As you can see, though, I am back on track...
Please be sure to also check out my list of My Top 15 Movies of 2009, which I posted to my other blog.
I also voted in the DVD Talk end-of-the-year poll, and these are the top 20 DVDs as picked by the writing staff. I kind of hate being part of any list that includes Watchmen, but such is a democracy. I wrote the blurbs for Wings of Desire, The Human Condition, and Up.
* Avatar, the James Cameron blockbuster makes up for its lackluster script with truly stunning effects.
* Broken Embraces, the new Pedro Almodovar is the movie for Penelope Cruz fans to see right now. Forget the one with the music.
* The Messenger, the hard-hitting drama with Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, and Samantha Morton. Portlanders, it's finally here.
* Nine, the musical remake of Fellini's 8 1/2 lacks the original's creative spark and is really just a snoozer. Second appearance by Penelope Cruz, first by Marion Cotillard this month, both of whom make this at least passable. Don't forget my review of the Fellini a few entries back.
* The Princess and the Frog, Disney's fun-filled return to classic animation is a winner.
* The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Rebecca Miller's new film. It falls apart in the final third, but the strong start and performances are enough to keep it as a recommended feature.
* Sherlock Holmes, Guy Ritchie's movie is the worst thing you could have done to yourself this Christmas.
* A Single Man, Tom Ford's movie is the best thing you could have done to yourself this Christmas.
* Up in the Air, Jason Reitman and George Clooney deliver the true winner of the season. I loved it!
* The Young Victoria, a lovely historical drama with Emily Blunt as the titular Queen.
* Beautiful Losers, an interesting documentary about a group of contemporary artists who came up through NYC in the 1990s.
* In the Loop, Armando Iannucci's blistering political satire. Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini let the profanity fly!
* Lion's Den, one of my favorites of the year is a little-seen prison drama from Argentina. Martina Gusman is fantastic.
* Public Enemies: 2-Disc Special Edition, Michael Mann's gangster movie is the prettiest nap you can ever take. The second appearance of Marion Cotillard in this month's list of reviews. Between this and Nine, she deserves better.
* Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... - Season 1, a show where Elvis sits and chats with other musicians about music. Its brilliance is equal to its simplicity.
* Tora-san: Collector's Set 1, the first four movies in the extensive Japanese film series, featuring a charismatic drifter in increasingly addictive romantic adventures.