Friday, December 28, 2007

Top Trumps

As it's that time of year I decided to review the highs and lows of what I've seen and read over the year. The media do this all the time so I thought I would do my own (as the things I like never make it into the top 10 lists). It's also a good cheap way to fill blog space (can this be classed as a repeat?)

The Unquiet by John Connolly - Still on top form with his books featuring the dark and brooding Charlie 'Bird' Parker. There is something about the way that Connolly writes without giving way to the usual horrors. His stories are undeniably dark but he has created a brooding darkness implicated more by what his character represent than what they actually do. I’m really looking forward to ‘The Reapers’ when it comes out next year.

Scar Night by Alan Campbell – This has reignited my interest in fantasy fiction. Unlike most examples of the genre it is not contrived and creates a world all of its own without brutal world building. Campbell is a star in the making and I’ve ordered a copy of his prequel ‘Lye Street’

Stardust – A beautiful rendition of a beautiful story. Fairy tales for adults either work or fail miserably. This never does and I think that is in the main due to Gaiman’s perfect tone and pitch. Also, very funny.

This is England
At look at the skin head counter culture of which I remember my older cousin being a member but for me was a completely closed off area. I was still a child in 1983 and had no idea about the politics and music, all I knew was that the songs were angry and not all adults approved. This film helped me understand what it was all about.

Comic Book
Alice in Sunderland by Byran Talbot – Dream like but informative with little snippets of detail coming at you from all angles and via many different art forms. If this does not prove to those who say comics are just for children that they are wrong, then I don’t know what will.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – This was by far the best thing on TV in 2007. It was slow to start and at the first the characters seemed simply ‘too smart’ to be real. But the writing was so cleverly crafted that it grew on you and after episode 4 it was clever, sassy and intelligent. The last few episodes should be held up as examples of what TV can and still does best.
It is such a monumental shame that the series ended after just one season. Whoever decided that really has no love for the medium and should instead be working in a bank, not in TV.

Flight of the Conchords - Funny from the first moment to the last. Understated from beginning to end (like anything from New Zealand) but having some of the bestlaugh out loud lyrics I have ever heard. They make it all sound so effortless when in truth to be muscians as good as this involves being born talented. Only they could make a song about sellotape meaningful.

So as a little present....take it away boys.

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