Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Best of 2006

Movies - a lackluster year, but these are the five that I was most interested in forming a long-term relationship with through eventual DVD purchase

1) Children of Men - a realistic future with a frightening human defect. Astounding camera work

2) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - a bit of a guilty pleasure, but my most enjoyable popcorn matinee adventure since Raiders of the Lost Ark

3) The Descent - nothing scared me more this year

4) Hard Candy - almost as suspenseful as The Descent, and promises good things for their upcoming adaptation of the 30 Days of Night graphic novel

5) V for Vendetta - a competent adaptation of Alan Moore's complex, difficult graphic novel

Honorable mentions: 49 Up, Little Miss Sunshine, Lucky Number Slevin, Manderlay, Volver
Music - amazingly, my top 3 spots are the same artists as 2005: Danger Mouse, Beck, Jack White

1) Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere - was anything else even close?

2) Beck – The Information - Guero with a touch of Sea Change

3) The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers - nothing spectacular, but fun and probably got more spins from me than anything else this year

4) Ugly Duckling - Bang for the Buck - in an abysmal year for hip-hop, one that kinda mattered. Unapologetically old-school and damn good at it

5) Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors - even better than You Are the Quarry

1) Battlestar Galactica - Seriously, why are you still not watching this show? Season 3 Ep 4 was the single best hour of tv this year

2) LOST - recovered nicely from the disastrous Season 2 detour with the other tribe

3) The Office - Season 2 was great, Season 3 isn't quite as strong, but still must see tv

4) Heroes - seems to still be trying to find its footing, but I'm in for the long haul

5) 30 Rock - I love Tina Fey, and Alec Baldwin can do no wrong in this show

1) Girls (Image) – nearing its end in 2007, still with plenty of mysteries to resolve

2) The Escapists (Dark Horse) - Brian K. Vaughan takes a unique stab at the world of Chabon's Kavalier & Clay novel, mixing modern indie comic angst and romance with retro pulp adventures in a fascinating miniseries

3) Astonishing X-Men (Marvel) - not quite as astonishing as the first arc, but still the best X-Men comic being made today

4) The Nightly News (Image) - issue #1 was the best single issue of any comic this year...and it was the first effort by this new writer/artist. I can't wait to see what comes next for both him and his comic

5) Daredevil (Marvel)- Brubaker is still holding my interest
Graphic Novels

1) Sandman: Absolute Edition Vol. 1 (DC) – gorgeous presentation of Neil Gaiman's legendary source material, recolored and complete with exhaustive extras

2) Pride of Baghdad (DC) - Brian K. Vaughan strikes again, start forecasting his total Eisners tally now

3) Grease Monkey (Tor) - what if damn dirty apes were equalized with humans by a sympathetic alien race, then worked side by side with us on space combat training missions to protect the Earth? Crisp, clean lines, with funny and touching stories, a winning space opera

4) Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip Vol. 1 (Drawn & Quarterly) - deluxe premier North American collection of Jansson's daily strips from the 50s. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 50 years for Vol. 2

5) Inverloch Vol. 1 and 2 (Seven Seas) - collected editions of ongoing all-ages fantasy webcomic, deservedly in print where it belongs. Lush, full-color art and an engaging story, fun stuff

Honorable mentions: Lost Girls (Top Shelf), Castle Waiting (Fantagraphics), Little Star (Oni)
Video Games – This was the transition year to the next generation, and Xbox 360 shooters owned it.

1) Gears of War (Xbox 360) - roadie runs, scary monsters, satisfying weapons, and the best next generation graphics so far

2) Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii/Gamecube) - I didn't play it yet, but I know I'll love it

3) Call of Duty 3 (Xbox 360) - as good as the superb Call of Duty 2

4) Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Xbox 360) - Sam Fisher makes a successful move to the next gen with a new look and some new tricks

5) Tomb Raider: Legend (Xbox 360) - great graphics and control, interesting puzzles, a rewarding return to form for Lara Croft


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