Top 10 Movies of 2009…and Then Some (Keith Soljacich Edition)

It’s my pleasure again to send out my top 10 movies and more!  Take a read and let me know what you think… am I crazy, am I nuts, am I right?  Remember, enjoyment of movies is subjective and personal.  What I liked, you may not.  What you liked, I may not.  It’s a free country bub and I love movies.

My Top 10 of 2009
1. Avatar – Marvelous.  One of the 3 best cinema experiences of my life.  I’ll bet you a billion dollars 3D is the future of movies now.  Cameron would probably double-down.
2. District 9 – A director who absolutely owned his flick
3. Inglorious Basterds – I’m a sucker for Quentin, but so were a lot of other people
4. Star Trek – A solid solid solid action/sci-fi movie, and the second Trek movie I’ve seen (I saw the whale one when it came out, hence).  Just goes to show why JJ should have directed the prequels.
5. The Hurt Locker – Have you seen this?  You will.  Intense is an understatement.
6. The Hangover – Hysterical, funniest movie of the year.
7. Watchmen – Don’t get me wrong and excellent movie but was missing that “thing”
8. Invictus – Morgan Freeman as Mandela.  I think this was Eastwood’s middle finger to Spike Lee
9. The Messenger – Emotional roller-coaster ride of the year.  Tough movie to watch, but unforgettable
10. Gentlemen Broncos – I was one of 3 people in the theater laughing.  It’s a cupcake for nerds.

My Predicted Top 10 From January 2008 and my comments at the time (comments now)
1. Watchmen – Unbelievable this is coming out, will be fantastic (Damn good but not #1)
2. Avatar – James Cameron is back, filmed in IMAX 3D (Wish I had placed this #1…so awesome)
3. Inglorious Basterds – New Tarantino (Yup – BADASS)
4. Observe & Report – Trust me (Pretty good but overall a disappointment)
6. Funny People – New Apatow flick with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen about stand-up comedians (Ditto)
6. Wolverine – Looks good bub (Uck, this was a HUGE letdown)
7. Bruno – New Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) movie, completes the Ali G trifecta (Damn funny, but not Top 10 material)
8. Terminator Salvation – John Conner+Christian Bale=Badass (Really good, I like it but not Top 10)
9. Public Enemies – Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Michael Mann, filmed in Chicago, all good (Big Letdown… I was bored)
10. Shutter Island – New Scorcese flick takes place on an island that houses a prison for the insane (Didn’t come out in 2009 so doesn’t count)

Movies I Wish I Had Seen:
Where The Wild Things Are
Up In The Air
The Road
The Lovely Bones
Ninja Assasin
Mystery Team

Movies I Will Never See (Ever):
Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Whip It
Taking of Pelham 123
The Soloist

My Top TV Series in 2009
1. LOST – Until it ends
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm – Danny Dooberstein!
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – 2009 was the year I finally gave in and I’m glad
4. Mad Men – Sit Down, Shut The Door best episode of TV this year
5. Eastbound & Down – So consistently funny
6. 30 Rock
7. The Office
8. Breaking Bad
9. Chuck
10. Fringe

Top 10 Movies To Look For in 2010

1. Iron Man 2 – WAR MACHINE
2. Kick Ass – Haven’t heard of it?  You will.
3. Slammin Salmon – New one from the Super Troopers gang.  I’m a sucker for comedy.
4. Shutter Island – New Scorcese, been on hold for a bit
5. Alice in Wonderland (IMAX 3D) – Sure
6. MacGruber – The movie’s in good hands and anyone who’s seen Will Forte on anything but SNL knows he’s a loon
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – In the capable hands of Edgar Wright.  Might be the geekiest movie ever made
8. Predators – Sold
9. Inception – New Chris Nolan (Dark Knight) movie
10. Toy Story 3D – I’m a sucker for 3D
1,248. Twilight: The Turd One – Will they or won’t they?  Who cares!

Am I Crazy?  2011 will be awesome!!!
1. Ghostbusters 3
2. Captain America
3. Thor
4. The Hobbit Part 1
5. Anchorman 2
6. The Hangover 2
7. Dinner For Schmucks
8. Sucker Punch
9. Green Lantern
10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 2

OK I’m Insane!!! 2012: The World Ends!!!!  Will Email Still Exist?
1. Batman 3 – Definitely
2. The Avengers – Definitely
3. Avatar 2?
4. The Hobbit Part 2
5. Indiana Jones 5
6. Kill Bill 3?
7. X-Men First Class
8. Spiderman Reboot – Not sure if this will be good yet

What do you think?  What were your 10 best?

Top Movies of 2009 (Ashlea Breneman Edition)

woohoo! i think i have my list, finally!

** i LOVE a good story. stories that make you think about life, love and the possibilities. these movies all had great stories in them…

10. Sunshine Cleaning i think amy adams and emily blunt are fantastic in this. the scene where amy is sitting on a porch with an old woman who just lost her husband is so precious to me.

9. Avatar first time i saw a 3-D movie in who knows how long… perhaps ever… so that is why it made my list. i just wish they took a little bit more time to develop the story line.

8. State of Play this movie didn’t garner a ton of attention, but i thought it was an extremely well-written script that kept me guessing until the very end.

7. 17 Again yeah, it has Zac Efron in it. but he actually doesn’t suck at acting. and for some reason i laughed the whole way through this film. and yes, maybe our hands did just make a baby

6. The Proposal helllooo ryan reynolds. sandra bullock – thank you for always giving me a mental picture whenever i hear usher’s song “yeah” from now on.

5. Sherlock Holmes since the bourne saga has come to an end, i need a fun new spy, let me beat up some guys series. thank you sherlock holmes.

4. 500 Days of Summer i loved the way this film was put together showing the progress and the deterioration of the relationship. ending was a bit cliche and a letdown but the message they sent through the ending i liked. plus i learned a fun new game to play in public.

3. Up wow… who would have thought that a pixar film could so moving?!? i definitely didn’t know what i was getting into before i watched this. the montage of carl and ellie’s life is great. my personal book of stuff i’m going to do is already formed in my mind.

2. The Blind Side there was so much hype about this movie, but i think it was worth all of it. the power of our choices to dramatically impact the lives of others is displayed wonderfully. go sandra and tim mcgraw!

1. Away We Go loved, loved, loved this movie! it made me excited about life and the idea that i can choose anywhere to live this journey. plus, john krasinski made beards look good and screaming on a train so fun.

Top 10 Movies of 2009 (Brad Moist Edition)

here’s my list….I was waiting because I was hoping to go see Up In The Air and Crazy Heart before the deadline but no such luck…

I look forward to this every December. So, here’s my Top 10 from 2009 plus 5 that I give an Honorable Mention and 5 that I still want to see really bad. I’ve also decided to change it up a bit and add my favorite line from each film.

1. Star Trek – “I dare you to do better.”
2. Up – “Squirel”
3. Avatar – “They’re pissing on us and not even giving us the courtesy of calling it rain.”
4. The Hurt Locker – “What’s the best way to go about disarming one of these things?”    “The way you don’t die.”
5. District 9 – “And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet.”
6. Inglorious Basterds – We in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a boomin’.”
7. The Hangover – “I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack.”
8. Food, Inc
9. It Might Get Loud
10. Terminator Salvation  “What’s that?”   “Two day old coyote. It’s better than three day old coyote.”

– Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
Away We Go
500 Days of Summer
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

– 5 I Still Want To See:
Crazy Heart
Funny People
The Road
Up In The Air
Where The Wild Things Are

It Had To Do With a Car…

I was talking with my dad on the phone and is often the case, the topic turned to movies. Seeing how he thinks Steven Segal is the best actor in the world, I wasn’t surprised at the turn our conversation took.

Dad: Dude, I just saw the best movie of the year.

Me: Oh yea? What was it?

Dad: Ford Fairlane.

Me: What?

Dad: Dude, it was awesome.

Me: Are you kidding me? The Adventures of Ford Fairlane?

Dad: Yea, man.

Me: Dude, that movie was horrible! And it’s so old!

Dad: What do you mean? When did it come out?

Me: I don’t know, 1986?

Dad: What? No. It’s new.

Me: Ford Fairlane? With Andrew Dice Clay?

Dad: No….with Clint Eastwood.

I paused to figure out exactly what Dad was talking about. And then it hit me.

Me: Dude, you mean Gran Torino.

Dad: Oh yea, that’s it.

My dad, ladies and gentlemen.


Top 10 Movies of 2008 Pt 2

Part 2 of my Top 10 of 08 series is written by John Allen. John and his family live in Louisville KY. By day john works as a field salesman for EMI/CMG. By night John is an awesome husband, dad, and movie fiend.

My list (not much to be excited about-down year @ the theater for the Allens)
Top Ten Films
1. The Dark Knight
All that hype and it actually delivered.
2. Fireproof
Call it cheesy and definitely bad acting; but this movie was HUGE to my marriage this year: Thanks Mike Seaver.
3. Madagascar 2
Went for the kids and laughed my butt off.
4. 4 Christmases
Mr. Vaughan has a long rope with me and this one reminded me a bit of my own family at the holidays.
5. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
6. Expelled
Excellent way of addressing the issue without coming off cocky.
7. Vantage Point
I like politico/action flicks and I liked the way they told the story.
8. Be Kind Rewind
9. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The trick to these films is you have to see them through the eyes of your 12 year old self.
10. Henry Poole is Here
Nice little film.
Honorable Mention:
Quantum of Solace
Pretty good for what it was
Chaos Theory
This indie is technically a 2007 film, but we didn’t get to see it until this year; Ryan Reynolds plays somebody other than Van Wilder. Very well done!
Top Films I Still Want to see but haven’t cause I have kids and we don’t get too much time at the movies:
1. Body of Lies
2. Seven Pounds
3. Appaloosa
4. Rock N Rolla
5. Caspian
Films that make me want exact my homicidal revenge on the respective studio execs:
Mamma Mia
If you are going to translate a rock musical to the stage might want to hire singers instead of actors and actually show some of the choreography…and yes the most homosexual thing I did all year was to request Kara and I see this before we saw Dark Knight
Tropic Thunder
The MTV Movie Awards piece was worth the rental. Other than that, Stiller I am through with you. At least Ferrell (Semi-Pro) and Vaughan (4 Christmases) have the decency to play the same character in every film.

Top 10 Movies of 2008 Pt. I

It’s that time of year to reflect on what Hollywood had to offer us in the past 12 months and give a little bit of feedback. Who am I to say what was good and what wasn’t? What qualifications do I have? Well, none, actually. I’m just some guy in Pennsylvania with a blog.

But that hasn’t stopped me yet. Nor has it stopped me from asking my esteemed panel of friends to give their feedback as well. This year, though, instead of including everyone’s top ten in one long blog, I will be breaking them up into easier-to-digest episodes. This year I’ve asked a number of different people from across the nation and in a variety of industries to rank their tops (and their flops).

Feel free to leave your comments and let us know where we went right…or wrong.

I suppose I’ll get this party started.


10. Get Smart
I know, I know. I didn’t expect it to make my top 10, either. But when I looked back on the year I realized there weren’t a ton of movies that jumped out at me. And as I began listing the movies that I responded to, it was a surprisingly short list. Granted, I tend to lean toward comedies more than any other genre (as you’ll see), and if you get me to laugh out loud then I’m hooked. The #10 slot was a toss-up between Get Smart and Indiana Jones IV but at the end of the day, this one had less weird aliens and monkeys on vines.

9. Tropic Thunder
Seriously, how did these guys get away with everything they did? My buddy and co-reviewer John Allen disagrees with me on this one (see the next entry in this series) but I guess you’ll have that. I thought this movie was a brilliant snipe at the Hollywood Machine and those involved. Ben Stiller always manages to capture the essence of naive know-it-all-ness and the rest of the cast brought their A-game. I thought Tom Cruise’s performance was hyped up a little too much. I’m not quite sure why everyone thought it was the Second Coming of the Scientology God. So he put on a wig and jumped around like an idiot. Big deal, good for Tom. He did the same thing on Oprah.

8. The Dark Knight
What can I say about this you don’t already know and/or hasn’t already been said? Not much probably. Heath Ledger rocked. Christian Bale’s raspy voice was hilarious. Two-Face came and went really quickly.

7. Vantage Point
I didn’t hear much about this film after it came out but I thought it was pretty darn nifty. I loved how they centered around one event and, as they showed each person’s point-of-view, it revealed a different piece of a much larger puzzle. When I added it to my Top 10 Chase Scenes of all time and hailed the return of Dennis Quaid, it garnered a profane response from a genius named Chris who informed me Dennis Quaid wasn’t in Vantage Point. Even though he was the star. So that was funny.

6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Seriously. How do I get in with Judd Apatow? Someone give me an email or a phone number or something. He’s got one of the tightest, funniest circle of go-to friends working today and they never fail to disappoint. So hook me up, OK?

Wow. This movie is just beautiful to watch. Those guys are artists in every sense of the word.

4. Ghost Town
Maybe I’m prejudiced because I’m a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, but this movie should have done much better than it did. It may have come across as just another dead-guy-needs-help romantic comedy, but this movie proved that romantic comedies are allowed to be more comedy than romantic. Put this one in your Netflix queue and shame on you for not seeing it the first time around.

3. Kung Fu Panda
And this is how you make an animated film about a bear doing martial arts. Of course it helps that you’ve got the likes of Jack Black and David Cross making smarmy remarks the whole time, not to mention a team of animators that accentuates the action with cool slo-mo shots. Nicely done indeed.

2. Step Brothers
Part of me feels a little guilty and juvenile for putting this movie at #2, but I’m sorry. I laughed like an idiot the entire time. Director Adam McKay said his favorite part of working with Will Ferrell and John C Reilly on Talladega Nights were the moments where they just talked (i.e. the dinner table scene) and he wanted to make a movie that was just that: No car racing, just Will and John acting like morons, riffing and improvising at their hilarious best. The result is Step Brothers, and mission accomplished.

1. Cloverfield
Because this one came out at the beginning of the year, I almost forgot it came out in ’08. But good night, this is how you make a thrill ride of a movie. If you saw it, you probably know what I’m talking about. I love movies that bring me in, shake me up, and don’t let go. I’m still shaking from the subway scene.

Regretfully, 2008 also came with its share of stinkers. Like these 5 WORST FILMS OF 2008

Fool’s Gold
Will someone please dig a hole that Matthew McConaughey can fall into?

Meet Dave
Sorry, Eddie. You’re done being funny. Step aside.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Yikes. Just….yikes.

I don’t care what you and your co-7th graders think. This was a train wreck. And now bring on the hate mail.

Mamma Mia!
If you enjoy seeing good actors acting badly, then this is for you. And if you enjoy seeing good actors singing even worse, then this is definitely for you.

Movie Dreams

For the last two nights I’ve had some pretty incredible dreams, like none I’ve ever had before.

First off, I wasn’t in them. I know some people have had that experience before, but it’s a first for me. It was like watching a movie. It’s quite nice to be able to sit back and just enjoy them. That’s right. I’m so lazy, I don’t even like to dream about doin’ stuff.

Secondly, they have literally been like watching a movie. There have been plots, detailed story, twists, surprise revelations, and even flashbacks (and one flash forward). Two nights ago it was the courageous struggle of a girl who was caught in the middle of World War I (I guess it could have been the second World War, I’m not sure….actually, now that I think about it, it was both. Hence the flash forward I referred to). I don’t know how long the dream actually lasted, but it was an epic production.

Last night was the harrowing story of a Travel Channel-type crew filming at sea. Their boat was overturned and we follow the filming crew as they make their way back to shore, swimming through the ocean in the dark of night (introducing me to “night spiders,” automobile-sized formations of coral and seaweed that look like spiders and, naturally, only appear on the ocean floor at night).

After the first cool dream, my thought upon waking was, “That’d make a great movie!” But then I realized I wasn’t kidding anyone. An epic of such proportions would take a lot of research and I know myself well enough to know it’d never happen. I mean come on, I still have the incredible true tale of my dad’s Vietnam still taking up space on my hard drive, I’m not about to start on another tome I know I’ll never finish.

So, in the meantime, I’ll just continue to enjoy the movies of my dreams and, who knows, I may actually come across something that will get me writing. Pass the popcorn.