Saturday, December 19, 2009

Coming Distractions December 22nd, 2009

District 9
(500) Days of Summer
It Might Get Loud
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Staten Island
All About Steve
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside

It is the time for year-end best of lists, since we always love to jump the gun on these things. We can't let time get the best of us! Take cars, for instance. A 2010 vehicle becomes available in 2009. Does this make us a year ahead or a year behind? Either way, you probably shouldn't buy a new car. Not a sound investment with the astonishing value percentage it loses as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Best Movies of the Year by John Waters in ArtForum. A teaser: he loves Depression Porn (a new genre) and AntiChrist (coming to the Roxy January 22nd!). Also, In the Loop, which I have to disagree with because although the gum bleeding scene was very funny, my ears were also bleeding by the end from the incessant shouting. Psst: it's not funnier just because you said it louder. I love this list though, because from the few scant comments I can really see why Waters got off on these movies.

I hear tell that Lars von Trier and David Lynch have their own best of '09 lists out, but I can't seem to find them anywhere on this interweb.

So, now that I feel I have given you a sufficient opportunity to read other people's lists, I will provide you with a few of my favorites. I don't like to be too exact about these things, so here are some of the titles, in no particular order, that I enjoyed the most in the last year.
My Winnipeg: I really loved the fantastical twists and turns this movie takes. Guy Maddin is an expert on producing a dreamlike movie full of non sequitur logic where the viewer doesn't feel left behind, stranded on the rocky shores of reality. I have it on good authority from a friend who grew up in Winnipeg that nothing in this movie is factually true, except for the stuff that is.

District 9: And hey! Look at that, it's coming out on Tuesday. (purely coincidence. seriously). I thought it was really masterful how District 9 sets up the convention of the documentary/news reel in the beginning and then drops it pretty quickly, which allows you to fully get into the story without the handheld camera nausea that is so common in film-viewing today. Very edge of your seat exciting, and the genocidal metaphors are not too heavy handed.

Limits of Control: I would never go out of my way to recommend Jim Jarmusch's new film to anyone who wasn't already interested, but it was exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. Which was, I have to say, calming. I know that's not what a person is generally looking for when they hit up the video rental store. I also can agree with the criticism that Jarmusch shouldn't have bothered hinting at some kind of under plot if he is never really gonna let us in on it. I've also read reviews that inferred the movie was a bigger metaphor about the imagination and blah blah. This is a travel movie. And that's what I loved about it. It made me feel like I went somewhere. It made me feel like I was on a great road trip, where nothing really happened but it felt significant all the same.

The Changeling: I was very delighted to stumble upon this classic ghost story. Why don't we make movies like this any more?

Wire in the Blood: This show is British mystery at its best. It has those outrageous twists we all long for. I love Robson Green as the disorganized psychologist with uncanny insight into the criminal mind. To tell you the truth, I still feel a little bereft when I realize I don't have any more episodes to watch...

Away We Go: I thought this movie was pretty under-rated. It seem to get a very lackluster "yeah, good, kinda..." response. I thought it as a great mix of funny and serious (see also Funny People, which I enjoyed the whole way through. Maybe I didn't have the issues other people did because I watched the extended version and not the theatrical although there's only about a 6 min difference? Or else everyone is just wrong, which, as you know, is always a possibility), and I just found it plain old touching, in the best kind of way. I do believe, however, that movies need to get off the Juno cover band wagon and leave behind the sketchy cartoon drawing and predominant use of orange. Can't judge a movie by its indie-tastic cover.

The Young Poisoner's Handbook: An inspiration true story. Has a similar off-kilter feel to Parents.
Pretty Poison: I'm kind of kidding. This movie definitely isn't great, or even that good, but it has got some truly hilarious lines of dialogue. For example:

Dennis Pitt: Boy. What a week. I met you on Monday, fell in love with you on Tuesday, Wednesday I was unfaithful, Thursday we killed a guy together. How about that for a crazy week, Sue Ann?
Sue Ann Stepanek: "Unfaithful Wednesday?"
Dennis Pitt: I was just joking, Sue Anne. That was in another country. Forget it. I do, no kidding, love you. I love you.

Maybe you need to see it in its entirety.

Alright, that's enough for today. So, how are you feeling about movies this past year?

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