Best movie moments
- 'Inglourious Basterds': Theater scene Quentin Tarantino decided World War II was badly in need of an alternate ending, and he certainly delivered. Watching the "Basterds" gun down Hitler and the rest of the Nazi elite in an almost comic fashion in one of the final scenes of the movie was both thrilling and flat-out intense.
- 'Up': Life in four minutes The four-minute, dialogue-free montage early in "Up" spans the entire life story of the film's crotchety old man and his now deceased wife. Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan said it best when he named the sequence "a small gem that will stay with you for a lifetime."
- 'Paranormal Activity' All right, so counting the whole movie as a "movie moment" is sort of bending the rules. But "Paranormal Activity" was one of the most talked about films of the year, and for good reason -- some critics called it the scariest movie of all time. The film, boasting a mere $15,000 budget, took the "less is more" adage to a whole new level.
- 'Bruno': Nazi photo shoot As enlightening as it was appalling, Sacha Baron Cohen's most recent film highlighted some of the most absurd elements of American culture. Perhaps no scene accomplished this better than when Brüno helps put together a photo shoot for small girls and a mother agrees to let her daughter be photographed as a Nazi.
- 'The Hangover': End credits "The Hangover" was perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the summer for moviegoers. After an hour and a half of watching the characters try to piece together exactly what happened after they blacked out during a bachelor's party the night before, it was a pure stroke of genius to include photos from the night during the end credits of the movie.
TXTS FRM LST NGHT Who doesn't love reading texts from belligerent drunks?
AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com Family photos are almost always a little awkward. This blog highlights some of the best. There have never been so many matching sweaters congregated on one Web site.
People of Walmart Walmart exemplifies the word "classy." This blog reinforces just how "classy" Walmart shoppers can be.
Daytrotter This music blog brings artists into its studio and to record their most popular tracks. Popular posts include Death Cab for Cutie, of Montreal, Spoon and Andrew Bird.
- My Parents Were Awesome Users send in old photos of family members. This blog just proves that maybe our parents were actually cooler than we can imagine.
Best YouTube-fueled musicians
Justin Bieber This 15-year-old with six songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and a No. 6 album debut on the Billboard 200 this year got his big break from YouTube, where an agent from Island Records watched his videos and immediately flew out to sign him.
Bo Burnham Burnham took his No. 46 Most Subscribed All Time YouTube channel and turned it into a blatantly offensive ("What's a pirate minus the ship?/Just a creative homeless guy") and ridiculously clever ("Why are only crackers staying at the Ritz?") full-length CD and national tour this year.
The Lonely Island Starting with "I'm on a Boat" in February and moving on to "Like a Boss" in April, The Lonely Island has dominated the internet with touching, meaningful songs all year.
Susan Boyle This Britain's Got Talent contestant rocked YouTube in April with a video of her replacing Simon Cowell's eye-rolling and audience scoffs of disbelief with a standing ovation in about five minutes. She released her first album in November and it became the fastest-selling global female debut album ever.
- Boyce Avenue This band of three brothers released its first album in 2008, but it wasn't until videos of popular songs gone acoustic were uploaded on YouTube this year and acquired more than 90 million hits that Boyce Avenue began to reach music-lovers outside its Florida-base.
Top slow jams
- “Milk and Honey,” Goapele
- “Neighbors Know My Name,” Trey Songz
- “Birthday Sex,” Jeremih
- “Slow Dance,” Keri Hilson
- “Rockin’ That Thang,” The Dream