Happy New Year: 2020 Review!
Greetings, welcome to the last blog update of 2020 as I round up my picks for the entertainment categories of this year. As usual, the winners do not need to have been released in 2020 but just have to have been reviewed on my blog during the past twelve months. Considering the enforcement of restrictions and the general upset caused by Coronavirus, a considerable number of planned films and scheduled television shows had been pushed back for later releases which makes entertainment choices for this year a bit scarce. Despite this, I’ve still enjoyed some great media in 2020. Feel free to add what you enjoyed during the year in the comments if you’d like to do so.
Television Show of the Year: Bojack Horseman
An animated show that ran for six seasons from August 2014 to January 2020, Bojack Horseman flawlessly blends dark subject matter with well-crafted humour as it follows washed up actor Bojack struggling to live his day to day life. This show is voice acted by an impressive cast that consists of Arrested Development’s Will Arnett in the titular role, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, GLOW’s Alison Brie, School of Rock’s Amy Sedaris and comedian Paul F. Tompkins. Aside from having hard hitting emotional elements, it also has plenty of visual comedic moments in the background and subtle jokes that are easily missed which are a couple of reasons that make this one of my favourite TV series. I am also very fond of the more bizarre humour that often comes from the unfortunate mishaps or well-meaning blunders of best friends Todd Chavez and Mr Peanutbutter.
Book of the Year: Cujo
Published in 1981, Cujo is one of King’s earlier works and it is fairly well grounded in reality compared to his other books. The more mystical elements are only hinted at as opposed to being out front and centre on this occasion. Cujo is a Saint Bernard who becomes rabid after being bit by an infected bat, spurring the dog on a murderous rampage as his condition deteriorates. The novel also revolves around the struggling Trenton family who are in the midst of a familial feud as Donna, the mother, is having an affair behind her husband Vic’s back. Their four year old son Tad is stuck in the middle of the failing marriage. The book was adapted into a movie in 1983 and has since become a cult classic after initial criticisms.
Game of the Year: Legendary
Legendary was released in 2008 and was developed by Spark Unlimited. Despite receiving negative and mixed reviews upon its release, I rather enjoyed this video game and was drawn to it because of its premise. The content being the opportunity to face off against hordes of mythical creatures that have inhabited mankind’s historical stories or myths for countless years. As a thief named Deckard, players can battle against werewolves, Griffins and a Minotaur or two once Pandora’s Box is opened at the beginning of the game. Alongside a well-supplied arsenal, the player can also fight against evil creatures with supernatural powers that had been bestowed upon Deckard by Pandora’s Box.
Film of the Year: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Released in 2019, 6 years after the television show concluded, El Camino serves as the final chapter of the hit show that began in 2008. The film focuses on Jessie Pinkman after the events of the explosive finale, in which he notably wasn’t given much screen time, as he tries to form a new identity for himself. Despite a fairly slow opening, the movie really picks up and provides some memorable moments that will satisfy long-time fans of the series. It was also good to see the old cast in their iconic roles again as El Camino had many cameo appearances, mostly in flashback sequences, from Breaking Bad itself. The world of Breaking Bad is still kicking about in the form of the ‘Better Call Saul’ prequel which currently has 5 series under its belt and which is critically acclaimed much like the show it spun off from.
It would be fair to say that 2020 wasn’t quite the exciting start to the new decade that we were all hoping for. I have my fingers crossed that we will have a better year this time around. My next blog post will be in January 2021 with a suitable Write Wise themed update. I have plans to partake in the 10 year anniversary for Write Wise as the year unfolds such as entering the challenge with a special story that should be a nice reflection of the decade. Have a Happy New Year!
Quote of the Day
There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Millennium Falcon. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Merry Christmas 2020!
Greetings, Christmas Eve is here and I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be sure to take it easy tomorrow and I hope you have a good day. It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a bit of a trying year so far so we would like a good time this festive season to make up for it. There is one blog update left for the year in which I go through my entertainment picks for the categories of television series, films, books and video games that I experienced in the last 12 months. I’m looking forward to hearing what you rate as your highlights for 2020 as well. As usual, this blog update will be posted on the 31st December as the year dwindles to an end.
Thanks for reading ‘The Bizarre World of Victor Victorious: An Unnecessary Sequel’ which capped off the writing challenge for this year. 2020 has been a good year for Write Wise with plenty of new entries being added to the site’s extensive collection and an unplanned but pleasant Halloween challenge which saw three authors step up to the challenge, delivering three great stories. While I’m being tight-lipped about my Write Wise entries for next year, I do have a plan for the 10 year anniversary celebration which I am keen to start writing. Readers can also expect the Imposter Series to return which I am very much looking forward to after having a lot of fun writing ‘Saoirse’. Have a good Christmas!
Quote of the Day
Well, come what may. Merry Christmas, Mr. Wayne.
The Boys From Brazil
Greetings, The Boys from Brazil is a 1976 novel by author Ira Levin who is also known for his earlier books such as ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Stepford Wives’. It was made into a movie that was released a few years later in 1978 which was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Schaffner directed iconic movies including Planet of the Apes and Papillion prior to adapting Levin’s novel. The film version stars renowned actor Lawrence Olivier as the protagonist, aging Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, and Hollywood leading man Gregory Peck as the nefarious Doctor Josef Mengele who serves as the villain of the story.
The story begins in Brazil in the September of 1974. Barry Kohler, a young American journalist, is investigating a potential plot by former Nazis who had escaped to South America after the end of World War 2. Kohler had been assisting a now old Nazi hunter by the name of Ezra Lieberman who was a famed academic, specializing in Nazi war crimes. Ezra is determined to catch the infamous Mengele, a Third Reich physician known as the Angel of Death who performed lethal experimentation on prisoners during his time in Auschwitz, and bring him to justice. It is believed that Mengele is in South America and feared that he is concocting a plan that will see Nazi Germany rise from the ashes following its defeat at the hands of the Allied Powers. Unfortunately for Lieberman, the world has lost interest in hunting down Nazis and his funding is drying up as a result.
A group of German businessmen are attending a meeting in a Japanese restaurant and have booked themselves a private room. Kohler believes them to be members of ODESSA, an underground organization of former Nazis who escaped trail and imprisonment in Europe. Barry bribes one of the Japanese waitresses to hide a tape recorder in the room while the men are discussing business plans in solitude. After the meeting concludes, the waitress gives Kohler the tape recorder and he listens to it in his nearby apartment. Barry rings Lieberman and tells him he has uncovered a Nazi plot. He advises that six former SS officers are going to be sent out across the globe and are to kill 94 men, who share similar traits, on specific days. The victims are all civil servants and will die at the age of 65 but before Barry can explain why, he is murdered himself and the phone is hung up on Lieberman. Ezra initially believes the call to be a prank but as men fitting the description begin to die, he starts to take it seriously and tries to unravel the mystery that was given to him.
Prior to ‘the Boys from Brazil’, the only other book of Levin’s I had read was ‘The Stepford Wives’ which I had thoroughly enjoyed. Like ‘Stepford Wives’, I already knew a bit about the twists going into this book which is a big part of what the novel is relying on to entertain the reader or to hook them with. I still liked this book but the mystery wasn’t as impactful as it would have been before it had seeped into popular culture. What I find strange about this novel is that its antagonist was very much a real person and still alive at the time of its first release. Mengele would not die until February 1979 when he drowned after suffering from a stroke. I’d encourage you to give this novel a spin, especially if you enjoyed Levin’s other works.
Quote of the Day
Bond. James Bond.