Sunday, January 11, 2009

Year in Review wrap-up: Movies, TV and Comics a-go-go

Right -- after about two weeks into the new year, you really can't get away with "Year in Review" posts much more. So let me quickly zip over my thoughts on 2008 in movies, TV and comics (previous, longer posts on Books and Music already done).

PhotobucketI'm really loathe to do a "Top 10" movies list when I usually only get to the theater 5-6 times a year anyway, and a great many of the year-end Oscar bait movies don't make it here to New Zealand for months. So I haven't seen many of the movies that would likely end up on an eventual top 10 of 2008 list. I did watch a ton o' movies, but they were like, old and stuff. That said, movies I did like? Well, I'm a comics blogger geek, and this seemed like a pretty good year for superheroes on screen -- "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man" made for a heck of a tag team, of course. I actually saw Dark Knight in the theatres twice which I never do anymore. While I do have a tendency to rebel a bit against the BEST MOVIE EVAR!! hype you see online, I have to admit it's one heck of an entertainment, Heath Ledger was masterful, and it's the best darn Batman movie since Batman fought off sharks with bat-shark repellent spray. (What? I love Adam West.)

I also really liked Hellboy II and enjoyed the underrated Incredible Hulk. (Wanted, though, might have looked pretty and been brainlessly fun, but it bore about as much resemblance to the comic as my left shoe.) In non-big event type movies, other films I really dug that came out in 2008 were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (probably my current pick for Best Picture) and Tropic Thunder. Guess I'll have to wait and see if Milk, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire make it down here eventually to catch up!

PhotobucketNo contest, really -- Doctor Who was my favorite show of the year, with Lost and Torchwood a close second. And, er, well, that's actually just about all the TV shows we watch -- I try to catch the hilarious 30 Rock when it airs down here, but that's about it.

I know some quibbled but I really liked the latest Doctor Who series, particularly the apocalyptic everything-and-the-Dalek sink finale. Catherine Tate made a very entertaining companion, although I'm not a fan of her final fate. Like most, I'm not quite sure about the new guy -- I think a black doctor would've been really cool, but hey, let's see where they go with Mr Matt Smith in 2010. Just hope he changes that emo hair.

PhotobucketI finally became disenchanted (I know, I should've years ago) with the endless big-event hype by Marvel and DC. Sadly, the hefty price of comics here and the small market makes finding much in the "alternative" comix scene a real chore. So I'm barely in the art comix market anymore, and am starting to get hardcore about dropping the superhero stuff if they don't amuse me. Marvel's Secret Invasion was particularly annoying -- Brian Michael Bendis can't write endings to save his life, just leaping from event to event. The quirks that were fetching to me in his earlier work on Powers and Alias have generally become obnoxious cliches, and the ending of Secret Invasion -- leading into yet ANOTHER crossover -- was the final straw.

Still, there's good stuff out there -- my favorite books this year would include Criminal (the nifty Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips crime noir which I'd probably pick as my favorite ongoing series this year), All-Star Superman, Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man (my sole remaining Bendis book), The Boys, Hellboy: The Crooked Man (with superbly eerie Richard Corben art), Omega The Unknown, and a rejuvenated Amazing Spider-Man. While it's not quite perfect, the thrice-a-month schedule has resulted in more consistently good Spidey stories than we've seen in years, with some real gems (anything drawn by Pablo Rivera, the return of the indomitable John Romita Jr., and I'm finally enjoying the return of Norman Osborn as a character). Biggest comics letdown: Ambush Bug: Year None. We waited nearly 20 years for this? Sigh. You can't go home again.

* As we wrap up 2008 for good, let me throw in a plug for the nifty Hype Machine which compiled 774 bloggers including yours truly into the mega master list of blogging album picks!

No comments:

Post a Comment