Saturday, November 7, 2009


I have a sketchbook that I bought a long, long time ago that has no drawings, sketches or even doodles in it. I bought it way back in the day when I convinced myself that I had some semblance of artistic ability and the only way to get better was to practice.

Then, reality kicked in and I realized that I couldn't draw a straight line if I had a ruler. I am a terrible artist. Writing, I can do. That comes easy to me. Drawing or painting? Not so much. When I finally made peace with this, I couldn't figure out what to do with the book. I didn't want to throw it away, but there was no way in hell I was going to draw in it. What if someone found it? That would just be embarrassing.

So what I did was I just listed all the movies I had seen that year. It became kind of like my movie diary—only without the commentary. This was before blogs were big and the only internet knowledge I had was e-mail, so I just wrote the date and title down. I figured that at the end of the year, when someone asked the inevitable question, "What was the best movie you've seen this year?" all I'd have to do is consult my little book, make a few judgements and I'd be done. And this way, I wouldn't forget seeing something.

I was looking through it the other day, and since we're in a bit of a lull before the big holiday movie rush, I decided I'd pick my top 5 for the year—so far.

(These aren't in any particular order yet, mind you. Just my 5 favorites. The ranking will come later. That's what blogs are for, right?)

UP - I love anything and everything Pixar does and this was no exception. Just a damn fine story.

BRONSON - This one caught me totally by surprise at Sundance. I hadn't heard anything about it and was enthralled the whole two hours. Tom Hardy gives an amazing performance and it's just oozing with style.

STAR TREK - This is what a fun, summer movie should be. I've never cared about Star Trek before in my life and I didn't want this movie to end.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE - This is exactly what I wanted this movie to be. The music, the way it was shot, the performances—it all just worked perfectly for me.

A SERIOUS MAN - The Coen Brothers do very little wrong in my book. I've loved (nearly) everything they've ever done—The Ladykillers excluded—and I think this ranks up there among their best work.

There's still a lot more movies coming out this year, too. I'm curious to see where these end up come the end of next month, but I wouldn't be surprised if this list doesn't change much (if it does at all).

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