The Best Summer Films of 2009

Hey folks, sorry for the long delay (I know, I know, 3 MONTHS!) but things should be getting back to normal. It’s been a good summer for movies (nothing as memorable as last year’s Dark Knight though) so here’s a quick rundown of what I think are the summer’s best films…

  • Up- c’mon, when was the last time Pixar made a film that didn’t hit paydirt? Unlike other animated features that rely on big-name voice talents(cough, cough DreamWorks), Pixar has the most important element of a great movie on their side: the ability to tell a story. No animated feature this year comes to close to being as exciting, heartbreaking and original as this one. Heck, most anything this year for that matter, animated or not.
  • The Hurt Locker- Kathryn Bigelow has done what many directors have failed to do: create a film about the Iraq war that doesn’t polarize its audience. Unbearably intense, The Hurt Locker doesn’t preach about political ideologies, but rather the risks and dangers soldiers have to endure in order to do their job. And no one shows more relish in doing their job than sergeant William James(played by Jeremy Renner, who is a sure-fire lock for an Oscar), a member of the United States Army bomb squad. James’ obsessive nature and recklessness with disarming bombs unnerves his teammates. It also captivates us.
  • District 9- a science fiction film with a heart? Huh? Yup. Already destined for super stardom, South African director Neill Blomkamp has turned the genre on its head, making a movie where humans are the villains and where the audience sympathizes¬† with the aliens. It’s said that some of the most important science fiction works act as mirrors for our society, and District 9 is no different. Strong undercurrents of apartheid that ravaged Africa 60 years ago appear throughout the film, but is never heavy handed. G.I. Joe and Transformers 2, THIS is how you make a great summer blockbuster.
  • Inglourious Basterds- Quentin Tarantino gives history the finger as he attempts to re-write the past in his new World War 2 flick. Those expecting a bloodbath on the scale of Kill Bill might be disappointed, but any true Tarantino fan will have a smile on their face the second they start hearing his trademark dialogue as well as his choice of music for the eclectic soundtrack. There are scenes of pure dialogue that are just as intense as any thriller this year, a testament to his writing skills. Some may have qualms with the way Tarantino has taken liberties with such a sacred topic, but they’ll be missing the point. In this fantasy, the Nazis get what they deserve and it acts almost as a cathartic release for the horror they created. As I was leaving the theater, I overheard an audience member comment on the film. “Man, that’s the way history should have happened.” Tarantino couldn’t have said it better himself.
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~ by johnkarma on August 23, 2009.

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