Often around this time of the year, various outlets of media see it upon themselves to let everyone know what the best parts of the year were in areas of entertainment and information. Personally, I think it should be upon each individual to decide what was the best for them. As experiences and backgrounds vary, so can appreciation of various forms of art. And experiences and backgrounds are not at all similar for each and every individual.
That said, I’d like to list what I personally thought was the best of the year. Your favorites and mileage may vary. And if it does, by all means, leave me a comment and let me know in what way it did. I’d like to hear about it and would gladly post a follow up with those suggestions if needed. But with this, I’ll be doing it in two parts. The first for today includes entertainment venues, and the next should hopefully include technology and news.
Movie of the Year: Zodiac
This one totally took me by surprise. I remember having it advertised to me at the time of release, but it seemed like a typical mystery movie at the time. Later on, I Netflixed it out of curiosity and left blown away. Initially, I planned to watch only halves of it over the span of two nights, but my plans were quickly drawn into dissaray as the narrative completely drew me in. So many films of this type try to throw in twists and turns in an attempt to make it good, but only come away leaving viewers confused, cheated, and dissatisfied. Zodiac is one of the few films to succeed in doing this, and should be seen as the benchmark for doing so. And what makes it even more awesome is that this crap actually happened.
Many still haven’t seen this film. And I have no clue why. In my opinion, it is the most underrated movie of recent history. Rent it. Like, now.
Runner Up: Ratatouille, mostly because it’s yet again the pinnacle of what Pixar is capable of. Amazing animation, but more importantly a wonderful story with wonderful heart. It’s murmured that, in addition to Best Animated Picture, Ratatouille could be up for bona fide Best Picture. Which honestly, it deserves.
Movie Event of the Year: Transformers
Yes, there’s two movies of the year here. Simply because I think there are two different types of movies. Those that you enjoy for its artistic value, and those that you enjoy for pure unadulterated entertainment, preferably amongst friends. As a piece of art, Transormers is pretty stupid. Seriously, it’s about giant alien robots fighting over a magic cube. But as something you can have fun with, it’s freaking awesome. There was around twenty years of fanboy hype built up for this sucker, and it did not disappoint. Seeing this amongst a bunch of twenty somethings with mouths agate who grew up with the franchise is an experience that cannot compare otherwise.
These honors would normally go to the third Pirates of the Caribbean film. But as cool as that franchise is, it doesn’t amount to the history of Transformers.
Video Game of the Year: Super Mario Galaxy
This game was heralded at last year’s E3 as the first true step in taking the Wii in where it ought to go. And truly, it does. But even without the gimmicky waving, Mario Galaxy is just more fun than should be legal. And it really is a case where the sum of its parts equal its whole.
Case in point..
..I could probably still chalk this up as the game of the year based on its music alone. But every other element is just as enjoyable as this. Which puts it head and shoulders above the rest.
Book of the Year : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Okay, so this may come across as sort of another geeky fanboy pick. And it is, honestly. But truth be told, the final chapter here was a literary masterwork despite that fact. I do think that as a singular book, Deathly Hallows wasn’t the best of the series. But you can’t really consider it as such because it’s really the conclusion to said series that doesn’t stand alone as a singular story. And it does that perfectly. Every single bit from the series is tied up so neatly and wittingly, something that many conclusions to other franchise properties have failed to do over past years. (I’m looking at you, Matrix Revolutions.)