2009 Movies

Inspired by my friend Jake’s post on the same topic, I’ve decided to run down my year in movies.

  • In Bruge – Very good, darker than I expected. Made me wish I visited Belgium during my Europe trips.
  • Dexter: Season 1 – My favorite series of the year.
  • La Dolce Vita – I came away not liking this one, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all year.  This will require a second viewing.
  • Man on Wire – Very entertaining.  This is someone who loves life.
  • Burn After Reading – Good, not great.  Also darker than expected.
  • Dexter: Season 2 – Not quite as good as the first.
  • Blade Runner – It took me a long time to finally get around to this one.  It has been hyped too much and a bit too dated for my tastes.
  • I Am Legend – Disappointing.  Will Smith needs to stick to the thoughtful drama category.
  • The Edge of Heaven – I don’t remember this one very well, but know that I liked it a lot.  This lack of memory will be a recurring theme for the year (thanks to twins, I guess).
  • WALL-E – Much better than expected.  I don’t get the controversy that surrounded the message.
  • Brotherhood: Season 1 – Just OK.  We didn’t care about any of the characters.  Probably won’t pick up Season 2.
  • The Duchess – No memory of this at all.
  • Lust, Caution – Very good, beautiful film.  I picked it up for the NC-17 rating, and it turned out to be good for a whole bunch of other reasons.
  • Love in the Time of Cholera – Did not like this, although I didn’t much like the book either.
  • Slumdog Millionaire – Very good, but way over hyped.
  • Step Into Liquid – Good.  I am one step closer to seeing every surfing movie ever made.
  • Tsotsi – Pretty good, but I wanted to like the main character more.  Maybe that was the point.
  • Milk – Interesting story, thought Penn was pretty good.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Story was too much of a gimmick to ever make a great movie.
  • The Wrestler – Painfully good.  I can’t believe Rourke looks the way he does.
  • Frost/Nixon – Interesting, made me want to see the original footage.  The Nixon actor was excellent.
  • The Reader – Good, but forgettable.
  • Gran Torino – Great role for Eastwood.  Consistently loving his movies.
  • Lords of Dogtown – Can’t hold a candle to Dogtown and Z-Boys.
  • Weeds: Season 4 – This is holding up in the fourth season.  Nice twist at the end.
  • Changeling – Decent but not very memorable.
  • Mad Men: Season 2 – Very good, love that Roger Sterling.
  • Tell No One – Have it down as a highly rated movie, but don’t remember it that well.
  • 21 – Disappointing, book was so much better.
  • The Right Stuff – Exact opposite of 21, very true to the book and a great flick.
  • Superbad – Dumb, but was expected.
  • Deep Water – Interesting, depressing documentary about a sailor.
  • Flash of Genius – Pretty predictable. I think Kinnear has better roles in him.
  • Jeopardy: An Inside Look – The process of creating the questions/answers was very interesting.  Would have like more on Alex.
  • The Tao of Steve – Showing its age.  The main character was not at all redeeming.
  • Life After People – I was disappointed in this, and also in the book The World Without Us.  Can anyone do the “world post humans” concept well?
  • Revolutionary Road – Did not like this one either.  I wanted everyone to die in the end and I almost got my wish.
  • Vicky Christina Barcelona – Another beautiful film.  Decent story and acting.  All round good effort, but nothing like Match Point.
  • Entourage: Season 5 – I’ll keep sticking with this series even though it’s pretty predictable.
  • Following – Good for those wanting to see the Nolan body of work.  He’s just cutting his teeth here.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum – This has turned out to be a great series, even better than the Jack Ryan films or later Bond films.
  • John Adams – An amazing performance from Giamatti.  A good format for those wanting something faster than the book.
  • Dexter: Season 3 – It was a bit harder to get into this season, but it finished strong.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – Interesting perspective of the Holocaust.  There are many others that are more powerful, The Pianist for example.
  • The Proposal – Predictable, but better than expected.
  • Julia – Hands down the worst movie of the year.  I could have watched this at 2x speed and it still would have been too long.
  • Valkyrie – I was prepared to hate this because the loon Tom Cruise was in it, but I ended up liking it.
  • Duplicity – Good, but I found myself needing an org chart at times.  The old brain isn’t what it used to be.
  • Angels & Demons – Much better than The Da Vinci Code.  Beautiful in the Blu-Ray format.
  • Tyson – A surprise, very poignant and made me feel bad for this nut job.
  • Yes Man – Blah, tried too hard for the laughs, about 45 minutes too long.

2 Replies to “2009 Movies”

  1. Jason

    Re: Flash of Genius – Pretty predictable. I think Kinnear has better roles in him.

    I wish I had met you earlier to bet on the “predictability” of my Dad taking on the whole Auto Industry. Perhaps you were sure enough to finance the litigation, feed my siblings, pay the cost of obtaining 35 world wide patents and undertake 36 years of wrangling with 26 multinational corporations?

    I didn’t think it was Greg’s job to be other than Bob Kearns. He became my Dad with uncanny elegance and an intuitive energy I found amazing. It’s easy to play a better role, probably far more difficult to play a complex, real human being, with all his flaws and ideals.

    I offer that you view Flash of Genius from another perspective.

    All the best


    1. Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for your comment. It is a nice surprise to connect with you here.

      When I think about the ~50 films I’ve seen this year, I think only about the relative success of each in providing a couple hours of entertainment. For those films based on a true story, I think it’s possible to evaluate the film separately from the real-life people and their stories. My brief comments about the acting and the film aren’t meant to be taken as a negative opinion of your dad. As a new father myself, I can’t imagine the sacrifices he made over the years in the course of standing up for his ideas and hard work.

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