I Am Clever

alec_towser


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...


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Day Two (Aka: The Media Retrospective)
I Am Clever
alec_towser
I originally had planned to write about something else today, but then I started watching OMFG! It's Jack and Dean on Sunday; specifically, their 'The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Sh!t Parts of [2008-2011]' series. (If you haven't seen them; you should, because they are funny, and funny is good.)

After watching those, my brain started viciously drop-kicking me and yelling "HEY! WHY NOT DO A RETROSPECTIVE! LIKE THOSE GUYS! BUT BETTER! WITH. LOTS. OF. PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!" (Okay, maybe the punctuation part was just me.)

Anyway, within the last couple of days, I did research and took notes on what came out this year in all forms of media (and THIS is what my brain meant by 'better than their videos' - they tend to just focus on movies and a little bit of music, whereas I'm including more media types: games, and TV. Mine won't probably be anywhere near as entertaining as their reviews are, but whatever. That's their style... this is mine.)

Also, some of the things I'm mentioning were not actually released in 2012, but as they were a part of shaping MY personal 2012, I'm including them.

With that semi-long introduction finished... onto my retrospective of 2012.

WARNING: MAY CONTAIN DOSES OF HEAVY NERDISHNESS. DO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY AFTER READING THIS ENTRY. ALSO THIS IS REALLY LONG. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.



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2012 in...Games

Last February over my university's reading break, I decided to not study, but instead to splurge and buy the Portal bundle. I'd heard plenty of good things about from people at school, and figured it was about time I saw for myself what all the hype was about. Oh boy, was I in for a shock. Portal turned out to be better than I expected, despite the short length. It's eerie, yet funny, and the puzzle aspects make you think.

Portal 2 was even better - not only was it longer (therefore more playtime), but it added backstory, which only serves to make the construct of Aperture Science even more eerie. The co-op mode is also tons of fun, and as Valve recently added the Perpetual Testing Initiative (which WAS released in 2012, so I guess that makes this count somewhat), which allows users to create their own test chambers, they've effectively made the amount of puzzl-y goodness ENDLESS.

That being said, I've still played through the actual games several times, focusing on different aspects.

First: Solving the game, obviously.
Second: Achievements.
Third: Actually paying attention to the graphics/detail of my surroundings.
Fourth: Playing through with the developer commentary enabled.

(I've played through them more than 4 times each, but those were the main reasons.)

[Ed. note: If I'd played more games besides this and TF2 (another great Valve game), then I'd have been able to conclusively come up with a bad game review for 2012. Oh well. I'll leave it on that note.]



2012 in...TV

I don't tend to watch a lot of TV, but from what I did watch, I have conclusively come up with good and bad.

Good: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Season 3). An awesome show, and one that has really managed to (surprisingly) recover well from its troubled past and become wildly successful. Only disappointment here is that the season is only 13 episodes long. Oh well - just means I get to hope for a fourth season. :D

Doctor Who (Season 7). Another really good show, and the start of this next season only serves to prove why it's the longest running show on the BBC. There's only been 5 episodes and the Christmas special so far (the rest won't be out til April), but what's been shown already.... OHMYGOODNESS THE FEELS. Without giving too much away (I have no idea who may read this, and I also have no idea who out of those potential readers may not have seen stuff yet, so I'm trying to avoid spoilers), all I have to say is that some of these episodes are the most emotional I've seen in a while.

(POTENTIAL SPOILER) One awesome thing in the Christmas special, though, was the nod to a couple of Second Doctor serials, The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear which also featured the Great Intelligence. The reference to Web of Fear continues when the Doctor shows the Great Intelligence a biscuit tin with a map of the 1967 London Underground, which was where it attempted to attack from in that serial. From Wikipedia (on the Christmas special): "The Doctor remarks that the Underground is a "key strategic weakness in metropolitan living", referring to (and possibly setting in motion) the future Yeti attack on London via the Underground. In this respect, "The Snowmen" may be considered as a prequel to the Second Doctor Yeti serials, establishing an origin for the Intelligence and explaining its penchant for "Snowmen" and knowledge of the London Underground."

Now for bad: This can easily be summarized in 5 words - HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO. For those of you who don't know, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a reality show based around the life of Toddlers and Tiaras contestant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, and her family. The family is generally made out to look like the most redneck-y inappropriate people that have ever lived, all being generally overweight, and having a lack of good taste (her mother grabs roadkill for the family to eat, for goodness sake!). All I have to say is: WHY? Why would something like this make it on the air? Why would people watch? Oh, wait, there's an explanation from The Hollywood Reporter (paraphrased): It's like a car crash. It's horrible to look at, and you know it's terrible, but still everyone slows down and rubbernecks to get a good look at the crash, right? So why not do the same to a TV show equivalent?

Sigh. In brighter news on the side of the bad, though - 2012 was also the year that Jersey Shore was taken off the air! It's about time! ....anyway, moving on.



2012 in... Music

(Ah, music. My personal favourite part. :D)

Well, this year, we've had the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Repetitive/Annoying.

Good:
-Album: The Lorax soundtrack (The movie itself was better than I expected [more on that below], and part of that was due to the catchy music. It's got some fantastic stuff in there, and I never get tired of listening to it.)
- Song: Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (While PSY's Gangnam Style took over the charts later on in the year, I really think this song is my personal favourite. It didn't grab me at first, but it eventually grew on me.)

Bad/Disappointing:
-Album: As I haven't listened to enough full albums, I can't really give a conclusive review for the 'bad' category.
-Song: Nicki Minaj - Stupid Hoe (The single was released in Dec of 2011, but the album it was on was released in 2012, so I'm counting it. The sound basically consists of her singing "You a stupid hoe" repeatedly, interspersed with some random rapping. How does that even sell? The grammar is all wrong!)

Downright Repetitive/Annoying:
This is my own special category, made simply because I had no where else to categorize this song, and no retrospective of 2012 would be complete without it.......... Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe! I'll admit, it's kind of catchy, but after hearing on the radio/at dances/people singing it EVERYWHERE a BAJILLION times, it stops being good and starts being irritating.

And now, we move to the last category...



2012 in...Movies

2012 was a great year for movies. We had The Hunger Games, The Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Knight Lathers, Rinses, and Repeats (oops, did I say that out loud?), and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, to name just a few. I was impressed by all of these movies (with the exception of TDK, which I did not see because I'm not a Batman fan), and I look forward to sequels to all these (both planned, and my own hoping).

For bad: The only movie I can conclusively say was bad this year was (surprise, surprise) Breaking Dawn, Part 2. It's part of the Twilight saga = it's bad. I do have something good to say about it, though - at least it's over, and was confined to 2012, so it didn't end up contaminating 2013. *knock on wood*

And now, for the shocker movie category. These were movies that I didn't expect to be good, and had originally planned not to see. The first movie: The Lorax.

For those of you that know me, you'll know that The Lorax is my all-time favourite Dr. Seuss book, simply because it's such a sad story, and it's kind of eerie. Therefore, when I saw the trailers, and saw that they were including some teen semi-love story in it, I was immediately repulsed. I had the mindset of the book purist: "THAT WASN'T IN THE BOOK! WHY DOES IT NEED ROMANCE? IT'S GONNA RUIN THE STORYASDSDKJFHSGDFHSGDJFHSMJS!" *foams at the mouth*

However, I was talked into going to see it with my two youngest brothers and dad at the end of the summer. And I found that not only was the story not compromised, but I could actually tolerate the teen mushiness/extra story add-ons to make it a full-length movie. Plus, as I said above, I enjoyed the music from the soundtrack. And that usually tends to be a factor in my enjoyment of movies that include people singing musical numbers. And speaking of musical numbers and singing...

My second shocker movie for 2012 is Les Misérables. Technically, it's how I kicked off 2013, as I was talked into going to see it yesterday, but it was released on Dec 25. So... into the retrospective.

I've never read the book. I've never seen the musical. I never KNEW there was a musical until recently.

I knew next to nothing about the movie until about two days ago. My boyfriend wanted me to go see it with him, and I had declined, saying I had no interest. My family's (Mom, Dad, and body-builder brother) response: "What's WRONG with you?" I looked up one review (on my own, out of curiosity, before they were trying to talk me into it), and my dad showed me two trailers. With that scant amount of information, I decided to go see it yesterday.

OH. MY. GOSH.

Not knowing anything else about the musical or the book, I have no idea how close it was to either, but I think the people who made this movie did a fantastic job. It now holds the distinction for being the second movie to EVER make me cry (I NEVER cry at movies. The only other movie that has ever induced that reaction from me was Toy Story 3, simply because I grew up with those movies, and it was the end of an era). It was incredibly emotional, and Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway particularly did very well with their portrayals of Jean Valjean and Fantine. Just... wow. If you haven't seen it already, you should.

Warning, though: for those who aren't into musicals...except for a handful of spoken lines, everything is sung. It's great music, but just a heads-up for the rest of you.

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Anyway, this has been my take on the year 2012. I also think this is the single longest entry I have ever written in this journal. It took me 3.5 hours to actually organize everything from my scrawly point-form note page of ideas I had for this. :O (I hope it wasn't too long for you to read. :S)

See you tomorrow! Comments and questions: leave below and I will answer. :)

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Django Unchained needs to be on this list. It came out in 2012 and it was awesome! Of course, it was also a Quentin Tarantino film, which means it was greatly exaggerated in the aspects of violence, blood, and in this particular case, use of the "n" word (I counted 96 instances from start till post-credits)

I can't really say great things about a movie that I haven't watched... the only reason I put Batman on was because I was afraid of getting lambasted for leaving it out. XD

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