The Goodest Stuff of 2022

Okay, here’s the coolest stuff of the year for me. Let’s jump into. I don’t have much time before the kidnappers come back so I need to make the most of it.

TOP ALBUMS

I’m partly going by what Spotify told me I listened to most but it seems to line up pretty well with my actual favorites this year.

  1. ALEXISONFIRE- Sweet Dreams of Otherness
  2. COHEED & CAMBRIA- Vaxis II: Window of the Waking Mind. People are usually pretty surprised when I tell them how much I like this band. I’ve been listening to them forever and I’m evidently in Spotify’s Top 0.5 listeners so I guess that means I win. I’m surprised at myself.
  3. MURDER BY DEATH- Spell/Bound. Riders, Incantation, and Strange Song are standout tracks.
  4. HOT WATER MUSIC- Feel The Void.
  5. HEILUNG- Drif

Honorable Mention goes to Dance Gavin Dance’s Jackpot Juicer and The Midnight’s Heroes. Queens of the Stone Age and Danheim were both in my ‘Top 5 Most Listened To’ but not for anything they released this year. I just really like’em.

MOVIES

Y’know, for being such a “Movie Guy,” I really haven’t been paying attention to much the last few years. Partly because I’d rather focus on my own scripts but also because I’m just sick of the direction of the entire industry. If it’s not Marvel/Disney, it’s most likely some other garbage on streaming I also don’t care about. Do I sound cynical? I’m not, I’m bitter and there’s a difference. On the NYT Top 10 of the year, I’d heard of Nope but hadn’t seen anything on their list. Here’s what I actually watched.

The Northman. I’ll watch anything from Robert Eggers at this point. Even if I get the idea some upcoming project will be terrible, he’s nailed it with everything so far and earned loyalty. Which is kind of strange considering he evidently didn’t get the final cut of this. I wonder if we’ll ever get a chance to see his original vision. This felt like something of a spiritual successor to Apocalypto (2006), which I also love. If you know, you know.

Banshees of Inisherin. The other movie I loved this year. Martin McDonagh, who’s name I had to spellcheck about four times, always knows how to uneasily shove you between shock and comedy without jarring you too much. Two Irishman in a small town on a small island of the coast of…well, Ireland begin a feud over what seems like nothing. It gets dark from there.

Another movie I watched was Top Gun: Maverick. Cliche, big budget, loud, and all that other standard blockbuster stuff.

But it was actually enjoyable. It was refreshing to watch a movie like this on the big screen and even though I’m familiar with the tropes,and pretty much any twist or turn they might take, they still managed to taKe mY bReAth AWaAay…

I’m sure if I rewatch, there’s plenty of CGI/green screen shenanigans going on but so much of it looked real, felt real, was real. That’s the power of Cruise, I guess. I don’t recall the last MASSIVELY budgeted movie where it wasn’t filled with Play-Do action figures or something as simple as two characters standing in an apartment you could tell they weren’t really in. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. Green screen should not be the default set.

Crimes of the Future was fine, I guess. Gross and intriguing though it didn’t make me feel anything in particular. Just sort of intrigued and grossed out. Same for Phil Tippett’s Mad God, though the backstory to that is better than the movie I’d say. I’m glad it was made but can I say I enjoyed it? Eh… Bullet Train was funny. Barbarian was good. I still need to watch RRR. Violent Night had its moments but mostly bored me. Do I sound apathetic? Let’s move on.

Video Games

What’s this here? Video games soiling precious movie/music talk? I’ve aghasted at myself. Verily! I played two games this year on PS4 and I love them both.

  1. Elden Ring My second FromSoftware game after Bloodborne and it did not disappoint. It’s embarrassing the number of hours I put into this game while remaining as bad at it as I am. Actually, now that I’ve put it that way, we should all be more impressed. I started off as a Confessor and mostly stuck with strength and holy stuff. I really became attached to Godwyn’s story, while anything involving the LOATHSOME DUNGEATER and his poor, poor victim Blackguard kept my interest. Outside of boss weapons and holy magic, I preferred the bastard sword and Rogier’s rapier. Not the sort of weapon I would normally go for but they give it to you at +8 so I just stuck with it. Favorite bosses were probably Mohg The Omen and Margitt. Favorite tracks have been Fortissax and Godfrey’s. Off the top of my head, anyway.
  2. God of War: Ragnarok I loved the 2005 original and 2018’s God of War did much of the same for me. This one had too much riding on it for me that I kept intentionally punching my expectations in the gut over it. Did I want some things to be different? Sure. Was the Draupnir Spear it’s own kind of addiction? Yes. Did I enjoy Kratos and Thor’s long awaited rivalry? Triple yes. Do I ever want to play as a teenage boy playing patty cake with his new girlfriend on the back of a yak wading through a rainbow swamp again? Get out of my face. I should drown you in that swamp for even reminding me of that segment.

TELEVISION

I’ve only watched Chainsaw Man for shows so that’s my default favorite this year. At the time of writing this, there’s one more episode to go. I love it. The animation looks like each episode has the entire budget of any anime made in the 90s. This concept would have only been conceived as pure comedy had it been thought of it the US. Come to think of it, Chairface from The Tick or Earthworm Jim are about the kind of thing I’m thinking of. But again, those lean closer to Comedy than I would want Chainsaw Man to. Denji and Aki are reminding me of Samurai Champloo’s Mugen and Jin respectively. Looking forward to the rest of this.

I watched Squid Games last year and finished Vikings in 2020.

UPDATE: I watched the final episode of Chainsaw Man season 1 and hate to say it, but I was let down. I’ll continue watching, but this episode was a bit underwhelming given the rest of the season.

Books

I’ve read a few books, but none that came out this year. Reading is for nerds. Dragging your eyes over strange, individual symbols that comprise words which make up sentences when strung together coherently and meaningfully to tell me what? A story? Give me sage advice? No thanks. Save your magic for Hogwarts.

Cars

My favorite car of the year would have to be the 2010 Mazda CX-5. Or maybe the CX-7. Whichever it is I’m driving. I get them confused. The bluetooth really made me feel like I jumped into the future from the previous clown car I was driving and the turbo feature really revs my engine. A must buy for people in my exact situation.

Favorite Daughter

I’m anticipating the release of my daughter from the confines of her mother’s womb early next year. She should be quite the terror and I plan on explaining all her bad behavior away while defending her to any authority figures in her life so that she manipulates me to no end and creates toxic relationships wherever she goes.

I am having a daughter next year and much of my writing has gone into a children’s book and a journal for her when she’s older. Can’t figure out when the appropriate age to gift it to her would be though. I don’t censor myself in it so I’m thinking some time as an adult when she might actually care about it anyway.

Speaking of anyway, 2022 was pretty good despite the world doing it’s best to convince you that you need to always waver between misery and finding out about the next thing that should make you miserable. If you don’t find contentment internally, good things you come across won’t matter anyway. You have to adjust your own mindset. Yeah, YOU.

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