In what will assuredly be the most prolific movie-watching year of my life, I managed to take in some 460 movies in 2009. I will, first and foremost, list the irritable disappointments that you can die happy knowing you didn’t sit through, or, you can choose to disregard and die equally as happy not knowing you didn’t see them. Such utter insults to my scopophilic desires will not be discussed in depths past the limits of which my patience allows. In no particular order of quality. Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (2008) was certainly one of the more tedious and deplorable attempts at quirky teens companionship and climaxing in the strangest (read: awkward) almost sex-scenes ever. Awake didn’t even try to be anything more than formulaic Hollywood trash. If there is one film that, above all others, attempts to question the nature of life itself and succeeds only in making an incoherent and cheesy problem, What the Bleep Do We Know (2004) is it. Neil Jordan fails me with Jodie Foster’s commercial revenge film, The Brave One (2007). The Laramie Project (2002), while an important story, is entirely lost in its cinematic construction. Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997) is largely considered a masterpiece but was unbearable and not much more. Aside from Sean Penn, I Am Sam (2001) was relatively ineffective and annoying. Godard’s The Rise and Fall of a Small Production Company (1986), which no one reading this will ever see, is in a league of its own. I gave Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) a second chance and it still gave me nothing. Wendy and Lucy (2008), while almost touching, was not that. Jimmy Stewart proved Harvey (1950) incapable of matching the intrigue of a giant bunny rabbit that a certain other film perfects. Woody Allen’s Scoop (2006) was a theatrical annoyance. Herzog’s disregard for the story made Rescue Dawn (2006) an unfortunate disappointment. Troma’s Orgazmo (1997) and The First Turn On (1983) need no explanation. The long awaited pairing of DeNiro and Pacino was thoroughly mistreated with Righteous Kill (2008). And John Waters’ Pink Flamingos (1972) can’t quite be considered disappointing with my low expectations in mind. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) and The Hangover (2009). Phoebe in Wonderland (2008) was just wholly uninteresting. Whip It (2009) was too immature and high school for my tastes. Paranormal Activity (2009) was for from scary and actually one of the most sedate “horror” movies of the year. And, of course, the grand and unsurprising finale, S. Darko (2009).
Good films are hard to come by and bad ones seem all too easy, yet this list seems pretty meager considering the quantity of films I viewed. That stated, and future posts about good movies in mind, 2009 was perhaps a very successful year.