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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Final 2010 Movie List

Along the lines of my reading list which I posted yesterday, here are the films I saw in 2010. This is primarily based on Netflix ratings so I may be missing some stuff I saw in the theater...

  1. Withnail and I
  2. Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel
  3. Jennifer's Body
  4. District 9*
  5. Extract
  6. The Hurt Locker*
  7. Taking Woodstock
  8. Volver
  9. Whatever Works
  10. Zombieland*
  11. New York, I Love You
  12. Dear Zachary*
  13. Girl on a Motorcycle
  14. Mitch Hedberg: Mitch All Together
  15. (500)Days of Summer
  16. Moon*
  17. Down By Law*
  18. The Squid and The Whale*
  19. Neil Young: Heart of Gold
  20. Good Hair
  21. Paranormal Activity
  22. Where The Wild Things Are
  23. Broken Embraces
  24. The Men Who Stare at Goats
  25. Grizzly Man*
  26. Black Dynamite
  27. Fantastic Mr. Fox*
  28. Crazy Heart
  29. The Informant
  30. Gentleman Broncos
  31. The Guatemalen Handshake
  32. Shutter Island*
  33. My Effortless Brilliance
  34. Public Enemies
  35. A Serious Man
  36. The Road
  37. Greenberg*
  38. Hot Tub Time Machine
  39. Capitalism: A Love Story
  40. In The Loop
  41. The Room*
  42. Youth In Revolt
  43. The Vice Guide To Travel
  44. Happy Go-Lucky*
  45. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
  46. The White Ribbon*
  47. Big Fan
  48. Beyond The Valley of Dolls
  49. Apocalypse Now Redux*
  50. Get Him To The Greek
  51. Burden of Dreams*
  52. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
  53. Winter's Bone*
  54. Red Cliff
  55. City of God*
  56. Exit Through The Gift Shop*
  57. Stranger Than Paradise*
  58. The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg
  59. Coffy
  60. Knife in the Water
  61. Hannah Takes The Stairs
  62. My Winnipeg
  63. The Girlfriend Experience
  64. Following
  65. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
  66. Stroszek
  67. Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior
  68. In Cold Blood
  69. The Book of Eli
  70. Alice in Wonderland
  71. Inception*
* - Highly recommended

2009 movie list
2008 movie list
2007 movie list

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Final 2010 Reading List

Alas my blog has basically died, but in the interest of keeping my list of what I've read for future reference I thought I'd post it here. Maybe one of the days I'll even get back to some regular posts, but no promises.

I didn't quite hit my 50 book goal this year, but Infinite Jest should really count for about 10 :-)

  1. Like a Velvet Glove Cast In Iron - Daniel Clowes
  2. Ransom - Jay McInerney
  3. Nog - Rudolph Wurlitzer
  4. Let The Great World Spin* - Colum McCann
  5. Welcome to The Terrordome - Dave Zirin
  6. Eating Animals* - Jonathan Safran Foer
  7. Juliet, Naked* - Nick Hornby
  8. Asterios Polyp - David Mazzucchelli
  9. Point Omega - Don DeLillo
  10. Electric Literature #2 - Various
  11. Boomerang - Barry Hannah
  12. Baseball's Greatest Series - Chris Donnelly
  13. Infinite Jest* - David Foster Wallace
  14. How It Ended - Jay McInerney
  15. More of This World or Maybe Another* - Barb Johnson
  16. Alternadad - Neal Pollack
  17. The Unnamed* - Joshua Ferris
  18. Tin House: Spring 2010 - Various
  19. Electric Literature #1 - Various
  20. New Stories From The South 2009 - Various
  21. Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine* - Thom Jones
  22. The Bullpen Gospels - Dirk Hayhurst
  23. Imperial Bedrooms - Bret Easton Ellis
  24. You Are Not a Gadget - Jaron Lanier
  25. The Checklist Manifesto - Atul Gawande
  26. Footnotes in Gaza - Joe Sacco
  27. The Lonely Polygamist* - Brady Udall
  28. True Grit* - Charles Portis
  29. Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart
  30. Brief Interview With Hideous Men* - David Foster Wallace
  31. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  32. The Ask - Sam Lipsyte
  33. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  34. The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  35. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  36. Nemesis - Philip Roth
  37. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  38. Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives* - Brad Watson
  39. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  40. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
  41. The Dog of the South - Charles Portis

* = highly recommended

My 2009 reading list
My 2008 reading list
My 2007 reading list
My 2006 reading list
My 2005 reading list

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Top 10 Albums of 2009

Better late than never, here's my Top 10 list for 2009. Lots of competition this year with many albums I loved not making the cut.

Top 10 Albums of 2009

10.
MF Doom
Born Like This

9.
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band



8.

Telekinesis!
Telekinesis!

7.

David Bazan
Curse Your Branches


6.

William Elliott Whitmore
Animals In The Dark


5.

Say Hi
Oohs and Aahs

4.
The Avett Brothers
I and Love and You

3.
Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid

2.
Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar
One Fast Move Or I'm Gone

1.
Neko Case
Middle Cyclone

Just Missed
Scott H. Biram - Something's Wrong/Lost Forever, Cave Singers - Welcome Joy, Wilco - Wilco (The Album), Ben Kweller - Changing Horses, Dave Rawlings Machine - A Friend of a Friend, Levon Helm - Electric Dirt, Heartless Bastards - The Mountain, Phosphorescent - To Willie, A.A. Bondy - When The Devil's Loose, Holopaw - Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness., The Thermals - Now We Can See, The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love, Son Volt - American Central Dust

Best Live Album
Tom Petty Live Anthology

Best Reissue
The Beatles albums

Best Box Set
Neil Young Archives

Best Reissue
The Beatles albums

Best Live Shows I Saw This Year
Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings @ No Depression Fest
Neko Case @ The Paramount
Pixies @ The Paramount
Frank Black @ The Triple Door
Cave Singers @ Bumbershoot Hidden Stage
Son Volt @ Woodland Park Zoo

Previously
2008 Year End List
2007 Year End List
2006 Year End List

2005 Year End List
2004 Year End List

Labels:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Final 2009 Reading List

This year's reading list clocked in at an even 50, just barely extending my 50-book challenge streak to 5 years running!
  1. The Mammoth Book of Crime Comics - Various
  2. El Borbah - Charles Burns
  3. Cold Snap* - Thom Jones
  4. Pimp - Iceberg Slim
  5. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2008 - Various
  6. And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - Kerouac & Burroughs
  7. Oblivion* - David Foster Wallace
  8. McSweeney's #30 - Various
  9. The Outlaw Bible of American Essays - Various
  10. The Best American Comics 2008 - Various
  11. The Soul of Baseball: A Journal Through Buck O'Neil's America* - Joe Posnanski
  12. Welcome to the Monkeyhouse* - Kurt Vonnegut
  13. Songbook - Nick Hornby
  14. 3 Nights In August - Buzz Bissinger
  15. Hot, Flat, and Crowded - Thomas Friedman
  16. Cosmopolis* - Don DeLillo
  17. Celebration* - Harry Crews
  18. High Lonesome* - Barry Hannah
  19. Money - Martin Amis
  20. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned - Wells Tower
  21. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
  22. Amplified - Various
  23. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again* - David Foster Wallace
  24. A Jello Horse - Matthew Simmons
  25. Requiem For A Paper Bag - Various
  26. Odd Man Out - Matt McCarthy
  27. Shadow Country* - Peter Matthiessen
  28. New Stories From The South 2008* - Various
  29. American Flagg v. 1 - Howard Chaykin
  30. Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend* - Larry Tye
  31. Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 - Jaime Hernandez
  32. Misconception - Ryan Boudinot
  33. Zeitoun* - Dave Eggers
  34. The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?* - Padgett Powell
  35. Inherent Vice - Thomas Pynchon
  36. Americana - Don DeLillo
  37. Crash - J.G. Ballard
  38. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment - A.J. Jacobs
  39. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2009 - Various
  40. The Humbling* - Philip Roth
  41. Dangerous Laughter* - Steven Millhauser
  42. Filthy Rich - Brian Azzarello
  43. Thirteen Stories - Eudora Welty
  44. Nobody Move - Denis Johnson
  45. Eating The Dinosaur - Chuck Klosterman
  46. The Best American Comics 2009 - Various
  47. Checkpoint - Nicholson Baker
  48. What's Not To Love - Jonathan Ames
  49. Wise Blood* - Flannery O'Connor
  50. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest* - Ken Kesey

* = Highly recommended

Previously:
My 2008 reading list
My 2007 reading list
My 2006 reading list
My 2005 reading list

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Final 2009 Movie List

With work getting busier and the emergence of Facebook as my primary means of communication, I haven't been posting here lately. Don't know if that'll change in the new year, but at least over the next few days I hope to post my normal year-end wrap ups on music, books and movies. With no further adieu here are the 87 movies I've seen this year (blowing away my old 2007 record):

Best new movie I saw: Away We Go or Inglourious Basterds (relatively weak year)
Best 2008 movie I saw this year: The Wrester (honorable mention to Ballast and Wendy & Lucy)
Best old movie I'd never seen: Coal Miner's Daughter
Best TV Series on DVD: Twin Peaks
  1. The Lives of Others*
  2. Factory Girl
  3. Brazil*
  4. Pineapple Express
  5. Notorious
  6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  7. Bright Lights, Big City
  8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona*
  9. The Wrestler*
  10. Zack & Miri Make a Porno
  11. Forgetting Sarah Marshall*
  12. Man on Wire*
  13. Choke
  14. The Notorious Bettie Page
  15. Slam
  16. Shotgun Stories*
  17. Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan
  18. The Watchmen*
  19. The Visitor*
  20. I Love You Man
  21. Synecdoche, New York*
  22. Rachel Getting Married
  23. Religulous
  24. Milk
  25. Snow Angels
  26. The Gits
  27. Factotum
  28. Old Joy*
  29. Doubt*
  30. Observe & Report
  31. The Hawk Is Dying
  32. Foot Fist Way*
  33. Interview
  34. Frost/Nixon
  35. Reign Over Me
  36. All The Real Girls
  37. The Spirit
  38. Tropic Thunder
  39. Wendy & Lucy*
  40. Vanishing Point
  41. Eastern Promises
  42. American Teen
  43. Tell No One
  44. A Woman Is A Woman
  45. The Yes Men Fix The World
  46. Summer Breakdown
  47. Gotta Dance
  48. Zombie
  49. Facing Ali
  50. Know Your Mushrooms
  51. Teeth
  52. Art & Copy
  53. The Hangover
  54. Wild At Heart*
  55. Year One
  56. Everything Is Illuminated
  57. Let The Right One In*
  58. The Comedians of Comedy
  59. Bruno
  60. The Spanish Prisoner
  61. Julie & Julia
  62. Inglourious Basterds*
  63. Gore Gore Girls
  64. Fire Walk With Me
  65. Junebug*
  66. Amores Perros*
  67. Tyson*
  68. Visioneers
  69. Away We Go*
  70. Donkey Punch
  71. Adventureland
  72. Coal Miner's Daughter*
  73. Breathless
  74. Undertow*
  75. Anvil: The Story of Anvil
  76. Senator Obama Goes to Africa
  77. The Beatles: Help!
  78. Precious
  79. Humpday*
  80. Paper Heart*
  81. Sugar*
  82. One Fast Move Or I'm Gone*
  83. Bourne Identity
  84. Cthulhu
  85. Man In The Sand
  86. Ballast*
  87. Repulsion*

Previously:
2008 movie list
2007 movie list

* - Highly recommended

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Observe & Report

Film #30 for me in '09 was Observe and Report.

My NetFlix rating: 2.5 stars
Jamie says: Amusing at times, but pretty much the same ol' film with a less likeable main character.
RIYL: Any of the slew of Seth Rogan films from the last couple years


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Doubt

Film #29 for me in '09 was Doubt.

My NetFlix rating: 4.5 stars
Jamie says: Another jewel in the crown of great movies I've seen so far this year. Loved it. How can it only have a 78 on Rotten Tomatoes? For shame.
RIYL: Great acting + a stirring script


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Old Joy

Film #28 for me in '09 was Old Joy.

My NetFlix rating: 4.5 stars
Jamie says: Fantabolous subtle goodness.
RIYL: Bonnie Prince Billy, Oregon, Raymond Carver


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

Factotum

If you think I'm behind on my movie blogging, what 'til you see my book blogging. Sigh.

Film #27 for me in '09 was Factotum.

My NetFlix rating: 2.5 stars
Jamie says: Who knew you could make Bukowski boring?
RIYL: Lili Taylor, Matt Dillon



Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

The Gits

Film #26 for me in '09 was The Gits.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: So-so documentary about an icon of the Seattle music scene.
RIYL: Hype



Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Snow Angels

Film #25 for me in '09 was Snow Angels.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: Another stunning tragedy from David Gordon Green.
RIYL: Shotgun Stories, George Washington


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

Milk

Film #24 for me in '09 was Milk.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: Still not convinced that Sean Penn should've beat out Mickey Rourke for the Oscar, but I'm at least more zen with it now.
RIYL: Malcolm X, Into the Wild


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Religulous

Film #23 for me in '09 was Religulous.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: At times hilarious, at times annoyingly self righteous. Basically exactly what you'd expect from a Bill Maher film.
RIYL: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Rachel Getting Married

Film #22 for me in '09 was Rachel Getting Married.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: Dear Anne Hathaway, I am sorry I wrote you off based on The Princess Diaries. I now see the error of my ways.
RIYL: Girl Interrupted, Robyn Hitchcock, Neil Young


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Synecdoche, New York

Film #21 for me in '09 was Synecdoche, New York.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: Always good when your biggest complaint about a film is that it's too ambitious
RIYL: The Truman Show, Being John Malkovich


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

Films #1-20

Here's a quick recap of the 20 films I've seen so far this year.
  1. The Lives of Others*
  2. Factory Girl
  3. Brazil*
  4. Pineapple Express
  5. Notorious
  6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  7. Bright Lights, Big City
  8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona*
  9. The Wrestler*
  10. Zack & Miri Make a Porno
  11. Forgetting Sarah Marshall*
  12. Man on Wire*
  13. Choke
  14. The Notorious Bettie Page
  15. Slam
  16. Shotgun Stories*
  17. Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan
  18. The Watchmen*
  19. The Visitor*
  20. I Love You Man

* - Highly recommended

Labels: ,

I Love You Man

Film #20 for me in '09 was I Love You Man.

My NetFlix rating: 3.75 stars
Jamie says: Paul Rudd & Jason Segal are some funny dudes.
RIYL: Role Models. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Visitor

Film #19 for me in '09 was The Visitor.

My NetFlix rating: 4.5 stars
Jamie says: This is going to be a strong contender for best film I see this year.
RIYL: Indie films, Richard Jenkins, Babel


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Watchmen

Film #18 for me in '09 was Watchmen.

My NetFlix rating: 3.75 stars
Jamie says: I waited far too long and was far too excited that this was coming out to be a fair judge. I do think that the movie did a reasonable job of adapting the book, but the book is still way better :-)
RIYL: Comics, The Dark Knight


Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan

Film #17 for me in '09 was Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan.

My NetFlix rating: 3.75 stars
Jamie says: Like watching your Grandparents old home videos...if your Grandparents were June and Johnny Cash.
RIYL: Real country, Cowboy Jack Clement, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Dolly Parton...


Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oblivion

Book #7 on my reading list this year was the short-story collection Oblivion by David Foster Wallace.

Very good throughout and sometimes spectacular. "The Soul Is Not a Smithy", "Oblivion", "Incarnations of Burned Children" and "Good Old Neon" stood out to me as the best of the bunch. The first story is both long and my least favorite, so if you're stymied by that one keep chugging.

Why I Read This One?
After thoroughly enjoying Consider The Lobster, I've resolved to work my way through all of DFW's catalog.

Labels: ,

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

Book #6 on my reading list this year was And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, the so-called 'lost novel' from Jack Kerouac & William S. Burroughs.

The back-story on this one is unfortunately more interesting than the book itself. Kerouac and Burroughs alternate chapters, taking a thinly fictionalized spin on Lucien Carr's stabbing of David Kammerer. A very early work for both authors, the writing is definitely not matured to the styles they would later become known for. I actually found Burroughs chapters to be pretty painful reading, not that Kerouac's were much better. This one is really only for hard-core Beat fans. Gotta dig that title though.

Why I Read This One?
Do you really need to ask?

Excerpt

Labels: ,

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2008

Book #5 on my reading list was The Best American Non-Required Reading 2008.

Last year's BANRR was a big hit for me, so I came into this year with pretty high expectations. Unfortunately I didn't find this one nearly as compelling as last year. There are still some winners sprinkled throughout, but the overall quality just isn't what I was hoping for. I guess all those non-required authors had a down year last year. The big winner for me by far was George Saunders' excellent, excellent, excellent "Bill Clinton, Public Citizen". Laura van den Berg's "Where We Must Be" also stood out.

Why I Read This One
I'm a big fan of the series so picking this one up was a no-brainer.

George Saunders interviews Bill Clinton

Labels: , ,

Pimp

I have fallen woefully behind on my book blogging again. Will attempt to remedy that with some quickfire reviews of what I've been reading.

Book #4 on my reading list this year was Iceberg Slim's Pimp: The Story of My Life. This is not surprisingly the "true" story of Iceberg's life as a pimp. Interesting factoid: did you know that Iceberg Slim has sold more books than any other African-American author except Alex Haley? Look it up.

Why I Read This One
Clearly because I'm big pimpin' spendin' G's. Actually picked this one up because it's often referenced as one of the classics of underground-lit.

Iceberg on Wikipedia

Labels:

Shotgun Stories

Film #16 for me in '09 was Shotgun Stories.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: Shakespearean tragedy meets Faulkner
RIYL: Southern Gothic, Deliverance, George Washington, Lucero


Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

Labels: