Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Reliving the Highs and Lows of 2011
2011 was a year packed with excitement, we had celebrity scandals, riots, uprisings, rise of trends and new fads, new artists emerged from thin air, we had good times and bad times but overall it was a solid year. We've sought to compile a list of the best and worst of 2011 and also included some highlights of the year, including events we should remember and conflicts that we should never forget. A lot of these are relative thus our opinion might differ from your own, if so then leave us a comment letting us know what you thought was the deserving winner within a category, there are a lot to choose from so its always a hard process finding winners within such a vast sea of choices. Alas, without further ado let us get started:
Movie of the Year
"Drive" is our choice winner for best movie of the year, with a stellar cast and a fantastic story, this drama grasps our attention from beginning to end providing us with one of the best performances of the year. There were a lot of good movies this year, but "Drive" was the one that stood out the most, giving us everything we could want from a movie and more. This is an obvious choice for next year's Academy Awards.
Most Looked Forward to Movie
There are a lot of choices for this category and after much debate and squabble we settled on a three way tie between "The Hunger Games", "The Hobbit", and "Dark Knight Rises" two of which are sequels and one that will spawn two more sequels. "The Hobbit" being the prequel to "The Lord Of The Rings" deserves all the attention it is getting, and "Dark Knight Rises" being the closing chapter within Nolan's depiction of the dark vigilante also has everyone waiting with drawn breaths, "The Hunger Games" is a tad different, the books where brilliant and the trailer for the movie looks promising, but there is no telling if it will deliver the product it's been boasting, thus it is a gamble but the following for this movie is growing exponentially as time passes.
Least Looked Forward to Movie
For some odd reason Hollywood decided that it would be a great idea to remake "The Three Stooges", not only that but they also thought that it would be an even better idea to include the cast of "Jersey Shore" within it thus making this our least looked forward to movie, the audacity of the director for even thinking about making this movie is overwhelming, a sure absurdity of a movie, chances are it will flop but who knows, it might be so absurd that it gains a following, no way of knowing these things.
Best Series of the Year
To us this is an obvious choice, "Game Of Thrones" has not disappointed us yet in its approach, its loyalty to the books, the brilliantly chosen cast and their genius manipulation of the audience which allowed for constant twists and turns that made this be the obvious choice for series of the year. We hope that this season was not a fluke and that future seasons will continue to wow us in the way that this season did. Our choice for runner up and close second was "Breaking Bad" followed by "Modern Family", all of which deserve your attention and are engaging from beginning to end. "Community" deserves a shout out for providing us with one of the best comedy series of the year, it does not stand up to "Modern Family" in our opinion but it is a series worth watching.
Most Changed Show
Oh "Two and a Half Men", this show was pretty good when Charlie was around but it has taken a turn to the unknown with the introduction of Aston Kutcher, its not as if the show in itself has become bad, it just changed significantly.The character of Jake Harper was the one that changed the most, within the beginning of the series he was a growing young man with questions and some witty remarks, now he is being portrayed as the ignorant teenager with cheesy lines every other line, they are exaggerating the ignorant teenager angle so much that its almost offensive for teenagers, its almost saying "you're all idiots and here is a portrayal of that idiocy", which annoys even me. Thus the destination of this show is still unknown, hopefully they will work out their issues and mature from the Charlie scandal, so far they took a dive, lets hope they get their act together soon.
Console/PC Game of the Year
The console war this year was great and many good games were released, choosing one game to rule them all is a tough choice but alas we had to settle on the game changer "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". Skyrim was overall the best role playing game of the year, it gives us one of the biggest open world maps, more choices than any other game in the market and an amazing replay value. A close second to this was Minecraft which deserves much respect being that this was a game released by a smaller studio that targeted the 'non-gamer' audience and succeed in providing one of the best products in the market, a job well done overall.
Mobile Game of the Year
To us this was an obvious choice, as soon as "Tiny Wings" came into the scene it captured our attention and after a short while playing it it caught our undivided attention and hearts. Its a simple game but its such a fun game, in the same way that "Angry Birds" and "Cut The Rope" grasped out attention "Tiny Wings" in quickly becoming one of the most played games on the mobile market, and thus deserving the title of best mobile game released this year.
Most Looked forward to Gadget
This year marked the final breaths of life of the PSP while Sony unveiled the successor to their handheld the "PlayStation Vita". Though the Vita has released in Japan it has not made its way to the United States as of yet, but we will be getting our hands on this device sometime next year and oh are we excited about it. Sony is promising to correct the mistakes they made with the PSP and give us a better more versatile product, Sony seldom disappoints thus making this product the most looked looked for gadget of 2012.
Most Memorable Death
This year we experienced the loss of one of the most influential visionary and inventor of our generation, Steve Jobs. Steve gave us more than we can measure, he changed the game forever, from music, to phones, to laptops, to how we buy music, Steve changed the game and set the tone for where the industry should head and what it needs to look like, truly a man that should never be forgotten. Another death worth mentioning and remembering was that of visionary Christopher Hitchens, who had a significant impact in the intellectual world, less known around the net but still a man that should be remembered. Also significant are the tyrants that died this year making the world a better place, those being Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi.
There were a lot of good weddings this year, many of which were beautiful and the amount of money spent on some of those could feed a small country, though the one that stood atop them all was Prince William and Kate's wedding. The world stopped to see this wedding, with every television network in the world making references about it, or simply stopping their regular shows to broadcast it, it was the most watched wedding of the year, deservingly so, it put on the best show among them all.
There were three divorces that stand out among all the separations we experienced this year, all three have different striking features. The first is a disappointment to us all, that being of Ashton's announcement that they are going to divorce, Ashton's relationship represented the most successful celebrity relationship for a long time (still not as much as Will Smith's, of course), so seeing its demise saddened many of us. The second is Kobe Bryant's divorce, being significant because he might be losing over $100 million dollars on it therefore making this one of the most expensive divorces in NBA history, though not comparing to Mel Gibson's divorce of $425 million, Kobe's still packs a punch. And of course the trend setter for the shortest wedding lasting about 72 days was Kim Kardashian, she earns the title 'trend setter' because now other celebrities have decided to jump on the bandwagon and compete for shortest wedding, sad really.
There were a ton of celebrity scandals this year, Lindsay still going on her binges of course (to be expected), and some political scandals due to people being ignorant on how to be private with technology, but the most obnoxious meltdown of them all had to be that of Charlie Sheen. What brought on this meltdown no one really knows, maybe it was all the drugs, maybe it was the pressure, or maybe the guy is just insane, but for some reason this meltdown was the most entertaining of them all. I even feel guilty about admitting it, but I laughed at his interviews while the whole thing was going on, its a sick thing that we love to see celebrity meltdowns but it is a reality, from Britney shaving her head to Charlie Sheen saying he has tiger blood, we love the crazies, maybe because it makes us feel sane and successful at life, either way, Charlie wins this years meltdown award.
With the ability to purchase songs individually on Itunes there is rarely a CD that is good enough to be purchased whole, and thus Michael Buble's "Christmas" CD deserves all the respect it has been getting. This CD holds all the Christmas tunes we love, while being sung in new and different ways, while still holding on the the tunes we remembered from long ago. It is a well done product overall, and one I recommend to everyone.
We had a lot of good tunes this year, from Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep", but there was one group that caught us by surprise and stole the hearts of not only one type of listening group but multiple listening groups, that being Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks". The song is catchy and warm, a good 'feel good' tune, an easy choice for best song, the only complaint one could have about this band would have to be the rest of the CD which wasn't as good, but we can only hope that Foster The People will realize what their fan base loves and give us more of it on their next release.
One of the most disappointing CD's of this year, a truly sad feat, was Incubus' latest album "If Not Now, When?". I've not heard any Incubus fan say anything good about this CD, some have sought to defend it on loyalty alone, but even that was a short lived battle, Incubus let their fans down big time with this release, deserving our Worst CD of the Year award.
Best Music Video
The Black Keys did something really different and not often seen within the market on their music video for the song "Lonely Boys", how the story goes is that they had a whole plan where they were going to do a dance sequence with six or so dancers behind them, but once they saw Derrick Tuggle performing the dance they decided to just base the whole video behind his dance, and what a great move that was. This video doesn't show anyone from The Black Keys but it captures our hearts anyway, thus deserving the best music video award.
Fads and Trends
Strange New Fad
Flash mobs are not a new thing, but for some reason this year spawned the era of flash mobs being 'cool' which is strange. Flash mobs were always fun to watch, but now they are happening everywhere, soon to be a norm and losing their most brilliant aspect, the rarity of it. The reason flash mobs were a big deal before was because no one did them, so when they happened they stole the hearts of those around them, with flash mobs happening more often they lose that impact and thus by becoming a trend they might successfully demean the whole act, sad really, only time will tell.
How did this happen?
Every year there is one trend that is picked up that makes us wonder how it came to become popular, from funky glasses, to Uggs, this trend always occurs. This year we were not introduced to this fad but it finally became a norm trend, Silly Bandz, which are obnoxious. Don't take me wrong its a brilliant idea and I've bought some for friends before, but when did you ever think that this would ever become a trend? Thus winning our 'How did this happen?' award.
Stereotype That Gained Acceptance
Though the hipster movement has been around for a while now, a while being a few years, they finally gained global attention this year, global meaning in all facets of our life, from businesses to clothing companies, to movies, and so forth. The hipster was finally embraced and became an accepted stereotype among the whole world, which should bring the demise of hipsters being that now being hipster is cool thus I wager another movement will branch out from this movement creating the next stereotype to come, it's a vicious cycle really, smh.
Best YouTube Channel
There are many great channels among YouTube but the one channel that has risen above them all retaining loyalty among viewers, providing great content and providing us with the most entertainment one could wish for was Phillip D Franco's channel sxephil. This is an older channel, one that has been around and gone though the test of time, and thus deserves the award for best content on YouTube, a must check out for sure.
This 2012 Passat Commercial has already been featured in this blog once before, but it deserves all the coverage it has been getting from everyone, it contains everything one would wish from a good commercial and it retains its humor even after being watched a few times, which a hard thing to do, praise is deserved to the Passat Advertisement team.
Geico has some really good commercials, even some of the caveman commercials were really good at the beginning, but the latest one with him playing scrabble has to be one of the worst commercials ever made. Not only is it bad and annoying, but it is one of the most overplayed commercials on TV which makes us want to distance ourselves from Geico as much as possible, not the desirable feeling a company should want a consumer to have, something they should start considering.
Best Sports Moment
Drew Brees has just recently set the new NFL passing record beating Dan Marino's old record and establishing himself as one of the most valuable players within professional football. The moment was made even better by there being an allowance of celebration when it occurred making the whole thing a beautiful spectacle.
Funniest Sports Moment
There were a lot of funny moments this year, a lot, but the Bengals front flip touchdown soars on top of that list big time, no way to deny it, this was a 'once in a life time' feat, one that has never been seen before, thus deserving the award for this year's funnies sports moment, and also the most unique moment.
Sports Drama of the Year
The NBA strike wins this one hands down, no other drama can even come close to the absurdity of this whole event. Players fighting owners on matters of money is never something the people like to see, specially while we are going through such a tough economic low and they are complaining about not being as rich as they should be. The whole thing was silly, thank god it is over and done with.
Patrick Rothfuss's book "Wise Man's Fear" was the sequel to the best seller "The Name of the Wind" and did not disappoint in any way. Patrick delivered not only a great work but one of the best fantasy novels written within our generation, one that deserves all the respect it gets and should be read. If you like reading this series an addition to your collection that you cannot go without, an easy choice for best Novel of the Year.
Best Humorous Book
Chelsea Handler has released a few books over the years recounting her life's 'adventures', but this year she released one the funniest books out there "Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me". If you are in the mood for a good read and good laughs then this book is the book for you, surely you will love it. Chelsea's TV show has gotten more and more attention this year as well, it deserves it, and is one that you should check out, her dry humor and blunt statements get me lol'ing every time.
On A Serious Note
Most Watched American Protest
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement wins this without a fight, it was the biggest protest we experienced this year, and it was a source of inspiration to other surrounding Nations deserving this years award. The negative aspects of the movement though was the disorganization of the movement organizers, the lack of central leadership within the movement, the lack of demands or answers given by movement attendees and so forth. Though there were issues, no one could deny the striking significance and impact this movement had throughout the world, one that will be read and remembered within History Books in the years to come.
Most Memorable Victory
When the Libya revolution started no one knew if they were going to win or lose, if they were going to lose heart or fuel, but we saw something amazing come about from this revolution, the rise of surrounding nations giving aid and assistance to the liberation and thus aiding their eventual victory over the tyrant Gaddafi. There is no telling if things will be better over in Libya but there is a hope that through this victory they will find themselves finally at a time of peace and hopefully prosperity.
Most Beautiful Moment Inside a Tragedy
There were many riots this year, but the Canuck's riot in Canada definitely stands on top with some of the scariest of them all. Within the chaos though we find this picture of a guy kissing his girlfriend, how the story goes is that she got hit by something and fell to the floor thus leading her boyfriend to hug her and comfort her, it just so happens that a photographer was taking pictures close by and accidentally caught the picture, thus leading to one of the most viral pictures from the whole riot, depicting beauty in chaos, also winning the best picture of the year award.
Biggest Natural Disaster
The earthquake that Japan suffered this year is one that will never be forgotten in the years to come, it was a grave tragedy. There is one beautiful thing to come from this tragedy though, how we saw the world coming together and embracing Japan with aid and volunteers and coverage, thus aiding the hurt nation of Japan and though they will be experiencing the repercussions of this earthquake in the years to come they are not alone in their fight for recovery, and that is always a beautiful thing to see happen.
This year Borders Group went out of business, thus we experienced the death of one the biggest book distributors in the United States. This is a significant loss because it shows us what the future might look like in a few years, and how the possibility of e-books being the only survivor being a possible outcome in the future. Another sad demise, at least to me, was Dippin' Dots I loved them and now who knows if they will be back or not, its unfortunate really.
Though for the majority of the populace this might not mean much, the fact that the CERN scientists discovered a particle, Neutrinos, that travels faster than the speed of light, this is a huge deal in the future of physics and science as a whole. The amount of theories that will have to be modified because of this find and the possibilities that this find creates are astronomical, it is immeasurable, basically this is a very big deal.
Best End of the Year News
The return of the troops from Iraq was finally announced a few weeks back and we are excited to finally be done with our involvement in this conflict. We wanted to extend our gratitude for all those that fought and our condolences to the families of all those that fell in battle, war is never a beautiful thing and not something any of us enjoy. Let us pray that the future holds a time of peace, and that this next year will be one filled with resolutions throughout the whole world.
And we've reached the end of this year's highlights, there were many other events that stood out to us and may other occurrences that we could have covered here, too many to count really. We hope you have enjoy reading our list and learned something new. Leave a comment with your favorites for this year bellow, and let us know what you thought.
We hope you have a great rest of the week,
Love from your humble blogger,