Sunday, December 30, 2007

Geekanerd's Top Ten Video Games, Comics and Movies of 2007

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If you haven't already OD'ed on year end Top Ten lists, here for your categorizing pleasure are your Geekanerd Editor's picks for the Top Ten Video Games, Comics, and Movies of 2007.

For the top ten games, keep in mind that Albo's only systems as of the writing of this list were PS2, DS, PC, and Wii.

Albo's Top Ten Video Games

1. Portal - As if you didn't already know from our Portal love-fest, this game knocked me on my socks with its great writing and elegant design.

2. Super Mario Galaxy - The second best reviewed game of all time also takes second on my list. It's great, but doesn't have the originality of Portal.

3. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition - Some may scoff because this game first came out two years ago, but it's still one of the best action games I've ever played and the Wii version is the best version out there.

4. Bioshock - Some minor problems aside, this game plops you down in such a well-developed world you'll wish more developers left the safety net of WWII for their shooters.

5. Guitar Hero III - As I said in my review, I love Guitar Hero and more Guitar Hero loves me.

6. Puzzle Quest DS - While the design itself is a little shoddy, I have to include this for the sheer addictiveness factor.

7. Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass - Controlling Link has never been this much fun, and the care put into the production design (papercraft storytelling!) reassures me that Nintendo doesn't take my business for granted.

8. Mario Strikers Charged - The Wii was lacking a solid non-casual multiplayer game before Strikers came along, and with it came online play! Finally.

9. Hotel Dusk - More of an interactive novel than a game, this one challenged my notions of what a game should be.

10. Odin Sphere - While long-winded and too epic for it's own good, the beauty of the 2D animations in this game made me wish more developers didn't automatically jump to 3D for their games.

AHR's Top Ten Comics

1. Shortcomings - Funny, true, and exceedingly painful. It's been obvious for years that Adrian Tomine is a talented writer and artist, but this is his first masterpiece.

2. Blue Beetle - Somehow John Rogers has discovered a formula for comic book story-telling that ensures I will cry at the end of every issue. Beyond the emotional punches, this series consistently delivers great action and sharp writing with LOL moments to spare. Long live Jaime Reyes.
Related: Our reviews of individual Blue Beetle issues.

3. Notes From A War Story - An older book by Italian artist Gipi that was just published in English this year. A crime story about three teens trying to make it big as gangsters in a warn torn country, this book has none of the graphic violence typical of mainstream American crime comics, but is still the most unsettling thing I read all year, with an ending that haunted me for days.

4. Batman - The Batman and Son arc is all well and good, but the highlight of Morrison's 2007 run was his Club of Heroes muder mystery, in which GM once again takes some long-forgotten DC basement bin heroes and turns them into fascinating, true to life characters. Also worth noting is issue #663, a one-shot that consists of page after page of pulp horror prose that gives the reader a deeper look at Batman and the Joker than could have ever been put across in mere world balloons.

5. The Umbrella Academy - A stunning debut from Gerard Way, bolstered by art and colors by top of the field artists Gabriel Ba and Dave Stewart. Funny, dark and exciting with a distinctively young voice, here's hoping this is the start of a long career in comics for Way.
Related: Our reviews of individual UA issues

6. Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil - Jeff Smith retells the Capitan Marvel story with sensitivity and artistry, while also achieving a classic, high spirited feeling of golden age DC superheroism.

7. After The Deluge - Jeff Neufeld's non-fiction webcomic tells the stories of five very different people surviving the biggest natural disaster of our lifetime. Neufeld's beautiful single color illustrations manage to capture first person experiences of Hurricane Katrina more poignantly than any article or documentary I've seen.
Related: Our past coverage of AD.

8. Welcome To Tranquility - A great new series by Gail Simone, with an memorable cast of characters who we come to know extremely well through highly stylized backup stories told via comic genres ranging from 1920 adventure serials to modern day manga. Inventive and funny, with killer art by Niel Googe.

9. Avengers: The Initiative - You may have gathered I'm not a big Marvel fan, but I loved this series, particularly the first several issues. A low to the ground look at what the future of superheroing could look like in a post-Civil War world, again with a great new cast of characters.

10. All Flash #1 - The one-shot that brought back Wally West as the Flash and introduced the world (or me, at least) to artist Karl Kershel, aka the talent to watch in 2008.
Related: All Flash scans in Panel Discussion

(Dis)Honorable Mention: The Irredeemable Ant-Man - Great series with pitch black humor, featuring an anti-hero (get it? ANT?) so deplorable that one of the most enjoyable moments of the series was when he finally gets caught and tortuously beaten by the "villain" of the series. Too bad it had to end, but I guess even Marvel readers can't stand someone who's that much of an asshole.

Albo's Top Ten Movies

1. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - A perfect movie in every way that comes to mind. Read our review.

2. The Lives of Others - I know this was technically a 2006 film, but I saw it in 2007 and it was too good to not mention.

3. No Country For Old Men - Yes, it's fashionable to like this movie.

4. Children of Men - Another one that came out elsewhere in 2006 but only hit our shores in '07, I can't remember another movie that evoked such an intense sensation of danger in me.

5. Grindhouse - Say what you will about the quality of the two flicks involved, but seeing this four hour schlock-fest in the theaters was a rare experience I'm sorry so many people missed.

6. 300 - The movie that made me dread the Watchmen movie a little less.

7. Juno - Funny with a heart, and the official arrival of the talented Ellen Page.

8. Knocked Up - More babies, good laughs, also with heart.

9. Zodiac - A consistently tense thriller without all the usual gags.

10. Beowulf 3D - If I had seen it in 2D would I have liked it? No, probably not. But flinching from flying debris was really fun. Now everything else seems dimensionally deprived.

AHR Top Ten Movies

1. Sweeney Todd - Smart choices abound; Burton cuts what wouldn't have worked on screen, gets tightly wound, intimate performances from his stars, and does cinematic justice to the most brilliant musical ever. Read my review for lots more.

2. Juno - As stylized as the script is, the characters in this movie reminded me more of the girls I knew in high school than any movie I've seen. Ellen Page makes the most of the best comedic part written for a teenage girl...ever.

3. Lars and the Real Girl - This movie quickly transcends it's jokey premise with a painfully convincing performance by Ryan Gosling, as a man whose social anxiety takes him to some strange places. Also notable for featuring a small town in which people are believably portrayed as basically good at heart, a rare thing and difficult thing to pull off in a non-hollywood film.

4. I'm Not There - Daring and masterful. While the brilliant/boring ratio is just a hair too close to be totally excusable, breathtaking moments abound, and a three minute music videoesque sequence set to Ballad of a Thin Man was the most exciting cinematic passage I saw all year.

5. King of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters - The most consistently entertaining movie on this list. A careful study of the twin demons of disappointment and ambition, with thrillingly innovative editing and storytelling techniques.

6. There Will Be Blood - Not my favorite P.T Anderson movie by a long shot, but a solid showcase of taught, artful filmmaking that speeds by in what feels like much less than two and a half hours. Daniel Day Lewis's final monologue will be performed by boys in acting classes for years and years to come.

7. The Host - The action movie of the year, that will change how you think about being chased by a monster. The child in peril subplot is almost unbearably grim, but the tension and empathy you feel for these characters must be experienced to be believed.

8. The Lives of Others - This movie actually only reached American shores this year, so I'm putting it on. Hard choices and heroism on display in a way that never feels manipulative, even in the final tear-jerking moments.

9. My Kid Could Paint That - The monster of televised fame reached new heights of horror this year, and this very personal documentary shows how the talks shows giveth and the talk shows taketh away, as a six year old child prodigy goes from celebrated human interest story to suspected fraud.

10. Paprika - Twists and turns without ever losing the thread of coherence. A beautiful challenge to watch.

Honorable Mentions: Persepolis, No Country For Old Men, Grindhouse, 300, Wristcutters, Enchanted, Hairspray.


Lena said...

Haha, you liked Enchanted.

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