Friday, December 28, 2012

were things excellent in 2012?

hi there

as we approach the end of the year i thought it only fair to go back to the start of the year and review a semi-predictive post. following this link will whisk you off to a post i wrote then, speculating on certain things that could well be excellent. were they? well, let's have a look at all the things i listed there.

please be warned that it is highly likely that there are *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

the mostly magnificent TV series House finally came to an end. for many it simply ran out of steam a season or two before the end actually came. it did, for the most part, at least redeem itself in its last run of episodes.

sadly, a much hoped for "fanboy" moment of reaching nirvana never happened, there was no cameo or sighting of Hugh Laurie's friend and comedy partner, Stephen Fry, anywhere in the series or in the final episode. no doubt Mr Fry was far too busy tweeting to fly to the States to do it. oh well.

as for how the series actually ended, well, there was never ever going to be a perfect ending. what they came up with, though - an act that was both selfless and selfish - was much better than it could have been. many will miss the show, and i am one of the many.

over to the cinema now, and yay, behold, for this film turned out not to be too bad after all.

there was every chance that this film could have been a complete mess. too many characters, too little plot and lots of things blowing up was the risk being run in making a film of The Avengers, a risk that was more or less avoided.

how it was avoided, though, means that the film is not perhaps as great as many have said. in essence the film is not The Avengers as such, it is basically Thor 1.5. if you remove any character other than Thor or Loki then you still have a film, and the whole thing revolves around the bit tagged on the end of Thor. that's not a complaint as such, for it worked.
what didn't work was the fact that it was the personification of smoke and mirrors. it looked and felt excellent as you watched it, but in retrospect it feels like the most hollow, shallow film ever made. of all the characters in it, only - oddly - Hulk was given any depth or detail, something that they managed to spectacularly fail to give in either of the recent films dedicated to the character.
The Avengers was not a disappointment, just disappointing in certain aspects. was there a film that was both disappointing and a major disappointment? of course there was.

the warnings that this would be a bad film were there before it even had a script or a name. Prometheus, made by Sir Ridley Scott soley as he wanted to "do something in 3D", represents a major waste of time, money and talent.
born from the horrid Avatar giving people the idea that 3D + Sci-Fi = money, this film just never ever got going. it can't decide if it's its own thing or an Alien prequel, a matter not helped by Sir Ridley giving a different interpretation of what exactly it is in each interview he does.
whereas i was doubtful of the project from the start, i really did try to give it a fair watch in the hope i would be wrong and this would be a masterpiece. sadly, nothing great was hidden away in it at all, and i would be surprised if either the critical or - most importantly - box office response allows for the making of a sequel the ending suggests.

a film which, thankfully, did not disappoint at all was The Dark Knight Rises. there was a huge weight of expectation resting on this film after the spectacular success of The Dark Knight and in no way, shape or form did the film buckle or crack under the expectations of it.

The Dark Knight Rises was as impressive as the first two Batman films made by Christopher Nolan, and a fitting, sensible end to this re-imagining of the character. full credit to Warner Bros for backing the director 100% on this, letting him make the films his way and insisting on no changes or inclusions. sure, they suggested one or two things (for marketing Warner asked Mr Nolan to "consider" a Robin character and to please make it in 3D), but when he said no they accepted it.

was The Dark Knight Rises the best film i saw in 2012? probably. it would be a close call between that and Safety Not Guaranteed, i think.

in finishing off in film, the Star Wars 3D re-release appears not to have been all that successful. i base that on the fact that they are now planning to rush the remaining 5 films into 3D theatres a good deal quicker than one a year. never mind that, though, there was of course somewhat bigger news involving the universe of Star Wars......

for some bizarre reason, although if we are honest everything they do is bizarre, the "fanboy" brigade were up in arms about the idea of Star Wars now being owned by Disney. why? George Lucas had previously made it clear that he had no wish to make any more films. in the deal he has struck - and Mr Lucas has basically given away every cent paid to him by Disney to good causes - these beloved films are now in the hands of arguably the greatest movie making studio of all time, a company known for only delivering high quality finished products.

the idea of more Star Wars films, made with the same love and skill that the original ones were, is a cause for great celebration. many are saying that they will refuse to go and see the new Disney produced films. i have no doubt that they shall be the loudest - good or bad - when the films emerge.
on to music, and oh dear. ladies and gentlemen, The Rolling $tone$.

there were many, many things they could have done to mark their 50th anniversary. a get together at one of the old pubs and clubs they used to play at. a nice, honest, uncensored documentary about their ups and downs. something practical and a great legacy - a Stones scholarship, perhaps, or opening up their own recording studio to give future generations a chance of making a record and getting success.

instead we got overpriced and, by all accounts, less than fantastic concerts.

the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones was not all bad, however. one of the new songs they recorded this year, Doom & Gloom, ranks along with the best they have ever done. and, whatever faults there were in the concerts they arranged, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor were invited to join them, a rare break from the "once you are out then you are out" view the band usually has towards former members.

2013 will no doubt see the Stones become the $tone$ further. Ronnie Wood has recently got married again, so there is a divorce he will have to pay for in the near future. will they actually backtrack from their "we don't do mud" approach and play at the Glastonbury Festival? if enough money is thrown at them, i would imagine so. i had previously thought that there was no chance of it, but now i am not so sure.

the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones was not, believe it or not, the biggest disaster in regards of celebrating 50 years of pop music that changed the world. that honour, somehow, fell upon The Beatles.

you would have thought more noise would have been made about this anniversary, but not to be. for some reason all and sundry ignored the date on which John, Paul, George and Ringo first went into a studio together, instead opting to celebrate the day on which their first record went on sale.

efforts to celebrate the commercial side of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles was a total failure, too. the well intentioned decision to re-release a 7" single of Love Me Do fifty years on went as badly as it could have. somehow the wrong recording was used, and what went to press was a version of the song that did not have Ringo Starr on it. the pressings were destroyed before ever being shipped, so don't bother looking for one. the fact that they decided not to re-press the correct recording of the song and issue that hints at a worrying apparent lack of interest to celebrate the history of a band that really did change everthing.

and finally, the musical highlight of the year. need you ask what it was?

The Stone Roses at Heaton Park. one of those once in a generation (if you are lucky) moments. i have probably written more than enough on this subject already, if you wish to read more then simply go through my posts from earlier in the year, particularly around July!

although John Squire has confirmed that "one or two" new songs are in the bag, there's no sign of any new album by the band, although onwards they go with more concerts in 2013. i hope everyone that wants to gets to see them, and experiences the same magic as we did at Heaton Park.

well, i am certain that covers all the points from my post in January! will i have a look at what may or may not be excellent in 2013? not sure at the moment. other than Beady Eye and Primal Scream offering new albums, there's nothing scheduled for release that looks too exciting at the moment, to be honest.

thanks for reading!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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