Films seen in 2009
Submitted by 1922 on Sat, 01/03/2009 - 04:42
(S) = Short
- 27: Dressed to Kill (de Palma, 1980)
- A grandiose thriller with a remarkable cast and numerous memorable scenes, with the ones in the museum and the elevator being in the fore. One of de Palma´s major achievements.
- 20: Ensemble, c´est tout (Berri, 2007)
- A sweet, "little" film from France. Nothing very deep, but entertaining and well-acted.
- 09: Angels & Demons (Howard, 2009)
- Despite its utterly naive storyline and its extremely lame leading actor, this is a definite step-up compared to the awful prequel.
- 06: /Paris, je t´aime/ (various, 2006)
- The original idea is fine: 18 short films by renouned directors about different parts of the most magnificent city in the world. In reality though, the films are of varying quality. The ones by the Coen Bros., Coixet, Chomet, Cuarón and Payne are really sweet. Others like those by Natali, Assayas or Doyle do not work at all.
- 01: /Airplane: The Sequel/ (Finkleman, 1982)
- The sequel is often (in a negative sense) similar to the original. Therefore it mostly seems flat and repetitive, and slips off towards the end.
- 31: /Airplane!/ (ZAZ, 1980)
- Hilarious and iconic comedy, and one of the rare moments where the parody beats the original by far.
- 28: Kautschuk (von Borsody, 1938)
- Racist propaganda adventure film.
- 02: 28 Weeks Later (Fresnadillo, 2007)
- The film has its bright spots. The mise-en-scène of the plague´s aftermath as well as the tube scenes towards the end are masterfully directed and incredibly effective. However everything inbetween these two scenes falls far off.
- 02: Vantage Point (Travis, 2008)
- Although the film might be based on an appealing and challenging idea, it dissipates all of its potential for an eventually lame, tedious story.
- 28: Dark Water (Salles, 2005)
- Of all the ´Ring´-spin offs, this one really stands out. Not so much in quality, but rather in its unusually slow way of creating a constantly threatening mood. Only the last twenty minutes clearly fall off.
- 19: /The Texas Chainsaw Massacre/ (Nispel, 2003)
- Although the remake is at first quite good at building up an atmospheric tension, the good approach soon deflagrates and all that remains is utter boredom.
- 13: Super Size Me (Spurlock, 2004)
- An insightful and informative look at Fast Food and its truly devastating consequences.
- 12: Open Water (Kentis, 2003)
- In its attempts for a maximum realism rather successful, the film is at times quite discomforting. The major drawback is the really bad acting though that threatens its credibility.
- 12: /Night at the Museum/ (Levy, 2006)
- A not very informative, but highly entertaining film, often reminding of Jumanji.
- 12: /Final Destination 3/ (Wang, 2006)
- The whole scenario is very predictable, the story is at best a slight varying copy of the previous films. The characters are clichéd and pointless. And still there is some quirky charm to its sadist gore glory.
- 12: Seed of Chucky (Mancini, 2004)
- An utterly disgusting, trashy and senseless horror comedy.
- 07: Because I Said So (Lehman, 2007)
- As usual, Diane Keaton is charming. The rest of the film with its otherwise uninspired acting, its clichéd figures and its very conventional writing is utterly forgettable.
- 04: Knallhart (Buck, 2006)
- An often unbalanced mixture of Goodfellas and Kids, set in Berlin. It does not always work perfectly nor is it as intense as the two aforementioned films, but it is well acted and certainly an important contribution to contemporary German cinema.
- 31: /Slumdog Millionaire/ (Boyle, 2008)
- At a second viewing, this epic tale deploys more depth in characters and story, although it loses a bit of its verve towards the end.
- 30: Horror Express (Martín, 1973)
- An old-fashioned, but entertaining, at times surprisingly frightening B-horror film, starring the great tandem of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
- 29: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Wallace, 1982)
- This film leaves you quite perplex. Not only does Michael Myers not appear. The story is also exceptionally ridiculous and illogical. At times, the film even makes you furious by wasting each bit of potential there could still have been.
- 29: The Ring Two (Nakata, 2005)
- A conventional, illogical and very predictable horror shocker that goes far too long and is just terribly boring at the end.
- 27: The Last Detail (Ashby, 1973)
- A film that captures the esprit of the New Hollywood cinema very well. It is very atmospheric and thorough in its acting.
- 22: I Am Sam (Nelson, 2002)
- Despite its serious topic, the film is a splendidly optimist and dialectic/differentiated comment, carried by a challenging performance by Sean Penn.
- 22: The Ring (Verbinski, 2002)
- An unnecessary remake of the Japanese horror shocker that does not in the slightest reach the intensity of the original.
- 22: Unholy Partners (LeRoy, 1941)
- A telling and capable insight into the machinery and the power of media. Edward G. Robinson is truly astounding as the smart, somewhat obscure protagonist.
- 21: /Jurassic Park 3/ (Johnston, 2001)
- The third part of the Jurassic Park-trilogy is an often illogical, but still entertaining adventure. It´s good to have Sam Neill back on board.
- 21: /The Fog/ (Carpenter, 1980)
- A gritty, intelligently written horror film that builds up its enormous tension in a very subtle way.
- 20: /Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade/ (Spielberg, 1989)
- Still the most entertaining part of the by now unfortunately four films. The duo Ford-Connery is excellent.
- 20: /The Frighteners/ (Jackson, 1996)
- An interesting and rather unusual mixture of comedy and horror that, alas, features too much of the former in the first and of the latter in the second half.
- 18: Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (Sholder, 1999)
- Stupidity apparently neither.
- 17: Little Black Book (Hurran, 2004)
- A kitschy, pretty predictable romantic comedy that is ultimately and only saved by its formidable actresses (Brittany Murphy, Holly Hunter, Kathy Bates).
- 10: Cries and Whispers (Bergman, 1972)
- A visually dense and consequent, from the acting incredibly intense work of art. Highly recommended.
- 07: /Dawn of the Dead/ (Snyder, 2004)
- A fastly paced, intelligent update of the 1978-Romero-film.
- 03: /The Birdcage/ (Nichols, 1996)
- An interesting remake of the classic French comedy with entertaining performances.
- 01: The Devil Wears Prada (Frankel, 2006)
- The film tries to criticize the shallowness of the fashion world, but eventually fails because of its own superficiality. Meryl Streep is great though.
- 01: /Mars Attacks!/ (Burton, 1996)
- Very hyperbolic, often silly sci-fi-satire with an incredible star cast, that unfortunately remains far behind the potential of its ideas and of its skilled director.
- 23: /The Witches/ (Roeg, 1990)
- Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch is one of the best castings in film history. The make-up and masks are beyond words.
- 21: /The Witches/ (Roeg, 1990)
- Based on the eponymous book by Roald Dahl, Nicolas Roeg´s adaptation is a masterfully directed and written horror film, especially for a younger audience.
- 15: My Bloody Valentine (Mihalka, 1981)
- A silly, though sometimes very atmospheric slasher film that unfortunately tries to be more than it eventually is and that therefore takes itself unnecessarily serious.
- 14: Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (Hedden, 1989)
- At the most there are two thrilling, entertaining moments in this stereotypical, old-fashioned slasher film that constantly stumbles from one ridiculous and predictable scene to the next. Forgettable.
- 07 Slumdog Millionaire (Boyle, 2008)
- A well-paced, greatly acted, but slightly overrated film with a brilliant filmic structure, deploying an astounding portrait of contemporary India.
- 05: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Fincher, 2008)
- An often unnecessarily lengthy motion picture of epic proportions with a tremendous art direction and a remarkable cast.
- 03: Doubt (Shanley, 2008)
- Doubt is one of those rare cinematic pearls that is entertaining at the highest level without much ado or many effects and is carried by its astounding actors, primarily by Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- 03: /Assault on Precinct 13/ (Carpenter, 1976)
- One of John Carpenter´s first films, this is an incredibly well-made, almost claustrophobic horror thriller.
- 02: /Copycat/ (Amiel, 1995)
- An intense, greatly acted and well-crafted thriller. Great camera work and writing.
- 25: Phantoms (Chappelle, 1998)
- A star-cast and an interesting beginning can´t save this cheap horror flick from the ultimate ridiculousness of its plot that eventually spoils it all.
- 24: W. (Stone, 2008)
- Surely not the most insightful nor the most entertaining biopic, W. is rarely great, and seems most of the time like a modest TV film.
- 23: /The Recruit/ (Donaldson, 2003)
- A solid thriller with a weak story line and a mediocre script.
- 18: /Oldboy/ (Park, 2003)
- Perfectly directed and acted, this is more than just a tale about revenge and reminiscence. A milestone in 21st-century-cinema.
- 17: /Stranger Than Fiction/ (Forster, 2006)
- An exceedingly smart comedy, which stands and (never) falls with its Charlie Kaufman-like screenplay. Emma Thompson is jaw-dropping.
- 10: Soylent Green (Fleischer, 1973)
- A dark and dystopian sci-fi-thriller that unfolds an uncomfortably realistic image of a future, marked by extreme resource scarcity.
- 07: Nattevagten (Bornedal, 1994)
- Due to an awesome camera work and a perfect mise-en-scène, this Danish thriller spooks far above the genre average.
- 03: Rofuto (Loft) (Kurosawa, 2005)
- Spartanic mystery thriller and wannabe Ring-clone with little shock effects and no suspense at all.
(S) = Short
(TV) = Tv Movie
(V) = straight-to-video or -DVD-release
Ratings out of 5 stars.