Thursday, January 01, 2009

Top 8 of ‘08

Ok, so I didn’t see enough ‘08 movies to do a list, didn’t buy enough CD’s to do a list, or books, or go places or whatever. Basically, the year pretty much passed me by. However, there were a few things off the top of my head that captured my interest, and so I thought I’d just lump it all together and do a best “stuff” of 2008 instead. Hey, that’s what people do on blogs at the end of the year, right?

8. Unibody Macbook with touchpad

I’ve only been able to play around on one for a bit, but that was a cool bit. This is a sweet device, and that touch pad is the way I think computers should have been 10 years ago. How did something so simple take so long? I want one, but they are priced out of my league...

7. Big & Rich - Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace music video

Big & Rich made an excellent song with “Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace”, but the music video was even better. An entire western movie done in about 4 minutes. In the “country” music age of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, this was refreshing.

6. Wolverine movie trailer

This comes out May 1st, 2009, but the trailer came out in December and rocked. There’s lots to be worried about with this movie after X-Men 3 and the fact it’s being made by Fox (which ruins everything), but Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine and the trailer brought it with great lead-in music, action, claws, cameos, and classic Wolverine attitude. Can’t wait to see this next year.

5. Allison Moorer - Mockingbird album

Moorer is by far my favorite female country singer, and the irony is I can’t remember the last time I heard her on the radio. That’s a shame, but in ‘08 she released the album Mockingbird - a tribute to other female singers and writers that inspired her. Her voice is second to none and the material is first rate as she cuts through country, blues, & a little jazz putting her stamp on these classic songs.

4. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long-Blog

Joss Whedon came up with this during the writer’s strike and on a low budget with help from friends and family, put together a 3 part movie / story that took the internet by storm. Released for free for a week back in the summer, this told a tale from a would be super villain’s view through his blog - oh, and it’s a musical. Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, & Felicia Day were uniformly awesome in their roles that brought hilarity, sarcasm, and emotion right to the final Whedon trademark ending. If you haven’t seen it, go find it on the internet or get the DVD from Amazon. It’s that good.

3. Criminal by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Anyone who loves noir or crime genre or plain good storytelling should be reading this. A mature comic that shows just how good a grasp Ed Brubaker has on this genre. 2008 brought the 3 individual stories collected in “The Dead and the Dying” and the just completed arc “Bad Night.” Once you start a story arc, you don’t want to quit until you’ve read to the end and you find yourself pulling for the low life characters that populate Ed’s Criminal world. Then add the stunning art by Sean Phillips that can convey so much from a character or even the surroundings and you have one of the best written books out there today.

2. Punisher Max - Garth Ennis finale - “Valley Forge, Valley Forge”

It was a sad day in August I read the last Garth Ennis written issue of Punisher Max, but what a way to finish it. I think I literally sat back and said “wow” when I was done. Ennis managed to pull together and wrap up his entire run on the series (over five years work) in one astounding finale, all while setting it up for another writer to take over. Ennis’ run was a like a clinic on storytelling and character development. Everyone seems to point to the over the top violence in these stories (and this is where the movies get it wrong), and yes there is that. But what drove the stories, and what enabled the emotional wallop some of them could bring was Ennis’ ability to stay focused on the characters in spite of the mayhem. Then in “Valley Forge, Valley Forge” he brought it to a riveting close by using the device of writing a novel within a comic book and raising it to something more. What was a gritty crime comic with moments of violence, utter crudeness, insane humor, heart, & emotion finished with a poignant statement on a soldier’s life that cemented Ennis’ run as truly epic.

1. And the best thing of 2008? IT’S OVER!

With a lot of bad news going around all over, and a very long year for me, 2008 was less than stellar. So let’s move on and see what 2009 has got. I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

Comments on "Top 8 of ‘08"


Blogger The Texican said ... (January 01, 2009 8:53 AM) : 

Not a bad list for such a busy year. I agree with you on the female country singers today. Hope 2009 is your best year yet. Happy New Year. Pappy


Blogger Swinebread said ... (January 02, 2009 1:02 AM) : 

Happy New Year EW!

That Wolvie Trailer did Rock!


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (January 12, 2009 12:54 AM) : 

Got all three episodes of Dr. Horrible right here on my handy-dandy Mac. I've even indoctrinated a few folks into the Horrible phenomenon. Good stuff.


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