Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Review Garden: Tops of 2010

Okay! Time for the first official review on the site!

... 'kay, so this is technically a repost of a review from a few months ago b-b-but!— I have a good reason for it!

For those that don't remember this, these are my tops of 2010. Unfortunately, I was extremely sick and heavily medicated at the time so... ya. Several things didn't really have much to say, including one section that was literally half written without even realizing it. So I cleaned it up, added some details and some pretty pictures.

Plus, this will give all you newcomers a good idea about who I am and what I like.

Also, some of the things here are not suitable for children. I talk about things that have blood, gore, swearing and sexual content. Anything with links that are Mature or not suitable for children have been marked in red.

Also it doesn’t matter when they were put out. The point is that I saw, listened to or read them that year.


Favorite movie I watched this year:

This is really hard. I’ve seen a lot of great movies this year, mostly on DVD. The latest Narnia Movie, Survival of the Dead, How to Train your Dragon, Iron Man 2, Inception, Toy Story 3, Kick Ass, Secret of Kells, 1408. This is also the year I watched really old movies for the first time like Hannibal 1 and 2, The Exorcist, The Terror, Pulp Fiction and the Fifth element. I honestly can’t decide what was the best movie, since they were all different genres. I guess I'll have to go with... uh... crud.

Just go see these movies.


Favorite underrated movie I watched this year:

Gunless. (Note Rated but not really for little kids) This was a really well done Canadian movie with complex characters and really funny moments. It had a few clichés, but not by much and they weren’t too bad. I think this movie suffers more from the way it was advertised. I think the advertising crew  heard the words “The Montana Kid in Canada” and figured “High-jinx MUST ensue, right?”. Wrong. This is NOT a comedy. Gunless has too many dark, sad moments to be a true comedy, but not enough fights to be an action movie.

Gunless is a Western, people. Purely and simply a Western. And not in the same way “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” is. Gunless is a Western like that old Western TV show, “Bonanza". It has a little of everything, with a few comedy bits, all taking place in the Wild We—er, Dominion of Canada.

But because it was labelled "Comedy," people thought they would get a hilarious Canadian Comedy. They didn’t get one and all the reviews gave it a thumbs down. Just goes to show you need to be careful how you make your trailers.

There were a lot of great moments in this movie, and I loved each character, even the silly ones. The acting and set design was spectacular. Anyone who likes Westerns or Canadian movies needs to check this movie out!


Most hated movie I watched this year:

Last Airbender.

Most hated movie I watched this year:

Last Airbender.

Okay, even if you don’t like the cartoon, it doesn’t matter. Throw out the story (which M night ripped apart with rusty scissors), the changes to the characters (which were major and unnecessary), you will still have an incredibly badly paced movie, with almost no on screen character growth or character building, a horrible script (why they didn’t take the script from the actual show, I will never understand) and, as much as I hate admitting something so taboo, is incredibly racist.

And considering how bad this movie’s ratings were, good luck trying to get the money for the next two, M night. X(


Favorite published comic I read this year:

Sky Doll.

WARNING MATURE: NSFW and not for anyone under 18:

If you haven’t read Sky Doll, and you don’t mind religious and sexual content, check it out. It’s a beautifully drawn comic. Not to mention a well written story. And the several sub plots going on at the time don't feel forced or muddled when connect with the main plot... Except one. There is one subplot at the VERY end that kinda comes out of nowhere and just made me roll my eyes, but it's very small, and forgivable. Not I'm not spoiling it.

The main site for the comic is here (but it is in french) : Sky Doll Official Site

Here's an Amazon site: Sky Doll at Amazon


Favorite new comic series I tried this year:

Wonder Woman's new series.

Teen rated. Okay, this is for a new comic series that I tried during the year—not one that was already on going.

I have a request to rest of the WW fans out there: Stop. Talking. About. THE COSTUME. I get why you don't like it. Heck, I'm not even completely sold on it. But despite the controversy involved, the series is actually really good. Really, really good. At the start, there were definitely a few problems the story and the art, which seems to be taken care of. But the writing overall makes this worth a read. If you're boycotting the comic SOLEY on the fact that you don't like the costume... well, I feel kinda sorry for you, cause you're missing out.

But if you're boycotting the comic because it's a reboot—Good News! It's not actually a reboot!

I'm not kidding. DC basically pulled a "Star Trek" on us by telling it was a reboot when it really is not—something that I believe has worked against them. This story is one of those "someone has messed with the timeline and we need to fix it" type of stories. Indeed, this is not the same WW that we know, but any changes made to personality are actual PLOT POINTS. Other then that, she still acts like Diana. Not Black Canary. Or Power Girl. Or Super Boy. Or Batman. And as the book progresses, we watch her re-learn her powers, her old identity and what Wonder Woman means. Not to mention the little easter eggs planted in the books have brought a smile to my face many times.

I'm going to go into more detail about the book and the Wondy's new look in my review of the series, but any fans of Wonder Woman should at least give it a shot. But since the series is almost over, I suggest picking up the trade.


Worst comic I have read. Ever.:

Spider Man: One Moment in Time—Issue 4.
Teen rated

So If you don't know yet:



I think you get the gist. But so that I don’t bring up my blood pressure tonight, you can read my full review on the issue at my DA site here: Warning, not for kids, contains swearing: One Moment In Time Review: Part 2
And you can read part one of the review, which covers the first 3 issues is right here: Warning, not for kids, contains swearing: One Moment In Time Review: Part 1


Favorite new manga of the year that I read:

Baby Please Kill Me (or Kill me Baby) by :

No, this is not about lover assassins trying to kill each other. This is a comedy about a tiny young assassin going to elementary school, and become close friends with a dunce. Picture X-23 from X-men and Osaka from Azumanga Diaoh going on hilarious adventures. No, really. And in later chapters, throw in a (probably insane) Ninja girl.

 If you're not a fan of manga, you won’t like it much. For those that do, this is a hilarious gag comic THAT NEEDS AN AMERICAN RELEASE ASAP. DO YOU HERE ME EDITORS?... please?


Favorite new Manhwa (Korean comic) of the year that I read:

Pink Lady

Teen rated, as far as i can tell

I love the story here. You got a girl whose trying to survive in Art College, and isn’t doing so well. In a word, she doesn’t “get it” (take that how you will :/ ) The art is fresh and changes depending on the mood. More specifically, the artist of the comic uses famous art styles like Van Gogh or Edvard Munch for atmospheric changes and parodies. In one chapter, the main character is getting increasingly mad in each panel, and in the background is a painting of the Scream becoming more and more frightened by her angry. And being a college art student, I can’t help but laugh at the similarities at things I've gone through and even how some of the people act.

This one has yet to get an american release and IT NEEDS TO!--Ahem, but it was originally a web toon, so all the chapters on the web... in Korean... And with all online scanlations being illegal (which I am fine with, but you'd think it would be okay when the original is already free online). You can check out the webtoons here: Pink Lady at Naver


Favorite web comic I read this year:

A tie between Rice Boy and Blip

Rice Boy by Evan Dahm is about a little... thing (looks like a chess pawn with eyes) who is sent on a mission to save the world. Okay, that sounds cliched. But the adventures and the characters are not. The story is also told in almost not text, other then some exposition moments. The comic is intense and emotional and has a refreshing simplistic style. Other then his short stories, I haven’t read his other works all the way through. I did finish Rice Boy and it was extremely satisfying. I spent a long time afterwards just... thinking about the comic. I actually had to sit down and think about the comic and how it ended and my feelings about said ending. Those are the best kind.

Check it out here Teen rated: Rice Boy

Blip by Sage

It's about a woman who is being stalked by little cherub-looking angels that are trying to ruin her life. But she doesn't know it. She’s best friends with a vampire, and a witch, but she doesn't know about that either. High-jinx ensues! Blip switches between a slice of life, and a supernatural story, and the art varies depending on the mood. Sometimes it's creeping and compelling, and sometimes you get gut busting gag moments. The story isn’t complicated but like Rice Boy, it brings up some very thought provoking stuff. Let me ask you? What would you do if the misery of one brought joy to everyone else? And what if God was actually your enemy? What would that make the devil? Just a little teaser for you ;) If you don’t like ideology and religious stuff, you might not like it so much. But remember, that is only part of the story.

Oh, and did I mention that this comic actually made me feel sympathy for the Devil? (The Devil as he is portrayed in this comic, anyway). Seriously. Go read it. Here: Warning: Mature Rated Blip


Favorite CD I listen to this year:

Kirby Krackle: E for Everyone.

Not a lot of people know about this Nerd Rock band. They have a lot of funny and fast-paced songs and a few solemn and romantic ones. All of which have to do with super heroes, games, or just being a nerd. I picked their second CD over the first because I only liked most of the songs on the first. I love all the songs on the second. Warning: Mature rating. Especially on the first CD. Check them out here: Kirby Krackle Offical Site


Favorite game that I played this year:

Cave Story

I did manage to play Silent hill 4, but unfortunately, the issues I had when I watched the walkthrough of it were the same in the actual game-play. It’s just not scary enough. And the ghosts and the maze puzzles were too annoying.

So I'm giving the spot to Cave story. A free-ware side-scroller with a detailed and well thought-out set of graphics and story. And the story part is kinda rare for a side-scroller (though I'm sure someone will correct me on that). It’s become so famous, it’s become a wii game! You can check out and download it here: Cave Story Download and a trailer for it here: Cave Story Trailer


Favorite lets play of a game that I watched this year:

Mangaminx’s Blind Lets Play of “Amnesia: The Dark Decent.”

Warning MATURE. NSFW and NOT for anyone under 18:

I recommend this game to anyone who like survival horror games. It’s incredible intense due to the first chunk of the game building tension. You’re trapped in a mansion that’s being taken over by some kind of monstrous entity, and the only thing you have to go on is a note you left to yourself. Because you can’t remember anything.

The game is incredibly dark, in both senses of the word, with medieval tortures, disgusting enemies THAT YOU CANNOT KILL, and an incredible story. I couldn’t concentrate on anything while watching. I was fully invested in the game.

All of which are made even better with MangaMinx guiding you're way. She’s incredibly funny and I found myself getting even more freaked out every time she freaked out. Kinda a “Blair witch” reaction I guess?


Favorite walkthrough of a game that I watched this year:

ExileOfBlood’s Portal Walkthrough.

Rated for Teens:

If you haven’t heard of Portal, check out the trailers for Portal 1 and 2 here:

Portal is a short but complex puzzle game. You don’t know much about yourself or the world around you when you start, except what a computer named GLaDOS is telling you. Your in a testing facility and GLaDOS gives you a gun that can create portals almost anywhere you want. Your job is to "test" the portal gun in the different sections of the facility, without dieing at the same time. The whole thing makes for some trippy mind screwing moments as you use the portals to transport enemies and yourself and even launch yourself through the air. And all for the promise of cake.

Walkthroughs mean that the player is (usually) silent throughout the whole walkthrough and usually points out every extra and gets the good ending. It’s a different experience then a lets play. Usually.

In this case, Portal is a game that is perfect to be played as a walkthrough because the main character is silent the whole time. But it is also perfect for lets plays, since you get to watch all the unique ways the player comes up with solving the puzzles. In this case, I liked the walkthroughs better, since it gave me a chance to think through the puzzles myself and my feelings about the different characters. And in ExileOfBlood’s walkthrough, he manages to catch most of the secret areas and extras. Portal is a great experience for anyone out there!

Favorite review I watched this year:

Linkara’s Silent Hill Dead/Alive comic

Warning 14A Rated. Not for Kids.

Linkara is the one that got me into Silent Hill, and watching games through lets plays. And with this review he has proved what I've been thinking for a while: you don't need to be a gamer to love and understand a game. That, and that online reviews don't always have to be funny to be entertaining. Besides the review of this AWFUL comic, we got two other stories written by Linkara that are far more like Silent Hill then some of the games made. A short well written audio drama that took place at the beginning, and a great story in the style of the games themselves with Linkara as the main character. Check out the review and his work here:
Linkara’s Silent Hill Dead/Alive Review part 1
Linkara’s Silent Hill Dead/Alive Review part 2
Linkara’s Silent Hill Dead/Alive Review part 3


Favorite Anime I’ve watched this Year:


WARNING MATURE: NSFW and not for anyone under 18:

Baccano. Heck ya. 1930s gangsters, immortals and tons and tons of blood. And an INCREDIBLY good dub and a unique take on storytelling. And it doesn't follow all of the cliches you'd expect. It's all told out of chronological order from the view points of different characters, slowly detailing the different events in the story. We jump between the bloody events on a train called the Flying Pussyfoot (not kidding), to a gang war that happened before that, and the mysteries of an immortality potion going at the same time.

 The characters are colorful and only a few actually go through character growth, because most of the cast is already extremely well rounded and easily established. But that's not to say the characters are cliched. Very few are, and the ones that feel cliched or stereotyped, like the two stereotypical idiots of the series, Miria and Isaac, take this cliché to such a level, they actually TRANSCEND their stereotype and become AWESOME!

Plus, JAZZ! There is almost always some kind of swinging Jazz or Blues playing. I'm in love with this series

JesuOtaku put it best: “If Tarantino made an anime”. So, even if you don’t like anime much, check it out. This is most defiantly a "gateway drug" anime.

The Trailer is here: Baccano Trailer
Funimation also has the entire sub and first two episodes of the dub, if you want to try it out: Baccano at Funimation

And here are the reviews by the members of the D2Brigade, who introduced me to this awesome anime!
JesuOtaku's Baccano Review
Arkada's Baccano Review
Vixen's Baccano Review
Prof. Otaku's Baccano Review


Favourite tv series I watched this year:
Bones, season 6: Mature Rated. Not for kids

I love this show. And it's pretty much the only crime show I watch these days. Following the adventures of FBI Seeley Booth and Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan as they solve weird mysteries with help from the "Squints" Brennan's lab assistants. Its smart, funny and doesn't take itself seriously until one the characters on in danger. Then it becomes a serious action story. And yet, it doesn't feel jarring or annoying as they jump between the silly and the serious. And you got to love those filler episodes when they just want to show off some cool science stuff. Admiringly, I was worried about this season but after the episode, “The Doctor In the Photo” I have no worries. And the story is still running strong now. If you haven’t heard of Bones, shame on you! Go rent the DVDs! Go on, I’ll wait...


Most anticipated things of 2011:

Silent Hill 8, Portal 2, more Bones, Cowboys and Aliens, SuckerPunch, Scott Pilgrim (yes I still haven't seen it, I apparently live under a rock), and mostly The Tempest with Helen Mirren as Prospero (It was only released in selected theaters in the US. I WANT that DVD)


-Tegan aka SlugLady28

photo of Spiderman: One Moment in Time is from Quiet Skies

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