Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: The Year in Review

This won't be another of those "omg-the-world-is-ending-because-2016-was-the-worst-year-ever" posts, because those are a dime a dozen. So, let's get the suckitude out of the way:

A bunch of people died, and a rich, straight, white man won the presidential election. There will almost certainly be thousands of year-in-review posts and articles focusing on these two issues, but this won't be one of them.

She gave it her all. I was with her, 100%. I regret nothing.

Ding, Dong, The Witch is Dead: good riddance to rotting garbage.

RIP: TV is dead. On the other hand, there was lots of great streaming programming. For instance, this. I almost need to light up a cigarette after watching this. The more fucked up you are, Cersei, the more I love you.

It must be said, though - no one kicks ass more than Thandie Newton's Maeve, on Westworld.

Haters Back Off. Netflix gave the lovable YouTube sensation, Miranda Sings, her own show, and it's not at all what one would expect. If you haven't checked it out - especially if you haven't checked it out because Miranda is not your cuppa - do yourself a favor and give this show a chance. It's funny as hell, completely original, has a great ensemble cast of new faces, and it's just teeming with heart. In the midst of this nutty, outlandish premise, these folks make you actually care about the characters. Seriously - give this show a shot. Surprisingly moving, in the most unlikely ways.

Well, the poster was cool: High Rise had a great trailer. The art direction was amazing. The cast was great. Portishead recorded a brilliant cover of one of ABBA's best tunes for it. This movie had everything going for it, except for the fact that it was bloody awful. Truly, truly awful. If you're an animal lover, and you're considering giving it a go, you deserve fair warning: the film basically opens with the main character spit-roasting his dog and eating the poor creature. It's supposed to be darkly funny. Instead, it's one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever watched in a film. And I don't mean, "OMG...they really broke ground and made that scene so thought-provoking!" I mean, "Fucking hell - that was obscene, completely gratuitous and, ultimately, made a bad movie worse." The cover of SOS IS pretty fucking great, though.

2016 was a great year for documentaries. Here are a few of my faves.

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures. Uncompromising, even as it celebrates his beautiful work. A lot about the way he carried out his life and work - especially when it comes to race - can be pretty problematic, but the work, itself is beautiful. This film never loses sight of either of those facts.

Author: The JT Leroy Story. You probably know some of this story. Don't read anything more about it before seeing this. If you know nothing, even better. Speaks volumes about art and the creation of it, about the cult of fame, the inner workings of the famous and celebrated, and about the truth, itself.

No Home Movie. This is not for everyone. If I'm honest, it's probably for very few people. I found it incredibly moving, and it stayed with me for days, after. I'm not sure I've ever seen a better representation of the emptiness left behind when the most important person we know dies. 

I don't care about the Olympic Games, but I love it that Puerto Ricans were a force to be reckoned with, this time around. 


Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Loved Ones FTW.