Hey everybody, and welcome to the end of another great year. Flew by, didn’t it?
This year has been an amazing one in regards to media releases – and I have had favorites released in every medium that have just made me ecstatic.
Among many great bands and albums that I was lucky to listen to this year, two of my favorite bands also released their latest albums. Daft Punk releases their fourth album, Random Access Memories, after a full 8 years since their previous one. And I have to say, it lived up to its hype… it was so great to hear new material after all this years, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
But I will have to admit that my all time favorite of 2013 comes from my all time favorite band, Nine Inch Nails. Five years after calling “taking a break”, Trent Reznor return is his 9th album, Hesitation Marks and it is honestly amazing. Encompassing elements from his entire career, this album is everything old and new about Nine Inch Nails, making this one, not only my best album of 2013, but one of my favorites work of NIN as well. Not only that, but I actually got to see him on tour this past year and let me tell you… it was one of the BEST shows I have ever seen – and I say this, having been to shows from Radiohead to Coldplay to Metric to even VIP at a previous NIN show. Seriously, it was mind-blowing. Check out one of my favorite tracks from the album, Copy of A…
Around 1991 my cousin was into this series, and while visiting me (and the rest of the fan) in Greece, he brought me the three first books of The Wheel of Time. Ever since then, I kept reading book after book after book that came out (usually within a span of 2-4 years each). Sadly, the author Robert Jordan, passed away in 2007, leaving his epic fantasy sage unfinished (on his 11th book).
What he did leave behind were endless notes, including the actual ending, to his wife Harriet (who was actually also his editor). Deciding that she wanted to see he late husbands magnum opus, Harriet chose author Brian Sanderson (after reading one of his books) to finish the saga up. Over the next few years Sanderson worked off Jordan’s notes, and with the help of Harriet, finished the saga in 3 last books, the final one, A Memory of Light, released in January of this passed year. I have to say, Jordan was an amazing writer… on of the best I have ever read (and I would like to think I read a lot), and no offense but Sanderson just wasn’t as good. Not only that, he just couldn’t capture the “essence” of some characters. This was to be expected, as obviously, they were not his characters, and as I mentioned, he’s being put up against one of the best writers. That being said, he was still good. Good enough to keep me reading; and at this point, it was the epic story that kept everything going anyway.
And let me say, epic indeed. After reading the story for 22 years, I was almost sad to be finishing it off. “Epic” is an understatement on how grande this story was, and the conclusion only intensified the entire thing.
I would love to say that House of Cards was one of my favorite of the year. Produced (and some episodes directed by) one of my favorites, Fincher, and starring another favorite Kevin Spacey, this show is as thrilling as it is intense. I would also like to say the second season of The Legend of Korra is my show of the year – and it damn near should be… this animated show has action, character and spiritual elements that make it special.
But there was the final season of another show that wins 2013. Breaking Bad is the show of the year, but I will have to admit it kind of cheated. And by this I mean that it had the whole series to back the ending up within this same year. Sorry, I’m confusing you… what I’m talking about is that I never watched this show until a few months ago. And within a matter of months (while the final season had just finished up on television) I watched the entire season on Netflix, and finishing it off with the digital release of the final episodes. And holy shit… that show was good. The final season (both first half last year and the second half this year) was one of the most thrilling and nerve-racking, intense, suspenseful and all out amazing. More importunely, the show is one big story, not episodic or even seasonal. It’s one long story, so the ending was even more crucial and important. That’s a lot of weight for a story to carry, but I must say, Breaking Bad concluded as best as it could have, leaving the viewer satisfied not only with the ending, but the story as a whole. And so, this years favorite goes to Breaking Bad.
There were a lot of good movies this year, but I’m going to keep this short as I found one in particular to be a work of genius. Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and directed by Alfonso Cuarón was an absolute roller coaster of a film. Excelling in every visual aspect, from cinematographic beauty to some of the most impressive visual effects and 3D presentation, this film was as complicated emotionally as it was simple in the way it was told. But if you really want to know what I think of this movie, check my article over here.
And yet another medium that was full of great releases. With a couple I haven’t even gotten to… yet. But from the ones I have, I have to say I was lucky to play the best game I have EVER played.
The Last of Us by Naughty Dog was as perfect as a game gets to me. It had my hair on end, my breath catching in my throat and the story unfolding with as much drama as my heart decided. The characters felt real, the story felt frightening and depressing, and the game just sucked me and wrung me out… If you haven’t played this game, play it. If you don’t play games, start with this one.
Just want to mention between the consoles that came out in 2013, Playstation 4 is my pick of the year! (F that stupid Microsoft product, which I won’t even give it the credit of naming it).
Well folks, those are my favorites for 2013. Have you gotten around to any of these? What are your thoughts? More importantly, what are your favorites? Have a good New Years Eve everyone, and I wish you the best 2014 anyone can have. Here is to another year of good music, games, movies and shows!