My Favourite Things of 2018
As we approach 2019 I think it’s only fair to look back at 2018 and in particular my favourite things of this last year.
My favourite movies:
1. Bad Times at the El Royale — my favourite movie experience this year. Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) directs a brilliant ensemble cast about a hotel that shares land on California and Nevada.
2. Sorry To Bother You — Boots Riley directs Lakeith Stanfield in a masterful take on modern capitalism, race and so much more.
3. Ready Player One — Steven Spielberg directs the adaptation of the book. I really was engrossed in this tale of pop culture mixed with VR.
4. Hereditary — a brilliant horror with an amazing performance by Toni Collette.
5. Bohemian Rhapsody — I loved this tale of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Rami Malek portrayed Freddie in a spot on way. Watch out for the Live Aid scene.
6. A Quiet Place — John Krasinski (The Office (US)) directs, writes and stars in this quasi sci-fi thriller with a brilliant concept.
7. Searching — John Cho stars in this thriller that takes place all on screens. You’ve gotta see it to appreciate it.
8. BlacKkKlansman — Spike Lee directs. A black cop infiltrates the KKK in an interesting way. Says a lot about our current climate.
9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — a late addition to my list. Probably my favourite Spider-Man movie ever. And I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming.
10. They Shall Not Grow Old — Peter Jackson respectfully brings WWI to life with a colour restoration. I saw this in the cinemas and it hit me hard.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado — I enjoyed this sequel to Sicario (2015) but missed Emily Blunt’s involvement.
First Man — the story of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. It’s really about the man himself. It’s quite bleak. But an amazing real life story.
Swinging Safari — hilarious Australian coming of age comedy set in the 70s.
Blockers — another hilarious comedy that flips genders expectations in how teen sex romps usually go.
Red Sparrow — Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton put on great performances in this Cold War era thriller.
Boy Erased — to think these gay to straight conversion camps still go on in massive magnitude is criminal. Lukas Hedges with a great performance as usual. As well as Nicole Kidman.
My favourite TV:
1. Who is America? season 1 — hilarious from Sacha Baron Cohen. Never have I laughed so much. Too bad it’s not coming back for season 2.
2. The Fourth Estate season 1 — in depth look into the reporting at The New York Times in the Trump era.
3. Silicon Valley season 5 — I love Mike Judge’s HBO Silicon Valley send up. I hope it keeps getting renewed but fear it’s near the end.
4. Atlanta season 2 — Donald Glover can do no wrong.
5. Big Mouth season 2 — Netflix puberty cartoon that is hilarious. From Nick Kroll.
6. Silicon Valley: The Untold Story season 1 — this was an excellent history of Silicon Valley from the 50s to now.
7. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver season 5 — John Oliver wins all the awards for this show and he deserves to.
8. South Park season 22 — #cancelsouthpark. No don’t do that. I’d be devastated.
9. Everything Sucks! season 1 — already cancelled by Netflix coming of age 90s dramedy. Too bad.
10. Rotten season 1 — a look at the deficiencies of our modern food and agriculture system.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch — just watched this so it’s fresh. An interactive choose-you-own adventure special/telemovie from Charlie Brooker (creator of Black Mirror) and Netflix. Love the 80s setting and soundtrack. They probably saw how popular San Junipero was and ran with it.
Gogglebox Australia season 8 — I didn’t watch every episode of Gogglebox but when I did I really enjoyed myself.
My favourite podcasts:
1. Business Wars — my favourite podcast ever I’d have to say. It pits two businesses against each other in a radio documentary style format usually taking 6 episodes and then an interview.
2. Cordkillers — the show for cordcutters turned 5 this year. Tom Merritt and Brian Brushwood shepherd cord cutters (people cutting out traditional pay TV) into the brave new world of Netflix and the like.
3. This Week in Tech — Leo Laporte and the TWiT network have been going for over 10 years and This Week in Tech is always a must listen.
4. MacBreak Weekly — another podcast from Leo Laporte and TWiT, this one focusing on all things Apple.
5. The /Film Cast — the flagship podcast of Slashfilm.com, it usually starts with what the hosts (David Chen, Devindra Hardawar & Jeff Cannata) have been watching, some movie news and than a featured movie review. This is great to listen to on trips to the movies.
My favourite YouTube channels:
1. Wendover Productions — focuses on topics to do with flying, planes and logistics but does it masterfully.
2. ColdFusion — focuses on tech video essays.
3. Kurzgesagt — in a Nutshell — all things science and explaining it in an accessible (and animated) way.
4. Company Man — focuses on different companies in video essay form.
5. The Verge — the flagship YouTube channel of The Verge. Tech, pop culture, gadget reviews and much more.
6. Linus Tech Tips — great channel that covers all topics of tech.
7. MKBHD — Marques Brownlee is a massive YouTube celebrity now and has got there in a deserved way. Tech reviews and tech commentary.
8. Late Night with Seth Myers — I love the A Closer Look segment that is uploaded every day when the show is on. Always seems to find a way to make Donald Trump look stupid.
9. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert — Colbert is a hilarious satirist and I prefer him this way than on The Colbert Report.
10. VICE — for how crap the website often is VICE’s YouTube channel is surprisingly good.
VICE News — more serious VICE content.
JRE Clips — The Joe Rogan Experience clips channel is hand when you don’t have time to listen to 3 hour podcasts 3 times a week.
The h3 Podcast Highlights — similar to JRE Clips, this channel saves me from having to listen to a lengthy podcast when I can just get the best bits.
Netflix — love the trailers and bonus content.
Movieclips Trailers — a great movie trailer channel that won’t let you down.
My favourite news websites:
1. The Verge — my favourite tech news website.
2. The Age — my favourite Australian news website with a Victorian perspective.
3. Stratechery — Ben Thompson is the brainchild behind Stratechery. He releases a free article a week about tech business models and has a paid product 3 times a week extra if you want more. The Exponent podcast (which is like a spinoff of Stratechery) is excellent too.
4. WIRED — excellent tech long reads.
5. Variety — comprehensive reporting on Hollywood and the film industry.
6. The Hollywood Reporter — paired with Variety you get a great coverage of Hollywood.
7. /Film — a great film blog that seems to be on the pulse of what film fans want to read.
8. 9to5Mac — the loss of reporter Mark Gurman to Bloomberg was a big one but they still report quite well on all things Apple.
9. TorrentFreak — file sharing news.
10. Crikey — paywalled but excellent Australian news source focusing on politics and media.
Recode — think this is getting folded into Vox next year but Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg’s (now retired) baby has been wonderful while its been active. Shout out to one of my favourite media commentators, Peter Kafka.
The Information — paywalled but second to none tech coverage.
MacRumors — an Apple rumours and news blog.
The Courier — Ballarat news.
The Bendigo Advertiser — Bendigo news.
My favourite apps:
1. Pocket Casts — a fine podcast app that is on every platform. It’s my number 1 because I use it so much.
2. YouTube — this one is self explanatory.
3. Netflix — love my Netflix. Wonder how it’s going to compete next year with Disney+ & Apple’s content offerings.
4. Plex — control your own content. A media management and player.
5. Spotify — Spotify is my favourite music streaming service due to the playlists.
6. Telegram — advanced messaging app.
7. Facebook Messenger — keep in touch with friends.
8. Facebook — I still use Facebook. Mostly for the news. I set 25 sources to see first and it’s pretty good. I sometimes get stuck in a time vortex though. I miss all the news organisations using Instant Articles.
9. Apple Music — I pay for two music streaming services because I use Apple Music on my Apple TVs.
10. LastPass — must have password management app.
Google Chrome — my favourite Internet browser.
Google Docs — I use this so much. I use it to manage my subscriptions. And o much more.
Gmail — my go to email website.
Nuzzel — it’s great for aggregating news articles if you follow a lot of people on Twitter. Even if you don’t the Popular section has plenty of articles.
Twitter — I feel bad and get panic attacks using Twitter too much. But it’s required in these troubled times.
Reddit — mainly stick to my chosen subreddits.
IMDb — brilliant movie and TV database.
Medium — what I’m writing this on now. I’ve been able to reach new heights with readers this year. And it’s a pleasure to write on. And I also subscribe to Medium Membership to read any article on Medium at my heart’s content.
SABnzbd — NZB downloader.
Sonarr — Internet PVR.
NZBHydra2 — NZB indexer super search.
Tautulli — Plex activity monitor. It’s great for seeing what everyone using your Plex server is watching.
Radarr — movie collector.
NZB360 — an amazing Android app for the Usenet enthusiast.
Transmission — my preferred BitTorrent client on the Mac.
Private Internet Access — excellent VPN app. The beta version of the app for Mac is wonderful.
Tor — anonymous Internet browsing.
My favourite music:
Spotify Wrapped 2018 playlist link:
My favourite book:
The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz — a comprehensive look at the past, present & future of the movie business. I listened to the whole thing on Audible. All based off of the hacked Sony emails.
If you have any questions about any of the movies, TV, podcasts, YouTube channels, news websites, apps or the book included comment.
Have a happy new year!