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Best Of 2005

Favorite movie of 2005: I put off making this list for a week because Crash arrived from Netflix last Friday. Crash has appeared at the top of a number of "best of 2005" lists (including Roger Ebert's), so I figured I ought to see it before rendering my verdict. Well, I watched it last night, and my verdict is: whaa? Best film of 2005? I mean it was good 'n' all, but it depicts Los Angeles as being about the size of a basketball court and inhabited by a little over a dozen citizens, such that every event in the city will necessarily involve at least two of them. Plus, every moment where I thought "Wow, the writing in this film is excellent" was matched by at least one moment where a snippet of dialogue or "plot twist" brought me to the brink of eye-rolling. It might be the best 2005 film I saw all year (if only because I saw so few), but I enjoyed both Batman Begins and Grizzly Man more.

Favorite Older Film That I saw In 2005: Sideways, followed closely by Kung-Fu Hustle.

Biggest Cinematic Disappointment: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Great story, great director, great star, great child actor, great first 30 minutes ... then it all goes pear-shaped.

Favorite Fiction Books Read: Thanks to the Booklist 2005 Project, I read a lot of amazing stuff this year. Top five:

Favorite Non-fiction Books Read:
Book I Expected to Hate and Wound Up Liking Quite a Bit: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (will review soon).

Favorite Albums of 2005: Honestly, I'm just not passionate enough about music to have "favorites," but the three 2005 albums I listened to the most often this year were:

Favorite Boardgames of 2005:

Favorite Boardgames of 2005 Caveat: I still haven't played Caylus.

Favorite Flash Games of 2005:

Favorite Interactive Fiction Game Played in 2005: All Things Devours.

Only Interactive Fiction Game Played in 2005: Well, okay: All Things Devours ... but it was really good.

Posted on January 05, 2006 to dy


Did you see the Squid and the Whale? I think it's still playing somewhere in Seattle. Definitely my favorite of the year. And possibly the best, too.

Posted by: josh on January 8, 2006 1:46 AM

you are much kinder to crash than i. i remember reading that opening line ("...we crash into things just to feel..." or whatever), and thinking, wow, that's some silly voiceover to put into a film. and then when i saw it, and saw that it was dialogue - that this is something that some one is actually supposed to be saying to someone else -, i was even more blown away by the inanity of it.

it's interesting because i found myself engaged by the film - never bored - and feel like i should give it more credit (a "good and all, but..."), but ultimately, i found the entire thing too eye-rolling.

Posted by: starlen on January 8, 2006 2:20 AM

I saw a link, and it said Grow: Cube. And suddenly three hours had passed, and all my plans for Sunday morning had gone off the rails and into the ravine and burst into flames and finally dissolved in a shower of exotic particles.

Thanks, or possibly I hate you.

Posted by: Andrew Willett on January 8, 2006 9:42 AM

I also loved the Squid and the Whale (produced by wes anderson)....

Posted by: f-i-n on January 8, 2006 1:17 PM

did you ever play diplomacy?

Posted by: Anonymous on January 8, 2006 6:31 PM

As a devout wine connoisseur I hated Sideways. What is all the hype about?

Posted by: urs on January 9, 2006 9:29 AM

Totally agree with you on "The Professor and the Madman." :)

What, pray tell, is the origin of "...it all goes pear-shaped"?

Posted by: Faith on January 9, 2006 10:37 AM

No one's quite sure about the origin of 'pear-shaped'.

Posted by: Zed on January 9, 2006 11:08 AM

Have to agree on the Squid and the Whale. It got top honors on my best of 2005 list as well. Click here to read more.

Posted by: johnbai on January 16, 2006 1:04 AM

With so many references to "My Humps", I was expecting to see Black Eyed Peas on your favorite album list. Check it out :)

Posted by: Orion's Mama on January 16, 2006 7:18 PM

I agree with _House of Leaves_. As soon as my friend is done and I get it back, I'm reading it a second time.

Posted by: bryan on January 18, 2006 8:32 PM

I'm so happy to see Lakoff on the list. I urge you to read Moral Politics - changed my world.

Posted by: good to know on January 19, 2006 3:23 PM

My favorite movie of the year was Howl's Moving castle.
Also enjoyed Batman Begins. Didn't see Crash though.

Posted by: Triskle on January 26, 2006 4:20 AM