My Top 5 for 2004
No Top 10 from me, because once I start, I doubt I could keep this list to just 10 items. Much easier, I think, to list the top five entertainments that brought me the most pleasure this past year. They surpassed everything else by a mile. In no particular order, they are...
Les Klinger's New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
The arrival of this slipcased, two-volume, hardcover collection of all 56 Conan Doyle short stories about Holmes, thoroughly annotated and featuring beautiful reproductions of the original magazine illustrations, is the biggest Sherlockian event since William S. Baring-Gould issued his classic Annotated in 1967. Next year, expect Klinger's third volume, presenting the four Holmes novels.
Kill Bill, Vol. 2
This and its 2003 first-half, taken together, make up the greatest action epic since The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I understand the super DVD package, both halves re-edited into a single, glorious bloodbath with Quentin Tarantino extras (and commentary?), might arrive as early as next August. Can't wait!
The Phantom of the Opera, the Joel Schumacher film
If you don't like the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, you certainly won't like this. But my wife and I saw the stage production four times between 1989 and 1991 and adored it. And we loved this film adaptation. Emmy Rossum is extraordinary. And even if he's no Michael Crawford, Gerard Butler's Phantom ain't no slouch, either.
So far, the best comicbook super-hero film ever. 'Nuff said.
Brian Wilson's Smile
I waited 37 years for the release of this album. And Brian didn't let me down.