2012: Another Year PoOPing
2. We Need to Talk About Kevin
3. Django Unchained
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. The Raid: Redemption
6. Moonrise Kingdom
7. The Cabin In The Woods
8. The Kid With a Bike
9. Life of Pi
10. Wreck-It Ralph
SURPRISES (POSITIVE) –
1. Sinister – Looks like jump-scare horror; ended up with an unrelenting atmosphere of dread that rattled around my brain many days after the final credits rolled.
2. Bachelorette – Looks like a Bridesmaids knockoff; good humor provided by horrible characters, and proved that Kristen Dunst just needs better roles (see also: Melancholia)
3. The Five-Year Engagement – Looks like a ho-hum romantic comedy; ended up with a funny-sad-funnyagain look into two lives on the road to adulthood and marriage.
4. The Grey – Looks like Taken meets a pack of wolves; ended up with great drawn-out action and a damn entertaining movie. Plus, ambiguous ending!
5. Francine – Zero expectations going into a screening last fall; ended up loving the doc-style presentation and incredible performance by Michelle Leo, an open-ended portrait of a complicated individual. Also, filmed in and around Kingston by H.V. natives/rock stars!
1. Getting married (life) – Yep, that definitely takes the cake. No pun intended (honest!).
2. The Walking Dead (video game) – Best implementation of choice and morality in any interactive medium. More like this, please.
3. Louie (TV) – Ranked here if only for the three-part Rocky-esque Letterman audition episode…and yet there was SO much more to love. See you next year after your hiatus, sir.
4. Girls (TV) – Surprised how much I like this, even as I found it hard to watch most of the characters in the beginning. There’s a real and wonderful progression to each of them, though, and the writing/direction is assured enough to find a warm heart within a seemingly aloof exterior.
5. Mad Men (TV) – After this incredibly strong season, still the best thing on TV.
6. Borderlands 2 (video game) – Took what the most fun elements from the first game, and freakin’ freebased it in the 2nd one. Hard to put down…much like, well, freebasing (allegedly).
7. “Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” by John Branch (NYT/web) – One of the best combos of web interactivity and a deeply compelling piece of reporting. Heartbreaking account of how things can roll out of control before you know what’s happening, both in nature and in sport.
8. Breaking Bad (TV) – Without the 2nd half of this season, I have to reserve complete judgement. Still, the first 8 episodes propelled some wild developments, and I have all faith that the upcoming episodes will have a lot of fun playing the cards dealt from the first eight.
9. You Don’t Know Jack (FB/iPhone) – Partly nostalgia, partly a desire to be the smartest guy in the (virtual) room, reinventing this game as a daily Facebook/phone dose of hilarious and pointed trivia was a fantastic idea and execution.
10. Football Manager 2013 Handheld (iPhone) – I get to pretend to manage Liverpool on my subway ride to work; what’s better than that?! YOU’LL NEEEEVER WAAALK…ALOOONE!
Have a grand 2013, everyone!