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My Broke-Ass Best of the Year List, Part Two

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I previously discussed television, books and comedy..


I won’t get into too many, because you can read many aggregates of critics reviews of films, but here are some films that are worth seeking out:

The Skin I Live In is a Spanish-language drama/horror from infamous Spanish director Pedro Almadovar (you may have heard of Talk to Her and Volver, both previous Oscar-favorites). I can’t say too much without giving away the major plot twist, but if an insane plastic surgeon keeping a woman prisoner in his house in order to make her into the perfect woman sounds interesting to you, then give it a try. It’s the kind of movie you can’t stop thinking about after you’ve seen it.

Meloncholia is the definities “arthouse” film; fairly pretentious and plot-less. However, it is compelling. The use of sophisticated slo-mo shots and the setting at a European castle make it a work of art. If you enjoy watching a character succumb to deep, debilitating depression and her reaction to the imminent destruction of earth, this is for you. Kirsten Dunst is surprisingly great too- she seems to have but her Bring It On days behond her.

Young Adult was made by the same writer/director as indie-darling Juno, but this time they got it right. There’s just enough quirky dialogue, but this movie brings out great performances and makes you think about what being happy and satisfied with your life really means. This one deserves seversl Oscar nominations.

Our Idiot Brother was not widely marketed or attended, despite starring Paul Rudd and Zooey Deschanel, among others. Paul Rudd plays a kind, laid back, stoner whose seemingly forever positive state of mind gets him in trouble with his uptight Manhattan family. Great performances all around, and Rudd is fantastic at dealing with both drama and comedy. The standout scenes come from Rudd’s former co-op hippie friends.

6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park is was a fasinating look at the creators of South Park and their creative process. Even if you are not a fan of the show, this is a great documentary about creating television.


Sadly, I am not as up on all the latest, music as I used to be. That takes work! Here are the albums released this year that I enjoyed immensely:

The Vaccines: What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?
The Subways: Money and Celebrity
The Rapture: In the Grace of Your Love
The Kills: Blood Pressures
Death: For the Whole World To See.  This punk band recorded these songs in the seventies and never found an audience. It has recently been dicovered and released. It is a travesty it has not been heard until now.

Broadway Cast: The Book of Mormon I was lucky enough to be bought tickets as a gift; seeing the show is certainly beyond a Broke-Ass budget, but I reccommend checking out the soundtrack and catching it on its national tour if you can.


Getting off Facebook was one of the best choices I ever made this year. It caused me to get annoyed at my friends for posting too many ignorant political comments, too many pictures of their kids, or every morsel of food they ingested. I’m not totally anti-social media, I’m an avid tweeter. Facebook is 99% noise I don’t need, and people have learned that if they want me to know something, they can email or (gasp!) call me.

I serendipidously discovered the game Bananagrams, and I could play it for hours on end. At least I have something to do when I visit my family.


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Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin was raised in the shopping malls of suburban Long Island, New York. As a teenager, her life goals were to become a writer and marry Bret Michaels. After attending college at the University of Delaware (yes, in the state of Delaware) and earning a graduate degree educationl at NYU, she's achieved only one of those goals. Along with writing, Robin enjoys performing improv comedy, internet memes, cross-stitch, and showing off her alarmingly extensive knowledge of obscure pop culture trivia. Currently, Robin resides in Oakland, CA and is writing a book about the 1980s teen book series, Sweet Valley High.