Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stuff I Like

So, I missed all the best of 2009 posts because I was scrambling to meet a deadline. I'm scrambling toward an even scarier deadline now, but figure I'd better get something posted on this blog this week, or I'll be replaced. And at least I'll have written something today. (Don't ask.)

Unlike Molly and Stephanie, I'm not so good with lists. Every time Molly asks me for a top 10 list I panic. The pressure's too high. What if I miss something really great?

Okay, the truth is that my brain's simply not quick enough these days to come up with a list on the spot.

But here are a few random great things from 2009.

The Hurt Locker

Okay, just looked up a review I wrote about this film when I saw it, only to realize that I actually saw this film in 2008. Ooops. But it was released in theaters in 2009 and might be up for Oscars this year, and let's just say, I think it deserves some. Stunning performance from the lead actor, some great cameos by famous actors and a non-traditional storytelling structure that really worked.

Star Trek

Okay, how's that for jumping from a limited release movie to a blockbuster. But I grinned all the way through this fast paced, smartly written movie. Fun. Fun. Fun.

500 Days of Summer

Another clever, funny, smart movie that's not what you expect, had a cool storytelling structure, and made me laugh out loud before the title even appeared on the screen. (Seriously. Do not miss the "disclaimer" at the very beginning.) This film gets the slightly satirical tone perfect, being both romantic and a send up of romantic comedies at the same time.


Unobtanium aside (OMG did they really think it was a good idea to call it that???) I loved this movie. Spectacular to look at, sure, but felt like more than merely a special effects movie to me, and certainly didn't feel like an animated film like the very creepy Polar Express from a few years ago. I actually thought the acting in this film was believable too, and while the story is fairly predictable, the context and world were different enough to make it fresh.

Mad Men

Continues to raise the bar for good TV. I was blown away by the final episode this past season and can't wait for it to come back.

Battlestar Gallactica

Can't believe it's over. But also glad they didn't keep going until it got dull or jumped the shark.

The Wire

I know this is old, but I watched all five seasons in 2009. Awesome. Idris Elba aside, I think Season Four was my favorite. Heartbreaking. I liked the idea and theme of Season Five, but it jumped the shark a bit for me in terms of the things the cops did. Hmmm... Just realized I believed the "Hamsterdam" thing in season 3, but didn't believe that fake serial killer thing in season 5. Or at least not that those particular characters would've done it.

Modern Family

I think the pilot episode of this new show is the best written 30 minutes of TV I've ever seen. (Okay, maybe even with the pilot episode of Mad Men.) I still have it saved on my DVR and although I must have watched it 5 or 6 times by now, I laugh out loud every time. To me this is a show where the writing and acting are so good, I see new things every time I watch. I wish I'd saved the second one where Cam and Mitchell take Lilly to the playgroup and Mitchell cheats at blocks. Seriously. Will have to buy this show on DVD. Cracks me up. And I think it's because most of the comedy comes from the characters not the situations... Hmmm.. Will have to think on that some more.


Most weeks just plain fun. And so audacious. Love it. I'm having trouble believing they'll be able to carry this show over multiple seasons, but who cares. We'll always have 2009. ;-)

Vampire Diaries

This one falls under the category of big surprises for me. Did not expect to like it, but really got hooked and looking forward to when it comes back on. Blogged about it here.

Hunger Games and Catching Fire

Gobbled up these two books. Catching Fire had a bit too much "recapping" at the beginning, but I was so eager to read it, I didn't care. If you haven't tried these books, go buy them now. The third book in the series comes out this fall and I can't wait.


Molly O'Keefe said...

500 Days of Summer was fantastic - I want to add that to my list too. Subtle and sweet full of restraint. Loved it.

The Hurt Locker is topping everyone's list of movies of the year - I need to see it.

I'm excited about the golden globes this weekend....

Eileen said...

I've got The Hurt Locker in my Netflix queue and guess I will be adding 500 Days.

I miss Battlestar Galactica, too! Although I have to admit that I really hated the ending.

Sinead M said...

I miss Battlestar so much. Nothing has really replaced that for me yet.
As for your list, Maureen, haven't seen Hurt Locker, but avidly waiting to do so, and was only so so on 500 days of Summer. I'd read so much great stuff about it that by the time I got to it, it didn't seem to live up to all the talk.

But otherwise, your list would be my list. You have great taste in entertainment.

Maureen McGowan said...

I hear you on 500 Days of Summer, Sinead. Not that shocked that you were so so on it. That movie's more me than you. I get off on that telling a story out of order thing. Not enough action or monsters for Sinead, ;-) The truly amazing movies and TV are the ones that blend our two tastes. Like BSG.

Plus, I saw 500 Days the night it opened in Toronto... which I think was a few weeks before it opened in smaller markets, so I knew very little except the buzz. Always fun to feel like you're seeing it first.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I loved Summer and was surprised that I did because it didn't have that typical romantic comedy ending.

My favorite part was the "expectation" vs "reality" split screen.

I'm embarrassed to say - I've been there. I've done that.

Kelly Boyce said...

I just finished reading The Hunger Games and loved, loved, LOVED it! Can't wait to pick up Catching Fire. Great list!

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