Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Roundup - Part 1

Is it almost already the end of year already? 2008 will go down in the history books as your classic example of a "mixed bag". Sort of like that time at the movies where I mixed in the same bag some sour patch kids and some chocolate non-parallels. I wasn't thinking how the powder that makes the sour patch kids "sour" would fall onto the chocolate. Sour chocolate doesn't taste good at all. But I digress...here are a bunch of top 3 lists covering a bunch of different subjects.

News stories that caught my interest in 2008

1.) OBAMA!!! Whether you like him or not, the world is about to change in a few weeks. Buckle up and hang on.

2.) The market crash of 2008. Nobody expected the last five years of growth to last forever but nobody saw how hard the market would fall in a small period of time. RIP Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and possible say goodbye to the United States automobile industry.
3.) Elliot Spitzer found with hooker Ashley Dupre and losing his NY Governor position. I'm going to make up a joke here.

Q: Why won't Ashley Dupre ever get caught for speeding?
A: She has a governor on her.

3a.) Roger Clemens vs. Brian McNamee: Just some funny stuff going on there. Clemens ruined his legacy forever here.

Top 3 TV Shows

1.) John Adams miniseries - I highly recommend seeking this out. It was on HBO and it did a great job of recreating the U.S. around the late 1700's into the 1800's. Great acting and it was neat to see things like the White House being built. Also features two of my favorite underrated actors...Paul Giamatii and David Morse.
2.) Law and Order - This show is back on my radar and one of the few shows I'll watch every episode of. Good stories and I like the cast here.

3.) Tie: House/Saturday Night Live - House would be number one here if this was 2007 but its still very good. Weird medical cases and good character development. Even better, the hot doctor, 13, turns up naked in the movie "Alpha Dog". Saturday Night Live is back with good political humor, very random skits (the family that constantly makes out with each other, McGruber), and pretty good hosts.

Worst TV show:

1.) Grey's Anatomy: I'm sorry but I actually liked this show around Season 2 (I'm married, what can I say) but now I can't follow it. Terrible dialogue, bad decision making, and overacting. Even my wife says this show is falling apart.

Top 3 Movies (released 2008)

1.) Iron Man - some people may prefer The Dark Knight but after my neck breaking experience watching that movie in an IMAX theater, I have to go with Iron Man. Its got the complete movie experience...great origin story, tons of action, and good humor.

2.) Tropic Thunder - A lot of understated humor here but that's my favorite kind of humor. I didn't laugh at any other movie this year in the theater or on DVD.

3.) The Orphanage - Yes, its a french movie with subtitles but the story is scary and what a true horror movie should be about. Has the scariest scene that I've seen in quite some time...you'll know what I mean when you see it.

Worst Movie

Tie: The Strangers/Pineapple Express: Just like the Orphanage is example of a great horror movie, the Strangers is an example of a TERRIBLE horror movie. Very predictable, dumb storyline, and absolutely mind blowing decision making by Liv Tyler's character. I was saddened that she was still alive in the end. Was never scared once. Pineapple Express is a movie for stoners I guess. It had a great opening 20 minutes but then fell apart. I fell asleep during this movie for a few minutes.

Best website (besides my own):

1.) http://www.awfulannoucing.com/ - The place to go to check out the latest news of sports announcing. Its a sports website for hardcore sports fans.

2.) http://www.ign.com/ - Great resource for movie, TV, DVD, and video game news. Pretty much all the stuff I follow.

3.) http://www.theyearofledzeppelin.com/ - For all of you Led Zeppelin fans out there, this is the holy bible. Features reviews of EVERY single Zep concert ever released on bootleg.

Best inventions/products:

1.) Rock Band - When I drink, there's nothing more that I like to do than listening to good music, maybe sing along with it, or play some air guitar. Rock Band now allows you to actually play and sing those songs in your drunken state with friends. This will go down as the greatest video game ever.

2.) The Shandle (http://www.theshandle.com/) - Keeps your hands clean while lifting up those grimy toilets when taking a leak. Great concept, and a great gift.

3.) Vodka and Rootbeer - I'm sure this drink has been out there for years but my 83 year old grandmother made one for me and I've been hooked ever since. Very hard to order at a bar since not many bars have root beer on tap but its a great drink to make at home. Highly recommended.

Part 2 later this week...


Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with you? The strangers bad? I completely disagree, and found it to be one of the most terrifying movies all year. Yes I agree, the decision making of our two protaganists was questionable at times, however the utter creepiness, and the fact the film did not have a supernatural element, I felt, added to the overall creepiness of the movie.

Hungieman said...

I grew up on horror movies and trust me...this movie had no originality to it. So a guy gets his head blown off by a shotgun...big deal. The fact that the friend was there at that time in the first place made little sense. Also, the "bad guy is in the room and protagonist doesn't see him" was done much better in Halloween and in Scream.

Anonymous said...


Been following your blog from Germany - My wife and I are very big fans!

Anyway I have been anxiously awaiting part two of your writeup and am getting frustrated with the unreasonable delay in seeing an update.

Please update with part II asap.

Highest Regards,


ps Also disagree with your assessment of the strangers and the orphanage. I found the orphanage completely unbelievable and lame in comparison to the Strangers. I hear they are filming Stranger II now, and I can only hope the sequel is as good as the original.