Sunday, January 02, 2005

2004: A Space Blogyssey (The Year in Review Revue!)

So that's the end of that chapter. Hi. I'm back, again, and, like everyone else who has one of these talky-boxes, am going to talk about the year that has just passed, 2004. It was the best of times (well, not really), it was the worst of times (like always). As far as I can remember, and I have a very spotty memory, 2004 sucked. A lot of crappy stuff happened, and once again, I let the year end with regret. But I've forgotten everything before September, anyway. Still, let's discuss the ups of the year, and then maybe I'll throw in a few downs if I don't forget by the time I finish typing this baby up.
Cutting to the chase, this is my own personal awards show, for everything I can think of at the moment. So we'll talk all of pop culture, and jam to the Lithium Age beat, you crazy cats and kittens.

Movie of the year: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
This was a very close call, actually; I was going to give it to Spider-Man 2, but... well, I really loved that movie too, and it was very much neo-silver-age-y, but I'm giving this to the Captain anyway. In case you missed it, it was a little film with Jude Law (Sexiest Man Alive, or so says some magazine or whatever) and Gwyneth Paltrow (who likes fruit so much she named her kid after one), with quick appearances by Angelina Jolie and Sir Laurence Olivier, who, yes, has been dead for years. It's got giant robots, dogfights in the sky and underwater, sci-fi kung-fu, and everything else you can think of, except, unfortunately, monkeys. The reason I've given it top honors is because it was one of the two movies I actually saw in the theater this year, and because it was just flipping great. The whole thing, sans most of the actors, was done with CGI, yet it retains a brilliant 30's/40's sepia-toned joycore pulpy movie serial feel. It was, in fact, neo-golden-age, and it pulled it off excellently. Sure, it's cheesy and a bit popcorn, but baby, it's great that way. And it's also chock full of old movie references. The DVD comes out sometime this month (January, in case you've been asleep), I'm thinking the 25th or so... Check it out.

Comic Book of the year: Seaguy
You've probably heard me prattle on about this three-issue mini-series from DC's Vertigo imprint that came out over the summer, by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart. I'll just skip all the formalities and tell you that those two gents win Best Writer and Best Artist, respectively, and that Seaguy #1 ties with We3 #1 for Best Single Issue of the year. Seaguy was a story about a world that doesn't need heroes anymore... but Seaguy needs to prove the world wrong, but that world, run by an all-seeing corporation called Mickey Eye, doesn't want that to happen. It's a wild, wacky, surreal and fugue-like comic, and it's very good. The trade paperback collection should be out this month (once again, it's January, dammit!) so you should all go buy that so we can get the sequel.

TV Show of the year: Angel
You all saw this coming, too. Sure, Angel was cancelled this year by those WB gits, but it had never been better. The final run, what with the puppets and the regular cast members dying and the ancient demon goddesses and all of the fascinating characters, plus the almost-perfect finale made it the show's best season. It's out on DVD in February. Buy it, damn you!

Album of the year: Has Been
Yes. This *is* William Shatner's album I'm talking about. I know hardly anything about music, and I wasn't going to add this, but hey, Shatner's getting Best Actor honors too, here, kiddies, mostly for the excellent Boston Legal. But this album of his is mostly spoken word, and ranges from hilarious (like the title track) to sombre and poignant (like the track about his late wife). And you should never ever ever pass up the chance to hear a Shatner rendition of a classic Pulp song.

Video Game of the year: Halo 2
What did you expect? Even mildly disappointing as it was, it was still very good. Only on Xbox.

Anyway, let's just wrap this up...
Best Actress: Amy Acker (The characters of Fred and Illyria on Angel)
Best Director: Sam Raimi (Spider-Man 2)
Best Politician: Barack Obama
Website of the year: Barbelith (link over in the sidebar thingie)

That's all for now, as my mind's starting to draw some blanks. I'd list stuff like "Best Novel" and "Best Screenplay/Teleplay" but I can't even remember a single book I read, and I'd probably end up repeating myself with the script stuff. True, I missed a lot of good movies this year, and, well, I would do a "Worst of" list, but I blocked most of the crap from my memory.
Until next time, I'm Bill Reed! Stay cynical, San Diego... and San Demas... and all the Sans and Sans-Sans.

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