Review of the Year 2010

Everyone is making these “reviews of the year”, so I guess it’s my turn.

Between January and March, I mostly listened to Lady Gaga and 30 Seconds to Mars. I was disappointed with This Is War, but didn’t hate it on first listen. I haven’t listened to it at all since March. Otherwise, my year pretty much went like this (checks Facebook):

JANUARY

watched Avatar. Three hours was not long enough to be looking at Sam Worthington. … Him Indoors kept referring to the Na’vi as “smurfs” – 02 January at 20:37

wants to buy EVERYTHING in Forbidden Planet. They have Star Trek Barbie, ffs! – 21 January

also forgot to say: District 9 was a really good film – thoroughly recommend it. An offbeat sci-fi satire in the Starship Troopers vein. Tonight we watched 500 Days of Summer – also recommended in an indie-quirky-romcom sort of way. Reminded me of a sharper Before Sunrise. – 26 January at 00:18

FEBRUARY

thinks that anyone who doesn’t like the Scooby Doo movies is a miserable bugger with no sense of humour. 😀

(lots of posts about Mass Effect 2)

MARCH

had this song [Descent into the Inferno] going around in my head all weekend and have now caved and re-bought the album. And several others by him, too. I ❤ Jim Thirlwell – 29 March at 19:16

I’m 3 tracks in to my first listening of Flow by Foetus, and it’s already the best thing I’ve heard in a decade O.o – 29 March at 19:53 ·

OK, I caved. I started a general music-movies-and-TV blog. – 30 March at 22:12

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The rest of the year, you know about, but here are my favourite things:

FILM

Inception

It wasn’t a game-changer like The Matrix, but easily as hauntingly memorable. Once you remove the high concept sci fi shenanigans, you’re left with a taut thriller with a great cast and some unforgettable setpieces. If you think of what The Day After Tomorrow was to disaster films – knows what it’s trying to achieve and pulls it off without putting a foot wrong anywhere – you have an idea of how efficiently this excellent heist action flick works.

.

GAME

Mass Effect 2

It was an obvious Game of the Year when it was released right at the beginning of 2010. It’s as close to “practically perfect in every way” as a game can get while still tantalisingly leaving room for improvement. In other words, its as top-of-its-class as Fallout 3 was in 2008, and has the same special way of making you feel everything at once.

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ALBUM

Foetus – HIDE

I’m not sure that the Foetus album, HIDE, had much in the way of competition. Even JG Thirlwell’s own Manorexia album, The Mesopelagic Waters, didn’t come close to this. It was strikingly beautiful and is thoroughly recommended, but HIDE wins out on number of listens alone: I’ve been known to play it five times on repeat in a single sitting. Like all great albums, it gives something new every time you hear it. It is quintessentially Foetus without sounding quite like anything Foetus has ever done before.

It twists and turns and fuses sounds in unexpected ways – ideal fodder for AudioSurf, the game that generates levels on the fly based on the music you feed it. While it might seem almost disrespectful to play along in this way, being forced to concentrate allows sounds to seep in and envelop the player, for a great multi-sensory experience if you can avoid being totally overwhelmed by it.

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SINGLE

Lykke Li – Get Some

Despite some pretty atrocious lyrics, this single wriggles in like a benevolent parasite and demands repeated listens. It has a raw, primal energy, and a truly fantastic guitar sound to accompany those obliterating drums.

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TELEVISION

The Vampire Diaries

Soapy and melodramatic with a too-pretty cast it might be, but I can’t recommend this show enough. Besides, I quite enjoy watching lots of very attractive men run around being manly and heroic. Hormonal impulses aside, what really sets this aside is the witty script, which avoids getting too bogged down with sentimentality. The plot twists and turns without jumping the shark, and the engaging cast keep us hoping that the eye-watering body count won’t include our favourite character.

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