2009 Year in Review: Movies

Listed below are all the movies I’ve watched in the past year.  Just like 2007 & 2008, I’ve rated all the movies on a five star scale. Five stars is an all-time classic, three stars is the baseline for an enjoyable film end-to-end, one star is a bad movie with perhaps one good sequence or performance. A film with no stars has no redeeming characteristics at all.

Movie Round Up

2009 was not a big movie watching year for me.  Here are the last four films I watched (over a period of four months!).

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007)

This documentary aptly covers the life and career of folk singer/activist Pete Seeger.  It’s a good overview, like a visual version of The Protest Singer and I especially appreciate the ample commentary from Seeger’s family members.

Follow That Bird (1985)

Sesame Street hits the silver screen in a movie that paradoxically has too much going on in terms of multiple plots yet often feels dreadfully slow.  All my favorite Muppets – Cookie Monster, Bert & Ernie, The Count, et al – are able to liven up the screen with some humorous bits, but overall this movie feels too melancholy and at times creepy (especially when a blue-dyed Big Bird sings a sad song from a cage).

Rushmore (1998)

I couldn’t get into this film about a nerdy but arrogant boy who makes extracurricular activities at an elite boarding school (while failing all his courses) his goal in life.  I found it hard to suspend disbelief that Max would be the center of all the activity depicted in the film, especially since he seemed like an asshole.  Some good quirky film-making from Wes Anderson, but not a good coherent whole.

Gosford Park (2001)

A comedy of manners set during a shooting party in 1930’s England where the lives of the (already fading) aristocracy are compared with the lives of the servants working below stairs.  Throw in a murder and you end up with a case of moral ambiguity not too dissimilar to The Player by the same director.  Like many Robert Altman films there are a lot of characters and a lot going on and this film would reward repeat viewings.