Sunday, 14 February 2010

2009 in Review: Fantasies Come True...

...kind of.
  
I remember when the AFI made its ten top ten lists (by genre) it managed to confuse me – along with the rest of the world. I never before regarded Jerry Maguire as a sports flick, and I also didn’t think (at the time) that The Wizard of Oz was a fantasy, or – for that matter – The Lord of the Rings, though I suppose it obviously is. Science fiction is generally regarded as a genre of its known, though I suppose all science fiction is fantastical. A few have been calling this the year that science fiction returned to form, I can’t say – I’ve never been hot on it. I remember last year a seeming majority of the blog world were incensed at the entire situation of The Dark Knight etc; but I won’t rehash that, I didn’t care for it, and still don’t.
    
The first major (fantasy) film of the year was Watchmen. It has its supporters but I’m not one of them (D). Watchmen played for its duration and I felt unmoved for the most, hence the lack of a review. The reworking of the Star Trek franchise was the first significant fantastical film of the year. It’s another film that I didn’t review (B-); it was fine even if it went for a little too long. I was vaguely amused at the projections that Star Trek was a best picture contender when the Best Picture field was extended to ten, though I suppose that it wasn’t that far off from the ten the way that thing have been going. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opened in the summer and I suppose I was a victim of being a fanboy, my review was probably sycophantic but I still stick by the B+, even though in light of recent films it probably seems lopsided. Few films went by with less fanfare than Duncan Jones’ Moon. Univarn is a great lover of it, and though I think it has its imperfections I don’t see why it didn’t garner of a following, its intelligent plot is better than many we’ve seen this year.
       
I wonder what New Moon would fall into. It’s probably a conceit to regard it as a fantasy, though I refuse to think of it as a romance, of course most of you are smart enough not to think of it all. I saw it of my own freewill though (for free, of course) and it was generally as bad as expected, worse than the original now (if you can call it that). I didn’t see District 9, and I really don’t care to. I know some are planning to see all the Oscar nominations, & etc but I’m out of that (for this year at least). I’ll see it when I see it, if ever, but I don’t feel any big desire. I wonder of The Road really is fantasy, I think it is. The post apocalyptic tale is one of the best technical achievements of the year featuring excellent performances from the cast especially Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen. But when even the awe inspring sets are ignored at awards ceremonies, I suppose few have seen it. With Harry Potter craziness waning Avatar filled my need for fantasy. The thing is, fantasy is not my genre my appreciation of Harry Potter is owed mostly to my residual voracious appetite for Rowling’s novels. It’s interesting how the worm has turned on Avatar, the more money it makes the more the “important” people seem to hate it, but I’m not going to get into that argument – again. Still, it gets almost ridiculous when even the special effects and other technical work are being lambasted. But it is what it is. I liked Avatar. Obviously.
       
I don’t think I’d be too miffed if film is short on fantasy this year, although it obviously won’t be. Two films I’m anticipating greatly (Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows I) focus on special effects and it’s always the niche part of the market that manages to make millions of dollars. I’m not hating, I have my own weaknesses. Just don’t expect me to joining in as vociferously as most.Which was your favourite fantasy of the year?
     
Previously Covered...

7 comments:

CrazyCris said...

I just caught up with Distric 9 on dvd today (and yes, I'm trying to catch as many of the nominees as possible before O-day, :p). You really should give it a chance! I was pleasantly surprised and highly impressed. It's a very well made, original story and I wish there were more lie it (instead of remakes, sequels etc)

Michele Emrath said...

Interesting...I'll follow any blog that names an entire award after Katharine Hepburn! Found you through Movienut14.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Luke said...

It does sort of amaze me that considering his history with the academy, that Viggo Mortensen didn't receive more of a push for a nod this year... I mean, he was easily the second-best performance of the year in The Road. Good stuff.

JL said...

Completely agree with you about Avatar. I can understand the whole cinematography thing but to lambast the rest is just ridicolous, it's because people want to act cool and snobby. That's why I usually don't read their blog and more like blogs like yours or Filmexperience who both isn't afraid to show your own taste, and I hope I will never become one of those critics who hates movie only because they got high budgets and big box-office and great reviews.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

crazycris i'll see it eventually, probably by the end of march. i don't know why i have no urge to, since reviews have been fine.

michelle well you have good taste, i see :)

vluke it surprises me too. he easily trumps the majority of the best actor slot.

jl i agree with you, and thanks for the kind words.

Heather said...

I'm an enormous fan of anything science fiction and definitely have a soft spot for fantasy so I suppose this year has been pretty exciting for me. You should see District 9 though. It was a great movie, science fiction or no.

I also was supporting Harry Potter and Avatar this year. Kudos for standing up for them against those who will not be named. hahahahahaha

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

heather i will never be swayed by the haters. love your mention of those who will not be named...