Wednesday 30 December 2015

Brad Harmer-Barnes’ Best Of 2015

It’s the end of the year, so here is the obligatory end of the year post.

Favourite Movie - Mad Max: Fury Road
(George Miller, Australia/US, 2015)

I don’t know what expectations I had going into this one, but I do know that they were all far exceeded by this adrenaline-fueled, chaotic-neutral, visually stunning piece of Ozploitation-throwback cinema. Tom Hardy took over from Mel Gibson brilliantly, and it’s feels like it actualises Mad Max. It’s the movie that the previous instalments were all trying to be, and this is how they finally matured.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, US, 2015), What We Do In The Shadows (Jemaine Clement/Taika Waititi, New Zealand/US, 2014)

Favourite TV Series - Archer
(FX Productions)

Still Martini dry, still South Park surreal and still full of genuine belly-laugh moments, for me Archer is the best TV show out there, and has been for years. The characters have managed to develop and stay fresh, while at the same time avoiding shark-jumping territory.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Rebels (Disney XD), BoJack Horseman (Tornante Company)

Favourite Tabletop Game - Legendary Encounters: Predator
(Upper Deck Entertainment)

The best game released this year for anyone who is a fan of the Predator movies, which should be everyone. Manages to capture the theme and feel of the movies, while also giving you enough scope to feel like you’re telling your own story, it’s a package of fan-service. There’s hours of play included in here, too, and that’s without mixing in the cards from the Alien sister game.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Armada (Fantasy Flight Games), The Great War (PSC Games)

Favourite Video Game - Star Wars: Battlefront
(DICE/Electronic Arts)

Star Wars: Battlefront feels like playing with action figures made you feel when you were a kid. It feels like playing Star Wars themed paintball. It’s the pure Star Wars joy we’ve been looking for in a video game since…shit, probably since Rogue Squadron or Jedi Knight.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Uprising (Disney Interactive Studios), Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/SEGA)

Favourite Book - I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan (Alan Partridge, Harper)

If you’re a fan of Alan Partridge, then this in-character autobiography is a must-buy, and I have to especially recommend the audiobook, narrated by Steve Coogan in character throughout. Full of the cringiness and full-on laughs you’ve come to expect.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Lost Stars (Claudia Grey, Disney/Lucasfilm Press), I Am Death (Chris Carter, Simon & Schuster)

Favourite Comic - Darth Vader

Kieron Gillen has nailed the canon of Star Wars like no other writer with this series that follows the galaxy’s most famous Lord of the Sith on his quest to discover the identity of the pilot who blew up the Death Star. The artwork is similarly awesome, and I can’t wait to see where this goes next.

Also-Rans/Honourable Mentions: Moon Knight (Marvel), The Superior Foes of Spider-Man (Marvel)

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