Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Inanities' Year in Review: 2006

One hour and fifty-two minutes 'till 2007.

I've had my ass handed to me a few dozen times playing "Gears of War" with adolescents of varying vocal pitch on my XBox 360, and I figured instead of having my tiny head blown off with a Grub-wielded shotgun one more time, I'd write a lil' somethin' somethin' on the ole Inanities. (Not that this is interesting, but I did write about 3/4 of a blog post night before last, but Firefox died on me and it went away. Yes, a true loss for American letters.)

2006, huh? What a year. I had my car stolen, recovered, and finally repaired, I received an unhappy phone call from a certain actor featured in a certain 10-minute video project, an unhappy email from a certain production design teacher, an unhappy comment from a certain "power lit blogger" (all as a result of keeping this blog which I didn't know would be so exciting) ,hung out with Shawn and Gretch (and her friend Melissa) up in Asheville where I saw the Biltmore Estate (AKA the Mason Verger Estate), and late in the year, got back into storyboarding. My wife did her summer internship, finished the first year of business school and started the second, my in-laws got two Schnauzer puppies named Sam and Frodo, which they love, and my folks moved out of L'Ville and into their country house, which they love. My sister started her education as a hair stylist, and my brother got the big promotion he wanted. It's been an eventful year, and a pretty good one, all considered.

My favorite movie of 2006 was Scorsese's "The Departed". My inclination is to say that 2006 was a bad year for movies, but out of the 50 or so movies I saw in the theater this year, I did see three absolutely fantastic movies, "The Departed", "The Prestige", and "V for Vendetta". I don't think many years pass that see three movies released in theaters I'd term instant classics, but 2006 was one of them. Ninety-five, the year of "Pulp Fiction" and "Shawshank Redemption", seems to come closest in my mind to producing a comparable raft of great films. But maybe my disappointment this year stems from the stuff I saw that was bad -- there wasn't a lot of middle ground this year. It seems like the movies of 2006 were either brilliant or mediocre or all-out god awful, soulless trash. Not a lot in the way of just "good" movies. I think this may have to do with the decreased output of the major studios and the added pressure on these films to succeed which pushes studio execs to make them as appealing as possible to the lowest common denominator. Movie-wise, I've got my fingers crossed for a better 2007, but I've got no good reason to be optimistic.

The book I enjoyed most that I read this year was Christopher Priest's "The Prestige" (incidentally, the filmed adaptation was my second favorite movie of the year). The best book I read last year (and this is different from 'enjoyed most'), was Nabokov's "Lolita". A Russian by birth, English was his second language and he still wrote it better than almost anyone else before or since. Also, I read aloud the Humbert Humbert parts in the voice of James Mason, thus tripling my enjoyment of the book.

Best TV Show of 2006: "The Wire". Favorite news event of 2006: Democratic takeover of Congress. Saddest Departure from TV Job Due to Illness: Roger Ebert. I hope he comes back soon. Well, there's 63 minutes until the new year and I don't want to spend them learning how to write a coherent sentence, so I'll leave it at that.

Happy new year, everyone. See you in 2007.


harwell said...

So what was the comment from the "power lit blogger"? And, actually while you're at it, what the heck does that mean?

Also, surely you haven't forgotten about 1999 - the year of the Pasadena experiment and some truly great movies? Three Kings, Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, the Insider, Fight Club, the Matrix (which I only mention because I know you love it), American Beauty, the Green Mile, Eyes Wide Shut, and the one and only Phantom Menace???

Anyway, happy 2007 to all the power lit bloggers out there.

Craig Moorhead said...

I'm with Shawn on that one, Crane. '99 was a surprisingly good year for movies.

I had my car stolen this year, too! We're brothers in grand theft auto.

JudgeHolden said...

You're both right. Ninety-nine was a very good year for movies. Though I think time's taken the sheen off of some movies on that list (as will no doubt happen to my list of "instant classics" from this year), a lot of great directors were putting out the best films of their careers that year (and, since then, failing to live up to the promise they showed in 99.) Especially Lucas. Will he ever be able to top the glory that was "The Phantom Menace"?

blankfist said...

I don't know, 1974 was a pretty good year for film with movies like Godfather II, The Conversation and (one of the best American movies every made) Chinatown. That year also produced The Towering Inferno and Lenny, although I've never seen either of them. Hell, the 1970s didn't have a bad year for film. There's not a single year that passed by that didn't produce an instant classic.

Dude, this is like the eighteen-millionth time you've lost a blog because of your browser crashing on you. You'd think by now there would be some sort of safety contingency in place, like, oh I don't know... copy and paste from a word document?

blankfist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blankfist said...

Crane, now that you have an XBOX 360, you should get this game. Doesn't it seem fun?!

blankfist said...

Hey Crane, it's 2007 already. Stop reliving your blogger days of 2006. Dead blog.