best of 2014: movies + tv

   First things first, here they are friends, the 41st - 45th movies I watched this year:
  1. Cowboys & Aliens (11)
  2. Meet Me in St Louis (44)
  3. Rounders (98)
  4. The Dark Knight (08)
  5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (05)
    All quite different from each other, clearly. And if you were trying to figure our which of these I'd watch and write a paper about for an university course, it would be that gem of hilarious cinema: Cowboys & Aliens.  What a world we live in.

   On to the best of! For the movies I picked my two favourites that I saw in theatres and one that I don't think many would find and watch unless they came across it by chance (as I did) or heard about it from a friend.
  • Noah (2014, Darren Aronofsky)  This movie has garnered a great deal of attention and discussion, and when I watched it and posted about it earlier, I said that I felt I did not need to add to the conversation, except to say that this was a truly beautiful and poignant film. I still feel that same way. It's gorgeous. It's moving. It's worth your time. 
  • Interstellar (2014, Christopher Nolan)  Speaking of movies that are beautiful (and filmed in Iceland), after you see Noah might as well see Interstellar. It's got space, it's got weird locations, it's got (fake) science. It makes me think that maybe one day they'll make a movie of Foundation. 
  • Barbara (2012, Christian Petzold)  This might be the best movie I've seen all year, and maybe last year too. It is golden. It makes a point of being understated and a bit claustrophobic. It's also in German, but please don't let that dissuade you. A doctor living in Eastern Germany in the 80's makes a request to leave, and is subsequently relocated to a rural hospital and put under constant surveillance. Maybe I'm not making it sound very thrilling, but see this movie. I think it's on Netflix still. 
 SPEAKING OF NETFLIX, do you like TV? I do. I highly recommend these:
  • The West Wing
  • X-Files
  • The West Wing
  • X-Files
  • The West Wing
  • X-Files
   Start watching those and you'll be fine

  And that's that for this installment, folks. If you click on the "Movies" label at the bottom of this post you can see/read about the other films I watched this year, if you feel so inclined.


best of 2014: webcomics

   Admittedly, I feel somewhat pretentious with this blog, telling you what I read and if/why you should read it, and expecting that my writing and opinion will have an influence on your choices. Who am I to tell you what you should read? And now with a "best of" list. Such audacity. However, putting my vanity aside, I have had an excellent year media-wise. It seems only fair to spread the love. And so: a few posts on what I thought were the shining stars of my media consumption this year, and, naturally, the yearly "what I read" and "what I watched" posts.

   To begin: webcomics.
  • Earlier this year, Anthony Clark and KC Green teamed up to start BACK, a wild-west-esque comic which has proved delightful in the first thirty updates.  There are gunfights, graveyards, witches, and two brothers holding a town hostage by means of bodily gas. What? Just take my word for it, check it out, it's a good romp. Clever and funny. 
  • If there is one comic artist/writer who I will always recommend to everyone, it is John Allison. He is behind the excellent (and now ended) Bad Machinery, which revolves around a group of teens in Tackleford, England, as they solve mysteries. The last case wrapped up earlier this year, at which point Allison turned his focus to Bobbins, which is also set in Tackleford and features many of the same characters as Bad Machinery. Both comics are well worth your time. Those links go to the beginning of the last Bad Machinery case and the beginning of the latest Bobbins story, respectively. 
   BACK, Bad Machinery, and Bobbins all start with "B" and feature paranormal elements, I am sensing a theme here. 

   Join me next time for "best of 2014: movies"! So exciting.



   You know the drill: I watch 'em, you guess 'em. For bonus points you can guess which of these movies I watched for school.


Resolved, 2015

   In an effort to diversify my reading, and to keep an open mind and to find new books I wouldn't otherwise read, I want to know what your favourite books are, and I want to know why you think I should read them, or if you think I should read them, or if I should at least give them a fair go. The plan is to read at least one book that someone else has suggested a month, which means twelve books I maybe wouldn't have given the time of day before, or maybe didn't realize existed.

   In order to do this, though, I clearly need your suggestions. What should I read? Be forewarned that I draw the line at Amish romance (and romance in general, actually. But those rubbish "plain romance" books especially. What is the appeal? I am genuinely baffled by the sheer number of those things). Beyond that, however, I am game for pretty much anything.

   This past year one of my resolutions was to read at least 52 books, I've achieved that and I want to add to it for 2015. And so: books other people tell me to read. If you want a frame of reference for my reading patterns, there's a list of what I read this year at the bottom of this here bloggo. 

   Also: can I get a holla if you love Pushing Daisies as much as I do.