It has been quite a year with a lot of great pieces. The following is a two-part entry into the Listmania series that compiles my thoughts for what were the best things I wrote in the past year. This includes work that has appeared on Optigrab, The Oscar Buzz, CinemaBeach, and Films with Friends and covers film analysis, TV recaps, and a few ventures into literature. While there is a lot of other great material, here are a few that when looking back on the year, these stand out as having a little something extra and are worth giving a look. Hopefully you enjoy them as well.
Comments: While Django Unchained will eventually go down as one of Quentin Tarantino's stranger, problematic directorial efforts, the months surrounding its release were really strange and maybe a little too objective to the actual film. This is more a collection of thoughts about the marketing and interviews given during this time that influenced how the film was perceived to the mainstream audiences.
|Left to right: Adele Exarchopolous and Lea Seydoux|
Comments: One of the weirdest hits of the year was a three hour, NC-17 French gay film based off of a comic book that I personally found more enjoyable than the film. This is a piece highlighting the various differences between the book and movie in ways that I feel influenced severe differences in the narrative.
|Left to right: Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling|
Comments: Definitely a show that will probably be making the rounds into the recap series next year is the surprising, highly effective new Jenji Kohan TV show that came out of nowhere and presented one of the strongest, most compelling universes established. This retrospective highlights the reasons that this is one of the best new shows of the year and the best thing to come off of Netflix.
Comments: On the heels of dedicating a TV Rewind column to Freakazoid in 2012, the release of the final volume of Animaniacs came out and was perhaps the show at its most surreal, pop culture referencing element. While it remains one of the best animated shows of the 90's, it is interesting to see the show in its final stretch and judge it from a distance of time and question what references are too much for kids.
|Left to right: Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter|
Comments: One of the best sitcom satires of recent years that could have been great, had ABC not messed with its scheduling, Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 is now stuck in the realm of cult show, but with plenty of great reasons. The fact that Krysten Ritter is still referenced as "The B in Apt. 23" shows the lasting power of the show and how charismatic the lead performances of Ritter and Dreama Walker could be when the satire clicked with the topics of celebrity and public image.
Article: An Analysis of Anton Chigurh
Source: Films with Friends
Comments: I have enjoyed launching this new blog with my pal over at Mike's Reviews. We have done quite a few pieces debating favorite characters and opposing viewpoints on popular events in ways that I feel are engaging and will continue to expand in the year to come.
Comments: This is 40 may be Judd Apatow's weakest film, but there is plenty of nuances that may make it a reflection of the vapid nature of Americans in the decades to come. This is a look at how technology, wealth, and voyeurism may play into the downfall of communication in a country that is obsessed with youth.
Comments: With the popularity of Vine and the concept of teasers for teaser trailers starting to gain popularity, there is plenty of bickering over it being the least relevant form of marketing to exist. This is mostly in regards to Catching Fire and an MTV advertisement campaign that really didn't do much effective in raising anticipation but only making a mild reminder of why we already cared.
Article: Retro Grading:: Putney Swope (1969)
Comments: It was a column that unfortunately hasn't developed into anything interesting or lucrative, but will hopefully make a return sporadically in 2014. Until then, enjoy the one of two pieces that I did in which I review Putney Swope and its amazing anarchy on the marketing agency mixed with racial commentary during the late 60's.
|Left to right: Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke|
Source: The Oscar Buzz
Comments: The end to one of the least likely trilogies in film history is Before Midnight and the tale of a romance that has been impressively chronicled since the mid-90's. It is a miracle that these films are as amazing as they are and that they ended on quite a successful level.