Thursday December 30, 2004

Ben's Year in Review

Well it was another year. Good times, great oldies, and scary injuries. But there were some cool things to come out of this past year, and here are my favorites. I will start with movies since we all know that movies and DVD are far superior to music to the media buying public these days.


Best Horror Movie: Dawn of the Dead. Although this wasn't a scene for scene "re-make" or Romero's original, it was a fun ride. When I first heard about this movie, I was not too happy. But I was glad to see that it was pretty original, just loosely based on the zombie thriller from Romero. This movie seemed to focus more on the human emotion struggle that we saw in Day of the Dead, but the zombie action was great too. Using Johnny Cash during the opening credits gives it extra points!

Most anticipated DVD release: Star Wars Trilogy. Everybody would much rather have the original edits of these films on DVD, but beggers can't be choosers. These special editions look great! And how is the sound? BOOM. If you have a good home theater set-up, the opening scene on Episode IV sounds like a semi is rolling through your house. The documentary that comes with the box set is also very interesting. It's about damn time.

Best DVD controversy: Ed Wood recall. Most Tim Buton fans had been waiting for years to own his black and white masterpiece. Everybody was buzzing about the special edition release, but only hours before it was to hit shelves, Buena Vista issued a recall. Supposedly there was a "featurette" about transvestites that the folks at Disney didn't care for! However, a few copies found their way to store shelves and eBayers freaked out. Copies were going for as much as $120! Needless to say, I got mine.

Best Lesbo-Erotic Thriller: Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing. The folks at ei Cinema didn't even try to do a remake of the box office smash, but they did add their signature touch to it. Erica Smith plays a young Van Helsing who is instructed to kill Dracula's daughter (Darian Caine), and she does this by luring several lesbians to her lair to distract her before she stabs her in the heart with a vibrator.

Best TV series on DVD: The Munsters, Season One. Most people don't know that the central theme of The Munsters is social injustice and racism. It makes sense, since it came out right during the hot bed of racial tension in America. The thing is that the family didn't see themselves as different from other people, but when other people saw them they either freaked out or got offended! Most of the episodes deal with this issue, and some of the best are on the first season. Plus, Pat Priest never looked better than in these awesome looking transfers.

Best Comedy: Napoleon Dynamite. Some people love this movie, some people hate it. Personally I think it's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Here's how you appreciate it: Watch it, talk about it the next day with somebody else who watched it, watch it again drunk, talk about it some more and THEN you'll be hooked.

Best Party Movie: The Hazing. This movie succesfully combines The Breakfast Club with Nightmare on Elm Street. The basic plot is a group of frat pledges have to spend a night in a haunted house after they collect a list of items in a scavenger hunt. If they succeed at both, then they are allowed into the club. One of the items in the hunt is an ancient demonic book that a local collector owns, so a few of the pledges steal it. One thing leads to another, and (you guessed it) the book opens a portal and lets demonic powers out into the house---and locks the doors. Fans of Evil Dead will love this one, and it's a blast to watch with a group. Plus, it has Tiffany Shepis in it.

Best music DVD: The Pixies. I know that many people had been wanting to own a Pixies concert video for a while now, and this year we finally got one. Sounds pretty good too. The documentary was allright, but not steller. But hey, it's still cool.

Best music documentary: Dig! One of the wildest music documentaries I've ever seen. It will make you want to go out get in an awesome fist fight with your bandmates just for the sake of it. Worth a watch.


Best local album: The Features, Exhibit A.
Best show in Nashville: The Cure at Starwood.
Most unique show: Tromapalooza at The Boro.
Best new local bands: Be Your Own Pet and The Creeping Cruds.
Best local feat: Feable Weiner and The Features went to Europe.
Funniest local moment: The Pink Spiders being interviewed drunk on 102.9.
Best show that nobody went to : The Flesh at the Red Rose.
Most surreal moment at a show: When that guy at the Slack show got kicked out of the club during the set, only to crash his car into a cop car right outside of the club. Or something like that. Everybody has their own version of the story!
Best venue: The Ryman, for booking David Byrne, Morrissey, REM, and The Pixies this year. Couldn't go to any of those shows, but it would've been cool I think.

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