Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2-0-1-1: Take Two

[Personal 2011 moment: I turned 24!]
The citizens of the world were busy in 2011.

In just one year people all over the world stood up in mass riots-they were fighting for their opinions to be heard, and their livelihood. 

Amazingly they succeeded with the beginning of change and 2011 became the year that nearly each of the oppressive dictators we have all feared saw an end to the road.

It also became the year that Charlie Sheen took to the airwaves to publicly lose his mind on every television channel.

Doesn't that just seem to sum up the year better than anything?

It has been a turbulent year in the way of current events, where an entire post could be spent documenting these. However, I think that will be enough of me attempting to wear the hat of a serious journalist. We'll save that for Brian Williams...for now.

Lets get back to important business- looking back on memorable bits of entertainment from this year:

Best Inspiration For A Vacation: Midnight In Paris

Taking in Woody Allen's latest was a surprising endeavor. Unlike my normal obsessive knowledge of a movie before a viewing, I went in to a showing of Midnight In Paris without knowing anything at all-well, other than, it starred Owen Wilson and a bevy of other stars.

With the sparkling lights of Paris welcoming you from the first frame, this is one of those movies where it is actually better not to know what to expect, and just go with it.

I will say nothing more other than what many have said before, this is Allen's most purely likable film, and never have I wanted to take an evening stroll in Paris more than after seeing this flick

Best Song Everyone Adores: Adele-Someone Like You

She has definitely broken the VH1 curse with the release of one of the top selling albums of the year.

"Rolling In The Deep" was the first chart topper, but it was finding the emotional video (above) of "Someone Like You" that had me rushing out to buy the entire album over the summer.

Continuing with the Paris theme, her official video for the song (in all its black and white glory) digs deep in the melancholic mood of a post-breakup, but this simple video allows Adele to deliver an even more raw performance and just highlight the song without any other distractions.

Seriously, Shell Out Those Extra Bucks: Hugo

Want to be blown away at the movies in the next couple of weeks? Check out Hugo in 3D.

Normally I think the use of 3D is overdone, and is quite annoying, but yesterday, Martin Scorsese changed my mind.

It may not have snowed in our unseasonable warm December we are having here in the Pacific Northwest, but I got my taste of snow all while sitting in a movie theater. As the snow poured down on 1930's Paris, and the lead character Hugo Cabret, I nearly put my hand out to catch a few flakes utterly paralyzed by the illusion.

This was a film destined to show off the beauty 3D can add, and all the while it is not overtly distracting to this brilliant movie.

Much like Midnight In Paris (no intention-apparently everything I love this year was set in Paris) go in to this movie not knowing much of the plot- but expect to be delighted. Just because its PG doesn't mean that it's only for the kids.

Only Martin Scorsese could create a film that is equally a love letter to cinema, as well as, a roaring adventure for all to enjoy.

Most Quotable: Parks and Recreation

The comedy of Parks and Recreation stems from the entire talented cast, and the writing of all of their hilarious characters. 

From Ron Swanson's meat/wood carving obsession to Andy's idiotic/lovable pop culture references (my favorite: a mention of The Mighty Ducks), it is impossible to walk away from an episode of this show without a new favorite saying or joke.

So everyone, "Treat-Yo-Self" to some Parks and Rec- it's the best comedy of the year! (Imagine being sung by Tom Haverford)

Most Inspired Movie Poster: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene freaked me out, and for some reason, so does the movie poster, but that only makes me love both of them even more.

The poster for the movie may appear simple, but in a great way, it entirely plays into the plot of the movie.

Creepy and entirely chilling at times, this psychological drama should be seen, and will end the year as a favorite of mine. Even after seeing the movie several months ago, I still can't get it out of my mind.

If I Had To Choose: Bon Iver - Bon Iver

It is difficult to declare a number one, but if I was forced to choose a best album of the year, I would have to agree with many publications and pick Bon Iver's self titled release.

Consistent with what we all love about "Skinny Love" and "For Emma" (Justin Vernon's smooth falsetto), the new album takes Bon Iver up to the next level with even more uproarious beats.

Finding albums that can be listened to without skipping a track are hard to come by, but this is defintiely one of those to savor from the first second to the last.

That is all for part two. Tomorrow, right before New Years Eve,  I will finish the year off with a couple more memories.

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