January 6, 2010

Leisure Decree: 2009 in Review

Now that 2010 is in full swing it is time for the Leisure King to tell you what pleased him most last year. Keep in mind this isn't a "Best of" list, picks were chosen simply by my level of enjoyment and that's all.

Top 10 Favorite Movies

10) Jennifer's Body
Universally panned by critics, inappropriately marketed, and mostly unseen by all audiences, Diablo Cody's sophomore writing effort delivers a satirical, hilarious, and sometimes scary teen horror dramedy that totally should be given a chance by fans of the genre. Cody's signature dialogue fits better in the mouths of Amanda Seyfried, Meagan Fox, and Adam Brody than Ellen Page and Michael Cera. Competently directed by Karyn Kusama...whoever that is.

9) Coraline
A beautifully animated and designed "Through the Looking Glass" type movie that just makes a perfect 90 minute family movie going experience. I didn't see it in 3D though, but I'm sure that makes it even cooler.

8) Up in the Air
Everything about this movie is quality. Jason Reitman is one of the most reliable figures in Hollywood, I look forward to his future projects with much anticipation.

7) Zombieland
A very funny and original movie featuring perhaps the greatest cameo of all time. Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone are pretty great too, Eisenberg though...meh.

6) Inglorious Basterds
Every scene builds in relentless suspense that hurts sooo good! I hope this ushers in an era of alternative history films.

5) Adventureland
I love theme parks and the 80's and just graduated college, so it's only natural that I would love this coming-of-age tale about post-college life. Ryan Reynolds is the stand-out actor for sure.

4) The Princess and the Frog
The best Disney musical since The Lion King. A 2D Disney experience that captures the essence of Walt's greatest cinematic achievements...but there's also a lesson of hard work and perseverance that accompanies the magic in the best way possible. Randy Newman's soundtrack is the true star of the film and now I have a whole new Disney album to sing along to.

3) Drag Me to Hell
The greatest horror movie I've ever seen in a theater. Sam Raimi's return to his roots delivers the scares and laughs as only he can, and it's non-stop horror magic from the classic Universal opening to the retro Universal Studios commercial end tag.

2) The Brothers Bloom
A fantasy caper full of fun and movie magic. This is why the movies exist, to take us to places we cannot go in reality. I was not a fan of Brick, but Rian Johnson's sophomore writing/directing effort is sooo immensely enjoyable. Four excellent performances by the leads Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, Rinko Kikuchi, and Rachel Weisz (perhaps my favorite performance of the year)!

1) Watchmen
Having just watched the uncut complete story version of this movie, I can say that this is the greatest Watchman film that could have or ever will be made. The film is almost as dense as Alan Moore's revolutionary graphic novel and everything Zach Snyder put in to it was fully intentional. A masterpiece of costume/set design and an almost perfect ensemble cast. Every detail! Perfection!

Favorite TV Shows

1) Dollhouse
What started out slow became classic Joss Whedon awesomeness! The unaired season 1 finale and the Sierra-centric episode are modern classics!

2) How I Met Your Mother
Comedy writing at its finest, and performances to match.

3) Party Down
I know barely anyone has watched this Starz program, but it is truly hilarious with a great ensemble cast...not to mention a host of great guest stars.

4) Dexter
Man, John Lithgow was freakin' awesome!

5) Parks and Recreation
Season 2 of Parks and Rec has probably been the thing I look forward to watching most each week. I love Nick Offerman!

Best New Show
Modern Family
It's just so well made and has so much heart, like what Scrubs was in its first few seasons.

Runner Up: Community
This show started out real weak, but it hit its stride in the most recent episodes delivering some incredibly hilarious moments.

Best Reality Show
Normally I would say Tool Academy, but this years Survivor was so incredible! Russell is the sole-Survivor, there will never be a better player than him. Period.

Favorite Performances
1) Rachel Weisz - "The Brothers Bloom"
Pure delight.
2) Danny DeVito - "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
Everything he does is comic gold.
3) Paul Rudd - "I Love You, Man"
What a great man.
4) Ken Marino - "Party Down"
This man should be a star!
5) Rinko Kikuchi - "The Brothers Bloom"
She's like modern day Azn Charlie Chaplin!

Most Worthless Cinematic Experience This Year
Tie: Terminator Salvation & Extract

Favorite New Songs

1) "Boombox" - The Lonely Island
2-9) All of Randy Newman's work on The Princess and the Frog soundtrack
10) "I Wish Christmas Was Here Today" - Julian Casablancas
Also of note are the Beatles Remastered albums, which sound incredible!

Best of Youtube
1) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review
This epic 70 minute analysis of the biggest disappointment in cinematic history is more compelling and entertaining than any of the prequel films and fills every OT fan's dreams of making manifest all the terrible things about Phantom Menace. Really great job!

2) Mr. Chi-City
Just watch this and you will know why..
...and he also gives back a lot to the community!

3) Kittens Inspired by Kittens

4) Saturday Morning Watchmen

Best Video Game
Beatles Rock Band! Yes!

Alright, I guess that's it for now....maybe I'll add to this if I think of some other awesome things from '09.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You have excellent taste sir. Although, I have to admit, your movie list is seriously lacking Up and District 9... Avatar is permissable.

  3. Well, you can't recognize everything great, had to cap it somewhere.