Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Favorite Things: Day Twenty Four

Almost to the finishing line here, so let's go with a more traditional, year-end post here. So here are some lists of my official Favorite Things of 2008.

Favorite Movies of 2008 (Theatrical):
  1. The Dark Knight: Easily the best movie of the year, and quite possibly one of my favorite movies ever. There's not much to say that has not already been said elsewhere, but this is just a perfect movie.
  2. Wall-E: Another perfect movie. Visually beautiful, incredibly intelligent, absolutely unflinching in its indictment of wasteful consumerism, all wrapped up in a package that is perfect for all ages. The amount of information and story this movie expresses in its first, almost dialogue-free hour, should be shown in film-classes for years to come.
  3. Speed Racer: Fun. No other description applies, this is just a plain fun movie, the likes of which just doesn't seem to get made much anymore (you can check out my original review here).
Favorite Comics of 2008 (Collected Editions):
  1. Starman Omnibus Vol. 1: My love of this book has been well-stated before, but now that DC is re-releasing the series in lovely, over-sized hardcovers, I'm falling in love all over again. Just a great package, and though the book is not without its faults, it's still probably the best thing DC put out in the 90's.
  2. Invasion!: Pure 1980's stupid fun. It's rare that I can read a book that I loved when I was 14 and still find the same amount of fun in it 20 years later. Shit, I feel old now.
  3. Howard Chaykin's American Flagg!: Definitive Collection: It's rare that you get to read something "fresh" these days. I never got a chance to read this series back when it came out, and since then, it was never collected in any meaningful way, so I jumped at the chance to pick up this new edition (at 50% off at DCBS), and it was pretty much as great as everyone had always said. On top of that, it was just a beautiful package, just a brick of a hardcover, a little more trim than the standard size, perfect for carrying on planes and clubbing attackers.
Favorite Comic Series in 2008:
  1. Criminal: See Day 22.
  2. Captain America: Again, see Day 22.
  3. Blue Beetle: As the character-creators Keith Giffen and John Rogers left the book, the very able Matthew Sturges took over...and the book was promptly cancelled. Once again, despite the "fans" bitching that there aren't any teen-skewing, fun, non-continuity laden comics out there for the proverbial "kids" to read, they didn't buy the fucking book that was pretty much exactly what they were asking for. Sturges and continuing artist Raphael Albuquerque came on the book and did, what I thought to be, a very good job despite being doomed from the start. It's to bad really, with the push the character is getting from Batman: The Brave and the Bold TV series, it would have been nice to see if they would have gotten a sales bump off of it.
Favorite Live Music Shows of 2008 (in no particular order):
  1. David Byrne (performing the songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno) at the Civic Opera House: Just a beautiful, fun, rollicking show. Playing songs from throughout his career, Mr. Byrne was just plain entertaining.
  2. Kraftwerk: Saw them in Milwaukee, don't remember the venue, but it was fantastic. I was doubtful going in, but I had been assured it was one of those shows you have to see and they were right. I really can't explain how good the show was in words, since it was essentially watching four German dudes, sitting behind laptops, playing pre-recorded music, but it was magical. Just fantastic.
  3. The Pogues at the Riviera: Yet another one of those "have to see them before you (or Shane McGowan) dies" shows. And once again, it was absolutely perfect.
So that's what I have for now, I'm sure I'll have some more comprehensive "best of" stuff in the new year. Anyway, be back tomorrow for THE FATEFUL FINALE!!!*

*Well, not really but hey, some hyperbole was called for.


Bill said...

Dude...what about Swervedriver @ the Metro? I'd probably have to swap that with the Pogues and our lists would be similar. Have a great holiday vacation and I'll see you when you get back.

Jason said...

Ah shit, I completely forgot about that show. I've also been listening to a lot of Pogues recently (they're very festive, and, 'tis the season). Anyway, That show would definitely make it in here as #2.5.

Hopefully next year I'll actually go see a band that made some new music within the 21st Century (apologies to David Byrne).

Looking forward to catching the Winter Classic on NYD when I get back.

CalvinPitt said...

I still need to see Speed Racer. Maybe next week, when I visit my friend, since we usually watch a ton of movies.

Question: For the FATEFUL FINALE!, will you be forced to summon the focused totality of your blogging power?

'Cause I don't think I've ever seen a blogger do that, and it would probably look really pretty. We could get Alan Davis to draw it. Wait, what the hell was I talking about?

Jason said...

Calvin, I think only Jack Kirby could appropriately render the focused totality of my blogging power. And much like OMAC, it would destroy this entire section. So perhaps it's best if I don't do that. Plus it'll save me a heckuva a lot of cash, what with the costs of raising the dead these days.