Saturday, December 29, 2012

My 10 Favorite Movies of 2012 (So Far)

As every year, here is my non-prestigious, completely subjective list of my 10 favorite movies from this year that I actually managed to see during the calendar year:

1. Life of Pi
2. Prometheus
3. The Avengers
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
5. Amour
6. Kauwboy
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. Safety Not Guaranteed
9. Now Is Good
10. Excision

And here, then, since I've finally gotten around to seeing (almost) everything I wanted to see from 2011, are my 25 Favorite Movies of 2011:

1. Margaret
2. Intouchables
3. Drive
4. Pariah
5. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
6. Killer Joe
7. Take Shelter
8. Shame
9. The Cabin in the Woods
10. Circumstance
11. The Artist
12. Bernie
13. Another Earth
14. Thor
15. The Muppets
16. A Separation
17. Captain America: The First Avenger
18. Le Havre
19. Melancholia
20. African Cats
21. Higher Ground
22. Tomboy
23. Your Sister’s Sister
24. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
25. Super 8

We Are Clearly in an Era of Doctor Who That I Just Don't Like

So, a few stray thoughts on "The Snowmen," and that will be that.

:: I found Jenna-Louise Coleman just as insufferable here as I did on "Asylum of the Daleks." Yes, yes, she's a special snowflake, cleverer than all the other clevers put to clever, but is there, like, anything that makes her interesting? Or anything other than just yet another River Song? I already hate her as much as I did Amy Pond, but in only two episodes. She's grating, she's zero-dimensional, and she adds nothing but more emo snark. There are no shades so far. The idea that she somehow exists in all of these different times and places is fleetingly interesting, until you figure that they're just bringing the whole Jagaroth concept back or something, and she'll end up being somehow a creation of the Doctor or a relative or a snare to trap him or some such overplayed bullshit, because this show currently feels like it has nothing left.

:: Strax, Jenny and Vastra were infinitely more fun characters and potential companions, but they aren't moony little girls, so they don't get to fly in the TARDIS, because the Doctor and his space/time windowless van only pull over for the young trim. I'm just saying. It seemed less creepy before. Matt Smith is such a cartoonishly asexual Doctor that watching Clara throw herself at him was the gross equivalent of watching a woman sexually tease a child who barely knew what was going on. It was ugly. And at the end of the episode, there he is, with another bright young snowflake to perk up his interest, rushing away from the most interesting things in the episode to chase some more tail.

:: Too hard in my terminology? Don't much care. Not enough good stuff in the episode for me to soften my dislike.

:: You know, for a character that the show keeps reminding us is the most powerful, most potentially deadly man in the universe, they don't find much that's very big to do with the Doctor, do they? Fighting snowmen and Richard E. Grant over the fate of... something. Hm. Seems like a better writer could have made it feel big even knowing it wasn't. But that's this era... This used to be a show that was all about finding grand timey-wimey plots that were clever. Now it's a show where just saying "timey-wimey" is what substitutes for clever.

:: Overall, predictable and dull, with some aspects I enjoyed. This is clearly an era for the show that's just not for me. I don't think Steven Moffat is doing anything interesting or science fiction-y with it anymore. He's turned it into a dark fairy tale with fleeting moments of interest, and as a fan I'll continue to watch it in the hopes that it'll get better eventually, but without being the fan who goes online to whine about how bad it is even though no one's forcing me to watch it in the hopes that it'll get better eventually. It's boring to read and, honestly, it's boring to write, because in the end I could just not watch it.

Maybe the next producer's era will be more for me than this is. For now, I'm just a fan waiting for a more interesting direction to come along. The nice thing about being a Doctor Who fan is knowing that it eventually will.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My 10 Favorite Movie Posters of 2012

10. I just think it's neat. Not much more to it than that, honestly; I just like the old-fashioned pulp cover look of it.

9. Also a nicely dynamic poster, but seeing it makes me nostalgic for a specific summer of my life. In fact, right now I think I'd like nothing more than to sit with Becca and play Podracer on Dreamcast... If only that were possible...

8. For what I imagine are fairly obvious reasons.

7. Damn, I really need to see this. There's some more old-fashioned pulp right there.

6. I love the mist and the blue lights. The mood established here is palpable.

5. That's just cool...

4. ...but not as cool as Bruce Lee. (But what is?)

3. Another great mood-setter. I'm not interested in debating whether the movie worked or not, but the poster sure does for me.

2. Excellent work.

1. For me, it's all of what makes The Hobbit work in a single image. The promise, the threat, the adventure, and the yearning for home, even if you have to leave home to understand its value. It's fantastic.

Honorable Mentions:

Previously: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

90 Years of Stan the Man

Happy Birthday, fella.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Think I Have Bronchitis

I had it for a little while in 2006, and it feels like that. Plus it got through my Teacher's Immune System. It's very rare for me to get sick since I became a substitute teacher in 2007; that first year, I was sick all the time, and then I never got sick again, except for allergy stuff or food poisoning or the very occasional cold or mild flu. But this is much worse. Trouble breathing, eating, a weight on my chest, coughing up what feels like pounds of phlegm--and great coughing fits so painful and exhausting they make me want to just cry at how small and weak they make me feel. It's pretty terrible. It's worse for me that Becca's sick, too; she's been sick for days, and I had day or two where I felt buggy, but yesterday it just got so much worse. I don't even want to eat because my throat hurts, but my stomach is rumbling worse than I ever remember feeling it.

I hate being sick. I have not missed these sensations at all. I don't feel like I have a fever at all, so I've mostly been sleeping and eating the occasional dry waffle with coffee: coffee makes my throat feel much better, and when I'm not drinking it I've been sucking on cough drops like a man with a fetish.

So if I'm light the next couple of days, that's why. I'm not even going to do Film Week today because I'm reaching the end of my ability to concentrate.

Hopefully it moves fast and doesn't become walking pneumonia like it did in 2006. I'd like to be back in time for my useless end-of-year lists. Or, you know, I'll do them in the first week of January like I did last year when my computer broke down. I probably should stop pretending like I'm actually on some kind of schedule.

Later, gators.

Charles Durning 1923-2012

Sorry to hear that Charles Durning left us this week. I always love him in pretty much everything, but my mind always goes right to this: one of the most gleefully silly five minutes from 1982.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Blah Blah Blah

It's that day again, and we are SICK. Becca and I have the flu and aren't going anywhere, and are spending the day watching Christmas episodes of TV shows on rerun channels, which is about as much effort as I put into doing Christmas-related posts this year on Electronic Cerebrectomy. Posts such as:

:: The New Christmas Banner
:: Brrrrr!!!
:: CeeLo and the Muppets
:: Xmas: Peanuts 1960 and 1961
:: Song of the Week: "Here Comes Santa Claus"
:: My Last Word Ever on the "War on Christmas"
:: Xmas: The Peace Carol
:: Xmas: Peanuts, 1962
:: Song of the Week: "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
:: Xmas: Wonderful Christmastime
:: Xmas: Peanuts, 1963
:: Song of the Week: "Christmastime Is Here"
:: *Sigh*
:: Xmas: "Feliz Navidad"
:: Xmas: Peanuts, 1964
:: Song of the Week: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
:: Kristen Bell Mondays
:: Xmas: Tumblr Finds
:: And 6 Years of Christmas Posts

Everyone have a great day today, holiday-related or no. BBC America has every Christmas episode of the Doctor Who revival on today, counting down to the new one, so you can have a day of wildly varying quality. And isn't that something something for something?

Hey, I'm sick, give me a break.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kirk Thatcher

I just finished watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

The punk on the bus is played by Kirk Thatcher. He also wrote the punk song ("I Hate You") playing from his boombox. He also worked on the film's special effects (he worked at Industrial Light & Magic) and was the voice of the Vulcan computer that tests Spock at the beginning of the film ("How do you feel?").

But beyond that, he was also a producer of The Jim Henson Hour, one of the writers on Muppets Tonight and Muppet Treasure Island, and directed three Muppet TV movies--It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa--as well as both Studio DC specials for Disney Channel and several of the Muppet viral videos, including "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Hey, here is on a Muppets Tonight sketch with George Takei, playing a fan dressed as a Klingon.

The worlds of Star Trek and the Muppets combining? That's just good pop culture.

Song of the Week: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

SamuraiFrog's Essential Christmas Songs #15, and the last we'll have this year, because, wow, Christmas is on Tuesday.