Thursday, January 14, 2010

The State of the Best...and the Worst

It's coming. The unveiling of Cinema Squared's Best Films of 2009 list is well on its way. I have been trying to wait it out to be certain no potential inclusions go unseen, and have been primarily successful. There may still be a couple of unfortunate exclusions that will miss the first draft of the list, but if ever the list needs updated, it will be. Dreamworks/Paramount's decision to withhold The Lovely Bones from any cities outside of New York and Los Angeles until this weekend has certainly delayed the proceedings, but the screening is finally upon us...which means 2009 viewing is just about wrapped up.

Let's be honest: 2009 was not a great year for movies. It reminds me of 2006, when I had a very difficult time compiling a full list of ten great movies, but the films at the top of the list (The Departed, Little Children, Volver) were among the best films of the decade. This past year was full of interesting ideas, but not many of them worked, and the landscape was littered with utter crap at every turn. Suffice to say that compiling the Worst of 2009 is far easier than compiling the Best of 2009...though in some ways it's harder, since there are literally so many awful films to choose from that keeping it to 10 is tricky.

Look for the Worst list next week, followed closely by the Most Disappointing of 2009, and then, at long last, the Best. Between now and then, get out there and see some of these movies. There is plenty of greatness in theaters and on video. Up in the Air is still in theaters, and The Hurt Locker and Moon have just been released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Make it a masterpiece weekend, and tell 'em JMac sent you.

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