I don't like following in the footsteps of David Denby. I get it; we're both blowhards who tend to think our opinion means something. That said, what follows are some notable flicks that I likely saw while twiddling my thumbs and making sure that 10 fingers still exist. That is, there weren't a boatload of speakable movies this year (There was no "No Country for Old Men" or "There Will Be Blood") -- sad to say.
We end the decade on mediocrity.
Chin up, move forward --I'm refusing to look at DD's list, which is going to make this blindly hard:
No, this was nothing to write home about (Hola, Mama and Brother G!), but it was certainly a compelling film -- and one that deserves to be spoken of, given its sweet choice in movie ditties and voice-overs. Matt Damon had to pack on some pounds to play a Midwesterner; his efforts were duly noted, and appreciated, by this old Grice.
I said it once, and I'll say it again: this was a fantastic film. It looked silly in previews, a bunch of 28-Days-Later-esque zombies coming to sink their teeth into you; but D9 wasn't about that at all. It was/is a film about a manufactured problem involving racism amongst us humans, and second-class citizens, nicely named the "Prawns."
I don't really know what to say. I saw it twice in theaters; I have it queued to be sent to me ASAP. I've always loved Woody Harrelson -- Bill Murray was just an amazing treat, unexpected. This movie had laughs in all the right places -- Brother G and I just kept looking over at one another to make sure we'd gotten every reference --and, despite its name, it should become a comic classic.
500 Days of Summer
OK, let me go get my barf bag -- but, before I do so, I should admit that I fell in love with this movie quite readily. Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... his aspirations toward love are vulnerable-making, even in just watching the film -- I think it cracked the old Grice impenetrable spine. I'll still die (willingly) sad and alone, but JGL made me remember that some people consider that failure.
Julie and Julia
I loved this horrid movie! Meryl Streep, steeped in a cast that boasts Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams (of "Catch Me If You Can," "Enchanted," etc.), plays Julia Child, while Adams is JulIE --a notable difference. And we get to watch a young blogger (why, hello?) play to Julia Child's cookbook, making herself and her young husband's dishes every night.