Jan 31 2010

2009 Whitty Movie Awards

Published by Jeff

                Due to the economy and an overall lack of time, spending some time to become more familiar with the movie landscape has become imperative.  Whether it is a family outing, date night or going solo, the websites I contribute to, whitshappening.com and examiner.com, are invaluable in determining where your movie dollar is best spent.   Here is the definitive look at the movies that shaped the entertainment world in 2009.

                The year saw an attempt to capitalize on existing movie franchises both successfully (Star Trek) and unsuccessfully (Wolverine: X-Men Origins).  The reimagining of Star Trek was well done by Lost creator JJ Abrams.  He was able to straddle the past without losing sight of the future, getting new fans without completely alienating the long-time Trekkers.  Wolverine incorporated a big cop out that rendered everything that happened in the movie meaningless.  Movies should give their audience a little more credit than that.

                For those people lucky enough to have HDN Movies on their cable or satellite, or live near a Landmark Theater, saw some pretty good movies from Mark Cuban’s company.  Two Lovers was the final acting performance of Joaquin Phoenix (No one really believes it was his last but, whatever).  The Answer Man was a nice take on the usual romantic comedy.  The Girlfriend Experience was an attempt at innovation in style by Steven Soderbergh (I wasn’t a fan but I appreciate the attempt).  The Burning Plain was a very good drama and opened the 1st Annual Louisville International Film Festival.  Look up the slate of movies that Magnolia Pictures and 2929 Pictures are putting out.

                There was a nice slate of documentaries.  The Cove, a movie about the brutal capturing of dolphins, is sweeping every award ceremony.  Michael Moore delivered his new attack on the problems of our financial system, Capitalism: A Love Story.  Food, Inc was a thoughtful portrait of the atrocities of our food industry.  It Might Get Loud brought together 3 guitarists from different generations to discuss their thoughts about their favorite instrument.

                Among the numbingly bad summer movies, there arose some absolute gems.  As bad as G.I. Joe was, it was followed up with Funny People, further proof that comics can act if given the material.  The unnecessary Transformers 2 was released at the same time in Louisville with Moon, the most under viewed and underappreciated movie of the year.  Six of the top ten movies of the year were, technically, summer movies.  I can’t remember having that many highly regarded May-August movies near the top of my list.

                Movie trailers can be misleading.  Do some homework and find the movie that best suits your situation?  A movie can take on a different feel with the mood you are in and the people you are viewing it with.  Take your time, make a good choice and go out to the movies.  This website is always available as a resource.  Now, let’s see the awards.

Best Ensemble

5.  Star Trek
4.  District 9
3.  In The Loop
2.  Inglorious Basterds

1.  The Hurt Locker


Wha’ Happened

5.  Men Who Stare at Goats – Young Obi-Wan, Kaiser Soze, Michael Clayton and The Dude in the same movie and this is what you come up with
4.  Terminator Salvation – Christian Bale’s persona should have been enough for this to work… it didn’t
3.  Sex Scene in Watchmen – 2 superheroes having sex is a geek’s dream… this was a nightmare
2.  Extract – Mike Judge and some of the funniest people in film should have made this one great

1.  Wolverine: X-Men Origin – we know where you need to go and you come up with one of the biggest cop outs I’ve ever seen


Best Chemistry

5.  Zombieland – Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg
4.  The Answer Man – Jeff Daniels and Laura Graham
3.  500 Days of Summer – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel
2.  The Hurt Locker – Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty

1.  The Messenger – Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson


Great Idea (at least)

5.  Star Trek – mix one of the biggest sci-fi franchises with sci-fi super producer JJ Abrams
4.  Adam – put a character with Asburger syndrome by himself in the real world
3.  Ong Bak 2 – a sequel to an exciting action movie… flamed out
2.  Sunshine Cleaning – a pair of sisters venture into the world of crime scene clean up

1.  He’s Just Not That Into You – mega-popular book employs a bunch of pretty people in the film version


Good Movie You’ve Never Heard Of

5.  World’s Greatest Dad – Robin Williams in a Bobcat Goldthwait film… ‘nuff said
4.  Goodbye Solo – man contemplating last breath of life in the back of a cab with an African taxi driver
3.  The Burning Plain – multi-leveled drama with Charlize Theron
2.  In The Loop – British satire of the political landscape

1.  Moon – Sam Rockwell’s brilliant performance of the only man working on the moon


Best Baddie

5.  Eric Bana – Star Trek
4.  Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
3.  Peter Capaldi – In The Loop
2.  Mo’Nique – Precious

1.  Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds


What Were You Thinking

5.  John Turturro – Transformers 2
4.  Dakotah Fanning – Push
3.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt – G.I. Joe
2.  Nicholas Cage – Knowing

1.  Jennifer Aniston/Aaron Eckhart – Love Happens


Stepped It Up

5.  Zoe Saldana – Star Trek, Avatar
4.  Sam Worthington – Terminator: Salvation, Avatar
3.  Jesse Eisenberg – Adventureland, Zombieland
2.  Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker

1.  Woody Harrelson – Zombieland, The Messenger


Something Different

5.  Cold Souls
4.  Paranormal Activity
3.  The Girlfriend Experience
2.  Fantastic Mr. Fox

1.  Moon


Better Than You Think

5.  Zombieland
4.  Where The Wild Things Are
3.  Star Trek
2.  Funny People

1.  District 9


Worst Movie

5.  Push
4.  G.I Joe
3.  Knowing
2.  Love Happens

1.  Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li


Best Supporting Actress

10.  Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart
  9.  Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
  8.  Penelope Cruz – Nine
  7.  Marion Cottilard – Nine
  6.  Anne Meara – Another Harvest Moon
  5.  Jennifer Lawrence – The Burning Plain
  4.  Bailee Madison – Brothers
  3.  Vinessa Shaw – Two Lovers
  2.  Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air

  1.  Mo ‘Nique – Precious


Best Supporting Actor

10.  Alfred Molina – An Education
  9.  John Malkovich – The Great Buck Howard
  8.  Seth Rogen – Funny People
  7.  Anthony Mackie/Brian Geraghty – The Hurt Locker
  6.  Lou Taylor Pucci – The Answer Man
  5.  Jackie Earle Haley – Watchmen
  4.  Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
  3.  Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
  2.  Peter Capaldi – In The Loop

  1.  Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds


Best Actress

10.  Meryl Streep – It’s Complicated
  9.  Natalie Portman – Brothers
  8.  Saoirse Ronan – The Lovely Bones
  7.  Zooey Deschanel – 500 Days of Summer
  6.  Carey Mulligan – An Education
  5.  Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
  4.  Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
  3.  Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
  2.  Charlize Theron – The Burning Plain

  1.  Meryl Streep – Julie and Julia


Best Actor

10.  Matt Damon – The Informant!
  9.  Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
  8.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 500 Days of Summer
  7.  Hugh Dancy – Adam
  6.  Sharlto Copley – District 9
  5.  Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
  4.  Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
  3.  George Clooney – Up in the Air
  2.  Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man

  1.  Sam Rockwell – Moon


Best Movie

25.  The Informant!
24.  An Education
23.  Zombieland
22.  Fantastic Mr. Fox
21.  Crazy Heart
20.  Sherlock Holmes
19.  The Young Victoria
18.  Where the Wild Things Are
17.  Brothers
16.  Star Trek
15.  Funny People
14.  The Lovely Bones
13.  The Burning Plain
12.  The Blind Side
11.  Avatar
10.  500 Days of Summer
  9.  A Serious Man
  8.  District 9
  7.  Inglorious Basterds
  6.  Moon
  5.  In the Loop
  4.  Up in the Air
  3.  Precious
  2.  Up

  1.  The Hurt Locker


Oscar Predictions

Supporting Actress – Monique

Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz

Lead Actress – Carey Mulligan

Lead Actor – Jeff Bridges

Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino

Adapted Screenplay – Jason Reitman

Director – Kathryn Bigelow

Film – The Hurt Locker

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