It has been an ETERNITY since I last updated. So why is that? And why do I think it won't change much, work and life have done me in haha. Got engaged and working like crazy will do all of that. But I must keep up the annual tradition as reminded by my friend. Here are the 2009 Gonchy Awards!
Best Film: Avatar - Hands down, the most enthralling, exciting, and pull-you-in film I've seen since The Dark Knight. I was sucked into this world of Pandora and scarcely wanted to leave. Cameron and the designers outdid themselves, they truly created a unique and amazing world. The story is nothing too new, but it's all about how it comes together, and it is done masterfully. There are no real new stories, it's all about how you tell the story. And it couldn't have been done much better.
Film Franchise Saved: Star Trek - Holy crap, this is not your Dad's Star Trek. I enjoyed some of those films and shows but it never really grabbed me. A lot of crazy talk, little action, slow moving. Not this movie, J.J. Abrams brought out the best in this franchise and it's the most thrilling way it has ever been presented.
What The Hell Was That?: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - No I didn't see most of this, I watched many clips of this over a coworker's shoulder and that was enough for me (along with written recaps). Easily some of the biggest WTH moments I've seen in one movie.
Awesomeness On A Budget: District 9 - It was a better year for Sci-Fi than I would have at first imagined. If Avatar showed what you could create with enough money to buy a small country, District 9 showed what you could build with enough to buy a city (Disclaimer: I didn't research either of those ridiculous claims so pipe down). Unheard of actors with an unknown leading man who carried things to a wonderful, tumultuous journey into just how badly we would treat a non-invading force of alien refugees, impressed all around.
Better Than You Think: The Blind Side - Yes it's a football movie. Yes it has Sandra Bullock. Yes it has racial overtones. And yes, it's way better than you think. I really can't stand Bullock and I think it's one of the best performances she has ever given, maybe Oscar-worthy. Go see it if you haven't, it's quite a nice piece of filmmaking.
Best Animated Film: Up - Don't get me wrong, Princess and the Frog was a well done, by the numbers Disney animated feature that doesn't disappoint and was nice to see handdrawn animation again. But let's not kid ourselves, Pixar can't lose (If you ignore Cars, didn't care for it). Up's a wonderful movie that both lifts your heart and droops it at the same time. The biggest issue is that it is technically a fairly depressing movie when you think of its overtones and why the main character is motivated for the whole movie. It's still brilliant though, and my god the dogs were awesomely hilarious.
Most Anticipated Film of 2010: Iron Man 2 - The posters and trailer are great, the casting is impressive and the story looks super fun. Let's just hope it isn't too jam-packed with awesomeness. Wait, that's not possible.
Best Show: Tie between Lost and Chuck - I just can't pick one of these, both had wonderful seasons and were pretty consistent. Lost in particular picked up some steam big time and ended on another big bang. Chuck is just rarely ever a letdown, even if it's not big event television, it's fun and a joy to watch the cast work together.
We'll Miss You: Dollhouse - I really enjoyed this show, not quite as much as the other Joss Whedon ones to be sure, but it's so hard to live up to those. He still had my attention and I liked the unique idea and the cast. At least it got 2 seasons as Fox tried not to kill it too fast, but it shared the same fate as Firefly in the end, dead before it had a chance to really show us what it could do.
Can't Wait For It To Come Back: Tie between Lost and Chuck - Lost really gets a slight edge here as it will be the final season and we're all itching to learn every last thing we can about the island and its people, though we should fear that questions will still be left unanswered :( Chuck is one of the most consistently entertaining shows on TV and after I gave up on Heroes this year, NBC has realized it as well, giving Chuck the Heroes timeslot. Take that, Peter.
You've Failed Me For The Last Time: Tie between Family Guy and Heroes - Both shows I used to enjoy just fell apart for me this year. Family Guy will probably always have its good moments, but it's a shadow of itself and keeps repeating the same idiotic storylines. A dog does not date people! As for Heroes, don't get me started, I've seen one-shot comic books move through story quicker, it makes Lost look like a novella. Oh wait, that's because they have CHARACTER PROGRESSION on Lost, something Heroes hasn't heard of. Sigh. And if someone gets too powerful and we can't figure out how to write for them, we de-power them.
Don't Let Me Down: Smallville - Let's be fair, I've been through 8 and a half seasons of this show, so once I hit a certain point I was gonna see this thing through to the end (this assumes it ever does, heh). But along with some of season 8, season 9 has been one of the best ever, the use of DC characters has gotten better and better, the Clark and Lois dynamic has been its best and it's a completely Lana-free show. With the coming Justice Society eps, I'm really excited for this season. Just, like you have in the past, don't let me down Smallville. The season 9 finale has to be better than season 8's, all the other ones were :p
Best Song: Do You Wanna Date My Avatar by Felicia Day and the cast of The Guild - Yes a cheesy pick, but boy it's catchy and funny. The video is good, too, I recommend checking it out along with the series.
Best Album: 21st Century Breakdown by Green Day - They've done it again, one of the best rock bands of all time has put out an amazing follow up to American Idiot (which seemed impossible). With wonderfully catchy songs like Know Your Enemy and 21 Guns, they continue to redefine themselves and keep the band on top of the charts.
Best Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum - The best comic book/superhero game ever made and the most faithful, it's like playing an even darker version of the Batman Animated Series from the 90s. And it should feel that way, considering it has that show's original voice talents for Batman, Joker, and Harley Quinn as well as the same creative consultants. Rocksteady Studios took painstaking efforts to recreate Arkham and create a flawless gameplay experience, with an engrossing environment and even more impressively, some character redesigns that could have been disasters but were instead great reimaginings.
Best Sports Game: NHL 10 - Maybe I'm biased being an EA employee and a lover of hockey, but I can't deny the awesomeness of it. They keep delivering since 2008 when they finally toppled 2k Sports in quality and haven't looked back. Improved play and presentation make this the smoothest version yet.
Best Portable Game: Scribblenauts - It is by no means perfect, the controls could use some fixing, but it's still the most imaginative and amazing little piece of software. Solve puzzles by conjuring up just about anything you think of by writing it in the game and having it appear. It's only limited by your imagination (and the disgustingly vast array of words). The mind boggles at how awesome this game could be on the PC.
Developer Most Obsessed With Peripherals: Activision - Ok we get it, you like making people spend over $100 for your games in a bad economy. Yes you have Guitar Hero 5 this year, just as fair as Harmonix having Beatles Rock Band. But you didn't stop there, you released DJ Hero with a whole new peripheral, and then there's Tony Hawk Ride, a complete and utter failure for $120, yuck. Don't get me started on the elite bundle of XBox 360 with Modern Warfare 2 that includes a pair of working night-vision goggles. Seriously? Try a little harder on the software front and turn down the hardware factories just a tad, please.
Most Anticipated Game of 2010: Tie between Mass Effect 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic - I have yet to play Mass Effect (I have it sitting in its plastic wrap sadly still) but what I've seen of it looks fantastic once I get around to it. So it stands to reason that ME2 could be even better. SW:TOR though looks brilliant for sure. KOTOR was a masterpiece and I'm not even a Star Wars fan. Could Bioware capture lightning in a bottle twice next year?!
That's all the categories for this year. Chime in with your thoughts. See you next year!