Posts tagged “Stranger Things”

Sunday, 31 December 2017

“Of the Year” 2017

Album of the Year:

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

There were so very many great albums released this year, and I must apologize to all my other friends who came out with some really amazing work in 2017. But this album just eclipses them all.

A few years ago Mike released Dark Comedy, an hilarious album tinged with anger and darkness. Well, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is kind of the opposite; it’s a dark and angry album tinged with hilarity. And it is SO SO GOOD. A concept album about the now-destroyed Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago where Mike (and earlier, Mr. T) spent some of his youth, BBKSD is a stark exploration of some very big injustices. It’s also at times extraordinarily beautiful. Just listen to “Daydreaming in the Projects” here:

Also listen to the sun-drenched, wistful nostalgia that gushes out of the just lovely “95 Radios” here:

I don’t want to make this album sound like a complete drag; Mike is still as geeky as ever, and there is some genuine hilarity like in “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending it Don’t Hurt),” in which very funny braggadocio serves to illustrate both the toxic environment that induces men to act tough and unfeeling as well as the toxicity of such behavior itself.

Man, this album is smart. The best album of 2017 by leaps and bounds. Also, very funny:

Movie of the Year:

Wonder Woman

I saw shockingly few movies in 2017, far fewer than I actually wanted to see, and almost all of those were somehow under the Disney banner. All except for Wonder Woman. We’ve been getting big-budget Superman movies since the 1970s. Batman movies since the 1980s. X-Men and Spider-Man movies since the early 2000s. But it took until 2017 for Wonder Woman to finally get her own movie. And, oh my, is it goooooooood. I don’t know if I can honestly say it was worth the wait, but thank goodness this production fell into the hands of people who did right by it. Gal Gadot is endlessly entertaining as the main character, and even though the third-act climax kinda devolves into a big CGI power-vs-power mess, Wonder Woman at its heart is a story about being a decent, loving human being (or goddess, as the case may be) in an indecent, hateful world.

TV Show of the Year:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wins by being one of only two TV shows that I actually watch anymore (even though I stream it later on Hulu), and the only one that actually airs on a regular schedule and has, y’know, actual seasons. In the shadows of the Marvel movies, this TV show has been churning out some of the most entertaining and comic-booky live-action adventures out there. The show went really gung-ho in its 4th season, with a trio of interconnected story arcs that delved into Ghost Rider and the Darkhold, Life Model Decoy androids, and a stint in a Matrix-style alternate computer reality. And now in the 5th season the cast has been flung into space… and the future! It’s great seeing these characters whom we’ve come to know and love get thrown into all manner of insanity and still keep their wits about them (upon learning that they’d been transported to outer space one character simply grunts, “Space, huh? Makes sense; we’ve done everything else”).

Streaming Show of the Year:

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2 is to Stranger Things as Aliens is to Alien. Sometimes in some very direct ways. It takes the original concept and expands upon it mightily without losing the fan-frikkin-tastic characterizations that you came to love in the first season. Plus, Paul Reiser is in it as a very sketchy and somewhat smarmy individual! A loving tribute to both Steven King and Stephen Spielberg, with plenty of callbacks and references to them both. Also Aliens.

Video Game of the Year:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I mean, come on. This is the game of the year. It’s so good. Just take a look at this:

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Categories: Featured Posts, Of the Month, Round-up.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

“Of the Month” November 2017

Hey, sorry this is so late. Having a kid born the day after Halloween means the beginning of November is kinda hectic!

Album of the Month:

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

A few years ago Mike released Dark Comedy, an hilarious album tinged with anger and darkness. Well, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is kind of the opposite; it’s a dark and angry album tinged with hilarity. And it is SO SO GOOD. A concept album about the now-destroyed Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago where Mike (and earlier, Mr. T) spent some of his youth, BBKSD is a stark exploration of some very big injustices. It’s also at times extraordinarily beautiful. Just listen to “Daydreaming in the Projects” here:

Also listen to the sun-drenched, wistful nostalgia that gushes out of the just lovely “95 Radios” here:

I don’t want to make this album sound like a complete drag; Mike is still as geeky as ever, and there is some genuine hilarity like in “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending it Don’t Hurt),” in which very funny braggadocio serves to illustrate both the toxic environment that induces men to act tough and unfeeling as well as the toxicity of such behavior itself.

Man, this album is smart. The best album of 2017 by leaps and bounds.

Cartoon of the Month:

Over the Garden Wall

I initially didn’t watch this cartoon when it aired on Cartoon Network a few years ago because I thought it was some dumb cartoon about garden gnomes (understandable, considering it has the word “Garden” in it and the main character wears a conical hat). But the truth is this is a dark and creepy and surreal dive into weirdness and the nature of fear. About two children (well, one teenager and one child) who get somehow lost in “The Unknown,” a very strange and anachronistic forest environment where talking animals and magic are commonplace, Over the Garden Wall is a miniseries of ten 11-minute episodes. So at 110 minutes it’s very possible to watch it all in one sitting, which I highly recommend. Taking place in the days after Halloween, it’s an absolutely perfect show to watch on a dark fall evening with some hot cider and a blanket. You’re going to underestimate this show; you’re not prepared for how good it is.

Show of the Month:

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2 is to Stranger Things as Aliens is to Alien. Sometimes in some very direct ways. It takes the original concept and expands upon it mightily without losing the fan-frikkin-tastic characterizations that you came to love in the first season. Plus, Paul Reiser is in it as a very sketchy and somewhat smarmy individual! A loving tribute to both Steven King and Stephen Spielberg, with plenty of callbacks and references to them both. Also Aliens.

Categories: Of the Month.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

“Of the Month” September 2016

TV Show of the Month:
stranger-things-200
Stranger Things

Yes, there is a lot of hype about this show, and a metric tonne has been written about how much of an homage it is to different 1980s pop culture like Steven Spielberg and Steven King and some other Stevens, probably. The thing is, it’s good. It’s not just a nostalgia trip (though it certainly is that). It’s really good. They’re making a season 2 soon. I’m glad about that. It already has a title.

Stranger Me?

Stranger Me?

Seriously, though, if for some reason you’re a dumbass and have avoided watching this show because it’s so hyped and popular, shut your hipster hole and go binge it. It’s really good.

Comic Book of the Month:
squirrel
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now

After the soft reboot of Marvel’s massive “Secret Wars” event, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic started with a new #1 issue (“Our second #1 in 12 months” the cover proudly exclaimed). This collects the first 6 issues after “Secret Wars” and sees Squirrel Girls as part of an Avengers squad. But the bulk of the story revolves around her being accidentally sent back in time to the 1960s and fighting an earlier version of Doctor Doom who has also gone back in time to the 1960s. It’s absolutely delightful and hilarious. And just so very nerdy. In a climactic scene Squirrel Girl gives secret instructions to a friend by saying a string of C++ code out loud, knowing that the friend is a computer science major and can translate it. This run by Ryan North and Erica Henderson is one of the greatest comic book runs of the past couple of years, up there with Ms. Marvel.

Tweeter of the Month:
figgled
Dee @figgled

Dee is from Melbourne. She is funny. Don’t just take my word for it: John Stamos said so too, once.

Categories: Of the Month.