Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011: That was the year that was

So, as Christmas hurtles towards us like a tinsel coated bastard, it's a good time to sum up the year that shall be forever referred to as 2011 (or at least until the Mechanoidatron Empire eventually gather up enough military might to finally invade, when it shall than be referred to in the annals of history as "Invasion Year minus 8").

It's been the year of my first wedding anniversary to the lovely Tara, when we finally got a chance to drink the bottle of champagne (courtesy of Neil and Lisa) which has been hogging our fridge waiting for 12 months of wedded bliss to elapse.

It's a year that I've felt poorly for most of, the year when I decided to blog a damn sight more often, and also apparently from looking back over the post I've made is the year I discovered that racists exist - and that the fact that they exist seems to anger me quite a bit. It's also the year that I started making a suit of Halo Master Chief armour with quite a bit of enthusiasm that has subsequently dribbled away leaving me with nothing but an (admittedly rather natty looking) helmet for my troubles.

And finally it's also the year when despite the number of followers of this blog not really increasing (despite the number of hits almost doubling) it seemed like my posts are getting shared around a bit more now via Facebook - infinite festive thanks to Matt, Petrina, Darren, Neil and Lisa (and a fair few others - you know who you are) for spreading the word.

2011 has been a good one for films - Trollhunter, which managed the rare feat of making handheld shaky-cam "found documentary footage" films (Blair Witch, Diary of the Dead, et al) interesting and relevant again, The Guard (The ever entertaining Brendan Gleeson at his very, very best) and the biggest surprise of the year - Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now, ROTPOTA, to give it an unwieldy acronym I'll never use again, was a genuine delight. I'd expected it be good (or at least better than the Tim Burton abomination, at any rate) but was blown away by how good it actually was. That rarest of films in that is fully self-contained, but I really wouldn't object if they made a sequel - Kind of an Anti-Matrix, in that regard. Thor and Captain America passed the time, but felt more like extended trailers for the forthcoming Avengers film than movies in their own right. And last but definitely not least, Tucker and Dale versus Evil was a little low budget hidden gem that sprung up out of nowhere and was both original and entertaining and only let down by a derivative ending. One of the biggest letdowns of the year was the prequel to The Thing - having read dozens of articles in various film magazines about how the makers were going to stay true to the original with physical effects rather than heavy CGI the end result ended up being nothing but a Dead Space 2 CGI-fest that felt like a beat-for-beat remake rather than a true prequel. Only the (admittedly very good) footage during the end credits bore any lip service to it being set before the John Carpenter version at all.

2012 will bring us The Dark Knight Rises (I've seen the Batplane in real life, you know), the aforementioned Avengers and Prometheus - Ridley Scott's return to the Alien franchise with a pseudo-prequel. All look great.

This year has been an absolutely brilliant one for games - and most of them were sequels. Highlights of the year were Arkham City (which managed the incredible feat of being even better than Arkham Asylum), Uncharted 3 - brilliant to look at, good to play but ultimately but short-lived with no real replayability other than the multiplayer aspect that I'll probably never touch - and obviously Skyrim, which is still stealing most of my life (Level 42 and trying to stave off the inevitable end game).  Portal 2 is also more than worthy of mention, as are the ipad games Infinity Blade and Jetpack Joyride. The latter in particular in an absolute life-thief and is more guilty of the "one more go" phenomenon than any game I've played for a long, long time.

Considering how little music stuck out for me in 2011 means that I either haven't listened to quite enough of it, or nothing really outstanding was released (other than the fact my sole music review of Colonics second EP still stands).  And in all honesty they split up, so it's probably for the best if I don't do music reviews.

So, all you lovely people - I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I'll see you on the other side of it for more relentless blogging. Eat, drink, be merry, be kind to another and all that jazz. Here's to an outstanding 2012 for all of us. Fuck the Mayan prophecy about the world ending - they don't know what they're banging on about. Shit film anyway.

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