I went to my local multiplex movie theatre probably less than 20 times in 2009. Not many interesting movies come to Newfoundland, mostly just blockbusters and dumb movies like Did You Hear About the Morgans, which usually aren’t worth the pain of a trip to the mall. I can pick 5 movies I saw in a theatre in 2009 that were worth the price of a trip to the mall. In alphabetical order:
Alien — Seeing it in a theatre is the best way to appreciate it, even if you’ve seen it 20 times on DVD. The alien will still make you crap your pants.
District 9 — A one-of-a-kind science fiction movie that’s hard to watch at times because it seems so brutally realistic. I’ve never felt so much sympathy for such ugly creatures before.
Pontypool — The best idea movie I saw in 2009 and the most engaging. Language becomes a virus that turns people into zombies. I literally held on to the edge of my seat for half the movie.
Psycho — Another movie that is transformed by a theatrical viewing. Everyone in the theatre knew the shower murder scene was coming and it still made everyone jump. I can understand the criticism that Hitchcock’s movies feel dry, almost academic. Not this one. It goes for the jugular.
Star Trek — A re-imagined, action-packed Star Trek that almost anyone can enjoy. It has good actors (finally), good direction, excellent special effects and a story that respects the best aspects of the original Star Trek while elevating it to a whole new level. Star Trek used to be cheesy, goof ball fun with a message, but it was never this cool. I agree mostly with this review (turn volume down during intro):
I saw more new movies on DVD or through screener copies than in a theatre in 2009. Here’s a list of the highlights:
The Hurt Locker — A nervous movie about a guy working with an American explosive ordnance disposal team in Iraq defusing big bombs that could blow him to bits any second. The bravado is a bit too thick at times, but it’s a powerful movie. Intense.
Moon — A great example of what science fiction can be but hardly ever achieves: intelligent, exciting, empathetic and thoughtful storytelling. You don’t have to be a fan of science fiction to appreciate that.
Did you see any good movies this year?