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Here’s my top 10 favorite films of 2009. Take a look and post your top 10 below.
10. Away We Go – Sam Mendes’ tender-hearted comedy follows a comfortable couple deciding where they should start a family together. John Krasinski (”The Office”) and a sweet Maya Rudolph (”Saturday Night Live”) are surprisingly, exceptionally good, delivering punchlines with ease but settling into a natural rhythm in their complementing roles. Their trip around the continent takes them in quirky or depressing directions that serve as lessons for the kinds of parents they want to be together. I identified with a rootless mindset in a telecommunication world and the desire to shirk traditional marital agreements for an arrangement that feels right for them alone. (my Away We Go review)
- Jeff Leins
Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds (François Duhamel / The Weinstein Co.) (top); Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment) (bottom) The Online Film Critics Society has announced its list of nominees for 2009. Avatar may be a huge blockbuster-in-the-making, but Ofcs members apparently weren’t that impressed. James Cameron’s sci-fi adventure epic earned three nominations: best director, best cinematography (Mauro Fiore), and best editing (Steve R. Moore, John Refoua and Stephen Rivkin). Actually, that’s not bad at all, but … The Hurt Locker, with about $12 million in grosses at the domestic box office, received seven nominations, including best picture, best director (Kathryn Bigelow, Cameron’s former wife), best actor (Jeremy Renner), best supporting actor (Anthony Mackie), [...] »
- Anna Robinson
In Defense of Peter Jackson’s Lovely Bones
It has just been announced that Peter Jackson will be granted knighthood for his “services to film.” The timing couldn’t be any better. The man who created the most commercially successful movie trilogy of all time in Lord of the Rings continues to show his presence as a major player. Over the years, a career that began with low-budget, horror camp has richly blossomed into one with an expansive filmography both interesting and diverse. After his long-awaited return to cinema, Sir Jackson has had a terrific year.
He has recruited a virtual unknown in Neil Blomkamp (District 9) and helped make him an international filmmaking contender (perhaps he can do the same for fellow New Zealander Sean Byrne?). Sir Jackson has also made a film of his own.
Say what you want about his most recent achievement, The Lovely Bones. But »
- Charlie Wachtel
As expected, as James Cameron's Avatar continues to hammer the box office, blockbuster backlash has settled in almost before the ink on those rave reviews has dried. While blockbuster backlash is a common thing (quick... find anyone who still admits to loving Independence Day or even Return of the King), the speed in which the 'oh, it's just about effects' talk has become mainstreamed is a little surprising. The standard line is now 'oh, the story is bland and the character development is non-existent'. But, as we all know, the mega hits, the ones like Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight, or Spider-Man, made their money on the strength of everything but the effects. With the arguable exception of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (a $400 million-grossing anomaly that no one particularly liked), you »
- Scott Mendelson
2009 was a great year for films in general, particularly if you’re a fan of the sci-fi genre. The year also saw the return of a beloved franchise to the big screen as well as the latest film by one of our best modern directors. And even with the current condition of the country and the economy, audiences still managed to fill theaters and the movies enjoyed record breaking successes that hopefully will continue on into the new year.
Even with all the great movies in 2009, there were also some not so great ones. Sadly, there will always be some real bombs, but that’s to be expected. Fortunately, there were also quite a few standouts that helped keep us entertained, enthralled and excited about going to the movies in 2009.
As usual with lists of this type, I need to disclaim and say this is my list of what I »
- Chris Ullrich
Who woulda thunk it? Adding Wednesday's estimated North American gross of $18.4M, Avatar's new domestic cume is now a staggering $268.8M after only 13 days in release. It's been averaging $18M a day. Overall, today's box office should be very good and tomorrow should be huge. Saturday and Sunday will then look normal. With 20th Century Fox conservatively anticipating this weekend's number in the $50M neighborhood, James Cameron's big budget technopic will be the #2 grossing film for 2009. "And there's a whole lot of gross still to come in 2010. This rocket ship still has loads of fuel in its [...] »
- Nikki Finke
It's been a nice week. Thanks to the lack of news I was able to focus on my top 25 movies of 2009, but it won't be slow for long.
This past Monday ballots for the 2010 Oscars were mailed to the 5,777 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and one day later ballots for the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards were sent out to nearly 100,000 actors. Oscar ballots must be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2010 and SAG ballots are due two days earlier, by noon Pst on Thursday, January 21, 2010.
Speaking of ballots, Steve Pond at The Wrap posted a brain-bender of an article concerning the Oscar balloting system, which includes 11 different ballots in 11 different colors covering 15 of the 24 Oscar categories. He then proceeds to explain a couple of the peculiarities regarding each of them. It all sounded like a hot mess if you ask me. »
- Brad Brevet
I promised earlier this week that I would give you my five favorite films of 2009 before the year was up. So here I am at the end of a very long year that saw a ton of very cool films pass through theaters, as well as a few buckets full of really lame movies, too. Here are my five favorites (in no particular order): 1. Avatar – While you can say that James Cameron’s story was a little too familiar and clichéd, for me this film wasn’t about the story – it was about the experience, and the characters and the amazing new, original world that was painstakingly created over the course of ten years. This film is why movie theaters were invented, and it was easily my favorite moviegoing experience of...
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Talk about going out with a whimper.
No film opens wide this weekend, the final frame of boxoffice year 2009. But most of the big new releases from last weekend -- which turned out to be a record session -- are likely to ring up impressive sums this frame.
Also this weekend, several prestige pics will attempt to maintain good market traction as they platform into ever-broader distribution amid the kudo-season publicity. Paramount intends to hold tight with current playdates on George Clooney starrer "Up in the Air" and expand beyond 2,000 on Jan. 8.
Par exec vp distribution Don Harris observes that the theatrical campaign for "Air" amounts to "a marathon, not a sprint." The dramedy attracted six Golden Globe nominations, and multiple wins when Globes are handed out on Jan. 17 surely could secure the well-reviewed film an even bigger rollout.
Other recent marketplace entrants in the specialty segment include Fox Searchlight's »
- By Carl DiOrio
Avatar earned another $18.29 million on Tuesday, which pushes the film’s domestic total to a whopping $250.4 million after only 12 days at the box office. The $18.29 million is an increase over last Tuesday’s $16.1 million. Both numbers trail The Dark Knight’s $20.9 million on the all-time non-opening Tuesday list.
Overseas, Avatar has reached $476.2 million as of Dec. 29 for a worldwide total of a staggering $726.6 million. Cameron’s Titanic had a worldwide gross of $1.84 billion with $601 million coming from the United States.
James Cameron’s other top grossing films include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, Aliens and The Abyss. It’s hard to tell just how successful Avatar really is when inflated ticket costs from IMAX and 3D sales are added in along with the movie playing on more »
- Reel Loop News Staff
Some major well-known celebs dominated this news year. Rihanna, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, and Charlie Sheen all made the headlines in a Big way! But what about the stars you barely heard of until this year?
Here are 8 celebs who broke out in 2009 in a Big way!
Justin Bieber: If you didn’t know who Justin Bieber was in 2008, you sure know him now! This 15-year-old Candian native won the hearts of teen girls (and even some a bit older!) with the hits off his album “My World.” His mall tour stop at Long Island’s Roosevelt Field Mall in November even had to be cancelled after police were called in to contain 3,000 screaming fans. We haven’t seen a star like this since Paul McCartney!
For many people, a new year means a time for new habits, resolutions, and fresh starts. For myself though, it’s always been about one thing and one thing only: 365 days of brand-new films!
And of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, there’s the usual litany of sequels, super-hero spectacle, remakes, and state-of-the-art Hollywood summer craziness filled with all manner of digital monsters and explosions. But there’s also new films from Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, and - most intriguing of all - a ballet thriller from Darren Aronofsky. Come on, admit it - you know you got excited when you heard the words “ballet thriller!” All that, and we also see the return of Michael Douglas in his seminal role as Gordon Gecko.
Read on after the jump for my list of the ten films that - for reasons both good and bad - I’m most looking forward to seeing in the new year. »
- John Rico
And so we reach the end of 2009. It's been quite a year for movies, hasn't it? Records were broken, vampires continued to sparkle and the game was presumably changed. James Cameron showed the world that he still knows how to tell a tale. Neill Blomkamp and Oren Peli both proved that there are still fresh, original ways of presenting familiar fare. And folks like Joel and Ethan Coen, Jason Reitman, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, Spike Jonze and the entire Pixar team continued to define themselves as some of our favorite storytellers.
Here on the MTV Movies team, everyone has a different idea about what made 2009 a fantastic one for film. I'm here to share some of those highlight moments and favorite movies with you now. The entire team isn't represented here -- busy end-of-year schedules and all that jazz -- but you get a good sampling of what moved us and why. »
- MTV Movies Team
As of this writing Avatar, James Cameron’s tale of a culture clash between human and Na’vi on the fantastical world of Pandora, has made $726,612,776 worldwide in its first twelve days of release according to Box Office Mojo. Domestically the film has grossed $250,419,951, while international audiences have contributed a whopping $476,192,825 to the increasingly impressive box office total. For more admiration on how well Avatar has done so far and speculation on how much higher it could soar, hit the jump.
For all the fretting that was done prior to Avatar’s release about how it could possibly recoup its budget, the box office is large enough quick enough that 20th Century Fox accountants no longer have cause for concern. Only on Christmas Eve has Avatar earned less than $16 million domestically, and the film’s highest earning day ($28.3 million) came more than a week after its release date, a relative rarity for a non-platform release. »
- Brendan Bettinger
Another year, another overseas record.
According to preliminary estimates from the six Hollywood major studios, total 2009 foreign boxoffice -- from all territories outside the U.S. and Canada -- notched a new all-time record of $10.7 billion.
The offshore total represents an increase of 7% from 2008's record boxoffice of $9.942 billion and 11% above the then-record $9.5 billion notched in 2007. The 2009 tally is nearly 20% more than the $8.6 billion grossed three years ago, which was also a record.
Of 2009's top 10 best-grossing domestic titles, only three failed to gross more overseas than in the U.S. and Canada: Warners' "The Hangover" ($277 million domestic vs. $190 million foreign); Paramount's "Star Trek" ($258 million vs. $128 million); and DreamWorks Animation/Paramount's "Monsters vs. Aliens" ($198 million vs. $183 million). Warners' "The Blind Side" has not yet been released overseas.
Foreign boxoffice propelled worldwide gross action for a broad array of titles and genres including "Michael Jackson's This Is It," which rolled »
- By Frank Segers
Last week’s release, Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘3 Idiots’ and James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ have stormed the nation and have full potential to rule the roost in the weeks to come. Both the movies have left an indelible mark on the minds of not just movie-goers but also, those who seldom visit cinema halls. The respective business of both movies has shown a great leap as far as the overall box-office status in recent times is concerned. So, to pull the attention of the audience in. »
It's out with the old and in with the new as 2009 transitions into 2010 in just a few short hours. There's no question that it's been a fantastic, crazy and occasionally tumultuous year for comic book fans thanks to film releases like "Watchmen" and compelling news stories regarding "Iron Man 2," "Green Lantern" and others.
But all of that is in the past now. It's time to look forward at what we can expect in the new year. There are still many announced comic book movies and television shows that lack official casting, but with some of these projects heading into production in 2010, it's only a matter of time before the secrets are revealed.
While we all have our own favorite franchises and characters, these are the five heroes and villains I'm dying to see cast in 2010.
- Josh Wigler
Like all other shows on TV, Saturday Night Live is on hiatus.
It will return on January 9 with a new installment, one hosted by a celebrity that hasn't stood on its iconic stage since 1993.
Former NBA star and current TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley will host the program for a second time. It's an unusual choice, given Barkley's arrest for DUI this year and his relative anonymity to non-sports fans. He'll be joined by musical guess Alicia Keys.
Which of these hosts are you more excited about? »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (M.L. House)
News that "Poltergeist" actress Zelda Rubinstein has been taken off of life support didn't go unnoticed by horror movie fans in the Twitter-Wood community this week. The sad revelation caught the attention of both Richard Kelly and Jeff Katz (on his birthday, nonetheless), and I definitely echo those sentiments to her family.
In other posts, attempted underwear bomb from last week is still a trending topic among tweeters. Kevin Nealon was among those contemplating the ongoing investigation yesterday. Catch those thoughts after the jump along with Brian Lynch on Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner, Christina Applegate and Emmy Rossum on James Cameron's work in "Avatar" and more in the Twitter-Wood report for December 30, 2009.
Twitter Pic of the Day:
@pennjillette http://twitpic.com/vwdsh - We posed for a picture with Corey from Slipknot. We had to tell him to put his thumb In for heavy Metal.
-Penn Jillette, »
- Brian Warmoth
I’ll be chiming in with my review of Avatar a little later on, but for now, here’s Adam Mast’s take on James Cameron’s 3-D epic. James Cameron makes big films for mass audiences, and that certainly hasn’t changed with Avatar, his obscenely expensive (which it looks to be making back) sci-fi/fantasy opus about a military operation [...] »
- Paul Heath
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