Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What blew my skirt up in 2010

The internet called and said it was a bit light on with top 10 lists of 2010, and would I be able to make up the shortfall. I replied "geez internet I'm a bit busy but I'll see what I can do". After reflecting on what a close personal friend of mine the internet is, I decided to go out of my way to help it out. Here is the result - A bunch of things I watched and listened to over the past annus.


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Wow!! is my one word review of this flick. Not sure where this sits amongst Edgar Wright's other work but even if it's his third 3rd best it was still easily my fave of this year.

Best bit: The stunt casting of Anne Veale as Roxy Richter.

As with Scott Pilgrim, expectations were high, and were met. Insane B grade cast for an insane B Grade movie. Wright and Rodriguez at 1 and 2 - What a shock!!

Best bit: Intestinal rope.

Cements Christopher Nolan position as the new Speilberg. Effortlessly cool and smart [but not too smart] blockbuster.

Best bit: Tom Hardy. Non sexual man crush alert.

Sorry US Box Office - you are an idiot! A bit of a lean year for comedy but this will enter my pantheon of rewatchables. As Edgar Wright suggested, now Andy Samberg needs to direct a comedy to complete the Lonely Island trilogy - Hot Rod / MacGruber / ??????.

Fave Bit: The 2 greatest sex scenes in film history. Within 45 seconds of each other.

Kick Ass
I thought the violent sweary girl gimmick would lose it's impact after the trailer revealed the shock moment. But it didn't - it was still awesome. Loved the whole movie way more than I thought I would and Matthew Vaughan is now high on my list of fave current directors.

Fave Bit: When the little girl swore.

Twisty, mind bendy low budget horror flick seen by hardly anyone which is a shame as it was freaking great!! It starts off with a slow burn and plenty of atmosphere before pulling a surprise turn into original and thought provoking territory. If you watch it, avoid any plot description or previews beforehand and you will be grateful afterwards.

Fave Bit: Difficult to say spoiler free. The reveal of where that chick dies?

Another cool horror flick that heads down a familiar path before veering off onto WTF?!?! Avenue towards Shady Pines Home For The Totally Mental Street. Cool visual effects and bonus points for the shamelessly B Movie "explanations" of the flick's science.

Best bit: The public demonstration of the freaky genetic research. What could possibly go wrong?

Shutter Island
Low rent Scorsese but still pretty good fun.

Best bit: The interview with the crazy lady. But is she really crazy?!!!?!?!

Toy Story 3
Pixar remains the 3D animation benchmark although the others are closing. This was a good solid flick book ended by some great set pieces. As usual, Pixar's canny voice casting [another thing others are picking up on] elevated it up a level.

Best bit: The opening set piece, and all of Ken.

The Social Network
Gripping, superbly written drama that only lost some of it's gloss after I contemplated how much money each of the real life characters ended up making - including the ones that got "ripped off". What I'd give to get screwed over like that.

Best bit: Sean Parker being a charismatic fuckhead.

Stuff I didn't see but could well make the list once I do....... Four Lions / 127 Hours / True Grit / Winters Bone.


The Walking Dead
To be honest, I would watch a zombie tv show starring Freddy Prinze Jr and directed by Uwe Boll, and probably enjoy it. However - TWD is a genuinely high quality tv drama that just happens to include quite a high component of flesh eating. And despite the flesh eating being graphic and in your face, it's the writing and performances that propel the show which probably couldn't be said of the fictional Boll/Prinze Jr joint I just hypothesized. I was hooked from the get go and cannot wait for season 2.

Best bit: Single human on horseback vs zombie horde.

Mad Men
Continues to be insanely compelling drama, even though I thought the quality dipped slightly from Season 3. There's still vast amounts of room for development in the raft of great characters though, and it wouldn't surprise me if the best is yet to come. Don Draper remains the most complex and interesting dude on tv.

Best bit: Peggy and Stan's strip brain storming session.

True Blood
Season 3 proved as addictive and satisfying as a vat of V. As is usual by this stage in a tv show, the peripheral characters are more interesting to me than the main ones [More Eric! Less Bill!! More Jessica!! Less Sooky!!] but I plan on consuming further helpings of it's trashy dollops of sex, violence and goopy vampire remains.

Best bit: Northman.

30 Rock
Despite the odd fluctuation this show continues to kick out the comedy jams, and Tina Fey continues to rock my world.

Best bit: James Franco's pillow fetish.

Eastbound & Down
There is a one note-ness to this show that some might find grating but I am completely sucked in to the black, borderline bleak comedy. Kenny Powers is simultaneously funny and repulsive whilst his sidekick Stevie continues on a character arc that passed "eeew" some time ago and doesn't appear to be slowing down. It's also worth mentioning the music in the show elevates it imo - just as it did in Jody Hill's Observe and Report.

Best bit: Deep Roy as Aaron.


On Jan 1 of 2010 I hit the reset button on the iTunes playcount column. Here's the results of what most regularly rattled the Xray Studios juke box in the subsequent year. Not to be confused with a list of songs released in 2010, as musically I live in the past.

Over and Over by Young Heart Attack from Mouthful Of Love
My good colleague Bombshell Bakota put me onto this crazy AC/DC-esque high voltage rock bomb and I am still in his debt. Not one but two of the most insane rock vocalists in the one band combine to turn this MC5 cover into a total beast. It also has to be said Jennifer Stephens is approximately 1000 kinds of hot in this video.

Starlight by Young Heart Attack from Mouthful Of Love
Did I mention how much I dig Young Heart Attack? Well iTunes confirms what I already suspected. Another rock classic dripping with 70s nostalgia and super coolness.

Mean Nite, Tonite by Bad Wizard from #1 Tonite
I'm a little surprised this one came in 3rd as despite how much YHA love I had in 2010, I flogged this track. Pretty basic four on the floor rock action but if it is not the perfect anthem for road tripping or preparing for a night out, you do it heaps different to me. The little 70s lead lick they repeat throughout the song floats my freaking boat.

Kissin' Time by KISS from KISS
I'd never owned their first album previously, but corrected that oversight this year. Plenty of great songs but I totally fell in love with this throw away cover that was only included originally as a desperate attempt to bump up sales. Love the Gene/Paul/Peter multi lead vocal assault.

Hot Kiss by Juliette and the Licks from Four On The Floor
This may qualify as a guilty pleasure but whatever. I've always loved Juliette's big screen work and this song contains all the same great elements of craziness, non-subtlety and let it all hang out-icity that make her such a watchable actor. The nutty outfit she rocks in the video for this song perfectly sums up all that is awesome about her.

Good Love by Young Heart Attack from Rock and Awe
From the 2nd YHA album which isn't as great as the first imo but still has plenty of moments. This is an epic rock ballad that sounds like it has sucked on the teats of Queen and Guns N Roses.

Stop Pretending by The Witnesses from Tunnel Vision
Driving Stones flavoured rocker that demands your dancing shoes complete attention.

Love To Smoke Your Weed by Honky from Balls Out Inn
Some glorious stoner hard rock slide guitar madness from the trailer park of ex-Butthole Surfer J.D. Pinkus.

New York Groove by Ace Frehley from Ace Frehley
Another year goes by, another flogging of this awesome disco/rock coalition. Will I ever stop listening to Ace Frehley? No.

Bootyshakin' by The Cherry Valence from ???
Have been seeking out a ton of this band's music which is great but nothing rocks like this number which I could only find on the youtubes. It goes right off.

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