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Monday, January 7, 2013

1213 - The Year 2012 In "Review"

Trying to come up with a definitive list of highlights and lowlights in 2012 has been something of a daunting task since I mostly consider 2012 to be a pretty miserable year on a personal level. And with 2013 only a few days old, I was able to sum up a rather modest listing of highlights and lowlights... or in the proper vernacular of this blog, winners and losers of 2012. The list is after the break.


THE YEAR'S WINNERS
Some good stuff has happened to or involving these particular targets during 2012.

NETFLIX
Got into Netflix late-2011, but I am really enjoying this thing. Whether it's revisiting MMPR, Stargate, or TNG, or enduring horrible food with Gordon Ramsay, there is a lot of quality shit to be found here... much more so than regular TV. Hell, I don't even watch regular TV anymore thanks to Netflix... well, my WD TV Live box, actually, since I also use it to watch some digitized stuff and whatever's on Youtube, but... THANKS, NETFLIX!

STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION BLU-RAY SETS
Much applause and congratulations has to go out to the people behind the Blu-Rays for the first two seasons of TNG. What could have been a simple cut-and-paste upconversion job of old television ended up being a true remastering into the HD format. Visual effects are clean and detailed, picture quality is near fantastic, and the overall treatment makes the show feel as good in 2012 as it did in 1987... maybe a bit better. Certainly a fine job done with these first two seasons. I can't wait to see what they can do with the later seasons, where the show got REALLY good.

SKYFALL
Out of all the Daniel Craig Bond flicks thus far, I probably enjoyed Skyfall the most. It's been a long wait, but it was well worth it, I think. Story flowed smoothly, established the new status quo for future films, and celebrated Bond's fiftieth anniversary by offering a damn good movie.

PLAYSTATION 2
After 13 years of service, the console is finally discontinued. Odd that this would be a winner, but as the best-selling video game console of all-time and the longest active period since the Atari VCS, I figure it's a nice little gesture... or something.

WWE '13
Yeah, the Wii version isn't as fully featured as its HD counterparts and there are some minor issues here and there, but other than that, I've been having a blast with this game. I can honestly say that I haven't played a wrestling game this extensively since SvR2006 on the PS2. It's that enthralling.

CM PUNK
Held the WWE Championship for a full calendar year. Yeah, it's unfortunate that the one guy who might end the reign of Punk is the one who doesn't need the boost, but that's in 2013. In 2012, it was definitely the year of CM Punk despite what the WWE creative mindfucks would try to convince you of otherwise. Great matches with Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, and a couple others. John Cena may get the Slammy (not that those things are worth a damn to begin with), but in my book - and this is my book - CM Punk gets the nod here. And deservingly so.

DANIEL BRYAN
Entered the year as World Champion only to lose the title in 18 seconds to Sheamus at Wrestlemania, kicking off a Sheamus title run that can only be described as "fucking hell." Fortunately, Daniel Bryan Danielson's momentum didn't falter, as he got solid matches with Sheamus, CM Punk, and even had a good tag title run going with Kane, putting out some tremendously entertaining material on a show that desperately needed entertaining content. Bryan definitely persevered and perhaps even thrived in 2012, which makes me believe that 2013 can be an even better year for the American Dragon.

POWER RANGERS DVDs
About damn time... not too shabby in terms of quality. Really nicely done. Let's hope they'll get the rest of the series out by the end of 2013.

DOUG WALKER
Yeah, kinda odd that I would place Doug Walker on the "Winner" side considering his only significant action was ending the Nostalgia Critic webseries. But, see, what makes Walker a winner in my eyes is his willingness to move on to bigger and better things. Yes, he could have done more NC, but opted to end it before it got stale - some would argue that it had already gone stale, but that's besides the point. It takes a lot of balls to put an end to your main drawing series to free yourself on a new project or whatever the case may be and it shows that Walker was willing to take a chance on something new rather than beat the horse beyond its expiry death, which may or may not have passed depending on who you talk to. I can only hope that once his movie is over and done with, James Rolfe will follow Walker's suite and retires the AVGN for good to move on bigger and better things.

FELIX BAUMGARTNER
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without any machine assistance during a record space dive out of the Red Bull Stratos helium-filled balloon from 24 miles (39 kilometers) over Roswell, New Mexico in the United States. Yeah, it's a pretty out-of-nowhere pick that's usually outside of this blog's realm of focus, but I remember watching the news report on this and thought "Fuck me. That's pretty damn cool."

BARACK OBAMA
Won his second term... he's on the list just based on that.

THE YEAR'S LOSERS
Quite a few losers this year...

SOPA. PIPA.
A pair of bills that would've had crippling affects on the Internet if they were to have passed. The fact that so many companies supported these horrific pieces of legislation was enough that the Internet community - normally a disjointed collection of arguing users and the like - unified against this one issue to voice their stance against it. And it was enough for these bills to be shelved. A triumph for the Internet and another in a long line of defeats against those who want to control every bit of the world and the rest be damned.

SEGA
Sega apparently went flag happy on YouTube towards the year's end. Apparently, they believed in the end of the world too... or something. And I guess people are still sour towards Sega after they shitcanned the fan-made Streets of Rage remake that they weren't willing to do themselves.

MEGA MAN
It's been a rough year for Mega Man; games getting cancelled, joke appearances and whatnots. No major announcements made in regards to the 25th anniversary of the Blue Bomber and the franchise that really put Capcom on the map. (Be honest; nobody cared about Street Fighter in '87). Hopefully, 2013 will turn out much more fruitful, but I'm not holding out hope.

THE HULK HOGAN SEX TAPE
It bares repeating... The Hulk Hogan Sex Tape. Never mind the squabbles and lawsuits that resulted from the leaking of such a thing... Just read that again and tell me that didn't sound wrong. Just try to tell me that with a straight face and an ounce of believability.

WRESTLEMANIA XVIII
Let's get this out of the way; Mania 28 was actually good. It had a nice CM Punk/Chris Jericho match, the Rock beat John Cena in a "once in a lifetime" match that was decent for the most part, and the set looked pretty good... so why is this a loser in my book? Where do I begin? Daniel Bryan jobs the World Title in 18 seconds? Another sleep-inducing HHH/Taker match? More shitty entertainment sequences? BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!!

WWE
Right now, WWE is sucking wind so badly that it's not even funny. I can tell you absolutely assurance that I haven't watched a single morcel of WWE programming in a couple months and whatever recaps of the show I read does not instill much confidence and reason to get back into it. It absolutely boggles the mind that something as significant as CM Punk's reign as WWE Champion being the longest in the past 25 years and the sixth longest reigning WWWFE champion of all time is being brushed off as a nothing storyline; fodder to try and push over the goofy-faced Skip Sheffield (I don't care what they call him now) as a legitimate threat. People can complain about PG all they want, but if the content isn't interesting now, bumping it up to TV-14 isn't going to help matters in the long run.

HHH
The Brock/HHH match was nowhere near as good as Brock/Cena, but it was still a decent little match that Brock won. The highlight took place right after, with HHH looking all glum and sad in anticipation of the pity cheers that usually accompany loved legends who came close... only to get jeered and chants of "You Tapped Out" instead... No matter how much WWE tries to push HHH as a special attraction on the same level as a Rock or Brock or even Undertaker, the audience is never going to perceive him as such. And besides, any goodwill towards the guy was lost when he was interjected into the CM Punk trainride in 2011.

CLINT EASTWOOD TALKING TO AN EMPTY CHAIR
The man went from western legend to senile old western legend talking to an empty chair... would have been funny if it wasn't so sad... oh well, at least the Internet got another stupid meme to add to the list.

ANGRY JOE FANBOYS COMPLAINING ABOUT A VIDEO I DID A COUPLE YEARS AGO
So yeah, a couple years ago, I did an angry vlog about Angry Joe (and it was an angry vlog, unlike Angry Joe who, more often than not, comes off as idiotic rather than angry, but that's just me). And for whatever reason, angry Angry Joe fans (sounds redundant) continue to comment and tell me how much of an idiot and a meanie and a hater I am for calling Joe out on his woeful interview with Geoff Keighley on that year's VGA show... because leaving behind a blithering negative comment on a two-year old video is going to make me regret something I said about an event that has long since been relegated to a footnote in history. Gee, kids. Maybe you shouldn't take this stuff so seriously. Mr. Keighley sure as hell didn't. Or maybe you should direct your rage away from something I did two years and towards something I'm about to do right now.

JAMES ROLFE
The AVGN series going on hiatus? Not an issue, especially since the series has been borderline mediocre and the few entries that did leak out were rather pointless. The controversy surrounding the AVGN movie and its IndieGoGo campaign that fully funded the feature? No real issue with that. No, Jimmy Rolfe makes the Loser strictly based on his involvement with the much-maligned and utterly worthless Cheetahmen 2 campaign spearheaded by Greg Palich to produce reproduction cartridges of a fixed ROM hack of one of the most notoriously bad NES games ever produced and how he handled the backlash, issuing out a written statement explaining his stance and hoping this goes away. While Rolfe's involvement is purely voluntary and gains nothing from this monetarily, just agreeing to appear in the campaign is enough of an endorsement that it did get the money it "needed". Yes, he did claim he didn't know any better before he found out more about it... but the fact that he didn't do the research on this thing before endorsing this thing proves to me that he's more than willing to risk his stature and reputation among those outside his hardcore fanbase to support projects that are ill-conceived and outright terrible ventures. I could probably go into more detail on this, but what's the point? He's on the Losers list this year and that's all I have to say about that... maybe next year will be different.

WII MINI
99 dollar Wii console? Not a bad idea. 99 dollar Wii console with no Gamecube support, no online Internet access (thus no Wiiware or Virtual Console games), no Component or S-Video support, and no SD card slot? Fucking terrible idea. When the year ended, the thing was exclusive to Canada. It's better off dying in Canada.

THQ
Bankrupt... what does this mean for WWE '14? Yeah, that's how much I care about the company in general.

MIDDLE GROUNDERS
Believe it or not, there are some notable entrants that neither fit the winner or loser mold of 2012. And quite a modest list of middle grounders too.

DISNEY-OWNED STAR WARS
With the acquisition of Lucasfilms and related trademarks by Disney, the announcement came that work was beginning on another Star Wars film... the so-called Sequel Trilogy that people claim may or may not exist. On the one hand, George Lucas is not the major force behind these films, which means they won't suck as much as the prequels. On the other hand, it's hard to tell what will come of these movies and how Disney will treat that franchise in general, given the vast expanded universe that people seem to give a fig about. All I can say is... wait and see.

RYBACK
No doubt WWE see something in this guy to give him the Goldberg push, but to me, he'll always be Skip Sheffeld, the cowboy wrestler with the big ears and goofy face. No matter how much they try to push him as a monster, I simply can't see it... still, he's getting some success and is in the process of becoming a big name in that company, so it can't be all bad.

DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY
On the one hand, the movies are very well done, with perhaps the third film being the best of the bunch. On the other hand, this is definitely a case of "seen it once, never have to see it again." Again, well done flicks that told a decent story... but I've had my fix. I'm going back to '60s Batman, thanks.

That's it for 2012... Fuck 2012. Bring on 2013

Later.

1 comment:

  1. Surprised no one's cried bloody havoc for your inclusion of AVGN on the Losers list.

    ReplyDelete

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