Alright, here I go… instead of putting this off I’m going to give you my best of 2006 in music, television, films, and anything else I can think of.
BEST ALBUMS OF 2006
10) Curious George Soundtrack
Cute, catchy music by Jack Johnson made for a great little film. The music, like the film, is understated and absolutely adorable. The song “Upside Down” is completely delightful and was loved by both me and my 3-year-old sister.
9) Borat Soundtrack
I love this soundtrack because it is the movie. Sacha Baron Cohen’s brother Erran Baron Cohen created the little musical interludes that play while Borat goes on his adventures and they are perfect. The soundtrack also contains dialogue scenes from the music that features Borat singing his favorite song by Kazhahkstan’s very own Korky Butchek, “Bing Bong.” A great listen, especially after watching the movie.
8) Lewis Black: Carnegie Hall Performance
A bitter look at the world through Lewis Black’s eyes was a great addition to my listening pleasure this year. He has spectacular timing due to his angered outbursts and his ability to tell stories. The “Candy Corn” bit and the “Airport Security” bit show his genius to the fullest and were the most quoted Black lines from fellow college dumbasses this year.
7) Beyond the Pale by Jim Gaffigan
I bought this CD the day it came out, because his older stuff is hard to get and I had to have something of his to listen to in the car. He’s famous for his “Hot Pocket” bit but it’s really his “Traditions” bit that takes the cake in this hourlong CD based on his amazing TV special. One of my favorite quotes from this disc is: It’s Bill’s birthday. I hate that guy. There’s cake in the conference room. Well, I should say hello.”
6) Let’s Get Out of This Country by Camera Obscura
The first non-soundtrack, non-comedy album of this list is from Scotland’s Camera Obscura. The album is like a perfect blend of alternative and pop music, featuring the single “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken.” The song is addictive, a musical drug. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. I hope this band is tapped for a soundtrack because the songs are very reminiscient of 2005’s Happy Endings’ soundtrack, which is one of the best soundtracks of all time. The 7th track, “Country Mile”, is haunting and worthy of more than one listen.
5) Marie Antoinette Soundtrack
I love this goddamn soundtrack. The two-disc soundtrack to the exquisite film is the mirror image of the film. It’s a punk album followed by a peculiar Victorian-esque album both of which are a trance to listen to. Nothing about this album is boring and I am happy to say that Sofia Coppola is equal in soundtrack making to Wes Anderson.
4) Little Miss Sunshine Soundtrack
The best soundtrack of the year. This could be listened to without watching the film and the same feelings of happiness and melancholy would be evoked. The soundtrack is the film, like a Wes Anderson soundtrack. The majority of the soundtrack is instrumentals from Danna and Devotchka, two movie soundtrack geniuses, as far as I’m concerned. The inclusion of Sufjan Stevens’ songs from his 2005 album “Come on Feel The Illinoise!” was an inspired choice. A great driving album, too.
3) St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley
This album is too much fun. I have never had so much fun with an album. DJ Dangermouse is too cool in my opinion. Every track is expertly crafted and Cee-lo’s vocals make this the most listened to album, for me, this year. I listened to this over and over and over. Two years ago, I would never think that a rap album would be in my possession. Yay for me.
2) Friendly Fire by Sean Lennon
Thank God that at least one of John’s kids has REAL musical talent. This album is pitch-perfect. I was really looking forward to it and as I listened to it and it did not disappoint. Sean’s singing is not annoying or piercing in any way. The album is not pretentious at all. I could listen to it for hours, and I have and I can’t get tired of it. Every song stands out as beyond comparison. My favorite is track 8, “Headlights”, but I really am picking it out of 10 other songs that are pretty much equal in excellence.
1) Love by The Beatles
If you didn’t see this coming, you don’t know me. This album blew me away. Literally. I could not believe this early Christmas present from George and Giles Martin. I haven’t seen the Vegas show yet, but even without the show this album could stand alone as a great album. It’s a tribute from George to his friends and it is a “rock opera”-esque legend and it isn’t even one year old yet. No other album this year got me this giddy with pure excitement. Thank you, gods of rock.
WORST ALBUM OF 2006
Footnote: This won’t be a top ten list, just a few of my favorite shows this year of TV.
BEST NEW SHOW OF 2006
Obviously this is my pick for best show of 06, I talk about it like it I work for the show. I get so excited for every episode and I’ve never been disappointed. I love every character (except for the stupid kid) and I have complete confidence in its greatness. Right now I’m hating midseason breaks but I know I’ll have my Heroes sooner that I expect so here’s to the best new show on TV!
OTHER GREATS OF 2006:
This show belongs to Alec Baldwin, and this show is definitely my favorite new comedy. Tina Fey is a genius.
Still producing great stuff, although they seem to be in a bit of a lull. I have faith in this show’s greatness and I still laugh like crazy at every episode.
Colbert Report/Daily Show
Two different shows, if you actually watch them, but I decided to put them together on this list because I’m lazy. I love me some Stephen and although TDS’s producer Ben Karlin is gone, the show is still on top of its game and the new correspondents are hilarious. The highlights of this season on TCR was definitely George Lucas appearing on the Green Screen challenges, Tek Jansen, and every single episode that featured Paul Dinello. TDS is consistently brilliant but I can’t really think of any standouts because I watched more Stephen this year. Sorry Jon, but I don’t have a heterosexual crush on you.
This season of PR was completely captivating. There wasn’t too much bitching and I didn’t dislike too many of the designers. I wanted Michael to win but in retrospect and withholding the idea that the whole thing was planned, I’m okay with the fact that Jeffrey won. I hope the rumors about a season 4 without Tim Gunn are fake or will be remedied because that show is NADA without him.
R.I.P. Arrested Development
Season three was fantastic. Moment of silence for the death of one of the best shows of all time.
WORST SHOW OF 06:
STUDIO SHITSKY ON THE SUNSET STRIP
I liked the first episode. It was cool. Then I realized, with multiple viewings of the show and whatnot that I was watching the most pretentious piece of DOO-DOO ever. A show with Nate Corddry should be a winner, but it wasn’t. This show is so boring, not worthy of my time, and is like watching 30 Rock that someone has taken all the funny and worthwhileness out of. Cancel it.
BEST FILMS OF 2006
10) A Scanner Darkly
I just recently saw this on DVD for the first time and was blown away. It’s a creepy little tale about drugs and undercover cops that takes place 7 years from now. I had to watch it a second time, I was enthralled by the animation, the story, and Robert Downey Jr. and Rory Cochrane’s creepy performances.
Most quotable film of 2006, and without a doubt the cultural phenomenon of the year. This is the Napoleon Dynamite of the year and even though it was not an original hit, it connected with people. I laughed my ass off, I won’t lie to you. I will be very happy if SBC gets an Oscar nod, but he better not knock off Leo for the Departed, because I will be so mad I’ll want to spit (thank you Life Aquatic).
8) The Great New Wonderful
The little-film-that-didn’t for many people only because it was a direct to DVD indie featuring character actors. The film was a post-9/11 dramedy featuring Tony Shalhoub, Tom McCarthy, Judy Greer, Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Colbert, Olympia Dukakis, Edie Falco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Will Arnett. The film is a cute little film, totally watchable, and features the film quote of the year from my Stephen: “No, actually he’s a selfish, incorrigible monster with a heart made of shit and splinters.” See it, I know you haven’t.
7) V For Vendetta
The first film I saw that came out in 2006 and was my favorite until I saw some other films I’ll get to in this list. I love this film because of Hugo Weaving’s Vaudevillian style of portraying V and I was so in love with Natalie’s short hair this year. This movie kicked ass and should’ve been bigger than it was, and should have definitely been the savior to the movie biz, not Pilates of the Caribbean.
6) For Your Consideration
I love Christopher Guest films. Back when I reviewed this, I said that I didn’t like A Mighty Wind. Well, I’ve revisited it and I do like it, not as much as his other films, but I am a fan. This film was spectacularly cynical against the Oscar season, something I hold dearly to my heart. I loved Catherine O’Hara to death in this film and was again completely thrilled with John Michael Higgins, one of the most untapped character actors of our time.
5) Marie Antoinette
This film was already set to be a favorite because of Sofia Coppola, but if I had seen it without being a fan I would have loved it. The music, the clothes, the Chuck Taylors. I don’t care what people say, this movie was a dreamlike version of a period piece. It’s the Eternal Sunshine of Pride & Prejudice. Kiki Dunst was incredible and will be unfortunately going to the Oscars this year sans nomination, but I really think she pulled off one of the best performances of the year.
4) United 93
This was the only movie that meant something to me this year, on a personal level. I was proud of this film. There was no motive for this movie, Paul Greengrass just wanted to honor those who perished. This was an extraordinary film.
3) The Departed
This movie proves yet again that Martin Scorsese is a filmmaker who is rivaled by very few. The Aviator was a hundred times better than Million Dollar Baby and even though I haven’t seen Clint’s new films, I’m sure it’s the same situation. But here I am again waiting for a Marty win, when old Clint is coming along with a last minute Oscar winner. Griping aside, this film rocked. The music was great, and the acting of Jack, Mark, Leo, Martin, and Matt blew me away. Everyone said when this came out that Jack had the best supporting actor spot but Matt Damon was definitely the best actor in this film. I was thoroughly satisfied and I can’t wait to revisit it.
I just saw this film a few days after its wide release and was so happy and warm and fuzzy and all those other adjectives we use when we feel complete bliss. I am in LOVE with Jennifer Hudson. Give her the Oscar, please. Her powerful delivery of songs like “One Night Only,” “I Am Changing,” and her breathtaking performance of “And I Am Telling You” gave me chills. I watched her and her alone in every scene she was in. Give Eddie Murphy the Oscar. PLEASE. JIMMY GOT SOUL. Eddie Murphy really did achieve greatness in this movie. This film is beyond words. I cried, I won’t lie. The music and the brilliant direction by Bill Condon are the only that could possibly take on Scorsese as a possible contender this year. I love this movie. I really hope I get to see it again. This movie was great from beginning to end.
1) Little Miss Sunshine
No doubt about it. The best film of 2006 is Little Miss Sunshine. I’ve been saying it since I saw it when it opened. This film does have standout performances that I will mention, but it really was the ensemble that made the movie great. I love Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and I really hope they keep this up. It was their first feature film together and it is a possible contender in many categories. Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and Abigail Breslin all carried out the most fulfilling characters I saw in a film this year. I’m so happy that a film like this exists. Thank you gods of film!
Honorable Mention: Strangers With Candy
I really liked the film of my favorite TV show of all time. In the fan universe the movie was not well liked, but I really loved it. It kept to the show’s humor. Every character was perfect. I didn’t mind that Orlando was gone. I saw this in a theater, which was just one of my favorite movie going experiences this year. I loved it.
The movie I didn’t see but could have been one of my favorites: Pan’s Labyrinth
The movie that no one got to see this year but could have been great: Factory Girl
Other films I liked this year: Bubble, Cars, Curious George, The Devil Wears Prada, Grandma’s Boy, Hard Candy, An Inconvenient Truth, Kinky Boots, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Oh in Ohio, The Shaggy Dog, Silent Hill, Slither, Superman Returns, Thank You For Smoking.
Films I Didn’t See This Year: All The Kings Men, Apocalypto, Babel, The Black Dahlia, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, Blood Diamond, Bobby, Brick, Casino Royale, Catch a Fire, Children of Men, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Eragon, Fast Food Nation, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, 49 Up, The Good German, The Good Shepherd, Half Nelson, Happy Feet, Hollywoodland, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Infamous, Inside Man, Jesus Camp, The Last King of Scotland, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal, A Prairie Home Companion, The Proposition, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Queen, Rocky Balboa, Running With Scissors, The Science of Sleep, Sherrybaby, Stranger Than Fiction, Talladega Nights, Venus, World Trade Center
WORST FILMS OF 2006
10) Doogal – Zzzzzzz, poor Jon Stewart did a voice in this.
9) RV – Not funny.
8) Annapolis – Top Gun + An Officer and a Gentleman = this piece of crap.
7) Aquamarine – OMG LET’S FIND A HOTTIE SO I CAN GET LEGS YO.
6) The Pink Panther – Embarrassing.
5) Date Movie – Even more embarrassing. At least they’re making more of these.
4) Tristan and Isolde – I watched this with some kind of hope it would be good. James Franco is one of the worst actors working.
3) Hostel – The biggest letdown of the year. Not scary, and stupidly written. You’re lucky I like you as a person Eli Roth.
2) Lady in the Water – You should already know from me and every other person who saw this that it is pathetically pretentious and retarded.
1) The Break-Up – The absolutely worst movie of the year. There was no humor, chemistry, acting, or emotion. I felt totally robbed. Jennifer Aniston handed in the worst acting she has ever done. Whatever happened to films like “The Good Girl?” Why is she doing this shlock? This movie was just horrible. I feel like I need to puke.
OTHER BEST OF STUFF:
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR IN KINKY BOOTS
Totally adorable and genius acting from my favorite lesser known actor Mr. Chiwetel Ejiofor. I have loved him in everything he’s done, especially this small British film about a man who gets advice from a crossdresser on how to make shoes called “Kinky Boots.” He does everything in this movie from comedy to drama to singing and dancing. Great performance, great movie.
ABIGAIL BRESLIN AND STEVE CARELL IN LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
My two favorite performances of the film, Steve playing the gay Proust scholar uncle and Abigail playing the little girl who wants nothing more than to be a beauty queen. They both acted their asses off for this film. AB is getting some awards nominations but I’m really surprised that Steve is getting NOTHING. His speech at the end is completely worthy of attention from the Academy (hello Virginia Madsen in Sideways). Amazing.
ELLEN PAGE IN HARD CANDY
She scared the shit out of me in this film. She plays a young girl who tricks her older online male friend into inviting her to his house and then FUCKING the SHIT around with him. She tazes him while she pushes him into the shower. She’s sick. The best part about this whole thing is that she delivers a sick and realistic performance that kept me watching. Also, the poster for this film rocked.
Thank you very much, here’s looking forward to a whole new year of great music, movies, and television for my pleasure.