Ten Best Films Of 2009
Holly really liked Paranormal Activity!
By Holly Grigg-Spall
1. Where The Wild Things Are
This dreamy wonder of a movie made me very proud to have once loaned my Internet cable to Dave Eggers while working as an intern in the McSweeney's offices.
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Such a jolly tale, handsomely animated and run through with an infectious energy. The badger in the skeleton t-shirt is cute as hell, too.
3. An Education
Carey Mulligan is fantastic as the starry-eyed young girl in this British drama, a performance that will likely glean her an Oscar nomination. She's so dazzling, that her real-life romance with half-wit Shia LaBeouf seems positively bizarre.
4. Sherlock Holmes
Getting off Madonna's macrobiotic diet has done Guy Ritchie a world of good. And Robert Downey Jr.'s mumbles and smiles make you more eager for Iron Man 2.
Mostly due on the talking dog, Dug, whose stream of consciousness chatter is straight out of an Eddie Izzard routine.
6. Paranormal Activity
This film ruined my life for like three weeks. Even now if I think about one particular scene it will still freak me out, even in the middle of the day, in the middle of Target.
Champagne bottle butt-plugs and mechanical dildos are somewhat shocking, but the sweet, sensitive love story at the center of all that was the real surprise of this satire.
8. Capitalism: A Love Story
There are radical messages amongst Michael Moore's standard performance as the people's PR. Lucky for the bank CEOs, no one else cared to listen.
9. Star Trek
Prior to seeing this fun-loving piece of pure entertainment, I knew nothing of the science fiction franchise. I still don't know the difference between a Vulcan and a Klingon, but I love this film.
10. This Is It
There's only so much a good editing job can hide. As a former believer of all Michael Jackson rumors going, I was blown away to see the professional and intelligent performer in this documentary.
Ten Worst Films of 2009
Morgan P. really hated Paranormal Actvity!
By Morgan P Salvo
This was at the top of my list in February. Not one film surpassed it. With its Bourne Identity-like previews, wimpy Hostel rip-offs and star power of Liam Neeson it still seems "taken" from the dregs of a Michael Dudikoff 80's action flick.
2. Paranormal Activity
This box office mega-hit did not deserve the film/video it was shot on. The fact that this flick got any recognition whatsoever, let alone the praise it received, not to mention the money it raked in, makes my head spin. This was the most infuriating movie I've ever sat through. (Editor's note: Yes, this film somehow made both lists... )
3. Jennifer's Body
Sure, Megan Fox is hot and the notion of a teenage hormone movie with blood-chewing demons sounds cool, but this was a perfect example of how a great idea can be ruined by smart-ass intentions. This was by far the most despicable display of smug screenwriting ever.
4. Final Destination: Death Trip
The 3-D was unnecessary, the gore minimal, the unoriginal storyline immature and pedestrian, and the acting was not... ummm... good. The only decent destination was the theater's exit door.
5. Fast and Furious
A remake disguised as a sequel is revved up with atrocious car chases and mumbling. Vin Diesel has no fashion sense and the audience should demand subtitles to understand his garbling.
Bruce Willis' and Ving Rames' first reunion since Pulp Fiction is all grimacing and squinting. Meanwhile, sexy people walk the earth, robotic mannequins run amuck, and every scene defies believability. This wannabe Blade Runner with its flaccid political intrigue comes off like Law and Order: Special Surrogates Unit.
7. The Orphan
The hilarious twist ending isn't worthy of the intolerable time spent in your seat waiting for it. After wading through incessant trials and psychotic tribulations amidst non-stop whining and insulting script, not even the decent gore could save this one.
8. The Informers
Filled with horrendous dialogue and terrible plot lines, the wretched acting abounds from the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Rhys Ifans, Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke in this Brett Easton Ellis penned '8Os cheese fest.
9. The Unborn
This one came close to being "so-bad-it's-good" but lost that footing pronto. The filmmakers must have drugged Gary Oldman and propped him up. Let's face it - there's just no room for a Jewish version of the Exorcist unless the Coen Brothers make it.
10. Haunting in Connecticut
Even with multi-scare tactics, sufficient acting and barfing up ectoplasm this boring descent into the genre still proves my theory beyond any shadow of doubt that any flick that includes "haunting" in the title sucks.