Best of 2005: Movies

Top Ten Movies
1. Batman Begins
2. Me and You and Everyone We Know
3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
4. Oldboy
5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
6. Sin City
7. Downfall
8. Match Point
9. Junebug
10. Shopgirl

Honorable Mention
Brokeback Mountain
Broken Flowers
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Good Night, and Good Luck
Hotel Rwanda
In Her Shoes
King Kong
Walk the Line
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Great Performances
Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Amy Adams, Junebug
Catherine Keener, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Most of the cast of Me and You and Everyone We Know
Bruno Ganz, Downfall

Brian Cox Award for Best Performance by a Ubiquitous Character Actor
Brian Cox, Match Point

Best of 2005: Music

(Yes, I realize it’s nearing the end of 2006. I intend to post a best-of for this year at some point, but it’s a bit early for that, and I want to write something.)

The Top Ten Albums of 2005
1. Bright Eyes: I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
2. Ryan Adams: Cold Roses
3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
4. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree
5. Calexico/Iron & Wine: In the Reins
6. Ryan Adams: Jacksonville City Nights
7. The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema
8. The Magic Numbers: The Magic Numbers
9. Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine
10. The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan

Ten Great Tracks from Other Albums
Of Angels and Angles (The Decemberists, from Picaresque)
Til Kingdom Come (Coldplay, from X&Y)
The Wind That Blew My Heart Away (Fruit Bats, from Spelled In Bones)
I Turn My Camera On (Spoon, from Gimme Fiction)
Boston (Augustana, from All the Stars and Boulevards)
Salesman at the Day of the Parade (Rogue Wave, from Descended Like Vultures)
When I Go Deaf (Low, from The Great Destroyer)
Here Comes the Sun Again (M. Ward, from Transistor Radio)
Girl (Beck, from Guero)
Factory (Martha Wainwright, from Martha Wainwright)

Five Albums I Haven’t Given Enough Attention To
My Morning Jacket: Z
Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow
Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
Death Cab for Cutie: Plans
LCD Soundsystem: LCD Soundsystem

Five Most Disappointing Albums
1. Spoon: Gimme Fiction
2. Gorillaz: Demon Days
3. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
4. Rufus Wainwright: Want Two
5. Blackalicious: The Craft

It occurs to me that I haven’t given the “most disappointing” albums a lot of attention, and that someday I might regret listing them here under that heading. But for now, they’re just not doing it for me. These are all albums for which my hopes were high, and which I initially considered (and still consider) mediocre or worse.

On Multivitamins

My diet is largely composed of junk food. I eat out four times out of five, probably more. And while I try to keep an eye on just how much of what I eat is crap, it’s clear to me that I don’t eat nearly enough of some important things.

So for years now, I’ve taken a daily multitamin, with the vague hope that it’ll bridge the gap between the redneck diet I’m on and the healthy ideal.

I read a bit this morning about multivitamins and how to effectively meet your needs for a healthy diet, and I’d like to share a few things:

1. A healthy diet is better than an unhealthy diet supplemented by multivitamins.
Although nothing I can find is very clear on why this is true, it appears to be the empirical consensus. Lots of people out there are very skeptical about the benefits of vitamin supplements, especially for those with already-healthy diets.

2. Don’t take more than one multivitamin tablet per day.
There’s a reason they say “100% Daily Value.” High doses of certain vitamins and minerals can interfere with the absorption of others, and very high doses of certain elements of a multivitamin can be toxic.

3. Take a separate calcium supplement.
Because calcium is bulky, multivitamins tend not to include more than a small amount of it. As such, an additional calcium supplement is recommended, to boost intake to 1,000 milligrams a day.

4. Side effects include…
…an upset stomach or an icky taste in your mouth. I haven’t noticed much of this, myself.

Robert Altman, We Hardly Knew Ye

Robert Altman died yesterday, at age 81. I’ve never been much of a fan, but I’ve only seen a few of his films. Mr. Altman seems widely considered to be one of the great directors of the past 50 years, so, feeling uneducated, I’ve decided to honor his passing by watching five more of his films.

I’ll be adding the following films to the top of my Netflix queue:

McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Short Cuts
The Long Goodbye
The Gingerbread Man

Novel Schmovel

Predictably, I have given up on my scheme to write a novel this month. However, I still consider the venture beneficial, because of some ideas to which it gave rise.

Instead, with the remainder of my month, I’ll be spending my thinking time meditating on turning 25, and on where I plan to be when I’m 30.

And playing with the Nintendo Wii I just bought on eBay.