Thursday, January 01, 2009

Movies and Music from 2008

Here are my own Mungowitzian picks for 2008, in music and movies.

Music I Liked This Year:

1. Easily the best and biggest thing in musis is the third album from "The Mungers," titled Mungertown Road. I like the whole album, but the track entitled "B School" is extremely fine. And the title track captures a lot of where I came from, even though they are singing about Connecticut and I grew up in Florida.

2. Vampire Weekend. It is interesting that it is trendy to hate things that become trendy. And in music there is zero correspondence between "I subjectively like X" and "X is objectively good," for me or for anyone else. So I make no claims that Vampire Weekend is good. But I like listening to it. The lyrics are literate, and the New England references work for me because I have spent a lot of time there.

3. Taylor Swift, Fearless. Yes, it's robotic, formulaic, and entirely predictable. So are Big Macs. I had a Big Mac the other day. And I thought, "yummmm." My test for albums is pretty simple: Do I want to sing along, really loud, in the car. And I want to sing Taylor Swift. Someday, when she turns 13, she'll be even better.

Disappointments: Chinese Democracy (G&R) and Forth (The Verve)

Movies I liked (alphabetical order):

Dark Knight (one of the top five, all time, for me)
(The Tale of) Despereaux (a very libertarian movie, at least for the first half)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (I didn't expect to like it)
Ironman (absurd premise, but it really worked)
Quantum of Solace
Rachel Getting Married (more complex than I expected, interesting, Anne H is amazing)
(The) Visitor (not exactly happy, but remarkably acted and directed)
Sweeny Todd (Yes, really)

Disappointments: Kung Fu Panda, Wall-E, Burn After Reading (I couldn't finish, and walked out), There Will Be Blood, and Slumdog Millionaire. Maybe I expected too much, after the hype. Of these, Slumdog Millionaire was the best. It is surely a great movie in terms of execution and filming, but I kept looking at my watch.


Anonymous said...

You guys missed The Foot Fist Way. Filmed and set in Concord, NC. My #1 for '08.

Max Marty said...

You didn't like Wall-E? But it was so Libertarian! "Auto" was controling everyone's life and destiny "for their own good", causing everyone to get fat and lazy... but eventually being defeated in the end. What good libertarian doesn't fall in love with such a storyline? ;)

Anonymous said...

these are movies from the past two years.