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List Loopholes

If I wrote some of my year-end lists today, things would be a little different...and I'm sure that will continue to be the case. Not much to do about it, really, except maybe write about it. So...

I finally saw Lincoln yesterday. I'd meant to see it when it first came out but it just never quite worked out. Had I seen it before the end of the year, it definitely would have been on my list of the best movies of 2012. I  love how it focused on just a few months of his life- the battle for the 13th Amendment and the brief aftermath. It really is a movie about political machinations - the realities that were present back then and are still present today (unfortunately). The period detail feels real to me, specifically in the lighting and the fact everyone wore coats or blankets because there was no central heating. The movies is full of great performances - I thought Tommy Lee Jones was fantastic as Thaddeus Stevens and James Spader brought charisma and levity with his performance. In the end, of course, the movie belongs to Daniel Day-Lewis. He just seems like Lincoln, the way Lincoln would be. He's funny and tender and intelligent and righteous. I have no doubt he will take home an Oscar in a couple months. It's a movie full of language, humor, hope, and belief and it's well worth seeing.

If I had saved my TV 2012 entry for one of the last, I would not have had Cheers at the #5 spot. Instead, it would have been in its own category and been replaced by The Walking Dead. We watched the last 3 episodes of the fall season that night and they were great. I thought the show started strong in its season premiere with its silent opening showing how time had passed and how the group had changed. I enjoyed the introduction of Michonne and the Governor, was surprised with the deaths early on, and thought they were doing a great job of keeping things moving. Those last episodes were great - burning through story, giving us great moments, character growth, and leaving things in an interesting spot for the back half of the season. I don't know that you can call a show that's so grim "fun" but it is certainly compelling.

I also completely forgot to highlight my favorite publisher on my Comics list - Monkeybrain Comics. It's a digital imprint run by Chris Roberson (a favorite writer) and Allison Baker. All of their comics are 99 cents and they are publishing a variety of titles. My favorites are Edison Rex, which is the story of a super-villain who destroys the world's greatest super-hero and then attempts to replace him, and Bandette, which tells the tale of a thief who has a network of helpers and a good relationship with the police; it is utterly charming. Edison Rex is by Roberson and Dennis Culver and Bandette is by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. That's just the tip of the iceberg for Monkeybrain and I know they have plenty more coming in 2013. Check 'em out via Comixology on your tablet or phone!


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Sunday Shuffle #448

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5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…