Early 2009 was essentially disappointing from a cinematic perspective, but the year seems to have “warmed up” with the passing months, resulting in the release of some excellent films.
Moon is a superbly crafted, well directed and brilliantly acted example of high quality sci-fi. First time writer / director Duncan Jones (son of rock legend David Bowie) excels and the film belies its budget of less than £3 million. Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is on the verge of completing a 3-year contract on a lunar space station. On the verge of becoming “unhinged” after 3 years with only computer Gerty for company, Sam is knocked out in a moon buggy crash. On regaining consciousness, he finds himself at base, having apparently been rescued by himself. The remainder of the film explores the possibilities of Sam`s hallucinations, death and various other possible explanations. Rockwell`s performance is superb and the interplay between the two Sams flawless, leading to a superb space odyssey.
Todd Phillips` Las Vegas-set comedy centres around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him. It is completely absurd, but hilarious, offering one of the most amusing film experiences of the year. It offers a crazy, but wildly intense, storyline and boasts some excellent performances. Its countless jokes work splendidly, providing a genuinely “laugh a minute” film.
Greg Mottola`s comedy was something of a box office flop, which is something of a shame, given its quality. Backed by strong writing and excellent character development, this “coming of age” drama is engaging, well-acted, clever and entertaining.
Pixar`s incredibly entertaining animation provides an enchanting experience for children and adults alike. With an emotionally unique storyline, memorable characters, plenty of action and loads of laughs, it is highly enjoyable and likely to feature amongst the top films of the year.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle. Not a film to provoke deep discussion, but generally good fun, with a semi-decent plot that was lacking in the original and a script that is tighter and funnier. However, too long at just under 2½ hours.
Angels and Demons
Tom Hanks returns as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican in this decent sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Better and faster paced that its predecessor, with some excellent set pieces. While Hanks represents good value, Ewan McGregor`s Irish accent is barely passable and the Vatican seems unconcerned about the imminent danger.
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