Archive for December, 2007
Everyone else gets to do their year-end lists, so why shouldn’t I? I should say, beforehand, that I was extremely busy this year– for the first part of the year, I was working two jobs, and for the last part, I was moving and working a crazy schedule. So unfortunately, a lot of stuff that probably should be on this list (Super Mario Galaxy, Southland Tales, The National, a lot of other stuff) isn’t. But of the stuff that I did see and play and hear this year, here’s the top five of each. Also, I’m chickening out, and putting them in no particular order. Sue me– unlike most of my other writing nowadays, I’m getting paid nothing for this.
Top Five Movies of 2007 (by Mike Schramm)
Tarantino’s side of the movie got better reviewed (and, fine, was better), but Rodriguez’ side was the perfect zombie-movie skewering. “Give him a gun! Give him all the guns!”
This actually is a cliche by now, but this is how comic book movies should be done. Watchmen should be this good.
Neil Gaiman is going to be known as one of history’s greatest screenwriters someday, and this year kicked it off. People didn’t like Beowulf that much either, but it was written extremely well.
Amy Adams is an incredible actress. I also saw Junebug this year, and while she wasn’t the only thing that made this movie so great (the perfect praise-yet-satire of Disney films helped), but she played a huge part.
No Country for Old Men
Coen Brothers. Cormac McCarthy novel. Tommy Lee Jones back on film. Javier Bardem. Amazing.
Honorable Mentions: Sicko (Michael Moore can still do his thing), Shoot ‘Em Up (a post-post-post-post-modern something-that’s-not-even-a-film-really), Across the Universe (Julie Taymor loves the Beatles, and with the exception of quite a few cheesy parts, I do too).
Top Five Albums of 2007
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
I never got into Arcade Fire when Funeral came around, but Neon Bible, Intervention, and the remake of No Cars Go won me over this time.
Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero (and the remix album)
Trent came back! The ARG was interesting, the album was good, and the remix album was even better. Also enjoyed the NIN DVD this year.
Took me a while but I got into it. After quite a few listens, that Atlas beat really sears itself into your head.
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Duh. Had me at the first listen.
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Listened to this little album more times than I care to admit. Oxford Comma is an amazing song, but my favorite song of the year is probably Walcott. When those strings kick in and do their thing, I really do want to get out of Cape Cod tonight.
Honorable Mentions: Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (The Underdog is a classic, classic song), Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight (saw them in concert, fell in love with Jenny Lewis, and Smoke Detector is a terrific song), M.I.A., Kala (also, the Diplo Pitchfork mix was amazing, too).
Top Five Games of 2007
Best multiplayer I played this year. I’ve beaten this like three times already, I’ve even beaten it on Legendary, and I still get periodic cravings to jump in on Xbox Live and duke it out in Big Team Battle.
Incredible experience. Great twists. Great, creepy mood and story. Bummer that it doesn’t have too much replayability, but as an interactive experience, it definitely lives up to the standard set by System Shock.
Bioshock has a terrific story, but Portal was definitely the best-written game of the year. Everyone expected the gameplay would be great (how could you not after that trippy trailer a long time ago that promised to warp your mind with those portals), but nobody expected that a game with only one living person it in would have such an emotional, gripping, and hilarious story. I played Bioshock, I played Halo 3, and the videogame character I cared the most about this year was that cute little Weighted Companion Cube.
Like Guitar Hero, but for everything. That’s what they promised, and that’s what we got. Playing in a band online is tons of fun, but not as much fun as playing in a band in person. And affordable and amazing DLC means we’ll be playing this for a long, long time.
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
The best MMO ever made didn’t get toppled this year (although I’m thinking it’s going to be close in 2008). BC gave us the magic back again, if only for 10 more levels. And Karazhan is a classic. The bigger Blizzard gets, the bigger the target that’s painted on their back (a target that Mythic and Funcom can’t wait to hit), but Burning Crusade was an unqualified success. If the Death Knights don’t work out, we’ll always have Draenei.
Honorable Mentions: Puzzle Quest XBLA (so many hours sunk into this), Settlers of Catan XBLA (finally, Settlers playable even if I don’t have friends around to play with), Crackdown, Mass Effect, Tiger Woods 2008, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, EVE: Trinity.
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