The Best and Worst (and Undiscovered) Movies of Summer 2009

As summer is officially coming to an end, I will follow the lead of other Movie Bloggers and wrap up the highlights of this summer’s moviegoing season. I have quite an eclectic mix of films, so bear with me..

First, the “It Should Get An Award, But I Can’t Place It Anywhere” Award: Up

You already know that I don’t think this is a children’s movie. I loved it, but… I honestly don’t know what to do with it. It’s not the “Best Children’s Movie of the Summer”—that would go to Ponyo. But it’s not the greatest movie I saw this summer. But it’s beautifully done and has a touching storyline. I just don’t know where to put it. I know that it deserves recognition, however (and no, I’m not hoping it wins next year’s Best Animated Oscar- I’m praying for the sake of animation that that award goes to Coraline). So you can see my predicament. 

The “Best Movie This Summer” Award: Inglorious Basterds

I cannot express my awe for the badassness of this movie. Though not as good as Tarantino's other films, it definitely was the highlight of my moviegoing this summer. Read my more official review here to get a better opinion. 

Runner Up: Ponyo

Again, one of my favorites. I actually had a very hard time deciding between this and Basterds for my favorite. In the end, I based my decision on how I remember feeling coming out of the theatre, and although this is one of the greatest and most magical animated films I've ever seen, the emotion I felt coming out of watching The Basterds was stronger. Tough love. Read my review here

Winner of the “I Thought it Would Suck, but It’s Not so Bad”: The Proposal

As Romantic Comedies go, this one delivered a lot more than I thought it would. It reminded me of the days when you could have a romantic comedy without sex that still delivered. I found myself laughing hysterically and enjoying myself even though I could predict the ending from a mile away. I hate to say it, but I'm getting really tired of "dirty" Rom-coms. Knocked Up was funny, but Judd Apatow seemed to start a wave that has gone on for way too long. Maybe The Proposal will help bring back the spirit of Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Amelie, or any other romantic comedy that's actually remembered. 

Runner Up: Funny People (SPOILER ALERT)

I heard from every review I read that this movie was slow, boring, and scattered. Those are all true. However, it did make me laugh, something you would hope out of a movie titled "Funny People." And after the first hour or so, it picked up. And I thanked God that Apatow did not take the cheese route and have Sandler's and Mann's characters end up together. He kept it real, and in that way, this movie delivered an honest picture of comedians and show business. That was what made me enjoy it. 

Winner of the “I’m Laughing, But It’s Not Supposed to be Funny” Movie of the Summer: G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra

I really don't have many words for this movie that haven't already been said. The overacting, cartoonish characters made me laugh at serious moments, and also the fact that the main villain has played the same character in every other movie I've seen him in and therefore can't really be taken that seriously. If you want the full review, read it here. 

Runner Up: District 9

Are we supposed to love the aliens or hate them? Blow them up or have conversations with them and their weird looking children? This movie was divided, and I found myself laughing just because I didn't know what else to do or how to feel about what was going on. 

The “Best Summer Indie Flick” Award: Adam (Semi-Spoiler)

Quite possibly one of the most adorable films I've seen in a while. No, it isn't as adorable as Ponyo, but it has a sweetness in its realism that can't be ignored. Hugh Dancy was brilliant as the young inventor with Aspberger's Syndrome, and Rose Byrne went where no girl in a romantic dramedy about someone with a disability would go: she put herself first. I definitely did a double take when I saw this movie, and then afterward I immediately had the ultimate respect for the way it accurately portrayed a couple such as Adam and Beth. I could completely imagine this entire movie existing in real life, and that's the beauty of independent film. 

Runner Up: Away We Go

Although it reminded me of an adult version of Juno (think about it: instead of a teenage couple, it's an couple. Instead of searching for the perfect family, they're searching for the perfect home. Even the animation reeks of Juno), I found this to be a delightful little film about growing up and embracing responsibility (wait... where did we see that? Oh right! Juno.). Anyway, I liked Juno, and therefore also liked this film. It was witty, charming, and gave us a lot of really interesting characters. It's nice to see John Krasinski out of the Office and into open air, and I enjoyed this film. 

The “Worst Movie of the Summer”: G-Force
Fucking. Talking. Hamsters. Oh, wait- I’m sorry. Guinea Pigs. Who fight crime. Excuse me while I go cry for Disney’s fall from grace.
Um, no runner-up for this. 

So, there you have it, folks. The end of this summer. It's been grand at times, and there have been times where I wanted to shout, "Hollywood, you're not helping your case right now!" Just remember, good or bad, a movie still deserves to be discussed, because there's always a reason behind the madness. 


The Movie Mistress

Oh, and please comment if you disagree. I want opinions, people! 

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