johnlink's 2009 movie review!

Everyone has a top list. It’s the cool thing to do. So I figure, if I want to be cool, I need to do a list. And by doing one, I’m instantaneously cool, right? Right?… Hello…?

But I need to be different, and my list reflects that. This list will be as organized as possible, but I am giving a warning in advance, that there will probably be a lot of information which seems mundane. And there may be errors, I’ll fix ‘em if I see ‘em.

This is NOT a list of movies of 2009 (though I will pick the best of what I saw). It is a list which considers the movies which I saw in 2009. This goes back as far as 1935, with the Marx Brothers film A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. Embarrassingly, I did not watch a single film from the silent film era in ’09, something I will rectify early in ’10.

This list considers both films I have seen before, and those which are new to me. When it matters, I will differentiate these films. I think this is important to do because there is a difference between a movie you see fresh, and one which is known.

My rankings over the year work in a formula. I rank them on a scale from one to ten as a ‘film’ (the thematic and filmmaking quality), ‘movie’ (pure entertainment factor), ‘acting’ (including casting issues and voice over work if it is an animate feature), and ‘writing’ (including adaptation issues). A film can also earn a bonus point or two for stand out areas such as its score or cinematography. Rarely, a movie will earn a negative bonus point for some egregious filmic problem.

My articles, all of which are available at iocaineproject.com, are formulaic. This was a way to ensure I would write about every film. Starting with my first film of 2010, I will be abandoning this format in favor of a more traditional article style. I will, however, retain my rankings so that I can do this not-so-scientific study every so often. The raw data is available upon request.

So, without further ado, JOHNLINK’S 2009 YEAR IN REVIEW:

KEY:

N: Movie NEW to me;      PV: Movie I had PREVIOUSLY VIEWED

———————————————————————–
Number of films watched: 110

Number and percentage N: 71 (65%)

Number and percentage PV: 39 (35%)

Number and percentage seen in the theater: 21 (19%)

Number and percentage seen at ‘movie night’ (like you care): 19 (17%)

Number and percentage of films from 1900s-1920s: 0 (0%)

Number and percentage of films from 1930s: 1 (0.9%)

Number and percentage of films from 1940s: 3 (2.7%)

Number and percentage of films from 1950s: 4 (3.6%)

Number and percentage of films from 1960s: 2 (1.8%)

Number and percentage of films from 1970s: 4 (3.6%)

Number and percentage of films from 1980s: 9 (8.2%)

Number and percentage of films from 1990s: 16 (14.5%)

Number and percentage of films from 2000s: 71 (64.5%)

Number and percentage of films from 2009: 19 (17%)

Most represented year: 2008 (23 films, 21%)

Notes… The number of older films is not something I’m proud of, and something which I hope to remedy in 2010. I know I will always see newer films, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be catching more of the classics.

Number of films viewed in January: 15

Number of films viewed in February: 10

Number of films viewed in March: 10

Number of films viewed in April: 6

Number of films viewed in May: 2

Number of films viewed in June: 9

Number of films viewed in July: 12

Number of films viewed in August: 8

Number of films viewed in September: 11

Number of films viewed in October: 13

Number of films viewed in November: 4

Number of films viewed in December: 10

Notes: Gee, I wonder if there was something I did in May which dropped the number of movies I watched… January was a big month because I started the rankings, and because my spring show auditioned late this year… November was down due to directing a play…

Number and percentage of movies which spawned, or were, sequels: 29 (26%)

Number and percentage of movies which were later remade: 6 (5.4%)

Number and percentage of movies which were themselves remakes: 9 (8.1%)

Number and percentage of movies viewed in 3D: 3 (2.7%)

Number and percentage of non-English films: 2 (1.8%)
Number and percentage of animated films: 7 (6.3%)

Number and percentage of black and white films: 7 (6.3%)

Notes: Lest you think this is a new phenomenon, one of the remakes is The Maltese Falcon (1941)… foreign films number is embarrassing (and I did not include Slumdog Millionaire as a non-English film)…  I know this might be splitting hairs, but I put Christmas Carol as animated, but not Avatar… The most recent B&W film I watched was Dr. Strangelove (1964)… I thought the sequels number would be higher, actually.

Film which I most feel is ranked too low: I remember thinking Death at a Funeral was a pretty good movie, but I see it has an overall ranking of 5.5. Starting with the lowest ranking and moving up, it was the first one which really caught my eye. Also, I’m going to have to mention Star Trek here (6,7,7,8). I think that needs another viewing.

Film which I most feel is ranked too high: Paranormal Activity (8.5 overall). I still can’t take away the feeling this movie gave me when I first saw it. However, having seen sections of it since at the theater, I’m not sure it would receive such high scores a second time.

New Film which most surprised me positively: Charlie Bartlett (8.75 overall). I thought this might be good, but it turned out to be a real favorite with me. I loved the quirkiness of this film.

New Film which most surprised me negatively: 300 (3.75 overall). I heard such good things, and maybe all of that hype hurt it. But I was entirely underwhelmed by this movie.

PV Film which most surprised me positively: Mission: Impossible 3 (7 overall). I saw this for the first time on a plane, and that doesn’t really do it justice. JJ Abrams and Philip Seymour Hoffman elevate this film to more than it has any right to be.

PV Film which most surprised me negatively: Tie. Scream 3 (3 overall) and Mission: Impossible 2 (3.5 overall). I remember Scream 3 being bad, but I did not remember it being abysmal. And I used to like Mission: Impossible 2, but watching it again was a bad experience. It is a cliché filled and blatantly overstuffed mess.

Average FILM score total: 5.76

Average FILM score N: 5.72

Average FILM score PV: 5.85

Average MOVIE score total: 6.83

Average MOVIE score N: 6.28

Average MOVIE score PV: 7.82

Average ACTING score total: 6.2

Average ACTING score N: 6.18

Average ACTING score PV: 6.23

Average WRITING score total: 5.61

Average WRITING score N: 5.35

Average WRITING score PV: 6.08

Total bonus points given (net): 21

Number of films given bonus points: 29

Percentage of films given bonus points: 26%

Average bonus point per movie: .19

Most frequent reason for bonus: Music/Soundtrack

Negative bonus points: 5

Notes: 2 films received 2 bonus points. Batman Begins (cinematography and score) and Avatar (CGI and 3D)… Of the films which received a negative bonus point, the most egregious was the CGI in Snakes on a Plane. If you are going to make a movie about scary snakes, why not make the snakes somewhat realistic looking?… The lowest ranked movie to receive a bonus point was Surrogates (a 4 overall). It received it for makeup effects… The most highly ranked film to get a negative bonus point was Phone Booth (6.75). It received it for bad sound editing. Kiefer’s voice work was CLEARLY done later than the rest of the film.

Best N FILM: 10 (Up, Let the Right One In)

Best PV FILM: 10 (Saving Private Ryan, The Usual Suspects, Dr. Strangelove, Good Will Hunting)

Best N MOVIE: 9 (Taken, Hangover, Up, District 9, Paranormal Activity,

Best PV MOVIE: 10 (The Usual Suspects, Batman Begins, Ghostbusters, Italian Job, Aladdin)

Best N ACTING: 10 (The Wrestler, Charlie Bartlett, Doubt, Up in the Air)

Best PV ACTING: 10 (Dr. Strangelove, True Romance, Good Will Hunting)

Best N WRITING: 10 (District 9, Let the Right One In)

Best PV WRITING: 10 (Usual Suspects)

Notes: Some great films did not show up on any of the above lists. I’m picky when it comes to 10s.

Killer Pad would be the worst film in every category (1,0,0,1). I had never even ranked a movie a 0 before in any category, even when I used to do this all through college. I barely consider Killer Pad a film at all. So, in the interest of making this interesting, just know Killer Pad is the worst in EVERY New category. That way, I can have a little variety in the list below.

Worst N FILM: 2 (Friday the 13th Part 2, Snakes on a Plane, Transformers 2, Child’s Play)

Worst PV FILM: 3 (Ace Ventura, Transporter, Live Free or Die Hard, Mission: Impossible 2, Scream 3, The Rock)

Worst N MOVIE: 1 (House of 1000 Corpses)

Worst PV MOVIE: 4 (Transporter, Scream 3)

Worst N ACTING: 2 (Friday the 13th 2, The Happening, House of 1000 Corpses)

Worst PV ACTING: 3 (Transporter, Predator, Transformers, M:I 2, Scream 3)

Worst N WRITING: 1 (Happening, House of 1000 Corpses, Child’s Play, and Killer Pad actually only ties for worst here)

Worst PV WRITING: 2 (Scream 3)

Note: Ugh. The Happening was brutal. Ugh… Ditto House of 1000 Corpses. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I didn’t expect to hate it… Sort of sad to see Predator make the list at all, but the acting is certainly not good in it…

Best N OVERALL: 9.25: District 9 and Let the Right One In

Best PV OVERALL: 9.75: The Usual Suspects

Worst N OVERALL: 0.5: Killer Pad (I will, happily, put this film on THIS list)

Worst PV OVERALL: 3: Scream 3

Makes sense that the worst previously viewed movie was not lower. Why would I rewatch a crappy movie?… In terms of an overall top 5, it went Usual Suspects, Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan (both  9.5), then District 9 and Let the Right One In… Bottom 5 were Killer Pad, House of 1000 Corpses (1.75), Child’s Play (2.25), The Happening, and Friday the 13th Part 2 (both 2.5). Scream 3 was 6th worst.

2009…

My top 3 of 2009: District 9 (9.25); Up (9); Up in the Air (8.75). I would probably reorder those, in retrospect, to go in the opposite order.

My bottom 3 of 2009: Surrogates (4); Transformers 2 (4); My Bloody Valentine 3D (4.5). All poor films. And both Surrogates and Valentine received bonus points to help their numbers (Valentine for the 3D effects, the only reason to ever watch the film).

Well that is my year in review. You can now pull your head off the keyboard, wipe the drool away, and shake yourself awake!

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~ by johnlink00 on January 2, 2010.

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