Apparently it’s law now (or something, I don’t keep up with the news) that if you’re going to be a blogger, you have to do a “year-in-review”.
Fine, but I’m rebelling by doing mine really late.
Worst of the Year
Not really anything to put here as I tend to avoid crappy things since I’m an ardent believer in voting with my dollars. I don’t watch something that screams “insulting waste of time” willingly, unless I’m enjoying them as part of MST3k or Rifftrax – and nominating Matrix Revolution or “Manos” just seems like cheating. However, a friend did drag me (or it was an uncle, I can’t recall now) to see M Night’s the Last Airbender. It wasn’t as bad as the last M Night movie I saw at theaters (the Happening – I had to be restrained in that film to keep from shouting at the screen) but it was still horrible. The worst was how the entire film just felt like a first draft. If the script had been better polished, some of the editing tightened up, etc, etc, it could have been pretty awesome. It’s like he was trying to screw up the movie.
Best Book of the Year
I didn’t get to read as much as I usually do but of everything, I most enjoyed 13 Things that don’t Make Sense. Science and its history has always been fascinating to me, but lately things have felt like… it’s all done. That until we take to the stars, to uncover the hidden corners of the universe, there’s nothing left to discover, it’s only application. This book reminded me that there’s a difference between what we know, and what we think we know. We could be wrong on some details. The universe may be full of mystery, but there’s still a lot to figure out in our corner of it.
Top 3 Movies
I considered doing top 5, until I realized I didn’t seen enough releases from this year to fill that in, beyond the genre-fanboy pleasing films. A-team, Expendables, Predators… this was a good year to be a man.
Auto Mention: Toy Story 3
Look, it’s Pixar. A company that’s been so bloody good to us, the audience, we’re starting to get spoiled. At this point their releases are almost automatic members on any top list. I say, why knock some other, deserving film? Instead, just remember: Pixar released a movie this year. It was good. Watch it already.
I had just about given up on Dreamworks’ animation as, since Shrek 1, they had gotten pretty stale and predictable. I’d seen one, I’d seen them all. Then, this little gem came out. Entertaining, creative, and willing to put a bit more thought in playing out the plot and impact. Hopefully this film and Pixar’s efforts will start teaching filmmakers that you don’t have to make something trite, to make it for kids.
#2: the Book of Eli
Yeah, it was a religious movie, so that might turn some people off, but it has to be the best religious movie I think I’ve ever seen (depending on how widely you want to define the category). So yes, some people will probably want to steer away from it for that reason. Others, I can’t recommend it enough. It doesn’t shy away from the power, the impact of evil, nor the power and impact of good. Everything in it is quite well explained too, but you need a little background knowledge to get. No – not like a special wiki or anything (those I count against movies), but background knowledge like English itself. Those who have seen the movie and want to know the knowledge they missed, just ask and I’ll drop the info.
I’ve talked about it twice already, need I say more? Incredible acting, gorgeous settings, a smart plot that make this movie worth multiple viewings – I could go on and on why I liked this movie best of any I’ve seen this year (maybe of any I’ve seen in my life). This? This is why we watch movies.