The Leftovers: There has been nothing else like the resolution to Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers this year. HBO’s best kept secret for over two years ends with a generous Australian epilogue that asks the viewer for one final perfect leap of faith.
[let the mystery be]
Also: Master of None, Game of Thrones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, GLOW, Westworld, The Handmaids Tale, The Good Place, Mindhunter.
Horizon: Zero Dawn: Somehow a developer who had been making mediocre shooters for Sony for the last decade was able to switch gears and create an almost perfect open-world action RPG. Robot dinosaurs, an exquisite learning curve and an iconic performance from Ashly Burch as Aloy.
Also (because I bought a Switch in November): Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whiskey – Joey Landreth: I discovered The Bros. Landreth’s debut album (2013’s Let It Lie) at the beginning of 2017, just in time to wait for about 2 weeks for Joey Landreth’s solo release. I cannot really describe my love for this roots-alt-country-blues-canadian-folk earworm without tell several long and depressing stories, so I’ll just say that my mate Wayne who is the only person who “follows” me on iTunes (yeah, you can!) wonders if I listen to anything else (I basically don’t).
[live from stereobus] [the bros. landreth live in saskatoon]
Also: Something to Tell You – HAIM, Paper Heart – Hunter and the Bear
Is It On?: Buzzfeed Australia’s #auspol podcast, from Alice Workman and Lane Sainty (and previously Mark Di Stefano) has had a cracking first year, due in most part to the Australian parliament’s bonkers last 6 months or so. From “Duals” and “Actually it’s a Postal Survey” to “Gallery Whispers” and “Bin Juice”, the show is a great companion piece to obsessively looking for clues to the biennial collapse of the [insert government] party room.
They made a film specifically for the type of DC stan that would dox a film critic they saw on Twitter and it’s weird.
The Flash runs like he has clown shoes on and it’s weird.
Cyborg’s origin (as featured in several emails between our heroes in the last movie) is retconned just so they can say the mother boxes woke up when Superman died and it’s weird.
Flash and Cyborg graverob Clark’s body and it’s weird.
Batman calls Alfred by name right in front of Holt McCallany and it’s weird.
Aquaman calls Bruce Batman in front of two rando fisherman in Iceland and it’s weird.
Superman is a big fan of truth and justice all of a sudden and it’s weird.
The movie is so rushed that it somehow would have been better if it was 2 hours and 45 minutes and it’s weird.
There’s about 6 notes of John Williams fanfare when Supes reappears and it’s actually rad but it’s never heard from again, unlike the Batman theme and it’s weird.
Thanks to the mo, there’s only one scene of Superman from the principal photography of the movie and it’s weird.
We don’t ever really get a scene where the world finds out Superman is alive or cares that the Justice League is a thing and it’s weird.
Bruce and Diana stop to have a flirty drink even though Steppenwolf has all the mother boxes and is going to end the world and it’s weird.
The Amazons had a mother box this whole time and there was a movie 6 months ago that could have included at least a passing reference to it so either the concept of the Amazons and Atlateans each having a one is a post-reshoot beat or no-one is at the wheel at DC Films and it’s weird.
Our heroes use a mother box to bring back Superman then immediately lose track of where it is, allowing it to be boom tubed away with no resistance and it’s weird.
There are several shots that seem specifically designed to showcase Gal Gadot’s body and it’s weird.
They resurrect Superman a little bit like they’re making The Vision and it’s weird.
Atlanteans fighting in the water looks pretty confusing and when they die they just kinda float there and it’s weird.
You could have actually removed Steppenwolf from the movie entirely and just had a different coloured Parademon kinda just tell the other ones what to do next and it’s weird.
Cyborg doles out exposition and fixes plot holes with his robot brain but also can’t control his powers and it’s weird.
Amber Heard is doing an accent I think and it’s weird.
Justice League is in 1:85 like The Avengers and Ant-Man but unlike Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad or Wonder Woman and it’s weird.
They are going to build the Hall of Justice at Wayne Manor and it’s weird.
Lex is not completely shit in the post-credits and it’s weird.
The screenplay doesn’t simply explain that Superman grew facial hair (ala the mullet in the comics) because he’s not actually dead and in “Kryptonian stasis” since Batman has been keeping tabs on his body while simultaneously searching for a way to bring him back, so it’s a) not so jarring when Batman suddenly brings up resurrection and b) Henry Cavill doesn’t have to spend almost the entire movie replaced by his digital double.
And it’s weird.
My favourite films of last year in no particular order:
The best of the rest: Creed, Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight, The Hateful Eight, Room, Macbeth.