If you have a top ten list and want more people to read it send it to me and I'll include in the next update.
Hard Boiled will be closed Wednesday Dec 24 at 6pm and closed all day Dec 25 and 26. We will be open Saturday Dec 27th from 12-6pm and that will be the new store hours for Saturdays for the winter of 2009.
Have a happy holiday
Mark's Top Ten movies seen in 2008
1. Mad Detective (Hong Kong) - Johnnie To finally making a crime movie with Lau Ching Wan after 8 years of romantic comedies. Lau is an ex cop banished from the force because of a gift he gave a superior. But he was always able to solve any crime. Several years later the police need help solving a crime, but has Lau drift into madness gone to deep? You'll have to watch the movie. Johnnie To has topped this list last year (Exiled) and in 1999 (The Mission) and I look forward to every movie he makes, including his romantic comedies.
2. Inside (France) A very disturbing French slasher film. More twisted than Takashi Miike's Audition.
3. In Bruges (Ireland) A funny Irish hitman comedy with Colin Farrel and the always excellent Brendan Gleeson.
4. Tazza: The High Rollers (South Korea) Korean gambling movie. Good twists and turns in the plot. I didn't feel sympathy for the lead character but the film won me over.
5. Darwin's Nightmare (Austria) Documentary about the effects of globalization has on the fishing industry in Lake Victoria in Tanzania and everybody who lives there. Truly depressing
6. Warlords (Hong Kong) After Fearless Jet Li declared that he had finished making martial arts movies. Fortunately it was a mistranslated interview. Jet is done making movies about the spirit of martial arts, he is still making movies in which he kicks ass. This is a remake of the Shaw Brothers classic "Blood Brothers". Lots of gritty fight scenes and very little wire work in the kung fu.With Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
7. Chocolate (Thailand) New action hero from Thailand and she is directed by Prachya Pinkaew, of Ong Bak and The Protector fame. Lots of bone crunching fights and jaw dropping stunts. The movies credits show the cast and crew visiting injured stuntmen in the hospital.
8. Rec (Spain) Remade this year in America as Quarantine. My favorite zombie movie in the last couple of years. Shot from the point of view of a TV reporter's cameraman, the movie doesn't suffer from shakey camera syndrome and when someone asks for help the camera man actually puts the camera down and helps.
9. Calvert (France/Belgium) A traveling cabaret singer takes the wrong turn one night and ends up in deep in the woods in France. The crazy people he meets would give the hillbillies in Deliverance nightmares.
10. Empress & The Warrior (Hong Kong) My favorite movie experience this year was watching a kung fu movie in Hong Kong with my girlfriend. The movie was a throw back to the wire kung fu films that Hong Kong regularly produced in the early 1990's. It was not a great movie but was the only film on this list that I saw in a theater.
Movies released in 2008 that I have yet to see
Quantum of Solace (UK/US)
Sparrow (Hong Kong) Another Johnnie To film from this year.
Escape From Huang Shi (US/ China) Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat together for the first time since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And it got a Chicago theatrical release, yet somehow I did not see it.
Let The Right One In (Sweden) I hope to see this over the holidays.
Slumdog Millionaire (UK/ India)
Dasavatharam (India) From the star/ director of Kamal Hassan, the genius behind Abhay. In this movie he plays 10 characters including George Bush(?)
Ong Bak 2 (Thailand)
Mark's Top Ten Albums I liked in 2008
1. Abe Vigoda - Skeletons
2. Bon Iver - For Emma
3. Fucked Up - Chemistry Of Common Life
4. Portishead - 3rd
5. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Primary Colours
6. No Age - Nouns
7. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08
8. Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
9. Times New Viking - Rip It Off
10. Group Inerane - Guitars From Agadez
Top 10 Listening Experiences from 2008...
(in no particular order...)
Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era cont.
Ellen Allien - Sool
Grails - Doomsdayers Holiday
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
Valet - Naked Acid
Syclops - I've Got My Eye on You
Torche - Meanderthal
Black Mountain - In the Future
Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull
Spiritualized - Songs in A+E
1. Young Widows- "Old Wounds"
2. Dianogah- "qhnnnl"
3. Nick Cave and the Bad seeds - "Dig Lazarus Dig"
4. Neptune - "Gong Lake"
5. Bottomless Pit- "Congress"
6. Helms Alee - "Night Terror"
7. Vivian Girls - s/t
8. Abe Vigoda - "Skeleton"
9. Sun Kil Moon - "April"
10. Quatre Tete - "Art of the State"
Favorite Albums of 2008
2562 – Aerial
Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
AU – Verbs
Beem – The Future
Beck – Modern Guilt
Benoit Pioulard – Temper
Black Devil Disco Club – Eight Oh Eight
Bug, The – London Zoo
Deerhunter – Microcastle/Weird Era Continued
Eero Johannes – Eero Johannes
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Flying Lotus - LA
Guilty Simpson – Ode to the Ghetto
GZA – Pro Tools
Haruka Nakamura - Grace
Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair
Madlib the Beat Konducta – WLIB: King of the Wigflip
Matmos – Supreme Balloon
Osbourne – Osbourne
Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue
Portishead – Third
Q-Tip – The Renaissance
Sigur Ros - Su Í Eyrum Vi Spilum Endalaust
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
VA – 14 Tracks: Beyond the Forbidden City
VA – Bipp: French New Wave 1979-1985
VA – Dubstep Allstars Volume 6: Applebim
VA – Soul Messages from Dimona
VA – Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues 1970-6
VA – Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-79
Best Music Event:
Animal Collective – Pitchfork
Public Enemy – Pitchfork
Extra Golden – Pitchfork
Caribou - Pitchfork
Orchestra Baobab – Pritzker
Stevie Wonder – Grant Park
Sigur Ros – Chicago Theater
The Sea and Cake – Symphony Center
DJ Chef – Bass Goes Boom at Lava
Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics - Beijing
1.) Scott Tuma - Not For Nobody (CD on Digitalis)
Finally, a new solo album. Wasn't so sure it would happen again and then he surprised everyone with this masterpiece of stretched-out, blurred American music. Very spiritual and heartbreakingly beautiful. Soundtrack for the stairway to Heaven.
2.) Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (LP on Type)
Perfect mix of clarity and obscurity. I spent many hours this year submersed in this album. Heavy Water gets my vote for song of the year.
3.) Aethenor - Betimes Black Cloudmass (LP on VHF)
The addition of the two drummers is a godsend. Reminds me of that great Organum track that AMM's Eddie Prevost adds drums to on the Sphyx album. Looking forward to more of this.
4.) Xela - In Bocca Al Lupo (LP on Type)
Bleak, sparse and creepin' around in the dank, dark catacombs of the cathedral. Kinda makes me feel icky, I love it.
Free Jazz meets Free Noise and neither genre drowns out the other. Ken Vandermark on reeds, Paul Nilssen-Love on drums and Lasse Marhaug on electronics. Vandermark cuts himself loose from his Ornette safety net.
8.) The Blithe Sons - The Great Orthochromatic Wheel (LP on Family Vineyard)
An outstanding grasp of a personal aesthetic. Not sure if his music is improvised or not. If so, he's got an incredible control over the end result, rather than just the process which makes a lot of improvised music seem cold.
10.) Windy & Carl - Songs for the Broken Hearted (LP on Kranky)
Now that the avant-garde are making shoegaze albums it's nice that this duo made a comeback to show 'em how it's really done. It's all about emotion, heart before head.
Brad Rose puts away his banjo, picks up the electronics and reveals his dark side. I imagine the apocalypse happening only in Gated Communities.