Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From the archives: July 2009

I can't help being impressed, while looking back on the summer of '09. It certainly put the summer of '10 to shame.

Nobody knew it at the time, but a little film called The Hurt Locker was about to capitalize on strong reviews and growing public sentiment, to become the Academy Award-winning picture of the year ... while also crowning Kathryn Bigelow as the first female best director Oscar winner (and garnering four more little gold statues). While by no means a perfect picture, it's strong in all the best ways; the awards are well-deserved.

Harry Potter's sixth big-screen epic proved a vast improvement over its predecessor, while the newest entry in the Ice Age franchise made excellent use of its 3-D technology  unlike so many 3-D films that followed  while delivering a fresh batch of laughs.

The month's prize, however, was an unheralded example of thoughtful sci-fi: Moon, a little film that deserved far better exposure. I hope for a healthy home-video afterlife; it deserves to become a genre classic, along the lines of Silent Running and Blade Runner.

The summer season offered its share of disappointments, of course, none worse than the insufferable vanity project misleadingly titled Funny People. And the ugly truth about The Ugly Truth, while reasonably engaging, is that it would prove to be one of Katherine Heigl's best romantic comedies. Very little of merit would follow, in the next 18 months.

Step into the Wayback Machine, and check 'em out:

Funny People


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Hurt Locker

I Love You Beth Cooper

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs


Public Enemies

The Ugly Truth

Whatever Works

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