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Angus' Top 15 of 2006

Following on from my tradition of the last couple of years here is my, slightly belated, Top 15's of 2006!

Top 15 Films of 2006
15. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Khazakhstan
14. Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
13. Superman Returns
12. Tenacious D in the Pick of Desting
11. Pan's Labyrinth
10. X-Men 3: The Last Stand
9. The Prestige
8. The Departed
7. Silent Hill
6. Casino Royale
5. Children of Men
4. Syriana
3. Lucky Number Slevin
2. V For Vendetta
1. Munich

There were some very strong films this year and a number of them could have made Top 5 on various merits. I seem to have enjoyed slightly more 'serious' films this year over comedies, superhero or sci-fi flicks. I hmm'd and haaa'd over the final Top 4 placement but finally decided that Munich pipped the others to this years Top Spot. I've only seen this film once so far and really should watch it again as I now own the DVD. Hopefully it stands up as well on the small screen as it did when I saw it on the silver screen! Syriana is the other Top 4 film I've only seen the once and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that raises further in my opinion after watching the DVD as it is a damn fine film.

In some ways I was fairly lucky this year in that I didn't really see all that many 'bad films'. With this in mind my person 'worst three' are as follows:

Worst films of 2005 in descending order have to be:
3. Memoirs of a Geisha
2. Slither
1. Good Night and Good Luck

I only saw 25 films at the cinema this down (down from 34 which I saw for the last two years running). This might explain the general lack of truly appalling films but also indicates a few omissions which if I had seen I think would have made my Top 10. I also only saw one film (V For Vendetta) twice at the cinema this year - this is lower than previous years. I'm glad about the films I saw but I will make more of an effort to get to the cinema more in 2007. The above list is only taken from films I actually saw on the 'Big Screen'.

Top 15 Live Bands of 2006
15. New Model Army
14. Mindcandy
13. Forward Russia!
12. The Subways
11. El Presidente
10. Belle & Sebastian
9. Rotersand
8. The Automatic
7. Therapy?
6. Metric
5. The Fall
4. Coheed & Cambria
3. Depeche Mode

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

1. Muse
Regular readers will know I'm a music whore. I love listening to music and going out and watching live music. I actually did this less this year - mainly due to other commitments eating up my time - but still managed to catch a load of good bands. This was certainly helped by my attendence to both Reading Festival and three of the O2 Wireless Festival dates in London. I actually caught 88 live acts this year (up on 54 in 2005 and 52 in 2004!!!) which just goes to prove the power of festivals I guess. I certainly feel like I saw less 'gigs' this year - I just saw more bands at those gigs! There were several few bands I saw multiple times (Goldfrapp, The Automatic, The Long Blondes, The Sisters of Mercy, The Warlocks, Depeche Mode, NFD, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Forward Russia!, Belle & Sebastian and Metric) but that was largely due to the Festival Circuit. I also saw my first gigs in the States this year when I caught Mindcandy and Native June at The Viper Room in LA followed by two nights at The House of Blues (also in LA) to see The Sisters of Mercy and The Warlocks.

There were loads of bands bubbling under the Top 15, as usual, this year. The Dresden Dolls, RBN, DJ Shadow, Gogol Bordellos, The Long Blondes and NFD to name only a few. I had a number of disappoints this year - The Sisters of Mercy were not on form, neither were Fischerspooner or Conjure One - all of whom I'd usually expect of see in the Top 15. New model Army's lowly 15th place was also disappointing.

As for my worst bands this year. It was trickier as I didn't get to see the appalling Babyshambles that won hands down in 2005! Still, I did manage to see some pretty dire bands, the worst of which were:

Worst bands of 2005 in descending order have to be:
3. Tapes N Tapes (or Hope of the States - both were faceless and bland)
2. Native June
1. Devotion

After dropping my clubs listing last year I've decided to drop it all together from this and future 'end of year reviews'. I just haven't managed to go clubbing enough this year. I did manage a few new clubs (Inferno at The Electric Ballroom, Antilight at KOKO's and Darkscape in Leicester) but overall I've been decidedly 'club-lite' again. 

Instead I have replaced it with my Top 5 Books and DVDs.

Top 5 Books of 2006
5. Amber Series by Roger Zelazny
4. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
3. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanne Clark
I managed to beat my target of 25 books in a year (I'm a slow reader) and racked up a (personally) impressive 34 completed books!

Top 5 DVDs of 2006
5. The Machinist
4. Lord of War
3. GOAL!

2. Brick

1. The 40 Year Old Virgin

(Any film that I had previously seen on DVD or at the cinema was not eligible for the Top 5)

Anyway, that's my "Best Of's" from 2006. I wonder what the next 12 months will bring?

2005 Top 15's

2004 Top 10's

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
meganintheuk
Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
Seriously... how good is JS and Mr N!! I loved it when I read it and is one of the few books that I own in hardback.

Nice to see The Fall in your top 5 bands as well!
angusabranson
Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
The Fall were a bit of a surprise actually. I've never really listened to much of them but they were playing Reading Festival and I didn't want to miss the chance of seeing them at least once live.

They turned out to be bloody amazing and I've since got a Fall CD or two and would certainly consider seeing them again live next time they play London :)

JS & Mr N is brilliant. I just got Susanne Clark's " The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories" in hardback for Christmas. It is a book of fairy tales which seem to be set in the same universe and a couple of stories do feature both Jonathan Strange and The Raven King. Looking forward to getting round to reading it :)

(I'm currently reading Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" which is fantastic!)
becky_spence
Jan. 3rd, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Thank you! I shall now be wish listing this book for myself :) I didn't know of its existence until reading this.

Personally I really liked Slither, have yet to see Good Night and Good Luck (though have the DVD on rent) and agree totally that the film of Memoirs was not as fine as the book. Must check out Munich as well now...
saffrongraphics
Jan. 3rd, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Brilliant, finally someone else who thought Brick was good. I really liked that movie - pity that anyone from our generation probably needed a gen-Y translation dictionary half the time. The movie cinema I went to actually provided a booklet full of translations that we were supposed to bone up on before actually seeing the movie.

[shrug]
angusabranson
Jan. 3rd, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
I thought Brick was a very well made Indy film and won't be at all surprised to see several of the actors in much bigger productions within the next ten years.

I really enjoyed it (thus the high positioning). I originally wanted to see it at the cinema but didn't get round to it. Then the advert was on in one of the hotels I was staying at last year which reminded me I wanted to check it out. I'm very glad I eventually did!
timgray
Jan. 3rd, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
Drat, when was Pan's Labyrinth out? Another one I've missed on the big screen. :[

(PS if you'd rather I didn't write here let me know - people have different criteria for their LJ mini-communities.)
angusabranson
Jan. 3rd, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
Pan's Labyrinty came out in teh UK at the end of October/beginning of November. It was only on a limited release (probably down to the fact it was in Spanish) and I know it's still on in a few places so it might be worth doing a search for it locally.

Please feel free to comment on anything you see from me! For starters I'm writing on the 'net, it's not a closed post and we have mutually friended each other which, in my mind, gives us open license to comment away :p

Seriously, if I didn't want people commenting I would either make it a filtered post for only those I wanted to see it or I'd disable the comments function. So please, comment away! :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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