TV and film-wise, there was good work as always but I wasn’t as overwhelmed by things as I have been in years past. There’s going to be a lot of ‘Top 10’ lists the next couple weeks; here are 5 films and TV shows that caught my eye the past 12 months:
5. Toy Story 3
Pixar doesn’t need any more superlatives said about how consistent they produce quality work from film to film. On its own merit, Toy Story 3 is a good film. For (the vast majority of) us who have seen all three films, the ending was especially well done. Whether you’re 13, 23, or 33, at some point you’ve had to say good-bye to your childhood, and ‘home’ and move into adulthood. The ending of TS3 is right behind the beginning of UP to me in terms of sequences that could be great short films on its own.
4. Waiting for Superman
Staying on the theme of the innocence of childhood is my favorite documentary this year. There are never any easy answers when it comes to the public education system (I know when one of the ‘heroes’ from this film has already been fired for rattling the cages in DC), but as opposed to other political issues, this would seem to be a problem that we all agree is fixable.
3. Mad Men – “The Suitcase”
Yes, I’m one of those who have been converted into a Mad Men fan over the past few years. This is the episode to watch to decide if you’re interested in the show or not. Set on the night of the first Clay-Liston fight, Don and Peggy pull an all nighter at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, and learn more about themselves and each other personally than they would expect. Stylish, well written, and well acted by Hamm and Moss, it’s a better hour of entertainment than most of the films I’ve seen this year. That, of course, doesn’t include…
A film. And when I say a film, I mean “meant to be enjoyed in a dark theatre with surround sound, and preferably with an audience of people who are watching it for the first time along with you.” I don’t really have more to add that wasn’t in my review when I first saw the film (search it). All I will add is that if anyone at Warner Brothers is reading this, I will gladly pay my own way to Chicago just to be an extra in The Dark Knight Rises. Batman jokes aside, that’s how much respect I have Chris Nolan at this point. And if you thought that was shameless self-promotion…
1. Lady In My Life on BET
Yes my ego wins this round, so what? It was a very big deal for myself, my family, my friends, the people who go back with me, the way me and films go way back. When Sanaa Lathan reads your life story on national television, get back to me.
Personal Year in Review later…