Archive for January 6th, 2012
Since I posted the track listing for Modern Rock 2011 on Tuesday I’ve been busy writing up a complete review of both discs. This has put me in a review state of mind today, so I thought I’d look back at some of my other favorite parts of 2011 for Friday 5.
Top 5 Consumable Media from 2011
1. Album – Circuital
2011 was the year I fell in love with My Morning Jacket. I had been a casual fan for years, but their sixth album turned me into a super fan. Circuital was dense with layered melodies, yet it had a lived in feeling that was inescapable. And as I detailed extensively here at the Captains Quarters, I was lucky enough to catch the tour in support of the album in Chicago back in June. 2011 would not have been the same for me without Circuital.
2. Film – X-Men: First Class
Of all my selections here, this was the only one that was close. I almost picked Drive after multiple viewings over the last month, but I ended up picking the film I rewatched the most this year. I was a huge X-Men fan as a teenager, and I enjoyed the first two X-Men films immensely. But the terrible third installment, coupled with the forgettable Wolverine spin-off left me without much hope for my favorite mutants. But all it took was some guidance from original director Bryan Singer along with some killer casting to make the best X-Men film to date. Michael Fassbender as Magneto was especially brilliant. This was everything I could hope for in a super hero movie, plus Kevin Bacon!
3. Television Program – Breaking Bad
Once again, the best show this year by far was Breaking Bad. I wasn’t sure the show would be able to continue on such an impressive streak after the incredible third season, but Walter White and company found a way to keep the tension going. Not only was Gus Fring the most interesting character on television this year, but he’s definitely one of the best villains of the past decade. And the literally explosive finale left me eager with anticipation for the next season. Getting this good is difficult, but staying this good is truly impressive.
4. Video Game – Batman: Arkham City
Arkham City was another worthy sequel in 2011 that was hands down this year’s best video game. Expanding the size and the scope of the original Arkham Asylum was impressive, but improving the story and gameplay was what made this game standout. And after the sudden void in my life after the end of baseball season, this did an amazing job of engaging me. It consumed my month of November. I’m guessing that the game’s developers made a strong push to release it in 2011, realizing that 2012 would be the year of The Dark Knight Rises. Good call!
5. Book – Freedom: A Novel
I finished this novel over a quick few weeks this summer, and it left me pretty much speechless. Several times I attempted to write a review of it and was forced to abandon my efforts due to a massive feeling of inferiority. The writing in this novel was so incredible that anytime I tried to describe it I felt intimidated. Jonathan Franzen’s command of the English language is amazing, and his ability to tell a densely layered engaging story is astounding. I’m not going to embarrass myself trying to discuss my favorite parts except to say that his position on human overpopulation is the best articulation of an issue that is very important to me. Absolutely brilliant.