I had my perspective shifted last year when I saw “Life of Pi” in 3-D and realized it could be beautiful if created with the format in mind. When I saw “Gravity” in 3-D this year, I was completely sold. The awesome, deadly loneliness of space was perfectly captured. I feel sorry for anyone who missed it in theaters and will only get to see it in 2-D.
Best final TV season: ‘Breaking Bad’
Being caught up on AMC’s “Breaking Bad” during its final eight episodes in August and September was thrilling. Usually, television shows either sputter to a stop or it’s the crunching of metal as they careen off the tracks. In Season Five, Part II, “Breaking Bad” managed the rare trick of ratcheting up the excitement every single time until gracefully bowing out.
Other television shows may have better final episodes, but you would be hard-pressed to show me another program’s final season that was as fun, fresh and wildly unexpected as this was. Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!
Best rap album: ‘One For The Road’
Leave it to Devin the Dude, now more than 20 years deep in the game, to drop the best rap album of the year, “One For The Road.”
Laid back party jams “Herb the Nation” (which samples Yazoo’s “Situation”) and “Hope We Don’t Get Too Drunk” (featuring fellow Odd Squad veterans Rob Quest and Jugg Mugg) are fun, old-school Devin. “Fresh Air,” “Stop Waitin’” and “Reach For It” are downright inspirational. Better luck next time, everyone else.
Best newly discovered novel: ‘The Things They Carried’
When I finally picked up Tim O’Brien’s 1990 semi-autobiographical Vietnam War novel, “The Things They Carried,” what I found was not only one of the best war novels I had encountered, but one of the best novels ever, period. O’Brien is one of those authors who, when I read them, just make me want to either give up completely or write three times as much as I already do.
Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.