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Archive for ‘Best of 2010’

The 8 Most Awkward Things That Happened in 2010

January 12, 2011 By: Category: Awkwardness, Best of 2010

In honor of our commitment to awkwardness in all things, I decided to create a very special list for 2010: the most awkward news events of the year.  Why 8 instead of 10?  Because 8’s a more awkward number.

So here, in my humble opinion, are 8 of the most awkward things that happened in 2010.  In chronological order.

1. January: the tallest man-made structure ever builtBurj Khalifa building, Dubai, the Burj Kalifa in Dubai, opens.   This is awkward for two reasons: one, this tower is so much taller than absolutely every other building anywhere near it that it simply looks ridiculous; two, Dubai ran out of money while building it and had to turn to its neighboring Arab Emirate, Abu Dhabi, for finishing funds.  As a result, it was renamed “Burj Kalifa” at the behest of the Abu Dhabi government.  This is a little bit like building the tallest building in the world in New York and having to name it after the Canadian prime minister.

2. April: Volcanic ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull interrupts air traffic across Europe for over a week.  This is awkward both because it’s almost inconceivable that a word could have as confusing a spelling as “Eyjafjallajökull,” and also because it reminds us that Nature can still kick Man in the ass whenever it wants. (more…)

The Top Ten Horror Movies of 2010 that You Probably Didn’t See

January 10, 2011 By: Category: Best of 2010, Movies

It’s that time of year again, folks. What would our end-of-the-year wrap-up be without a lil’ Top Ten Horror Movies of 2010 That You Probably Didn’t See?

Truth be told –- this year, it was pretty slim pickings for the genre. Rib-bone thin. The multiplexes presented a dearth of horror flicks worth leaving the house for. Venturing beyond the genre offered a few deadly diamonds-in-the-rough for those brave enough to go hunting for them – but they’re out there, believe you me, lurking within some of the furthermost sections of the video store. I can feel myself already catching heat from the die-hards for a few selections on this list, but let’s be completely honest with ourselves here: Some of the most unnerving, truly frightening, utterly engrossing horror films of the year wouldn’t even be considered quote-unquote horror by traditional genre standards. I dare you to defy my selections for the best horror films 2010 had to offer…

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Buried, Splice, The Crazies, The Last Exorcism, The Children, Altitude, Survival of the Dead, Rec 2, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Eclipse, and The Horseman.

10. FROZEN
Written and directed by Adam Green.
Watch the trailer here.

Full confession: I am not a fan of Adam Green’s Hatchet films. At all. Reductive rather than resourceful, his lauded slasher re-hashes smack of microwaved leftovers from a Vorhees family Thanksgiving dinner circa Friday the 13th Pt. V. So – imagine what a pleasant surprise it was to encounter FROZEN. Coming in with the lowest of expectations, I was happy to discover a film that prefers patience over genre-pandering. Taking a very simple concept, a trio of friends stranded on a ski lift, Green goes for broke and milks every conceivable polar-moment for their blistering potential. Frostbite has never felt more palpable onscreen… or this much fun. The camera lingers on skin-in-distress to such an intense (zero) degree(s), it’s impossible not to feel one’s own flesh crackle while viewing it. Kudos to Green for favoring the simplicity of a humble story and telling it well, taking the physical limitations of his conceit and turning them into narrative strengths – which only makes the fact that FROZEN was book-ended between Hatchets, parts one and two, all the more disheartening. Back to the slasher re-treads, I guess… (more…)

The 15 Best Albums of 2010 that You Probably Will Not Like

December 16, 2010 By: Category: Best of 2010, Greatest Hits

2010! What a sneak surpriser of a year. Until I sat down and started compiling this list, I had a suspicion that 2010 had been kind of a bust. But once I really took a hard look at the records that came out over the last twelve months, I realized that this was, in fact, a kick-ass year for the art form known as music. In fact, I could expand this list to 25 records without batting an eyelash. But I won’t, because neither of us has the time. Or maybe I’ll just toss the final 10 in at the end as a bonus beat for all you hardcore readers who really want to know what’s up.

So then! On with the show!

15. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest is a difficult record to critique, because it sounds like a completely different album every time I listen to it. It’s not the kind of record that normally gets high marks from me … as an avowed fan of the pop hook, I generally gravitate toward music that gets stuck in my head. And every time I listen to Halcyon Digest I immediately forget what the songs sound like, making every listen a fresh experience. It has nothing to do with the hookiness of the songs … there are plenty of hooks, from the 60s radio shimmy of “Don’t Worry” to the Brit-pop of “Memory Boy” … but the hits rise up like sneaky venus flytraps out of the foggy audio swamp that permeates the record. Or swamp is a bad word, because that makes it sound like the record is muddy or bluesy, which it isn’t at all … if it’s muddy at all, it’s angel mud. And the venus flytraps are those Super Mario flytraps that climb up into the sky when you hit the right block.

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