List – worst of 2008
- by Shawn Conner
1. The Dark Knight. Sure, Heath Ledger is good – so good you forget that, as the Joker, he doesn’t have one good line. Batman, at least, has one (in the scene where Joker crashes a society fundraiser, after the Joker cackles something about liking violence or chaos or whatever: “Then you’re going to love me”). But more is needed to sustain this bloated, humourless two-and-a-half-hour superhero claptrap – which totally wastes Maggie Gylenhaal, to boot. And then there’s that tiresome Harvey Dent/ Two-Face subplot…
2. Axl Rose, friends, and lawyers, Chinese Democracy. 17 years for this bowel movement?
3. P. Diddy. Some vodka company put “Come Fly With Me” in a commercial featuring P. Diddy. Thanks, advertising agency, for making me now associate one of my favourite Frank Sinatra recordings with that dipshit.
Commercial – Diddy/Sinatra Ciroc:
4. The Cure at GM Place (Vancouver). Can’t remember when I’ve been so bored at a big-name rock show. Oh yes, I can – the first time I saw the Cure, 13 years ago.
5. Lenny Kravitz.
6. Marley & Me and Twilight (book-turned-movie) tie for the two most prevalent, and brain-deadening, media phenomenon, outside of Angelina Jolie’s children.
7. Californication (cable TV show). Sex-addiction poster boy David Duchovny plays a “writer” (though he never writes) who boozes, brawls, and womanizes in L.A. Not a believable character, situation or relationship in the series, or at least the three episodes I could stomach.
8. Working on a Dream (song and album title, album cover). Now, I like Bruce Springsteen. I’ve seen him live four, maybe five times, I have just about every album, yada yada. But dude, come on! Show some imagination when it comes to song titles! Sheesh! And I thought “Waiting on a Sunny Day” was lame. [Read Adrian Mack's Working on a Dream review.]
9. Elvis Costello. This was the year I turned on the singer/songwriter who helped make me the bitter, disgruntled asshole I am today. Diana Krall, playing $500 ticket galas, and his own TV talk show wasn’t enough to do it, however – it was the article featuring him one-on-one with of those wretched Jonas kids. [Read Eugene Osudar's Elvis Costello at the Manitoba Playhouse 1978 review.]
10. David Foster Wallace (death). A bummer for entirely different reasons than the above. When Wallace took his own life, the culture lost one of its most exacting, precise and intelligent voices. RIP, DFW.