Since I won't be able to join you all on Friday, here are my choices in advance. Have a great show and Happy New Year to one and all!

DeFilippis 2009 Movie List ($0 - $7.00 scale)

5) Watchmen ($6.00)
Zack Snyder was surprisingly successful at translating Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking graphic novel to film, with stunning visuals and dead-on casting—especially Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. One of the rare big-budget, big-hype event pictures that actually delivers.

4) The Men Who Stare at Goats ($6.50)
Psychic Soldiers of the New Earth Army. How can you go wrong? An interesting, different, quirky and intelligent film, propelled by the nuanced performances of its A-list cast, especially George Clooney’s.

3) Up ($6.75)
I’m fairly indifferent to Pixar/CGI films, and I watched this one grudgingly after being so let down by Wall-E. So imagine my surprise when the first ten minutes of Up turned out to be better than Wall-E in its entirety. And it stays terrific throughout—a funny, touching film.

2) Star Trek ($6.95)
Yes, it was an alternate history/re-imagining that abandons my beloved Trek canon. And yes, it has a big dopey script riddled with plot holes, murky logic and overly-convenient “chance” meetings of key characters. But for all that, Star Trek works. It’s exciting, fun and captures the essence of Trek. Thank you, J.J. Abrams, for bringing my favorite franchise back from the dead!

1) District 9 ($8.00)
Not only the best science fiction film of the past year, but of the past decade, and a remarkable example of CGI realizing its maximum potential, used wholly in service to story and character and not the other way around. Destined to be a classic.

Worst Film

Terminator Salvation ($2.50)
A wholly unnecessary film since Kyle Reece summarizes the entire plot, including how it ends, in a few throwaway lines in the first Terminator film. Christian Bale delivers his usual cardboard theatrics, giving us a John Connor we’d be all too happy to see killed by SkyNet.

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