Alan Smithee

MediaWhore’s Best of 2009

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Two-thousand-and-nine, a year in which many of us expected to be in the middle of Space War I, or locked into a huge battle with the Decepticons of Cybertron. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I want my fucking jetpack or flying car now! Well, at least was a great year for media. After the jump, enjoy what the editors of MediaWhore think of as their top picks of 2009.

King3vbo

GAME: Demon’s Souls – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game that’s been so difficult and yet so fair about it. Every time I die (and it happens a lot), I can honestly say that yes, that was my bad. And yet through all that, Demon’s Souls still manages to be incredibly entertaining.

MOVIE: Watchmen – It was everything I could have hoped for in a 3 hour film adaptation of my favorite graphic novel.

ALBUM: Muse: The Resistance – Though it’s not quite up to the level of Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance is a fantastic album where every song is worth listening to.

ANIME: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – All I can say without spoiling this show is that it is an emotional punch to the gut. I’ve never had an anime series affect me on such an emotional level.

MANGA: Fullmetal Alchemist – Though technically it’s been running for a couple years, FMA keeps getting better and better with each volume that comes out. The writing, the story, the art… everything about FMA is perfect.

BOOK: lol wut r books

Gibbo

GAME: Batman: Arkham Asylum – This was the hardest choice given how many games I’ve enjoyed this year. Red Faction: Guerilla, Assassin’s Creed 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, Forza Motorsport 3 and the GTA Episodes were all in my mind when making my choice, but in the end, Arkham Asylum takes the crown. By far the best licensed games in years if not one of the best of all time, it mixed simple but enjoyable combat with adventure and detective elements as well as atmosphere and offering some fine voice acting through the likes of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Simply a great game.

MOVIE: District 9 – To be honest, I haven’t seen many films this year as the cinema has been very pricy in these parts. Sure, it’s a Sci-fi film, but I felt District 9 was a really original film, with a clear story that didn’t drag on and an easy blend of action and drama. I also liked the idea of how the film was presented as a half-documentary, which allowed some elements seen in the likes of Cloverfield but not so much that it just becomes a gimmick. It’s definitely the film I’ve seen this year that I feel I’ve got the most value for money from.

ALBUM: Editors – In this Light and in this Evening – Again, 2009 has been a fantastic year for albums and this choice wasn’t easy, but in the end I’ve gone with Editors’ third album. I was initially sceptical as it’s very different to their previous two albums, preferring synthesizers over guitars. However, as I listened to it more and more, I really began to love it. There’s not one track that is a bit lacking and the subtle blend of the sound of the likes of New Order and Joy Division with the sound of Editors really pays off, and ultimately delivers a very fresh album, which in this case, is a positive. Them Crooked Vultures’ debut album came close but this just pipped it as my album of 2009.

ANIME: Fucking weeaboos.

MANGA: Fucking weeaboos.

BOOK: The only books I read this year were The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, and they didn’t come out this year.

Coonskin

GAME: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Though most people referred to it as Michael Bay’s Modern Warfare 2, I took away a lot from the campaign, mostly thoughts about the true morality of war and what distances governments will go to win them. Also, the multiplayer is fucking crack, just like the original MW.

MOVIE: The Hangover – Though The Hangover isn’t deep by any means, it was one of the most fun movies I’ve seen in ages. I saw it in theaters three times, which is more than I can say for my other favorite movies of 2009, such as Watchmen and Inglorious Basterds. “Not at the table Carlos.”

ALBUM: The Flaming Lips: Embryonic – This was a toss-up between this and The Resistance, but since King already picked Muse and in the interest of keeping this varied, I’ll go with The Flaming Lips’ latest LP. As usual, The Flaming Lips bring a distintive sound to the table, featuring some great contributing artists such as MGMT and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O.

TV SHOW: House Season 6, Episode 1/2 – Though the only shows I watch consistently are Family Guy and South Park, the Season 6 double episode premiere of House was everything that television should be. In the span of two hours, I was laughing, genuinely upset, and inspired. It was one of the more emotionally moving pieces, including all forms of media, that I have seen this last year.

COMIC: I don’t read comics :/

BOOK: Superfreakonomics – Though I did quite a bit of reading in 2009, most of it wasn’t stuff that came out this year. The best recent release I did read was Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s follow-up to their award-winning non-fiction book, Freakonomics. Though Superfreakonomics really isn’t anything besides more of the same, that is all I wanted after reading the original.

Nikmonroe

GAME: Assassins Creed 2 – One of the most beautiful and immersive game worlds since GTAIV, I loved the game from start to finish including the nonsensical storyline. I can’t wait to see where they take us in Assassins Creed 3.

ALBUM: Silversun Pickups, Swoon – I really can’t put into words how I feel about my most listened to album of 2010, all I can say is if you’re not listening to it, you really should be.

BOOK: The Black Butterfly, Mark Gattis – The last book in the Lucifer Box trilogy which also includes The Vesuvius Club and The Devil in Amber. If bi-sexual British spies are your thing check out the whole trilogy, a fantastically written book with just a hint of Oscar Wildes dialog.

COMIC BOOK: Scott Pilgrim Volume 5, Brian Lee O’ Malley – It’s Scott Pilgrim, if you’re a geek you should be reading it. Volume 5 was the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the series with a much darker tone than the rest of books, here’s hoping things cheer up a bit in next years finale.

TV SHOW: Fringe – Abrams has taken every negative comment aimed at series 1 and tried his best to fix his babies issues, what we’ve ended up with is a tight, cohesive show that has a plan taking it forward. Something the X-Files (my favorite show) didn’t towards the end.

MOVIE(s): You couldn’t expect me to choose just one could you! As of writing this I’ve watched 86 movies this year (not including films I’ve watched twice this year) so I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites:

  • (500) Days of Summer – I’ve seen the film 4 times this year and it feels fresh every time I’ve seen it, fantastic performances and a kick ass soundtrack.
  • Up in the Air – Touching and thought provoking, every member of the cast is fantastic but Kendrick really steals the show, if Clooney isn’t at nominated for an Oscar I’ll be very surprised.
  • Star Trek – Simply put one of the most intelligent summer blockbusters released in recent years.
  • Inglorious Basterds – I loved this movie from start to finish, a real film lovers film as well as giving one of the greatest villains ever committed to celluloid.
  • XopherReed

    GAME: Katamari Forever – How can you not love a Katamari game? I mean seriously…how is it possible to not get a big-ass grin on your face when playing this game? The newest version that hit the PS3 a few months ago has been the only game that I’ve been playing for the past few weeks. The video is in beautiful 1080p, there are nearly 3 dozen levels to play. Don’t even get me started on how you can change up the graphic filters, music, and gameplay for each one…makes this game have such near unlimited replay value.

    MOVIE: Avatar – I knew that I’d love this movie before the trailer was even leaked. I have a soft spot for flashy sci-fi movies and this one didn’t disappoint. Sure, the story was slightly retarded…but oh my Crom, the VFX and technology used to make this movie cement its place in my mind as the Star Wars of the 2000s. Meaning mainly that people will use Avatar as a hallmark of the sci-fi genre from here on out. If you were lucky enough to see it in Imax 3D (I was), it’s as if you’re being a voyeur into another world. The sense of depth was that staggering.

    ALBUM: GWAR – Lust in Space – The Scumdogs of the Universe are back in their 11th full-length studio album that features a return to their sci-fi roots as they escape the planet on a stolen spaceship in an effort to battle Cardinal Syn (once again). Ever since the group distanced themselves from Hunter Jackson and started working closely with Corey Smoot back on Violence Has Arrived, they’ve not made a bad album.

    TV SHOW: The Cleveland Show – It took a few episodes, but the Family Guy spin off has shown much more promise for content than anything we’ve gotten from the entirely too random Family Guy, or all-too-fantastic American Dad. I think Seth McFarlane has another hit on his hands.

    COMIC: Punisher Max #1: Kingpin – just imagine a real-to-life Kingpin…yeah, he’s pretty fucking wicked. Since it’s a MAX book, there’s all sorts of nasty adult details.

    BOOK: The Winds of Dune – I’m such a Dune whore, and this one is Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson trying to fill in some of the blanks between Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. Many of the fans don’t like where Brian Herbert has taken the series, but I’m just lovin’ it.

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