The best of 2006: The year in review

The Cadenza staff
Dan Daranciang

Dear Faithful Readers:

Here at Cadenza, we have long been tempted to review movies, albums and books without ever seeing the films, listening to the CDs or reading the novels. We have even gone so far as to develop a method for this ultimate act of journalistic lethargy: writing movie reviews based solely on the trailer, writing album reviews based solely on the cover art, and writing book reviews based solely on the quality of the author’s last name. Unfortunately, until now, our staunch morals and strict journalistic integrity have prevented us from acting on these hidden desires. But finally, the time has come for us to put our section to shame with a whole year of reviews in advance. So please, dear readers, take part in our careless rebellion and enjoy our take on the best movies, music, films, videogames and pop culture of 2006.

Wishing You a Happy New Year and Good Fortune in 2007,
The Cadenza Staff

Best Movies

Best Film: ‘Snakes on a Plane’

It’s a movie about snakes, but get this: they’re on a freaking plane. Take a moment to let that sink in. The publicity photo for this is Kenan Thompson on a plane looking at a big snake, and it seems only one of an infinite possible number of moments of snake-related aviation terror. True story – the studio tried to change the title to something less awesome, but star Samuel L. Jackson insisted that the title, with its honest yet tantalizing combination of snakes and planes, was the only reason he had taken the job. “You either want to see that or you don’t,” he said in a interview. What kind of person wouldn’t?

Best Disappointment: ‘The Da Vinci Code’

We all can’t wait to be crushed when we discover that “The Da Vinci Code” doesn’t live up to the hype. Somebody in the dorm will tell me how interesting it is, then Roger Ebert’s positive review will feed a vague, hopeful feeling. Then the film will come out, all overstated and humorless, though not without a comforting air of expensiveness.

Best South Korean Film About A Mutant: ‘The Host’

The long-delayed horror film “The Host” will allegedly surface some time in June. It seems to be about some kind of huge mutant monster that comes out of a river and kills things. If you haven’t seen director Joon-ho Bong’s previous movie, “Memories of Murder,” you probably should; it’s a clever black comedy/real-life serial killer mystery that turns all introspective late in the game. Though if you weren’t on board at “huge mutant monster,” the movie probably won’t work for you no matter what Joon-ho does.

Best Self-Reflexive Meta-Film: ‘Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story’

A.k.a. the winner of the Charlie Kaufman award for excellence in digression and self-indulgence, Michael Winterbottom’s film about the making of a film adaptation of a book that was itself a self-reflexive fictional biography looks promisingly convoluted and sarcastic, and it could even be good.

Best Political Madness

Best Academic Conference: Iran takes on the Holocaust

Iranian officials have recently announced that the country will host a conference on the scale and consequences of the Holocaust. Still uncertain is whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in December spoke of “the myth of the genocide of the Jews,” has approved of the conference. If the occasion has his blessing, then it will be the first conference in recent memory where a governing body has authorized an inquiry into an event that it officially does not believe happened. Expect some fireworks!

Best Supreme Court Decision: The long-awaited overturn of Roe v. Wade

Once Samuel Alito finally makes it into the Supreme Court, something long overdue shall occur. Finally, the age of sin in which we are living will come to an end. Only the overturning of Roe v. Wade will be able to accomplish this. People will see how horrible their lives had become and will turn back to the loving embrace of Jesus, praying to him to bless them with many, many children (all conceived in wedlock of course). 2006 promises to be a great year for all true Americans.

Best Music

Best Album

This year we have a couple new releases that will be sure to top the critics beginning-year lists. Radiohead are recording their next album to be issued this fall and are planning a tour to take place across the US this summer. The album, already in post-production, features frontman Thom Yorke sneezing into a microphone for 74 minutes. While not particularly innovative, the delicacy and precision of these sneezes will move listeners to tears.

Best Movie Soundtrack

The Flaming Lips also have a new album due this spring, which will likely be remastered and reissued by the year’s end. It has also been confirmed that they will be recording the “unofficial” soundtrack to the upcoming Will Ferrell/Drew Barrymore adaptation of “Curious George” which hits screens this summer. Not since “The Graduate” will we have seen such movie soundtrack mastery.

Best Video Games

Best Gaming System: Nintendo Revolution

Nintendo has promised that their new system would be revolutionary, and all signs seem to suggest that they are correct. Eschewing the standard view of making a new console, they are making a console with marginally improved technical specifications but with entirely new features. The first is completely backwards compatibility with the Gamecube, a welcome if not exactly stunning feature. Similarly, they are going to make the entire library of Nintendo-produced NES, SNES, and N64 games available for download, and other companies are expected to follow suit. Along with this is an entirely new control scheme. The main aspect is a remote control-esque unit that is motion sensitive. Have you ever moved the controller up in the attempt to get your character to jump? Instead of just being disappointed with the result, you will now actually see the desired action occur. While it is unknown if this new control scheme will work as promised, there is the potential for some amazing gaming.

Best Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

This certainly seems to be the year of Nintendo. Not only do they have the launch of the Revolution, but they also have what seems to be the biggest game of the year. Taking a drastic departure from the love-it-or-hate-it Disney-esque graphics of Wind Waker, Twilight Princess has an art design that looks like the love child of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Along with this comes the amazing gameplay that people have come to expect, with a few new twists. Taking a cue from fan-favorite Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Link will have the ability to transform into a werewolf. Given the amount of polishing this game is going through, and the high standards that Nintendo holds for their flagship series, this game is going to be amazing.

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