Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jeff's Best of the Rest for 2013

My personal best of 2013 is terrible image manipulation.

While I've counted down my favorite unheard songs of 2013, there was a lot more to the things I enjoyed this year than just music. Follow me in for some other bests of the year.

Favorite New Television Show: While television disappointed me in terms of new shows, one show stood head and shoulders above the rest: BBC America's Orphan Black. A sci-fi show about clones and clone conspiracies, everyone who insisted that lead actress Tatiana Maslany deserved all the awards for her performances on this show were absolutely correct.

Best Albums of the Year: I did a countdown of my favorite albums over at my music blog, If It's Too Loud, but the lead single from Lissie's Back to Forever (my favorite album of this year), is embedded above. It was a really great year for music if you knew where to look.

Best Books of the Year: While I read a ton of books this year, no book impacted me quite the way Marisha Pessl's Night Film did. A haunting, mind-bending, genre-breaking epic tale about a filmmaker and perhaps the dark arts that surrounded him, it was a chilling, immersive read unlike anything else I read this year.

Honorable mentions go to:

* Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart
* Joe Hill's NOS4A2
* Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell
* Matt Haig's The Humans
* Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave
* JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst's S.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (2-Out-3 Falls Match) by BuuPetit

Wrestling Match of the Year: This is the first full year that I've watched professional wrestling since I was in grade school, so I've spent about as much time catching up on 20 years of the product as I have watching it. The WWE has merged it's developmental regions into one single "minor league" as it were in NXT, which airs regularly on Hulu.

In this particular instance, indie darling Sami Zayn (formerly El Generico) is in a bit of a feud with WWE star Antonio Cesaro (who is probably my favorite wrestler on the main roster currently), and they've been booked in a best two of three falls match. Cesaro, also from the indies and someone who faced Generico regularly, so you know you're getting two experienced guys.

What you don't expect is the high level of quality from the match. Part of the NXT thing is to groom indie darlings into a more WWE way of doing things, and Zayn stormed into the group almost fully formed as is. He pulls a lot of the high-flying acrobatics that made Generico so entertaining, and we still get to see all sorts of crazy feats of strength from Cesaro along the way. Absolutely killer match.

Movie of the Year: To be honest, I didn't get to the theaters much at all this year. I still haven't seen Thor or Gravity, and the last thing I think I actually saw was Iron Man 3 in the theaters. So of my favorite movies this year? Well, nothing against Pacific Rim, but the one that I thought was most successful that I saw was Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Hear me out.

There's something to be said about a movie being exactly what it's supposed to be, and pulling it off near-flawlessly. Think Planet Terror, even Machete - movies that know the genre they're referencing and go above and beyond in aping it. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters does that and more. It's a modern exploitation film in a lot of regards, with over-the-top unnecessary bloodshed combined with an extremely basic plot that just ends up being a fun roller coaster ride. I was absolutely riveted from start to finish, and with a runtime under 90 minutes, there was no worry about it overstaying its welcome.

No, it won't get any Oscar nominations, but it is the most fun I've had with a flick all year.

Here's looking ahead to 2014!

No comments:

Post a Comment