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Thread: BEST OF 2018

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    BEST OF 2018

    This is the thread for ALL THE BESTS, except videogame bests because we have another thread for those. Movies, Music, TV, Books, Life Experiences (pfffft!), whatever you wanna sing the praises of.

    I think the only 2018 TV Shows I watched were seasons 3 of Love and Daredevil so I don't really have anything to say about TV this year. Movies tho,

    Top 10 Movies

    10. Game Night
    Just watched this a couple nights ago and it was a really well-thought out comedy. Things are set up and pay off in satisfying ways, it's not all improvved goofing-around, and it even really well filmed.

    9. Mission Impossible: Fallout
    I liked this but not as much as most people did I think.

    8. Us And Them
    Movie about a Chinese couple who become friends, then lovers, then break up, and then meet again 10 years later. A lovely, warm movie.

    7. Shirkers
    Documentary about indie filmmakers in Singapore who make a movie but then their American producer runs off with the film and disappears once it's done. They spend the next 20 years wondering "wtf was that all about?"

    6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
    This was good, and I don't have anything else to say about it.

    5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Tom Waits and Zoe Kazan segments were best.

    4. Avengers: Infinity War
    FOURTH BEST MOVIE, REALLY? Yes. I rewatched this recently and decided that yeah, it really was that good.

    3. Annihilation
    The best sci-fi movie I've seen in a long while.

    2. A Star Is Born
    This is probably gonna win an Oscar or two, and well deserved, I say! Such great performances, great music, great story.

    1. The Florida Project
    I've watched this 3 times now and it still delights and devastates me.

    Top 5 Songs:
    "Yooouuu" by Shitkid
    "About You" by G Flip
    "Night Time" by Superorganism
    "Pristine" by Snail Mail
    "The Wave" by Lion Babe & Leikeli47

    Favourite album:
    "The Prodigal Son" by Ry Cooder

    Fave (newly-discovered) Podcasts:
    Chapo Trap House
    Cocaine & Rhinestones
    Trends Like These

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Ok.

    Best movies:

    1. Avengers - Infinity War

    2. A Quiet Place

    3. Creed 2

    4. Han Solo - A Star Wars Story

    5. Ant Man and the Wasp

    6. Black Panther

    Only 6 as I did not watch a huge amount of 2018 movies this year.

    Top 5 Music (2018 releases):

    1. Sober - Childish Gambino

    2. Rock Star - Post Malone

    3. New Light - John Mayer

    4. All the Stars - Kendrick Lamar

    5. The Real You - Dead Letter Circus

    Top 5 Music Discoveries / Re-Discoveries that weren't from 2018 (Spotify discoveries mostly):

    1. Can You Feel It (Vocal Version) - Mr Fingers - Awesome DnB track. A often listened to track as I played through Ni No Kuni 2 recently.

    2. Steppin Out - Joe Jackson. I LOVE this song. I'd just completely forgotten the name of it, and rediscovered it via radio wake up a month ago. Best wake up music experience. Waking up and singing along. Good times.

    3. Riverman - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

    4. Talking in Your Sleep - The Romantics. So 80s this track. Has that 80s vibe to it.

    5. Johnny Cage (Prepare Yourself) - The Immortals (From the Mortal Kombat album, and not the movie one). I'd never even heard of this album, until I was made aware thanks to a James Rolfe movie review video in which the album was mentioned, then went and looked it up. Early 90s techno at it's finest. A heap of kickass tunes if your into 90s techno.

    Favorite Youtube Channel for 2018:

    The 8-Bit Guy - He did some damn fine videos this year of repairs of super old computers, and delved into a Kickstarter project which is very Dune 2-like. A one of a kind Youtube channel.

    Best Youtube Video For 2018

    The History of Tetris - The Gaming Historian - Quite a long video (goes for 2 hours I think), that delves into the history of Tetris. Really fascinating stuff into the making and release of a hit game in Russia and how the government handled much of it (considering that Alexi was working in a government research department when he made the game).

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    Speaking of Tetris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_UPHsGR6fM (16 Y/O UNDERDOG vs. 7-TIME CHAMP - Classic Tetris World Championship 2018 Final Round)

    That was hypnotic and amazing. Even though the day before i saw the video i could not care less about Tetris.

    Vocabulary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RaqVGzhQTM (The Classic Tetris World Championships Explained)

    Which neatly explains what is going on in a Tetris game. Probably should watch before the Champ video. And no, you likely do not know what is going on in a Tetris game.

    To illustrate the the difficulty of the plays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLPdKq0XcQw&t=185s

    ... shows what will happen when the top players (the new Champ included) will try to play the game without the next pice window - in some sense leveling the playing field with players like you and me (statistically speaking).

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'm not seeing a best of list from you zombe. Come on. Fess up.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    12 days later ... oh, hello there .

    Ummm ... i don't really do that kind of lists. Once i encounter something that stands out i absorb it proportionally - which makes it to not stand out anymore (duh). Best i could do is rave about something i recently stepped into (like Classic Tetris i encountered less than a month ago).

    Movies: nothing stands out. If the new Blade Runner thing was in 2018 then perhaps that one - but i have not re-watched it. All movies tend to disappoint lately - i think i am "growing out" of movies or something.

    Tv-series: There were some neat things ... i think. Now absorbed and hard to rave about. One exception. Since i just finished re-watching "The Expanse" - yeah, it is good. And i do not understand how that could happen: SyFy (the seal of garbage), has a proper ending (vs. the usual SyFy cancellations), has a coherent story (vs. the usual making it up as we go season-by-season) ... etc.

    Youtube: lots of things standing out (at the time) - too many to filter through now .

    Also, i am a sucker for blind LP's - which is all-in-all most of all the media i watch.

  6. #6
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    The nice thing about The Expanse is that it may have been a SyFy show, but it's also an independent production, so Amazon snapping it up was a bit easier than the usual messy disentanglements. It's also based on a series of books that are far enough along to have a well-realised political universe, has input from the original writers, and is helmed by someone with decades of experience in sci-fi shows (Naren Shankar, who did a lot of stuff for ST: TNG, some stuff for Farscape, and... um, CSI). It's a very smart sequence of manoeuvres.

    And yes, it's helpful that it was one of the best shows of last year, wooden acting from a few principals aside. It's also possibly the sci-fi show of the decade.

    2018 had some quality TV: The Terror, Atlanta, The Good Place, BoJack, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Expanse. All good, with the caveat that Hill House has a pretty weak ending. But still, it's a horror show that works well for 3/4th of the time, which I never thought I'd see.

    2018 was also the year when some of the expected stalwarts went a bit limp and made for runner-up fodder - The Handmaid's Tale, Westworld, Legion were all either repetitive or handled some of their themes a bit too weakly (in Legion's case a lot weakly) to end in a strong position.

    Edit: oh, and I guess there was Better Call Saul. It's... all right? The more I see of it the more I'm convinced that its high concept of an inverse Breaking Bad (a reversal of Mr. Chips to Scarface: ex con-man tries to become decent lawyer guy) just isn't as engaging an idea. It's handicapped by the well-defined two-noteness of Saul's character from Breaking Bad, so there just isn't enough room to do surprising things: ergo, mildly interesting character drama that's awkwardly juxtaposed with the Breaking Badness of everything that's happening with Mike and Nacho, albeit presented with that trademark fantastically granular level of detail to the hijinx. But it's been four seasons and these two threads have yet to dovetail into the situation that eventually presents itself in Breaking Bad. Talk about glacial.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 21st Jan 2019 at 04:02.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    ... It's also possibly the sci-fi show of the decade ...
    Thought about that for a while - and you might be right. Cannot quite think of anything recent that compares. Well Fringe was really good and falls withing a decade ... but that is such an odd-ball of awesome and clunky mess that i cannot even call sci-fi ... actually i have no idea what to call it. "The better X-Files"?

    However, i just watched a rather strong episode of Counterpart ... while the series is still ongoing and hence it is hard to place judgement (nor could it quite qualify under the thread title) ... there is at least something new to rave about.

    but, um

    Anyone else watching that show?

  8. #8
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I never got around to Fringe, since the first season seemed to make it The X-Files but clunkier, and the friend of mine who liked it went on about the 'mad scientist', which coloured in my impressions of exactly what kinds of stereotypes it was trading in.

    Counterpart, I did see the first two episodes, but it felt like a slog because aside from the bleak soviet greyness of its reality, I kept looking for a reason to care about what was happening and not finding one. Parallel realities, gates, bureaucracies, hnnng. Does it get better, then?
    Last edited by Sulphur; 28th Jan 2019 at 13:34.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    Fringe.

    Fringe is unapologetically nutty (where X-Files, i would say, is very-very often irritatingly pretentious). Also, if Fringe makes up some nonsense then it will stick with it for the rest of the show ... if there is a bat-shit impossible thing one could come up with then the show will just say that "yes, of course it is possible, now shut up and let's go". Well, to be fair, it is a bit more unapologetic than that and just says: "shut up, let's go".

    When i first started to watch it then i almost stopped watching it only a few episodes in because something about the "mad scientist" and the nonsense science really irritated me. However, imho, all of that is fairly irrelevant to the story/show - i now see it as rather fun background flavor. It almost looks like it is there (besides the flavor) just to unshackle the viewer as soon as possible from our world to enjoy a ... different ... world.

    Worth to know when deciding to someday give the show another chance:

    The show was made season-by-season, but nonetheless manages to create coherent story spanning all seasons.
    The show gets a proper ending (iirc, the show almost got axed, but was renewed in time to send it off properly).
    The show has essentially 0 standalone episodes - it is all one story even though it is often hard to see it at the time.

    Counterpart.

    This is an odd one. Which, at least for me, made me watch just out of curiosity alone.

    It is sci-fi of the questioning kind: there is a accessible parallel world => then what? What would happen? What did happen? Like: when, why and how would what diverge ... and, um ... and, ee ... and i really cannot comment without massive spoilers.

    Since parallel realities is something that is done a thousand times already - this one stands out. I have never seen one with this "ruleset". So, if you have any cliches in mind - you are probably well advised to throw thous away. What does "parallel reality" mean in this case then (spoilers): there is one reality that did accidentally split into two

    It is a simple and very focused show in that way. Starting from finding a awful mess (like the mouse utopia experiments) and questioning what the fuck happened. Was it accident or would it inevitably always happen? How to proceed?

    One small note: weird "bureaucracies" was also the vibe i got initially - but that made no sense (for example: the show takes place in present day - yet there are lots of really old tech everywhere). Bureaucracy is a bit too broad. It is actually obfuscation / secrecy - a very specific kind of bureaucracy (for example: the "interfaces", the initial job title of the protagonist, have no idea what they are even doing). How the world and more specifically the "management" of the crossing came to this state was revealed just recently. Much of what one would have guessed, but still really nice to be shown.

    Maybe the simplicity of the show will become its downfall. Could be that the show never actually gets anywhere - a clear danger one could sense from all the implicit and explicit question marks in this post. So far it is just ... um ... interesting?

    --------------
    exit: Fringe.

    The scientist is not mad (*) - the world is.

    *) Well, perhaps slightly more than most. Suitably normal enough for the world he is in though.
    Last edited by zombe; 29th Jan 2019 at 21:15.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I loved Fringe. It was like a beautiful Ferris wheel that kept having wonderful interesting things added onto it with each revolution and at first you couldn't figure why they were but with each new item you discovered the why. Then came the point where it was overloaded and wobbling and obviously going to crash but do so in spectacular fashion and part of you wanted to turn away because how much more could they add but part of you wanted to see the explosion because you knew that too would be amazing.

    Also I kind of identified with the mad scientist.

    I haven't seen enough this year to discuss really. Annihilation was a thought provoking piece and A Quiet Place was an interesting concept and had a scene which pulled at the heart of every father. Other than that I just haven't been at the right time juncture to see things yet.

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