Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taking stock of 25 years of entertainment

The most recent issue of EW is devoted "The new classics: The 1000 Best Movies, TV Shows, Albums, and Books of the past 25 years." (Whenever magazines do lists, it's because its a lean weak/month for newsstand worthy cover stars.)

Moviewise, not too many quibbles about EW's top 100 films, but there are precious few foreign films (unless you count "Lord of the Rings" as a New Zealand production). So, no "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" or "Amelie" or "Jean de Florette," though at least "Wings of Desire" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" weren't forgotten. I'll forgive the omission of "Brazil" -- and the low ranking of "L.A. Confidential" -- because EW were good enough not to overlook "Children of Men."

Very sound books selections, though I still think "The Road" is overrated. True, Cormac McCarthy's spare, punctuation-free prose creates an unforgettable image of a post-apocalyptic future and the bond between father and son is tenderly evoke. But the story is too repetitive and its stubborn refusal to end with a proper climax is unsatisfactory on a basic story level.

As for the populist-leaning top 100 albums, how about Talk Talk's "Spirit of Eden" ... Porcupine Tree's "Fear of a Blank Planet" ... Kate Bush's "Aerial" ... Gary Moore's "Still Got the Blues" ... Robert Plant's "Fate of Nations" ... David & David's "Boomtown" ... I'd better stop there or I'll be here all night.

The TV selections are near perfect, even if "The Wire" should have been ranked no. 1 rather than no. 11. There's no love for "Veronica Mars" or "Firefly" but somehow "Saved by the Bell" squeaked in at #100! Yep, the show that saddled the world with Tiffani Thiessen, Mario Lopez, and Elizabeth Berkeley. I've seen episodes of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" that were better written...

To kick off the movie list for the next 25 years, can we start with Wall*E?

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