Sunday, 30 December 2007

Goodbye 2007

I want to do some kind of record of the stuff I've seen/done this year, but can't really think of a good way of doing it, so I'm just going to stick a load of things down as 'favourites' in various categories. Feel free to suggest other categories, or do your own, or whatever, either way, I reserve the right to add to/alter this over the next few days/weeks:

Best film I saw at the cinema in 2007:
Michael Clayton
(runners up: 300, The Bourne Ultimatum, This is England)

300 and the third Bourne film were both hugely entertaining films, exciting and adrenaline-fueled throughout, but I enjoyed the twisting storyline of Michael Clayton even more. George Clooney impresses me more and more with his willingness to produce and act in some really interesting and complex films.

Best film I saw (for the first time) on DVD in 2007:
Children of Men
(runners up: The Believer, Big Fish, Crash)

Can't believe I waited this long to see Crash and Big Fish, both of which are excellent. The Believer is much less well known (it seems) than it should be, but is brilliantly dark and has a fantastic performance from Ryan Gosling in the title role. Children of Men gets my vote, overall, though for providing an incredibly gritty view of future Britain, awesome cinematography, and an exciting, dark, story.

Best DVD extras I experienced in 2007:
Sin City (Recut and Extended).

Great mini-documentaries, two commentaries, all three stories in full, the original film without post-processing and the mandatory 10-minute cooking school. Plus a paper copy of The Hard Goodbye.

Best TV show that I saw for the first time in 2007:
The Wire (season 1)
(runners up: Robot Chicken (s1-3), Frisky Dingo (s1-2), Long way round (and Long Way Down))

Robot Chicken is the funniest programme, Frisky Dingo the most interesting programme and Long Way Round the best documentary I saw this year, but the Wire gets the overall choice. Despite its potentially fast-paced setting, it is willing to take its time and make you care about the characters on both sides of the case. The slow build up over several episodes makes it feel like a real police investigation, and it's not afraid to get its hands dirty in the darker side of the story too. Looking forward to seeing season 2.

Best single of the year (even though I know nothing about music):
Grace Kelly - Mika
(runner up: About you now - Sugababes, Shine - Take That)

Yeah, I'm a sucker for catchy pop tunes. I've really liked pretty much everything Mika has come out with so far, though, which is unusual for me and any one artist.

Most annoying song of the year:
Beautiful girls - Sean Kingston

Two girls played it repeatedly at full volume on a mobile phone on the back seat of a bus for 45 minutes. Like, no break, no change in song, just that one over and over and over again...

Best artist I started listening to this year:
They Might Be Giants

Weird, catchy alt-rock, that defies categorisation thanks to its variety. Perfect music to have on while travelling, less good for working, because it's so distracting. 'Istanbul (not Constantinople)', 'Doctor Worm' and 'Birdhouse in your soul' are probably my faves atm.

Best live show I saw this year:
Stephen Lynch

Also the only live show I saw this year, but that shouldn't detract from it's clear dominance over this field. Was amazing to see him in such a small venue, and, though he didn't have a huge amount of new material, his old stuff got more than a good reception. Unnecessary surgery dude...

Best game I played this year:
(runner up: Half Life 2: Episode 2, TF2) (Technically the Orange Box was the only game I bought this year, so choices were restricted).

Incredibly funny for a game with such a simple concept to it. Worth it for the credits song alone. Yahtzee got it spot on here, so I don't need to say any more. The developer's commentary is brilliant as ever - Valve clearly think a huge amount about every step of the design process, and it shows.

Most time wasted this year:
(runner up: facebook)

Best podcast I started listening to this year:
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews

Best blog I started reading this year:
Worse than Failure
(runner up: Awkward things I say to girls)

Special mention for best RSS feed that's not really a blog:
Zero Punctuation
(runner up: The Superest)


Anonymous said...

Mika and the Sugababes eh? I couldn't agree more. You know nothing about music ;-)

I'll do my own version of this post at some point in the next couple of days.

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

I shall try to do the same, with what litle time I can truely call mine now that I'm into the last week of christmas hol, ie. 2 weeks left till loads of deadlines, I'm such a dick.