In stark contrast to last year, it looks like the silver screen is back to its usual standards: being in decline. For the most part, this was a ridiculously disappointing year for films; there was little that sparked my interest and very little that I went to theatres to see. However, that doesn't mean there wasn't three solid films in some form or another, so without further delay, here's the top 3 movies for 2009:
3) Coraline. Coraline takes the third spot for a couple of reasons: a) It was a decent adaptation of a children's book, b) The use of 3D animation coupled with stop frame made for a very visually appealing piece, c) it captured a child's imagination well enough.
In Coraline, the title character and her parents move to a new home in the country, and she soon discovers another world that closely mirrors her own, but is this other world and her other mother truly as wonderful as they seem?
Filled with colourful characters and imagination, Coraline is worth seeing on the big screen for its use of 3D alone. The world jumps out and flows around the audience, specifically the other world, and it really helps immerse the viewer in a wonderfully animated, visual treat.
2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever. I find it hilarious that a made-for-TV movie would take my second spot, but that's just what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever is; hilarious.
When an interdimensional mix up happens, the Turtles from the retro '86 animated series find themselves in the dimension of the 2003 animated series Turtles, and while the 8 have to work together they don't perfectly get along. Taking every opportunity to poke fun at the lameness that is the '80's, the '86 Turtles frustrate their more serious and contemporary counterparts to no end, as the '80's turtles are nothing but pizza chomping, lame-joke cracking goofs.
And of course, the villains of each group are in abundance and provide just as much laughter. '80's Shredder and Krang are bumbling fools, but the modern Shredder is vicious, sinister, and competent. Pure nostalgia all the way, and worth the time spent in front of YouTube, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlers: Turtles Forver is great fun to watch.
1) Star Trek. Speaking of nostalgia, Star Trek doesn't just give us a healthy dose of it, Star Trek re-imagines it. Taking a series that was in decline, re-envisioning it and modernizing it is never an easy task, and the cast and crew of Star Trek performed this wonderfully.
A Romulan ship hellbent on revenge travels back in time to the date Kirk is born and changes history forever. The characters of the original series still manage to come together, but in different ways and under different circumstances, and the legend of the star ship Enterprise begins anew. Some things are the same, some things are different, but seeing the original cast again through fresh eyes is quite enjoyable.
Actioned up from the standard Star Trek formula, the film follows a fairly traditional narrative, but wins through with solid performances and effects, and simply put, no other film this year came close to the quality and theatrical experience that Star Trek has to offer. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, the movie was presented in such a way that anyone could easily get into it, enjoy it, and be entertained by it.
That accessibility, coupled with the production values and classic nature of Star Trek have risen it to the silver screen's top this year, gaining our Movie of the Year.