Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Goodbye 2019, hello baby

I always like a good Best Of The Year list. The group ones are always rubbish, and always end up going for bland consensus over individual adoration, but you can see deep inside an individual's soul when they tell the whole world what they really liked.

There won't be one here this year. It's mainly because I've been cut off from a lot of culture - I didn't go out to a movie for four months, (although I just saw three in four days), and there's just no way I can keep up with all the latest films, TV shows, comics and music. It's a goddamn river of content, and we all just have to swim through what we can. Even so, I've been particularly useless this year. 
There's also an acute sense of detachment from a lot of modern culture, when all the films look the same and there are far too many great comic books to keep up with, and the things I've liked the most this year are all old or uncool.

My favourite comic reading experience this year was knocking over all 9000 pages of the magnificent Lone Wolf and Cub, which had more thrills and emotion than anything I've read all year, but is 40 years old. The best regular comics are, as always, 2000ad and Love and Rockets, and they're both old and dusty too.

The best movie I saw all year was Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but that's largely due to all the circumstances around it, and I can't remember most of the 20-odd novels I read in 2019, so I'm going to say the best was the new Anno Dracula from Kim Newman which I scorched through last week, because that's always my favourite book.

My favourite TV show was absolutely Game of Thrones, which gave me everything I wanted. I found most of the criticisms to be facile, picky and entitled, and while I knew that not everybody was watching the same story I was, it was still surprising how many weren't into the 'war is fucking shit' show like I was. (Also, I just think having a giant climactic battle end with half an hour of almost no dialogue is a feature, not a bug.) At least it cured me of my long-running addiction to TV recaps - my enjoyment of things like Watchmen and Fleabag and Barry and other shows with one-word titles has been greatly enhanced by not worrying what Rolling Stone thinks about it.

Most of all, I became a Dad in 2019, which was so unlikely and improbable that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. But I'm into it, and get more entertainment and feels from her beautiful fat face than I did from anything on a screen or page all year.

It's been a shit year for so many people - here in New Zealand the Christchurch mosque attacks and deadly Whakaari/White Island eruption have made it a year bookended by horror - but 2019 has been okay for me. And when I come home to that smile, I don't give a damn about how far behind the culture I slip.

See you in 2020!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

This is the Tearoom of despair: Writing about movies and TV

The Leftovers: Nobody is doing this alone

Following the Doctor through time and space

Jim Jarmusch could get me divorced

The last video store in town

Trailer Park life

In the Meadows

Suburban horror stories

Entering the House of Hammer

Time for an Iron Woman

Bourne thrills: Efficiency, energy and empath

Star Trekking across my universe

Doctor Who: Death at tea-time

I still like you, Prometheus

South Park: Gonna have myself a time

How Rocky Horror made me a better person

Romero's devil was always in the details

I fell in love with a video nasty

Anger: How to influence modern culture

Dredd: The movie

Boardwalk Empire: I'm in love with Richard Harrow

Moving pictures: The arc of the human body in superhero films

Fast zombies and the arrogance of the now

Mad Men: The moon belongs to everyone

Trainspotting 2: Off the tracks

Here! Eat some turkey!

Bond, James Bond

Scary movies

Do not mess with the cleaning ladies

Twin Peaks: Seeing into the darkness

Under the big sky, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the western.

Mike Sterling loves The Spirit, and you should too

Fear of a camp Bat

Red Dwarf X: Late night comfort food

I still like you, second Star Trek film

Deadwood: We are not made for such complexity

Always Star Wars

Inside the storage locker of shame

Dumb movie arguments (that think they're so smart)

Just try not to blow it: The mind-bending films of Lindsay Anderson

101 reasons why Doctor Who is the greatest show ever

150 reasons why I love the movies