Monday December 12, 2005

2005: The Year in Hyperlinks.

Joy and rapture, it’s that time of the year again. Time for me to roll up my sleeves, clear the cobwebs out of my skull and dump groups of five all over this page. Predictions for the new year? Nay, nay. I’d just be embarrassed, once again, when the personal jetpack didn’t emerge in 2006 like I predicted it would. I’ll leave fortunetelling to Nostradomus and Cameron. Besides, I’d much rather guide you through the swellness that was 2005. Shall we begin?

Top 5 Hilights of 2005

I simply didn’t keep up with a lot of current events this year, so “top” five hilights is really pushing it. But here are a few random notables that punctuated my year:

Top 5 Albums of 2005

This was a great year for music. Getting an iPod really rekindled my interest in and exposure to great new music. Here are some of my favorite discoveries of the year:

  1. Speak For Yourself, Imogen Heap. I’ve done all the gushing I need to do about this album. Gorgeous, trancendant pop (just make sure you buy the non-copy protected UK version).
  2. Set Yourself On Fire, Stars. Montreal just knows how to kick out the soft rock jams. More of Canada’s finest made my winter nights warmer with their lush pop songcraft.
  3. Live It Out, Metric. If Old World Underground was like touching both contacts of a car battery, then Live It Out is like licking an economy pack of 9-volts. This more restrained album rocks out in the details.
  4. Guero, Beck. I lost interest in Beck during his post-Odelay days, but this year he returned strong with that cut ‘n’ paste Dust Brothers-esque sound I love so much.
  5. Room Noises, Eisley. I’m a sucker for singalong melodies and pretty voices, and Eisley delivered that in spades on their first full-length release.

Honorable mentions: So Jealous, Tegan & Sara; Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, Bright Eyes; Thunder Lightning Strike, The Go! Team, Takk, Sigur Ros; The Woods, Sleater-Kinney; Made In China, Juliana Hatfield, Super Extra Gravity, The Cardigans, Bleed Like Me, Garbage, Make Believe, Weezer.

Top 5 Movies of 2005

  1. Serenity. Seriously one of the best, if not the best, sci-fi adventure movies ever. The crew of Serenity could totally roll the Star Trek away team.
  2. War of the Worlds. I give this movie a rating of 5 diapers, which is as many times as I should have wet my pants during the movie. It was unbelievably intense and well made.
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I held up the publishing of this article for days, just so I could include this movie on the list. Fantastic!
  4. Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. I’m a longtime Wallace and Gromit fan, and even though I was a tad disappointed about the script/plot in this feature film I have to give props to the most beloved claymation duo ever made.
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Bizarre and highly entertaining romp through a seriously far-out universe. It has the answer to everything, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the creepiest character John Malkovich has ever played. Winner.

Honorable mentions: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Island, Must Love Dogs, The Jacket, Robots, Sahara.

The 5 Absolute Worst Movies of 2005

Holloywood releases a lot of stinkers every year, and this is my little homage to movies that I’m really mad about having been suckered into paying to see:

  1. Bewitched. This movie is so bad, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was written overnight. Oh, wait. It was. Curse you, Nora Ephron.
  2. Elektra. Just when I thought Daredevil was the worst superhero movie that could ever be made, Jennifer Garner proved me wrong by turning a hardcore comic book assassin into a miniature poodle with 2 weeks of acting lessons.
  3. Constantine. The only thing worse than Keanu Reeves’ acting was this convuluted, preposterous plot.
  4. The Brothers Grimm. I don’t even know where to start. Pretty nice visually, but about as interesting as a bag of sawdust.
  5. The Pacifier. I have to say, Vin Diesel’s cardboard cutout did a pretty good job in this movie. Best acting by an inanimate object, for sure!

Favorite 5 Weblogs of 2005

A lot of great weblogs launched (or relaunched) this year, and I found that my taste in online reading materials changed quite a bit this year. Here’s the stuff I found myself constantly going back to:

  1. Feaverish
  2. Ordered List
  3. This Is Powazek
  4. Rob Weychert
  5. Signal vs. Noise

Favorite 5 Music Blogs of 2005

Music blogs are a great way to preview music before you buy it. I avoided plenty of stinkers and discovered lots of gems thanks to these sites. Thanks!

  1. RedLightGlow
  2. gorilla vs. bear
  3. Dreams of Horses
  4. Indie Surfer Blog
  5. regnyouth archives

Best Live Show of 2005

This was a tough choice, but only for lack of live music experiences. This year I only saw 2 shows, Eisley and Metric. Chalk it up to moving to a new city, the mounting responsibilities of being an adult, husband, and professional, or age—whatever. I had a great time at both shows, but I ultimately had to go with Eisley. Metric isn’t far behind, but just enough. Those Dupree kids are just so dang good! I may have to eliminate this category from next year’s list if this decline in live show attendance continues… :(

And last, but not least…

Top CMS of 2005

Textpattern, you’re still the one for me.

Commentary


Benvolio » 4328 days ago #

I liked some of the things in your list…

but War of the Worlds – c’mon!!! Besides getting the award for most pathetic ending ever it’s also the best example of Hollywoods simplistic (dumbing down) of a great piece of literature. Go here – Larvatus Prodeo – for a more eloquent explanation.

Stoyan » 4328 days ago #

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the movie) was a dissapiontment. I assume you haven’t read the book since you are rating this movie as one of the best of the year.

Jared Christensen » 4328 days ago #

Stoyan – No, I didn’t read the book, and maybe my opinion of the movie would be different if I had. Maybe.

Benvolio – WotW did have some head-scratching moments. And it didn’t even try to follow the original story, but I never expected it to. Still, I thought it was excellent. Thanks for the link, it was interesting!

Sumeet » 4327 days ago #

What a fun year-end post. I think I’ll snag the idea for a post nearer to the end of the year. I doubt I see as many movies as you, so I’m not really one to criticize any lists here, but I am curious to know if you caught the 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Pierce » 4327 days ago #

I thought the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a pleasant visual accompaniment to the book. Given its weird and wonderful subject matter, I don’t think they could have done much better. I mean, how much better could the planet builders have been realised? And it also retained that charming Britishness which is lost in so many Hollywood movies based on English texts.

I also liked WotW. I don’t get these people criticizing the ending of the movie. It’s anti-climactic conclusion was entirely in keeping with the book. A more faithful rendition of the text would have been interesting, but I’ve really no problem with the update. Which did you want, a better ending or a film closer to the book? Great visuals too – and no, I don’t mean great CG graphics, I mean visuals. The burning train rushing through the station was one of the most arresting scenes I’ve seen on film this year.

The only thing I’m going to take issue with here is the Rob Weychert nomination. His quarterly updates are killing me.

I’ve got to stop writing my essays on other peoples’ sites.

Rocketeer » 4327 days ago #

Ah! Constantine wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t brilliant either, but it was entertaining.. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, wa an awesome movie, I say so without having read the book. Everybody who’s read the book start shooshing now! lol

Jared Christensen » 4327 days ago #

@Sumeet – No, I didn’t see The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Usually I like Steve Carell, but the trailers for this movie just didn’t float my boat.

@Pierce – Yes, exactly. WotW was frighteningly immersive. The scene where the crowd fights over who gets control of the minivan was brutally realistic. And the burning train… oh, yes. “Arresting” is a good word.

@Rocketeer – I might dislike Constantine in its comic book form, too. But I think it’s fair to blame Keanu.

beth » 4326 days ago #

Oh man, I have to disagree with you. Sleater-Kinney’s The Woods got my vote for album of the year.

Jared Christensen » 4326 days ago #

I heard so much great music this year. The music list was really tough to do… :(

Nathan Smith » 4312 days ago #

I have to chime in and say I agree with you on these counts: Brothers Grimm – Dumbest movie I’ve seen in a long time. Constantine also stunk up the theater. Narnia + Serenity = Good stuff, Firefly series rocks too. And of course, Textpattern. ♥ ♥

Gustavs » 4311 days ago #

Very intresting article. Seems that I still got lot of stuff to check out from that large list.

By the way, like your web a lot.

Joerg » 4308 days ago #

Good luck in 2006. :)

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