REVIEWS: 2009 Movie Review Retrospective

This is a retrospective of the movies I saw in theaters this year.  I’ve arranged the movies in the order in which I would recommend them.  You might notice that the listing doesn’t match up exactly with the ratings I gave them originally, but that’s the point in a retrospective.

  1. Avatar
    Yes, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to put the last movie I saw at the top of the list.  But this movie changes so much about movies in general, that I can’t help but put it at the top.
  2. Star Trek
    JJ did the impossible and made a great Star Trek movie that manages to both reboot and continues the series in a worthy manner.
  3. District 9
    Surprisingly good, partly because the ad campaign gave nothing away and partly because it was heartwarming and action filled.
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    I think this movie can finally stand alone as a good movie, not just a good Harry Potter movie.
  5. Up
    It’s Pixar.  It’s funny, heartwarming, doesn’t talk down to you or your kids, and looks amazing.
  6. Drag Me To Hell
    A good balance of funny and scary, with a satisfying ending.
  7. Zombieland
    While Zombieland wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it was still tons of fun.
  8. 2012
    The world is literally falling apart and they want us to care about individual people?
  9. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    My least favorite book of the series turns into a dull movie.
  10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    A movie built on the cliché that bigger is better, which it definitely isn’t in this case.
  11. Terminator Salvation
    Skynet reveals their big plan and its a Terminator with free will?  All I know is that it could have been worse.  A lot worse.  It’s still pretty bad.
  12. The Hangover
    Funny, but highly inappropriate.  Can’t really recommend it.
  13. The Men Who Stare At Goats
    Advertised as a slap-stick comedy, its more of a dark comedy, and not very comedic at that.
  14. Watchmen
    So long, so boring, so weird.
  15. Hannah Montana: The Movie
    Yet another “movie” version of a TV show that manages to not be a game changer, even when that’s supposed to be the moral of the story!
  16. Year One
    Probably the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  Unfunny comedy, cringe-worth dialog, every scene dragged on and on.  First movie we literally talked out loud about walking out of.

MINI REVIEWS: The Hangover, Year One, Transformers 2

I gave micro-reviews of the other three movies I saw this summer on my Twitter, but I’ll repost and expand them for your reading pleasure.

You feel it in the morning.
You feel it in the morning.

The Hangover

Twitter post:

“Some laughs, but wrong and forgettable. And wrong.”

That pretty much sums it up.  Not sure why Jess and I felt the need to see it in theaters, as its worth a rental but definitely doesn’t need to be seen on the big screen (there are several things in the movie that once seen cannot be unseen).  It’s crass, immature, and vulgar, but you can’t deny it has some funny moments.  It’s not exactly quotable like some comedies are, but its not a bad comedy either.  Worth a rental if you’re into that sort of thing.


Heaven help us.
Heaven help us.

Year One

Twitter post:

“Save your money, save yourselves. Avoid the movie at all costs.”

Besides being a modified quote from Star Trek IV, its a true statement.  I went into the movie with high hopes: Harold Ramis, writers from “The Office”, Jack Black, Michael Cera, Biblical “road trip” comedy?  What could go wrong?  Apparently everything.  Its as if there was no script or director and the camera was just left on as Black and Cera wander from Biblical poop joke to Biblical poop joke.  It made no narrative sense, every scene seemed to linger as if to see if the actors did anything else funny, it was disgusting and most of all COMPLETELY UNFUNNY.  This is the only movie I’ve seen where the group I was with we actually discussed  about 30 minutes into the movie if we should just walk out because we hadn’t laughed yet.  We decided to give it a fair chance.  We shouldn’t have.


Roll out again!
Mo' sequels, mo' problems

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Twitter post:

“At drive in. Transformers over. Did not enjoy. Tired of Michael Bay.”

I’ve been putting this off for a while.  I’ve had this dilemma: I saw this movie at the drive in where many circumstances combined to make it difficult for me to fully take in this movie, however I didn’t enjoy what I saw enough to justify paying to see it again.  I’ll write my thoughts anyway.  They say that to make a successful sequel, you have to take what made the first movie good, but do it MORE.  “MORE” just happens to be Michael Bay’s middle name (it comes before the “EXPLOSIONS!” part) and he does everything the first movie did, but MORE!

  • You liked the huge battle at the end of the first movie where you couldn’t really tell what was going on?  How about TWO of them?!
  • You liked the dozen or so robots in the first one?  How about FIVE TIMES that many, with many of them being identical?!
  • You liked a confusing plot about a giant alien power source being hidden on Earth and only Shia LaBeouf holds the key to finding it?  How about that happening TWICE in the same movie, with neither one having been mentioned as being on this backwater planet during the first movie?!
  • You liked the cliched slow-motion-punches, running-from-explosions-in-slow-motion, and ever circling camera work?  How about doing it ALL THE TIME?!
  • You liked the pee and masturbation jokes from the first one?  How about MORE?!
  • Did you like how Jazz was an obvious stereotype of a black guy?  How about TWO robots who are hick/black stereotypes that in the end contribute nothing to the film?!
  • You like the awkward teenage romance between a nerd and a superhot girl that didn’t need to be happening while the Earth was being invaded?  How about doing it AGAIN?!

So it ends up being the same as the first, but with MORE.  The problem is that some of those things needed LESS, not MORE.  I enjoyed the first movie by ignoring some of the more outrageous stuff, but instead of lowering the outrageous to make a better movie, Bay made Transformers 2 into MORE of the same and I can’t go for that.