The best thing about 2009 was discovering George Raft. February 2009 brought me Invisible Stripes and with it, an actor who rapidly captured my heart and stayed there (eep, that means I need to redo my top ten favorite actors list, huh?). My love for him is undiminished, if anything it gets stronger with each movie of his I see. I recently watched a VHS tape of Souls at Sea (1937). Oh man, love! I never had a chance to review the film here, but I loved it, and George's character broke my heart in it and made me cry. I even didn't mind Gary Cooper at all. They made a very fun pair. Love their duets.
There were two other actors I had minor flings with this last year. Gilbert Roland, who I've always liked, but I finally got to sit down and watch a bunch more of his work. Still adore his Cisco Kid series. And a current actor... Colin Firth. I've had friends who've always liked him, but I never saw the appeal. Just never liked the romantic comedy character types he seemed to be locked into playing. I guess I was just waiting for him to appear in a movie where he played against that type. Turns out that movie was The Last Legion (2007), a Roman/Arthurian legend retelling that I really enjoyed it, despite the fact that while the first half of the movie is really good, the second half rather sucks. But what I enjoyed most was simply seeing Colin Firth in an action role. Ahhhh, finally! He's damned good at it too. So, watched a whole bunch of his movies, but with the exception of Fever Pitch (1997) (which I really really loved), the rest were meh and did nothing for me. Which just makes me plain cranky. Damn it all, can't I write him a movie script or two? Please?
Movies I bought this year after catching them on Netflix:
Escape from Fort Bravo (I owned a taped copy of this, but I wanted a clearer DVD copy to better enjoy all the lovely William Holden-ess of it. I particularly love the end of this movie.)
Picnic (another one I owned on tape, but wanted a clearer DVD copy)
The Black Swan (though this was gifted to me before I could buy it myself!)
Road to Perdition (also gifted before I could buy it!)
I will be buying The Last Legion, I just haven't yet. And I really want to own Rio Conchos, but alas, it's not out on DVD yet. Grr. And I think I also need a copy of Pixar's Up for myself. (I got one for my nephew for Christmas.) Now, everything I've seen by Pixar is very good, but Up tops them all. What a wonderful, crazy, beautiful, emotional ride! It only took one viewing to make it my favorite Pixar film.
New movies I actually saw in the theater:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Kind of funny, really. All big budget types. But then, given how infrequently I go to the cinema, not surprising. I had much more fun watching classic movies. If only I lived closer to Hollywood and its revival theaters. I'd be going to the theater all the time. So many good classic movies appeared that if I had the resources, I'd go see on the big screen. This next year, I'll see if I can remedy that a bit, make the trek.
2009 was a good year for me. I have no complaints. Here's looking forward to 2010!
Happy New Year!