Joejag - Just Another Geek

Happy New Year

Jan 4, 2006

Happy new year all,

First off, thanks to Paul for making an rss feed reader to save me putting all your blogs into my works WWW visited pages filter (Im monitored). The next step would be to put all the posts up on a unified page as well (though I know wordpress can by default only allow 250 characters to be read of a post). My coding bug didnt really bite for the Ugly Game over xmas so I have a PoC only on my laptop. It will forever be one of those projects that wasnt meant to be (that and my webhost doesnt allow Hibernate to be used, meh).

Secondly, JoeVod started us off with a first list of top 5s. Here is mine so I can look back in nostalgia at the year 2005 some time from now.

Musical Highlights:

Bloc Party €“ Silent Alarm
The Arcade Fire €“ Funeral
The Kills €“ No Wow
System of a Down €“ Mesmerize
NERD €“ Fly or Die

Special mention goes to The Killers for continuing the trend of writing indie rock music that guys and gals can actually dance to (ala Franz Ferdinand).

Bloc Party and Arcade Fire were the surprises of the year as they are different to what Ive listened to before. Bloc Party have a very stylist textured approach to their music with an atmospheric quality to it, and then of course they have the great rock riffs which keep me addicted. The Arcade Fire pretty much sound like Bjork backed by the flaming lips. Not a combination you would expect but it works beautifully. It helps having the BBC promoting you on all their ads too (See Lemon Jelly for details).

The Kills are pretty much your copy of the White Stripes with the female doing the singing this time. Nothing new here but their tunes are comparable for the White Stripes though often not as raw as them. System of a Down was another album that caught me off guard. At the time I guess doing a Masters had me in the right mood for Metal tunes. It was all I needed for a long time though now I notice that since the lead guitarist has taken over the primary vocals effort that the lasting power has diminished.

NERDs album came out at the arse end of 2004 but I didnt hear it much till this year so its getting a mention. Its Rap music but with Rock like songs (Not heavy like Rage Against the Machine though) and again its a different genre from Indie Rock which took me by surprise. Top lyric goes to them for: "Her ass if like a spaceship and I want a ride"

Top song has to be from Queens of the Stoneages album this year: Broken Box. Its a rock with your cock out athemn that has everything you need to strum along to your air guitar.

Film Highlights:

I should really look stuff up on imdb before posting my favourite movies but that would be cheating. I dont think 2005 was a strong year for mainstream/arty movies. Perhaps Ive just felt let down by King Kong. King Kong for those who havent seen it is a very long movie, I forgave Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings length as that was always going to be a piece of cinematic history. A remake of an old film is never going to be a classic.

Length of course doesnt matter if its all quality though Kong certainly isnt. The dialogue smacks of Titanic. The romance and plot are total drivel that youd expect some 13 year old girl to write to her favourite boy band, but to be honest we dont watch Kong for the plot. And herein lays the problem. We watch Kong for the effects, and any movie that sells on effects alone should last 90 minutes.

The Will Smith film Men in Black got this perfect, any longer then 90 minutes then that movie would suck. But as its so short we let it slide and just enjoyed it for what it is. Kong on the other hand follows this in a continuous loop of chases involving 2 sides that while spectacular, get dull fast:

String goodguy[] = { "Kong", "Jack Black" }
String badguy[] = { " t-rex",  "spiders, "natives", "bugs", "rocks"}

while(film_not_as_long_as_lotr) { showChaseWith(goodguy[random], badguy[random]) }

And lets hear it for the last line in the movie that just makes you want to put out a contract on Jack Blacks agents life: "It was beauty that killed the beast" It even reminds me of Titanic as again here the hero dies at the end.

In short; I didnt like it.

So back to the matter at hand, there were some good movies this year:

Sin City

Hmm.. ok, that is only one but that one movie really hit me. Its visually beautiful and has loads of anti-heroes. Its an art film with a big budget and it could of so easily gone wrong. I force fed it to everyone I know and I feel a better person for it.

The lack of great movies I feel is mainly due to the new creation of the super series. Tv shows like Lost, 24, Desperate Housewives. The US has decided to take big name movie stars and make high production Tv series that provide way more character depth that any film can muster. This is a trend I expect to continue and I would much rather see the next episode of one of those series then spend my cash sitting in a cinema waiting to see which part of the room has the next jackoff with the crazy frog ring tone going.

So there you have it, I proclaim the death of good cinema! Well no. its just been a lazy year for me to watch movies. I spend most of the year downloading everything in the imdb top 100 and watching that so there were a few great movies I saw for the first time like One Flew over the cuckoos nest.

So all in all it was a mixed year. Music seems to have become a lot cooler and movies seem to be a lot more formulaic.

Have a good one,
J.