Monday, January 7, 2013

Entertainment Roundup for 2012

Below is my annual overview of movies, books, concerts, and other entertainment consumed in 2012.


DIGITAL AND STREAMING MEDIA
The year saw a significant shift for me to streamed and digital media. I've used Netflix streaming for several years now, but I discovered that Amazon Instant Video and DirecTV were also great for streamed content, complementing what was available on Netflix. (All were viewed on my widescreen TV via a laptop connected together with an HDMI cable.)

Along the same lines, as mentioned in my last post, I recently purchased a Kindle HD, which has allowed me to read not only books, but magazines and comics (via Comixology) as well. (Regarding Comixology, I want to support my local comic-book retailer but at the same time, it’s nice not to be accumulating as many physical comic-books anymore.) In fact, the Kindle also allows me to stream Netflix, which I often connect to the TV in my studio via a micro-HDMI cable.

ABOUT THE LIST
As in past years, the usual caveats regarding the lists below apply: being the parent of two young children tends to limit the number of films I see in theaters and the kinds of films I see. Fortunately, with the kids getting older (the eldest being a tween), we’ve finally graduated beyond just family fare. While the quality of modern animated films from studios like Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks are usually topnotch, I’m glad we’ve begun expanding our horizons. So it was a treat to see the Avengers as a family and I considered it a milestone that both kids consented to seeing the Hobbit, which they initially feared would be too intense in a theater, and enjoyed it immensely. (As we did for Captain America, we watched the Hobbit in advance to ensure it would not be too scary for our 7-year-old.) This is why you’ll also find oldies-but-goodies like the Back to the Future trilogy, Home Alone 1 and 2, and Galaxy Quest on the list, which my wife and I introduced to the kids this year.

Having said that, I must admit that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less interested in films that are high octane or overly violent -- films on the list like Django Unchained notwithstanding, I’m more interested in being entertained than I am watching anything too harrowing or violent.

Which is why Downton Abbey, season 2, stayed tops with me again in 2012 (with season 3 about to start as I write this), continuing my interest in entertainment from Across the Pond that began the previous year, with British films and shows like the Inbetweeners film, season 2 of the Sherlock PBS series, and Salmon Fishing in Yemen being among my faves this past year.  Other faves include Lincoln, Django Unchained, Avengers (a perfect, entertaining popcorn film), Margin Call (actually released in 2011), the Hobbit, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Pitch Perfect!

And now without any further ado....

BOOKS:
Steve Jobs (1/16/12)
The World of Downton Abbey (2/27/12)
Backing into Forward by Jules Feiffer (3/9/12)
Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage by Douglas Waller
Truman by David McCullough (7/2/12)
Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Christopher Matthews (9/2/12)
Downton Abbey: The Untold History of Television by Kathleen Olmstead (Kindle) (10/28/12)
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe (Kindle) (11/16/12)
Rose: My Life in Service by Rosina Harrison (Kindle) (12/1/12)
A Christmas Carol - Kindle (12/26/12)

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT:
Spamalot (7/1/12)
Mid Summer’s Night Dream (8/11/12) - Cal Tech
Tempest (Actor’s Gang adaptation) (08/12/12)
Hollywood Babble-On (8/18/12)
Sgt. Pepper (Beatles Tribute Band) (8/25/12)
The Book of Mormon (10/13/12)

FILMS:
Page One - Netflix streaming (1/2/12)
Tailor Tinker Soldier Spy (1/7/12)
White Collar (Season One) - Netflix Streaming (1/14/12)
Margin Call - DVD (1/21/12)
White Collar/Season 2 - Netflix streaming (1/28/12)
Fortysomething (6 episodes) - Netflix streaming (1/30/12)
Sherlock (season 1/episode 3) - Netflix streaming (2/2/12)
The Descendents (2/13/12)
Brass’d Off  - Netflix streaming (2/18/12)
The Secret World of Arriety (2/19/12)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (2/20/12)
Jackboots on Whitehall - Netflix streaming (2/24/12)
The Lorax (3/4/12)
Accidental Tourist - Cable
Beginners (3/10/12)
Iron Man 2 - Netflix streaming (4/15/12)
The Highest Pass (4/23/12)
The Pirates: Band of Misfits! (4/29/12)
The Avengers (5/6/12)
The Avengers (5/27/12)
The People vs. George Lucas (5/28/12)
Recalculating (6/2/12)
Witness for the Prosecution (6/2/12)
Madagascar 3 (6/16/12)
Brave (6/23/12)
Sherlock (season 2) - PBS/DVR (6/23/12)
Anything Can Happen - TCM (6/28/12)
Come Live With Me - TCM (6/28/12)
Back to the Future - DVD (7/5/12)
Katy Perry: Part of Me (7/6/12)
Back to the Future II - DVD (7/7/12)
Back to the Future III - Amazon streaming (7/18/12)
Galaxy Quest - Amazon streaming (7/21/12)
Grand Prix (7/23/12)
The Dark Knight Rises (7/27/12)
Nicholas Nickleby - Encore (7/27/12)
Mirror Mirror (8/4/12)
49th Parallel - TCM (8/10/12)
The Lost Battalion - Reelz (8/19/12)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (8/18/12)
Paranorman (8/26/12)
Somebody Up There Likes Me - TCM (9/9/12)
Inbetweeners (9/15/12)
What Rats Won’t Do - Netflix (9/24/12)
Company Men - DVD (9/29/12)
Holes - DVD (10/6/12)
The Decoy Bride - Netflix Streaming (10/5/12)
Another Country - Netflix streaming (10/12/12)
The Rum Diaries - Netflix streaming (10/13/12)
Art School Confidential - Netflix streaming (10/17/12)
Mister Foe - Netflix streaming (10/18/12)
You Only Live Twice - Amazon (10/19/12)
Hotel Transylvania (10/20/12)
Wreck It Ralph (11/4/12)
Skyfall (11/11/12)
Lincoln (11/17/12)
Rise of the Guardians (11/22/12)
Sixty Six - Netflix (12/8/12)
The Hobbit (3D HFR) (12/15/12)
The Hobbit (3D HFR) (12/22/12)
Salmon Fishing in Yemen - DirecTV streaming (12/23/12)
Django Unchained (12/27/12)
Amazing Spider-Man (12/28/12)
Pitch Perfect - DVD (12/29/12)
Home Alone - Amazon streaming (12/30/12)
Double Indemnity - DVD (12/30/12)
Home Alone 2 - Amazon streaming (12/31/12)

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