Again I’m just gonna have 1 true number one and the rest are others I loved/listened to endlessly. I’m too lazy to actually rank this year.
MXPX - Plans Within Plans.
Great to have my favorite band back.
Forever Came Calling - Contender
Great new punk rock band.
The Classic Crime - Phoenix
Stoked to have these guys back. I was proud to fund their kickstarter to make this great album.
Green Day - Uno, Dos, Tre
I love all three and it really serves as a great “Greatest Hits” without having any old albums. Really showcases every style they’ve ever had.
House of Heroes - Cold Hard Want
One of the best bands today. They’re incapable of making a bad album.
Family Force 5 - III
Love these guys. Their best album yet.
The Chariot - One Wing
Brilliant metal album. Any album that samples Charlie Chaplin is amazing.
Punch Brothers - Who’s Feeling Young Now?
Amazing. Listen now.
Tenacious D - Rize of the Fenix
So good. Glad to have The D back.
And for my number 1:
Masked Intruder - Masked Intruder
Never has a band come out of nowhere for me and completely blown me away as much as these guys. Such a fun record and I’ve listened to it more times than I care to tell you.
I saw a lot of movies this year, so I actually have a top 11. Number 1 is my number 1 for sure, but the others aren’t numbered. So it’s really a Top 1 followed by a “Other awesome movies” list.
My “Other awesome movies” list:
And my number 1 movie of 2012:
Yes, not surprising. A Quentin Tarantino flick is usually my top spot. And I’m in the minority who enjoys his later work (Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds) to this earlier “masterpieces”.
I can’t wait for 2013 where I can call Oblivion my favorite movie. Tom Cruise is amazing.
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I was one of the people who thought every Bourne movie was better than the last. Ultimatum was just SO good, who needed another? Well, apparently America, so we got a new one with Jeremy Renner taking over as star after Matt Damon was done. It’s worth it to note that this is the second franchise that Renner is supposed to be taking over. Mission:Impossible 4 was supposed to be a starting point for him taking over for Mr. Cruise whom the studio thought was getting too old.
Now. When Legacy was announced, I was obviously a naysayer. “How could they!” I’d yell. “Matt Damon is rolling over in his grave!” I’d shout at anyone who would listen. “What? He’s not dead? Oh… My mistake” I’d whisper, because I don’t want people to know I was wrong. Never show weakness.
Legacy is about Aaron Cross, a Bourne like “soldier” who is bad ass and kicks tons of butts. Also, this movie takes places pretty much around the same time as Ultimatum, which I didn’t know, but think is very very cool. The stories sort of criss cross. Renner is a beast. I’m glad he’s finally starring again after some supporting work, most recently of which was in The Avengers where he was horribly underused as Hawkeye. He can play anything, and gets to show his range in this movie. He’s smart, fun, and fantastic at the action. This man was born to be an action star. The reason he’s perfect? Because he can also pull off the drama like its nobodies business.
Rachel Weisz is a doctor trying to help Cross get his medication that helps keep him smart and bad ass. It sounds lame, but it’s handled brilliantly. I’m a fan of Weisz, so I thought she was great.
We also get Edward Norton, or as I like to call him, Should Have Been Bruce Banner In The Avengers Norton. And as always, he’s awesome. He’s the government stooge who is hunting down Cross for whatever reason.
Now. Did I miss Damon? Not once. Renner gripped me from the first scene. He’s just so good at what he does. He makes me care for him and also fist pump from his awesomeness (which I did several times). Would I like to see Damon and Renner together in one Bourne film? Heck yes, I’ll dream about it forever and write fan fiction. Fan fiction where they get an apartment together and spend their days kicking butt and taking names and then going home to have meatloaf. Just a couple of bro’s hanging out.
So, where do I rank this with the other three? Probably after them, those first three were fantastic. But that’s not to say this wasn’t. Legacy really is terrific and works as a quasi sequel and reboot with a terrific lead. I really hope they make the proposed trilogy because I’d love to see where Cross goes from here, and hopefully we can get Damon back, if even for a cameo. I dug the heck out of this movie and if there was any complaint I had, it would probably be the lack of action. I know these flicks aren’t about constant action, but this one seemed to have so little. Though what they did have was awesome, so whatever.
I say, if you liked the other three, you’ll probably dig this one like I did.
I give it a solid 8/10.
Prometheus. Dir. Ridley Scott. Rated R. 124 mins
First off…great movie. Ridley Scott did everything he set out to accomplish. In the Alien documentary “The Beast Within” we learn that Ridley Scott could not get enough of H.R. Giger’s work on the set of Alien. Apparently, the executives had to finally say “ENOUGH!” when Ridley wanted to add more and more set design to the derelict planet shown in that film. With the help of some amazing CGI, Ridley Scott is able to re-immerse the audience into a visually stunning treat with Prometheus. You can tell he loves story boarding a film and working with his posse of talented writers and producers. J.J. Abrams writer protégé Damon Lindelof of LOST and Star Trek is at peak performance once again here. The special effects are as amazing as shown in the enticing trailers and more and by the look of the sold out show last night, the fans are on board. In addition, I always recommend going to an IMAX theater to see these blockbuster films. The 3D doesn’t add anything this time (as most times) unfortunately.
However, this film isn’t perfect. The writers attempted WAY too much with pleasing sci-fi fans, Alien fans, and creating a story that seemed too rushed to breathe. The fans were answered the few origin questions left off in Alien but smacked with a whole new set of original questions left to think about on the drive home. The characters were truly interesting but like any great story, I wanted more. This was especially noticeable with Michael Fassbender’s character David. Fassbender is a dynamite and versatile actor that is perfectly cast as the inquisitive robot with a hint of a Pinocchio complex. He, like the others, is searching for the answers to life. He is the most interesting character in the film and the more I saw of him, the more I wanted to know about his capabilities. Noomi Rapace’s protagonist character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw is handled with care and given a terrific performance. It is hard to step into the kind of shoes Sigourney Weaver filled with the former franchise but unlike space trucker Ripley, Shaw is a scientist who wants the answers to human existence. Unfortunately for everyone on board, in order to find the answers, like Billy Joel, she will go to extremes. Charlize Theron’s character is cryptic but without the payoff. Charlize is a terrific actress but her character is really left wanting. I remember during one scene of dialogue I sat overthinking “if Charlize Theron is “mother” does that mean she’s the mother they refer to in Alien or is mother like a hierarchy of leadership?” While thinking that I may have missed 5-6 minutes of important dialogue. I have to go see this again is what I’m saying. Guy Pearce plays the CEO and founder, Peter Weyland. Fans finally get to see the face behind the name. Why they didn’t just go with an older actor instead of Pearce in weird makeup still confuses me but not a major drawback to the film. This also leaves the question of “Where is Yutani?” Does this suggest a sequel to this prequel thus creating another franchise. I’m getting ahead of myself. One of the best things about this film is that (despite my many references) the film stands on its own. Alien is not pre-requisite and perhaps those who have not seen those franchise films are in for a bigger surprise than the fans.
Prometheus also has its moments of sheer terror. One scene in particular involving a “surgical procedure” left the audience quite disturbed and horrified but also disguising the fact that there are two other significant plots going on during this moment. It was like a thrilling break from all the plot going on. To be honest, I don’t think I fully registered everything I watched with what seems like several underlying philosophical elements on top of it all. My head wanted to explode by the end of the film. The 2nd ending was strictly for the fans and I could have done with or without it.
Long story short: Great great movie, but TOO much movie crammed into two hours. Some might like it that way (so that future viewings are better and better), but to me, it’s the difference between an A+ and an A.