bloom and Year One together from Redbox. I told Chris he would regret his pick and boy did he ever! But Brother's Bloom was awesome.

What did you think of Transformers 2?

Ms. Liz said...

I thought Transformers 2 was a massive disappointment. It felt hurried and insincere. It felt WAY over effected. I think what would make a movie like that get would be a seamlessness between the effects and the performers. Megan Fox just needs to fall off the planet and that story needed about 4 more drafts and a good dose of JJ Abrams. I'd give it a glowing B-