Looking back on this blog it seems like the last time I did a year-end list was in 2015. That’s… wow. I thought maybe one or two year had been missed. Anyway that’s not why I started compiling one now. It was an intense year and the other day I looked through my IMDb check-in list and had a great memory trip with it, so I thought I might as well look through some more. Besides IMDb I checked my Netflix history, and for music I browsed back on this blog and checked on Last.fm. With that data and some reminescing I came up with this.
One caveat: I decided that I’m doing this list for myself and in that sense I value the sum of my personal experiences most and don’t care about release dates. So, all stuff here are things that made my year 2019, and that’s the only criteria that’s important.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Ford v Ferrari
Sorry to Bother You
Zombieland: Double Tap
Outstanding new Christmas movie: Klaus
Best trash: Geostorm
Best movie franchise that I missed so far: Mission Impossible
Best one movie that I haven’t seen in ages: Event Horizon
The Expanse (seasons 4)
The Final Table (season 1)
Love, Death & Robots (season 1)
The Witcher (season 1)
Formula 1: Drive to Survive (season 1)
Glow (season 3)
Hyperdrive (season 1)
Stranger Things (season 3)
Best comedy rewatch: The Big Bang Theory (seasons 1-7)
Best scifi rewatch: Firefly and also the Serenity movie
Best one show that I totally late adopted: Shark Tank
I liked the first season for the cultural aspect, for telling a lot about Harlem and seemed like something authentic. In that respect, it seemed to tell a lot more about and go much deeper into black culture than the Black Panther ever did, even though this is much more the grim side of the story, but what can you do when it’s there.
And then the second season seemed like starting slow, and after a while I realized that it remained slow, I just got adjusted to the speed. And it took its time (1 hour long episodes? That’s balls.), and went deep into the minds of the characters, and I liked that a lot. It stayed culturally relevant, showed struggle, and when it came to some hit-hard turning points it just did hit hard and I went “wow, I didn’t see that coming” a few times. The Punisher was dark and a slasher but that was still a super hero flick on its own terms. Luke Cage’s season two is a super hero drama with some heavy shit going on. It was not an easy ride at all times, but it was well worth the time and attention.
OMG, such underwhelming. How could this series possibly turn into this crowd pleasing Hollywood shitshow? I couldn’t have imagined to carve nails into my face for being annoyed by GoT just two seasons ago. I don’t even bother to search for an image to place here.
The only thing I am interested in from this point on is whether Bran could possibly become the Night King himself based on the time travel loop theory. And if he does I really hope he kills off every other human being in this world.
Ah, this is such a crap. I liked Jessica Jones for the grim humour and the alcoholic protagonist. I liked Luke Cage for how much emphasis was on the cultural aspects, for half the season it didn’t even feel like a superhero thing. I didn’t give a shit about Daredevil, they managed to make him uninteresting. And Iron Fist was a Saturday afternoon Xena-level ride with its stupid story and fuckface main character. And what is the Defenders about? Storyline following Iron Fist with Daredevil in the center of attention because of the Elektra relations. And what do Jessica Jones and Luke Cage do? They frown and try not to give a shit, like I do. Meh.
I jumped on the bandwagon early on right after the first episode as Westworld seemed something to look out for. Now after season one here are some notes (for self).
Some theories, opinions, facts and stuff:
Felix is a host. I had this assumption all along and I believe that on Maeve’s screen it’s him. Also, I think his affection for Maeve is because of this, too. Also, there is the thing about the names: Felix being a host learning from joy, and Dolores being another learning from pain.
Maeve did not reach consciousness (by going back). Ford said hosts have to learn by pain over and over until they are able to break their loop by breaking away from their cornerstone. Her cornerstone is her (memory of a) daughter and she failed to break away, so she had to go back to learn evolve further. And she delivered the suitcase to the train, so her mission is accomplished, I guess her being on the train and leaving with the baggage was not mission critical. Also, see the code on Bernard’s screen.
Ford will return as a host. When he had Bernard kill Theresa everyone was assuming that the body being printed there will allow Theresa to come back as a host. But she didn’t, apparently. So I assume that body was mean for Ford. And there’s his sentence about musicians being turned into music themselves.
William will be left alive. He could have got shot to death right away but got just a scratch. Also he was always pro-consciousness, so Ford’s narrative spared him to face the uprising and have his real fight he was looking for.
Good old Jeffrey Wright, came a long way since Basquiat. Still his best acting so far.
But. I loved the show, looking forward what comes next, and all that. But. There were so many painful stupid little things that totally wrecked my immersion. And I just cannot understand why.
Glass walls all around and a guy tries to secretly jerk off on a host in the middle of all that with earphones plugged in? This was probably the final and biggest stab.
Naked Logan riding away into… death? And no serious investigation into this high-profile guy’s disappearing?
Theresa, one of the biggest bosses around, dying just mysteriously and in the super-protected park there is no very specific trace about where she went, who she was last with, etc.?
Previous point applies for Elsie, too.
Security guards shot down by hosts with a single shot and not getting shot back once (until the story says it needs some shooting back). And security guards wearing no bulletproof armour at all, wtf?
Probably the whole concept just got wrapped into itself too much. I mean if you can’t explain something and any time something fucked up happens you say “oh, that guy probably is a host and was hacked to do so” it gets tiring after a while. Like when the explanation is always “because they are Jedi”, and “oh so this is also a dream”. Come on. Beyond a point you cannot take anything seriously.
After watching Mr. Robot’s S02E08 and heard Portia Doubleday sing Everybody Wants to Rule the Worldin a karaoke bar I got totally hooked on the tune and just couldn’t let it go from my head. And since the whole thing started with someone else singing the song and it was not the original Tears For Fears version, I started searching for even more renditions of this track.
This is how I came across the 2014 Spotify Landmark recording of the song with the original band just 30 years after and it’s an awesome video to watch, also the guys just totally kill it even 30 years later. This video is right here below, and then there are some more covers after it that I found interesting.
Spotify Landmark: Tears For Fears plays “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (in 2014)
Maybe I miss out some stuff especially on the music part but these are what my notebooks hold of what was good in 2015, based on some memories, this blog, Last.fm, and IMDb.
If I wanted to some up shortly, I would say this year quite sucked for movies but brought some unexpected and nice twists and turns for music.
Movies & TV
The movie and TV list speaks for itself: the year was full of mediocre shit and overrated mainstream blockbusters (or wannabes). The Martian was okayish, Sicario had some beautiful compositions, but as a whole I wouldn’t say flicks like this made any great difference in my inner movie universe. And please don’t tell me about Star Wars, just shut it.
As for music, I didn’t stumble upon a new best band, but there were some notable releases from some old favourites. IAMX created a stunning new record, and I was similarly satisfied with what DJ Krush or The Black Dog had to offer in 2015, plus a complete out of nowhere experience came from Amon Tobin in the form of a sci-fi ambient composition.
My best pleasantries included the absolutely incredible album of the Killing Joke, the totally unexpected but stunning record of Karyn Crisis, and something completely new for me in the form of the Thy Catafalque release. And things that I didn’t see coming to this list: a surprisingly mature and powerful single track by Apocalyptica, and my re-found fandom of Cradle of Filth.
Last year was definitely ruled by techno for me, where I found quite some new territories and depths. This year was not on that level of novelty but it was quite eclectic instead as the musical range shows in this list of names.
I haven’t been to many festivals and parties in 2015 so my live performances list is quite narrow. Although I could make it to Sónar Barcelona for the second time, which was nice, and surprises dominated there as well: Squarepusher’s live act was by far the most satisfying live music experience that I heard this year.
Best new series that I stubled upon this year. Has “the spritiual successor of Firefly” written all over it but by no means is it a copy of anything. Just has a similar premise with a small team of three travelling back-and-forth in space on a cool little ship working through some quests and always finding some trouble along the way.
For me it started out as a likeable cute sci-fi series at 6/10 rating, then slowly built up to be an exiting sci-fi universe of 7/10, and I left the first season with a rather solid 8/10 feeling and wanting more. The CGI is always cheap and crap, the heroes are just too polished and beautiful people, some scenes are overplayed, etc. But the whole universe and the terrific ideas blew me away always and it just compensates for everything. There are all these politics, technologies, legends, all of which makes this world super interesting. Probably this grasps my attention best: the stories in between, the background painted behind everything. There are some really great storytellers penning this series, that’s for sure, most likely would be a superb read as a book as well.
It is hard not to want to highlight certain moments and ideas, but I suppress the craving and just pin one episode to the top. Episode 7 (Kiss Kiss, Bye Bye) is a fucking masterpiece. It has some real though moments that I would not expect from a casual sci-fi TV series and the whole personal dynamics mature to a point from where all picturing of emotions appear on a totally different level. This year I ditched a few series because I just couldn’t stand how the characters dealt (or couldn’t deal) with personal conflicts, and in this scene Killjoys shows the best possible example.
I just wanted to put one more picture here. Such character.