December 14, 2004

Dan’s Review of the Year

Well, that was 2004. Okay, there are a couple more weeks to go but face it; the world’s just going to be pissed/hibernating/in Mexico for the rest of the year. So I hereby present my Review of the Year, in which I look back at all the great things that have gone down. Except me – I’m guessing you don’t want to hear about my sex life.

For the Top 40 singles of the year, look no further than here. Here are the five greatest albums of the year:

  1. The Libertines – The Libertines
  2. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
  3. Dogs Die In Hot Cars – Please Describe Yourself
  4. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  5. Razorlight – Up All Night

I suggest you buy them all. That said, there was a hell of a lot of other great stuff produced this year from the Killers, the Zutons, the Ordinary Boys, Morrissey, Graham Coxon, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, N*E*R*D and Jimmy Eat World. And some new acts emerged to watch out for next year like Babyshambles, Bloc Party, the Futureheads and the Kaiser Chiefs.

Craziest of all, there was some really good non-indie – i.e. pop – music out this year. Scissor Sisters, Maroon 5, Kelis and the Black Eyed Peas are so annoyingly catchy, despite my attempts to dismiss them.

There were plenty of half-decent films out but few truly great ones. A glut of comedies, from the Stiller-Ferrell complex, which is currently dominating Hollywood, dominated the releases. This is my top five:

  1. The Incredibles
  2. The Motorcycle Diaries
  3. Starsky & Hutch
  4. School Of Rock
  5. Lost In Translation

Obviously, by TV I mean comedy shows – to be fair, British comedy shows. My top five:

  1. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
  2. Peep Show
  3. Black Books
  4. Little Britain
  5. The Green Wing

Are you kidding? I’ve not read anything from this year – fictional, at least. Might read Da Da Vinci Code before the end of December though. I’ll let you know what that’s like.

Okay, it’s not all great: here are some of the people I respected who all kicked the bucket this year…

  • John Peel
  • Marlon Brando
  • Ray Charles
  • Peter Ustinov
  • Brian Clough
  • Johnny Ramone
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard
  • Alistair Cooke
  • The university’s very own Lord Scarman

I guess this’ll be the last blog I’ll write before jetting off to Mexico for Christmas. Perhaps I’ll be able to write while I’m out there, but I ain’t promising owt. So dear reader (shit, that's another dead one: Derrida!), have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Janan Ganesh

    Dan, listen, the best film of 2004 was Collateral. I am very, very hard to impress film-wise (it is a vastly inferior art form to music, though that's another debate) but this was so good I watched it twice (UCI Empire Leicester Square both times) and will get it on DVD when it comes out.

    I am a huge fan of the Cruiser, and this is his best for ages – perhaps since Rain Man. Can you imagine that the guy who played all those clean-cut pretty boy good-guys in the 1980s would end up playing a villain so convincingly? I have never seen anyone shoot people with so much speed and style as the Cruiser does in Collateral. My fellow audience members, who were in the 30s and above (and have therefore seen this type of thriller millions of times before), were audibly gasping in the scenes where he does his killing. I don't even like violent films, but the Cruiser charms you with the beauty and poise of his firing.

    And 2004's greatest loss was Ronald Wilson Reagan: American patriot, Cold War victor, free market champion, and the funniest man to have occupied the White House.

    25 Dec 2004, 23:13

  2. Heh, I'll try and see Collateral then. "the beauty and poise of his firing"?! You are such a gun nut. Top Gun's on next Monday, by the way. Quality.

    I thought I'd let you have the pleasure of giving the Gipper a mention. I suppose he wasn't such a bad dude. But Greatest Loss? He was gone way before his body packed in.

    29 Dec 2004, 10:34

  3. After watching yet another Channel 4 list show – 100 Top TV Treats or some such – I realised there was a lot more good TV last year: Family Guy, South Park (though most of these were viewed on computer), BB5 was alright, The Power of Nightmares, Dick and Dom, The O.C., Hell's Kitchen, Shameless (new series on Tuesday!) (oh, and Top Gun's on tonight), and, er, that's it…

    02 Jan 2005, 13:50

  4. Janan Ganesh

    Yup, I saw Top Gun. I have it on DVD and have watched it so many times that I am actually embarrassed to tell you how many, but I still watch when it comes on TV as well. Iceman bosses that film. So cool.

    I have the first two series of Family Guy on DVD and the first 4 series of South Park. Both are class, as you know.

    05 Jan 2005, 21:28

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