The Reviewer: Best of 2008

If the albums and films topping countless “Best Of 2008” lists offer any foreshadowing for this year’s creative talent, 2009 looks to be a promising year.

One listen to Fleet Foxes’ self-titled album or the first solo album of Rilo Kiley front-woman Jenny Lewis, and music lovers will rejoice. Kanye West produced another brainchild, 808s and Heartbreak – an album produced in only two weeks. West reinvented hip-hop with a new genre he coined “Pop Art.” On 808s, West tried his hand at singing, and paired modern beats with 1980s technology (the artist paid homage to the Roland TR-808 drum machine). 2008 offered a sense of relief in expressing that quality music still does exist.

Feature films were no different. Parents and children alike endlessly praised the animated blockbuster Wall-E, and the reinvention of movies honoring the comic book transformed A-List actors into superheroes – some never to be forgotten. Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in Ironman and Edward Norton’s Hulk were memorable. Heath Ledger was immortalized with his interpretation of the Joker in The Dark Knight, earning him a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, and much Oscar buzz. His life and sudden death only heightened the anticipation for The Dark Knight’s release, ending 2008 as the highest grossing film of the year, and the second highest grossing film of all time. More obscure films like Paranoid Park and Burn After Reading made independent film junkie’s dreams come true.

Career best performances by Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Meryl Streep in Doubt closed 2008 with a bang, and plenty of enthusiasm for the coming year. Whether its movie or music reviews you long for, visit the Crow’s Nest blog every week as I take on a new album or feature film to critique. The best part? If you don’t agree with my “interpretations,” join the conversation! Send an email of your own review to