Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

A friend kept saying how good this was, so I decided to watch it, and yes, it is indeed one of the better DC animated films. It’s the storyline that sets up the reboot of the DC Universe from a couple of years ago, and although I had read the original comic series, it was nice seeing it again in a more condensed form – in fact, I found the story more interesting this time, probably because of the problem with big event series these days, in which the overwhelming number of spinoffs really dilute the main storyline (and the main series is often hard to follow if you don’t read some of those spinoffs). I’ve enjoyed quite a few of these DC animated films in the past, and my biggest gripe remains the same: I just wish the quality of animation was higher – it still comes off as barely above TV grade.

The Great Gatsby

I’m still trying to figure out to what level I liked this film. I definitely liked the art direction, the over-the-top music sequences – actually wish there would have been more of those – and the kinetic editing by Luhrmann. The story itself is ho-hum, and I really didn’t feel like the movie had to be as long as it is (2 and a half hours). 

Evil Dead

Now this is how you do a remake. Change things up, do some fun homages to the original, and surprise with different choices. This film is truly horrific, and one of the bloodiest things I’ve seen in a while. And I don’t want to spoil, but you NEED to watch until the end of the credits… After watching this I was reading up on the franchise, and not only is a sequel to this film in the works, but Raimi has also started writing Army of Darkness 2, and the ultimate plan is to then do a 7th film that would merge all of these things together.

Pain & Gain

Oh man did I ever have fun watching this. Who says Michael Bay has no sense of humor? This was exactly what I was in the mood for, a sort of 80s/90s era comedy/crime film. It’s really funny as hell, and there are so many great characters in this – and Rebel Wilson yet again drops the mic in every single scene she’s in. Don’t miss out just because Bay directed it, it’s too fun (in a dark way) to not watch.

Favorite Media of 2010

For some reason I’ve always avoided doing year-end lists of favorite things — I don’t really know why — but I just felt like doing one this year, and so here goes. Now, of course, this is all based on what I’ve actually seen/played/used/listened to, and so consider this a personal compilation of the favorite things I experienced this year in the world of media (it’s not a “best of” thing) — and note that it is limited to things that were released in 2010. Two categories that may be conspicuous by their absence are books and magazines — I just don’t feel like I read enough books to justify a proper list, and for magazines, I don’t have five truly favorites that come to mind.

So here then is my highly unscientific, truly subjective list of favorite media obsessions of 2010. Each category includes five items in alphabetical order (I think it’s silly to rank them in order), and I’ve occasionally included a few honorable mentions, things that I really wanted to have in those favorite fives.

Favorite Games
As you’ll see, my favorite genre tends to be RPGs (with a strong emphasis on action RPGs), and then racing games too. I could probably have done a separate downloadable game category as well, but decided to just put them all together.

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Red Dead Redemption

Honorable Mentions: Costume Quest, Fable III, Limbo, Heavy Rain, Split/Second

Favorite iPad Apps
There are many more apps that I really like, but these are the ones that I use the most, that I have in my dock. I decided to only list iPad apps and not iPhone apps (same for games), since I do really spend a lot more time on my iPad, and my iPhone is just something I pull out when I’m bored waiting somewhere (most used apps on that would be Twitter, Instapaper, Camera, and listening to podcasts).

  • Cloudreaders
  • Instapaper
  • NYTimes
  • Reeder
  • Twitter

Honorable Mention: Air Video

Favorite iPad Games
I’ve kept this to real iPad versions of games only — I did play a hell of a lot of DoDonPachi Resurrection on my iPad, but it’s really just an iPhone release.

  • Carcassonne
  • Infinity Blade
  • Plants vs. Zombies HD
  • Robot Unicorn Attack HD
  • Word with Friends

Honorable Mentions: Highborn HD, Small Worlds, Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Canabalt, Puzzle Agent HD

Favorite TV
This year was absolutely amazing for TV, and you’ll see that my tastes are definitely on the cable series side of things (Community is the only network show to be included) — that fact that you can be truly mature is one thing, and the shorter seasons (and so more focused storylines) is another.

  • Eastbound & Down
  • Dexter
  • Mad Men
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • True Blood

Honorable Mentions: Community, Treme, The Walking Dead, Louie, How to Make It in America, Bored to Death

Favorite Movies
This was difficult because I obviously haven’t seen a ton of movies that came out in theaters in recent months in North America, so my list could honestly have included movies that came out towards the end of 2009 as well. I know the two Mesrine films originally came out in France in 2008, but I felt like I could include them since they came out in North America this year.

  • Cyrus
  • Inception
  • Mesrine: Killer Instinct/Mesrine: Public Enemy #1
  • The American
  • The Ghost Writer

Honorable Mentions: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Kick-Ass, The Social Network, Exit Through the Exit Shop

Favorite Albums
Music is also very difficult, since I listen to so much of it, and to such a variety — which is one of the reasons I started Codex — but I think I was still able to come up with a list of favorites, in part based on the “most played” count in iTunes.

  • Record Collection (Mark Ronson & The Business Intl)
  • Swim (Caribou)
  • There Is Love in You (Four Tet)
  • The Suburbs (The Arcade Fire)
  • The Way Out (The Books)

Honorable Mentions: The Social Network Soundtrack (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross), King of the Beach (Wavves), Not Music (Stereolab)

Favorite Tracks
Again, these are mostly based on the “most played” count in iTunes.

  • “A Cold Freezin’ Night” (The Books)
  • “Bang Bang Bang (feat. Q-Tip and MNDR)” (Mark Ronson & The Business Intl)
  • “Happy Up Here” (Royksopp)
  • “Threshold Apprehension” (Black Francis)
  • “Odessa” (Caribou)

Honorable Mentions: “King of the Beach” (Wavves), “Rococo” (The Arcade Fire)

Favorite Comics
This was the hardest category for me, because I read A LOT of comics, and so it was hard to narrow it down to just five — and these five are basically the things that I could remember really liking — and the reason I don’t even include any honorable mentions is because it would be ridiculously long.

  • Justice League: Generation Lost
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit
  • Scott Pilgrim
  • Sweet Tooth
  • The Unwritten