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Nerd_Man reviews - Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

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Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is an "epic of epic epicness", as the ad campaigns would say. Edgar Wright is the man responsible for bringing this graphic comic-book novels-based film to life. Edgar Wright might be better known for his hit films: Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is his latest film, and he aims to deliver the goods once again on an epic scale.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is a film that is all about fighting for the ones that you love. Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera is pretty much the average geek, who is also in a band called the "Sex Bob-Omb". As a young adult, Mr. Pilgrim is having a dilemma of finding the right girl for him. He gets picked on by his friends for dating a 17 year old high school girl when he is 22 years old, and he really doesn't know how to handle the relationship. One day he starts seeing a girl in his dreams... This is, hence, the girl of his dreams. This girl's name is Ramona Flowers, and she is played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. After a series of strange dreams/hallucinations, Scott finds himself actually meeting Ramona Flowers at a party, and he makes his move to get to know her and ultimately start dating her... But, there's a twist! Ramona Flowers has Seven Evil Exes, and Scott Pilgrim must defeat them all in battles if he wishes to continue dating Ramona, and this leads into the main body of the film.

I found Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World to use more flash than it used substance, and that overall left me a bit disappointed. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is set up like a video game, and it ultimately plays like a video game. For anyone who knows a thing or two about video games, it is known that most games tend to stay on the fairly linear side and do not go deep into the world of telling the most compelling stories. Well, I think Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World unfortunately carried that video game trait along with it. The film is very structured with different levels. One level Scott will be fighting one Evil Ex, and the next level he will be fighting the next. This structure played the entire film until he defeated all the Evil Exes.

I think the acting between Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and the other main characters were just fine, but I found all the Evil Exes to be very underdeveloped... You don't really get to know much about them other than the fact that once they get their screen time, Scott Pilgrim is going to have to fight them with Ramona Flowers giving brief reasons why she dated them at all. I just didn't find the Evil Exes to be very interesting at all, and it made me lose interest in the fate of the battles they were in. With the bulk of the film being about these big battles, it left me kinda bored.

On the bright side, I thought Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World has great and stylish special effects and it was a very funny film. It would be a lie to say no one in my theater wasn't laughing, because people were laughing nonstop throughout the film. Most of the jokes in the film might appeal more to the people who grew up with video games, MTV and various other forms of 80s-00s pop culture. I think Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World will have a very limited appeal to a certain audience. This crowd that it will appeal to the most is definitely the geek crowd who play video games, read comic books and love technology. I really can't say how any other people would like this film, but this film wasn't made for those other people.

Overall, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is a repetitive film that trades flash over substance, but it was still decent because it is hilarious and packed to the rim with pop culture references that I can relate to. It has a very limited appeal to a specific audience. It's difficult recommending this film to a wide audience, because there isn't much here besides what was made for the fans. That being said, if you're reading this review and consider yourself a total geek and you are proud of it - well, this movie was made for you.

6.5/10

Strange Days

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I hate you, Chessmaster1989. No, not really. But still. Ya know? No? ok. Well, I've been tagged to do one of these silly little Myspace-esque surveys that make no sense whatsoever. I thought, instead of being a stinker, and pretending as if I never read Chessmaster1989's tag to begin with, I'd play along and continue this plaque of an internet chain letter/fad/whatever you call it.
So, what do I do? Well... I am going to be asked a series of questions, and instead of actually giving thought-out answers, I let my iPod on Shuffle mode do all the talking!... It's pretty silly, if you ask me... But then I guess I have to tag 10 other victims -- I mean, Gamespot members -- to do the same thing I am about to do now... But honestly, if you don't feel like doing this crap, I don't blame you.
Well, if you happen to be unlucky enough to tag you on this thing, and you happen to decide to do a blog like this anyways, here's the definitive "rules" to the game that I got from the last guy:

1. Put Your iTunes (or other music player) on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends.
6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus.

So, without further ado, let's get started...

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1. If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say

"21st Century Breakdown" - Greenday

2. How would you describe yourself?

"It's a Living Thing" - E.L.O.

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Queen

4. How do you feel today?

"Lights Out" - Mindless Self Indulgence

5. What is your life's purpose?

"Brighter" - Paramore

6. What is your motto?

"Cemeteries of London" - Coldplay

7. What do your friends think of you?

"Careful" - Paramore

8. What do you think of your parents?

"You Make Me Feel So Young" - Frank Sinatra

9. What do you think about very often?

"Let's Spend the Night Together" - The Rolling Stones

10. What is 2 + 2?

"Viva la Gloria!" - Green Day

11. What do you think of your best friend?

"Lonely Day" - System of a Down

12. What do you think of the person you like?

"East Jesus Nowhere" - Green Day

13. What is your life story?

"Kill Rock 'N Roll" - System of a Down

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?

"Knocking on Heaven's Door" - Guns N' Roses

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?

"The Changeling" - The Doors

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?

"Tear You Apart" - She Wants Revenge

17. What will they play at your funeral?

"Bad Attitude" - Deep Purple

18. What is your hobby/interest?

"Street Fighting Man" - The Rolling Stones

19. What is your biggest fear?

"Shoot 'Em Down" - Twisted Sister

20. What is your biggest secret?

"Lost" - Coldplay

21. What do you think of your friends?

"Lucky" - Jason Mraz

22. What will you put as the title?

"Strange Days" - The Doors

[color=red]Now, I think instead of tagging people in my immediate friends list, my victims are going to be the first 10 people in whatever the current roll call thread is stickied in OT...[/color]

Nerd_Man reviews - Inception

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Inceptiondreams big as Christopher Nolan's latest epic film. Christopher Nolan is best known for a little film of his that I'm sure lot of people might have heard of by now (The Dark Knight). He's really become a well-known film director with his Batman franchise break-through, but any fan of film might be aware of some of his earlier work, such as Memento, as his true masterpieces. Inception goes back to Nolan's roots of crafting the best possible experiences packed with ambition and incredible blockbuster entertainment, and it's especially welcome to a desperate Summer in need of quality films.

Inception is a science-fiction action/adventure film about a man named Dom Cobb who has faced a series of unfortunate events that have ultimately separated him from his children. Mr. Cobb is an expert at the extraction of ideas from the human mind. He and his partners have the ability of entering the dream world and use their abilities to steal ideas from the human mind. In a last attempt to make it back to his children, Mr. Cobb is offered a final job opportunity that will grant him his chance to see the kids again if he pulls a successful mission... Of course this job opportunity has something to do with him invading the mind of another person, but what happens during this mission and how it turns out will be completely up to the viewers to find out for themselves.

This film may be a big Hollywood blockbuster film, but it doesn't necessarily feel like the typical blockbuster that people know and love. This film does something different, and it packs intelligence to the rim rather than polluting its canvas with loud and obnoxious nonsense. With that said, Inception is a thinking film. It's a film about the human mind, and having a functioning mind is pretty much required by the viewer if they expect to appreciate the film to its fullest. The film may also need a decent understanding of the philosophy behind it (Think Allegory of the Cave meets science-fiction... Or The Matrix a.k.a. Plato's Allegory of the Cave: For Dummies). Whether or not someone finds the film confusing, it's still a hugely entertaining film that showcases breathtaking visuals that take place in a human mind, and as well as plenty of action-packed scenarios that also includes one of the most breathtaking fight sequences shown in recent years of cinema.

With so much information in one film, it is required for most viewers to see Inception multiple times if they want to understand and appreciate everything about it. It's a film that one just has to see again, and not because one would have to force him or herself to watch it again in order to understand it, but because one would WANT to see it again because the world of Inception is one dream people won't want to wake up from. Giving Inception a rating with just one viewing thus far is a tough task to do, as there's so much more to the film I could learn with another viewing; but one thing is certain, and this is I absolutely loved Inception. At this point I can't give the film anything lower than a 9/10 rating, and I can only imagine it getting better the next time I see it.

Inception is a film I strongly recommend to anyone who wants a film that's both entertaining, intelligent, and unique at the same time. It's a film about invading the human mind, and Inception will definitely invade the minds of viewers even long after the experience.

9/10

My favorite Pixar films

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In honor of the release of Toy Story 3, I will take the time to make another Pixar related blog!

I think I've built up quite a reputation over the years on this site for being something like a "Pixar guy". A lot of you guys here seem to see me as some sort of overly obsessed Pixar fanatic; needless to say, you're most likely right over such assumptions. I love Pixar. If I was trapped on an island and was forced to only watch movies from one single studio for the rest of my life, I would choose Pixar. No offense to all you other movie studios out there, but I just think Pixar is better. They are without a doubt my favorite movie company out there - and I say movie company because I am not just talking in terms of animation, but in terms of movies in general. So maybe that can set the bar for you to understand just how much I like Pixar.

Anyways, I love each and every Pixar film in their own ways. There has never been a time in which I walked away from a Pixar film and felt unsatisfied. However, I think I can safely say I do indeed have some favorites out of the bunch. While I don't think there's such a thing of a worst Pixar film, I will take the time to go over some of my personal favorites. Just because I don't include other Pixar films doesn't mean I don't love them either. With 11 Pixar films now, it's incredibly tough narrowing my choices down to just a few.

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5.

- WALL-E ( 2008 )

WALL-E is a film that I have been hyping for years before it even came out in theaters. I remember there was a time when there was only I talking about such a film while everyone else didn't really know what the heck I was talking about... Needless to say, of all Pixar films, WALL-E was probably the film I was eagerly anticipating more than any other.
When I finally got to see the movie for myself, the wait really paid-off. The whole premise behind it and the fact that the majority of the film lacked dialogue, yet captivated me so much anyways, really made this film stand out from the bunch for me. It amazes me how a little box-shaped robot can trigger so many emotional strings to an audience. Leave it up to Pixar.

4.

- Ratatouille ( 2007 )

I like to look at Ratatouille as one of Pixar's edgiest films. I think director Brad Bird in general has brought forth an edgier side to Pixar when he joined the team and created The Incredibles. Ratatouille, in my opinion, takes things to the next level.
More so than any Pixar film to date, I think Ratatouille has one of the strangest and most awkward concepts used as a plot device... I mean, a rat using human hair as a control system to control the human himself? "What the..." That's what I thought when I first heard of such concept. Strangely enough, when I finally saw Ratatouille, the film rolled past the weirdness and actually made it work flawlessly. What once was one of the weirdest concepts for a movie soon made yet another winner for the Pixar team. I think it goes to show that Pixar can come up with any idea that is completely mundane and unbelievable, and actually make it work in the end.

3.

- Up ( 2009 )

Surprised? Some of you, maybe... For quite some time I've been putting Up to the top of my list for favorite Pixar films and not giving much more thought to such decisions than that. It still is at the top of my list, along with these other Pixar films I'm talking about in this blog. In my opinion, they're all close to equal - but honestly, I think there's a few other Pixar films that I can still watch today, no matter how many times I have watched them, and still love them just as much as the first time I watched them.
Anyways, about Up... I would personally consider Up to be by far the most emotional Pixar film to date for me. This film got me closest to crying more so than any other Pixar film (Or maybe I did cry? I don't remember). On top of that, the whole premise behind Up is probably one of the most imaginative premises Pixar has come up with to date. Director Pete Docter is pretty much my favorite directors at Pixar, because he seems to make the most heartfelt and imaginative Pixar films, and Up was no exception.

2.

- Toy Story trilogy ( 1995-2010 )

I guess it could be considered cheating to include three films in one slot - but I think it's best to have the Toy Story trilogy kept together... Because they go together. The original Toy Story film was a breakthrough in animation. It was the first ever fully computer animated feature length film that graced cinema. It wasn't just the fact that the film was historical in that sense, but also because it was a pretty darn awesome movie in its own right. Pixar created an ensemble of characters that were destined to become household names down the road - surely that's exactly what happened. The story itself in Toy Story was amazing as well, and sharply written in such a way that it appealed to anyone that ranged from being a kid to an adult. Toy Story really broke the barriers of being a movie truly for everyone. When Toy Story 2 came around, Pixar blew everyone away once again and proved that they can make a sequel that it just as good, or even better, than the original film... Over a decade later, Pixar has blown everyone away once again with Toy Story 3 and matched exactly what made the first two films amazing in the first place.
The reason why I place Toy Story so high on my list is because it doesn't matter how many times I watch any of the films... They still amaze me to this day. The way Toy Story 3 ended the trilogy was probably among one of the greatest endings for any movie Pixar has ever created so far.

1.

- Monsters, Inc. ( 2001 )

Monsters Inc. is my favorite Pixar film... Yeah what? While Monsters Inc. is highly acclaimed by most critics, all too often I see it somewhere near the bottom of most peoples' lists of favorite-to-least-favorite Pixar films... I don't understand what's up with that. Without a doubt I think Monsters Inc. is by far the most under-appreciated Pixar film.
When I first saw the film when I was younger, I just grew completely obsessed with anything Monsters Incorporated. To this day I still just can't get enough of this film. Much like Up, I think Pete Docter created yet another one of the most imaginative and heartwarming Pixar films. Mike and Sulley are among my favorite characters in any Pixar film, and I think they were a perfect duo... One was big and tough, and then the other was... Not so big or tough... But the talents of the voice actors is what really brought them to life and made them so wonderful to watch on the screen. The story itself was exceptional and the overall heart of the film was enough for me to never grow tired of it.

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Well that's that... I'm sure my rankings will come off as a bit unexpected for some of you, but that's because it was really until just recently when I started thinking of what are truly my favorite Pixar films, and which ones stood out from one another. It's really tough for me to rank the films because I love each of them in their own ways, including the ones that did not make the list, but I guess this is the closest I will ever get to having a definitive list of favorite Pixar films. By the way, I would give each and every film on this list 10/10 ratings, so I guess that goes to show how perfect I see them all as.

Nerd_Man reviews - Toy Story 3

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Toy Story 3 is the latest film released by Pixar Animation Studios... Maybe you've heard about it already(?). Going along the final note that Toy Story 2 left off with,Toy Story 3 starts off about a decade after the events of that previous film with the theme of Andy someday growing up and going to college actually becoming a reality. The gaps in the timeline between the first two films and Toy Story 3 may seem large at first, but Pixar has shown that while humans (And Buster's) grow up, it will never matter how old the toys are because they will never change.

Toy Story 3 certainly does live up to its predecessors despite being further down the timeline. Pixar has brilliantly taken the opportunity to take advantage of the aging process and make it the central theme around the movie. While the toys may not age, everyone else does and they are facing the reality of being rejected from their once loved owners. Eventually these toys end up being donated to a child's daycare, and Woody at the time is the only one in the group who's still faithful for Andy - but unfortunately at this time he has lost his sense of leadership because the rest of the toys have become greeted and enlightened by the residential toys of the daycare into believing the place is some sort of Utopia in which toys go where they can be played with forever and never have to face rejection ever again... But of course after day one of their duties they learn that little toddlers can be quite devilish creatures whom don't take the least bit care of the toys. This is when the rest of the toys conclude that they should get out of the daycare and go back home... But simply walking out of the main entrance isn't as easy as it looks. Why can't they just leave the place? Well you just gotta see the film for yourself and see what roadblocks are thrown in their way.

There isn't really much more about the film I should talk about without giving massive spoilers, but I will say there certainly is plenty of things that happen in the film that come with different emotions that range from pure Toy Story fun to pure brilliance that you can expect from a Pixar film. If you loved it when movies like WALL-E and Up tugged at your heart-strings, just wait until what you see what Pixar has in store with Toy Story 3. Particularly the last 20 to 30 minutes gave me emotions that ranged from tears of joy to complete heartbreak. What happens to these toys might come off as unexpected for some viewers, but it will prove that most viewers truly care about these characters and that it was a perfect way to end a beloved franchise.

Overall, Toy Story 3 was a superb film and a worthy addition to Pixar's amazing catalog of films. Toy Story as a trilogy might as well go down in history for being one of the greatest trilogies of all-time. If there's one extremely minor qualm about the movie (And it doesn't really have anything to do with the film itself either), I think audiences could go without the 3D. It gave the film some depth at first, but then it became hardly noticeable once the film kicked into full gear. Having seen the film a second time in 2D, I thought the picture was more vibrant and focused. If you wish to see Toy Story 3 at all and save a few bucks, I would recommend it in 2D.

10/10

Nerd_Man reviews - How to Train Your Dragon

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How to Train Your Dragon is the latest animated film by Dreamworks Animation. How to Train Your Dragon is the first of three films to be released in 2010 by Dreamworks Animation. What could it possibly mean with this studio pumping that many movies in a single year? Dreamworks Animation has long been known to compete with Pixar Animation Studios for being the best computer animated powerhouse in the industry -- but Pixar usually takes their time with making films and to date they have never released more than one film in a single year. Could this be a perfect case of quality vs. quantity?-- Well, let's see how How to Train Your Dragon stands out and if it meets the standards of being a quality animated film that anyone can enjoy.

Before anything, I'm not ashamed to say that I'm quite a biased Pixar fanboy. Anyone who knows me well enough on this site should already know that. I'm one of those people, who know matter what happens, will always reign Pixar a step above the crowd. I have also always been quite biased against Dreamworks Animation for various reasons, and I always told myself that until the day I see some change in their ethics of making an animated film, I probably will never like them. Well -- I gotta give credit when it's due. I really enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon. I feel that Dreamworks Animation has had a rough road, but I'm starting to see them change, and How to Train Your Dragon is probably one of their better films that they have made over the years.

How to Train Your Dragon is a film about vikings who have a dragon pest problem in their village. These vikings spend their time fending off these dragons. Why don't these vikings just move out to better grounds that isn't infested with dragons? Well, because vikings are just stubborn that way and have a thirst for defeating these creatures. The film's protagonist is a young viking named Hiccup. He isn't like the other vikings -- he's the outcast viking -- the weakling in the tribe, the one who can't get a girlfriend, and the one who can't kill a dragon. He's always longed to become accepted in the group, but he's always been seen as a pushover. One night, with luck, Hiccup sets fire to the sky and shoots down a dragon; but this isn't any ordinary dragon he shot down... it's the Night Fury, one of the fiercest and most elusive dragons known to the entire viking colony. Hiccup soon seeks out for the shot down dragon; and when he finally finds him, instead of killing him, he helps free him... Which then sparks an unusual friendship between Hiccup and the dragon.

The story, I hate to say, follows a very similar plotline with various other films, including the oh so recent film that goes by the name of Avatar. If You've seen Dances With Wolves, Pocahontas, or Avatar, you can probably get a basic idea of what kind of story How to Train Your Dragon will have. Not to say that's an absolutely horrible thing (Unless you absolutely must say it is)... On the upside, I would probably say the scriptwriting in How to Train Your Dragon and its dialogue is leagues better that Avatar's. It's a funny movie, and it has an unexpected level of heart that one would typically find in a Pixar film. If you couldn't handle the serious tone of Avatar, perhaps a lighthearted and funny cartoon version of it with vikings and dragons will do you good? Your call.

Overall, in the name of a biased Pixar fanboy, I would like to say I was thoroughly impressed with How to Train Your Dragon. I certainly feel like it is a step up for Dreamworks Animation. I feel as though they're starting to mature and some of their more recent films prove they don't need to rely on packing their films with all-star voice casts and pop-cultural references to be entertaining. If you need a satisfying animated film this Spring season, then you can't go wrong with How to Train Your Dragon.

8/10

My top five video games of 2009

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I think I'm gonna take a little break from movie talk... And talk about video games for a bit. Video games of 2009, that is.

Every year seems to just keep getting better and better for video games. 2007 was arguably one of the best years for video games when games like Bioshock, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, The Orange Box, Super Mario Galaxy, and many other games graced our consoles... 2008 was another superb year with games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet, Fallout 3, and many others... Well, 2009 seemed to be another great year for games.
Although, I'll have to confess that I haven't played every big game in 2009 (I'll have to hold games like Super Mario Bros. Wii and Left 4 Dead 2 for playthroughs in the future), but I do think I've played a good amount to justify a top 5 list. These following games are not just games that I ended up liking - these are games that I ended up absolutely loving and provided some of the best video game experiences I've had in a long time.

So, without further ado, here's my countdown!

5.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Like any video game based off of an already established franchise (Games based off of TV shows, movies, comics, etc.), I had a huge amount of skepticism for Batman: Arkham Asylum. I really expected it to fail; but in the end, I'm glad it didn't. Arkham Asylum isn't just a superb comic book game, it's an amazing action adventure altogether. You don't even have to be familiar with the Batman universe to enjoy this game. While Batman enthusiasts will be amazed by all the easter eggs put into the game, others will still love it for the experience it has to offer. Batman: Arkham Asylum is by far my favorite video game that is based off of an already established franchise since Goldeneye: 007 on the N64. I'm really excited for Batman's next video game adventure.

4.

Infamous

Like Batman: Arkham Asylum, I went into Infamous with a large amount of skepticism. I even played the demo of the game a month or so before the game came out, and I still wasn't sold on it. The only reason why I gave the game a chance at all was because it kept receiving such praise. I'm glad I gave it a chance. While Infamous may not have the most advanced graphics compared to other games these day, it had such stellar gameplay that once you got in to it and its story, it was a game you simply could not put down. It's about a 20 hour game, and you'll be doing all kinds of missions in this open world that will keep a lot of variety and interesting things to do. 2009 has been a good year for super hero games... Both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Infamous are probably some of the best super hero games ever created. I think Sucker Punch has created the next great franchise under their roof since the Sly Cooper series.

3.

Assassins Creed 2

When the first Assassins Creed game came out in 2007, it received a great deal of mixed reaction. One end had people praising the game, despite its obvious flaws - and the other half didn't see past those flaws. Personally, I greatly enjoyed Assassins Creed. When I first heard from the developers that Assassins Creed 2 will address all the flaws and complaints of the first game, I really didn't know if that was a case of being too good to be true... But I can safely say that it was very true. As much as I enjoyed the first Assassins Creed game, Assassins Creed 2 is FAR superior than the first in every way. It's almost not the same game, but in a good way. Assassins Creed 2 is simply leagues better than the first. It has way more variety than what you could have hoped for, and the story is presented in a way that stays interesting from start to finish without getting repetitive. The gameplay takes what worked from the first game, and is tweaked a bit and given a lot more functions for Ezio to use than what his Altair ancestor originally had. I can almost picture what Assassins Creed 3 will be like, and I can picture it being absolutely amazing. For those of you who have yet to touch the Assassins Creed franchise, I suggest it's a good time to get started before before you get chapters behind.

2.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I greatly enjoyed the first Uncharted game as well. It was the first time I ever felt that someone finally made an Indiana Jones game (That kind of game I've dreamed of being made for a long time). Uncharted 2 takes everything that was wonderful about the first game, and pluses it to the point where no other game currently out can top it in terms of polish. Uncharted 2 is a nonstop roller coaster ride from start to finish with absolutely no hiccups. The characters are probably some of the most lovable characters I've played with in years, and the story is fun and has a good combination of humor and serious moments. It amazes me just how much love Naughty Dog put into this game. You can really tell that they paid attention to every little detail in the game to make it the best experience possible that can rival with some of the best of Hollywood blockbuster films... Oh, and it has an online component that's not so bad either.

1.

Demon's Souls

I just beat Demon's Souls, but right as I beat it I just knew this had to be my favorite game of the year. I really don't know how to describe my experience with this game other than it was probably one of the most satisfying games I've ever played. It really brought me back to how games used to be when they were challenging. With that said, Demon's Souls can be a brutally challenging game. It's not a game that you can just pick up and expect to get far in the first few hours. This game doesn't reward people who rush. If you take your time and learn from all your mistakes, it will make you much better off. But as a result, it really made me feel that much more involved with the game. The fact I had to think constantly and always be on my toes in such a hostile and scary world, really made me that much more immersed. Demon's Souls is also a very innovative game. On the surface, it looks like your typical sword wielding RPG game, but on the inside it provides some of the most innovative online mechanics that have never been done before. The game works best when you're online, because when you play, you also play with others in a strange way. You will see ghostly figures of other players playing at the same time as you, and notes left behind by other people that can help clue and warn people of what's coming up (You can leave down notes, too). When you see notes like "Beware of the darkness ahead" left from other players in front of a cave entrance, it really puts you on your toes for what could possibly be lurking in that cave. You will also be able to summon other players into your game to play the levels and bosses in a co-op fashion. The scariest part of all of Demon's Souls online functions, is that sometimes you will get invaded by other players who will come into your land and try to assassinate you. At that point, every plan you might have had before that has been dropped and now you suddenly have to know where this other player is hiding so you can hopefully defeat him before he defeats you. If really adds a lot of tension to the game and makes the world feel all that less safe to be in. Overall, Demon's Souls is a game that I think everyone should try. As intimidating as the difficulty might sound, it's just something that has to be experienced. It's definitely a game that I will remember, for a long time.

Well there you have it - my top five games of 2009. Do you like my list? Dislike it? Well, I'm open for opinions. So be sure to let me know what some of your favorite games were that came out in 2009!

Nerd_Man reviews - Avatar

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Avatar is a 3-D science-fiction epic film directed by James Cameron. James Cameron is pretty well-known for bringing the world big blockbuster hits. Without Cameron, we wouldn't have films like The Terminator series, Aliens, or Titanic. These films aren't just your generic blockbuster movies - they provide stories and characters deeper than your average action movie. Since 1997's release of Titanic, Cameron has taken a long break from movies. Besides some minor projects here and there, Cameron has never really given himself the chance to shine with the next big movie in the new decade... Apparently he's been quiet all this time and working on Avatar, readying it for its 2009 release.

Avatar has gotten a lot of attention over recent months. Online communities seem to be so split up on whether or not it will be any good. A lot of people have been providing skepticism thinking that its technology won't be balanced with a strong story, and others praised it that it will bring something new and groundbreaking to cinema. Honestly, I was among the group of people who were skeptical about this film. Many of us criticized it for not having an original story... And that's quite right, for the most part. Avatar pretty much is a Dances With Wolves set in a science-fiction world. BUT, I can't let that hurt the film.The thing I actually disliked most about the film, was not the story, but that fact that some of the dialogue was just laughable at times - but that's a very small complaint for what I thought was an overall superb film. I was pleasantly surprised by the film. A lot of people are going to bash the film, though, for having a similar story to Dances With Wolves; but honestly, if that's what people are going to do, their loss. The story, at least, worked - and it wasn't bad either. Generic? Maybe, but it was at least capable of getting from point A to point B without losing the attention of the audience.

Avatar really grabbed me into the world of Pandora, and it really got me attached to the characters among the Na'vi people. Upon seeing the trailers, I thought these creatures just looked weird. But after seeing the movie, they really grew on me and I really felt for them when there were moments of emotion. With the realism of these characters, that will lead us up to the special effects. They were among some of the most beautiful effects I have ever seen in a movie. I know it was CGI, but even the CGI was the best of its kind. I have never seen a film with CGI as good as this. The Na'vi's looked so incredibly real, that they almost seemed like they were just real people wearing large amounts of makeup and prosthetics.

Overall, Avatar doesn't come without some flaws, but I think those flaws are little compared to the whole package. The movie is long with a three hour runtime, but those three hours went by so fast for me. When it ended, I was already wanting more... For a three hour movie to make me wish it was longer, I think that is saying quite something. I definitely want to see Avatar more times in the future, and I'm sure I would love it even more and give it a higher rating the more I see it - but as of now I will kindly give it 9/10.

Nerd_Man reviews - Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Fantastic Mr. Fox is the latest stop-motion animated film to hit the big-screen. Stop-motion seems to be a dying breed in animation, but it's at least cool that notable film teams, like Henry Selick and Aardman Animations, are keeping the art-form alive. This time, with Fantastic Mr. Fox, we have Wes Anderson joining the party. Wes Anderson is probably most known for his 1998 release of Rushmore, but today he has ditched live-action for a charming and witty film based off of a children's book.

Fantastic is in the name, and fantastic is right - Fantastic Mr. Fox is fantastic (Ok, that was cheesy...). It really was.
In fact, this is probably one of the most intriguing stop-motion films I've ever seen. It's kinda funny, because with some of the biggest studios out there that follow this medium, they try to make these films as realistic as possible; but this film, it recognizes its limited resources, and takes advantage of it. As a result, Fantastic Mr. Fox has been turned into one of the most unique looking films out there. A lot of people can look at the animation quality for this film and call it poor compared to other animated films, but I think it only adds to the charm and humor.

Humor is right. I thought this movie was funny. I was smiling just about the whole way through, and bursted out laughing countless times. The film just knows it's stupid, but in a good way. It takes stupidity and makes fun with it. The story itself is enough to tell just how stupid this film is. A story about a fox who can't get over his favorite pastime (Stealing), moves into a new home with his family, but soon crosses trails with a group of some of the meanest farmers that then turns everything into a hide film as these farmers do whatever it takes to take down these critters... And they really do pretty much anything over capturing a fox. It was just so hilarious and stupid, and so fantastic. There really wasn't anything not to like.

In conclusion, Fantastic Mr. Fox is an animated film that deserves attention. It's not just a film for kids, because there's also tons of cussing in this film... So adults should love it, too. I give this film two thumbs up (Click spoiler below) and a 9/10.

[spoiler] [/spoiler]

Nerd_Man reviews - Paranormal Activity

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Paranormal Activity is a film written and directed by Oren Peli. This film was first ever showed to an audience in 2007 at a film festival. Since then, Paranormal Activity has been popping up here and there at various film festivals and getting word of mouth by people who have seen it. Here it is now, 2009, and Paranormal Activity has been officially released to a very limited amount of theaters. This Indie film has had a long journey, but now it's finally released. For most people, there probably isn't a theater around them in America that shows this film - but no worries, it is now official that October 16th is the big day for this film and it will be released nationwide. If you're unlucky enough to have it not released at a theater near you, hopefully you can wait for another week.

So anyways, about that film... It's being described as one of the scariest movies ever by a lot of people, but I would not say it's the scariest film I've ever seen, but it was definitely creepy and got me nervous many times. I've seen a lot of messed up things in life, so it's not easy to scare me anymore; but to make me nervous and cringe at the edge of my seat, then the film has done the job right.
I certainly understand why this film is so scary for many people. It's just so realistic, and it's hard to believe that I just paid to watch people act the whole time. It didn't feel like acting at all, it felt just like what the film intended it to be: with a couple under the suspicion of strange activities going on around their house at night and one day felt like filming around their house to see if they could pick up any disturbances. The film was so realistic, that when the movie finished, a guy across the theater asked: "So wait, was this real, or not?" -- That might have been a stupid question to ask, but I think that question alone just shows that this film is about as realistic as it gets and doesn't fall under the typical cliches that we're used to seeing. We don't need constant blood and guts and shock value with CGI monsters to creep us out. Those gimmicks just get boring after a while. It's a good thing that Paranormal Activity didn't go for any of that. Paranormal Activity really focused on the quiet moments of horror. I think it's the quiet moments that effect people the most. Humans are not meant to relate real life with things popping up constantly in your face - we much better relate with the quiet things and the sense of wonder of what could possibly be the meanings of certain things. I think that's where this film is most effective and is able to really disturb a lot of people.

Overall, Paranormal Activity, is what I would think, is definitely a film that does something good for the horror genre. It's good to know that the horror genre isn't completely dead. I think most mainstream film studios should seriously take a look at what Paranormal Activity did and try to learn a thing or two about what is really some of the most basic, yet effective horror techniques. 8/10

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