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Top 10: Films of 2009

1. Love Exposure - I hate when reviewers list a movie I've never heard of as their top film, but I felt I had no choice this year. No mainstream film really blew my mind (though I felt there were a lot of really good ones) like this one did. This was unlike anything I'd ever experienced in film before. It's got drama, comedy, action, deep dicsussion on religion, and underskirt photography - and it does a masterful job with all of them. Also, it was the best communal experience I had in a theatre all year. It's a 4 hour film (yeah that's right), and I saw it at a film festival where I, or anyone else, could have walked out of the theatre and into any number of other films playing in connected theatres at any time. But as the film got going you could feel everyone really getting into it. At the half-way point there was a brief break and the whole theatre errupted in excited chatter. Everyone was completely won over by that point, and the 2nd half held up just as well. I really can't recommend this film enough. I can see a lot of people getting put off by the running time, but it's absolutely worth you're 4 hours. The only problem I have with putting it as my #1 is I've only seen it once , where as all these other films I've seen at least a couple times. I'm pretty confident it'll hold up on 2nd viewing though.

2. District 9 - Fell asleep the first time I saw this in theatres (blasphemy!), and didn't get to fully check it out till blu-ray. Totally Stupendous. Some of the story is maybe a little heavy handed, but following the story of just Wikus totally had me. And when they break out the Alien weaponry. Soooo badass.

3. Inglourious Basterds - Probably the movie that'll spend the most time in my blu-ray player this year. It'll only get better with age.

4. Avatar - I get peoples complaints about the screenplay, but I guess it just didn't bother me as much as it did them. I got caught up in the action and drama. And the sweet visuals and F/X probably didn't hurt either.

5. Coraline - Could really go either way with these 2 animated films. I thought Up had individual scenes that topped anything in Coraline, but as a whole Coraline worked for me a little more.

6. Up - That early montage gets me every time. All it takes is a few notes from the score that plays over top of it and things start getting a little dusty.

7. Star Trek - I can definitely recognise the faults in this film, but can't help getting wrapped up in things every time I watch it. The performances are spot on and the story contains more excitement than the Trek universe has probably ever experienced.

8. Drag Me to Hell - Raimi going back to his roots here - he definitely hasn't lost his touch. Also, best all-female scrap since Kill Bill.

9. Adventureland - I'm a sucker for teen drama, and this film does it really well while mixing in a solid helping of comedy.

10. Moon - Things move along kind of slow here, reminds me a lot of older sci-fi films, but that's part of what appealed to me so much here. It's just sort of masterfully put together... and it doesn't hurt to have Sam Rockwell running things.

Honourable mentions - Fantastic Mr. Fox, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Soloman Kane, Funny People, Tell No One

recent blu-ray reviews
Nebraska
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Frozen
The Way Way Back
Oldboy
The Kings of Summer
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Only God Forgives
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
Thor: The Dark World
Carrie
The Counselor
V/H/S/2
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Bullett to the Head
You're Next
Kick Ass 2
Stoker
Elysium
Parker
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
Himizu
The Wolverine
Rurouni Kenshin
Wolf Children
The Conjuring
The Call
The Lone Ranger
No
The Heat
World War Z
Monsters University
Man of Steel
Texas Chainsaw
This is the End



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