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Michael's movies make top movie lists of the year and decade

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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:10 pm

http://www.bigthoughtsfromasmallmind.blogspot.com/2010/01/best-films-of-2009.html

Big Thoughts From A Small Mind

One urban man's look at the world of cinema
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Best Films of 2009
The end of January officially means it is time to close off the best of 2009 list. As much as I strive to see every film (both good and bad), there is only so much I can squeeze in before the “Best of…” deadline. Here is my selection of the 10 films I enjoyed the most from 2009.


2) Inglourious Basterds – Tarantino’s latest may have divided many but I still think it rivals his best works: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

1) Hunger – No other film impacted me the way Steve McQueen’s debut did. Hunger is a tough film to watch at times but also extremely rewarding. Michael Fassbender was merely good in Inglourious Basterds, but he is simply brilliant here.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:47 pm

http://arterial-spray.blogspot.com/2010/01/2009.html?zx=bd1e046ae6fd8c47

Sunday, January 31, 2010
2009
Blink and you'd've missed it but the new year has begun, nay, a new decade.

2010: The year we make contact. ( well according to Arthur C. Clarke anyway )
Before I start losing myself in the wilderness of pop-culture and adventure that 2010 has to offer I thought I would take a spell to sit, rest, reflect back on the year that has just transpired, mull over the many moments, and experiences, smoke my pipe and rattle away on the various peaks, and occasional valleys, i traversed throughout 2009.

I'll do my best to keep it simple, but you know how I can get so pardon me if i do prattle on...

BEST FILMS:

* Eden Lake

I missed this at the film festival and managed to catch it a few weeks later at home and was pleasantly surprised, for in spite of the rather generic title James Watkins’ lean thriller plays more like a riff on ‘Straw Dogs’ than a modern day massacre in the vein of ‘I spit on your grave’. Starring the star-in-the-making Michael Fassbender ( check him out in ‘Hunger’ )and the excellent Kelly Reilly ( seen in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ as Watson’s fiancé Mary, and who stands as an exception to my better-dead-than-red rule ) as a young couple who holiday at the titular lake only to be menaced and set upon only by a group of local youths, ‘Eden Lake’ is as much a social comment, and character study, as much as it is an exercise in suspense. Jack O’Connell, as the alpha-dog youth, is commanding and chilling. The scenes in which he manipulates and bullies his mates into complicity are gripping, and frighteningly plausible. There were echoes of those young bastards here in Werribee who assaulted a handicapped girl from their school and filmed it, all for a lark. Dour and downbeat to say the least, with a particularly grim finale, ‘Eden Lark’ sets itself above the recent spate of low-budget ‘survival’ thrillers such as 'Severance' or 'Turisas', playing more like Ken Loach neo-realist picture about the rising concern of youth-based crime in the UK, the hereditary nature of violence and the thin-red-line that survival would push us over. There are no easy answers to the questions the film asks, though it is brazen enough to explore them, leaving the viewer conflicted without feeling manipulated.

* Inglorious Basterds

I've been vocal in my disdain for QT for some time now. I really dug 'Reservoir Dogs' when it came out, was disappointed by the derivative and more-often-than-not dull 'Pulp Fiction' , and it was all downhill form there with my contempt climaxing as I fell asleep in the cinema during 'Kill Bill vol.2' and aged 72 years while enduring the tedious 'Deathproof'. Not ever a badder-than-bad Kurt Russell (who I want to be when I grow up), and cool car-chase stunt work could prevent that from being the pits. Imagine my surprise then when I discovered that Taratino's attempt at making a WW2 film is actually really good. Darn good. Really darn good. QT isn't the sort of film-maker who is going to make an outright action thriller in the vein of 'The Dirty Dozen' or 'The Guns of Navarone' ( and you know how much I love those films ) but what you have instead is a slow-burning fuse of a film, a series of set-peices, mini plays-acts, contrived with ersatz artifice and pastiche of countless films portraying that era, that successfully sets a tension and builds to gloriously over-the-top climax. The typically sterling camera-work from the always great Robert Richardson is a boon. Whether it's a set piece straight from Leone, with Morricone-esque music, or the staircase from 'Scarface', QT can't quite help himself, but the one thing he has always been prolific with is banter, for better or for worse. In his previous films, especially 'Deathproof'' the banter has been little more than concentric spirals of unending uber-text, over-the-top, mannered, stylized, deliberate with the intention to be 'cool'. Everyone wants to be Mamet, but Mamet is Mamet, and that's that. With 'Inglorious Basterds' QT rolls out the banter turning each act into a triumph of ratcheting tension; especially any scenes with the deliciously diabolical Christoph Waltz as he switches from casual conversation to intense interrogation. Where in the past puff about pastries and cream would have made me want to leave the cinema, here I found myself holding my breath along with our heroine. The acting ensemble are all excellent: Brad Pitt's over-the-top-and-into-glory-ride Aldo Raine seems to have been cut from the same cloth as some of the buffoon's his mate Clooney often plays, the one-to-watch Michael Fassbender with his tally-ho-boys bravado, Diane Kruger's tightly coiled film star, even film-maker Eli Roth puts in a decent show, and Mike Myers has a funny cameo, but it is Waltz who steals the film with his Lt. Landa: urbane, charming, educated, intelligent, intimidating and frightening without ever having to raise his voice. A true companion to Hans Gruber as one of the great move villains of all time. I found it interesting too that Goebbel's Nation's Pride film bears a striking similarity to the climax to 'Saving Private Ryan', which left me pondering whether this was a pop-cultural tic, for it surely isn't abitrary, or if it was some indictment on Spielberg's self-aggrandizing. Hmm...?
A real score for QT here; a big surprise and a real treat.
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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:49 am

http://theoscarhut.blogspot.com/2010/01/2nd-annual-oscar-hut-awards-2009-2010.html

Saturday, January 30, 2010
The 2nd Annual Oscar Hut Awards 2009-2010
I saw over 60 movies in theatres over the last year of the last decade. There were some instant classics, films i loved, movies i enjoyed to an extent and of course cinema that can only be described as downright vile, putrid s$#! on celluloid. The Oscar Hut Awards, which as of yet have no official nickname (I'm taking suggestions!) are my way of honoring what i felt to be excellence in cinema from January 2009 to January 2010. There were a few titles that ended up passing me by over the year, some that I wish I could have seen in time, but alas, they ended up being ineligible.

So, without further pause, I now present to you, the 2ND Annual Oscar Hut Awards!


Top 10 Films of 2009-2010

10. The Lovely Bones

9. District 9

8. Adventureland

7. Up

6. Star Trek

5. Precious: Based on the novel by Sapphire

4. Avatar

3. Up in The Air

2. Inglourious Basterds

1. A Serious Man

2009 was an great year for film, I only gave out a few grades for films that were lower than a C, because I truly enjoyed nearly every film I saw over the year in some way, unless that film was Transformers 2, New Moon or The Final Destination 3D. The best film I saw last year though was undoubtedly what I feel is the Coen Brother's masterpiece, A Serious Man. It left me stunned and with questions that plagued my mind for weeks until I came up with the ultimate solution to these queries: A Serious Man is THE BEST film of 2009.



Best Director

5. Jason Reitman for Up in The Air

4. Katherine Bigelow for The Hurt Locker

3. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen for A Serious Man

2. Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds


1. James Cameron for Avatar

Each and every director listed here undoubtedly left their mark on cinema in 2009. Jason Reitman made the year's most socially relevant movie. Katherine Bigelow handed down the most kinetically charged. The Coen Brothers gave us the year's most thought provoking work. Quentin Tarantino delivered the most intelligently playful film. The winner here is a man whose previous seminal work, Titanic, is a film I have never been overly into to. However, with Avatar, James Cameron cements himself as the world's greatest living showman. Avatar is the most visually fantastic film of 2009. It changed the landscape of cinematic technology and revolutionized motion captured performance art. All of this was due to the decades worth of effort layed onto the screen by James Cameron, a master of his craft.



Best Actor in a Supporting Role

5. Stephen Lang for Avatar
4. Mark Ruffalo for The Brothers Blooom

3. Anthony Mackie for The Hurt Locker
2. Jackie Earl Haley for Watchmen
1. Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Christoph Waltz's performance in Inglourious Basterds was hands down the best performance by any actor in 2009, if one of the best of the entire decade. Waltz's embodiment of Quentin Tarantino's creation, Hans Landa, was charming, intense, profound, smart and downright terrifying. Waltz is so good in Inglourious Basterds that he wipes every other performer in the film off of the screen, sometimes with little more than a gesture. He is perfect in this film. His competitors, 4 men from 4 completely different movies represent my rundown of the other most unforgettable supporting performances of 2009. Jackie Earl Haley made Watchmen. Anthony Mackie was the soul behind The Hurt Locker. Mark Ruffalo played the perfect brother and con man in The Brothers Bloom. And finally, besides Waltz, Stephen Lang created 2009's other instantly iconic villain in Avatar. They were all great, yet none could measure up to Waltz.

Best Supporting Actress

5. Anna Kendrick for Up in The Air
4. Vera Farmiga for Up in The Air
3. Melanie Laurent for Inglourious Basterds
2. Marion Cottilard for Public Enemies
1. Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the novel by Sapphire

Like Christoph Waltz in the Supporting Actor category, one woman completely tore a hole in the screen in 2009, nearly decimating all of her competition in the Supporting Actress field. The suprising thing about this woman is that she is someone you would never expect to be able to accomplish such a feat of raw intensity, of such nuance and depth of such skill. Marion Cottilard was phenominal in Public Enemies, yet she is not the actress I speak of. Neither is Melanie Laurent whose breakthrough performance in Inglourious Basterds was excellent. The same goes for Up in The Air's one-two punch of Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, both of whom in another year could have found themselves atop the pile. No, the woman I am talking about is an actress whose biggest credits thus far include Soul Plane, Phat Girlz and Beerfest. The lady I speak of is none other than Mo'Nique. Mo'Nique's performance in Precious speaks for itself. If you have seen the film, you already understand why she's my number one. If you havent, you need to go out right now and find a theatre where this is playing because it is a must see, principally because of Mo'Nique's work in the film.


Best Screenplay

5. Away We Go by Dave Eggars and Vendella Vida

4. The Hurt Locker by Mark Boal

3. Up in The Air by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

2. Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino

1. A Serious Man by Joel & Ethan Coen


Best Film Editing

5. The Hurt Locker

4. District 9

3. Star Trek

2. Inglourious Basterds

1. Avatar


Best Cinematography

5. Sherlock Holmes

4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

3. Inglourious Basterds

2. Avatar

1. Where The Wild Things Are


Best Art Direction

5. Star Trek

4. Sherlock Holmes

3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

2. The Imaginarium of Docter Parnassus

1. Inglourious Basterds


Best Costume Design
5. Bruno

4. Nine

3. Sherlock Holmes

2. The Imaginarium of Docter Parnassus

1. Inglourious Basterds


And Now For The Extras!


Best Acting Ensemble


5. A Serious Man


4. Star Trek


3. Away We Go


2. Up in The Air


1. Inglourious Basterds


Best Breakthrough Performance


5. Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the novel by Sapphire


4. Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the novel by Sapphire


3. Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds


2. Carey Mulliagn for An Education


1. Sharlto Copley for District 9


Best Body of Work


5. Matt Damon for The Informant! and Invictus


4. Stephen Lang for Avatar, Men Who Stare At Goats and Public Enemies


3. Marion Cottilard for Nine and Public Enemies


2. George Clooney for fantastic Mr. Fox, Men Who Stare At Goats


1. Michael Fassbender for Hunger and Inglourious Basterds


BestActor in a Cameo/Limited Performance


5. Jeff Daniels for Away We Go


4. Jason Bateman for State of Play


3. Bill Murray for Zombieland


2. Richard Sammel for Inglourious Basterds


1. Eminem for Funny People


Best Opening Scene


5. Up


4. Watchmen


3. Star Trek


2. A Serious Man


1. Inglourious Basterds



Best Ending


5. Duplicity


4. The Hurt Locker


3. Up in The Air


2. Inglourious Basterds


1. A Serious Man
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Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:42 am

http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2010/02/02/best-of-2009-movies/

Best Of 2009: Movies
February 2, 2010

10moviesMAGNET’s Pennsylvania/California-based odd couple, editor/publisher Eric T. Miller and contributing editor Jud Cost, probably go to see more movies than any non-critic you know. Between the two of them, they must have a somewhat comprehensive history of film locked behind their bloodshot eyes, with Miller’s field of expertise covering the past 20 years and Cost’s in everything before that. Who better, on the morning of the Oscar nominations, to sort the wheat from the other whole grains when it comes to the best films of 2009? And speaking of the Oscars, check out Miller’s predictions from last year; he did pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

:: Eric T. Miller’s 10 Best Movies Of 2009

2. Hunger
Fittingly, British visual artist Steve McQueen’s debut feature is as much a piece of art as it is a film. Hunger tells the tale of Bobby Sands (played by a superb Michael Fassbender) and the 1981 IRA hunger strike he led at Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison. This is a difficult, unsettling movie, but that makes it all the more rewarding. The 20-minute scene midway through is one of the most memorable and jarring things I have ever seen onscreen.

5. Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino’s sharp script and sharper direction make this two-and-a-half hour roller-coaster ride worth taking over and over, but what really elevates this film is the work of little-known Austrian actor Christoph Waltz. Playing a sadistic Nazi colonel fluent in German, French, Italian and English, Waltz delivers the performance of the year.

:: Jud Cost’s 10 Best Movies Of 2009
2. Inglourous Basterds
Quentin Tarantino is in world-class form with this itch-scratching reimagining of the last days of World War II. Christoph Waltz deserves an Oscar for his suave/vicious portrayal of the Nazi officer you’d least want welcoming you to the neighborhood. Brad Pitt is really OK leading a band of Jewish-American Nazi-scalpers. Anyone need tickets?
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Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:04 pm

http://forum.themovie-fanatic.com/index.php/annual_review/blake-top-ten-movies-of-2009

http://celebrity-news-24h.blogspot.com/2010/02/blake-top-ten-movies-of-2009.html

Blake: Top Ten Movies of 2009
Annual Review
Written by Blake Griffin
Sunday, 31 January 2010 23:52
This year was a difficult one for me in film. I felt let down by Hollywood, whose offerings were underwhelming, and pushed back release dates, and last minute changes were more distracting than the films themselves. However, this forced moviegoers to look harder, and in places we're not used to, which actually provided some great film experiences, so I can't find myself complaining too much. Here are my picks for the Top Ten Movies of 2009.

Hunger

Hunger is stylistically perfect. If the first draft of the script looks anything like the shooting copy, it must have seemed extremely risky. The first half of the film is nearly wordless, with any spoken dialogue basically playing the role of white, or background noise. It then takes an extreme change in pace as it focuses on a conversation between Sands (Michael Fassbender) and his priest (Liam Cunningham). This conversation takes up about twenty four minutes, and features a jaw-dropping seventeen and a half minute single shot of non-stop dialogue. I shudder to think of the number of takes that took. After this dialogue-intensive scene, the style of the film reverts to action-based. All the while, the pacing never skips a beat.

Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino really out did himself with Inglourious Basterds. His characters were most certainly some of the most colorful to come out of 2009. His ability to rewrite history with a story so spellbinding, without leaving his audience feeling like they were cheated by a script that took the easy way out, is nothing short of miraculous. Not to mention he had the balls to cast someone like Michael Meyers, and the talent to make it all work. This is the latest in his overwhelming oeuvre that proves why he's still kind of cinema.


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Admin on Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:21 pm

http://projectmoonshine.blogspot.com/2010/02/top-twenty-of-decade-0-false-18-pt-18.html

Friday, February 5, 2010
The Top Twenty of the Decade

19.Hunger (2008) Dir. Steve McQueen

Some movies are very intense from start to finish. Hunger is Relentless. The story is that of a Hunger striker in Ireland in 1981 that is making a protest to stop eating along with all the other prisoners. The movie for being so amazingly simple in concept is deep in ways that I still have yet to grasp. Some of the strongest acting to come out of a film in a long time from lead actor Michael Fassbender.
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Post by Admin on Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:33 pm

http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2010/02/2009-year-in-review-best-unreleased.html

Friday, February 5, 2010

2009 Year in Review: Best Unreleased Films (Watch for Them in 2010)

As we wrap up our look back at 2009 today, be sure to watch out for the following films opening sometime in 2010, or at least getting a DVD release. I saw most of these at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, and all of them are worth your time, and the top five are great films. I could have added Ian Fitzgibbon’s supremely entertaining British gangster flick Perrier’s Bounty, Gary Yates’ just released Canadian crime comedy High Life or the French film L’Affaire Farewell with a marvelous performance by director Emir Kustrica as well, or the recent Oscar nominee for best foreign language film The Secret of Their Eyes (which I think is better than a few films on this list, but I still want to ensure that the films below get noticed), but there was only room for 10.

2. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)

England produced two first rate films in 2009 about a teenage girl falling for an older man – An Education, and this one which I think is far superior, even though I loved An Education. Katie Jarvis is a real find here, playing Mia, a 15 year old high school dropout, who wants to become a professional dancer. When she meets Connor (Michael Fassbender), the latest in her mother’s seemingly never ending string of boyfriends, there is something not quite right in the way he looks at her. Fish Tank is like Catherine Hardwicke’s thirteen, without all the bombast. Instead it is an insightful, powerful film, anchored by two great performances that deals with the issues it presents openly and honestly. A great sophomore film for director Arnold.
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Post by Admin on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:55 pm

http://turnoffyourcellphone.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/ok-i-suppose-ill-finally-do-a-top-10-of-2009/

Ok, I suppose I’ll finally do a top 10 of 2009

Keep in mind I haven’t seen the following films, but it’s getting a bit late in the year for anybody to care anymore, right? Perhaps I can figure out how to get studios to send me screeners! Any tips?

Have not seen: Precious, Invictus, Ponyo, Princess and the Frog, Broken Embraces, A Simple Man, An Education, 35 Shots of Rum (still not even a limited release in the US), 9, Tulpan, The Informant!, The September Issue, La Danse, Bad Lieutenant, Import Export (ditto 35 shots), Me and Orson Welles

3.Inglorious Basterds

Tarantino made a film that nobody else could pull off. For a filmmaker so self-conscious and referential it’s impressive how much he just doesn’t care about other people’s notions of good taste. He just wants to entertain and continues to see film as a medium that could even go so far as to single-handedly end the Thrid Reich.

9. Hunger

Quite self-consciously arty and exacting in it’s aesthetic. I appreciated it less at the outset due to it’s overt political agenda and manipulative scnees (see the hallway beating scene with the crying guard) but I am haunted by absolutely stunning images of a naked man standing in front of prison bars as snow comes through and peppers his chest or a close-up of a man’s hand as he plays with a fly. Looking back at Michael Fassbender’s performance (as well as experiencing his very nuanced turn in this year’s Fish Tank) has made him one of my current acting favs – he’s goanna blow up into a big leading man in the next year or so – just you wait!
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Post by Admin on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:35 pm

http://resident-theology.blogspot.com/2010/02/top-10-films-of-2009.html

Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Top 10 Films of 2009
I am six weeks late with this, but better late than never. There's no need for an extended prologue, but just know that these are not my "favorites" of the year, but what I consider to have been the best films of 2009. What that means, I'll explicate some time in the future. For now, enjoy!

2. Hunger (Steve McQueen)

Perhaps more than any other film on this list, Steve McQueen's Hunger is nothing less than a work of art: pristine, composed, precise in execution, radically political, wholly subversive, rigorous and bare in emotion, and raw, even virtuosic, in performance. The year of 2009 was the year of Michael Fassbender, and Steve McQueen has announced himself as one of the most relevant young directors working today. Don't read the cover, don't go to IMDb -- just watch this movie (even if you need subtitles).

1. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

I was so impacted by Quentin Tarantino's sixth film that I wrote something like 10,000 words spread across two different posts, creating a bit of controversy and intersection with others in the blogosphere. The point being: this film is powerful. So powerful, in my case, that I am still thinking about it: what it says about speech and action, about violence and vengeance, about film and history, about retribution and fantasy -- there is so much to Tarantino's (vicariously self-proclaimed) "masterpiece" that I believe it will continue to stand as one of the most generative works of film for questions of ethics, art, and history long into the future. If you can handle the interruptive spikes of violence -- which you needn't be able to, though my description itself reveals something about the film's presentation versus its reality -- Inglourious Basterds is essential viewing.
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Post by Admin on Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:05 am

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/3440

My favorite films of 2009
Posted by Sean Stangland on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 05:36

At last, I feel comfortable enough in presenting a top-ten list. I have now seen all 10 of Oscar's best-picture nominees -- "The Blind Side" is the worst film I can ever remember making the cut -- and this weekend I also knocked out the critically acclaimed trio of "Crazy Heart," "Moon" and "Tyson." I still have some biggies to see. "In the Loop," "The Cove" and "Anvil" will be arriving via Netflix in the next week, but I figure waiting any longer on this list is really pushing it.

It was a tremendous year for animated films. How tremendous? The highly acclaimed entry from Pixar was probably only the fourth-best movie of its kind in 2009. It was also a great year for sci-fi of both kinds: small and thoughtful, and hugely entertaining.

I have seen 55 of the hundreds of films released in 2009. These are the ten best:

2. "Inglourious Basterds," d. Quentin Tarantino -- So much has been said about this film, I hardly know what more I can add. Repeat viewings continue to impress me, and I find more audacity each time. I have a new favorite scene every week or so, but right now I think it's the opening of Chapter Four: Operation Kino, in which Mike Myers and Michael Fassbender try to out-British each other. "What shall we drink to, sir?" / "Oh! Down with Hitler!" / "All the way down, sir."
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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:17 am

http://safeconduct.blogspot.com/2010/02/favorite-films-of-2009.html

2.14.2010
Favorite Films of 2009
Yes, it's halfway through February, but of course it takes TIME to get through everything that floods the gate at the end of the year.

Some of the films mentioned may not have received a domestic release yet, but I'm including them anyway:

5. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, USA)
The sum of the parts is better than the whole, but on a scene-by-scene basis arguably the best writing and filmmaking of the year, an abundance of great acting, dialogue, and composition.

Acting Citations:
Vera Farmiga (Orphan), Abbie Cornish and Paul Schneider (Bright Star), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers), Michael Stuhlbarg and Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), Ok-bin Kim (Thirst), Kirin Kiki (Still Walking), Penelope Cruz (Broken Embraces), Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Christopher Plummer (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus), Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Zoe Saldana (Avatar), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist), Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo)
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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:32 am

http://omgfridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/top-50-of-past-decade.html

Sunday, February 14, 2010
Top 50 of the Past Decade
In alphabetical order as I am too indecisive to make a definite list.

Hunger [2008]
"This was a directorial debut? McQueen better not be a one hit wonder as I want to see more from him as this movie seemed to be the work of a veteran. "Hunger" offers some of the best photography you will see in a film which only compliments the starved script. Michael Fassbender sets a new epitome for commitment to an actors role in film. Brutal to watch but you'll leave feeling like you have gorged on something wonderful."

Inglourious Basterds [2009]
"Basterds has some truly jaw dropping, laugh out loud and cringe worthy moments that you won't soon forget. Over time this will become a classic that will made example of for the right reasons. Christoph Waltz particularly shines in one of the most awe inspiring casts who together produce some of the best lines you will hear in film. Fluently blends genres to create the ultimate extravaganza."
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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:05 am

http://thepretentiousknowitall.blogspot.com/2010/02/pretentious-film-awards-2009-best_21.html

Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pretentious Film Awards 2009--Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
And the leading gentlemen are...

Michael Fassbender in Hunger
This was more than an unbelievable physical transformation. What a task Fassbender was handed. To communicate the greater ideas of an important film with very little dialogue. And when he does speak at length (the long conversation with the priest), it's motivated, believable and reactive. He reduces Bobby Sands to a sheer force of politically charged human rage and yet it somehow manages to not be one note. Bravo.
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Post by Admin on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:48 am

http://boknowsmovies.blogspot.com/2010/02/brians-favorite-movies-of-2009.html

1. Inglourious Basterds
And he does it again. Quentin Tarantino is the best filmmaker out there. I know I throw the word masterpiece around some times, but Inglourious Basterds is indeed a masterpiece. It's set in the latter years of World War II and involves a troop of Jewish American soldiers who as Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) puts it are going to be doing "one thing and one thing only ... killin' Nazis." The killing he refers to includes scalping and sometimes smashing a man in the head with a baseball bat, courtesy of the Bear Jew (Cabin Fever and Hostel director Eli Roth). The ones they don't kill get a swastika carved into their foreheads. The story also involves Tarantino's best character to date, Nazi Col. Hans Landa played expertly by Christoph Waltz. Landa is called the Jew Hunter and the opening scene has Landa interrogating a French farmer suspected of hiding Jews. Any uncertainty about how good this movie was going to be was erased in this brilliantly tense and gripping scene. Melanie Laurent plays Shoshanna who escaped from Landa, not before he had her family brutally killed. Four years later she owns a movie theater in France and lives under a different name. The rest of the story involves Adolf Hitler himself (Martin Wuttke), a British officer who knows German (Michael Fassbender), a double agent German actress (Diane Kruger), a Nazi soldier and soon to be movie star (Daneil Bruhl) who is infatuated with Shoshanna, a badass Nazi turned Basterd named Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) and a cast of wonderful German and French actors that are new faces to American movies. The plot mainly circles around Shoshanna's movie theater. Since France is occupied by Nazis, Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's number two and head of the German film industry, wants to hold the screening of his new film at Shoshanna's theater. Both the Basterds and Shoshanna plan to take advantage of this event and attempt to potentially end the war in one night. As I mentioned above, there is no better place to find impeccable dialogue than in a Tarantino movie. Dialogue is Tarantino's fuel. His movies literally run on the conversations as opposed to action sequences and special effects. A scene between Landa and Shoshanna in a French restaraunt is as absorbing as the opening scene. Another scene in the basement of a bar with the German actress, three Basterds disguised as Nazis and an aggressive Gestapo officer (August Diehl, my second favorite performance in the movie) is one of many scenes where Tarantino proves he doesn't need a Brad Pitt in every scene to keep you watching. One of the things I hope people take from this movie is how gifting a comedy actor Pitt can be. From his great quotes to his sorry Italian accent, Pitt is surprisingly the comic relief in an otherwise serious movie. As the narrator (Samuel L. Jackson) says at one point in the movie, nitrate film is three times as flammable as paper. Inglourious Basterds is on fire and as you watch you can feel it burning itself a permanent place in cinema history.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my 100 favorite movies of the 2000s as well as my Oscar predictions.
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Post by Admin on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:32 pm

http://cinebeats.blogsome.com/2010/02/25/a-look-back-at-2009/

A Look Back at 2009
by Kimberly Lindbergs | February 25, 2010
Categories | Movie Reviews, Modern Mondays

2009 was an interesting year here at Cinebeats. It was the first year that I wrote about films made after 1979 and my blog traffic rose considerably because of it. While I appreciated the interest in my “Modern Monday” posts, I’m not planning on continuing with them in 2010. I do plan on sharing a complete list of my favorite films of the last decade soon and I’ll occasionally try and post a collection of my thoughts about recent films when I find the time but I want to focus more of my attention on older movies again.

My favorite blogging moment of 2009 occurred when I got the opportunity to interview the British actor Shane Briant by email who I’ve admired for a long time. Briant appeared in many of my favorite Hammer films and I was thrilled that he took the time to answer some of my questions. I also enjoyed spending a lot of time writing about the 1968 film Girl On A Motorcycle in honor of the director and cinematographer Jack Cardiff who passed away last year. The post that seemed to generate the most blog traffic from visitors last year was my very personal piece about the actor Klaus Kinski titled “Stalking Klaus Kinski or How I Worshiped a Madman.” I suspect that the provocative title was partially to blame for the high-level of interest.

As I mentioned to Adam Hartzell in his recent piece for SF360, I didn’t have the opportunity to see many new films when they were initially released. I’ve only recently caught up with a lot of 2009 films on DVD but I wish I had been able to see more of the films I enjoyed in a theater. I think 2009 was a terrific year for new movies so I thought I’d share a list of my favorites.

Favorite Films of 2009 (listed alphabetically):

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold; 2009)
This potent coming-of-age drama presents a surprisingly bold look at young lust and uninhibited passion. The film stars newcomer Katie Jarvis who is terrific as an angry young woman named Mia trying to make sense of the world and her place in it. The handsome and charming Michael Fassbender becomes an object of obsession and desire for young Mia (who can blame her?) and their complicated relationship is what really drives the film.

Hunger (Steve McQueen; 2008 - was not available to see in most American cities until 2009)
Incredibly haunting and troubling film impeccably directed by Steve McQueen. This slow-moving meditation on martyrdom is not easy viewing. It’s one of the most brutal movies I’ve ever seen and if you’re familiar with my viewing habits you know that I don’t make that claim lightly. But among all the filth and human suffering depicted in the film there are also some truly beautiful and transcendent moments that make Hunger not only one of the best movies I saw in 2009, but also one of the most important and memorable films that I’ve seen in the last 10 years.

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino; 2009)
I’m probably one of the few people in the world who thinks Quentin Tarantino is becoming a better filmmaker as he gets older. His deep affection for old and often obscure films seems to be morphing into something more than just mere homage lately and I like the direction he’s taken in the last few years. He just needs to learn how to trust his audience more and I personally wish he’d hire a composer to score his films. I think Tarantino will probably make his masterpiece when he’s 60 or even 70 years old. Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s best looking film and I appreciate the way he writes his female characters. I was also impressed with the performances he got out of his actors, in particular Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent and my favorite basterd, Michael Fassbender.

Thirst (Park Chan-Wook; 2009)
This uneven vampire film has gotten mixed reviews but I personally thought the good outweighed the bad. The story involves a priest (Kang-ho Song) who accidentally gets turned into a vampire while taking part in a medical experiment. The first half of Thirst is flawless and contains some truly memorable moments and breathtaking cinematography. Unfortunately the story suffers when the focus of the film changes. I wish the director had explored the religious implications and spiritual aspects of the priest’s personal plight more but the film’s creative ending almost makes up for the film’s flaws
(Michael mentioned in an interview this was one of his favorite movies)
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:54 pm

http://pixelatedpopcorn.blogspot.com/2010/03/pixelated-popcorns-top-18-foreign-films.html

Pixelated Popcorn’s Top 18 Foreign Films of 2009
This is not your usual Best of 2009 list. Barely missing this list are the usual suspects. You won’t see Academy Award nominees Avatar, Precious, Inglorious Basterds, An Education, and UP. Critically acclaimed foreign films such as The White Ribbon and A Prophet are likewise nowhere in sight. I, myself, was surprised to realize that I didn’t go with the popular choices. Instead, it was the little gems – the less known films – that left a mark on my cinematic consciousness.

Unlike 2008 where epic dramas Atonement, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button made up my Top 3 (see complete list of Top 20 Films of 2008 here), 2009 can be considered as the year of suspense and thrillers. I saw myself literally jumping from my seat in District 9, laughing in amusement because of Bad Lieutenant’s singing iguana and breakdancing soul, and rooting for the antiheroes of Julia and Mother.

But will a year in movies ever be complete without sweeping love stories? Tragic romances abound in the form of Sang-hyeon and Tae-Jun of Thirst, Tom and Summer of 500 Days of Summer, and Ryan and Alex of Up in the Air. But what’s a love story without a happy ending? Luckily, I found this Australian aboriginal couple’s tale of addiction, hope, and true love.

Without further adieu, here is my Top 18 Foreign Films of 2009.

16. Fish Tank

Director: Andrea Arnold

Starring: Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender

A realistic British drama about opening up, getting hurt, and taking refuge.


13. Hunger

Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Michael Fassbender

This visual spectacle is an unsettling portrayal of the resilience of man and the power of human determination.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:54 am

http://havingsaidthat.net/2010/03/06/the-films-of-2009-a-year-in-review/

The Films of 2009: A Year in Review
By Zac Leave a Comment
Categories: Movie News and Movie Review
Tags: 2009 Film, 2009 Year in Film, Best of 2009

So why now? It’s March weren’t you supposed to put lists out a couple months ago? Well I don’t, and haven’t, and the 09 film year isn’t over till the Oscars are passed out if you ask me. I also feel like lists made at the end of the year are not allowed enough time to breath and made on too many gut feelings. Waiting a couple months allows me to not only digest these films a little longer but maybe even see it one more time. It also allows you to look at films outside the end of year crush of films and the hectic nature of trying to see as many things as possible while also trying to list them. If you have read one of these from me before this is not news to you, but for any new readers I just wanted you to give a picture of where I am coming from.

17. Hunger

Another directorial on this list and Steve McQueen has cemented himself as a name to watch with this true life tale about Bobby Sands, and Irish prison hunger striker in 1981. Featuring a few minor stories wrapped into one picture, it is a while before we meet Bobby Sands in this picture but leading up to that we get a look at the life of a guard and inmates during the turbulent times between Ireland and England. Full of beautiful camera work, intense moments, and some incredible work by Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterd’s British film critic spy) this is one of the finer prison films to ever be released and is an incredible portrait of what some lengths people will go to have their voice heard. Seek this out; it is not to be missed.

6. Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino’s latest is an insane and tense revisionist history of WWII that focuses on five specific points in a trio of story lines that converge in the explosive final chapter. Sold as a Brad Pitt movie, it is pure ensemble at its heart and it’s the other leads in these chapters that make the film work as amazingly as it does. Christoph Waltz deserves every ounce of praise he is receiving but his co-stars Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, and Mélanie Laurent almost match him, as does Pitt, and it’s this combined excellence in acting paired with Tarantino’s insanely brilliant script that has cemented this film along side the director’s other greats. Though biggest warning going in, there is no action, none, don’t let the trailers fool you as that is the only mindset that can damper this experience.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:35 pm

http://davidreviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/best-films-of-2009.html

07 March 2010
The Best Films of 2009
I’ll skip the usual apologies for not updating the blog in so long. I was busy. But now it’s back. At least for this year’s top ten. I can’t say 2009 was a great year for movies. Especially compared with some recent years, like 2007. As usual, except for the number one slot, all the others are ordered in a relatively arbitrary fashion. After the list, my personal picks for some of the awards being given tonight (whether they are nominated or not), and then some notes on the Oscars. I’ll try to update tomorrow after we know who’s gone home with what. But now, without much further ado:

The Ten Best Films of 2009

1. Inglourious Basterds

One of the most cathartic film experiences of the year. Tarantino was firing on all cylinders, and there are few films I have seen in the past few years that utilize all the qualities and potential of the cinema as well as this did. I’m sure this movie isn’t “for everyone” but it has something for everyone. Much has been said about Christoph Waltz, and it’s all true, but let’s not forget the rest of the cast: Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, and Melanie Laurent all turn in wonderful performances. It won best ensemble at the SAG Awards, and it really truly feels like one. It’s visually, audibly, and textually brilliant, and gets better with each viewing.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:38 am

http://bittergrace.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/2009-a-year-in-film-part-6/

so, um, half-naked Michael Fassbender aside, in the year of a lot of coming-of-age stories (An Education, Precious, Adventureland, etc…), this was my favorite. Mia is the exact opposite of An Education’s Jenny–foulmouthed, poor, not very talented and woefully uneducated, at best ignored by her mother and at worst abused and abuses–yet also very similar in that she just wants to escape the life that everyone thinks she’s going to live. When someone finally pays attention to her, her mother’s kind and very attractive boyfriend Connor, you know things aren’t going to end up happily ever after. And yet when Mia takes that leap, you just want her to soar.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:13 pm

http://slachs.blogspot.com/2010/03/2009-movie-redux.html

Monday, March 8, 2010
2009 Movie Redux

Welcome back (or anew) to the annual Slachs Movie Redux newsletter. Usually this is released in mid-January, but due to some extenuating circumstances (and procrastination) it is being distributed Sunday, March 7th, hopefully with an hour or two to spare before the Oscars commence. Depends on the battery life of my computer and the potency of my soy latte...

I've received several emails and texts over the last few weeks asking where my list is..and that warmed my heart..really. It's good to know that Netflix queues all over the country will be updated over the next few days. If just one of you rents a single movie from below, it will have all been worth..oh never mind!

You’re receiving this because I’ve either: sent you my list in the past, saw movies with you this year, know you in some other capacity and thought you may be interested in it, or perhaps argued the merits of certain films with you over a beer (at Union Pool or Ontario most likely). By all means, please forward to friends, co-workers, lovers, and family members.

2009 was a pretty damn good year for film. Unlike the academy, I don't differentiate between American and foreign films. You'll see below that three of my top ten come from Europe. Also, some of these movies are listed in IMDB as 2008 or even 2007, but I am making my inclusions based on having viewed them on the big screen during the 2009 calendar year (regardless of my geographical location at the time).

TOP TEN MOVIES 2009 (in order):

Inglourious Basterds - Hands down the best film of 2009 and I'd even go so far as to say one of the best war movies ever made. Who else besides Tarantino would make his war epic by re-imagining its core events? Brilliant brilliant brilliant. Writing, directing, cinematography, acting, music, score, editing..heck I bet even the catered food was off the hook. The mexican stand-off scene in the pub basement was deliciously intense, one of the best scenes in Tarantino's portfolio. Christopher Waltz delivers the performance of the year as the "jew-hunter" Hans Landa. As he pulls his giant pipe from his jacket during the opening scene, Tarantino himself is throwing down the gauntlet, challenging all his peers, and blowing them out of the water. No other film last year comes close to this level of perfection.

Hunger - A devastating portrayal of the hunger strikes at the Maze prison in Ireland during Thatcher's regime in the early eighties. Not much dialogue, and lots of deliberately held shots (e.g. feces spread in circles on the prison cell walls) - McQueen incredibly conjures up an amazingly realistic and brutal (and unfortunately true) story that explores the evil depths that men, or men in particular situations, will succumb to; or the heroics (false/misguided?) they will achieve. Michael Fassbender (who also played, excellently, the movie critic in 'Basterds') is one to keep your eye on. An actor with seemingly no holes in his game, he nails the lead with conviction. Amazing work ethic in starving himself ridiculously skinny to shoot some of the tougher to watch scenes.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:26 pm

http://lilokpelikula.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/attica-attica-top-films-of-2009-part-6/

Attica! Attica! Top Films of 2009! (Part 6) March 19, 2010
Posted by Richard Bolisay

14. FISH TANK (Andrea Arnold)

The moment Michael Fassbender walks in, half-dressed and scorching like someone who just kissed the sun, the heat turns the tide. He not only charms; he leaves teeth marks. He carries our young lady to bed, takes off her shoes, pulls her bottoms, and pulls a blanket over her. He sings Bobby Womack’s California Dreamin’ as he drives. He catches fish, he piggybacks, and he knows how to nurse a wound. He’s got a tattoo of an ex’s name on his arm, he dances, he shakes his booty, and he smiles like he could hide his wife and family from us and we’d still forgive him. In short, he bleeds heat. Director Andrea Arnold sure is aware that she’s making the film for us; she’s making Fassbender flirt not only with her Alanis, but also with her audience, his infidelity becoming irrelevant as he is not the concern of the film. It’s not that he is too distracting; it’s just that his testosterone really shakes things up for Mia—the Alanis—and her mother. He is her mother’s boyfriend, after all.

On the other hand, Mia bleeds hate. She is angry like she was born angry. She swears, she sneaks up on her mom, she runs away. She’s Antoine Doinel, except she likes dancing. It’s the only thing that calms her down. Fassbender acts like a father to her, appreciates what she does, and she in return spites him like a kid does when caught sneaking. It’s a relationship reminiscent of Brocka’s Insiang, except the tension is not among the three characters, but concentrated on Mia especially, her being juvenile. But Insiang it is, ugly things happen. And Arnold, in her nifty way of observing, unfolds so with a mix of ease and tantrum. The camera catches the smell of noisy tenements, empty parking lots, and cramped garages; and later on the camera runs crazy when events turn crazy, always intimately present.

What on earth Mia is running away from? What does she want? Why does she hate the world so much she seems to want everyone around her dead? That’s plain to see. Arnold lays all the cards very casually.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:30 pm

http://blogdochallenger.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-best-films-of-decade.html

segunda-feira, 22 de março de 2010
The 100 Best Films of the Decade
Art house or Blockbuster? Juno or Jason Bourne? Is The Bourne Supremacy really better than Brokeback Mountain? And if Finding Nemo made it, what the hell happened to Shrek? Tell us where we got it wrong, or right, and post your alternative lists below

10 Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
Provocative London-born artist McQueen directs a revelatory Michael Fassbender in a movie that purports to tackle the infamous 1981 IRA hunger strikes but is actually a hypnotic meditation on the ineffable mystery of human life. Achingly profound.
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Post by Admin on Sun May 09, 2010 10:03 pm

http://www.soundonsight.org/the-best-films-of-the-decade-2000-%E2%80%93-2009-part-10-revised/

21- Hunger (2008)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Genre: Bio-pic

Renowned English video artist Steve McQueen’s feature film debut Hunger, is an alternately harrowing and poetic take on the fatal 1982 hunger strike of Irish Republican Army prisoner Bobby Sands. There are long stretches without dialogue in McQueen’s visually stunning wide-screen movie where the camera is always-in-motion. However the best scene in Hunger comes when McQueen sets aside his artistic eye for a 20-minute long steady take turning it into a two-person character piece. Michael Fassbender’s physical commitment to the role is frightning and outdoes even Christian Bale in The Machinist (in terms of weight loss) and ultimately Hunger is a cinematic punch to the gut. Haunting, brutal, heartbreaking, poignant, and captivating.
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Post by Admin on Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:08 pm

http://wrappedbrownpaper.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-top-ten-films-of-previous-decade.html

3. Hunger (2008, Steve McQueen)
Hunger is another one of those films where I knew next to nothing about the factual events it depicted but one which (just as in Control) doesn't condemn or worship it's morally complex historical figures. Hunger is a harsh film but the music, cinematography and mise-en-scene all combine to create a beautifully haunting atmosphere which had me completely entranced from start to finish. Michael Fassbender, playing the central role of Bobby Sands, is also sublime, especially in the ten minute one-shot heated debate between him and a Catholic priest. As with most films focusing on the IRA or 'troubles' in Ireland it's got a lot of negative things to say about the British but if this film is any indication then I'd don't blame them.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:28 am

http://rossbonaime.blogspot.com/2010/06/best-films-of-2009-20-11.html

Friday, June 18, 2010
Best Films of 2009 (20-11)
2009 was a surprisingly great year in film. So great in fact that Roger Ebert proclaimed it to be one of the best years in film since 1939, when such classics as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, The Rules of the Game, Stagecoach and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington were all released, just to name a few. While I won't go that far, I do think Ebert was right in that 2009 was particularly great for movies in general. In honor of this great year, I have gone through the 179 films from 2009 I saw and have narrowed it down to my personal top 20 of 2009, but first let me go through some films that came close, but didn't quite make the list:

14. Hunger

If there is one actor who came out of nowhere to impress me in 2009, it has to be Michael Fassbender. While his supporting role as former film critic/guy who doesn't know how to signal "3" in German, in Inglourious Basterds brought him some attention, it was his staggering performance in Hunger that caught my eye. Hunger is unflinching in its portrayal of a hunger strike in 1980's Ireland. Fassbender's shocking weight loss is akin to Christian Bale's in The Machinist and Steve McQueen's dedication to showing the horrors, including an incredible 17 minutes take, make Hunger an masterful achievement.
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