2011’s Best and Worst
Listen…. do you smell something? That’s the distinct aroma of awards season bearing down on the entertainment industry. People’s Choice, S.A.G., Golden Globes, Academy Awards. That’s just the film side. So, like everyone else on the internet, we’re gonna give a shot at doing our own Best and Worst of 2011. It’s a mix of film, games, TV and whatever else we thought was noteworthy last year, geek-wise. Instead of trying to cobble together my own thoughts and link to previous articles and reviews, I thought I’d poll all of our contributors and my close circle of friends, appropriately dubbed the CoolGeeks, to basically write this article for me.
Aint I a stinker?
Best of 2011
Best Game; Portal 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3): Singlehandedly proves that sequels can be better than their predecessors, puzzle games can earn game of the year awards and your co-op partner will NEVER listen to you. Now, would someone please tell me where my GUI level editor is? – Chris K.
Best Game; Star Wars: The Old Republic: What’s not to love about this game? Bioware really did their homework on this one. All the important lessons from previous MMORPG’s have been learned and incorporated into this TRULY massive game. I can’t imagine the total amount of time and money spent building this game, but dammed if it wasn’t worth every penny and every hour spent! – Greg D.
Best Game; Skyrim (Windows PC, Xbox 360, PS3): The graphics are top notch, the roleplay is definitive, and the open-ended gameplay will utterly destroy your life. – Chris L.
Best Game; Batman: Arkham City (Windows PC, Xbox 360, PS3): An incredible follow up to an incredible sandbox brawler. From story, to graphics to voice acting, Arkham City is close to being a perfect 10. – Chris K.
Best Game; Dead Island: Thrill a minute zombie gore-fest! This one kept me playing long past completing the main storyline. The best of Borderlands, Left 4 Dead and Diablo rolled together into one! – Greg D.
Best Mobile Game; Where’s My Water (Android, iOS): Disney’s colorful path finding game isn’t incredibly challenging, but a hugely entertaining alternative to the multitude of Angry Birds clones. Keep an eye out for Wall-E. – Chris K.
Best Mobile Game; Cut the Rope (Android, iOs): Angry Birds can get boring and repetitive. Cut the Rope is challenging, addictive and makes you think – Damon C.
Best Film; The Adventures of Tintin: Everything the last Indiana Jones should have been. – Andy S.
Best Film; Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A pleasant surprise, this prequel to the 2001 reboot “Planet of the Apes” surpassed its predecessor with a solid script, strong cast, fantastic FX and an overall fun movie experience. – Shirley H.
Best Film; The Help: Having read the book, I expected a lot for this movie and I’m happy that it delivered. Even though the ads were more about Emma Stone, I was thankful to see Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer easily steal the show. – Mashelle K.
Best Film; Super 8: The end was fine, not great. The kids were awesome. The whole thing felt like a love letter to Spielberg, signed JJ Abrams. I kept having E.T. Flashbacks while watching it. – Matt F.
Best Film; Paul: A delightfully amusing homage to geeks everywhere. Didn’t need to catch EVERY clever reference they made to still enjoy the heck out of this movie! – Greg D.
Best Surprise; Real Steel: In this techie, Over the Top style movie, a struggling father tries to straighten out his life, kid gets involved, robot fighting ensues, and everything comes together in the end. Loved the robots, loved the tech, loved Hugh. – Mashelle K.
Best Not-A-Sequel Sequel; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: With the return to the action and excitement of the original movie, this grabbed me from the opening sequence and took me on an unexpected ride. I saw it for nostalgia sake, but stayed in my seat because it was actually really good. – Mashelle K.
Best New TV Series; Harry’s Law: It has it all…Kathy Bates, psycho clients, guns, and designer shoes. – Mashelle K.
Best TV; Game of Thrones: There were dragons and boobies and midgets and zombies. Also they killed that one guy in a really cool way. – Andy S.
Best TV; Game of Thrones: Boobs, boobs, and more boobs. Also, Peter Dinklage. – Greg P.
Best TV; Justified Season II: Timothy Olyphant plays a U.S. Marshal that lives a “little” outside of the law. The second season was a roller coaster that made me hate waiting seven days to see the next one. – Mashelle K.
Best App; HBO-GO: Completely turned the mobile TV viewing experience on its head, opening the door to free content for paid subscribers, and showing the model for off-network subscriptions for years to come. – Bryan W.
Best App; OnLive: The cloud gaming service’s Android/iOS app not only opens main stream, first run gaming titles to most tablets and other mobile devices, but also has the side effect of allowing the iPhone and iPad the ability to view Flash based websites. – Chris K.
Best End of a Series; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: All of the action the fans had been waiting for, proof that good kid actors can turn into good adult actors, and a fulfilling end to an iconic set of stories. – Mitch R.
Best Flip-A-Genre-On-Its-Ear Movie; Tucker & Dale vs Evil: Side-splittingly funny, splattered with horror movie references, and gruesomely fun to watch. – Mitch R.
Worst of 2011
Worst Date of the Year; 11-11-11: A day that let the multitudes point out a numerical coincidence, and spawned a horror movie of the same name. After all the build up, nothing actually happened (except, of course, honoring our Veterans on Veterans’ Day). – Mitch R
Worst Film; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A well written spy film with an exceptional cast directed into boredom, monotony and predictability. – Shirley H.
Worst Film; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A dull, predictable snore-fest. A huge disappointment when you think what they could’ve done with that cast and setting. – Greg D.
Worst Game; Duke Nukem Forever (PC, PS3, Xbox 360): Is this really a surprise. The title couldn’t possibly live up to 15 years worth of hype, but failed to meet graphic, gameplay and sound standards held by even mediocre shooters of this decade. – Chris K.
Worst Film; Conan the Barbarian: And it PAINS me to admit it. I still think it could have been awesome if the director could add in about 5 minutes worth of pause for the audience to connect with ANY of the Characters. &@#$ A.D.D. filmakers! Someone get that crew some %#$@ Riddilin! I’ve been waiting for a new Conan movie for a long time only to be disappointed by how badly this sucked. It’ll be years before someone tries to relaunch the Barbarian Genre. – Matt F.
Worst TV; Torchwood: Miracle Day: Makes my list as biggest disappointment of 2011. It wasn’t terrible but it was such a massive step down from the previous 3 seasons. – Shirley H.
Worst Service; Netflix: Current Earning estimates aside, this was a terrible year for Netflix, 2 failed name changes, price hikes and a lack of new streaming options left many subscribers running to Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. – Bryan W.
Best TV series turned into the Worst; The Office: With Steve Carrell’s departure, the show has gone down the drain. I wanted the rivalry of Jim and Dwight back from seasons past, but got tired of waiting so it no longer lives on the DVR. – Mashelle K.