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Well, its time. After careful consideration, moving the list around, weighing "what's cooler, this or that?" time after time, I've finished the list.
First, here's how the list is compiled... first and foremost, its my own list. This is what is "cool" to d$. Some things, books, movies, shows, whatever, just came out this year, some have been around for a while, but this was the year that I chose to read/watch/view/whatever... some people I've known for a while... but this seemed to be the year that they made the leap from "eh" to "cool!!".
Before we begin the list, however, I have to mention a forgotten item from 2007's list... this should have been on the list last year, and was missed somehow. So, a 2008 Cool Honorable Mention goes to...
"The Bourne Ultimatum", rated PG-13, starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Albert Finney, Joan Allen and David Strathairn. Man, I loved this movie... its the third movie in the Bourne films, after Identity and Supremacy, its full of action, its full of gunplay, its full of fun, and though its a Herky Jerky Film (you know, those kind of movies where it seems like the camera is moving so fast, you have no clue whats going on) its worth the viewing.
Yes, they are planning to do a fourth Bourne film--but there's a hitch. While Universal owns the rights to Robert Ludlum's library, the author who created and wrote the first Bourne novels, they don't own the rights to "Jason Bourne". The series was picked up and written by other authors, so there is a deal to be worked out.
Now that that's out of the way... the 100 Coolest Things of 2008:
100. "Too Late to Say Goodbye" by Ann Rule. I'm a sucker for crime drama stories, as you'll see later on in our countdown. Here's the synopsis, via Amazon:
Bart Corbin appeared to share an idyllic life with his pretty wife, Jennifer: a home in an upscale Atlanta suburb, two adorable young sons. But there were secrets below the surface -- including an affair of Bart's that drove Jenn to look for love on the Internet -- that would prove deadly on the December morning Jenn was found with a single gunshot wound to her head. Police suspected suicide, but her disbelieving family knew Jenn had been excited to move on from Bart with someone she had met online. As disturbing clues emerged, a relentless county investigator dredged up a shattering revelation: fourteen years earlier, Bart Corbin's former girlfriend, lovely dental student Dolly Hearn, also died -- a gunshot wound to her head that was ruled a suicide. It was a chilling link in the chain that would ensnare the remorseless killer behind both tragic deaths: Bart Corbin.
And there's a twist right smack dab in the middle of it that will catch you completely off guard. What's more, as I was finishing the novel, I actually caught the Dateline NBC episode featuring this very case, on DNC-TV.
99. Paul Carby. I like to call him Paulie Walnuts here on the blog. He and his wife, Sammi, are expecting a little girl in a matter of days, and seriously, that little girl is going to have an awesome dad. I knew I liked Paulie when The Lovely Steph Leann and I went over for dinner, along with Britlicious and Croyle, and KT and J Rob, and as we were looking at Paulie's movie collection, he informed all of us that "DieHard" is his favorite movie of all time, and perhaps the greatest movie ever made. He had my heart right then. In a straight way, of course.
98. "Sydney White". PG-13, starring the growing-on-me-like-kudzu Amanda Bynes. There's nothing new in this movie, there's not remarkable about this movie, there's nothing about this movie that screams "Oscar!" or "Golden Globe!" What there is in this movie, though, is fun. Just fun. Sydney White is a chick off to college, and ends up making friends with these 7 outcast guys. There's a witch--or just a mean chick named Rachel Witchburn--and a prince--or just a guy named Tyler Prince--and other fairy tale references find their way into this silly little film that I found quite entertaining, and would watch again... and that's a good thing.
Amanda Bynes? She's one of The Lovely Steph Leann's favorite actresses, and really, she's... pretty.
97. Michael Phelps. Eight gold medals in the same Olympics will earn you a spot on this list any year. Nikki Brown, take note.
96. "Freedom is Worth the Price". Found this video online. Its worth another look.
95. "You're Married??" One of the funniest commercials of the year comes from an insurance company. The Lovely Steph Leann loves this one.
94. Leann Corby. Here I was, doling out the magic at The Happiest Place in the Mall, and I look up to see Leann Corby. Well, it's Leann Laurence now, but still... she was my first Troy State Date, in September of 1993, we had been friends all along, and it was great to see her from out of nowhere.
I wrote on December 9th about that experience, and you can read it at the bottom of this post. With pictures!
93. "Unholy Messenger: The Life & Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer" by Stephen Singular. I remember flipping on the news sometime a few years ago, and seeing a live press conference on not only Fox News, but DNC/Obama-TV, but also the Clinton News Network and everywhere else... the Wichita, KS, police were discussing catching the "BTK Killer" after a decades long manhunt... who was this guy? He was a vicious serial killer who had stopped murdering 20 years ago, but had recently resurfaced...
So, this year, I ended up picking up this book and reading it through. It was kinda creepy, actually... Singular tells the ghastly tale of Dennis Rader, the serial killer who terrorized Wichita and taunted police for decades, in a mostly dispassionate style that fits Rader's modus operandi perfectly. A meticulous planner who stalked before striking, Rader, whose bland, midwestern Christian Everyman persona makes him all the more chilling, blamed an evil spirit he called Rex for his repeated spells of bloodlust.
His particular kicks came from killing people in front of their families and photographing victims' corpses in S&M poses, in one case in the basement of the church in which he served as president of the congregation, an office he took to heart, just as he did his jobs as a city "compliance officer" and a home-security technician, both of which gave him cover for his "projects." Based primarily on Rader's confession and court papers, Singular's account includes Rader's mainline Protestant pastor's views that the BTK slayings manifest Rader's intermittent possession by a demonic force. Such theological aspects distinguish this macabre, riveting, scary case from those of other serial killers. (not my description, by the way, but it suited the purpose).
92. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army". Rated PG-13, starring Ron Perlman and Selma Blair. I throughly enjoyed the first movie, so when Mikey called me up and asked if I'd go see the 2nd one with him, I was all about it. And rightly so...
There's a Golden Army out there, and bad guys want to control it to dominate. Don't they always want to dominate? Enter Hellboy, his girlfriend Liz and buddy Abe Sapien, all with the special powers and attitude from the first one. Not only does the flick have great special effects, a funny and great storyline, and some pretty good acting, but the gem of the film is the director, Guillermo del Toro, the same guy who did "Pan's Labyrinth". He's got some kind of vision when he makes a film.
91. "Valleydale Dot Oh Are Gee". Our church, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) has a redesigned website. So, to promote this site, a couple of our guys, and a vacuuming member, decided to do a little video. And oh my gosh, is it funny. The singer is... well, I don't know his name, but Big Poppa in the back there is Chandler Wallace, our tech guy expert, and on the drum(sticks) is Kris Dekker, music minister.
My favorite part? The head bob that Chandler does right in the middle... and the yee-haw doesn't hurt either. Priceless.
Coming up... Sharpies, haircuts and J Rob... and the first of our three "Pruitt Awards of Coolness"