Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year in Meh

I love movies.  I equally love serious (artistic) cinema and regular "movie movies."  I am even under the impression that movies today are better than they've ever been, technically, artistically, and ideologically, something I would not and could not say through the 1980s and 1990s, though I will say my esteem for the output of these decades has grown in the past few years.

This is the time of year when moviegoers like me post their "best of" and "worst of" lists.  But I live in a city that is not first in line for foreign, independent, and "Oscar bait" releases, which is to say that I do not live in Los Angeles or New York City.  So many of the "best" movies do not enter my radar until the following year ... and often not until a whole year or two later, when the film shows up on DVD or somebody's "dark-horse masterpieces" list.  The best I can compile here are the movies of 2009 that struck my fancy and were actually seen in 2009.  Here they are:  AvatarWhere the Wild Things AreWatchmen2012and World's Greatest Dad (I saw this movie late on DVD.  It's best if you ignore the misleading title and the fact that it stars Robin Williams and rent it knowing only, as I did, that Bob Goldthwait directed it and John Waters named it one of the "best" of 2009.)  My list does not even hit the magic number ten.  I guess I'm saving five spots for 2009 releases I'll catch in 2010 or later.

Also, I am not a paid film reviewer, so fortunately I am usually spared seeing the "worst" movies of a year.  What follows, then, are my list of the ten (neither top nor bottom) meh movies of 2009, that is, the movies I expected to like because of glowing reviews, friends' recommendations, or my own irrational high hopes, but I responded to with little (if any) enthusiasm.  Some of these movies made real reviewers' "best of" lists, proving only "to each his own tastes."  Some of these movies are on people's "worst of" lists, meaning only that I've seen worst and found them at least to be bearable.  Most of these have been unreviewed in this blog and uncommented on here precisely because of my lack of enthusiasm for them and negligible interest in them.  All I can really say is that I saw them and probably won't remember them, so it's best if I list them here now, while I still can.

1.              Up 
2.              The Men Who Stare at Goats
3.              Nine
4.              Star Trek
5.              The Proposal
6.              Julie and Julia
7.              Me and Orson Welles
8.              The Hangover
9.              Zombieland
10.            Fighting


  1. Bummer on "Julie and Julia." I haven't seen it yet but was hoping it would be good.

    Have you ever seen "The Waitress"? That's probably the last movie Mark and I caught on DVD, but we both enjoyed it.

  2. @Rebecca: No, I haven't seen WAITRESS. Heard good things about it. I'll check it out on Netflix since you enjoyed it. And by the way "meh" doesn't mean JULIE AND JULIA was bad, just that it left me blasé. It might affect you and Mark entirely differently.

  3. By the way, I'm currently reading a book that I suspect you'd enjoy. It's called "The Purity Myth," and it's bringing to mind a lot of the discussion(s) on sexuality from one of your classes that Mark used to come home talking about. And if you've followed the abstinence-only education movement over the last decade, it's a particularly fascinating read.

    (Although when we saw the age of the author on the inside cover, it left us both feeling rather old and unaccomplished - ha!)



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