Non-Game Entertainment Favorites of 2012
The latest Humble Indie Bundle has arrived! This one includes Dungeon Defenders, Binding of Isaac, Legends of Grimrock, and Indie Game: the movie, among other treasures. I recorded a video of me poorly playing Binding of Isaac last week in an attempt to work through my Steam backlog, so if you’re curious about the game at all take a look!
Last week on the podcast I talked about my favorite gaming experiences of 2012. (You DID listen to the podcast, right?) Of course games are just a small part of entertainment media, so I wanted to mention a few of my other favorite things of the year.
My Favorite Movies of 2012
1. Kill List
Not only my favorite movie of 2012, but my favorite genre movie of recent memory. Kill List is one of those movies that you’ll enjoy more the less you know about it, so I’ll spare you the details. (The trailer is pleasantly vague and creepy, though.)
So why do I love it so much? I love the unsettling stillness of the first two thirds of the movie. I love how the viewer feels that terrible things are going to happen but they don’t know why. I love the way it thinks about how ultraviolence can affect the psyche. I love this movie.
2. Cabin in the Woods
Okay, so have you gotten the sense yet that I’m a fan of scary movies? Cabin in the Woods is yet another title that you’ll enjoy more knowing less about it, but oh man, what a ride. It’s scary, it’s bloody, it’s weird, and I spent much of the movie with a grin plastered on my face. This is a love letter to American horror movies.
Shhhh, I don’t want to hear about how the plot is all gibbly. I don’t care! A lot of it is just people being pedantic, and the movie looked gorgeous. I was too young to see Alien (or Aliens) in the theatre, so this was my Ridley Scott Space Experience and I loved it. And that medipod scene (you know the one)… oof. Gut wrenching.
(I keep an online movie diary on Letterboxd, so follow me if you’re there!)
My Favorite Books of 2012
1. John Dies At The End
If you know me, I have probably already recommended this book to you. I bought it not really sure what to expect: so a dude from Cracked wrote a book with characters named after himself and another Cracked writer? Is it full of Top Five lists? But man, I am a convert.
JDATE is funny and horrifying and gross and really makes you feel what it would be like to think you’re going crazy. (It reminded me a lot of Phillip K Dick in that way, and that’s high praise coming from me.) Add in a true gift for expressive language, and you have one of the best books I’ve read in years.
Oh, Neal Stephenson. I loved Reamde in part because it’s about an MMO, and in part because a lot of it is set in my part of the world (Seattle/BC), but mostly because of the sheer audacity of the plot. I didn’t looooove Reamde, but I’m certainly glad I read it.
3. The Hunger Games
So look, I am usually the biggest Young Adult lit snob ever. I don’t like Harry Potter, I don’t like Twilight, I don’t like .. any of it. It’s for kids, dammit, and I’m a grownup who likes grownup things. But, oh man, The Hunger Games (the first book in the trilogy) spoke to old 15-year old Liore in a way that a book hasn’t done in a long time. The world of THG is just post-apocalypse despotic enough to appeal to my bleack sci-fi senses, and as a fan of Battle Royale how could I not enjoy the old “kids fight to the death” trope?
My Favorite Songs of 2012
1. Baby’s On Fire – Die Antwoord
Yolandi Visser is pretty much the coolest. Is Die Antwoord art? I dunno, but they’re freaking catchy.
2. Gangnam Style
Okay so look, I discovered Gangnam Style back in late July (thanks to Arolaide) which makes me a GANGNAM HIPSTER. And I legitmately like this song, like for reals. It’s amazingly catchy, obviously, and Psy is really a neat guy, and the video is fun, and I love a good song that mocks the upper classes. Plus hey, it was about time K-Pop got a little traction in the Western World.
2012 was the year I got heavily into mashups by amateur DJs, in large part because of regular sessions on Turntable.fm with friends. The video is one of my current favorites, Gnarls Barkley feat. The Raconteurs feat. Grandmaster Flash, by The Legion of Doom.