Right now might be my favorite part of the year, in terms of movie-watching.  We’ve seen the summer blockbusters, the interesting films I didn’t see in theaters (e.g. Sin Nombre, Sugar, Sunshine Cleaning) are rolling out on DVD, and we’re pretty much at the exact point right before Oscar contenders become legit Oscar contenders.  Nobody knows anything, because most of the big films haven’t really been seen at all, but everyone wants to know something.  To wit, the first edition of the Gurus O’ Gold is out, and if you haven’t seen it, check them out.  And you all laughed when I said Star Trek was in the conversation.  The important festivals, Telluride, TIFF, and Venice are just getting underway.  Even as short as a week from now, we’ll have a better idea about the Oscars.  But now, now is when absolutely anything is possible and we can still be full of hope that this will be a great Oscar year.

1. Up

If Up were to get a Best Picture nom, I’d be thrilled as all heck.  And while it should have been WALL-E, it would unfairly diminish this film to call it a make up nom.  Of course, I guess I should allow for the possibility I’ll seen ten films I like more than this.  Man, that would be something.

2. District 9

One of the two new additions to the list since my last post.  Maybe this is nostalgia talking, but I think that recent scifi/action films have tended to forget what makes their genre so great.  In my mind, it isn’t the special effects, necessarily.  It is the stories that couldn’t be told any way other than explosions, mindless violence, and a few broken laws of physics.  Anyway, District 9 bursts out of the scifi/action genre to become a truly great film.

3. (500) Days of Summer

The other new add.  It may have been the movie I was most looking forward to this summer, so there’s something to be said for it being able to stand up to my hype.  It wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, but it was certainly close.  There are some neat tricks in there, which manage not distract from the film, and the story is a generally compelling subversion of a romcom.

4. I Love You, Man

Sure, Rush jokes will pretty much always be funny in a movie.  But someday, someone will build a film around TOTO jokes.  And then I’ll have to stop watching movies.

5. Star Trek

John is still wrong.

And a special honorable mention to The Hurt Locker, which was in my Top Five for at least a little bit.  Actually, I think there was a week when Away We Go made it as well.