not in our stars, but in ourselves
It’s already 2016 in some time zones, and it will soon be here as well. Here’s a little of this, that, and the other.
1. First, an administrative announcement: what should have been a tremendously simple entry in the 2015 Movie Challenge, Fantasy, was one that I put off and put off and put off until today. I wanted to watch and write about Pan’s Labyrinth, but I don’t think I have time to do it justice. (Also, frankly, I’m tired of paying for things. Christmas was expensive. Please, Guillermo Del Toro, put your movie on Netflix or Hulu or something.) Therefore, I cheated: Krampus is now the Fantasy film in the challenge. If you don’t like it, please feel free to cancel your subscription.
2. I don’t have a Top 10 list for movies this year, because I barely saw 10 new movies released in 2015, but the best film of the year was Mad Max: Fury Road – no doubt about it. Others that I thought were excellent: Macbeth, Crimson Peak, Timbuktu, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (listen, it didn’t open in Boston until January of this year, so it counts), Ex Machina, Krampus, and the unstoppable Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I straight-up did not enjoy Age of Ultron, I felt downright icky about The Hateful Eight, and I thought The Martian and Inside Out were massively overrated. I wish I’d gotten around to It Follows and Creed, but maybe I’ll catch up on those soon.
3. My most eagerly anticipated 2016 releases, in no particular order:
– Hail, Caesar!
– The Witch
– Men and Chicken (if it’s ever actually released in the U.S., goddammit)
I think that’s it. I’m sure I’ll see other things – but those are my top picks.
4. The real star of my 2015 was TV. The best was Hannibal, and I hope and pray to a non-existent god that it will come back somehow, someday; in second place, but with a photo finish, was Fargo; and up to a point, The Knick was worth watching. Then it wasn’t. If Soderbergh doesn’t want to do a third season, I won’t want to see it. Over the summer, I enjoyed Deutschland 83 quite a bit, and the veddy British and bloody amusing Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. High art? No, but darn good fun. Show Me a Hero was a worthy investment of my time and emotional energy even if only for Oscar Isaac’s devastating performance. The miniseries wasn’t perfect, but he was. And I guess lots of people were sort of agnostic about The Jinx after it finished, but I still think it was a great documentary series. If the filmmakers held anything back from the authorities, I’m sure they’ll be dealt with. Regardless, it seems that they finally dug up enough evidence to stop a potential serial killer from doing any other harm – and sometimes that’s the best you can hope for.
5. The less said about the political landscape, the better, but suffice to say: #FeelTheBern.
6. Coming up for me personally in 2016: a trip to Costa Rica, possibly trips to California and/or North Carolina, more races with unlimited beer at the end, more weight lifting, and tackling the Hulu queue. And more, I’m sure.
7. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, particularly not as they related to body goals, but I do hope to bring my squat and my deadlift totals up significantly by this time next year. I’ve made it past 200 pounds on each, doing multiple sets of multiple reps – I have no idea what my one-rep max is on either – but I’m not adding weight as fast now as I was when I started focusing on gains (or #gainz, if you will). When I started, I could easily add 5 pounds each week. Now it takes me a few weeks to get to the point where it feels “easy” enough to do more. But I’ll chip away at it, and perhaps make it to 300 by December 31, 2016. We shall see. (Incidentally, if any of you are in Boston and want to be my gym buddy, hit me up. I like being a lone wolf when I work out, but I also think it holds me back a bit.) Oh, also, I’ll keep up with the yoga. It’s been very good for me, so I’ll keep at it. I can touch my toes without wanting to yell! It’s great!
8. Here are some things I never want to hear or see or think about ever again: Taylor Swift, Amy Schumer, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Minions, the entire GOP, TCOT knuckle-scrapers on Twitter and their more long-winded brethren on Facebook, Debbie Wasserman Schulz, Eddie Redmayne, Vox and Salon and Buzzfeed and Mic and Huffington Post and all other horrible think-wank content aggregators, Hillary Clinton, literally any trending topic on Facebook. Please, God and Jesus and Cecil B. DeMille, let it be so.
9. 2015 has been a very, very, very good year for me, all bitching aside. I don’t take anything for granted, and I don’t assume that my good luck will always last, but I think I’ve built a solid foundation with wonderful people, and I have high hopes for 2016. I hope it’s great for all of you, too.