Sunday, August 23, 2009

True or False?

So far, 2009 is kicking 2008's ass in terms of great, solid movies.

True or False?

Check it out. By this time last year we had Cloverfield, Iron Man, Wall-e & The Dark Knight. And 27 Dresses if you count silly romantic comedies. Around this time, Tropic Thunder & Pineapple Express were coming out, but frankly, Tropic was overrated and Pineapple ended up appealing mostly to those who were high when they saw it. Myself included.

On my facebook profile, I keep a running tab of which movies I've seen every year. If I loved them, I put a star beside the title. Last year around this time, maybe 3-4 movies had stars. Here are this year's starred films so far:

My Bloody Valentine 3D*
Coraline 3D*
17 Again*
Star Trek* (seen x2)
Drag Me To Hell*
A Serious Man*
The Hangover*
Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince*
500 Days of Summer*
GI Joe*
District 9*
Inglourious Basterds*

(My Bloody Valentine, Knowing & GI Joe all fall in the same category of awesomely fun & stupid...well Knowing's audacious ridiculousness kind of transcends that and creates its own special kind of amazing but that's another discussion for another time. I'm having trouble remembering if any awesomely stupid movies came out in 2008 at all!)

You see what I mean? Yes last year brought me Let the Right One In, and thank goodness for that, but this year has brought me Star Trek, Up, Drag Me To Hell, Thirst, D9, Inglourious Basterds and moves I haven't seen that people love like The Hurt Locker & In The Loop...and it's only August.

Am I crazy here? Some people agree with me whole heartedly and others completely disagree.

What do you think? Is 2009 shaping up to be remembered as an amazing year for cinema?


The Danifesto said...

A few things I wanted to add...

Re: Pineapple Express only appealing to those who were high when they saw it... wasn't that kind of the point of it? I don't think it loses points because it was only good if you saw it high. It was a stoner movie. Now, I actually didn't really like it all that much, but that was because it was weird, not because it's not that good when you're sober. It's not that good when you're high, either.

As for 2008 vs. 2009, all I can say is two of my favorite movies of ANY year (Wall-E and The Dark Knight) were 2008 movies. Nothing I've seen in 2009 approaches the appreciation I have for those two movies. District 9 comes close, and I really liked Up, but I still think The Dark Knight outweighs D9 and Wall-E certainly beats Up in my book.

That being said, this is all subjective, and 2009 still has four months left in it. Perhaps this will be an Oscar season. Perhaps not. As for movies that have been released... I have not seen Knowing, Drag Me To Hell and GI Joe. Suffice to say, I never will. So I can't really judge if they were terrible and ridiculous in an awesome way or terrible and ridiculous in a terrible and ridiculous way. But is it really fair to judge 2008 as a lesser year because 2009 produced... Knowing? I mean, again, haven't seen it. So I can't really judge. But... really? Haha.

LoquaciousMuse said...

I LOOOVEEE Pineapple Express, I just mean both it and Tropic Thunder didn't hit audiences or critics the way The Hangover did.

I actually am of the Up > Wall-E camp (as well as the Monsters Inc > Finding Nemo camp. I'm a Pete Docter girl, not an Andrew Stanton girl!) but agree with you on The Dark Knight. Kinda funny how TDK being snubbed last year may lead to something like D9 getting an oscar nom for Best Picture this year.

And I agree that last year had like 5 movies that I absolutely adored through and through, but...that's it. I'm simply talking quantity here. I've seen 35 movies this year and have loved 16 already.

omg but Daniel, do not lump Drag Me To Hell in with Knowing & GI Joe!!! Gi Joe & My Bloody Valentine are great for dumb fun you laugh at the whole time & Knowing is amazing for ALMOST convincing you it MIGHT be a good movie and then doing what it need to see Knowing hahaha. Drag Me To Hell is great because it's classic Sam Raimi - smart, fun, scary, etc. I promise Drag me to Hell is ACTUALLY good, haha.

And I know it's weird to use "so bad it's good" movies as proof of this year's quality, I just love those movies so when I get three in one year, I gets happy!

But yes, we can't forget this year also brought us legit disappointments that weren't fun-bad, just bad-bad like Transformers 2, Terminator & Wolverine...though nothing is as bad as Transformers 2. Nothing. NOTHING. AHHHHHHHHHHH. Last year just had mild disappointments like The Incredible Hulk & Wanted, which were fine, just didn't really blow anyone away.

Also, I'm probably forgetting a lot of last year's movies.

The end!

david said...

my 5 fave films of 2008:


my 5 fave films of 2009 so far:

3. UP

i mean... given that it's only august and i still haven't seen District 9, Inglorious Basterds, The Headless Woman, You the Living, Lorna's Silence... methinks i already prefer this year.

besides, simply looking at what came out in 2008, i feel it was an incredibly mediocre year for cinema, especially when compared to this year... but you know little old pretentious me, i have a prettttyyyy big problem with you using the word cinema in the same sentence as the words "star trek."

also, 2008 had the dark knight, which made me sad cause i felt as if i was witnessing the invasion of the body snatchers around me.

oh... and off the top of my head, films i neeeeed that are still coming out in 2009:

TWO HERZOGS!!!!!!!!!
where the wild things are!
AVATAR (people who have already judged this film need to punch their own faces)
BONG-JOON HO! (director of THE HOST brings us MOTHER)

and... there was a miyazaki movie this year. so this year wins by default.

Unknown said...

David, what are these movies that you love so much? And where do you see them? Who makes them? Where do they come from?

I guess Tokyo Sonata probably comes from Japan, or is about Japan. But I think you're making the names up of those others.

david said...

danno - a lot of them are art house movies for sho, but thirst is playing at your local multiplex right now! or... at least it was when i left for japan. so was up! and all of them played in ny / la! but especially this year there has been nothing else to compete with the arty, festival stuff... i.e. no profiteering cinema has managed to also been intellectually or viscerally stimulating in a way significant enough for me to remember (save for up, of course). i'm sure by year's end if i were to list my 15 fave films of the year you'd know quite a few of them. i liked adventureland!

TotoroVsBatman said...

I think 2009 needs attention for more substantive pictures. 2008 had Dark Knight which is still better than any of the best picture nominees in my opinion... And 2009 deserves a lot of credit for Moon alone.

Lol, I don't know if we should judge 2009 by Lars Von Trier though. Antichrist is garbage, albeit super fun.

And instead of punching my own face for judging Avatar, I will punch your avatar. (Was James Cameron really ever anything more than a great popcorn director?)

TotoroVsBatman said...

Oh, Von Trier... Dogma '99 was such a... well Dogma...

Castling said...

tetro came out this year so 2009 gets my vote.