Strangely, it seems that the list of movies watched this year can be summed up, very quickly, with just a few keywords: Aaron Eckhart, and James McAvoy. I could probably also throw in Gerald Butler in there somewhere, but his voice gets on my nerves sometimes.
Anyway – as was the case with the previous year (see list for 2008) – the bulk of the movies watched were via satellite TV. Very few movies stood out in particular: I fear I may have gotten overly grumpy, or could it be because I am getting harder to please?
Thank You for Smoking
Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright // Jason Reitman
I usually have trouble with talky movies – ones that are heavy in dialogue (including monologues, I suppose). It is the same with this one – but the satirical Thank You for Smoking is so full of wit and dripping with sarcasm, it is difficult to just give up, turn it off and shove it aside.
Its title tells it like it is – you get scary facts and crazy statistics about smoking, but it is also thought-provokingly hilarious at some places. Peppered with worthy punchlines and smart one-liners, the movie is one fun ride from start to end.
Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin // Adam Brooks
Oh, this. Sigh. This one probably got me because it reminded me so much of About a Boy (which was one of my favourite movies of all time). Well, here it is, a recipe for a decent rom-com: all you need is one good-looking (and still unattached – such injustice!) guy (check); an adorable, smart-alecky kid with a flair for witty comebacks (check), and… Rachel Weisz (check, check, check!).
(In Definitely, Maybe, a soon-to-be divorcee tells the story of his love life – but with a bit of mystery thrown into the mix – to his daughter. She, and naturally the audience, is to guess who among the three women mentioned in the tale could be her mother.)
There is ample chemistry among all the key players in the movie – it is well-paced and very believable (plus, New York city is so vibrant!). It is as though hope and love is thick in the air; you could feel the lump in your throat at the thought of precious love unrequited, and find the need to cheer them on to an emotional reunion. Besides, who would have thought that Ryan Reynolds actually has what it takes to charm my socks off?
Oh, well. I hope we all are eventual happy endings to someone else.
Benny and Joon
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Dark Knight
PS I Love You
But! I discovered something new to while away my weekends this year. It takes up quite a chunk of my time, but I believe it is a worthwhile investment – it opens up a new window for me, granting me new horizons and different perspectives. For after a long absence (and, not to mention, erratic and unreliable scheduling on the part of local TV stations), I again get that adrenaline rush and the biting impatience of having to wait for the next weekend to come around, just to watch the next episode to my favourite television series – except for the fact that I can now do it online. My votes this year go to: 24 (season 7), Flashforward (season 1), Fringe (seasons 1 and 2), Glee (season 1), Legend of the Seeker (seasons 1 and 2) and Lost (seasons 4 and 5).