Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Flashback: Personal

<--- Read the TV section here

Welp. 2016 sucked. It was a year, wasn't it? We lost Alan Rickman, David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Prince, Angus Scrimm, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Garry Marshall, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, and – way too soon – Anton Yelchin. We found out that not all is well in the state of… pretty much every country on the map. And pop culture seemed to fail to pick up the slack, dooming our depressed selves to cold, comfortless TV and movie screens.

But that’s why we’re here today, for a very special annual tradition: The Popcorn Culture year-end roundup of the best and worst of 2016. Let’s celebrate the triumphs of movies, music, and TV and take joy from giving one last kick in the pants to the dreck we were asked to swallow. It’s all we have left as we tentatively shamble into the vast unknown of 2017.

Um, hooray! Let’s pick that mood right back up, shall we?

[EN: As always, I have only pulled from material that I have personally watched or listened to, so as not to cast judgment on things I know nothing about. If your favorite movie, TV show, etc. doesn’t show up on my list, it probably sucked. But it’s equally likely that I just didn’t get around to seeing it, and you can rectify this gap in my knowledge by pointing me toward it in the comments section. Enjoy!]


Most Brennan-y Moment of 2016: Run Away With Me, Carrie

The only meme I’ll plant my flag behind is the deification of Carly Rae Jepsen’s saxophone-fueled “Run Away with Me,” which is depicted in this video being so incredible that it destroys an entire prom (using scenes from 2013’s Carrie remake that have the titular character edited out). Plus mixing horror with synthpop is a guaranteed way to catch my attention.

The Five Blog Posts I'm Most Proud Of

#5 "Popcorn Kernels: The Worst Idea of All Time" (Sex and the City 2, December)

Every year I try to bang out a good angry rant about a terrible movie, and Sex and the City 2 is this year’s deliciously inane target of my ire.

#4 The Exorcist Marathon

This Halloween gave me an opportunity to explore a franchise I’d seen very little of, and while it was mostly boring and frustrating I definitely feel like I learned something.

#3 Cardboard Science

Revel in the glory that is me, I actually finished this 50’s B-movie crossover with Kinemalogue on time for once! And I found two new classics to add to my movie knowledge.

#2 1981 Post Mortem

This was the year of actually finishing things, and with this post I finally closed the second chapter of my decade-long exploration of 1980’s slasher cinema.

#1 Christmas in July

One Christmas long ago, I forgot to finish my Silent Night, Deadly Night marathon so I had the idea to redeem myself in the middle of summer. I was rewarded with three of the batsh*t craziest Christmas films ever committed to celluloid.

My Top 5 Podcast Episodes of 2016

#5 "Mexican Horror Month #1: SATÁNICO PANDEMONIUM (1975)" (listen here)

Although we didn’t dig this classic nunsploitation title, it birthed one of our bawdiest, most lively season 2 conversations. Come for the culture, stay for the – and I quote – “often naked” Cecelia Pezet.

#4 "Halloween Bonus: HALLOWEEN II (1981) w/ Patrick Hamilton of Kill by Kill" (listen here)

I knew the second I heard Kill by Kill’s in-depth dissection of Friday the 13th characters that co-host Patrick Hamilton would be a perfect fit for our show. Lo and behold, he lived close by and was very generous with his time. Dreams can come true.

#3 "Extra Credit: THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR" (listen here)

I couldn’t tell you exactly why I like this specific episode so much, but I just feel like we were on our A-game with this one. Check it out!

#2 "Bonus Episode: Here We Go Again" (listen here)

Initially, Shannon and I meant to do a more serious review of Mamma Mia!, but it quickly morphed into a completely improvised monstrosity that I will treasure forever.

#1 "The First Annual Screamie Awards" (listen here)

This is possibly my greatest technical achievement. I loved the listener response we got on the voting tally for the awards, but I’m also very proud of our celebrity guests and our In Memoriam segment. This took a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it.

Top Five Song Discoveries

#5 "Johnny, Are You Queer?" Josie Cotton

This song from the Valley Girl soundtrack is so quaintly, brazenly offensive that I kind of have to love it.

#4 "Generation Love" Jennette McCurdy

I was watching an episode of Cupcake Wars (don’t ask) featuring iCarly star Jennette McCurdy, who was promoting her new country album. Like, c’mon. I cracked jokes through the entire hour, so you can imagine my chagrin when the music turned out to be kinda great.

#3 "Youngblood" Jem and the Holograms

I love me some bubblegum pop, and the spectacular cinematic failure Jem and the Holograms provided it in spades. The movie was silly and forgettable, but I still find myself re-listening to the soundtrack. Which I bought. With real money.

#2 "Turn the Lights Off" Tally Hall

Tally Hall is my favorite band that gives me hipster cred, and I was delighted to discover that they finally made a second album a couple years ago. It’s not the best, but “Turn the Lights Off” is an awesome update of their signature style in a creepy, kooky indie-pop song.

#1 "A Beat for You" Pseudo Echo

I never thought I’d get a music recommendation from a Friday the 13th sequel, but the Pseudo Echo track in A New Beginning led me down a dark path of some of the greatest, cheesiest Aussie New Wave pop around.

Top Five Movie Discoveries

#5 Muppets from Space

I love me some classic Muppets, but my favorite discovery from our recent marathon was Muppets from Space, a delightfully strange postmodern slapstick comedy that is neither a musical nor a space movie, but is still pretty great.

Read my original review right here.

#4 I Give It a Year

Rose Byrne is a massively undervalued comic actress, and she shines in this forgotten rom-com about a broken couple. It’s pretty hilarious in a variety of unexpected, exciting ways.

Read my original review right here.

#3 South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

I expected a lot of what I got in the South Park movie: a vulgar, yet irresistible comedy. But I did not expect for it to be a more or less perfect movie musical with hilarious riffs on Les Misérables. Those are two incredibly wonderful things I’m happy I get to experience.

Read my original review right here.

#2 The People Under the Stairs

A Wes Craven movie I caught up with rather late, The People Under the Stairs is a film I truly regret not having watched earlier, so I could have had years of rewatching and loving this gleefully campy, frequently terrifying, socially conscious gem.

Read my original review right here.

#1 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

was my entry point into Pedro Almodóvar’s filmography, but Women on the Verge was the spark that lit the raging fire. A hilarious, balls to the wall farce with an outrageous sense of design, it’s one of the few modern comedies that is also a  cinema masterpiece.

Read my original review right here.

Here's Some Stuff That I Did in 2016

Cupholder Radio

When I launched season 2 of Scream 101 this summer, it was under the shiny new umbrella of Cupholder Radio, a podcast network I created that already includes the Gore Gab podcast and will be expanding even more, soon!

All the Creatures Were Stirring

I got an arm workout as the boom mic operator on a weekend shoot for my friend Rebekah Mckendry’s feature film debut. The holiday horror-comedy All the Creatures Were Stirring. Boy, do I have some stories. Ask me about ‘em sometime. Pro-Tip: Microphones are heavy. Don’t carry them if you don’t have to.

Horror Trivia Champions!

Every month I attend Dead Right Horror Trivia Night with some nerd friends of mine. Usually we fail miserably against the much older, much nerdier (it seems impossible, but trust me) competition, but one month this year, we actually took home the big prize!

JoBlo Top 10's

I haven’t written any for Popcorn Culture recently, but I love me a good Top 10 list. Luckily my parent Web site has a YouTube channel I can use as an outlet. Several of the videos I’ve provided lists for (but not narration – I don’t necessarily share the opinions expressed by the host) are Top 10 Actors You Didn’t Realize Were in Horror Movies (above), Top 10 Horror Masks, and Top 10 Actors Who Moonlight as Musicians. Feel free to check ‘em out!

Geek K.O. (listen here)

I was featured on my friend Justin’s geek trivia podcast once again this October, this time bringing my best Donald Pleasence impression to a round of Halloween franchise trivia.
<--- Read the TV section here

No comments:

Post a Comment