Countdown to 2019


Can’t believe 2018 is over already. I feel like Velma, but instead of looking for her glasses I’m looking for all the years of my life that have passed by. That sounded kind of depressing, sorry. But that’s just how time works, man. Just keeps moving forward. If you even believe in time, at all. But this isn’t a Burning Questions, this is the Countdown of Countdowns. Third year we’ve done this, which is crazy to think about. I also realize I forgot to mention my two-year anniversary when it came and went December 26th. I apologize not only to you, my loyal readers, but to George Michael, the patron saint of the Brian’s Den whose death sparked the creation of this beloved site. It won’t happen again. But for the true fans, the Brian’s Den’s greatest hits always live on deep in their hearts, so was a clip show really necessary? I’ll let you decide. Anyhow, the Countdown. We’re saying goodbye to 2018 with eighteen, yes, eighteen countdowns. It could get ugly after about ten, but we’re powering through; I’ve decided to start working a little harder in 2019. Just part of the #newyearnewme lifestyle.

Top Five Movies from 2018 Based on Brian’s Den Scoring

  1. Mission: Impossible Fallout– One of the five best action movies ever made
  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse– Cried like four times
  3. The Commuter– This was like when Greg Maddux would throw an 80-pitch shutout late in his career just to show that he could still do it
  4. Skyscraper– Might be in the pantheon of random Rock action movies
  5. A Star is Born– Couldn’t leave out my boy B-Coop

Top Five Movies I Didn’t See But Will Say I Saw Come Awards Season to Sound Smarter

  1. The Favourite– Just waiting for the Americanized The Favorite to come out
  2. BlacKkKlansman– I watched the first three seasons of Ballers, does that count?
  3. Leave No Trace– Didn’t Viggo do this exact movie a year ago?
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk– Think I’m gonna feel bad about not seeing this one
  5. Bird Box– I will not let the memes win

Top Five Video Games I Played in 2018

  1. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild– Getting myself a Switch for my birthday was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made
  2. God of War– Remember when I tried streaming? That was fun
  3. Fire Emblem Awakening– Yes, I know it’s old. No, I don’t care. I played four Fire Emblem games in a row and it was one of the most legitimately fun eras of my life and may or may not have indirectly lead to my move to New York City
  4. Spider-Man– Big year for Spidey
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate– Smash will always make the cut

Top Five Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

  1. Kingdom Hearts III– I’ll be fine if I die after I finish this
  2. Untitled Pokémon Switch Game– We all know this is going to be a banger
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses– See above section
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice– I’m going to get this and I’m going to hate myself for committing to what is surely an absolutely impossible game
  5. Final Fantasy VII– Just kidding. This is never coming out

Top Five Songs of 2018

  1. “I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny, & J Balvin- It’s just a fire song
  2. “Finesse” by Bruno Mars & Cardi B- Cardi B only puts out heat and that’s an undeniable fact
  3. “New Light” by John Mayer- I like that the stigma against liking John Mayer is gone
  4. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott- I’ll always remember Travis Scott for his Ballers cameos the most. That might be the last Ballers reference this year
  5. “Party for One” by Carly Rae Jepsen- Leave your CRJ hate at the door, please

Top Five TV Shows I Watched in 2018

  1. Good Place– It’s good. Get it?
  2. All or Nothing: Manchester City– So, umm, yeah, I didn’t really watch any shows this year and I don’t really know why
  3. Westworld– There is no way Westworld season 2 should be number three on anyone’s list but here we are
  4. I don’t know, man. New Black Mirror came out that I haven’t watched yet so I’ll say that
  5. Spongebob seasons 1-3- RIP Stephen Hillenburg

Top Five Athletes of 2018

  1. Luka Doncic- I never overreact, I swear
  2. Mookie Betts- Red Sox won the World Series, in case you forgot
  3. Nick Foles- What a large penis this man has
  4. Aaron Donald- Feel like this is what it was like for my dad when he watched Bill Russell
  5. Every Olympian- Remeber the Olympics? They were this year! Crazy

Top Five New Year’s Eve Concerts

  1. Phish- MSG
  2. Bruno Mars- T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  3. Lady Gaga- Park Theater at Park MGM, Las Vegas
  4. Lynyrd Skynyrd- WinStar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma
  5. Billy Joel- Nassau Coliseum, Long Island

Top Five New Fast Food Items

  1. Double Cheesy Gordita Crunch- Taco Bell
  2. Triple Melt Burrito- Taco Bell
  3. Nightmare King- Burger King
  4. Wild Naked Chicken Chalupa- Taco Bell
  5. Nacho Fries- Taco Bell

Top Five Best Things That Happened to Me in 2018

  1. Moved to New York City
  2. I just got this new deodorant (it’s men’s, FYI. It’s almost 2019) that has lavender in it and it smells very nice
  3. Any of the times I missed a subway train or bus by a matter of milliseconds
  4. My sister got me this notebook for Christmas that makes me feel like Aragorn since it looks straight out of Middle Earth
  5. Actually made some new friends. Rare!

Top Five Worst Smells

  1. Whatever’s been brewing in my fridge for the last month or two that I keep waiting for someone else to take care of but it never happens
  2. General garbage
  3. Someone else’s puke
  4. Rotting flesh
  5. Subway when you don’t want it

Top Five Acting Performances Ever by Men

  1. Samuel L. Jackson- Pulp Fiction
  2. Christoph Waltz- Inglorious Basterds
  3. Chappie- Chappie
  4. Daniel Day-Lewis- There Will Be Blood
  5. Nicolas Cage- The Wicker Man

Top Five Acting Performances Ever by Women

  1. Lady Gaga- A Star is Born
  2. Melissa McCarthy- The Heat
  3. Viola Davis- Fences
  4. Ellen Burstyn- The Wicker Man
  5. Jodie Foster- Silence of the Lambs

Top Five Book(s) Ever

  1. If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer by Pablo Fenjves and O.J. Simpson
  2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  4. Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
  5. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Top Five Vegetables

  1. Potato
  2. Carrot
  3. Red onion
  4. Non-infected lettuce
  5. Spinach

Top Five Places to Go Swimming

  1. Private pool- No rules whatsoever after a certain age=fun
  2. Health club pool- Usually the highest quality pool and water
  3. Lake- Beach is generally more fun, but lakes are far superior for swimming
  4. Public pool- Especially hotel pools where you can smell the chlorine three blocks away
  5. Beach- Swimming in the ocean is almost always a better idea in theory than in practice

Top Five Italian Renaissance Artists

  1. Michelangelo- The G.O.A.T. and I don’t know who’s really that close to him. Master of every medium. Only thing going against him is that every portrait of him looks like Willem Defoe if he got lost in the woods for a month and the only food he had was heroin
  2. Sandro Botticelli- Most underrated painter ever. Yeah, I said it
  3. Leonardo da Vinci- He’s honestly such an overrated artist but I don’t want to draw the ire of the people who put the emphasis on the “ai” in Renaissance
  4. Raphael- Raphael, of course, was known for his works’ clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur
  5. Donatello- I swear I didn’t envision this happening but I have no choice now

Top Five Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

  1. More calm, peaceful discourse in all areas of the Internet
  2. A McDonald’s resurgence. It’s coming, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of history
  3. The Patriots winning a sixth Super Bowl
  4. Getting a pet flamingo
  5. Spending more time in the Brian’s Den- 2019 is gonna be huge. Believe it

Why Hasn’t BD Wong Aged in the Last 25 Years?

Alright I know this is random but I just saw Avengers again so I was forced to watch the Jurassic World 2 trailer for the millionth time.

And I just couldn’t stop thinking about how BD Wong hasn’t aged since Jurassic Park. This is him in 1993:


And this is him now:

Arrivals at Jurassic World - LA film premiere held on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California

What the heck? He looks younger now than he did in the 90s! Talk about a glow up. I can’t wrap my mind around this. I know Black don’t Crack, but does the same thing apply to Asians? Or does a good haircut really make all the difference? Or is it just really good to be rich and have access to the Hollywood beauty cabal? Probably the latter. I don’t know, that’s kind of all I have on this. Just a random thing I needed to throw out there.

People forget BD Wong voiced Shang in Mulan but got tagged out for Donny Osmond when it was time to sing.

Anyone Who Thinks Daniel Day-Lewis is Really Retiring is a Fool


Following the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations yesterday morning, I figured I’d check out Phantom Thread. It picked up a ton of nominations and was one of the few prestige movies I hadn’t seen yet. Simple enough (yes, I went to the movie theater while sick, which means I not only helped the theater industry, but the struggling medical industry as well. The more people I get sick, the more people have to go to the doctor. Ipso facto, I should get a cut of all medical bills for the next week or so). Only problem was, this being a fancy movie, it wasn’t showing at either of my go-to joints and I had to go to an unknown theater. I’m not using hyperbole when I say they had the worst seats of all time. It was like sitting on a 2×4 that was on top of a bunch of bricks. And let me tell you, this was not the right movie to watch in an uncomfortable seat. It was typical Paul Thomas Anderson- pretty slow, kinda boring, pretentious, a little weird, but satisfying nonetheless. It was a 2 hour movie that felt like 20. I would have run out of the theater when the end credits rolled if my back wasn’t damaged beyond repair.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this. The main draw for Phantom Thread is, of course, Daniel Day-Lewis. Not only is he fantastic yet again doing a cross between Woody Allen and Larry David as the brilliantly named Reynolds Woodcock, but this is billed to be his final role. That’s right, DDL, the GOAT, the Method Man, the craziest person who ever lived, is hanging them up. Whether or not he ends his legendary career ends with a stunning fourth Oscar is yet to be seen, but it doesn’t even matter. His legacy is set in stone either way. Has been since Last of the Mohicans. He’ll long be remembered as one of the greatest actors to ever live. I’m just sad to see it end. Or rather, I would be if it was actually ending.

If you’re convinced DDL is done, then I’ve got an offshore bank account with 5 million dollars in it that I’ll split with you once I use your social security number to access it. There is absolutely NO CHANCE this guy is done. For starters, he retires after every movie. Take on look at the trivia section of his iMDb page. They had to drag him out of exile to make Gangs of New York! That came out in 2002! Every time he makes a movie he does his method bit, needs some time off to decompress, then comes back when he realizes he has nothing else. He’s a trained cobbler and wanted to be a cabinet maker. Would you rather make shoes and cabinets or be an actor who gets relentlessly showered with praise and awards every time you make a movie? Man, that’s a tough choice. I have no idea what I’d go with. But then again, I have my own motivations and personality. Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t. I honestly don’t think there’s a real Daniel Day-Lewis. The being we call Daniel Day-Lewis is merely a husk; an empty vessel in the shape of a man. Its only purpose is to channel the spirit of greater, (mostly) terrible men. The crazy stories that come out about its on-set behavior are seen as comical dedication to the Method, but in reality that’s just how the characters he’s channeling would react if put in the same position. DDL physically and emotionally becomes the characters he’s playing. The meek, milquetoast wallflower you see sticking to the perimeter of the red carpet is merely the being taking efforts to avoid interactions when not hosting a more interesting personality. He’s not a real person. Supposedly he has two children and I can’t imagine having a worse father. One day you’re hanging out with quiet, unassuming dad and the next Bill the Butcher is ruining your birthday party by killing five of your friends for looking at him the wrong way. There’s a 0% chance those kids have a normal relationship with him. I’d be surprised if he even knew their names he’s adopted so many different personalities over the years. I give him two years. Two years of being “Daniel Day-Lewis,” making shoes with a family he doesn’t know that undoubtedly resents him and being the most boring person of all time before he realizes he needs to come back. I flat-out refuse to believe he’s actually retired. When he wins his sixth Oscar 15 years from now, I’ll try not to say I told you so.

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