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James "Razorsaw" Backes ([personal profile] razorsaw) wrote2010-01-13 09:01 am

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So I'm gonna try and put in more writing and reviews and stuff in this journal. It's time for Raz's Best of/Favorites of 2009!

Best live-action movie of 2009.

This was hard. There were a lot of great movies that came out this year, and a lot of them were subject to hype and even a bit of controversy. And really, my heart goes out to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but truthfully, I can't really call it the best movie; it's pulpy, science fictiony fun, but as a story, its got as much substance as a half eaten tube of pringles.

That leaves four contenders out of my favorite live action movies of the year... Star Trek, District 9, Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes. Avatar... Avatar was a phenomenal piece of work, and the storytelling is excellent. In terms of performance, visual effects, and acting, it was truly a triumph of film making, and is going to go down in history as a legendary piece of work. However... the narrative, the narrative, while told well and displayed spectacularly is as subtle as a bag of hammers, and reliant on a lot of cliches and has a convenient, overly traditional portrayal of naturalism and morality. It deserves ALL the acclaim it gets, and its the actors, filmography, and the effects that give it is power and gravitas... but I cannot praise the basic narrative beyond saying that it's solid.

In the end, I'd have to go with District 9. In the end, someone could easily argue that its story is as ultimate as black and white as Avatar, it did a lot of interesting things in terms of narrative and framing devices, and showed us something more real and ugly while doing it. But it also shows triumph amidst the dirt and grime, and ultimately, I found more to chew on with this one.

Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes were all great, solid stories that rely more on spectacle and situation rather than any sort of theme. And they excel at this with great aplomb. Honorable mention also goes to Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince as well.

Best animated movie

The choices come down to Up!, The Princess and the Frog, and 9. I really enjoyed 9 and Up!, but I'm going to have to give it to Princess and the Frog, merely for the gravitas of seeing the Disney I loved back, with all of its greatest elements distilled and refined in a heartwarming, wonderfully animated movie. Up! is solid and 9 is a feast of design and gothic design, but ultimately, The Princess and the Frog had the most impact with me.

Most underrated movie of the year

This year, I fell in love with the Terminator franchise. I realize one cannot really have nostalgia for something they came to appreciate only months before, but watching this movie reminded me why I liked the first Terminator and its sequel. I'm not saying it didn't have its problems, but I ultimately liked Marcus and Bale's Conner (the first more than the latter), and I thought it was a worthy addition to the mythos. The return of the original Arnold Terminator is also a moment I will never forget.

Best Superhero movie of the year

Yay for narrow categories I just invented. Now, the list here is pretty short. And while I'm one of the five people who liked X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I'm gonna have to give it to the direct to video DC flick, Green Lantern: First Flight. It did a good job of introducing and updating the Green Lantern mythos, as well as getting me into it, as most of my appreciation for the Lanterns comes from Justice League Unlimited. This movie also contains my favorite portrayal of Sinestro, who I found disappointingly misused in the DCAU. It won't win any awards, but it's a great superhero story.

Best TV series of the year

With 2009 came the second, and sadly, probably final second season of The Spectacular Spider-man. But what a season it was. I won't spoil this for my friends who still haven't seen it, but it was a rollercoaster worthy of the best Spider-man stories, and managed to top season one in every way. And what's more, it did great things with the character of Liz Allan, who became one of my favorite supporting cast members this season. And who could forget Steve Blum's fantastic portrayal of the Green Goblin?

Honorable mention goes to Transformers Animated season 3 and Batman: Brave and the Bold.

Best new character

Of all entertainment, the best new character I've met this year would have to be... Aquaman from Batman: Brave and the Bold.


This is true, but this is hands down my favorite version of Aquaman. Though I liked the DCAU version, some elements of it seemed like they were trying too hard to make Aquaman cool. But the thing is, Aquaman was ALREADY cool. I never bought into the whole idea of him being a joke, and to see Aquaman not just played straight, but portrayed as an enthusiastic and adventurous, as well as humorous and charming creature, is a joy. Especially after all the bad jokes and portrayals of him as a has been depressed by his own uselessness.


Best toy of the year

Oh, what a year. What a year. With Revenge of the Fallen and the tail end of Transformers Animated and Transformers Universe, there's a lot to choose from. I also got into collecting Marvel Universe and other 3.75 scale toys, as well as DC Universe.

But yeah, this is gonna be a Transformers toy.

The new Optimus toy from the ROTF line is a joy, but he's also overly complex and expensive. Human Alliance Bumblebee is the definitive version of the character and comes with Sam. Transformers Animated had the best Magnus ever. But I'm not picking either of those. The winner here is this fellow.


He's well articulated, he has a great alternate mode, and he's everything about the Bludgeon character distilled into one excellent, well-sculpted package that is a great homage AND fun to play with.

And he's a friggin skeleton samurai robot with a sword. A sword that becomes a TANK CANNON.

He has supremacy over all.

Biggest disappointment of the year

Now we come to negativity. I'll be brief here.

Aside from the Sonic fandom, Transformers fandom, and pretty much fandom in general not getting over itself, I'm gonna have to go with the likely cancellation of The Spectacular Spider-man. It seems good Spidey writing is doomed to failure these days. :(

Best comic book moment of the year

I'm gonna be honest. My comic book reading has been skimpy this year, so anything I could do here would be limited to stuff from Sonic the Hedgehog.

So I'm forgoing a best comic category and talking about what I liked best from Sonic this year.

I was almost going to give this to Sonic's epic defeat of Eggman in issue #200, but it's just been barely edged out by the entire third issue of Sonic Universe. Here, we are introduced to the Archie version of E-123 Omega, and the final appearance of E-102 Gamma.

I've loved Omega since he first appeared in the games, and I've wanted to see him in the comic for years now. Not only does Ian Flynn finally deliver, but he has Omega meet Gamma too. The result is a touching, poignant tale that shows there IS potential in the newer Sonic characters, and that the newer characters like Omega and Shadow DO have worth and legitimacy in the Sonic franchise.

Best video game of the year

No contest. Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game excels as far as gameplay, design, and story goes, and if I had to make one complaint, it's that the game encourages you to keep something on all of the time. That's basically the same as saying I HAVE no complaints. It's just a solid game that all fans of Batman can readily enjoy.

That's my list everybody! I hope you had some joy reading it. XD And remember, accentuate the positive. Don't... and you become the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom.