My Favorite Movies of 2018

2018 was a pretty terrible year by many measures, but it was a damn good year for movies. While big budget sequels of varying quality continued to dominate the box office, there was still room in theaters for new and original stories to stand out while streaming options give them a shot at reaching the wider audiences they deserve—including me, in a couple of cases. My top 10 favorites (plus 4 honorable mentions) were unexpectedly tough to sort out, but they represent a more varied list than I would have initially guessed at the beginning of the year.

INTERVIEW: Charlie Huston & Moon Knight | PCS Flashback

Back in 2005, I spent two hours over cold beers talking with Charlie Huston about Moon Knight and the pressure of living up to the hype surrounding his relaunch; what “decompression” and “9-out-of-10 of those single issues sucked!” have in common; and what Doug Moench and Steve Gerber don’t have in common. The resulting interview, originally published at Buzzscope, is my favorite ever.

How I Could Just Kill a (Virtual) Man

RPGs, simulations, and strategy games are my preferred genres, but I've played and enjoyed several shooters that prioritized story over gameplay (BioShock Infinite), explored the moral gray areas of violence as a solution (Spec-Ops: The Line), or whose sci-fi settings simply put things in a less problematic context (Halo). The timing of Hardline's switch from military fantasy to militarized police fantasy couldn't possibly be worse, either, in light of the ongoing problems in Ferguson, MO, one of the more egregious examples of a systemic cultural problem in this country that most video games either completely ignore or cynically tap into.

Milestone’s Timely Return Should Offer Distinguished Competition

Thankfully, it sounds like Milestone isn't planning to place all their chips on comics alone because I doubt they'll find much success in the core comics market. But as part of a broader distribution and media strategy that will hopefully include original graphic novels, webcomics, animation, and, eventually, live-action TV and/or movies and video games, I'm excited about the possibilities.

Gaming’s Killer App: Twitch?

it's the non-gaming aspects of the Xbox One that I find most intriguing because I don't believe "next gen" will ultimately be defined by graphics, and the first real example of that is Twitch. Per Google research, "Gamers are an important driver of brand engagement, as they create, curate, and share content." And that's where Twitch comes in and things get really interesting.

BioShock Infinite’s Ambitiously Flawed Perfection

"Wow..." That was my whispered, slack-jawed reaction to the final 30 minutes of BioShock Infinite, arguably the most compelling video game experience I've ever had. It's not a perfect game by any stretch of the definition, and since completing the game, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the more measured reviews that haven't been afraid to point out its flaws, but to borrow a phrase from Grace Jones, it might not be perfect, but it's perfect for me.

Hate the Parents, Not the Video Games

There are a wide variety of video games out there, and yes, some are extremely violent. Same goes for movies, TV shows, and even good, old-fashioned books. If you don't want your kids playing these games (or consuming any other similar media), be a responsible parent and deal with it, but don't go playing the blame game every time some senselessly violent act occurs too close to home, crying for government regulation.

The Avengers, John Carter, and “A little old fashioned…”

Joss Whedon reached deep down and tapped into what made the comics of the 60s and 70s so much fun, inspiring a generation of creators who were subsequently side-tracked by a misunderstanding of Alan Moore's Watchmen. It's the kind of movie DC's stable of characters (other than Batman) are best-suited for and will likely never get, and in some ways, it reminded me of the unfairly maligned John Carter (of Mars).