Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Come Not To Praise 2008, But To Bury It

2008 is thankfully behind us now, but the specter of a "best-of" recap has been haunting me for the last few weeks. So I write this, not under duress, but with a sense of begrudging obligation. Hopefully, once I've gotten this out of my system, I can go back to not writing about other stuff.

Good Movies I Saw In Theatres
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Tropic Thunder

2008 wasn't exactly a banner year for theatrical releases, but there were a few diamonds in the rough. The real winner of the year had to be The Dark Knight. Despite all the hype and the haters, it was easily the best movie I saw in theatres over the course of the year.

Crappy Movies I Saw In Theatres
Burn After Reading
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Quantum of Solace
Righteous Kill

I think, if nothing else, I'll probably remember the year in movies that was 2008 for its disappointments rather than its triumphs. The Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading was especially disappointing, seeing as they made my favorite movie from 2007, No Country For Old Men. And the less said about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and George Lucas' love for CGI monkeys, the better.

Albums I Bought
The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
Elvis Costello - Momofuku
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
Beck - Modern Guilt
Matthew Good - Live at Massey Hall

2008 wasn't a great year for music either. I try and keep up with new bands and new music from artists I already follow, but it just seemed that there wasn't much happening in music this past year.

Good Books I Read
"The Book of Other People" a short story collection edited by Zadie Smith
"The Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
"Diary" by Chuck Palahniuk
"Life, the Universe and Everything" by Douglas Adams
"Ham on Rye" by Charles Bukowski
"Mastering the Universe: He-Man and the Rise and Fall of a Billion-Dollar Idea" by Roger Sweet and David Wecker

I would recommend any and all of the books listed above. I especially enjoyed Palahniuk's Diary and Bukowski's Ham on Rye.

Ahh, I feel a little bit better now. I certainly hope 2009 has more to offer than 2008 did.