Night at the Museum 2

Name: Night At The Museum 2
Year: 2009
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 109
Description: Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Amy Adams
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

I was afraid the sequel might not be worth it, but it really was good. And an excellent score again as well! Silvestri used John Williams’ Far and Away theme twice in the finale (unwittingly, I imagine). Also, what kind of dialect does Amelia Earheart have? Really cute.

Inglourious Basterds

Name: Inglourious Basterds
Year: 2009
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 143
Description: In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl’s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history.
Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
2009 Oscar Winner!
2009 Oscar Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Genres: Adventure, Drama, War

My first Tarantino movie. Not sure how to react. The beginning was breathtaking, the middle section was uninteresting, and then I began to wonder whether I was wasting my time. The ending was so amusing that it made me laugh out loud, though. And the end credits music had me in stitches. Couldn’t get any more absurd.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Name: Harry Potter 6-Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
Year: 2009
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 153
Description: In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres:Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery

Okay, Dumbledore really has some dumb lines here: “Could be anything. Most commonplace of objects.” Oh great, let’s just look for Horcruxes in every dustbin, shall we? “You remember the conditions on which I brought you with me?” What does he think Harry is, a goldfish?

Then, the story. So if Harry hears all the Horcruxes in the final two films, why not in 2? Did he go and see an ear doctor in the meantime? Why not cover the entire Horcrux plotline? Oh yes, because Yates wasn’t interested in Voldemort’s past. Yeah, who would care about that? Why did we spend so much time with Draco pulling a sheet off a cabinet? Why not just leave it lying on the ground?

Then, the music. Yeah, it was there. The intricately woven tapestry becomes so terribly intricate here that it totally vanishes. Posssession returns again, but who is being possessed by what/whom now? Malfoy’s theme is a nice idea, but then don’t drop it in his vital scene, for crying out loud. There are a few notable exceptions in the score: Dumbledore’s Farewell still makes me shiver and the cave music and inferi ending is great, though Possession just doesn’t add up thematically, but never mind. I can’t help wondering, though, what Patrick Doyle would have done with the romantic cues. Also, the random chords…

And I’ll say it yet again: What IS it with Yates and no music? Malfoy/Harry’s duel is unscored (granted, the written music was horrible), but even the scene after Dumbledore’s Farewell has no music! Some variation on Ramin Djawadi’s Light of the Seven, a totally unrelated cue from Game of Thrones, would have done it all.

Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs

Name: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Year: 2009
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 90
Description: Flint Lockwood thinks he’s a genius. But none of the things he invented are things that make sense or are useful. However, he has the support of his mother but when she dies, he’s left alone with his father who thinks he should give it up. When the community that he lives in, is in an economic crisis because their primary source of income a sardine cannery was shut down, Flint decides to try his latest invention, a machine that can turn water into food. But something goes wrong and the machine ends up in the atmosphere. Later it starts raining food. And so the shifty mayor tries to use this as a way to help their community. But when Flint sense something’s wrong with the machine, the mayor convinces him to ignore it. But as Flint predict chaos ensues.
Stars: Anna Faris, Bill Hader and Bruce Campbell
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Not bad at all. Good story and sound effects, but Anna Farris could have done a better job playing Sam. And Mark Mothersbaugh’s score was really excellent!

State of Play

Name: State Of Play
Year: 2009
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 127
Description: A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman’s assistant falls in front of a subway – two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it’s worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story.
Stars: Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck
Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Great movie, especially the final twist. Only Cal and Della’s ‘relationship’ seemed rather forced. The score was passable.

Angels & Demons

Name: Angels And Demons
Year: 2009
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 138
Description: When a murder of a physicist, Leonardo Vetra, finds a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and Mr. Vetra’s daughter, Vittoria, on an adventure for a secret brotherhood, The Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four alters of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An Assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals, and murders each, painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searching for a new very destructive weapon that could kill millions.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Great film. A way better adaptation than The Da Vinci Code. This is incidentally the only McGregor film I’ve watched so far in which he’s bearable and quite good.

I remember being entranced by the score when I came out of the theatre in 2009. The action cues are simply amazing, thanks to a great main theme and an appropriate choir.

The Taking of Pelham 123

Name: The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3
Year: 2009
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 106
Description: In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he’ll start shooting hostages. He’ll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it’s unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this?
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta and Luis Guzmán
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller

The premise is interesting. The actors aren’t. Travolta is cold-blooded and seems to have some religious motivation that isn’t really explained properly, if I recall correctly. And I really dislike Denzel Washington: always that same stoopid accent, always playing the same stoopid cop who isn’t as stoopid as his fellow cops. And then there’s the matter of his wife, who, when he tells her he might be in mortal danger, demands he brings back a bottle of milk from the supermarket. And he can’t just bring any bottle, oh no, she’s very adamant about that. (He just risked his job by paying his daughter’s tuition fees with illegal money, so give him a break.) So, wives, always remember to irritate your husbands with milk bottles when they are in mortal danger. The ending is rushed and stupid/sentimental/wannabe heroic: it clearly implies that nobody really matters in this film except for its plot. The characters are just there out of sheer necessity. The score is functional, but hardly noticeable. But… Will the bottle of milk arrive at Denzel Washington’s house safe and well at the end? Or will the wife have to fetch it herself?