Here are my entertainment highlights for 2012. As I've mentioned before, this will be the last year I just list movies and books. Next year, I'll try to write blurbs for each one and publish them more often than just at the end of the year.
As always, use discretion with your entertainment; if it causes you to stumble, get rid of it. As a Christian I see antithetical themes, undertones, and objectionable content in almost everything that comes from our world. Do not mistake my assessment of the quality of a film as an endorsement of all its themes and content, i.e. if I give Gone with the Wind a big thumbs up, I'm not condoning war, death, destruction, deceit, or the word "damn." I'm saying that this presentation of that story is a remarkable cinematic work. Period.
My movie of the year is a tie between The Avengers and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Both movies exceeded my already high expectations and both came from the minds of favorite authors: Joss Whedon, my all-time favorite television writer, and J.R.R. Tolkien, one of my favorite novelists.
Great Movies: The Awful Truth (1937), The Avengers (2012), Brave (2012), The Descendants (2011), The Hobbit (2012), Iron Lady (2011), Jaws (1975)
Better than I expected: The Eagle (2011), Hugo (2011), John Carter (2012), Moneyball (2011), My Favorite Year (1982), Unstoppable (2010)
Good: War Horse (2011), J. Edgar (2011), My Week with Marilyn (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Thor (2011), Apocalypse Now (1979), Miller's Crossing (1990), Hanna (2011)
Overrated: Hunger Games (2012), Scarface (1983), Troll Hunter (2010), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011), Salt (2010), Red Tails (2012)
This was a funny year for reading, a year for unfinished books. I have a bigger stack of unfinished books than ever, in spite of the fact that I read for several hours every day. It was also the first year in a long time that I read almost no fiction whatsoever, something I'll try to remedy in 2013.
Here's a sample of some of the books I read this year:
How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews (2011), The Apocalypse Code by Hank Hanegraaff, The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick (2011), The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism by Kevin Williamson (2011), The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk (2008)
If you turn on my TV, it's probably already on this channel: FOX News - 60%, ESPN - 15%, History Channel - 15%, Other - 10%
Reality and Documentary: "Top Shot," "Mythbusters," "Survivor," "American Pickers"
Comedy and Drama: "Community," "Grimm," "Modern Family," "How I Met Your Mother," "Parks and Recreation," "Go On," "Longmire," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "The Big Bang Theory," "Tron: Uprising"
On the Internet: Geek & Sundry's "Tabletop," "Smarter Every Day"
I don't play as many computer games as I did when I was younger but one game in particular dominated our family: Minecraft. I play it. All five of my children play it. My wife doesn't play it but she can't help but know way too much about it. Graham even got a foam pickaxe for Christmas.
Thanks primarily to episodes of "Tabletop" on the internet, I've also been introduced to some great card games and board games. My favorites this year include Gloom, Blockus, Fluxx, and the iOS version of Ticket to Ride.