Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2011

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Okay, while I still didn't see the four movies I was holding out for before I wrote this list (The Descendents, The Artist, Melancholia, and Take Shelter), I still saw an assload of movies and here were my favorites of the year. Maybe your favorites made the list, too. Check it out.

10. Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses was the kind of movie that was hilarious the first time, but not so much the second. Kind of like Borat. It doesn't hold up on repeated viewings, but for that first time I saw it, it was one of my favorite movies of the summer. Motherf**ker' Jones!

9. Rango

Rango was just too weird NOT to like. Any "kid's movie" that features a cameo of Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas makes this list. No question.

8. Hugo

Hugo was the film I was most surprised with liking this year, which is strange, given that it had the Scorsese pedigree. Watching those trailers, though, I didn't know what to think. But after seeing it, it's one of the most beautiful films of the year. It's touching and also a history lesson on film. It's incredible. But it's also definitely NOT for kids. Not because it has anything their virgin ears couldn't handle, but because it takes a very adult approach in telling a children's story. Kids will be bored silly, but adults will dig it. See this film.

7. Cedar Rapids

Honestly the funniest movie of the year. In what other film do you have John C. Reilly being his regular goofy self, and Senator Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) pretending to be Omar from The Wire? A first class comedy with heart. I loved it.

6. 50/50

Wow. Looking back at this list, 2011 was seriously the year of comedies. But 50/50 was a different kind of comedy since it was the kind that could make you feel stronger after watching it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt bared the burden of carrying the emotional heft of this cancer tale by having the Big C, and Seth Rogen got to lighten it up by saying lines like, "He has type 4 Cancer." Type 4 Cancer...that still makes me laugh. A great, sad, and yet, triumphant film. It's little wonder so few people actually saw it. It was too good for most people.

5. X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is the best Marvel movie ever made and only a step down from the greatness that is The Dark Knight. Nuff said.

4. The Muppets

I knew I was going to love the Muppet movie as how could I not? It's the Muppets. But I didn't think I would love it THIS much. It's just too good. My favorite part of it is actually not even the Muppets themselves, but Chris Cooper, who steals the show entirely. Maniacal laugh.

3. Drive

If this list was for the coolest picture of the year, Drive would be number one, no question. Its style was impeccable, its music was incredible, and the acting in it was just jaw-droppingly good. Plus, it had Bryan Cranston in it, so yeah, one of the best of the year. Love it.

2. War Horse

War Horse is incredibly mawkish and melodramatic, but it made me cry. Twice. I don't cry in movies. Ever. But War Horse made me do it. From the music, to the cinematography, to just everything about it, it's one of the most beautiful and touching films I've ever seen. It's also one of Spielberg's best.

1. The Tree of Life

My favorite film of the year (and inversely, my fiance's most hated film of the year) is probably one of the most polarizing films you'll ever see. You either love it to death, or you think it's one of the worst films you've ever seen. I pick the former. It's beautiful beyond measure and it captivated me to the very last frame. It's the only film I've ever seen where the plot was not as important as the visuals passing by. It's like a dream, a meandering, but focused, dream. The best film of the year, no question. Hell, one of the best films ever in my opinion. A masterpiece.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Top Ten Favorite Steven Spielberg Films

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So, I was going to make a, "My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2011" list. But since I didn't see The Artist, The Descendents or Melancholia yet, I thought I'd hold off on that. But I DID see War Horse today, and I seriously fell in love with it. So, it got me thinking about my top ten favorite Spielberg movies and...well, here they are. Now, before you even wonder, I don't like E.T., Jaws, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, so those blockbusters are not on this list. But some other great ones are. So take a look. Some of your favorites are probably on here, too. Read.

10. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

I know a lot of people hate this movie, but it holds a special place in my heart. It's a highly imperfect film, but it reaches greatness at times, especially in the first act, which showed great potential (And was actually inspired by Stanley Kubrick's vision, as it was his dream project before he died). The ending is typical Spielberg slop, but the beginning and middle are great. A top notch film with a crummy conclusion. I'll take it.

9. The Color Purple

Nowhere near as good (or as graphic) as the book, but very memorable, The Color Purple, along with Amistad and Empire of the Sun, is one of those movies where you actually forget Spielberg directed it until you look it up on imdb. It has a lot of great scenes and some hilarious lines along with the excellent drama. It's an overall enjoyable picture and definitely one of my faves by the man. No question.

8. Catch Me if You Can

Catch Me If You Can is a crowd-pleaser, which is what Spielberg is always best at. It's a quick-paced story about Leo D as a liar, and Tom Hanks trying to catch him. It's energetic, it's fun, and it's entertaining, and I love it. It's one of his better later films in Spielberg's indelible career.

7. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I know Raiders of the Lost Ark is the better picture, but I just love The Temple of Doom more. The heart scene, the bridge scene, the tube raft on the snow scene, just everything about it is more memorable to the kid in me than Raiders. I can't get enough of it. It even helped create the PG-13 rating. It doesn't get much better than that. It really doesn't.

6. The Terminal

Okay, if I haven't lost credibility yet with this list, I'm sure I have now. Putting The Terminal on this list and not Jaws? I'm crazy, right? Well, yes, but I still like this picture better. The whole movie takes place in an airport and has Tom Hanks kind of sounding like Borat. But you know what, it's entertaining as all hell and has great pacing, which is more than I can say for Jaws, which is incredibly slow. It's not the best film Spielberg has ever done, but it fits nicely in his filmography as a film of his that you may have forgotten about. It's a really great picture if you don't remember it. Watch it again and see what I mean.

5. Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan was never as good as people made it out to be, as it falls apart after that startling opening scene. But let me tell you, that opening scene is SO amazing, that it has to put this movie on this list, as it's probably the greatest single piece of film Spielberg has ever done. War has NEVER been as scary or as graphic as it was in that opening scene. It's just incredible. Top notch work from a truly prolific director.

4. War Horse

Maybe I have to let it sink in more or watch it again, but War Horse just blew me away when I saw it today. I've only cried watching one other movie (Spirited Away, believe it or not), but I cried watching War Horse. Twice, even. It really got to me. Hell, even the trailer could make you weep. It's mawkish as all hell, sure, but it's also beautiful and touching. I loved it.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

So, yeah, I love The Temple of Doom, but I love Last Crusade even more. Everything about it is just more epic. Sean Connery is great as Indy's dad, River Phoenix falling in a pit of snakes as young Indy is vintage, and that final scene of, "Jesus was a carpenter," is legendary. The best film in the trilogy (And yes, that's right, I'm not including Crystal Skull in the series. Aren't we all better for it?).

2. Jurassic Park

The wonder and scope of this picture is just insane. The book was incredible, the movie is incredible, and the dinosaurs were just amazing. Not only at the time, but even still today. They look great. And Newman from Seinfeld is brilliant. One of Spielberg's very best films, but not the best. That award goes to...

1. Schindler's List

Schindler's List is the only picture Spielberg ever won best picture and best director for, and it was the only picture he deserved it for. Schindler's List is such a deeply personal, horrific and even beautiful film that it shall always go down as the greatest movie the man has ever done. It's a masterpiece. It's HIS masterpiece. Nothing even comes close.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Hate Hipsters

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I detest hipsters. They deserve knuckle-sandwiches and swirlies by burly men wearing varsity jackets. Now, I'm not a hateful man. I'm really not. But there's just something about hipsters that I loathe. It was hard narrowing it down to three generalities, but I have and they're below. Read on.

The Look

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Tight ass pants (Possibly even jeggings). Black glasses. A silly looking hat (Possibly a douchey fadora), maybe even a scarf when it's below 50 degrees. An annoying, anti-manly, mustache (For the dudes). For a group of people who claim to be so creative, you sure do seem to fall in line when it comes to wearing a uniform. Weak.

Music preference

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Okay, so I may be a music snob myself, but I never flaunt it like a badge of honor. Hipsters seem to revel in the fact that the band you like can't compare to the obscure band they like. And that whatever their favorite band is, their first album was better than...their first album. Hipsters are annoying like that. Bleh.

Their Outlook on Life

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Hipsters seem to think, or at least the ones I've talked to, that they're smarter than you. They shrug off important details and are very quiet until an issue they're passionate about comes up, and then, they light up and disavow any opinion you might have with a smug look. They do this because they obviously understand something that you don't and know what they're talking about...because they're experts on everything. The word hipster is pretty much a synonym for douchebag.

In closing

I know that not ALL hipsters are like this. Generalizing an entire group is just as bad as racism. And I must admit, when they're not giving you that look of theirs or their penises aren't poking out through their tight ass pants, they usually have a cheerful attitude about them. As least the females do. Still, whenever I see one, I just want to spit on the floor. Hipsters, chill with that shit. It's annoying as hell. Go away.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The 25 Best Fan-Created Video Game Art

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I had to really scour the internet, but I think I've found the greatest fan made video game art the world has to offer. Check it out here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Top Ten Greatest Actors' voices of all time

You know what makes a great actor's voice? When you can shut your eyes, nod, and say, "Damn. That guy is one awesome/unique Mr Falcon." Here are the top ten greatest.

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10. Keith David

Who you say? Come on, man, you know him. You just don't recognize the name.

Goliath?...From Gargoyles? Yeah, I told you you knew him. He was also in They Live, kicking the crap out of Rowdy Roddy Piper and arguing about not wearing "the sunglasses." So smooth. So badass. So Keith David.

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9. Al Pacino

Manic, violent, guttural, Al Pacino sounds like he was born in the gutter, and it always suited his roles perfectly. Except when he was playing a blind alcoholic. That was kind of weird. And oh yeah, Elaine from Seinfeld does a great impression.

8. Jack Nicholson

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Though Jack Nicholson and Christian Slater pretty much have the exact same voice.

I'm going to go with Jack on this one, since he's the originator and not a piece of shit like Christian SLater. His work in The Shining was made all the better with that throaty, manic voice of his. Nobody threatens their wife with a baseball bat like Jack Nicholson. Nobody.

7. John Wayne

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Contrary to popular belief, the Duke DIDN'T always say "Pilgrim" at the end of every sentence. But it seems like he would, right? John Wayne, in a nutshell, is pretty much the embodiment of pure testosterone. That's why he's awesome, and that's why he's on this list. Pilgrim.

6. Bruce Campbell

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Smarmy, douchie, manly, Bruce Campbell is all these things. The only man who could make "Groovy," sound like the coolest word in the world, Bruce Campbell has one of the greatest voices (and chins) ever. Hail to the king, baby.

5. Samuel L. Jackson

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The master of motherf**ker, Samuel L Jackson has played everything from a Jedi to Martin Luther King Jr. And while the line, "I have a dream, motherf**ker," (Shout out to Vince!) isn't in the play, would it sound so wrong coming out of his mouth? F**k no, motherf**ker.

4. Martin Sheen

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Martin Sheen's voice is like a cross between burning metal and a tortured soul, looking back on its life. His voice made Apocalypse Now a better film, and it made The West Wing a better show. Hell, it's even great in Pepsi ads. Take a listen below. Yeah...Martin Sheen is the shit.

3. James Earl Jones

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Darth. Freaking. Vader. That is all.

2. Orson Welles

Orson Welles sounded crazy ever since Citizen Kane, but his greatest role is probably as Unicron, the transformer devourer. Best...villain...ever. No lie. Dig that sinister voice.

1. Clint Eastwood

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By far, the greatest, manliest, raspiest, coolest, most badass voice EVER though is clint Eastwood. One word out of his mouth and you KNOW shit is going down. The man is a legend with a capital L. Best believe it.

The 10 Worst Fighting Games

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It's been a long time (a long time), I shouldn'ta left you. Without a dope article to step to. So, um, here it is. The top ten worst fighting games ever. Check it out.

Friday, December 2, 2011

10 Movies We Want To See Made Into Games

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Here's my latest article. It's about movies that should be made into video games. Check it out.