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2009 Movie Review

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Producer Chris | 16:00 UK time, Saturday, 26 December 2009

If you missed out on listening to James King's 2009 Movie Review today, then what's wrong with you? Did you OD on Turkey is that it? Never mind though, you can listen to it again here.

James picked his 10 biggest films of the year and here they are for your consideration.


At 10, it's yet another classic from the legends at Disney Pixar - only they could make a film about an old bloke who ties balloons to his home and flies to South America AND make it a classic. You gotta love it - it's UP.

UP was hilarious, thanks to some brilliant dialogue between crinkly Mr Fredrickson and young Russell, the hyperactive scout who accidentally finds himself onboard the floating house.

It was also action-packed, complete with...er...talking dogs.

But mainly UP made us blub big-time. This was a seriously emotional story about fulfilling your dreams, whatever your age.

Bruno2009.jpg9. Austria's biggest export since Arnie Schwarzeneggar sashayed his way onto the big screen this year, looking bang on trend his tight yellow lederhosen.

BRUNO was Sacha Baron-Cohen's follow-up to the massive Borat, following the fashionista's attempts to make it big in the States. He wasn't as a big as Borat  - but Bruno's outrageous behaviour told us plenty about America's obsession with fame.

HP09.jpg8. HARRY POTTER & THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE was the wizard's 6th movie outing and the biggest box-office pic of the year.

Things were getting seriously dark at Hogwarts in HP6 - Horace Slughorn returned, Professor Snape cut a deal and Voldemort grew ever stronger. Luckily there was plenty of snogging to lighten the mood.

By now the stars of Potter can do this stuff blindfolded and they've never looked more relaxed on the screen, even though the film had to cut loads from the huge book. Alan Rickman's slimy turn as Severus Snape was worth the price of admission alone.

twilight2009.jpg7. So onto the most hyped movie of the year. In fact, this wasn't just a film - it was part of a 'saga' - The Twilight Saga to be precise. Of course we're talking about NEW MOON.

So which side were you on? Team Edward or Team Jacob? It was definitely harder to love moody Ed this time around, as he left Bella all on her lonesome. The perfect moment for Jake and his pecs to move in. Just a pity he's a werewolf.

NEW MOON might not have been a work of art. But when it comes to teen angst and brooding tunes, nothing topped it. Alongside True Blood on the telly, New Moon made sure that '09 was the year of the bloodsucker.


slumdogmillionaire2009.jpg6. At the Oscars this year it was all about a bloke from Lancashire and a guy who used to be in Skins. Danny Boyle and Dev Patel looked a bit out of place at Hollywood's most glamorous night but SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE still walked away with EIGHT Academy Awards.

What made it even better was that no-one had expected SLUMDOG to be this big. It was a gritty story, a lot of it set in the gutters of Mumbai, with a load of subtitles - not an obvious blockbuster. But it was the feelgood factor that won over audiences big-time.

PNA.jpg5. The year's most talked about scary film was also the cheapest. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY only cost around 15 thousand dollars to make. It's since grossed 150 million.

So why did PARANORMAL ACTIVITY get so massive? Basically because it feels real. It's just a simple haunted house story and ad-libbing a lot of it AND recording it with an old-skool digicam made it look more believable. Even the glimpse of a door creaking a little bit becomes seriously brown-trouser scary.

Just the catering on 2012 probably cost more than this entire film - but it goes to show how making an impact isn't all to do with mega budgets.

StarTrek2009.jpg4. Sc-fi nerds had been dreaming of a new STAR TREK movie for a looooong time. This year, their dreams came true.

But this was no ordinary TREK film. Director JJ Abrams made the Starship Enterprise cool again by focusing on the early years of Kirk and Spock. He was also happy to mix huge space battle scenes with plenty of gags. How awesome was Simon Pegg as Scotty?

This was a STAR TREK movie for people who didn't hang out at Klingon conventions. Big, bold and just pipping the also brilliant DISTRICT 9 as Best Sci-Fi of the year.

500days2009.jpg3. 500 DAYS OF SUMMER wasn't one of the biggest of '09 but those who saw it fell in love with its fresh take on romantic comedy and deliciously dreamy soundtrack.

Joseph Gordon Levitt starred as Tom, the wide-eyed greetings card writer who falls instantly in love with new work colleague Summer, played by Zooey (Zoe) Deschanel. Problem is, she's just not that into him.

500 DAYS was a breath of fresh air, happier to show romance that goes pear-shaped than just all the old clichés. Zo and Joe could well have been this year's cutest couple. Bless.

inglourious_basterds2009.jpg2. The legend Quentin Tarantino was back on blistering form this year, spinning the Second World War as only he can in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

It was a revenge movie, a war movie, even a bit of a comedy film, all wrapped up in the style of a Western with a bit of David Bowie on the soundtrack. Off the hook - but totally awesome.

QT got a certain Brad Pitt on board for this story of a plot to assassinate Hitler - and he was pretty cool - but it was German star Christoph Waltz who stole the show as seriously creepy Colonel Hans Landa. Surely Oscar-worthy?

hangover2009.jpg1. Re-wind back to this time 2008 and no-one could have predicted how big THE HANGOVER would've been. This Summer, it was the only one making us laugh (Year One and Land Of The Lost bottled it faster than Camilla Dallerup on I'm A Celebrity...)

The plot was simple - 4 guys recovering from a stag night out in Vegas. But it was the chaos they found themselves in that spiralled into hilariously surreal territory. I'm still wondering why there was a chicken in their room when they woke up?

Bradley Cooper was the breakout star, now playing with the big boys on a remake of The A-Team and dating Renee Zellwegger (who hasn't?). My fave of the lads though was hapless Alan, sweetly played by beardy weirdo Zach Galafianakis. The guy was so wrong, half the time you didn't even know whether you should laugh. But laugh we did - big time. The Hangover 2 beckons and director Todd Phillips - who took a percentage of the gross for this unknown quantity - is rolling in big bucks thanks to a gamble that really paid off.


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