#34 - An Education
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but this film captures every “smart” high school girl’s dream. It’s just that growing up in the suburbs, there’s no culture. And there’s no one around you who gives a shit about music or film or culture. This is why I needed to go to school in NYC.
So back to the FILM here: Carey Mulligan is absolutely amazing. She’s adorable and innocent and perfect. She plays a high school senior (whatever that is in England) about to go to Oxford (I think Oxford is England’s Harvard?), BUT then she meets this amazing man, played by Peter Sarsgaard. He gives her everything of the cultured life she’s always dreamed of. They go to Paris! But as with all stories, things go wrong… I also ADORE Olivia Williams - teacher from Rushmore, playing yet another awesome teacher. When the opening credits ran, I couldn’t believe that Nick Hornby adapted this script - but somehow, he really nailed it.
#33 - Zombieland
Everyone loves zombies. I don’t think I could be friends with someone who doesn’t love zombies (I say this, and yet I haven’t watched The Walking Dead yet). I thought this film would just be riding the zombie-love-wave, but really it’s brilliant!
First of all, it would be hard to NOT be amazing with the cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg (I’ve come to love his nerd-shtick), Emma Stone (who I LOVE), and Abigail Breslin. The story is a comical how-to survive a zombie apocalypse. And really, this film has the BEST. CAMEO. of all time! The ending scenes at an amusement park is perfectly Scooby Dooesque (but not as campy). I don’t know HOW this movie manages to be funny and not campy. Maybe it acknowledges the camp?
#20 - Precious (2009)
This film is one of the most depressing I have ever seen. But I also thought it was one of the best casts I have seen in a while. I’m now so in love with Gabourey Sidibe (well, I was before). And I never in a million years thought I would say this: Mariah Carey was kinda awesome. What??????
From the film side of things, nothing really impressive visual wise or anything. I like the little interludes when Precious dreams about her life being happier, it lightens up the film a lot. It’s amazing how the film brings out an important worry that probably every human has: the fear of not being loved / alone.
#16 - Up (2009)
I had heard this Pixar film wasn’t as strong… and especially that kids found it boring. I love love loved the first 30 minutes. It really should have been a short film. But I guess they ran out of ideas and had to force it to a full length film. Pixar is usually really smart, but the whole talking dog thing? And the bird? I dunno. If you watch this movie, seriously, stop after the first 30 minutes or so (you’ll know where to stop). It feels finished then. But they drag it on. Also, while watching I was kinda like, “GREAT a film starring my least favorite groups of people: grumpy elders and overachieving little boys.”
The music was amazing… I can easily see why the music won so many awards.
#19 - 2012 (2009)
This is not normally a film I would choose to watch. I didn’t choose this film, but that doesn’t matter. Let me rip into it!
First off, just look at that poster. That should be illegal. To have a movie poster with nothing but the name of the film (I would let it slide if there was an artistic reason… but this film is NOT art)! Posters NEED to make people want to see the movie. Why would anyone want to see this film based on that poster? Impossible. Also, how stupid does it look when I write “2012 (2009)”? Aye.
So this film is about the world coming to an end in 2012 due to something the scientists of the film call “earth crust displacement” or something like that. In a nutshell, it tries to make John Cusack an action hero. Now I LOVE Better Off Dead, Say Anything, High Fidelity, but an action hero, Mr. Cusack is not. Throw in a ton of cheesy lines and cliches. I mean, they build ARKS. If you can relax (read: have a couple drinks) this can be a pretty fun Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie.