totally top five 2k12: movies

5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter [amazon]I already wrote about this one once and though I couldn’t have anticipated that it would end up being one of my favorite movies of the year, here we are. (It’s good and I love it, but let’s be real. I did not see enough movies this year.)

Babe Lincoln: Vampyr Murderer is the kind of movie that you love, not because it’s moving or beautiful or cinematic mastery, but because it has a fight scene where a horse is used as a weapon. It’s the kind of movie you love because it’s ridiculous. It’s the kind of movie you love because it imagines a world where Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter. I don’t know what else you want out of a movie, honestly.

4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2Okay, so I could’ve written basically the exact same thing for this one that I did for AL:VH. I mean, there’s vampire arm wrestling and an extended scene of a young adult male stripping down in front of the father of the woman he’s been in love with for years and campfire vampire (I wanted to make a vampfire portmanteau there, but that’s a whole other thing in this franchise.) war stories and a CGI baby and it’s all terrible and wonderful and beautiful, but I won’t do that. Instead I’m going to talk about why the entire Twilight franchise is great.

The Twilight movies are made on two layers: the one for the fans of the novels who will watch them in earnest and woo and swoon and then the one for me and my girlfriend and most of the people I know who watch them because they’re hilarious. You watch Breaking Dawn Part 1 and you tell me that Jacob falling on his knees while staring at that baby and imprinting wasn’t done exactly like that so that I would fall over laughing and bruise my head on the armrest of the seat next to me. You try and tell me that was accidental and I will call you dumb or a liar. Maybe the first movie is earnest in complete, maybe, but fuck if the rest aren’t dead up dual-layered. Don’t even pretend that isn’t the savviest filmmaking of all time! It’s a franchise built entirely on simultaneously pandering to the fans and mocking the thing that they love so much. And, most impressively, they do it without mocking the fans themselves. It’s brilliant. It is so brilliant.

3. Goon [amazon]Goon is the best movie that almost no one saw this year. It’s a movie about hockey that’s kind of a lot about hockey, but way more about friendship and living up to your potential and accepting who you are and family and love and loyalty. I’m not going to lie to you, Goon kind of makes me cry. It’s a comedy with a hell of a lot of heart, which is a bullshit saying that gets thrown around a lot, but is actual legitimately applicable here.

Doug Glatt is a kind of dumb guy from a family of smart, ambitious, successful people and, even though movies have trained us to both cheer for and pity that guy, Doug’s not like that. You cheer for Doug because he’s a good person that understands his limitations, but manages to find something he’s both good at and loves. You never feel bad for Doug because of who he is because who he is is great. Doug’s the goon of my heart. Almost everyone in this is likable and people are allowed to change and learn and it just has a lot of heart and energy and joy and feeling. Plus it’s hysterical.

Bonus: it’s available on Netflix Instant, if you use that, and Amazon Instant for free if you have Prime.

2. The Cabin in the Woods [amazon]I already wrote about The Cabin in the Woods before and everything I said there holds true except that I’ve now watched it again and feel all of it even stronger. It was smart and funny and bloody and unique and exciting and great. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you doing? If you have seen it, but don’t own it? Get with the program. And if you didn’t like it… I can’t.
1. The Avengers [amazon]This is a duh if ever there was one. I already wrote about this one too and all of that also still holds up except I’ve seen it a lot more since then and feel it even more strongly because there is nothing about The Avengers that I don’t love. I saw it eight times in theaters. And I would’ve gone more but we moved 1500 miles and lost control of our lives in general.

What I’m saying is, I love The Avengers so much that I wish I’d seen it 10-15 times in theaters instead of 8. What I’m saying is, The Avengers was so good that eight separate paid viewings in a theater was not enough. Got it?

totally top five 2k12: tunes


Did you know that 2k12 is going to be over in, like, 24 days? I know everyone’s always all, “GOSH, where did this year go?!” but no, for real, WHERE DID THIS FUCKING YEAR GO?! I moved halfway across the country this year, I can’t be held responsible for keeping track of time.

Anyway, in celebration/mourning of the year past, I’m going to to some Totally Top Five posts! Because there is literally nothing I love more than forcing my opinion on other people and then encouraging them to spend money on the stuff I’ve told them to like. I promise none of these lists will include a $45 candle or a $120 blanket or, like, Le Sang du Nourrisson Face Cream that costs $360 for an ounce. I cannot promise that these lists won’t include something you think is dumb. But, let’s be real, that’s probably just a sign that you suck.

I am starting with music because… I don’t know, it seemed as good a place as any to start. Plus it’s unlikely that I will suddenly get SUPER into something that comes out in the next couple of weeks. I’m not that on top of shit.

These five were all big summer songs for me and things that I associate with moving to North Dakota and also the first few weeks here. I was just listening to them a LOT at the time and they’ll probably be stuck with those memories forever, for better or worse.

Without further ado, my top five (by number of plays) songs added to my iTunes library this year:

5. Alex Clare, “Too Close” [youtube |]

Not going to lie, I’ve loved this song since I heard it in that Internet Explorer commercial for the first time. It sounds like The Black Keys did a dubstep project and I L-O-V-E it. I love his voice on this particular track and I’m glad he’s had some fame. He seems like a nice dude.





4. Ellie Goulding, “Lights (Bassnectar Remix)” [youtube |]

I heard this on Pandora for the first time, but it was a song that couldn’t be escaped, right? I like the original too, but this remix is pretty far superior. I’ve grown to sort of love Ellie Goulding in general in the many months since I first heard this and there are at least three of her songs I love with a far greater intensity than this one, but this is a solid holding and I apparently listened to it a lot this year.




3. Flight Facilities, “Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)” [youtube |]

I heard this on Pandora too, on a playlist based on The Knife, I think. It came up often, but I downloaded it and listened to it in my car a lot with the volume up really loud and the windows down. Hearing this feels like late summer and dry, hot air. I feel sort of neutral on the whole dubstep thing in general, but I like it here.




2. Cold War Kids, “Hang Me Up to Dry” [youtube |]

Yet another Pandora discovery, probably from the same station. I got OBSESSED with that titular line in the song and the sort of wailing desperation of it. Like, play just that section over and over again obsessed. And then the clanging out of tune piano? Out of bounds greatness.





1. Count and Sinden featuring Rye Rye, “Hardcore Girls” [youtube |]

You know how every once in a while you hear a song for the first time and your jaw just kind of drops and everything slows down a little bit around you and you’re just totally flabbergasted by the experience of it? That’s how I spent the first minute of this song the first time it passed me on my Tumblr dash. It only lasted a minute because the uncontrollable urge to dance to it hit me at about 1:08 and I actually got out of my chair and threw myself around the room to it. Then I replayed it and did it again. Louder.