Tag Archives: 2012

Kinky Wizards: Top 5 favorite albums of 2012

Metric-synthetica5. Synthetica – Metric. I have liked most of what Metric has put out since I first heard “Black Sheep” in Scott Pilgrim. The heavy beats, Emily Haines’ beautiful voice, electronic over lay, etc. is a great package. This album takes a step beyond what was done on Fantasies and other works. It not only has the synthesizers and passion of your typical Metric record, but the song writing is the best yet. Listen to the lyrics and they are not angry or sad or happy, they are introspective with something to say about youth in North America and where these generations are going. Great stuff.

Suggested tracks: Speed the Collapse, Breathing Underwater, Clone.

 

 

220px-Celebration_Rock4. Celebration Rock – Japandroids. I am late to this band. This album is so good; I may not listen to their first one. I loved the feeling of nostalgia mixed with modern awareness, what does that mean? Imagine if Who’s Next was written and came out today. It is heavily influenced by that classic The Who album, but it has a sensibility about current adolescence. Japandroids understand what young people are thinking, but also know that all teenagers are self involved and will get over it. I love the raw love of classic rock that oozes from this album; I will listen to it over and over again.

Suggested tracks: Adrenaline Nightshift, Continuous Thunder, Younger Us.

 

 

220px-Transcendental_Youth3. Transcendental Youth – The Mountain Goats.  I just discovered TMG this year, it’s an awesome feeling to find a massive backlog of a band that you really enjoy. The vocals and emotion timed with radical swings in music make for some of the best listening in modern music. Transcendental Youth is no exception. It starts out with a song about Amy Winehouse and “all the Amy Winehouse’s in the world”, simple, sweet, and sad all at the same time. They are a little older guys, but they a so connected to the world of music and the culture that every day people come in contact with. They understand your feelings, and they can put words to it. Plus this album has a killer close in title track.

Suggested tracks: Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1, Cry for Judas, Harlem Roulette, Transcendental Youth.

 

Put-Your-Back-N2-It2. Put Your Back N 2 It – Perfume Genius. This is the album I have listened to the most this year. I love it from beginning to end. Mike Hadreas is a breath of fresh air to me. His music is hypnotic and his vocals are haunting. He is so open and honest with his feeling and his being and he is sharing it with everyone who will listen. I listened to this album all the way through twice before looking him up and watching his videos, dude is a pure talent who shows his vulnerability while grabbing you by the hand leading you through the pain. I haven’t really absorbed his other work yet, but this album really connected to me on a deep emotional level. I hope I get to see him live someday.

Suggested tracks: Hood, Dark Parts, No Tear.

 

cloud-nothings-album-cover-attack-on-memory.11. Attack on Memory – Cloud Nothings. As much as I enjoyed PG, this album was the most fun, rocking, potential classic of anything else I listened to this year. It transported me to younger days and made me want to pull out my guitar and jam. I believe the best albums make you want to take action. This one did that. Shadows of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, and Zounds are obvious. It just bangs and rises, then floats down. From beginning to end it is steering-wheel-bashing goodness. I look forward to listening to this again, and to what Cloud Nothings will do next.

Suggested tracks: Stay Useless, Wasted Days, No Sentiment, Cut You.

 

Honorable Mention:

Hands of Glory – Andrew Bird

Reign of Terror – Sleigh Bells

Port of Morrow – The Shins

Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II – Earth

‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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What Designer are you wearing? Who cares?! 2012 Oscar Selections!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the Oscars, I hate the Oscars. It is like the Super Bowl at my house. I come back every year and dig in deep and see as many of the films as I can, that is the great part; expanding my mind through the education of a wide range of films. The thing I hate is the stupidity of the Academy and its predictable and political motives. I can get over it easy, because I love films, actors, writers, set designers, etc., etc.

This year I am taking a different approach. Instead of actually predicting who I think will win, I will just tell you my choice in these selected categories. I am typically 50% wrong, it is not because I do not know what I am talking about, it is because I cannot set aside my personal taste and preference when it comes to these “art” films.

Also, follow me on twitter @jwfyler as I “live-tweet” the show. Because you really care about my opinion. I will try to be funny, I make no promises.

 

Sound Mixing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

I am not exactly sure how they actually choose the winner in this category. Of the five, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had the best mix of all the sounds in it. Haha.

 

Sound Editing

Drive

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

This is the only thing that Drive is nominated for, thus, it should win.

 

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Rise of the Planet of the Apes did a great honor to the original movies by keeping the same level excellence. CG, backgrounds, all of it was fantastic.

 

Film Editing

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

David Fincher’s team knows how to pace a movie, editing is the key to his success. Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall are true wizards.

 

Makeup

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Iron Lady

Old ladies, women as men, done before. I think this category is a joke this year. The original Planet of the Apes should just hold this honor for all time.

 

Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

War Horse

More so than the other films on the list, it felt exactly like the time period. Not just as a movie, but the atmosphere, acting, and color were all perfect.

 

Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse

Back to Fincher’s team. Angles, speed, focus, these things matter more than people ever realize. Jeff Cronenweth started with Fight Club and has kept that level of greatness in all his work.

 

Costume Design

Anonymous

The Artist

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.

I hate the Jane Eyre story, it is so boring. I find that I am of a small percentage here. The film did have great casting and costumes. A classic British tale, it is kind of a shoe in. Michael O’Connor has already won for The Duchess.

 

Foreign Language Film

Bullhead

Footnote

In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

A Separation

Sadly, this is the only one I have any experience with. I make a promise do to better in this category next year.

 

Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Pina

Undefeated

Again, the only one that I actually saw. It was so good though. The story of the Memphis Three, this film is one of three that have been a major factor in bringing this case to light across the whole country.

 

Animated Feature Film

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Down year for animation. A Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp film has the best shot in a year when Pixar put out a turd.

 

Music (Original Score)

The Adventures of Tintin

The Artist

Hugo

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

John Williams holds the record for most Academy Awards nominations of any living person. He has two in the fight, and I preferred War Horse. This is a situation where I cannot set aside body of work.

 

Music (Original Song)

Man or Muppet

Real in Rio

Only two nominated. Bret McKenzie, of Flight of the Concords fame, wrote a song worthy of The Muppets I grew up with.

 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants

Hugo

The Ides of March

Moneyball

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I have not read the original material, but of these five films, The Descendants felt the most honest and real. It was an interesting family tail that had depth without being too depressing.

 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist

Bridesmaids

Margin Call

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Woody Allen either nails it, or bores me with the same old game. Midnight in Paris was funny, witty, and not over the top. Plus I love the 20s.

 

Actress in a Supporting Role

Berenice Bejo: The Artist

Jessica Chastain: The Help

Melissa McCarthy: Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer: Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer: The Help

No stand outs here, in my opinion. That said, Octavia stole the show in The Help and I really hope she wins.

 

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh: My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill: Moneyball

Nick Nolte: Warrior

Christopher Plummer: Beginners

Max von Sydow: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This is really tough. Nick Nolte gave his best performance since Blue Chips and I have a soft spot for Christopher Plummer (General Chang). My final decision came down to the fact the Plummer played more out of his element and was marvelous. Nolte was extremely believable, but not an unexpected role.

 

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close: Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis: The Help

Rooney Mara: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams: My Week with Marilyn

Another hard one. Rooney Mara took over a role that was done very well by Noomi Rapace, but she did it all better. She was brutal, mean, sexy, vulnerable, all the stuff the Academy looks for. Michelle Williams was the perfect Marilyn Monroe, which is a great feat. I loathe Meryl Streep and Glenn Close; they very seldom evoke any emotion in me. I will call a tie between Williams and Mara, loved them both…Oh, I can’t do that? Ok, Michelle Williams, there.

 

Actor in a Leading Role

Demian Bichir: A Better Life

George Clooney: The Descendants

Jean Dujardin: The Artist

Gary Oldman: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt: Moneyball

Most of the time the person who wins this category is an anti-hero of sorts, or an addict, or dying, etc. George Clooney showed me his great acting talent by pulling off a completely normal and real human being in a somewhat unusual circumstance. When I “buy” an actor, is when I no longer see that person, and I can imagine it would be hard to fully commit to someone who has no great conflict, disease, or war and completely “sell” it.

That being said, I think Michael Fassbender should have been nominated for Shame, and should win. He did four movies this year; his body of work is incomparable this year. I know, “the Oscar’s aren’t about body of work”. Really? Scorsese won for The Departed and not Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, or Goodfellas?

Someone else who had a great body of work this year was Ryan Gosling, three great films. Drive is crazy-awesome.

 

Directing

The Artist: Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants: Alexander Payne

Hugo: Martin Scorsese

Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

The Tree of Life: Terrance Malick

I think this was the best movie of the year, and in turn Martin Scorsese the best director. Malick’s The Tree of Life was too much of an art piece for me to think that he/it was the best. The other three are on the next level of good.

 

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball

The Tree of Life

War Horse

The most heart, the most interesting, and the most entertaining. A great film about a boy who has fallen in love with film and technology before Hollywood and before computers and smart phones controlled our lives. The awe and wonder of this film struck a chord because I remember falling in love with motion pictures at a young age. I related to this film, thus my choice for Best Picture.