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Lesinski’s Favorite Movies of 2009 — Just in time for Oscars

Oscars tonight! What what!

But c’mon, who really cares about best sound design? I don’t. You don’t. Probably sound people don’t even care. We’re all in it for the best pic. So, with that in mind, I’m rolling out the red carpet for my best pic picks. As in: These are the 10 movies I enjoyed most in 2009, in order:

A Single Man

Everyone in this movie is beautiful. I’m not gay, but even the guys in this movie are beautiful. And this movie deals a lot with homosexuality — but homophobes needn’t beware — there’s no such Broke Back Mountain spit-in-my-hand kind of stuff. And that actually says a lot about this film. It subverts the whole ridiculous stereotype that gay people have lots of gross hook-ups and instead develops them as real people with real relationships. And Colin Firth gives a performance that has to win Best Actor tonight. HAS TO.

Goodbye Solo

THANK YOU FOR AN INDIE FILM THAT ISN’T QUIRKY AND HIPSTER-FAKE! The characters in this story are so mindblowingly genuine and the performances compliment that. If that fact doesn’t sell you, I know what will: A cab driver is asked to transport a client to an obscure cliff – one where the guy is going to presumably kill himself. And the cab driver has to convince him not to do it. Heavy.

State of Play

An all-star cast in a political thriller with musings on the future of journalism. If you do not like this movie, you will not like me either. It has everything I love. Though this wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, it’s one I insist everyone see. Look out for a special appearance by my car.

The Hurt Locker

Yes, please, I would like to watch a guy disarm several IEDs in Iraq.

Bomb-disarming scenes are the best — and I’m not even being sarcastic. So, this movie is just a whole movie of that. It’s just bomb-disarming. In fact, the bomb inside you that makes you like Avatar just a little bit — this movie will even disarm that!

Moon

Every year there is at least one really good sci-fi movie. No, this year’s wasn’t Fern Gully 2.0 (Avatar). It also wasn’t that movie which was one-half “The Office” and the other half, suddenly, a sci-fi crap-thing with where the writer realizes, “OH MAN! I have to wrap up this ‘plot’ thing — I forgot about that!” (District 9)

Instead, the sneaky-good sci-fi movie was Moon. This is the directorial debut of David Bowie’s son! What’s not to like? You’ll be watching it and thinking, oh — I know this sci-fi movie. I know what’s going to happen. And then THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. That’s what makes good movies. And that’s why Avatar and District 9 blew. Moon is truly top-notch sci-fi.

Drag Me to Hell

Sometimes it gets hard to see through all the Saw movies. And all the Paranormal Activity. But there ARE good horror flicks in the mix, and Drag Me to Hell owns it. This movie is exactly how visual effects should be utilized in modern horror — it’s subtle but still makes you terrified. And if you think a talking goat sounds like something from a children’s TV show, think again. And, in case you haven’t noticed, I love genre movies.

Sin Nombre

If you live in an area that might have gangs, Sin Nombre movie will make you deadbolt your doors every night.

An Education

A girl is all prissy and wants to go to Oxford. But then this guy exposes her to culture in the REAL WORLD and she changes her whole perspective! Get it? It’s like asking the question: “What is AN EDUCATION?”

How cliche does that sound? It sounds like a script based on every study abroad conversation you’ve ever had. And yet, the writing in this movie is pristine and rings true. You’ll fall for Sarsgaard as hard as the girl in the movie does even though he’s a freakin weirdo! He’s like a pedophile in this movie! But you’ll love him! What a dirty trick.

In the Loop

If you think it’s too pretentious to list “Dr. Strangelove” in “favorite movies” on your Facebook profile, but you still like Dr. Strangelove, then this movie should instead take its place. It’s like if Arrested Development were about warfare. The characters just explode with personality and the writing is WITTY!

The Cove

Going to SeaWorld turns out to have these ridiculously nasty upshots. Seriously. This doc will make you FLIP. (Get it?)

Other noteworthies:

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Yes! I liked this movie! It actually pulled off slapstick like 9/10 times, which hasn’t happened since Chris Farley died.

Inglorious Basterds

If you think bomb-disarming is tense (The Hurt Locker) you should see what Quentin Tarantino can do with a glass of milk. It’s really good. But as usual, it’s complete director overindulgence, which disqualifies it from my list. That’s like student film shit. Too long and too being-about-obscure-German-film-history.

Bright Star

It might be boring for the first half… but it has one of the best villains of the year. And it will make you reconsider making out with random people. Because this is a love story betwixt two lovers who BARELY DO THAT. What the F?

Movies I hated, probably more so because people like you wouldn’t stop talking about them:

Avatar

Note that I regret not seeing these things: A Serious Man, 35 Shots of Rum, Crazy Heart, Let the Right One In, Precious, Bad Lieutenant, Antichrist