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  • JP’s Top 10 of 2009

    By | January 7, 2010

    2009 was a great year for going to the movies-regardless of if you were a 12 yr old girl, or an awkward man in your late 20’s like myself. Long anticipated movies like Avatar, Where The Wild Things Are, and Fantastic Mr. Fox came and delivered strongly, along with some unexpected suprises like District 9 & The Brothers Bloom. I’m still beating myself up over a few films that I missed in the year: namely Moon (which Dave and Don swear by), Precious, The Road, and The Hurt Locker. But overall-this has been an awesome year for movies. I’m excited to see what the Acadmey Awards hold, as well as what is coming in 2010.

    10. The Brothers Bloom

    With The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson skillfully took the next step in his cinematic career. Leaning on the character development patterns he used in Brick, he also managed to inject humor and fun in this go round. Definitely a director to watch. – JP Chapman

    9. (500) Days of Summer

    Every so often, a movie comes along that embodies the essence of a mix tape.  John Hughes has done this to great success a number of times, and Zach Braff managed to pull it off with Garden State not too long ago.  With(500) Days of Summer, director Marc Webb makes his own effort to join these ranks, and to admirable results. – JP Chapman

    8. District 9

    Sharlto Copley who plays MNU Field Operative Wikus van der Merwe, does a pretty brilliant job of taking a character from a state of ignorant bliss to a complete intellectual and emotional awakening. The effects, sets, and art design on this film are quite stunning and it is simply remarkable what they were able to accomplish on a $30 million dollar budget. – Dave Campbell

    7. Watchmen

    Zack Snyder has handled the delicate task of accomplishing something special with a story cherished by so many. I even agree with the changes made to the end of the story which I think holds up much better in the film medium. – Dave Campbell

    6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    Nobody is trying to peddle action figures or fast-food kids meals here, as Half-Blood Prince is completely dedicated to delivering true well crafted storytelling.From the sweet teenage romances (which are somewhat overbearing at times) to the dark expansion of the mythology, Half-Blood Prince comes away as the most satisfying year at Hogwarts so far. – Dave Campbell

    5. Sherlock Holmes

    Guy Ritchie returns to the underbelly of London, this time in the guise of Sherlock Holmes. Some critics have bashed what he’s done to the character/franchise, but overall he managed to bring out his own brand of irreverent humor while staying true to the original character of Holmes. Ritchie’s best film since Snatch, hands down. – JP Chapman

    4. Star Trek

    Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman managed to write story that is capable of fitting in as a sequel, a prequel, or a total reboot of the entire universe itself…which is pretty genius if you ask this guy. We are treated with faithful one liners, catch phrases, and cameos that give a heavy nod to the past but without looking back. This Star Trek charges forward with an enthusiasm and punch, something that the previous variations did not. -Dave Campbell

    3. Avatar

    I walked into Avatar more skeptical than most. However; I walked out of it more amazed than I have any sci-fi movie since I was a kid. Yes, the dialogue does has its weak moments. But I would argue that Cameron has succeeded in using an intentionally archetypal story-line to cross cultural lines and give this movie world wide appeal; an impressive feat in and of itself. I will not doubt James Cameron again. – JP Chapman

    2. Fantastic Mr. Fox

    Fantastic Mr. Fox finds director Wes Anderson (who also co-wrote the script with Noah Baumbach) doing exactly what he does best – plans. Anderson has a knack for developing elaborate plans for his characters that would put Wile E. Coyote to shame (Bottle RocketRushmore). It seems like almost every scene in Fantastic Mr. Fox involves some sort of intricate (and comical) plan with lots of mapping and sketching – including Coach Skip’s (voiced by Owen Wilson) explanation of the inexplicable game “whack-bat” (okay, it’s not a plan per se, but it sure plays out like one). – Don Simpson

    1. Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds is everything we’ve come to want/expect a Tarantino movie to be since Reservoir Dogs set the gold standard. An awesome plot. Stunning performances. A kitsch soundtrack. Awesomely tense dialogue throughout. Where it differs from other Tarantino films, is that this is one of the first films Quentin has produced that felt like it didn’t have to use all the Tarantino tricks of the trade to stand out. – JP Chapman

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