Friday, December 17, 2010

The Top 10's of 2010

Hello friends,
Mike here with our end of the year countdown. Here are the Top Ten things in 2010 that we feel the need to mention again. This isn't just the best movies or songs but more than that. This is a Top Ten list to end all Top Ten lists (sorry Mr. Letterman).
10. Best Internet sketch group of 2010: Magic Hugs

Magic Hugs was started by Scott Blair and Tim Wilkerson out of Southern Illinois University. Like most comedy groups in our post 9/11 world, they started out of their hatred for Nicholas Cage movies. This year has been a great one for Magic Hugs, starting out with "Sprinkles" in the beginning of the year and following with great videos like "Cover Me" and the ongoing series "How To Be Tight" .  With appearances at Just for Laughs and celebrity cameos, Magic Hugs is on its way to the top of the sketch comedy ladder. That ladder by the way, is metaphorical.....


9. Best mobile game of 2010: Angry Birds

Addictive game play, puzzle elements and replay ability are pretty much what you need in any mobile game. Angry Birds take that to an entirely new level. You play as a set of angry birds that are trying to destroy the evil green pig's regime for stealing your eggs. You basically catapult the different colored birds at the makeshift castles and such the pigs have made from things like wood, ice or stone. The different colored birds are different power-ups. Blue birds are smaller and can split up shotgun style when you tap the screen, Black birds can explode like cannon balls, etc. The more you play the more addictive it is. Keep an eye on Rovio, the company was recently bought by EA and seems to be one of the forefront mobile gaming studios. Check all their awards here. Well, not there, but here .


8. Funniest video mocking Nicholas Cage in 2010:

With so many videos popping up now a days illustrating just how insane the Cage is, it was hard to find the right one. But, hh1edits over on the ole' Youtubes has compiled all the moments in which he.... Well the title says it all:


7. Rapper/Actor of 2010: Childish Gambino/Donald Glover

With former recipients of this award going to such stars as Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, and Joaquin Phoenix it was pretty simple choosing this years winner. He has risen above most of his peers in every field he works in (more than just the two). He is a revolutionary in the electronic age by producing a lot of material and releasing it all for FREE. I know that isn't very original but here is the kicker. This shit is good. It's damn good. From his sampling of Indie songs in the EP's "I am just a Rapper" and "I am just a Rapper 2" to his full length "Culdesac", every rhyme this kid spits out is better than the last. Do yourself a favor and download everything he has ever put out. And keep an eye on his blog  for random songs he likes to post. As for the acting portion of this award, Donald is on one of the funniest shows on TV, Community, he is to make an appearance in the much anticipated new Muppets movie and wrote and starred along with his Derrick Comedy pals  in "Mystery Team". This guy will run everything one day.


6. Best Metal band that broke up in 2010: ISIS

ISIS was a very heavy band out of LA that was founded in Boston. This band literally rocked from coast to coast. They announced their break up earlier this year while on tour. They played their scheduled show at Bonnaroo and played in Montreal, the same city their first show was in. Their reason for breaking up was simply they had " done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say." They were pioneers in the post-rock world. They took Sludge metal to places it had never been before, and might not ever be again. To go out in a blaze of glory is an awesome thing, that most artists never get a chance to do. Check out all of their stuff for the love of your God.


5. Sexiest ensemble of 2010: Ladies of Mad Men
Ill let the pictures do the talking for this one....

Alison Brie, Peyton List, Christina Hendricks, January Jones and Elisabeth Moss

***in no particular order

4. Best Animated show I should be too old to watch- Adventure Time with Finn and Jake

What time is it? It's time for kid's programming to be years ahead of itself, again. Adventure Time (AT) was created by Pendleton Ward who worked on various other shows including the award winning "Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack". AT was originally a short that gained a lot of popularity on the Internet and garnered some award talk at the Annie's. Cartoon Network picked it up and it has shown some really great ratings since it's premiere earlier this year.

It's basic premise is about a boy names Finn and his adventures with his best friend, Jake, a magical dog who can contort his body and change size at will. They battle monsters and usually have a moral or two thrown in. What sets this show apart form most other kid's shows is the unique visual style, the array of quality voice acting (John Di Maggio anyone?), and it is really funny. It's often compared to when Spongebob first premiered on Nickelodeon.

With it's first season over and a Prime time Emmy nod under their belts this is a show to keep an eye on. Plus, anyone who gives Maria Bamford


3. Movie for my generation of 2010- The Social Network

 Let's pretend this entire movie is a work of fiction, that way we don't have to argue about what is fact or not. But to me, this movie has some serious messages to tell the world about my generation.

 We have amazing ideas to improve everything but we refuse to work the same way our father's did. We don't wear suits, but we are billionaires. We wont work in a cubicle but we will work long days. The world is quickly changing thanks to us and you better follow or get the fuck out of the way.

 The movie follows Mark Zuckerburg go from being a depressed Harvard student to stealing an idea for a Social Network form classmates, changing it, making it better and making it cool. Then it basically follows how he used these ideas to become rich as all hell and fuck over some people on the way up. Also, the soundtrack from Trent Reznor is one of the best thing's he has ever worked on. 10 times better than his "Into The Wild" soundtrack. The music along with David Fincher's visual style and Aaron Sorkin's dialogue makes this a very very good and important movie.
Again because everyone is a boner, I cant embed the clip here but check out the link below for a short video:


2. Most anticipated return to late night TV- Conan
                                                                        (via Gawker)
We have all lost our jobs. It's pretty embarrassing and most people just make up a short handed story to tell people that may leave out some details just to help the length of the story. Conan didn't get that chance, because when you are fired from late night TV, the whole world is talking about it. In January Conan was taken off the Tonight Show and TV until September. During the summer, He went on tour to 30 cities including the music festival Bonnaroo in what he called the "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On TV Tour". There he and his Tonight Show clan, including Andy Richter, put on one of the best live shows in years, as far as comedy is concerned. Not since Monty Python toured the US had there been this much buzz about a comedy tour.

Then, in May Conan's Twitter account (@ConanOBrien) reached over a million followers after only have been created a couple months before that. He used this medium to make jokes about where his show would go and all the free time he had.

Conan returned to TV by way of TBS in November of 2010 with his new show Conan. It is pretty similar to the wackiness and over the top-ness of his Late Night with Conan and Tonight Show were. Max Weinberg was the only one to be replaced by Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band. With better and better guests and sketches the other late night hosts have already seen the face of their biggest competition, and it's freckly and pale. 
1. Entertainer of the year, 2010- Doug Benson

 Doug Benson has been putting on a live show at the UCB theater in LA for years now. It's called Doug Loves Movies (formerly I Love Movies with Doug Benson) and they talk about, you guessed it, movies. Doug invites three celebrity guests to discuss current and favorite films. Since Doug and most of his guests are high the conversation might steer away form that subject or mock it, which is always funny.

DLM also introduced to the world, "The Leonard Maltin Game", a basic "Name That Tune" with movie titles and actors. I will attempt to the best of my ability to explain how the LM game works so that at your next nerdy party you can play as well.

You are supposed to use the LM app or one of his books but I find IMDB works well too.

-Pick 3 categories of movies (a specific actor, westerns, sequels, etc.)
-Pick 3 different movies based on category and have a player pick based on the year the movie came out (1999, 2001, 1979, etc.)
-Now that the category and year are chosen you can give clues. The clues come from a review. You want to use clues that will almost hurt more than help (A lot of walking, Main character is annoying, etc)
- Then based on credited names, the players bet how many names, starting at the bottom, it would take them to guess the title of the movie. Until a player doesn't think they can top the person before them or if the person before them is bluffing they say, "Name that movie!"
-If you get it right you get a point. If you get it wrong the person who told you to name that movie gets a point.
***- You can guess into negative names wherein you guess the title first then give names going from the starring role down. It's tricky but not impossible.

Doug spent a lot of his time this year lobbying around the country for pro marijuana laws to be passed and more importantly, getting young people to vote. He toured around under the name "Pot the Vote" tour. Though the legalization ballot didn't pass in California, his home state, he continues to be optimistic that one day the country runners will come to their senses and decriminalize pot, or that young people will vote... whichever comes first.

Mr. Benson is also the reason Twitter exists. Not really, but he is probably the best person to follow. Hilarious live tweets of things ranging from award shows to plane flights. He is also great when it comes to fake feuds with Todd Barry and playing games with his millions of followers. You can follow him @DougBenson .

Last but not least, while every comedian and their mothers are pumping out sketch comedy shows, Doug did something that needed to be done. He took his live show "The Benson Interruption" and put it on TV. The difference? IT ACTUALLY HAS FUNNY PEOPLE DOING FUNNY STAND UP!!! Who would've thought that old idea would work?!? Well, at least two people....

We tried to interview Doug for this article but he was too busy. Or, too high.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Hey there folks, Trey here with my review of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood picks up exactly where the Assassin's Creed 2 left off. You follow Desmond living through his ancestor's memories as an older more confident Ezio Auditore de Firenze, along with his brotherhood of assassins, attempts to liberate Rome from the hands of the corrupt Borgia family.
The entire game, with the exception of a few side-missions for an old friend, takes place in Rome. Although Rome may not have the sparkling canals of Venice or the sky-piercing cathedrals of Florence it has gritty feel while in the city that makes assassinations really feel like they should take place here. Rome is very large and many famous landmarks are present (and for purchase) such as the Roman Forum, the Vatican and the Coliseum. 
The game is a direct followup to Assassin's Creed 2, that being said there aren't many changes in graphic design or gameplay mechanics. The game is still just as beautiful, with all of Rome sprawled out before you as Ezio gazes down at his next unfortunate victim. The voice acting is top quality, just be sure to turn on the subtitles if you would like to udnerstand the Englitalian that is spoken throughout. Nolan North, everyone's favorite video-game voice actor, reprises his role as Desmond. The game mechanics are still solid for the most part. Free-running and climbing up buildings is still simple and natural feeling. In addition to all the gadgets in the first game you have a few more that make you almost feel sorry for your intended targets. The only downfall in the mechanics department, and this is the downfall for many 3rd person games, is the camera and more specifically the targeting mechanism. So many times while attempting to shoot my target I would end up shooting his bodyguard instead, beginning a cat-and-mouse chase through the streets of Rome that was completely unnecessary. However this small problem is my only qualm in this entire game, and that's saying something.
New to Brotherhood is the institution of the recruit system. As you decrease Borgia influence in Rome you can begin to recruit citizens to your cause. You then send your recruits on missions and they increase in level and power as they achieve success under your tutelage. Along with sending your fledglings on missions you can also call for their aid on missions of your own. I was running along the roofs of Rome and I saw a guard in the distance who was not going to be happy of my presence on his rooftop. With the simple press of a button one of my dear recruits sprang out of a nearby terrace and ended his miserable existence, allowing me to continue unhindered. Be careful though, for when you lose a recruit they are gone for good...complete with mourning cut-scene.
Finally Brotherhood brings with it the first taste of Multiplayer in the assassin's world. However that is for another time and place, say, next week?
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is a solid installment in the Abstergo/Assassin conflict that leaves the plot at another cliffhanger that ensures millions of units sold for Assassin's Creed 3. With solid mechancis, visuals and audio you can't ask for much more out of a game. Myself and others will anxiously be waiting on Ubisoft to put out the next chapter in Desmond's epic saga.
Nerd Points: 9/10
Trey out