Another Oscars have come and gone. We watched it on DVR. Pacific time! Oh, DVR is there anything you can’t do? Oh yeah, manage to tape a program to the very end. The DVR did make my experience more enjoyable–that little bad boy made the length of the show almost manageable!
2009 was a pretty good year for movies. I haven’t seen all or even most of the nominated flicks, as is my plan every year. I didn’t get around to seeing The Hurt Locker, Where The Wild Things Are, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Crazy Heart, Inglorious Bastards, Avatar (Didn’t want to see it until last night. Now I think it might be fun to see it while enhanced. Like with cookies and other substances. Oh and I thought Ben Stiller’s line, in full Avatar costume, about moving out of the picture so as not to demean the winner’s moment of triumph was hilarious), Precious, The Cove, or even Food, Inc, forchrissakes. Um, (1) So why am I writing this?, and (2) What the hell was I doing? I did see some movies in 2009 though. Since Sunday night was Oscar night, so I thought I’d share. Whenever I hear that blank is blank night, I think of this. You should too!
You better tie up your dogs, better go call the cops. It’s Oscar night (last night)!
So here are some movies that came out in 2009 that I liked for various reasons.
500 Days Of Summer–Wait, I’m not the only one who had their heart trampled on while thinking it was gonna work even with hourly reminders that it wouldn’t? OK, cool. I really liked this movie. Watched it, then watched it again immediately. I was sick at the time, OK? Kind of hits you like a not as good but ultimately more hopeful Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, my favorite movie of the aughts. Were Clem and Joel ever going to make it work?
Whip It–Great use of music. How great is it to see teevee’s Alia Shawkat, forever known to me as Maeby Funke? Answer: Very. Mainly I liked the use of music in this movie–especially the 38 special while Juno learned how to skate. Speaking of 38 spesh, check out this video. You won’t regret it.
38 Special? Bold move, Drew, bold move. Drew was hammy as usual, but it looked to me like the people making this movie had a lot of fun, which also added to my enjoyment. You could feel it. And I kinda think Ellen Page could be on to something. Like good acting.
I Love You Man–The best comedy of the year. Love Jason Segel. Love Paul Rudd. The Rush concert scene? Four plus minutes of air guitar, air drums, lip synching and nipple rubs. The best is how oblivious they are to everything else around them for the entirety of the song. Hilarious.
Adventureland–Has that dude, the poor man’s Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg and the intense and weirdly too spacey Kristen Stewart from Twilight, which I know nothing about because I have taste. Hi-oh! Adventureland is good, nostalgic fun. Another great use of music, Crowded House, Don’t Dream It’s Over. That song is still all dreamy and deep, isn’t it? Just like it was in 1987. I think this was the first movie that really seemed to capture the late 80s in a way that I didn’t understand that Dazed and Confused captured the late 70s. And the late 80s, as I’ve mentioned, is where it all began. Adventureland also makes you notice just how different it must be to be young now. God, I sound old.
The Hangover–Second best comedy of 2009. I was bracing myself as the movie began, expecting to think the movie was going to be funny, yes, but most likely offensive. C’mon you had to think there’d be some gay panic, some misogyny. You think the characters are gonna be funny, but douches. But they’re not. No misogyny and no homophobia. Maybe a little, but none that I remember. Holy shit, right? Which is why it seems that pretty much everybody from your beer swilling bro to your Foucault spouting grad school friend can love The Hangover. Plus, Zach Galifianakis. Need I say more? If you haven’t seen him yet as Tairy Greene or The Snuggler on Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, then you need to Netflix that too.
Oh and this just in, did you see his monologue on Saturday Night Live? Holy crap! If not, watch now, damn you! Hilarious! The alpaca message board joke had me howling!
This Is It–I never thought I’d see this movie, but it was fascinating. I mean, I knew MJ was a genius, but you get to see how he did it here. I’m getting really sappy in my old age, but it was cool to see how excited his dancers were, watching him dance. Plus, when he was wearing a particular jacket with large shoulder pads (like porn, you’ll know it when you see it), you’ll think to yourself, cripes! He looks like Shane from The L Word!
Julie & Julia–Oh, Meryl (I can call her Meryl. My favorite celebrity sighting when I lived in NYC was Meryl shopping here). She was very good in this movie and if you’re into food at all, this was an enjoyable summer film. And it all came out of a blog. How cool is that? Even if you thought the part of the movie about the blogger was annoying, its’ still cool. Come on, lighten up!
The Invention of Lying–People didn’t like this movie. And I think it had the potential to be so much better. But I kind of discovered Ricky Gervais by watching this movie. I’m embarrassed because I should have discovered him a long time ago. But I never got around to watching the original Office or anything else he’s ever done. Problem solved. Oh and fun fact, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops rated this movie as morally offensive. Bonus!
Away We Go–I actually liked this movie, and again a lot of people I know did not. OK, maybe the lead characters were slightly annoying, but aren’t people in their early to mid 30s actually kind of annoying? Maggie Gyllenhaal’s role was hilarious, but maybe I’ve just met too many people who actually are this over the top about their parenting and might shove a stroller back into my face.
Ahh, the perils of being in your 30s.
Up In The Air–I feel myself liking this movie more and more as time progresses. I’m usually not a fan of dashing, charming, slyly winking George Clooney. But I liked the subdued Cloonster in this movie. I like how the events took place in the overlooked Midwest and rust belt. I liked the two performances by Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga. I liked the subdued ending.
It’s Complicated–When did I become a target audience of Nancy Meyers? I don’t know, but I was right there oohhing and ahhing over Meryl’s kitchen like a straight woman in her 50s! Maybe it was also the pre-movie wine and the winter weather and being at the High Pointe Theater and the holiday glow, but Double S and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. But it’s Alec and Meryl, how can you resist? Did you hear how Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron used to be married, and then did you see them sitting right behind each other last night? OMG? It’s complicated.
Oscar night postscript:
I need to see The Hurt Locker and The Cove . However, in re The Cove, why was Fisher Stevens acting like such a douche? He made a documentary about the systematic slaughter of endangered and highly intelligent bottlenose dolphins in Japan. Said flick wins an Oscar, and dude comes to the mic acting like he won for The Hangover? Weird. Anyway, I read this today about the speech the director would have given. Also, The Hurt Locker wins like every award, I haven’t seen it but I can at least deduce that it’s a timely piece about the never-ending war in Iraq and the dangerous situations that soldiers are regularly placed into, and the best that the director can come up with is multiple stammering dedications to the troops, then to Hazmat workers and firefighters? Not that these people shouldn’t have many awards dedicated to the work they do, but couldn’t she have tried to say something meaningful about the war? Even maybe that more needs to be done to give soldiers proper equipment and protection. Kinda pathetic.
Three of my favorite movies I saw in 2009 were from 2008. The Reader (Kate Winslet, brilliant as usz). Doubt. (Yeah, yeah Meryl is awesome but what about Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in this little number?). And three, The Dark MF-in’ Knight. How great was that movie? I want a time machine for many reasons, but once I get one I’ll most def swing by the summer of ’08 and see that at the Imax. Seeing it made me sadder about the death of Heath Ledger.
Alec Baldwin just keeps getting better. I got a little misty when he intro’ed Tina Fey. Oh and Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. might be able to make the dual host thing work. They brought the funny. Mainly, Tina, but still!
What was George Clooney’s damage last night? Whenever they showed him he seemed a little perturbed and decidedly non Clooney.
What’s the deal with Molly Ringwald? Deer. In. Headlights. She looked like a suburban mom making her debut at community theater. I guess she isn’t used to award shows.
OK, I’ve got movies to watch!