Best Of 2013
December 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Well, call me Captain Cliché when I say this but it is that time of the year again where I present the best and worst of this year. And I may as well split those two up into separate articles since there is bunch of stuff I seen and heard this year.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues – I’m not much a Will Ferrell fan to be honest and he did have few good performances but nothing can top the character that is Ron Burgundy. This is surprisingly a year for the newscaster when even Will played Ron in few actual news programs recently, now that is top notched. As for the movie, it’s over-the-top and insane and I love every minute of it. I won’t spoil much but let’s just say that a sequence from the first movie is redone for this during the third act but it’s a redo that’s up to 11 because it’s the most WTF thing I’ve seen in a Will Ferrell movie right down to Brick Tamland’s weapon of choice. Oh, you all have to see this movie even if you don’t like the comedian, trust me on this.
Iron Man 3 – Ever wondered to see Shane Black add a little festive season with the armored avenger? Well, here’s Iron Man 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang II. Okay, that is an obvious joke there but this movie is awesome and I can dig the twist involving it even if that caused an uproar in the fanbase recently. Robert is an awesome hero as usual while Guy Pierce and Ben Kingsley throws one of their best performances in years. Also, William Sadler as the president with Miguel Ferrer as his vice president buddy? Now that’s the kinda 80s nostalgia thing to have my mind blown so awesome casting there.
Pacific Rim – Oh Guillermo Del Toro, thank you for bringing a better live-action movie about giant robots than Michael Bay’s Transformers series. Okay, I liked this movie and it delivers very good performances from Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. Heck, Burn Gorman is in this so about time he went from that guy from Torchwood to possibly one of the biggest names in Hollywood (well, not really but he’s getting there). Other than that, the movie is really stunning in terms of visuals and the story is told well so yeah, I’m glad to see this even after the 2012 mayan apocalypse has been cancelled.
Sharknado + The Way, Way Back + This Is The End – I already mention enough about this in the review and I still like those movies enough to put it in the list so check it there.
Sound City – It is about time I put a documentary here and it’s the one that truly rocks. This is a very good informative history of a studio that gave way to Nirvana’s Nevermind and Johnny Cash’s American Recordings with commentaries from musicians about their days there. And as an added bonus, we get to see a bit of performances that is later heard in the soundtrack. I’m an Foo Fighters fan since their start in music and Dave Grohl did direct the heck out of it. If you never seen it, do check it out and get the soundtrack as well.
Star Trek: Into Darkness – Yeah, I said it. I liked Star Trek: Into Darkness despite what everybody has said. I honestly don’t get the notion of trekkies have voted this as the worst Star Trek movie in the franchise (mainly because Turkish Star Trek is non-official or something) but I get that it’s a minor redo of The Wrath of Khan with Benedict playing a character that caused a bit of controversy in terms of being “whitewashed” but keep in mind, it’s explained in Star Trek: Khan comic mini-series… even though that’s more part of “expanded universe” canon (or an alternate “expanded universe” since the reboot takes place in a different continuity). Still, I like this movie and will defend the fuck out of it no matter of what it said.
The World’s End – It may be not be like Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz but it is a fitting end to Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy. I like this movie despite minor issues involving it and am okay with Edgar and his buddies poking fun at “Social Science Fiction” genre with alcohol involving it. And really, it must be a better movie involving drinks than The Hangover Part III or uh, Best Night Ever. I can’t believe I have to see that crap soon but anyway, this movie is awesome.
Thor: The Dark World – So with Kenneth Branagh being replaced by the guy who brought us The Emperor’s New Clothes, did the sequel somehow deliver? It did and it never went to the faults of an Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel like Iron Man 2 did (which I liked and also don’t get the hate for). While Christopher Eccleston did try to play an Marvel villain, that’s all there is – he tried but other than him, it really is the Loki and Thor show since Tom Hiddleston did steal the performance in this movie (along with Stellan Skarsgård who also steals the show). Oh, and Kat Dennings is in this movie as her usual self – being annoying while also attractive at the same time.
Reflektor By Arcade Fire – Other than the awesomeness that is the title track, the album is fun to listen to but it is not like their previous works. I get that bands are developing new sounds and sometimes it can be good development (like Radiohead’s Kid A) and sometimes it failed (like Korn’s The Path To Totality). This is a good part of it and I do expect more from them in the future.
Random Access Memories By Daft Punk – They’ve come too far to not give up who they are. This album probably beats them all in the list. Now prior to this album, I considered One More Time from their Discovery album to be one of the best songs I ever heard. Now with Get Lucky, Lose Yourself To Dance, Touch, Instant Touch and so on, I can’t choose. This is possibly their zeigeist moment and I do hope they would go on like this on their next album. Oh, and the Eastenders “children in need” cover of Get Lucky is a dumb rip-off of PV Nova’s own chronological cover (the video is below in case you haven’t heard it). Why Eastenders why? Uh, never watched that show anyway.
The Next Day By David Bowie – Probably the most unexpected comeback I heard in a long while and really, it’s David Bowie. This album is generally awesome and a step up from Reality. I dig the fact that it’s reissued later with few more tracks that’s here and there and also, using the cover of Heroes and update it with white box and crossed lines, only Bowie is the one who can do it. Also, everybody use a do a Bowie” rather than “do a Beyoncé” everytime an artist makes a unexpected surprise release, he did it first after all so give him a credit.
Hesitation Marks By Nine Inch Nails – First comes Bowie with a comeback then comes Daft Punk whom triumphs the audience so what about Trent Reznor’s return to the group as well? Well, it’s a good album and a sort-of sequel to The Downward Spiral. It also has the unexpected thing he ever did and that is the song Everything which is in spirit to 80s new wave music which is nice (but then again, Trent was in few new wave groups Option 30 and The Innocent before he got famous so yeah, he does know the genre). Also, Welcome Oblivion by How To Destroy Angels is a good album as well and worth checking out.
My Way By Christopher Lee – What? I put this instead of the other musicians I mentioned in the list. Now this cover was originally done back in Christopher’s own Revelations album back in 2006 but him bringing it back for Christmas… wow, this might be the best cover that I have ever heard… period. Who could top this take on Paul Anka’s classic that is sung by the man who played Dracula more than once? Nobody at this point, not even Sinatra, Sid Vicious and Gary Oldman (which is funny given that Gary is doing a cover of a cover of a cover of this song in that extent). Christopher Lee, you are one badass to win music this year and you did it your way so bravo.
Best Television Show
Arrested Development – I’m a fan of this show through and through and am excited by its long-awaited return even if its return is with Netflix first. Yeah, there is a bit of difference between this and the previous three seasons in terms of narrative but the show still has its Midas touch right down to Ron Howard sending himself up, Michael Cera throwing a parody of The Social Network there and Will Arnett’s performance being funnier than ever (shame that his material outside of this show and 30 Rock is less than stellar though). Cannot wait for more hopefully so welcome back Bluths.
Best Comic Book
The Star Wars – Yes, it’s Star Wars with “the” in the title and there is a good explanation. This mini-series is an adaptation of George Lucas’ original draft script which is both similar and different to the final product and I don’t know why this idea hasn’t been done until recently. This comic is pretty good to check out and see what might have been. Dammit, I wanted more like this so DC, make an adaptation of Kevin Smith’s Superman Lives in comic form and IDW, contact Terry Gilliam for that unproduced sequel to Time Bandits. Anyway, The Star Wars is worth checking out anyway.
Well, it’s all the time I have for. Come back tomorrow where I look at the bottom of the barrel with stuff I hope to forget in the future. See ya there.