GregHorrorShow: The Films Of 2012

Losers

I think 2012 has been one of my more prolific film watching years in recent times – granted 99% of these were on DVD but I still got to see some great stuff. Here’s what I’d recommend seeing:

  • Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
  • District 9
  • Star Trek
  • Thor
  • The Road
  • The Losers
  • Moon
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • The Avengers
  • 13 Assassins
  • The Town
  • Total Recall (1987)
  • The Artist
  • Drive
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Let me start with my favourite film of 2012, which will probably come as no surprise to anyone who read the review, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (or just The Avengers as I like to call it 😆 ). I’m not a comic book guy although I had seen the films based around these characters (Thor also made the list – really enjoyed that) but I am a big Joss Whedon fan and I was glad to see him deliver in such style. I can’t wait to check this out again soon.

AvengersFOTY

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was a film I wished I’d seen in the cinema but just never got around to it. Very quirky and definitely one for the geeks 😆

I thought District 9 raised some really good points about segregation and class issues, while also being a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi flick. I’ve never been a Star Trek fan but I liked the ‘reboot’ and the highlight for me was Karl Urban as ‘Bones’ – great casting and a spot on performance.

I was prepared for The Road as I had read the book and it was as depressing and bleak as I expected. Wonderful acting from Viggo Mortensen – he’s become one of those actors I trust, I’ll always give the film a chance if he’s involved, a talented actor.

Moon

A big surprise for me was The Losers which was one my favourite films of the last few years – it’s how I imagine a Battlefield: Bad Company film would be. Funny with larger than life characters and some huge explosions. Very cool.

Another actor I’ve grown to trust is Sam Rockwell, who I rate as one of the best in his generation. Moon cements this and Rockwell is outstanding. This is a great film that is both sad and moving. Really recommended. Rockwell was also in Seven Psychopaths, alongside Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Colin Farrell. I thought that was a great film as well. Very funny in places with some memorable performances.

13 Assassins was a crazy movie that took bloodshed to a new level. With some great swordplay and interesting characters this was one foreign language film that really delivered. Ben Affleck seems to be getting better and better behind the camera. The Town was a well crafted and nicely shot heist flick that was full of great acting. I liked the sense of tension and sinister undercurrent that ran throughout.

As a blast from the past I watched Total Recall (1987), which I’d previously only seen on VHS (yep that long). I barely remembered any of it to be honest so it was fun to check it out and discuss the various theories on the film with LeftyFlip.

Drive

I finally got round to seeing The Artist, which I thought was good – maybe not quite as great as everyone said but definitely worth watching. Another big film of last year that I caught up with was Drive, which I thought was fantastic. I think the ‘more-style-than-substance’ arguments I’d seen are valid but it’s still a cool, if violent, crime flick.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol lived up to it’s blockbuster billing and I really enjoyed the chemistry between the characters – I hope they bring them back together for another one.

So there you go, those are the films I watched this year that I think you should check out. Any I missed? I do have a backlog (including True Grit, which I *really* must watch soon) but any suggestions are most welcome.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World – Review (Film)

I’m a fan of Edgar Wright’s work – Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced are all great in my opinion. So I was looking forward to his interpretation of the Scott Pilgrim comic books.

Sometimes the spirit of a written work can be lost in translation to a different media and while I haven’t read the books, from what I’ve seen of them this film does a good job of capturing the feel of Scott Pilgrim’s world.

Pilgrim is a slacker who plays in a band. After meeting a girl, Ramona Flowers, he decides he has to win her over and sets about trying to make her his girlfriend – despite the fact he already has one.

To date Ramona he has to defeat her 7 evil exes, which sets up some great game-inspired fight scenes. I enjoyed the stylised way Wright handled the film, although I’m not sure everyone will like that direction.

Certainly I suspect it’ll be a love-or-hate movie. Personally I really enjoyed it and thought it was well worth a watch.

Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are great in the lead roles and Kieran Culkin is excellent as Wallace Wells, Scott’s roommate. The whole movie is pretty well cast, even the actors in smaller roles bring a lot to the table and it’s always nice to see Jason Schwartzman on the big screen.

Overall this is a difficult movie to recommend to a broad audience. If you’re into games I would say you’ll enjoy this, there are a host of little in-jokes/homages that you will have fun spotting. However it might be a little bit too far down the rabbit hole for your average viewer. Having said that, it’s certainly a watchable film – you just need to suspend reality for a while 🙂

Rating: 8/10

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2010

Well it’s that time of year again and 2010 has seen some immense games roll around – as well as continued support via DLC for some of 2009 biggest titles.

Sadly I didn’t have time to play every game that was released so if I’ve missed anything worth checking out shout me in the comments and if it’s not already in my ‘to play’ pile I’ll get it added.

Right, let’s go!

.

BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: Destruction 2.0 (Battlefield Bad Company 2)

This was a tough one to call this year but I definitely think Destruction 2.0 is something that has helped put Battlefield head and shoulders above most other shooters out there. Enemy hiding in a house? Just blow the wall up in front of them and it’ll leave a nice big hole to shoot them through. Or just blow the building up completely and have it crush them to death.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Online Assassination Multiplayer)

Modnation Racers (Easy Track Creation)

Playstation Move

.

BEST DLC (CONTENT)

WINNER: Undead Nightmare (Red Dead Redemption)

 

No question of the winner here – with around 6 hours of single player and the fantastic Undead Overrun & Land Grab online modes, Undead Nightmare packs a lot of bang for your buck. This is one of the more comprehensive DLC packs out there and if you liked Red Dead Redemption then this is a must have. Props to Uncharted and Battlefield though – two strong modes added there but Undead takes this one.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain: The Taxidermist

Uncharted 2 Seige

Battlefield: Onslaught

.

DOWNLOADABLE GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Dead Nation

I honestly didn’t see anything taking this award away from the excellent Joe Danger and then Housemarque’s Dead Nation arrived at the beginning of December. Dripping in HD visuals comes a twin stick shooter that makes you think about your every move. When to use the SMG and how much Shotgun ammo to conserve become regular questions. Your score gets added to total score for your country and you can keep a tab on which country is the best at fighting the Zombie invasion. Very cool indeed.

RUNNERS UP:

Joe Danger

Shank

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

.

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2011

WINNER: Killzone 3

Wow, this was a tough call – it had to be Killzone 3 or Uncharted 3. I’m sure Uncharted 3 will be awesome but having played Killzone 3 I can’t wait for this to arrive in February. Continuing the story from the second game and adding substantially to the multiplayer, I think this could be a game of the year contender.

.

BEST GAME TRAILER

WINNER: L.A Noire

The standard of trailers has been so high this year I’ve decided to pop the runners up on here as well for you to have a look at. L.A Noire takes the crown though and man, those Rockstar guys know how to make a trailer! Another contender for most anticipated, L.A Noire sees you take on the role of Cole Phelps, a detective in 1940’s America. Great stuff and the trailer really captures that feeling of the time.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Spec Ops The Line

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Vietnam

.

PSP GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to pick up God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta yet so that hasn’t made the cut. I’m sure it would’ve been a close call regardless as Metal Gear also oozes quality and is such a deep game that there is always something different to do. Whether it’s going on missions or recruiting more soldiers for your army, Peace Walker will keep you entertained for hours. My play through clocked in at 16 hrs, which puts a fair few PS3 titles to shame.

RUNNER UP:

Half Minute Hero

.

BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 11

FIFA 11 is more of a refinement than anything else but it’s amazing the difference the changes make. While FIFA continues to dominate it’s interesting that PES gets a nomination this year – it shows that the series has made great strides this year to try and close the gap.

RUNNERS UP:

Formula 1 2010

Modnation Racers

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

.

BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Heavy Rain

No doubt on this one as Quantic Dream’s stunning thriller has some of the best motion capture and facial animation ever seen in a game. Whether it was evading masked men as Madison, talking down a robber in a shop with Shelby or shouting ‘JASON!’ repeatedly in a mall as Ethan, Heavy Rain looked gorgeous. Gran Turismo 5 certainly deserves a heads up in this category as when it all comes together it looks stunning however Heavy Rain was far more consistent.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War 3

Red Dead Redemption

Gran Turismo 5

.

BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Unexpected. Not a word you’ll often type when talking about the story of a game but that’s what you get with Red Dead. John Marston’s story of gunslinger gone good who is brought in by the government against his will to track down his old gang trundles along at a pace and has plenty of stand out moments but it’s the final third of the game that stands out as some of the best I’ve played in a game. Not to mention the ending, which is one of the most impressive I’ve ever experienced in a game. Genius. 😎

RUNNERS UP:

God of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

.

BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: God Of War III

The final part of Kratos’ epic trilogy hit PS3 owners with everything it had back in March and as usual Gerard K Marino’s score didn’t disappoint. Dipping and soaring in the right places this was the perfect accompaniment to the on screen carnage. The score really does push the story on and is definitely well suited to Kratos’ character.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Red Dead Redemption

Bioshock 2

.

BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: Mafia II

The music in Mafia II is a huge part of what makes you feel like you are actually back in that era. I remember the first car I got into had “At The Hop” by Danny and The Juniors playing. It was one of the coolest things I’d had happen in a game for ages. A wonderful selection of old tracks that are well worth checking out in their own right but that combined with gameplay help make for a memorable experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Bioshock 2

FIFA 11

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

.

BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar usually deliver on the voice front with the GTA titles and Red Dead Redemption certainly doesn’t disappoint. Every character feels well rounded and has a voice to suit them perfectly. Even the supporting cast: Bonnie McFarland, Seth, Irish and, of course, West Dickens. This was a strong category this year with Mafia II in particular impressing but with such strength in depth it has to be Red Dead Redemption.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

.

SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption tells a well crafted story in a beautifully rendered environment. There is so much to do and see that I still don’t feel like I have fully explored the world of the wild west. Rockstar have created a varied and expansive playground with enough going on to keep even the most hardcore of gamers entertained for hours and hours.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Mafia II

Alpha Protocol

.

MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

It was nice for me personally that my most anticipated game of 2010 lived up to expectations and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 nailed team based multiplayer like no other game I’ve ever played. The sense of satisfaction at winning a tense round of Rush and the feeling of being part of a bigger team is hard to beat. With the upcoming Vietnam expansion pack this game will only get better and better.

RUNNERS UP:

Modnation Racers

Red Dead Redemption

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

.

GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

There could really only be one choice this year, with Rockstar’s Western epic taking the title of Game Of The Year. With a brilliant single player campaign and an ever improving multiplayer mode, Red Dead Redemption is a title that will keep you entertained and provide you with plenty of value for money. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes a close second as that has been my most played multiplayer title but overall Red Dead pips it.

RUNNERS UP:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Heavy Rain

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

.

So there we go. Another year of gaming done and dusted with Red Dead Redemption taking home an unprecedented FIVE awards!

Some great games didn’t even make the nominations – that’s how tough it’s been to make decisions.

The likes of MAG, Bayonetta, Just Cause 2 and Vanquish unfortunately didn’t make the grade but goes to show how strong the line up of game releases has been in 2010.

So what games would you guys have given awards this year?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine