Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The Road is the best film I've seen in 2009 thus far. Ever since I saw it last weekened it's been impossible not to go back to it in my head. A riveting experience, it's a film that's not likely to be loved by all viewers, but I found it to be a masterpiece on pretty much every level. The inevitable snubbing of the film in all categories at the Oscars will be predictably despicable; it's a crime that the film got dumped the way it did by the Weinstein company, and it's mind boggling that more than one esteemed "critic" didn't see the brilliance of this film. I'll have a more detailed take on John Hillcoat's masterful piece of apocalyptic fiction, but for now, I'll say that it's a helluva film, and one that I cannot wait to watch again and again. That may sound strange as the film is quite dark and bleak, but I sort of see it as a companion piece (in some respects) to Children of Men, another film about the end of civilization that has stayed in the memory banks for a long time.

Nine was very enjoyable. It's pure style; it's really a show for cinematographer Dion Beebe and editor Claire Simpson. The cast is solid all around, but it's Daniel Day Lewis who (predictably) owns the screen. Marion Cotillard is fast becoming my favorite working actress, Penelope Cruz should think about becoming a full-time Victoria's Secret model (kidding...but not really...), and for the first time, I didn't want to strangle Kate Hudson on screen. It's not a groundbreaking movie like 8 1/2, one of its inspirations, but it's a classy, jazzy, snazzy, big-screen musical with lots of visual razzle dazzle. Rob Marshall knows what's up with this sort of thing.

I'll be seeing Up in the Air tomorrow.

I've got tickets for Avatar in 3-D IMAX for Saturday.

Might check out It's Complicated on Sunday.

That leaves only The Lovely Bones, Crazy Heart, A Single Man, and Sherlock Holmes as the last few major releases for 2009. I'll have to catch up with Invictus, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and An Education on Blu Ray.

Recent DVD viewings have included the hysterical bro-mance Humpday (looooved it), G-Force (very amusing), Dedication (it was only a'ight but Billy Crudup was terrific), Ballast (solid but overrated), Monsters Inc. (lovable and tons of fun), and Love, Etc. (disappointing).

I'll be posting my best of the decade list soon, so keep an eye out.

Happy New Year to all!


Joel said...

"Very amusing" for "G-Force" eh? Very nice...loved that movie. I need to get it on Blu-ray for my nephews, who have yet to see it, as far as I know...

I disagree about "Nine." I was particularly unmoved by the structure of the performances, specifically, and the whole thing left me incredibly cold. Definitely one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

I cannot flippin' wait for your thoughts on both "Avatar" and "Up in the Air." The former will blow your freakin' mind, and the second (I'm guessing) will pretty much paralyze you with its truthfulness, as it did for me.

Lon said...

I agree, Nine wasn't by any means the worst film I have seen, but it felt more like Chicago's cousin you don't want to spend as much time with.

Actionman said...

See...I vastly preferred Nine to Chicago...I just really enjoyed watching DDL wiggle through all those women. And I loved the film-within-a-film conceit. And as a piece of pure cinematic style, it’s very dynamic.