The Mixed Tape

Andy’s Best Films of 2009 by Andy Motz

Here is my Best films of 2009 list – Andy

1.Munyurangabo- a film that is not manipulative with its emotions, but truly organic in every sense of the word. It is a masterpiece about Rwanda and the affects that the genocide still have on the people to this day. Made by Rwandans and Missionaries this art contributes to the healing process. A thoughtful film that is very powerful and is the years best, it needs to be seen.

2. 500 days of summer- (500) is a delight to watch. It tackles the theme of love with such insight and originality. The split screens, the dance numbers, and the perfect chemistry between the two leads help complete a joyous film that gets better with repeated viewings.

3. A Serious Man- A film about God and bad things happening to good people. Thought-provoking and very funny A Serious Man is the Coen brothers at their peak.

4. Precious- An R rated version of an after school special is elevated to greatness by powerful performances and good direction. It is a harrowing journey, one that everyone should take this year.

5. Up- What do you know Pixar has done it again. They have created an original cinematic story with great characters and themes that address the harsh realities of life with insight and hope

6. Where the Wild Things Are- Just beautiful and emotionally compelling. Not a movie for children, but about childhood. It deeply connected with me and brought back memories/ emotions of my own childhood.

7. The Girlfriend Experience- It’s a sad movie about empty people. Looking in through doors or edges of seat Soderbergh, accompanied by Oscar worthy cinematography, makes us observers in a world I’ve never seen before.

8. Summer Hours- A subtle meditation on life and art, that asks the questions why art is important and how it carries on after death.  Touching story and acting.

9. The Road- There are some striking images in this film and a strong emotional attachment as well. A really good movie and adaptation.

Up in the Air and Antichrist both fought for number ten. Both were good, but had their cons.  Since I can’t decide between the award winner and provocative art house film. Guess what? There is no number ten slot!

The Informant! by Nolan Wilson Goff
September 25, 2009, 12:49 am
Filed under: Film, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Based on the true story of corporate whistle blower Mark Whitacre, The Informant! succeeds as one of director Stephen Soderbergh’s best. Check out the trailer below, and full review beyond that.

Most people would recognize Quentin Tarantino as being responsible for the massive growth of independent cinema in the 1990s.  What many don’t know is that Stephen Soderbergh was right alongside him. Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape took home the Audience Award at Sundance in 1989. Recently known for his Ocean’s trilogy, and the subpar The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh is finally back on top of his game, this time in a dark comedy starring Matt Damon.

Damon’s performance is without a doubt the best of his career, thanks to the witty dialogue provided by the screenplay.  The film is structured as if it were a constant train of thought straight from the mind of Whitacre, with narration constantly interrupting various facets on the storyline. Truly hilarious. Damon captures this role and never lets it go, as the character becomes a pathological liar. His performance is absolutely worthy of an Oscar nomination.

Soderbergh’s choice to use the RED One camera, fit the story perfectly, and displayed the 1990s with overexposed light and an orange hue. Peter Andrews (aka Soderbergh himself) is one of the premier digital cinematographers of today. Michael Mann, take note.

The only flaw of The Informant! is the pacing in the first act. To be honest, I could have done without the first 30 minutes of the film.  If you make it through, your in for an entertaining ride as Damon and Soderbergh create instant chemistry.

(3 out of 4 stars)


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