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JR'S TOP 10 FILMS-2009
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"Good Old JR" Jim Rutkowski weighs in with his picks for the TOP 10 films of 2009

OF 2009 PART 1

Comicbookman joins JR in the Outhouse as he ranks the ten best films of 2009 and in this episode he reveals his #10 thru #6
J.R.'S TOP TEN MOVIES 2009 PART 2.mp4  

OF 2009 PART 2

Comicbookman joins JR in the Outhouse as he ranks the ten best films of 2009 and in this episode he reveals his # 5 thru #1

THE BEST OF 2009...
Movie Reviews by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Another year, another list. In 2009's defense, this was an easier year to find 10 films. Unlike some others in the past where finding a full slate was akin to trying to find clear skin in a high school, 2009 was a very good year for cinema. My list begins and ends with adaptations from other material and both were films that greatly polarized the audience. So let's get to it!!
"This isn't Watchmen beaten into submission for movie screens,"
Zack Synder's adaptation of Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel certainly divided audiences. The general movie going public outright dismissed the film due their own inability to see beyond what had come before in terms of comic book films. This certainly was NOT like Spiderman. The “fan” audience were, of course, more nit-picky. Some found the film a worthy adaptation on it's own merits. Others could not forgive Snyder for leaving out the giant squid that figured into Moore's denouemont. But looking at the film objectively, Snyder takes what is, inarguably, some extremely difficult material, and finds the right tone and cadence. Many said that Moore's graphic novel was unfilmable. Snyder I think proves that wrong. He certainly retains all the graphic novels elements and carefully transfers those sensibilities to another medium. What was originally a deconstruction of the comic book becomes a thought provoking morality play on the nature of evil and how it exists in various shades of gray.
Only his third film and director/screenwriter Jason Reitman is forging a formidable career. The film, which centers around a man who flies around the country doing the dirty work the corporations don't want to touch: he fires people for a living is the kind of movie that Preston Sturges and Frank Capra made during the golden age of Hollywood. This is the type of film that will be looked at by future generations as a cultural signpost to the early 2000's. It also contains an award calibre performance by George Clooney.
"Quiet beauty reigns here....Ponyo towers over this summer of empty toy-related blockbusters"
Master animator Hayao Miyazaki ( Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke) continues to prove that his imagination and storytelling are second to none. This reworking of Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid is pure magic without ever trying to be. The traditional hand-drawn animation contains imagery that is elegant and rich in color and technique. But it's more than that. Miyazaki's script is also emotionally involving, creating endearing characters that resonate with children and adults. With Miyazaki, it's not just animation, it's art.
"....a well-made, entertaining work with enough originality to set it apart from other big-budget genre items"
This is one intense, intelligent, well-crafted action movie — one that dazzles the eye with seamless special effects but also makes you think without preaching. Like the excellent "Moon", "District 9" has the aesthetic trappings of science fiction but it's really more of a character drama, an examination of how a man responds when he's forced to confront his identity during extraordinary circumstances.
"...more concerned with the first steps of empowerment, not an overall cure, leaving more of a lasting impression"
While the director, Lee Daniels, does not shy away from the grimmest elements of the story, his eclectic filmmaking style is almost exhilarating, finding room for fantasy, operatic melodrama, and authentic humor. This is a fine movie, and a deep one. It's about unearthing some deeply human buried treasure.
WThe years best science fiction film of the year. Directed by first time helmer Duncan Jones ( the son of David Bowie) Moon delves into areas that sci-fi films haven't for awhile, the hard science fiction realm. Reminisent of 2001 and Solaris, Moon is challenging but vastly rewarding.
" of the Cohen's best films and reconfirms that they are the most daring filmmakers working today”
The Coen Brothers follow up their Oscar winning No Country For Old Men with probably their most personal film. A tart, brilliantly acted fable of life’s little cosmic difficulties, a comedy with a darker philosophical outlook than “No Country for Old Men” but with a script rich in verbal wit. This time it’s God — or chance, or fate with a grudge against the Minneapolis suburbs — wielding the stun gun. The most we can do, the film implies, is stick to our principles and hope for the best.
"... one of the very best and most exciting war movies of any kind to come along in a long time.”
The Hurt Locker is a small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
"Pixar has become a studio that film after film is creating great cinema.”
Pixar seems to have a yearly spot on the top 10 list. The quality level continues for the studio with another near perfect gem. This tale of a senior citizen who embarks on a fantastical mission, shows of Pixar's mastery of cinema. The first 15 minutes alone provide some of the finest storytelling I have ever seen on film.
"...manages to bring a beloved classic to the screen-in ways that are engaging and powerful.”
As all truly great art does, this film greatly polarized the audience. In elaborating on the original book so boldly, and repopulating it so richly, Director Spike Jonze has protected "Where the Wild Things Are" as an inviolable literary work. In preserving its darkest spirit, he's created a potent, fully realized variation on its most highly charged themes. Most important of all, he's achieved with the cinematic medium what Sendak did with words and pictures: He's grasped something true and terrifying about love at its most unconditional and voracious.
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