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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Ten Best Films Of 2009
By Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
sevenTHE INFORMANT! Great supporting work from Anthony Mackie and
Steven Soderbergh's small movie with big moments burst onto the screen in mid-
September and it entertained to no end, with Matt Damon (above) giving a nuanced, layered performance as Mark Whitacre, who was one of the fairly big shots at the Archer Daniels Midland corporation in the 1990s. Adding at least 30 pounds to his frame, Mr. Damon disappeared into this troubled man and made his character entertaining, even likable, in a film relying almost completely on his acting. "The Informant!" took chances and basked in the immense talents of legendary music composer Marvin Hamlisch, whose score evoked a sunny 1970s feel that concealed a sinister undercurrent within the film. A sublime satire of a true story documented in a book by Kirk Eichenwald, "The Informant!" informed us of Mr. Damon's underrated talents. Where on earth did the gluconate guy end up, anyway?
U.S. Distributor: Warner Brothers. Initial release date: September 18. Starring Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynskey, Joel McHale, Clancy Brown, Tom Smothers.
Original Popcorn Reel review
Kiyoshi Kurosawa impressively chronicles deception in a family during the recession in Japan. In a land where honor and shame never dare to mix, a man (Teruyuki Kagawa) tries desperately to keep up appearances after he is fired from his job. He wears a suit, dons a briefcase and pretends he's heading to work. His wife (Kyoko Koizumi) and two sons depend on him for economic stability. One of the sons (Kai Inowagi) wants to be a pianist. The other son (Yu Koyanagi) ships off to Iraq to serve in the military. "Tokyo Sonata" is full of silent comedy and aching drama, in which the director gets great acting from his performers. Numerous priceless moments form this quiet and moody story, but most of all success, relevance and identity in Japanese society are rigorously tested in this thought-provoking film.
U.S. Distributor: Regent Releasing. Initial release date: March 13. Starring Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyoko Koizumi, Kai Inowagi, Yu Koyanagi, Haruka Igawa, Kanji Tsuda, Koji Yakusho.
fiveTHE HURT LOCKER
Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" was a revelation that marked her best film. Her direction of a story set in Iraq in 2004, based on journalist-screenwriter Mark Boal's real-life accounts of a team of U.S. military explosives detonators single-handedly powers a compelling tale of a man alongside boys in the theater of war. If the phrase "you are your job" means anything, the amazing acting by Jeremy Renner (whom most have never heard of) exemplified the phrase. Mr. Renner dug into his role with confidence and zeal as Staff Sergeant James, the new kid in town on a very dangerous undertaking. Remember that famous close-up photo a few years ago of a U.S. soldier smoking a cigarette dubbed the "Marlboro Man"? Mr. Renner's work in "The Hurt Locker" epitomizes that kind of cool.
U.S. Distributor: Summit Entertainment. Initial release date: June 29. Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Guy Pierce.
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Great supporting work from Anthony Mackie and