Monday, January 13, 2014

Entertainment Roundup for 2013

ABOVE: The Google Chromecast
 
As I do each year, I start this year's blog with a rundown of the films, books, TV, comics, and other entertainments I took in this past year. While I try to keep a complete list, I suspect there are still a few items that get by, particularly among the comics and television.

Continuing a trend that accelerated this past year, most of the books and comics I read in 2013 were digital (via my Kindle Fire HD) and many films were watched through streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. So while the medium of storytelling hasn't changed much—whether it's film, television, books, or comics—what has changed significantly is the way such content is delivered. Netflix original content like Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black may not be series "television" in the traditional sense, since they are delivered through an online streaming service and often presented all at once in acknowledgment of the increased users who engage in "binge watching." In the same way, the Kindle re-kindled my interest in comics, particularly in titles like All New X-Men, Nick Fury Max: My War Gone By maxi-series, and Hawkeye. My recent acquisition of streaming-ready devices like the Google Chromecast and a DirecTV system and BluRay player with wifi connectivity reinforces the way entertainment is consumed. Like many people, I've even seriously considered cutting the umbilical to DirecTV/cable given the amount of content available online or on cheaper pay systems like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but ultimately decided to hold the line on this since others in my household—particularly my children—still watch series television on their tween channels.

But what about the content? This year seemed to be a particularly strong year for movies and other entertainments. One of my favorite films was Populaire, which I saw on Netflix. Other highlights included Frances Ha, Man of Steel, the Lone Ranger, Thor: The Dark World, Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Saving Mr. Banks. Two animated films, Dispicable Me 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, surprisingly, were on my list of disappointments.

A discovery this past year was IFC's "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret," which I caught on Netlix. Speaking of Netflix, though I still have to finish them, their original series, Orange is the New Black and the new season of Arrested Development, have been as good as anything you'll find on TV and the way they are presented on Netflix certainly has redefined what "series television" is all about and how it is delivered.

Anyway, without any further ado....

Films:

Nowhere Boy - DVD (1/12/13)
Argo (1/19/13)
Iron Sky (1/28/13)
Remains of the Day - DVD (1/29/13)
Shanghai Calling (2/16/13)
Alfie (2/15/13)
Guys and Dolls (2/26/13)
The Third Man (2/27/13)
Little Voice - Netflix (2/27/13)
Blow Dry - Netflix (2/28/13)
Carnal Knowledge (2/28/13)
The Front (3/10/13)
Kramer vs. Kramer (3/16/13)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire - Netflix (3/25/13)
Atlantis: Return of Milo - Netflix (3/26/13)
Treasure Planet - Netflix (3/28/13)
Oz: The Great and Powerful 3D (4/1/13)
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (4/2/13)
Titan A.E. (4/3/13)
Independents ??
The Imposters (4/6/13)
Death at a Funeral (4/24/13)
The Day I Saw Your Heart - Netflix (French) (5/11/13)
Classic Albums: Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell - Neflix (5/11/13)
This is 40 - Amazon (5/11/13)
Price Check - Netflix (5/13/13)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (5/18/13)
Extract - Netflix (5/24/13)
Les Miserables - Amazon (5/26/13)
Homecoming - TCM (5/26/13)
Frances Ha (5/27/13)
The Dish and the Spoon - Netflix 5/20/13)
Absolute Beginners - TCM (6/1/13)
Hitchcock - Amazon (6/2/13)
Girl Model - Netflix streaming (6/4/13)
Damsels in Distress - DVD (6/7/13)
Dead Again - Netflix streaming (6/8/13)
Epic (6/9/13)
Friends with Kids - Netflix streaming (6/12/13)
Man of Steel (6/16/13)
Monster U. (6/30/13)
Dispicable Me 2 (7/3/13)
Man of Steel (7/5/13)
Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn - Netflix streaming (7/14/13)
Turbo (7/23/13)
The To Do List (7/27/13)
Dive Bomber - TCM (8/9/13)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (10/12/13)
Behind the Candelabra (HBO - 11/28/13)
Thor: The Dark World (11/29/13)
Frozen (12/8/13)Lovelace (Netflix - 12/9/13)
Populaire (Netflix - 12/11/13)
Lone Ranger (Amazon On Demand - 12/21/13)
Saving Mr. Banks (12/21/13)
Great Gatsby (DirecTV On Demand - 12/28/13)


 

Television:

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret - Netflix streaming (1/4/13)
Downton Abbey/Season 3 (PBS - 1/13)
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee by Jerry Seinfeld
Curb Your Enthusiasm - Season 8 (DVD - 12/7/13)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Arrested Development, Season 8 (Netflix)

Theater:

Ragtime (3/16/13)
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (7/7/13)
It’s a Wonderful Life (11/19/13)

Books:

How I Slept My Way to the Middle by Kevin Pollack (1/10/13)
Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings (2/25/13)
The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China by Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang (8/1/13)

Museum Exhibitions:

Kubrick Exhibition (LACMA) - (1/6/13)
Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archeology - Science Discovery Center (4/14/13)


Comics/Graphic Novels:

Amazing Spider-Man #700 (1/3/13)
All-New X-Men
Dominic Fortune (5/2013)
Hawkeye
Nick Fury Max: My War Gone By
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwart and art by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker (12/30/13)

ABOVE: Cover art to the Fifth Beatle


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