Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Entertainment Roundup for 2008

Continuing a tradition I began last year, below is a list of the films, books, concerts and shows I took in in 2008.

As I have mentioned, being a parent with two young children limits my ability to see as much as I did in my single days. You'll see that I include films taken in on DVD and my TiVo, and seen in their entirely (usually uncut on a movie channel).

Among the best films I saw this past year include the French action comedy, OSS 117: Nest of Spies (promotional image pictured at right and originally reviewed by me here), Michael Clayton, and Iron Man.

People also tend not to give animated films their due, but I believe that the crop of such films we've seen the past few years genuinely rank among the best scripted hands down. WALL-E, Bolt, Madagascar 2, and Kung Fu Panda were all topnotch.

The worst I saw, either live action or animated was, hands down, Space Chimps. I took my children to see it, even though I could smell this one a mile off. Yes, it's for children (and despite the fact that my children usually exhibit some good taste, they enjoyed it well enough), but given the quality of animated features that broadly appeal both to children and adults, there's no excuse for a film this unbearably awful and third-rate. I'd also have to rate The Spirit, reviewed in my previous post, as among the most disappointing as well.

And so without any further ado—

BOOKS:
Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones (1/12/08)
Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris (2/27/08)
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin (03/05/08)
The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz (03/13/08)
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson (08/24/08)
B.P.R.D. 1946 by Mike Mignola, Joshua Dysart, and Paul Azaceta
Alan's War by Emmanual Guibert (graphic novel) (12/24/08)

PLAYS:
"King O'Leary": the Actors' Gang (08/23/08)
"Klub": the Actors' Gang (5/10/08)

FILMS/DVDs:
Flight of the Conchords (1/3/08)
Juno (1/7/08)
Melinda & Melinda-DVD (1/12/08)
Sex and the Single Girl-DVD (2/15/08)
Michael Clayton-DVD (2/22/08)
The Great Race-DVD (2/23/08)
Waitress-DVD (2/27/08)
Exterminating Angels-DVD (2007)
Baby Face - TCM (03/8/08)
Sky High - DisneyChannel (03/15/08)
Sweet Smell of Success - TCM (03/16/08)
Horton Hears a Who (04/27/08)
Lars and the Single Girl - DVD (05/16/08)
Iron Man (05/17/08)
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (05/25/08)
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (05/26/08)
The Americanization of Emily - DVD (05/28/08)
Go for Broke - DVD (06/06/08)
Kung Fu Panda (06/08/08)
John Adams, Ep. 1 & 2 - DVD (06/25/08)
Charlie Wilson's War - DVD (06/27/08)
WALL-E (06/29/08)
Get Smart (07/13/08)
John Adams, Ep. 3-5-DVD (07/12/08)
John Adams, Ep. 6-7-DVD (07/18/08)
Space Chimps (07/22/08)
New Frontier - DVD (07/03/08)
The Dark Knight (08/4/08)
Harold and Kumar - DVD (08/06/08)
Spaced - DVD (seasons 1 & 2) (08/22/08)
Tropic Thunder (09/01/2008)
Extras - Xmas Show (09/20/08)
Night of the Generals - TMC (10/19/08)
Hannah and Her Sisters (10/22/08)
Madagascar 2 (11/11/08)
Madagascar 2 (11/27/08)
Bolt (12/13/08)
Sense and Sensibility (DVD - 12/15/08)
Trainspotting (DVD - 12/16/08)
The Spirit (12/27/08)
Frost/Nixon (12/29/08)

1 comment:

Bob Westal said...

Finally catching up through the miracle of Google reader....I noticed "Charley Wilson's War" on your movie list and I know you have the book, but I guess have not read it yet...but that's probably the way to do it.

In some respects, the movie is kind of a whitewash as much it also it is a sort of on-target, cleverly written satire (though not half as good as a typical Aaron Sorkin "West Wing") with some great acting, particularly from P.S. Hoffman -- but if you haven't read the book, you can appreciate the former without worrying too much about the latter. Still, great book.