Obviously this is continuing in the grand tradition of end of year best of overviews. David did his yesterday and pointed out correctly that this year has not been quite as productive as last year. Although this year has also been a big year because the arrival of Geek Baby made this an exciting and interesting year. When we did have time this year we were able to consume a few things and so with that in mind here are my “Best of 2015”.
Movie – Best
For me the best movie for this year was definitely Mad Max: Fury Road. I will openly admit that I have never seen the other Mad Max movies, but really you do not need to in order to appreciate this masterpiece. It was an amazing cinematic experience and introduced a lot of really interesting ideas and concepts. It’s a movie that I would say if you have not seen yet that you absolutely need to watch.
Movie – Worst
Now on the opposite end of the spectrum is the recent Fantastic Four movie. It looked bad from the beginning and the only reason we decided to go see it is because it was free. It comes across incredibly disjointed and really like it cannot decide what it wants to be. There are some visual moments that are quite effective, but feel somewhat out of place in a Fantastic Four story at all. In the end it kind of comes across as gloss, but no real substance. It is one that might have been a better story if it was not known superheroes or was not about superheroes in general. A lot of things just end up not quite fitting.
Litflix – Best
So, this was not a year where I really got to watch too many Litflix so there really was not much to choose from. At the same time of what I did watch Mockingjay Part II did a good job of mimicking the book. As some commenters state the movie follows the book so closely that it kept some of the pacing troubles of the book in the movie. One could question whether the pacing itself has a hidden purpose, but that is a different issue.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie version of the second half of the book, but it is difficult to compare a film for half a book to a whole book.
Litflix – Worst
On the other side of the scale we have the Divergent series Inusrgent. The movie follows some parts of the book, but once you start making changes they definitely build off of each other. The first movie had small changes from the book, but those changes were significant enough to change the trajectory for the second movie. Some of it is that it is hard when dealing with actions occurring in the mind and how to properly show and distinguish these moments for the audience.
TV Show – New
David already mentioned how much we loved Daredevil from this year and Jessica Jones was just as good if not better. I enjoyed both series, but for me Jessica Jones takes the cake. It deals with some deeper issues of abuse and trauma in such an amazing way. Even though it is dealing with people with powers so much of the commentary from the villain Kilgrave are things that ordinary people say as well to excuse their behavior. To me it put a magnifying glass on these thought processes and how disturbing they are and should be considered. I am super excited for the Luke Cage show and will be interested to see where they take Jessica after this.
TV Show – Old
So this might be cheating a little bit because David and I never watched it while it was actually on the air, but Parks and Rec is so good. We binge watched it after my sister-in-law introduced it to us during a visit. It was such a fun show and all of the characters are fantastic. Part of what is great is that the characters do not simple stay they same they grow and evolve. The show is about this group of people living their lives and discovering new things.
The YouTube channel that we have recently discovered is Good Mythical Morning by Rhett and Link. We had been subscribed for a while, but just had not found time to watch it. It has actually turned into a great short thing that I can watch first thing in the morning when I am feeding the Geek Baby. The episodes are not too long and each episode has a new fun thing going on.
I have not read a ton of books this year, but I have read quite a few comics and graphic novels. There was a lot of good things, but the best really was Persepolis. The great thing about this graphic novel is the ability to paint a picture of what life is really like in a part of the world that many of us have never experienced. It gives a new and interesting perspective on a conflict that it many ways is still going on today. This story goes back to the beginnings and shows what life had been and what it became.
David and I started trying out Apple Music this year and so far it has been great. It also means that I have not necessarily found one single new band or song that has been a big hit for me. There has been a variety of playlists with a variety of artists that I have been listening too. The other piece that is fantastic is the ability to find and stream almost any song that you want, including some oldies, but goodies. It is great because sometimes there is that one song you want to listen to again, but don’t necessarily care about owning it. This allows me to listen to anything.
Video Game – New
Due to other life events David and I have not had much opportunity for new video games this year. We only recently bought an Xbox One and with that have received three new games in total. We have at least done the initial intro of each of the games, but the one that has us most engaged is Fallout 4. The open world nature and the variety of things that can be done in the game has made it a great game to play. The other piece that has been great is that the way that David and I have been playing is different enough that even if we watch the other playing it is a different experience.
Video Game – Old
For an old video game that has to be Kingdom Hearts 1.5. Part of what was great about playing this game is not only the ability to play Kingdom Hearts again, but also the ability to play Chain of Memories. I had not gotten to play Chain of Memories previously and had only played the main story games. At the same time I had always been confused about the connection between 1 and 2 and this game filled in those games. The gameplay itself is not the greatest, but the story is fantastic and fills in so much of missing pieces.
The amazing game that we found this year is Tragedy Looper. It really takes the idea of a mystery game such as Clue and takes it to a new level. It plays well with the idea of competing time travelers trying to cause and not cause certain actions to occur. It is a many against one type of game and really plays well with scenarios and introducing new concepts.
The art of the game is also incredible impressive. They have done a good job of putting a lot of information into a limited amount of space. If you have a chance I definitely recommend it.
Geek Baby Item
Now obviously the big occurrence this year was the Geek Baby. It has changed our lives so much and all for good. It has also introduced us to a whole new world of things and tools that we had never experienced before. Now there are the usual things, but one of my favorite things has been Chewbeads. These are necklaces that is safe for Geek Baby to chew on. It is something that I can wear without having to worry about her grabbing and putting it into her mouth. At the same time it also looks nice, so I can dress it up or down.