(My contribution to a collective DSD post that ran in 2012)
Brian Lindenmuth’s Top Five
I decided to break up this list of recommended things I like in 2012 into six categories: movies, TV, music, comics, print only book, and ebook only.
The two movies I enjoyed the most in 2012 were Argo and The Avengers. Argo was a tense thriller that shows just how solid of a director Ben Affleck has become. Alan Arkin and John Goodman were laugh out loud funny and no one ever had so much fun saying “argo fuck yourself” as Arkin did here. The Avengers was one of the best movie experiences I’ve had. The boy and I saw it in a sold out show and the audience was pulled along for the ride and it was a great collective experience. I don’t know if the experience of watching The Avengers will be the same at home but I do recommend both movies.
We’ve been playing some catch-up with TV shows lately and watched the first two seasons of Justified. It quickly became a favorite. There is a lot to like about Justified though it has its faults too (the biggest being that the other two Marshall’s are woefully under developed for two people who are in the main credits). Raylan is a great character and so is Boyd, who walks that fine line so you don’t know he’s believing the God game or not. From top to bottom this is a great cast of characters and actors, the writing and dialog are up to Elmore Leonard’s standards. The second season is stunning with Mags Bennet standing tall as of the great characters of the medium.
Where the hell did The Alabama Shakes come from and why did they take so long getting here. Their EP last year was concentrated greatness and the full length this year didn’t slacken the pace at all. Hell of an album.
I’m reading a book right now that is available in print only, Uncle B’s Drive-In Fictionwhich is a collection of six novellas by Jimmy Callaway, Alec Cizak, CJ Edwards, Garnett Elliott, Matthew C Funk, and David James Keaton. So far I’ve only read the first two novellas in the collection and have high hopes for the others. You should check it out too.
My ebook only pick is Hot Wire by Gary Carson. Carson’s first novel was, at times, a little too dense for its own good. Hot Wire is more streamlined and works better. It is a crazy novel that is like Repo Man (without the aliens) told in a New World Order setting.
Scalped by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra came to end earlier this year after 60 issues. I hate to compare to other mediums when this clearly stands so well on its own but sometimes you must when trying to make an introduction. Scalped plays out with the type of quality that one has come to associate with this golden age of TV that we are in. All of the quality and long term story telling possibilities that we’ve seen played out on the screen play themselves out in a different visual way here. Don’t let comics scare you, this is a brilliant.