Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 5 Video Games of the 2000's

Wrapping up my Top lists for the 2000's is video games. While this decade had many great games, these are the Top 5 that held my time over the last 10 years. In some cases they are a franchise of games, like Madden, but otherwise I got the most mileage out of these games.

#5 City Of Heroes - I finally had to cancel my subscription because I had played this game for almost 4 straight years.

#4 Dragon Age Origins - This was a tough call for me because this game came out in November of 2009, but this game is awesome. I have played through at least 5 times now. Cannot wait for more DLC on this one.

#3 Madden - This series is solid year in and year out, and you always have a new Madden to look forward to every Aug just in time for Football season. Happy Maddenoliday!

#2 Rainbow Six Las Vegas 2 - While the first RS games were fun, Vegas took it to a new level. And the sequel Vegas 2 just refined everything the game needed to be one of the most fun shooters on the Xbox 360 game console. My roommates would make fun of me wearing my headset and shooting enemies online, and I did not care.

#1 Mass Effect - From the same people that put out Dragon Age Origins, BioWare, this game rocked. The sequel comes out in just a few short weeks and I cannot wait. I played this game a lot in 2007 and then again this year when DLC came out for it. I am very excited for ME2 and cannot wait to see where they take this RPG Shooter next.

Top 5 Movies of the 2000's

Yay movies! The 2000's were really good to us at the movie theaters. Especially if your into fantasy novels, boy wizards, comic book superheroes, and charming geek movies. In no particular order here are my Top 5 Movies of the 2000's.

#5 Old School - While there are many other movies in this category of man-child comedies, I think Old School does it best for me. Plus I could only choose one, and still make room for my other favorites. Movies like Wedding Crashers, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Hangover and 40 Year Old Virgin. In fact you are really falling into one camp or another when picking because you have the Will Ferrell/Vince Vaughn/John C Reilly/Wilson Bros camp and then the Judd Apatow and crew camp. All great movies. But for me Old School had everything I needed to laugh, cringe, cry, and ultimately laugh again. There is still talk of them making a sequel, but really I don't need one. Plus this movie introduced us to The Dan Band.

#4 The Incredibles - Unlike the big screen version of the Fantastic Four which ultimately disappointed, Pixar brought us yet another charming, funny, endearing, and action packed animated adventure when introducing us to Bob Incredible and his family. The thing that Pixar does well, is never sacrificing character. Because of that The Incredibles gave you everything you needed in a satisfying adventure. This is one movie that Pixar should definitely franchise into another picture.

#3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - I choose this third Harry movie because I feel like this was one of the best in series if not the best. It creates an amazing movie while not sacrificing much from the source material. It was also a darker Potter movie then the two that came before it. Between books and movies, the Harry Potter franchise has dominated the last 10 years. To think in 2000 I laughed at my girlfriends roommate for waiting in line to buy this book. 10 years later I have read them all, own them all, and cannot wait for the last 2 movies to come out.

#2 Spider Man 2 - I never would have thought 10 years ago that so many Marvel characters would make it to the big screen, and in some of the best movies of the decade. The X-Men were good, Fantastic Four was okay, The Hulk struck twice, Daredevil, Iron Man, and even little Peter Parker, Spider Man. While the first movie was awesome, the sequel is even better. To some it is one of the best movies of all time, not just a comic book movie. And ultimately I chose SP2 over The Dark Knight or Batman Begins, because emotionally I connected more with SP2. The scene on the subway when he saves the train and the New Yorkers lift him up was inspiring. Plus Doc Ock was done well. Really well.

#1 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings - Hey another movie franchise adapted from a book or comic. Go figure. LOTR smashed it's way into America this last decade with three EPIC movies. Seriously try watching all three extended DVD's in a day. You can't. It's like 16 hours of movie. And I chose the first movie of the trilogy because it was the one that most blew me away. While Two Towers and Return of the King are awesome as well, the first one really took it for me. Plus it reminded me of some of my fun D&D sessions as a kid. Playing dice and paper adventures with my friends. It was like seeing my adventures on the big screen.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 5 Albums of the Aughts

Here is my list for Top 5 Albums of the Aughts. These albums affected me in that they are basically the albums that had the most songs I liked. Simple as that.

#5 Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head 2002
In My Place
The Scientist

#4 Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory 2000
One Step Closer
With You
Points of Authority
In the End (most played song of 2001)
Cure for the Itch
Pushing Me Away

#3 Augustana - All the Stars and Boulevards
Feel Fine
Stars and Boulevards

#2 Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk
Hands Up
Where is the Love
Smells like Funk
Let's Get It Started

#1 Kanye West - Late Registration
Heard Em Say
Touch the Sky
Gold Digger
Drive Slow
Diamonds from Sierra Leone

Top 5 TV Shows of the 2000's

Kicking off my Top 5 lists for the Aughts or the 2000's. Funny that it took all the way until the end of 2009 for this decade to even have some sort of a name. And yet this decade is not really marked for any significance. Although technologically we have made leaps in all facets of our life, I think this decade did more to rehash everything good and bad we did in every other decade of the 20th Century. In other words the first decade of the 21st Century was definitely one of transition. With that in mind I tell you that you could easily argue with any and all of my picks for Top 5 TV, Video Games, Movies, and Albums, but I would also tell you to leave a comment and share or start your own blog. This is my list for the Top 5 television shows of the 2000's. These are the shows that I watch with a passion. I cannot wait to see the latest episode of these series and this is why they are my Top 5. And these are not ordered per se, they are just numbered so you know I have 5.

#5 Justice League Unlimited - for the first time on television I not only got to enjoy my favorite DC characters, but they were done in the Dinistyle, with lots of action, great characterization and an over arching story that tied the entire series together. Once you saw the entire plot laid out it was fun to go back and rewatch episodes to see the clues that were laid out along the way. The show was a continuation of the Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, and Justice League shows that had helped define and shape the modern DC universe since the early 90's. Also the show had to expand in this expanded direction because of corporate concerns over Batman, Teen Titans, Aquaman, and other characters being used in other Warner Bros properties at the time. I'm just glad I got to see Superman and Shazam throw down.

#4 CSI Las Vegas - The originator of the CSI shows. Obviously procedural crime drama had been done before with shows like Law & Order but this one was done by movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The show revolved around crime solvers that use the evidence alone to solve the crimes. From the camera inserting into the body to empathize the action, to the low cut tops and hot chicks, this show helped rewrite the standard for crime dramas that you can still see spoofed to this day. The show also takes place in Las Vegas and the city itself becomes a character in this long running show. I cannot believe I have been watching this show for almost 10 years now.

#3 The Office - whether you are a fan of the British original for this show or not, The Office and the employees of Dunder Mifflin have become staples in my life for the last 6 years. From Jim's pranks on Dwight, Micheal's vapid insistence to be liked, Creed's constant stealing, and Dwight's over the top antics this show has never ceased to make me laugh and sometimes squirm. To think the first season of The Office I just could not find funny. Everyone told me it was funny, but it really took me awhile to warm up to this show.

#2 LOST - Another show that I was slow to warm up to. My buddy Haze used to call me on Wednesday nights and tell me how much I reminded him of this character Hurley. An overweight character on LOST. I resented that highly. And I had missed the first few weeks of episodes. But before Season 2 came out my roommate Tyler and I sat down and watched Season 1 on DVD for an entire week in September. I have been hooked ever since, and Hurley has become one of my favorite characters on television. Also no other show has brought me such amazing hours of television with episodes like Through the Looking Glass, or the fake commercials during the broadcast that hid secret messages and an out of television game that you could play by following clues on websites. Really cool.

#1 The Venture Bros - Wow did I ever come late to this show. Originally airing in 2004 on Adult Swim, I just discovered this awesome show in 2009 and now own the first three seasons. And with 5 years of life the show is just now half way through it's 4th season. This show spoofs 60's culture and mocks everything from Johnny Quest, Scooby Doo, 70's rock bands, Star Wars, Firefly, Superman and Batman, and everything in between. Characters like The Monarch, Sgt. Hatred, Brock Sampson, Dr. Venture, Dr. Mrs The Monarch, Twenty One, Twenty Four and more are really not even the two title characters. In which we have Dean and Hank Venture, children of former boy adventurer Dr. Venture. Venture is really an allegory for shows like Johnny Quest with action, adventure, super spies, and intrigue. And yet the best shows of the series are those featuring heavy dialogue and comedy zingers then the one's with adventure. Almost like a Kevin Smith movie, just with more interesting characters. And I love Smith. Go figure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

25 Days of Christmas Music

Okay so I will not be near a computer for most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (HOW WILL I SURVIVE!) and some people have mentioned they enjoyed my 25 Days of Christmas music but missed some days. So here is the complete list of songs that I picked out of my collection for the 25 Days of Christmas. This is not a countdown, the number corresponds to the day I posted it.

25 The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
24 Otis Redding - White Christmas
23 Death Cab for Cutie - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
22 The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song
21 Alyssa Jacey - My Only Wish This Christmas
20 Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
19 Dean Martin - Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
18 Burl Ives - Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
17 Bobby Helm - Jingle Bell Rock
16 Brenda Lee - Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
15 Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
14 Wham - Last Christmas
13 Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
12 Stacie Orrico - Christmas Wish
11 Andy Williams - Happy Holidays
10 U2 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
09 Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby
08 Madonna - Santa Baby
07 John Lennon - Happy XMas (War is Over)
06 Dean Martin - Silver Bells
05 Royal Crown Revue - Baby It's Cold Outside
04 Cartman (South Park) - O Holy Night
03 Bing Crosby - Mele Kalikimaka
02 Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
01 Blink 182 - I Won't Be Home for Christmas

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Top 5 Christmas Movies

Okay so this should be interesting. Doing a Top 5 Christmas movies. These are my favorite movies, and I don't necessarily watch them only at Christmas. These are for the most part movies that take place at Christmas or are about Christmas itself. Since I love comedies, they dominate my Top 5. But let's explore some movies that did not make it and may surprise you that they are about Christmas. Did you know that the first Rambo movie took place during Christmas? Die Hard and Lethal Weapon both do as well, in fact both Die Hard and Die Hard 2 take place at Christmas. And did you remember that Gremlins takes place at Christmas? Or that almost every Harry Potter movie features the kids on holiday at Christmas? And you won't find The Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, or It's a Wonderful Life on my list either.

#5 Scrooged - I love Bill Murray movies, and love love love the modern take on A Christmas Carol. A Dickens classic indeed.

#4 Elf - What can I say, this movie has GROWN on me. First time I saw, I thought it was funny and cute, but not much else. But I dare you to walk around the Christmas season and not quote this movie. "SANTA!...I know him."

#3 Just Friends - A modern classic featuring Ryan Reynolds and a hilarious Anna Faris. The scene when Anna Faris's character storms the house and destroys all the Christmas decorations? Melts my heart.

#2 Home Alone - call me sentimental but I love this movie from 1990. My mom and I waited in line for over an hour to see this classic. I was 12 at the time. And I love me a great John Hughes film. Speaking of which.

#1 National Lampoons Christmas Vacation - I am not the biggest NL fan, and some of the Griswold films are awful. I used to love European Vacation, what happened? Between the classic Chevy Chase comedy and the telling of a Father who wants everything to be perfect, to the poor yuppy neighbors who get picked on the whole film, all the way down to the music and atmosphere of a Chicago Christmas, this is my movie. Forget Christmas Story and little Ralphie. Put this movie on repeat and I may not change the channel for days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's not so bad

The blog a day experiment is OVER! So why am I blogging so again so quickly? Because I love it. The last couple of years have been really trying and learning about who I want to be and basically learning how to enjoy life without money. But this year, even with a horrible economy and at least 20 people I know, including me, out of work, I find that the Holiday season is really enjoyable. I have not worked since July. And while that is frustrating, I have a great Severance package and Unemployment taking care of me and I really cannot complain about money. Plus all the side business I have been doing under the table that Uncle Sam will never know about. So Christmas this year I am not worried about how I am going to pay my bills, which really relieves a ton of stress. I don't have money to burn, but at least I know that I can buy gifts for a select few people, reach out by cards to those I can't, and still enjoy this Holiday season seeing friends and family. Plus I know that the SD Fair is FAST approaching again, and while I do not take my work there for granted, it's nice to know that if I don't find a job between now and January, I will still be able to work again and pay my bills. And I only have two more people to find gifts for on my Christmas list! That is awesome!