Wednesday, December 30, 2009


    For the most part I play mostly PS2 and PC games so I may be somewhat one sided but most of these were available on Xbox too...Amazingly 2001 was a great year for games!
#10 - Aliens VS. Predator 2 (2001) - A great shooter that came out even before the AVP movies. The game play was great incorporating the players ability to be either a Marine, Predator or Alien! Great!

#9 - Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) - Take any squad based war game and put it in the Star Wars universe and you have a great game. Battlefront 2 was even better by adding Jedi characters. Playing both rebel and Empire was great!
#8 - Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006) - This is a fun game especially for comic fans where you have a huge array of super-heroes to play with.
#7 - Spider-Man 2 (2002) - Even for a comic book movie tie-in game this was one of the best. The completely interactive New York City is fun by-itself as you web-sling your way through the Big Apple!
#6 - Grand Theft Auto III (2001) - This is probably THE most controversial game of the last decade, but it is still a fun experience, forget all the violence and the hookers, it's fun just to drive around in the city. Vice City goes hand in hand with this one too.
#5 - Resident Evil 4 (2005)- This redefined the Resident Evil series, which is still my favorite video game series ever since the first one! 2 is still my favorite but 4 brought Leon back and made him better.
#4 - Rock Band (2008)- Although I put "Guitar Hero" before this, it is still a fun music game and even better when you get friends together for the whole band!
#3 - Guitar Hero (2005)- This is still the best music rhythm game. I was a novice guitar player to begin with and I shamefully admit spending more hours playing this series than actually practicing my own electric guitar! The first was great, 2 was the best, 3 was good, but my favorite recently is Guitar Hero: Metallica! It rocks!
#2 - World of Warcraft (2004) - This is the best MMORPG of all time! I may not have been as engrossed in it as a lot of people and may have not leveled up as much, most of my playtime was spent just exploring the world! "For the Horde!"
#1 - HALO (2001) - This is the best first-person shooter ever! This changed everything. I spent a LOT of time playing multiplayer with friends and online. HALO 2 improved on the game play immensely and three was awesome. But I feel the first one deserves the #1 spot because it defined this decades gaming!

Monday, December 21, 2009


   The beginning of the 21st century was a great decade for movies everything from epic trilogies to superheroes these are the best movies of the decade:

#10 "Kill Bill" Vol.1 & 2 (2003-2004) - I wasn't that big of Tarantino fan until I saw "Kill Bill", but it changed my opinion of him forever! Part 1 is like all those old 70's kung-fu movies and Part 2 has a touch of Clint Eastwood westerns to it. Fun and exciting, both innovative and often imitated, this is first on my list!
#9 "The Incredibles" (2004) - if you think Disney/Pixar movies are just for kids, you're fooling yourself! This is an amazing movie, the animation is impressive and the superhero/James Bond story is great! A must see!
#8 "X-Men" (2000) - This sparked the new era of the super-hero movie proving that what was thought could never be done. This also made Hugh Jackman the unlikely star turning an Australian Broadway star into the hairy, ill-tempered Wolverine! Thank you Bryan Singer, but WTF happened to you?
#7 "Spider-Man" (2002) - Another milestone in super-hero movies,
Tobey Maguire was perfect and Sam Raimi is a genius!

#6 "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003) - If you think a Disney theme park ride can't be turned into a movie, you thought wrong! Johnny Depp is awesome and this started one of the best trilogies of the decade.
#5"Iron Man" (2008) - They took a Marvel second stringer and turned it into one of the best super-hero movies ever and brought
Robert Downey Jr. back from the brink!
#4 "The Dark Knight" (2008) - Absolutely amazing! Unfortunately for Heath Ledger who died shortly after making it. Christopher Nolan knows Batman!
#3 "Watchmen" (2009) - This is the single greatest graphic novel/comic book movie EVER!
#2 "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" (2001-2003) - All you fellow Ringers out there know that this trilogy defined the decade and changed movies for all time and turned a whole new generation of fans onto Tolkien!
#1 "AVATAR" (2009) Need I say more!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


   12 years! That's how long it's been since director James Cameron released his last feature film "Titanic" (1997), his sappy love story combined with the infamous ocean liner disaster which currently occupies the #1 All-Time World Wide Box Office spot having earned $1,835,300,000. Since that time Cameron has devoted his creative talent to IMAX documentaries such as "Ghosts of the Abyss" (2003) and "Aliens of the Deep" (2005). Now as Cameron admitted having to wait for CGI technology to catch up to meet his vision (i.e. George Lucas style) we finally get to see "Avatar" (Not to be confused with "Avatar: The Last Airbender", which comes out next year under the name "The Last Airbender", amusingly enough.)
    This epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Adventure takes place on the planet of Pandora, where crippled Marine grunt Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is given the opportunity to participate in a experimental project to transfer his mind into an alien body in order to help convince the native alien species, the Na'vi, a 10-ft. tall, blue-skinned, cat-like, humanoid race to move so the Earth corporation can extract a precious mineral. During his experiences as a Na'vi, he meets Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) a female, native warrior, who he falls in love with and ends up betraying his own race to save the Na'vi.
    The themes of "Avatar" resonate with the same man vs. nature and man vs. savage, not unlike "Dances with Wolves" or even "The Last Samurai", where a character is estranged from their own culture but finds happiness within another, whether it be a more primitive and/or "alien" civilization. The parallels of the story draw much from our own history with the annihilation of the Native-American people by our own ancestors. This message is anything but subtle but isn't necessarily over-done as the old adage of history repeating itself is clearly seen. Sam Worthington's character is very sympathetic but in his human form is often very dull which only perpetuates the idea that when he is a Na'vi, he rediscovers himself, finding meaning and purpose in his previously depressed and meaningless existence as a wheel-chair bound ex-grunt.
    With all the hype surrounding this movie, which apparently has been 15 years in the making, the incorporation of state-of-he-art computer generated animation makes this for an incredibly bold and innovative movie experience. With the increase of CGI special effects in movies over the years, skeptics worried that this movie would be more about the visual aspects and action than the actual story and performance. Although the CGI is visually stunning and amazing, the movie itself holds up rather well. I admit just in watching this, you lose yourself in the CGI and after a while you forget you're seeing CGI because it looks so real. Although it's hard to imagine 10-ft. tall blue aliens to look real but it is impressive just how real they look, down to the sweat, blood and tears. Most people forget that the whole reason behind special effects from the very beginning of the film industry is to make something look real. It's really our fault, the audience that we have become harder and harder to convince, ever since the early days of Ray Harryhaussen-style stop-motion to models and animated graphics of the first Star Wars films.
    "Avatar" is a return to what made James Cameron famous for my generation with exciting special effects Sci-Fi films like "Terminator & T2", "Aliens", and "The Abyss". I'm especially looking forward to Cameron's rumored "Battle Angel" anime adaptation in 2011. "Avatar" is truly a whole new level of movie experience, and not just because of the recent 3-D, craze. See it without the 3-D and it will be as equally stunning and beautiful as well as an exciting and compelling film experience!

Link: AVATAR Official Website