Wednesday, January 2, 2008


what's a "best of..." post with out an obligatory "worst of..." post? usually, when i do write a review, it's with the notion of a purposeful recommendation. when something great happens, i want to share it. i'm a giver like that. if you hop back through the archives, you'll notice that there aren't really any downright negative critiques. typically, i don't want to discourage you from seeing or doing or listening to something simply because i didn't care for it. different folks like different strokes. unless its totally horrendous, i think just about everything deserves a chance.

ALMOST everything...

  1. Anna Nicole Smith's Death - this was the top story for literally months. i'd bet that at least 75% of Americans know not only that she died, but the whole story behind it and the subsequent legal battle for custody of her baby. you know who else died this year? Merv Griffin, Lady Bird Johnson, Marcel Marceau, Luciano Pavarotti, Kurt Vonnegut, & Ingmar Bergman. compare what you know about these six individuals with what you know about Anna Nicole. you can thank your local anchorman for that.
  2. Paris Hilton's Month In Jail - this received the same amount of coverage i would expect if a president was caught on CCTV murdering a hobo for his bottle of mad dog 20/20.
  3. The Self Destruction of Lindsay Lohan - one week out of almost every month was devoted to Ms. Lohan's idiocy. i think she got busted with coke 5 times, a handful of D.U.I.'s, an eating disorder or two, and caused at least 10 car crashes. fortunately, she did the right thing and went to rehab about 20 times.
  4. The Self Destruction of Britany Spears - from a teen pop sensation to a chubby, lip synching, madonna kissing, twice divorced, cheetos stained, panty-less, unfit mother. we all saw it coming.
  5. Senator Craig Touches A Guy's Foot - that makes him gay. or it doesn't. either way, the sexual preference of an obscure congressman became the most important thing in the nation for a good month.
  6. All News American Idol Related - probably the most unnecessary journalism. the show is on 5 days a week. every news program reports on it before, during and after the season and every contestant appears on every morning talk show after they're booted off.
  7. O.J. Simpson's Robbery - i think his recent robbery arrest is just getting press because his murder trial went virtually unnoticed.
i've posted about the sad state of affairs within american journalism on several occassions in the past. if you're looking for more ranting on the subject, look no further than here or here .
  1. Rush Hour 3 - Rush Hour 1: an urban black cop teams up with a chinese martial arts detective. catch phrases and testicle injuries ensue. Rush Hour 2: an urban black cop teams up with a chinese martial arts detective again. this time though, catch phrases and testicle injuries ensue. Rush Hour 3: the stunning climax to the trilogy finds a chinese martial arts detective teaming up with an urban black cop. are there plenty of catch phrases and testicle injuries? you betcha!
  2. Shrek The Third - the first Shrek was an original premise with a skewed perspective on beloved fairy tale lore that showed that an animated movie aimed at Children could be just as entertaining for grown ups, too. the second movie had some good moments and introduced a lot of new characters. The third was rushed, less clever, much less humorous, and obviously put out simply to make money by exploiting its earlier profits. i saw it and i can't really remember anything about it.
  3. Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem - i guess the producers, in an attempt to recoup their losses from the ridiculously lame and box office busting Alien Vs. Predator, decided to make another. the weirdest thing is that the only people who would have any desire to see this new movie are the superfans of the original alien and predator movies. they're rewarded by a script written by someone who apparently hasn't seen any of those flicks.
  4. Live Free Or Die Hard - if for no other reason, because Bruce Willis is one yippee kie yah away from shattering his hip.
  5. Hannibal Rising - the scariest things about Silence of The Lambs were Anthony Hopkins portrayal and the mysterious fear he instills on all the characters who encounter him. your imagination makes him frightening. the newest in the steep decline of the stories has no Anthony Hopkins and tells way to much story.
  6. Spider Man 3 - the amazing special effects team didn't return for the 3rd installment. They overdid it with the villains and drew out to nearly 3 hours. the plot was stuffed full of boring story lines and Venom was kind of a pansy. after the escalating success of the first 2, they had to do a third. unfortunately, they didn't have another one in them.
  7. Transformers - attention Michael Bay (you, too, George Lucas): stop soiling my childhood memories.
i'm basically anti sequel all around. the decision to green light a sequel usually comes from the executives who own the rights to the original hit, not the creative team responsible for it. they'll sully the name if they think it's enough to get people into theaters. they're not concerned with quality. there have been good sequels, but generally, its just lazy film making. with the exception of The Lord Of The Rings saga, a good writer and a good director will encapsulate everything in one film. any more is just money grubbing.

fun fact: the 7 most successful movies this year were sequels (if you count Transformers, which is more of a remake, and even further away from the realm of creativity).

  1. Daughtry's "Daughtry" - this was deemed "the best album of the year" as far as sales. 3.5 million copies nationwide. it got 4 grammy nominations, received 3 American music awards & it won 10 Australian music awards (the ceremony's new record holder). the music is trite, to say the least. the band itself was formed by the record label. its just another formulaic, by-the-book offering created by a record labels board of directors. the dude came in 4th on american idol, for the love of god. 4th! i think that if american idol decided to only allow housepets to audition for the next season, the top 5 finalist would all go triple platinum.
  2. "High School Musical 2 Soundtrack" - this isn't that horrible as long as you've never seen another musical or ever heard a song before.
  3. Fergie's "The Dutchess" - i swear this is music targeted for the profoundly mental handicapped. she does a lot of spelling over really boring loops. its more brilliant work from the gal that gave us such lyrical gems as "I'm a get, get, get, get you drunk/ Get you love drunk off my hump/ My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump/ My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps".
  4. "Hannah Montana Soundtrack" - this 13 year old daughter of a one hit wonder country singer has mothers shelling out thousands for her live shows. is that really the investment you want to make for your child? when i was 12, all the girl i knew would have chopped off a finger to see the New Kids On The Block. those who actually did are now moderately embarrassed about it.
  5. Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" - how to make a gwen stefani album: first, push any preset rhythm button on your $10 casio keyboard. come up with 2 grammatically incorrect sentences (try to incorporate slang and profanity if possible). chant the sentences to the beat and randomly spell words that have nothing to do with anything. repeat about 50 times. make a billion dollars (that shit is b-a-n-a-n-a-s)
  6. Nickelback's "All The Right Reasons" - these guys exhibit the kind of musical vision once reserved only for pre-teen garage bands.
  7. "Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 23" - could it possibly be as good as volumes 1-22? maybe. the real question is, do you have enough ritalin on hand to make it through all 16 tracks of repetitious dance club rap and bubblegum pop? check your medicine cabinet.
all of these albums ranked in the top 20 grossing albums of 2007. the past 365 days brought us some of the best music from some of the best artists in recent years, and the only one of my picks to even break billboard's top 200 was The Shins' "Wincing The Night Away" at #122.

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