As the outside temperatures begin their downward spiral and the memories of a summer movie season filled with alien robots and basterds begin to fade, I figured it was the perfect time to look back at Summer's 10 best, and 10 most disappointing films. Good news first...
The 10 Best Films of Summer 2009
10. The Brothers Bloom - The Brothers Bloom, the second film written and directed by Maryland native Rian Johnson, was a stylistic and entertaining overhaul of the traditional con-man picture. I loved the look of the film, and the performances from Adrian Brody, Rachel Weiz, Mark Ruffalo, and Rinko Kikuchi.
9. Away We Go - Sam Mendes and "summer comedy" are phrases usually not spoken in the same sentence. This film had such spirit and heart. I loved John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. I thought Maya Rudolph gave one of the best performances of the summer season.
8. Julie & Julia - When I think of Norah Ephron, I think of charming, yet, simplistic romantic comedies. In 1993 she wrote and directed the timeless "Rom-Com" classic, Sleepless In Seattle. In 1998 she wrote and directed one of my personal favorites, You've Got Mail. Now, in 2009, she delivers another film, but to call it a simplistic romantic comedy would be doing it a great disservice. Julie & Julia feels like two films folded into one. We get the funny story of Julia Child's forray into cooking, the heartwarming story of her relationship with her husband and her quest to finish her cookbook; we also get the story of Julia, a woman seemingly in a mid-life crisis who decides to start a blog as she attempts to cook every one of Julia Child's recipes in 365 days. The film is very funny and proves to be a fun time at the cinema.
7. The Hangover - If there will ever be a PSA of the dangers of Las Vegas, the main characters of The Hangover probably inspired it. Calling this film outrageously crude is being generous, but who cares. It was the funniest film of the summer! Mike Tyson had the funniest cameo of the summer.
6. (500) Days of Summer - The tired, old mule that is the "Rom-Com" got a serious overhaul in this charming, hilarious film. The soundtrack was a huge standout. The creative ways director Marc Webb found to convey Tom's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) thoughts and emotions were ultimately what put such a fresh spin on an otherwise boring, tired genre of movies.
5. District 9 - Made for $32 Million dollars, District 9 has gone on to make over $100 million at the box office. Why? Because its AMAZING. The story was very well developed and well executed. The film also set itself up for a sequel better then any other film I saw this summer.
4. Up - This is the best Pixar film to date. Now that I got that out of the way, let me just say the film was so heartwarming and entertaining. The animation was first-rate and the voice acting was perfect. My favorite creation in this film had to be the dogs. One of the best running gags Pixar ever came up with. What made me enjoy this film so much was how it wasn't just a kids film. There were some pretty intense adult themes at work here.
(TIE) 1. The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Star Trek - These three films were all too good for me to separate so I have called it a three way tie.
The Hurt Locker was an incredible pressure cooker of a film. The intensity was constantly building until it blew up(no pun intended) all over the screen. Jeremy Renner deserves an oscar nomination for his performance as SSgt. William James. The film also could get a Best Picture nomination. Inglourious Basterds was so much fun! Never have I ever seen a funnier WW2 film. The academy should just give Christoph Waltz the supporting actor statue already, for he was brilliant. I loved every minute of this film. I loved the music, the cinematography, the editing, the writing, EVERYTHING! The film also had the best, most satisfying (albeit nonsense) ending to any WW2 film I have ever seen. Also, Eli Roth proved to be a pretty good actor. I have seen Star Trek 4 times; 3 times in theaters and once on the plane while on my way to Arizona (THANK YOU CONTINENTAL AIRLINES!). Each time I saw the film, I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, then the previous time(s). J.J. Abrams provided the most exciting film of the summer, as well as the most character driven, action packed, summer sci-fi blockbuster(take that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen!) I have seen in years. The most exhausted film franchise was given new life thanks to everyone involved and the great cast especially. The effects were incredible and the score, to me, was oscar worthy.
This is only the beginning, coming soon..THE 10 MOST DISAPPOINTING FILMS OF SUMMER!