Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009: The Half Year in Review

I know that August is almost here, so reviewing a half-year may seem a bit odd at this point. However, my friend Dan Hoag and I agree that movie season really ends with Oscar night, which this year was on February 22, so technically I’m ahead of schedule with this column.

While I’ve got you here, now is a great time to let you know that Thursday is going to be Movie Day here on my blog. I’m going to try and make the content more regular, and scheduled, so you know that if you like to read my thoughts on movies but don’t care about the wrestling, you know to come on Thursday. I’ll let you know the rest of the schedule when I figure it out, but Thursday is definitely movie day. I’ll talk about what I’ve watched in the past week, on DVD or in the theater. Next week will be a bit special though, since it’s the Traverse City Film Festival I will try to update it daily with what I’ve seen, since the volume on those days is much higher than average. I’m looking forward to it.

Anyway, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve seen this year, roughly grouped into categories. I’ll follow with some half-year awards.

The Best: The Garden, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Up

The Very, Very Good: Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Away We Go, Easy Virtue, The Great Buck Howard, The Hangover, I Love You, Man, Moon, and Star Trek

The Solid: The Brothers Bloom, Hotel for Dogs, Observe and Report, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Public Enemies, Taken, Terminator Salvation, and Whatever Works

The Just-Above Average: Angels & Demons, He’s Just Not That Into You, Is Anybody There?, Sunshine Cleaning, and 12 Rounds

The Slightly-Below Average: The International, My Bloody Valentine 3-D, New in Town, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The Pretty Darn Bad: Bride Wars

The Worst: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Since I stopped working at Family Video I don’t see as many terrible movies, which I never felt bad about watching since they were free. Eventually I’ll have to see some real crap so my end of the year Worst Of list looks impressive. Now, let’s get to some mid-season Oscar worthy stuff. I’ll just give my two cents on the top six categories so far, with an asterisk next to my winner.

Best Picture
Away We Go
The Brothers Bloom
Easy Virtue
The Great Buck Howard
The Hangover
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I Love You, Man
Star Trek

Best Director
Pete Docter, Up
Duncan Jones, Moon*
Sam Mendes, Away We Go
Todd Phillips, The Hangover
David Yates, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Sunshine Cleaning
Jessica Biel, Easy Virtue
Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning
Mya Rudolph, Away We Go*
Evan Rachel Wood, Whatever Works

Best Actor
Adrien Brody, The Brothers Bloom
John Krasinski, Away We Go
John Malkovich, The Great Buck Howard
Sam Rockwell, Moon*
Paul Rudd, I Love You, Man

Best Supporting Actor
Jim Broadbent, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Colin Firth, Easy Virtue
Zack Galifianakis, The Hangover*
Mark Ruffalo, The Brothers Bloom
Jason Segal, I Love You, Man

Best Supporting Actress
Emily Blunt, The Great Buck Howard
Patricia Clarkson, Whatever Works
Allison Janney, Away We Go
Kristen Scott Thomas, Easy Virtue
Rachel Weisz, The Brothers Bloom*

So far this year I’ve only seen 31 movies. I need to kick it up in the second half of the year. See you next week!

1 comment:

  1. Solid list. We obviously differ on a few things, but that's expected as no one fully agrees on everything. I actually haven't picked a favorite for the year, but it would be something to think about. "Up" ain't a bad start.