Wednesday, December 30, 2009
A Decade of Movie Memories: 2009
This was the hardest year of movie memories to cull down by far. Not only is the year still so close in mind, but there are so many films I can't consider as they don't meet my own criteria of films seen theatrically (many 2009 releases I saw at festivals, often in previous years) and no series included. Oddly, because series aren't included that means I can't put going to the midnight and opening night screenings of The Twilight Saga: New Moon nor seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince all the way out in Nova Scotia while visiting my sister Suzie! I've also excluded many (but not all) films that I know will be on my Favourites of 2009 as this is about movie memories not favourites... although some of those paths do cross!
Curious as to what years past have brought in movie memories? Take a stroll down memory lane with me in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Also have a look at what others have to say in the past 10 years in film with the Films of the Decade Link List.
Films listed in the chronological order in which I saw them at the theatre. As always this is a movies memories list not a favourites list - but don't worry those will be up soon enough.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
I'm still a little mystified about Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, because overall I found it to be a fun adventure-ish film but I was stumped on who the target audience was supposed to be. Considering it had a young female lead who does martial arts I thought it would be young women but there were a few things would make it think it wasn't that - one of which was that there was no romantic interest but for some reason I don't think it was done for the same reasons I appreciated.
I'm no fan of this film but seeing it with a theatre full of guys that were over the moon was quite the experience. Right before the previews started a really excited teen came in with his granddad, which I'm sure that had nothing to do with the 18A rating ;). Although I certainly was not the target audience it was nice to see a film that was really made for and appreciated by the fans.
I'm a huge Star Trek fan, and watched all the films in my Countdown to Star Trek Marathon in anticipation of the new Trek film. That kept me busy as I had avoided all the previews, trailers and images from the film as I had hoped I could so I was seeing it with completely fresh eyes. I went to a late night screening the day before opening (during Hot Docs no less), listened to my iPod on full in line and while waiting for the film. I wouldn't let anyone tell me anything about the film at all... even if it took physically walking away. Oh the lengths I will go to for Trek. Thank goodness the movie was good after all that!
I really enjoyed this film, and I even saw it twice in the theatre and both had memorable experiences. The first time I actually had a conversation with an audience member after the film about art (the film is about the artist Salvador Dalí, the writer Federico García Lorca and filmmaker Luis Buñuel) and it was very pleasant - and I normally don't do that. The second time I saw it with my Mom at the Carlton. We were 2 of 4 people there. The other 2 guys sat 2 rows directly ahead of us (?) and one guy often randomly raised his hand / arm in the air. It was so weird.
This film is one that definitely had the most interesting advertising for it with posters everywhere with a phone number to inform on illegals and such. It was pretty amazing to see a foreign film kick butt at the box office and get people in seats but I didn't love it, in fact I was rather disturbed by not just the violent but literally the crowds reaction to it which included cheering. It's one of those cases where I don't understand how people can't see the flip side of the story, especially in this example, but feel free to cheer along with the action and play oblivious to any commentary at all.
Previously I've sited films like The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters on my 2007 list for being experiences where I felt I was in the audience of my peoples. Whip It is a film where I felt I was with my tribe. It really speaks to a current culture of women, and it's refreshing to see a femme film that isn't a romance, features active women, has a cast with a fair age range with characters in different situations. And it has a lot of heart. I'm still miffed it opened the same weekend as Zombieland and almost everyone I know went to see that instead. Also has the best line of the year: Be Your Own Hero.
This one is way more about the experience than the film itself which didn't really hold a candle to the original. But, I got to see it with all the ladies in my family while Suzie was visiting, so her, Jamie, my Mom and I all treked out to the theatre together. It was also the first time I saw The Twilight Saga: New Moon trailer on the big screen and I think, I might have yelped. Sigh.
The Fourth Kind
I saw this film before I'd heard any big brouhaha about it being not authentic with the 'found footage' and I'll tell ya - it scared the crap out of me in a way no film has in years, like wake up in the middle of the night scared. To be honest, I was happy to find out it wasn't true because that would have been just way to much. This also makes it a particularly unique experience as I can't go back and see it that way again because the moment is gone. I wonder what I'd make of it on a second viewing.
I still giggle when I think of how much I loved this film and the reason is - it's exactly what you would expect it to be ... but more. The trailer gives a great sense of what it's about but doesn't tell you everything which is in my eyes, perfect. I also am completely inspired and in awe of the work Rain did to get into the physical condition he's in during the film. It's amazing.
It's always a joy to see rugby on screen, but to see a film that shows the 1995 World Cup - which I remember watching as I was playing rugby at the time was a very special and unique experience. Add that it's about Nelson Mandela bringing a country together? I couldn't really ask for more than that. Was inspirational and nostalgic all at the same time.
Late night screening of Star Trek at the AMC was one of the highlights of the year
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