2008 was a grand year. Just like every other year.
Don't know why but each and every year thousands of people like me say the same thing about that year as they stand at the dusk of it. Looking back at all the things we appreciated in our lives and the ones we may have over-looked. Looking back at all the things that became an integral part of our lives during the past year. Entertainment is a strange thing. It can inspire people and it can waste people's lives. But for most of us,entertainment is a day-to-day necessity the one without which life seems hollow and a little empty.
2008 was a special year for everyone in some or the other way. Not always in the good way. The entire world continued to suffer under terrorist attacks and financial meltdowns didn't help people's lives either. Many died,many more were born. The life continues...and at the end of the day I think the only thing that matters is we all have survived to see the sun rise for another year. I for one have gone through a lot in 2008 and I needn't go through all that again as most of you are familiar about that. I may not have lived to see 2009 at all so I guess I am really thankful to whosoever was related in making me a happier person I was once again.
Of course no year can be given a farewell without first honouring and remembering the great achievements of the people of this world....
THE BEST OF 2008
Here all the things (well atleast most of them) that occured under the sun and which drew deserved attention and praise from across the world and from me of course have been given a mention here.
Each category has ONE winner and ONE runner ups. So no ties at all.
A lot of things happened in 2008 some of which were important for us and some of us which weren't important to others. stopped the activity in their nuclear weapons facility and evaded a probable war. challenged the "West" to dare them to stop their nuclear weapons production. US and the others tried but didn't listen to them. Hopefully we won't be having another war there. Terrorists attacked India a couple of times early on the year but the gruesome attack of 26/11 shocked the entire world and gave the entire humanity a sense of the power these terrorists had. In the aftermath to the attack,terrorism was given a tough answer by our once-vote bank politicians and all.
However the most important event of 2008 probably stands out to be the rise of someone who at first might seem unimportant to the rest of the world except US. I am talking about the victory of Barack Obama. Sure his victory broke a social stigma and all but why is his election so important to the entire world is because his ideas especially the ones about the current financial crisis has the potential to reduce the damage it does to the American economy and hence to the world economy as well.
Now for the category awards..
First the rules...
- ALL OF THE NOMINEES SHOULD NECESSARILY NOT BE RELEASED IN 2008
- THEY SHOULD BE WATCHED,PLAYED,HEARD,READ BY ME IN 2008
Best Book of 2008
Prisoner of Birth (Jeffrey Archer)
The Castle (Franz Kafka)
Brisingr (Christopher Paolini)
The Three Mistakes of My Life (Chetan Bhagat)
Smiley's People (John Le Carre)
Runner-Up : Prisoner of Birth(Jeffrey Archer)
Winner : The Castle (Franz Kafka)
I read some great novels in 2008. I haven't finished reading Brisingr still but it seems like a good enough novel to qualify for my nominee list. But however, two of the books really stand out for me. One is Archer's brilliant re-interpretation of Dumas-cla$$ic, Count of Monte Cristo.He not only re-tells the revenge saga in a modern-day setting but he does so without drawing any comparisons with Dumas' novel.
However the winner is more than obvious. It goes to the mystical,intriguing and convulated story all set within a simplistic plot of The Castle. Last year,I got a taste of Kafka's infamous Metamorphosis and since then I've been a huge fan of his "dark humor" and his $tyle of "broken writing". I tried writing a short story in Kafka-esque $tyle but failed miserably. Guess there was one and only one Franz Kafka.
Movie of the Year
The Dark Knight
Runner Up : Burn After
Winner : The Dark Knight
I think it is a pretty obvious choice in the end. Dark Knight was the most talked-about movie of this year and for a very good reason. It made people believe that superhero movie aren't always senseless plots with sub-mediocre action and CGI. Dark Knight is memorable for two things-- It's action and of course,Heath Ledger's performance. I haven't watched many movies of Ledger but I might have to being so impressed by his portrayal of comic world's most infamous villian.
Burn After Reading surprised me with it's dark humor,over-the-top violence and the Coen Brothers picture-perfect editing. Brad Pitt's most unique performance since the legendary Fight Club.
Special Category of 2008 : Most Disappointing Comeback
Death Magnetic (Metallica)
Black Ice (AC/DC)
Chinese Democracy (Guns N Roses)
The Cosmos Rock (Queen + Paul Rodgers)
Runner Up : The Cosmos Rock (Queen + Paul Rodgers)
Winner : Death Magnetic (Metallica)
2008 was a year of comebacks. And most of them fell head over their feet. Metallica continued their abysmal run with Death Magnetic. This album has got varied opinions from many sections but as far as I am concerned I just can't seem to like this album. Most of the songs are fillers and all the singles are awfully bad except the lead single,"The Day That Never Comes". This single gives some hope that Metallica can do something hopefully good enough in the future.
Oh..and I forgot that the Queen made their comeback replacing the late and great Freddie Mercury with somebody called Paul Rodgers. Where are the feet-tapping,jaw-snapping,head-banging music of the old Queen? I dare say The Cosmos sucks.
Album of the Year
Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
Dear Science (TV on the Radio)
In Rainbows (Radiohead)
OK Computer (Radiohead)
Runner Up : OK Computer (Radiohead)
Winner : In Rainbows (Radiohead)
Radiohead was the music of 2008 for me. For what I went through during 2008 and for what I became in 2008. The moment I was introduced to them courtesy to Neon, I loved their unique "arid" $tyle of music that brought calm,comfort and solace to even the most depressed of the beings. OK Computer is a very good example of that. It perfectly defines the solitude and isolation that living in a big city could bring in one's life. In Rainbows is a perfect album where I like each and every of it's 11 songs.
Song of the Year
Cemeteries of (Viva La Vida--Coldplay)
Rather Be (--The Verve)
Halfway Home (Dear Science--TV on the Radio)
Paranoid Android (OK Computer--Radiohead)
Nude (In Rainbows--Radiohead)
RUNNER UP : Halfway Home (Dear Science--TV on the Radio)
WINNER :Paranoid Android (OK Computer--Radiohead)
If you read my blog header on my profile page that is enough to tell you how much I love "Paranoid Android". All I have to say for it is : "I May Be Paranoid But Not an Android."
Without any further ado...let's move onto the thing we've all been waiting for.
Game of the Year 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV (X360)
Gears of War 2 (X360)
Final Fantasy VIII (PS)
Super Mario 64 (N64)
Left 4 Dead (PC)
Dead or Alive 4 (X360)
Metal Gear Solid (PS)
Runner Up :
Grand Theft Auto IV
I think if it wasn't for the winner this game would have most definitely one my GotY. Never before do I remember a game developer silencing it's critics by giving them a dose of their own medicine. GTA IV did that. It silenced most of it's critics by sobering up into a mature,action-packed and moreover a game that had it's heart in the right place. It doesn't intend to be brash or brutal about anything at all. It just tells an honest tale about an illegal immigrant trying to make ends meet by the only thing he knows--crime.
If it wasn't for it's humane protagonist Niko Bellic and his pals and foes that one encounters nor was it for the memorable then perhaps the game might have been forgotten. But Rockstar created a world sketched out of the heart of someone who knew New York City well as did he understand the anomalies of American culture and human sentient. The ending leaves a bitter-sweet taste in the mind but it also leaves a definite and moralistic impression of the game upon any human's mind who perseveres and plays this game.
Final Fantasy VIII
I think there wasn't any one of you who didn't see this coming. It's the most probable,most ideal,most logical and the easiest choice to make. It simply boils down to this. Final Fantasy VIII is a game I have dreamt of playing since the moment I stepped into the realm of gaming. The game's every moment is the every moment I dreamt of living one day. No single game has had this much expectation from me. I expected Final Fantasy VIII to be nothing short of a masterpiece. And it amazed me...when it exceeded such impossibly high expectations and went on to become quite possibly the greatest game I have ever played,or ever will.
So that's it for now,folks.
Catch all of you next year,which is in a couple of minutes.
So until then,Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year and a Good Luck to all of your future endeavors. May everyone get everything they wish for (don't wish too much though. )