media wrapup

(1 comment)
January 7, 2011
Time for my 11th annual summary of the books, movies, and games I took in over the past year.

I realized I changed the meaning of one of my categorizations. This year marked a continuation of me not really watching movies on broadcast or cable TV along with the rediscovery of Netflix streaming, and the ability it provides to catch up on entire tv series. So my "tv" category switched from "movie on HBO or Pay-Per-View" to "one season of an entire series".

Also, rather than using my old "recommended" checkbox, I switched to a rating of 1-4 stars. 1 means I resent the time it took from me (marked here in gray), 2 is pleasantly neutral, 3 is I'd recommend it (marked with italics), 4 is it should count as one of my favorites of this and any year (marked in red).

Movies at the Cinema (14)
It's Complicated, Alice in Wonderland, An Education, More Joel on Software, Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason, How to Train Your Dragon, Iron Man 2, Inception, Despicable Me, The Other Guys, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Social Network, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Tron: Legacy

No 4-stars in theaters, but some decent films. "Scott Pilgrim" was probably the standout.

Movies on Video (57)
Year One, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Amelie, The Brothers Bloom, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen:, Paper Heart, Better Than Sex, Boogie Nights, Meaning of Life, Voices of a Distant Star , Sex and Lucia, Clerks, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Temple Grandin, Tron, Whip It, Adam, Twilight, Push, Kinsey, Cashback, Fired Up, The Girlfriend Experience, Mary and Max, The Fifth Element, Intimate Strangers, Annie Hall, 9 Songs, Secretary, XXY, Wall*E, Saved!, Coraline, Leon:The Professional, The Big Chill, Spirited Away, Strictly Sexual, Mean Girls, Sculpture, Chloe, Hard Candy, Clash of the Titans, 300, Twilight: New Moon (RiffTrax), Superstar, Delta of Venus, Dead Snow, TiMER, Eyes Wide Shut, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Valmont, The Italian Job, The Fast and the Furious, Match Point, Speed Racer, Real Genius, Ten Things I Hate About You

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Amelie" were well-known favorites. "Temple Grandin" was an awesome HBO documentary about an amazing woman. "Cashback" was sweet and sexy if a tad creepy, a fun and romantic "what if" about science fictional powers. "Speed Racer" was just a perfect kinetic visual feast. (Thanks for recommending it Bill!

TV Shows (11)
Caprica, Lost Season 6, Office Season 1, The Office: Season 2, Futurama Season 1, Top Chef Season 7, The IT Crowd: Season 2, The Office Season 3, The Office Season 4, The Office Season 5, Tipping the Velvet

Again no 4-stars, but I've really been enjoying catching up with "The Office" with Amber.

Books (59)
How to be Idle, A Long Way Down, F My Life, Made in America, The Gospel According to Science Fiction, Me of Little Faith, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Mindscan, The World I Live In, Fluke, Coders at Work, The Ape in Me, Look Me in the Eye, Born Standing Up, Tough, Tough Toys For Tough, Tough Boys, Intimate Adventures of an Office Girl, Peterman Rides Again, You Are Not a Gadget, Waiting, Come to Me, In the Merde for Love, Buddhism Without Beliefs, Little Brother, Time: Secret Societies, 100 Best Beatles Song, I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This, The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, Too Cool to Get Married, Permutation City, Danny: The Champion of the World, Designing Interactions, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, HTML5 for Web Designers, Anathem, Disquiet, Please!, The Playboy Book, No One Belongs Here More Than You, How the Mind Works, Guys & Dolls, The Subterraneans, One-Night Stands with American History, Look at the Birdie, Sh*t My Dad Says, Pontoon, Casual Game Design: Designing Play for the Gamer in ALL of Us, Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me, Retro Gamer Collection Vol.4, jQuery Cookbok, How To Be Inappropriate, Predictably Irrational, Constellation Games, A Guide To The Good Life. {the ancient art of stoic joy), Self-Therapy, Dr. C. Wacko's Miracle Guide to Designing and Programming Atari Computer Arcade Games, Dr. C. Wacko Presents: Atari BASIC & The Whiz-Bang Miracle Machine, Vintage Games, Room, Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918

"Permutation City" is an old favorite, an out of print but brilliant set of thought experiments about what a virtual life could really mean... "How To Be Inappropriate" is just plain funny, "Constellation Games" is a book by Leonard I got the rare privilege or reviewing a draft of and making suggestions on. I've already expounded on the stoic treatise "A Guide to the Good Life" and my love of "Atari BASIC & The Whiz-Bang Miracle Machine".

Comics (21)
Exit Wounds, The Fart Party Vol. 2, Y: The Last Man, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Delayed Replays, 1001 Mad Pages You Must Read Before You Die, Students for a democratic Society: a graphic history, XXXenophile Vol.5, Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, GI Joe vs The Transformers, Logicomix, The Force Unleashed, MAD about Star Wars, Memories, It Is Folly To Assume My Awesome Lies Dormant, The Three Paradoxes, Empowered 6, The Lodger, Tron: Betrayal, Inbound 4: History of Boston, Inbound 5: The Food Issue

"It Is Folly To Assume My Awesome Lies Dormant", Mincing Mockingbird's odd juxtaposition of well-done bird paintings and odd captions, was something I found at The Decordova. "The Lodger" is by Karl Stevens - I love his realistic style and slice-of-life approach, even if his way of drawing thought balloons makes me think people are farting.

Video Game (11)
Redder, Redder, eBoy FixPix, Transformers: War for Cybertron, Red Remover, Tron, Starfox 64, Tron, Peggle, Peggle Nights, Super Scribblenauts

I got to playtest Auntie Pixelante's Redder and it is great retro play with intriguing philosophical overtones. "Tron" for the iPhone is the best tank game I've played in a long while. "Super Scribblenauts" is just crazily empowering... being able to write almost anything you can think of and have it appear, adjectives and all, is just a pinnacle of gaming.

Honorable Mention: Since we only play like one level at a time, I never offically record Left for Dead 2 but I'm pretty sure I've gotten through all the levels with my buds online... -it's easier to wrap yourself in the Constitution when you get to pick and choose which parts you like, eh?
A static document is a fossil of thought.
Leonard Richardson, "Constellation Games"

Just learned shift-Win-M reverses Win-M ('M'inimize All). But I was using Win-D (Show 'D'esktop) which doesn't shift reverse. Grr. (That's one of the fewish UI things OSX does better - its "Show Desktop" key is a toggle, just hit it again to get your windows back.)