I’ve dug through the grime and the muck of the past year to find the crown jewels and worst failures of the entertainment industry to present to you the third annual Willie Awards.
Album of the year: Flogging Molly, “Speed of Darkness”
If there is one album that encapsulates everything that 2011 has been — an economic disaster, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the overall speed at which both happened — it’s the fifth studio album from Los Angeles Celtic rock band Flogging Molly. The band stretches its Irish roots to create an album that retains its tried and true pub-scene-folk-meets-mosh-pit-punk while drawing musically and lyrically from the decaying economy around us. From the Motown inspired “The Power’s Out,” the soft piano ballad “The Cradle of Humankind” and the raucous and anathematic “Revolution,” Flogging Molly has not only created a masterful record but one that will forever stand as a time capsule to the struggles of everyday men and women in today’s economic climate. Most of all, though, it’s an album about hope, sticking together and the perseverance of the human spirit — and, at times like these, music sometimes stands as the best reminder of this.
Video game of the year: “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”
I’ll admit that I was worried about “Skyward Sword” for a while. I was not that impressed with either of the past two E3s, and I wasn’t really that into the new art direction. But then I played the game.
It’s beautiful, breathtaking and one of the best entries in the Zelda series in a long time. The Wii Motion Plus makes controlling Link’s sword perfectly fluid — scarily so — and the game’s depth will keep you adventuring for more than 40 hours. I can’t think of a better way to spend winter break — or finals week. Somebody’s got to save Zelda after all!
Worst Harry Potter Movie Ever: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”
I love Harry Potter, don’t get me wrong. And “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” was the best movie the series ever spewed out. But I left the movie theatre this summer shaking my head and hoping it was all a dream caused by the delirium of being up so late. Anybody who claims to like this travesty of a movie is a Harry Potter fan in denial and only in love with it because it is the last movie
and they feel they have to like it or Voldermort will come find them in the middle of the night.
If you are a true Harry Potter fan you will see the last film for what it is: a sell out that finished off the story and characters I love so much in the worst way possible. Even Michael Bay could have done better here, folks. Even Michael Bay.
Best movie of the year (Comedy): “Bridesmaids”
You know that movie that you tell yourself you won’t go see unless it’s with your mother or sister? “Bridesmaids” was that for me, and sure enough I went, and I laughed my ass off. It made the “Hangover” look like “Zookeeper Three” and was possibly the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. Comedy was once a man’s game (look at “Anchorman”), but this time the stunning cast of leading gals showed that girls can have fun, fart and be ridiculously funny. And Kristen Wiig, the writer and lead actress, is from Rochester. What’s not to love?
Best new potential girlfriend: Emma Stone
Following in the line of hot actresses I wish I could marry with the first name of Emma, Emma Stone is officially the new Hollywood heartthrob (ask Jim Carrey if you don’t believe me). This year she had lead roles in “The Help” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” but let’s not forget about “Easy A,”w “Zombieland,” “Superbad,” or any of the other pieces of gold she has been in. Next year, she’ll be starring in the Spiderman reboot, which I suppose I actually have to go see now. Emma, if you read this, feel free to return any of my 20,000 phone calls.
Clark is a member of the class of 2012.