I saw the nominees for the Bradbury Awards the other day and I realized that I had actually seen all of the nominees this year. Then it hit me…we (the speculative fiction community) have really been treated to an excellent year on the big screen. While we’ve had a few explosive duds (some that made quite a bit of money), we’ve seen some true gems and game changers too.
Here is the official list of nominees:
1) Avatar, 2) Coraline, 3) District 9, 4) Moon, 5) Star Trek, & 6) Up
Avatar, District 9, and Up were all nominated for Academy Awards too; however I think the only one of these three that truly has a chance of winning is Avatar.
With that said, and since this is an opinion/review blog here are the nominees ranked from worst to first.
6) Up – Now, I may have said worst to first, but in all actuality all of these films are great. As a general rule, Pixar doesn’t make bad films; however this is a very typical Pixar film. If you have a dog then this is a must see!!! I was amazed to see the explosion of 3-D movies this year. This is one of three 3-D movies that were nominated.
5) Star Trek – I’d bet that many readers are shouting, “BULL$#!T” when seeing that I ranked this movie this low (among these six films), but I felt that this Star Trek was only the third best in the franchise and that the villain wasn’t very well developed. We reviewed Star Trek on the podcast and generally everybody liked/loved it.
4) Coraline – This movie exemplifies a typical Neil Gaiman story and he’s one of the best writers out there right now (period). The movie is visually stunning with 3-D stop-motion animation.
3) Avatar – People either seemed to love or criticize Avatar, but mostly people loved it. Either way, an amazing number of people saw it and it was an amazing eco-political-anti-war-religulous-and-a-bunch-of-other-stuff-scifi-fantasy movie that took all of these big topics and successfully meshed them into a single (decently long) film. I think this film has the best shot at winning an Oscar, but I still feel that two other 2009 movies were better.
2) District 9 – I can’t wait to see more from Neil Blomkamp (the director of D-9). What a break out movie! We reviewed District 9 on the podcast and all of us praised this movie the entire time. I hope District 9 wins the Oscar, but I’m not holding my breath.
1) Moon – I finally got to see Moon when it was recently released on DVD. What a performance by Sam Rockwell! This movie really messes with your head in very subtle ways. In my opinion this movie is what great Sci-Fi is all about. The reason I picked Moon over D-9 is mostly the fact that you sort of saw where District 9 was going once you had reached the last quarter of the movie (although there are some moments when you’re not quite sure what the protagonist, Wikus, is going to do). During Moon, it doesn’t even seem the protagonist, Sam Bell, knows what decisions he’ll make until the last seconds of the movie.
Therefore, if I had a vote I’d be voting for Moon as the best Science Fiction/Fantasy film of 2009. What do you think?
February 27th, 2010, posted by Brian