Oscar Predictions and Preferences

vs.

Final Predictions:

I got 16/24. So glad I switched to Reznor at the last second. Not great but, hey, at least I beat Ebert! But not myself: last year I got 17. And for the third or fourth year in a row (and many before that) I got 7 out of 8 in the main categories. One day a perfect 8 will be mine!

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth
Best Actress:Natalie Portman
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress: Mellisa Leo
Best Director:David Fincher
Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Cinematography: True Grit
Best Art Direction: The King’s Speech
Best Costume: The King’s Speech
Best Sound: Inception
Best Editing: The Social Network
Best Sound Effects Editing: Inception
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Makeup:The Wolfman
Best Song: Toy Story 3
Best Original Score: Social Network (go Trent Reznor!) 
Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3
Best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful
Best Animated Short: Gruffalo
Best Documentary Short: Strangers No More
Best Live Action Short: Wish 143

If I Could Vote…

Best Picture: The King’s Speech!
Best Actor: Colin Firth (King’s Speech)
Best Actress: Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Best Original Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right
Best Adapted Screenplay: None stand out. 
Best Cinematography: Inception
Best Art Direction: Inception
Best Costume: I Am Love
Best Sound: Inception
Best Editing: 127 Hours
Best Sound Effects Editing: Inception
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Makeup: The Way Back
Best Song: None
Best Original Score: Trent Reznor, Social Network
Best Animated Film: How to Train Your Dragon
Best Foreign Language Film: Dogtooth

Some Thoughts on the Nominees…

Best Picture…

“Black Swan” 
“The Fighter”
“Inception” 
“The Kids Are All Right” 
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”  
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit” 
“Winter’s Bone”

Will: There may be 10 films nominated but, as usual, it comes down to just two. King’s Speech vs. Social Network. And that’s being kind. This isn’t really a race at all. It’s more between King’s Speech winning and King’s Speech winning, um, more. I find it curious that after two years of 10 best picture nominees the field is as predictable as ever.  Will there ever be another surprise on the level of Crash? Perhaps but this is not the year for that. In the end I feel Social Network is hurt more by the fact that it had all the momentum for too long than the silly notion that it has no heart. If that was the case No Country For Old Men would have lost to Juno and Hurt Locker would have lost to Avatar. Whatever the reason, this bodes well for King’s Speech… 
Should: … and good, because it’s the better film. I usually roll my eyes at (a) the more “traditional” and/or safe choices, and (b) the film that has better odds to win (Oscar bandwagon jumping group think is really sad) but King’s Speech, while old fashion on the surface, is simply the best nominated film here. Perhaps not the deepest, but the most rich and enjoyable to be sure. Is it he best film of the year? Not really but since when was that a requirement of the BEST PICTURE winner?
Worst: Inception. I just don’t get this movie. No, not in the narrative clarity sense (I find it funny that people were confused by the very simple and shallow story). What I don’t get is all the love for it, though I certainly don’t hate it (still a C+/B-). And perhaps I have under valued Social Network. It’s in the B+ range but planning on seeing it again to see where that grade settles. I hear it gets better with a second viewing (unlike Benjamin Button) so I’m hoping that’s the case. As for Winter’s Bone. The more I think about this movie the more annoyed with it I get. It’s overdone and has tricked a lot of faux pretentious white people into thinking it’s profound (myself included). It’s bad David Gordon Green. It’s snowy counterpart, Frozen River, was better. Hawks is great it in though.
Robbed: I would say that only four (maybe five) of the films nominated for Best Picture this year should be here but that’s just me. See below. Anything past “Kids” is really iffy in my book. Meaning: lots of good films were robbed and the list is too big to count but if pressed name a few I would say Blue Valentine and Ghost Writer would have been worthy Oscary choices.

Best Picture Nominees Ranked

1. King’s Speech
2. The Fighter
3. Black Swan
4. The Kids Are All Right
5. True Grit
6. Social Network
7. Toy Story 3
8. 127 Hours
9. Inception
10. Winter’s Bone

Achievement in directing…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Darren Aronofsky 
“The Fighter” (Paramount), David O. Russell 
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), David Fincher 
“True Grit” (Paramount), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Will: The most exciting category of the night in my book. Again, it’s King’s Speech vs. Social Netork. This is a real tough one to call because for all the early awards Fincher won for Social Network he did win any of the big precursor awards (DGA for instance). However he did win a Globe and a BAFTA and that’s got to count for something. Unless it doesn’t. This is one of those rare years where the non-lock has as good of a shot as the De facto lock (Hooper). Call it a soft-lock. It’s not like when the dark horses Soderbergh (Traffic) and Polanski (The Pianist) won, it’s more like when Ang Lee won for Brokeback Mountain in the sense that the more Oscar baity film gets to win while the director goes to a mroe critically respected film. Now, I have no idea why that didn’t also happen last year with Bigalow winning director and Avatar winning picture. But it didn’t and thank God for that because it would be embarrassing to say Avatar is a Best Picture winner (as opposed to Hurt Locker which everyone has forgotten about at this point). Anyway, I’m sticking with Fincher for the win.
Should:Aronofsky’s film is a wonderful and cathartic stylistic piece that he was really able to bring a lot of vision to. I mean, that’s what this category should be about but it’s not (otherwise the Ron Howards and Danny Boyles of the world wound not have an Oscar). I would happy as hell to see Fincher get his first directing Oscar (long due) but Social Network is not a directorly movie and even he has said so himself. Zodiac was and totally should have won (er, assuming There Will Be Blood didn’t come out that year as well). As for Hooper and King’s Speech, well, besides being the best nominated film it seems to me that any competent filmmaker above could have made it just as well as Hooper did so I don’t know why he won the DGA for what is essentially an enjoyable but, lets face it, routinely made biopic.  
Worst:The Coen Brothers. I like True Grit all right and of course I love the Bros but it’s almost as if they directed this movie in their sleep. It’s their least imaginative film since Intolerable Cruelty.
Robbed: Christopher Nolan. Duh. I’m not a big fan of Inception but Nolan’s work as a director is stunning and unlike any other big budget production.

Performance by an actor in a leading role…

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions) 
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount) 
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) 
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company) 
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)

Will: No contest. Firth, Firth, Firth. 
Should:Again, Firth. I saw the movie before the buzz and the first thing I said after it ended to my friends was “I’m so glad Firth will finally get an Oscar.” There was no question about it. That being said every actor nominated except for Bardem gave award worthy performances, though Bridges was more supporting if you ask me. I think in a weaker year Eisenberg would have been a frontrunner here and it’s too bad he has to lose because, first, when will he ever get nominated again and second, lets give him credit for basically perfecting a new-ish cinematic trope. That of the prickly nerd that you love and hate in equal parts. Eisenberg: 1/ Michael Cera: 0!  
Worst: Bardem.
Robbed: Call me crazy but if Franco gets a nom for 127 Hours (which he was great in!) than Ryan Reynolds should also get one for “Buried” as he was just as good in a similar stuck-in-one-place-for-the-whole-movie performance. The problem with that scenario is that it’s Ryan Reynolds and it’s really hard to admit he’s capable of a great performance but, argh, apparently he is! Above Reynolds though Ryan Gosling was seriously robbed for his amazing work in Blue Valentine. As good as Michelle Williams is in that movie Gosling not only carried it but elevated it to a position of high art.

Performance by an actress in a leading role…

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate) 😯 😐 
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions) 
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) 
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)

Will: Easy one, Portman.
Should: Unlike a performer like Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman is only as good as the material she’s in. She’s not consistent at all and can even be a very bad actor in the wrong kind of movie (last year’s Brothers, Garden State, Mr. Magorium, Star Wars, etc. etc.) but… Black Swan is the right kind of material suited to her ability. That being said I’m big fan of Michelle Williams and would vote for the her. Ryan Gosling got all the big moments in the movie but her quiet desperation/exasperation  is a fascinating thing to watch. 
Robbed: When I first saw “Kids” I figured Bening gave the sort of underrated performance that is usually is overlooked come awards time and that Juliane Moore was the obvious choice. Somehow, though, the lines got crossed and Moore (an Awards circuit favorite) missed out. It’s one of the great mysteries of the year. I also feel Tilda Swinton got robbed for her beautiful work in I Am Love. I just love her.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role…

Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount) 
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions) 
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.) 
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)

Will: Bale!!! He’s the best actor of his generation that has been ignored for too long. Rush is coming on very strong though but since he already won in the 90s (for “Shine”) I’d love to see Bale get his first Oscar under his belt. I’m sounding very gay here. 
Should: Bale!!! Though I’m a big fan of Hawks and Rush. Not to mention how cool it is to see the underrated Ruffalo get noticed. On this site I said gave the best performance ten years ago when he starred in his first movie You Can Count On Me so I’m not some fare weather fan.
Worst: Renner is good but his nom seems a bit out of place. Besides, he should have won last year for Hurt Locker.
Robbed: Ben Stiller in Greenberg will go down as one of the great underrated performances of this decade.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role…

Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company) 
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”(Paramount) 
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Will: Despite her desperate and slightly annoying All About Eve/Sunset Blvd.-isms, Melissa Leo seems like an obvious choice. I don’t see Steinfeld or Carter giving her much of a fight. Ooh, check out my play on words.
Should: As with the lead actor category there are a lot of great performances here. Leo’s energy and intensity is an amazing thing to watch while Helena Bonham Carter reminds everyone how good she can be/once was (before Tim Burton ruined her). And Jacki Weaver smile-all-the-time performance is memorable but ultimately lacking in a killer scene so to speak. For me, then, it’s between Adams and Leo. Adams finds a perfect balance of not too much and not too little here. She’s funny, she’s strong, she’s sexy, she’s emotional, and even serious. Bitch keeps it real. Nothing feels like it’s overdone. Most figure Wahlberg is the heart of the film but I think it’s Adams.
Worst: Sorry, really sorry to say this but Steinfeld is………. not as good as everyone is saying. She was fine, don’t get me wrong, but I think kids + Coen dialogue is not a great match. Hell, most adult actors are not a good fit for the Coens. It can’t be easy to act in a Coen movie and this is one of those cases where a lot of the nuances are totally lost. Her role (which is really a lead performance) is a bit self conscious and unsure if you ask me (as was Damon’s). She really needed to sell the character and i don’t think she did that.
Robbed:Leslie Manville in Another Year! Big snub here. Thanks to Mike Leigh’s unique approach, her “supporiting” performance is also, by design, the central role in the film. It’s hands down one of the most innovative uses of a character I’ve seen in years.

Adapted screenplay…

“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy 
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen 
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini 🙂

Will: Social Network. Biggest lock of the night.
Should: None. 
Worst: Toy Story 3 is adapted? From what, Toy Story 2? I’m too lazy to look this up so I guess I’ll never know. To be honest I’m not a fan of most of the nominated screenplays here. Social Network’s dialogue is showy and self aware and I’m very biased against Aaron Sorkin. Still, overall it seems to be a tight scrip and even Sorkin haters like me have to admit that. The dude is a huge creep and I hate, hate, hate West Wing. I liked “127 Hours” the movie (at times) but the scrip seems to be more of a blueprint that goes something like: Man walks, falls into a crack, gets all bummed out and screams “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh” for a few days before drinking his pee and considering masturbating to photos of that hot chick from Brokeback Mountain in his camera. Really, that movie is almost exclusively good because it’s a performance piece centered around a great performance.   
Robbed: Polanski’s Ghost Writer is the polished work of a master. He also gets points for actually writing where many directors his age and status do no (Woody Allen excepted). Also, Edger Wright managed to surpass the Scott Pilgrim comic in a lot of ways and that’s the mark of a good adapted screenplay. The movie’s third act is better than Pilgrim’s last two volumes which is a great treat.

Original screenplay…

“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh 
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan 
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg 
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler

Will: Inception should have a decent shot because the Oscars look out of touch by excluding Nolan’s work so often (this is the only film of his to ever get a Best Pic nomination) but I feel the King’s Speech now unstoppable momentum will really help it in this particular category.  
Should: Unlike adapted, a lot of great movies are represented here and that’s nice to see. “Another Year” is subtle and thoughtful but similar to a lot of Mike Leigh films the movie does not seemed to be centered around the script. Then there’s the colorful King’s Speech which gets credit in my book for being that rarest of historical movie that’s not based on a book or any previously published material (way to go!). The movie is not only very funny but has a lot of emotional weight and historical significance.  My vote would go to The Kids Are All Right however. Great story, great dialogue and unlike so many similar independent-ish movies about quirky families (Little Miss Sunshine and Rachael Getting Married come to mind) it’s not shallow, smug or self satisfied. I think back on that movie and smile. Then I want to eat a tomato.
Worst: There’s a lot of cool stuff to look at in Inception but the story is not one of them, it is by far it’s weakest element of the movie. Same thing happened to Avatar but that wasn’t nominated for it’s writing. The Inception story and paper thin characters are so flimsy and flawed that it’s the primary reason I question if it’s even a good movie. Regardless, a part of me is secretly hoping that Nolan wins an Oscar (even for a lesser story) because he’s very talented, he writes his own films and get snubbed way too often. He will get an Oscar eventually (I hope) so we might as well get it out of the way.
Robbed: Baumbach’s writing on Greenberg is some of his best and some of the year’s best. “I’m strangely on tonight!” Top that Seidler!

Best animated feature film of the year…

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois 
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics), Sylvain Chomet 
“Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Lee Unkrich

Will: Toy Story 3… worse animated films have won such as the overrated Up and Shrek. It is sad though that Disney/Pixar has won this category four years in a row. Disney buys it ever year. Maybe they should just call the category Best Disney Animated Feature and call it a day.
Should: Dragon. I didn’t expect to like that movie but it’s surprisingly good.

Achievement in art direction…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara 
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan 
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat 
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit” (Paramount), Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Will: Again, King’s Speech seems like a safe bet here. It will win just for the speech therapist’s cool looking studio. Makes for a good gay porn set as well from what I hear.
Worst: Alice in Wonderland. Ugh. Ugly ass movie. Tim Burton’s trite aesthetic flair is so played out. 
Should: Inception all the way. Seriously, if Inception doesn’t win it’s flawless for Art Direction then the Oscars should just not have it as a category. I also am very fond of Potter and King’s Speech. Potter is perhaps the best looking film in that series. I’d watch it again just to look at it.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim. Watching it on Blu-ray is such a treat. I actually found myself pausing it just to look at all the detail. Outside of actresses getting naked how often does that happen? Never!

Achievement in cinematography…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Matthew Libatique 
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeff Cronenweth 🙂
“True Grit” (Paramount), Roger Deakins

Will: I’m going with the “safe” bet again by guessing True Grit even though I have a feeling it may lose to Speech or Social Network.  It will be nice to finally see a Cohen films wining this award (their films have always been strong in this category. I also think that this is the only big award Grit will get and so it will be saddled with this award much as There Will Be Blood was a few years ago (though that also won Best Actor). Still, Deakins is a true genus of the medium and while this is not his best work it should be good enough to get him a lot of votes. My favorite Deakins shot films would be Barton Fink, The Assassination of Jesse James, House of Sound and Fog, Shawshank Redemption and No Country For Old Men. Jeez, how did he not win for any of those?!
Should: Inception. Wally Pfister is one of the best DPs in the world. Social Network is also amazing to look at because the cinematography is so in sync with Fincher’s vision. Black Swan comes in a close second.
Robbed: Again, Scott Pilgrim. Bill Pope is the man! That film is all over the place but amazingly coherent. I challenge any of the nominees above to turn in something as complex and enjoyable to watch as Pilgrim. It’s like visual candy. 

Achievement in costume design…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Colleen Atwood 
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures), Antonella Cannarozzi 
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Jenny Beavan 
“The Tempest” (Miramax), Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount), Mary Zophres

Will: No way is Alice taking this. King’s Speech.
Should: I Am Love ALLLLLL the way. This film should have gotten more noms and the costumes are amazing. So is the art direction. So is the acting. And directing. And… yeah, it’s very good all around.  
Worst: Alice in Wonderland: Ugh again. Every aspect of this film is ugly and rotted out. Looking at it offends my senses.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim. Modern costumes always get the shaft.

Best documentary feature…

“Exit through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency), A Paranoid Pictures Production, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz 
“Gasland”, A Gasland Production, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Representational Pictures Production, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” (National Geographic Entertainment), An Outpost Films Production, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger 
“Waste Land” (Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Will: Once again only two films have a shot. Inside Job vs. Exit Through the Gift Shop. Job has the better shot but I have a strong feeling about Exit.
Should: Gift Shop! It’s that rare enjoyable documentary that’s also pretty deep and socially relevant. This year’s Man on Wire in other words.
Robbed: Nothing. Now that I am older I have to admit to myself that I detest the documentary genre. I see, like, one good doc a year. 

Achievement in film editing…

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Andrew Weisblum 
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Jon Harris
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 🙂

Will: Once again it’s Speech vs. Network. I think Social Network has a better shot but it’s going to be close. This may be the category that I go back and forth on until the show but for now I’m sticking with Social Network. Not only does Angus Wall have a cool name but he did the editing on films like Zodiac and Panic Room so he racked up some awesome points there.
Should: 127 Hours, next to Franco’s (near) flawless performance this film was made by it’s editing. From where I was sitting Boyle shot a bunch of stuff that probably didn’t mean much until it was assembled in the editing room. Really though I’m a sucker for closed form film making and films are set in a strategically limited space. The better ones are so interesting to watch and so dependent on the rhythms of the editing to keep it alive and fresh.  
Robbed: Take a guess: yup, Scott Pilgrim. The editing is insane yet dovetails with Edgar Wright’s jumpy vision completely. Best editing of the year (really, though, what the hell does anyone know about editing from just looking at the final product)

Best foreign language film of the year…

“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions), A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production, Mexico
“Dogtooth” (Kino International), A Boo Production, Greece 
“In a Better World” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Zentropa Production, Denmark
“Incendies” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Micro-Scope Production, Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” (Cohen Media Group), A Tassili Films Production, Algeria

Will:Ugh, Biutiful. In A Better World stands the chance of being this year’s Secrets in Their Eyes (meaning: the non-front runner often has a great shot here). Dogtooth has the critics vote but, again, this category cares more about the message than the quality.
Should: Dogtooth all the way. But this category is hard to call because the people voting actually see the movies (as opposed to most other) and are really old and out of touch and… hard to predict.
Robbed: Lots! How about Everyone Else from Germany? How about Wild Grass from France. I could go on but my fingers are getting tired (hehe).

Achievement in makeup…

“Barney’s Version” (Sony Pictures Classics), Adrien Morot 
“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films in association with Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment), Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng 
“The Wolfman” (Universal), Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Will: Wolfman. How could it not? At the very least it’s cooler looking than the makeup in Wolf. Hopkins looked bad ass in this movie.
Should: I think Rick Baker tends to be overrated and his work is too costume-y (despite that not even being a word). I’ll go with Way Back I guess even though I have not seen it. Despite the reviews I’m really excited to see Peter Weir’s Way Back and glad it got at least one nomination (as opposed the butt loads his last film Master and Commander got). I’m very curious what role makeup of all things plays in it. 
Robbed: I’m very happy that no candidates spring to mind.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)…

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), John Powell 
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Hans Zimmer 
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Alexandre Desplat 
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Top Rahman 
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 🙂 
😀

Will: Yes, Desplat has a great shot finally. He’s an amazing composer, one of the best around. Very prolific composer with an astonishing range (from a Twilight movie to a Wes Anderson movie to Julie and Julia to Harry Potter etc.)  so this would be a good time to honor his amazing work in the last ten or so years since “Birth” (at least that’s when I started noticing him). That being said can anyone who saw King’s Speech actually remember it’s music? As opposed to…
Should: Trent Reznor. Trent all the way. Reznor is an amazing musician who has a gifted ear for edgy instrumental music. Okay, I’m a HUGE Nine Inch Nails fan but I feel his score is objectively good. The score is subtle when it needs to be (love the piano stuff) and flashy elsewhere (love the 8bit techno even more). The film industry should throw themselves at this guy because it can really use his talents. Such a refreshing break from the John Williams orchestral standard. Close to him is of course Desplat. Sad, though, that after all these years of rooting for Desplat the year I’m not is the year he will.
Robbed: Oddly enough, Desplat, despite having the best shot at winning for King’s Speech, was robbed for his Ghost Writer score. File that under irony.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)…

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems), Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey 🙄
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” (Walt Disney), Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong 🙄
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Will: Toy Story 3. Because Randy Newman hasn’t won since that last shitty song in Monsters Inc. Or did he win for that movie’s score. I don’t remember. Does it matter? Every piece of music he does sounds the same anyway.
Should: Good God, nobody. I hate this category this year as opposed to most other years where I just dislike it.
Robbed: All the awesome music in Scott Pilgrim. Garbage Truck for one. The opening song for another. Oh, and Scott’s Ramona song (written by Beck) is solid gold.

Achievement in visual effects…

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.), Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb 
“Iron Man 2? (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount), Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick  🙂

Will: Of course Inception should win because it’s easily the most relevant film of the the year and has the most creative use of effects of the bunch.  The effects are brilliantly invisible in the way they are integrated into the material. It’s literally groundbreaking. 
Should: Inception. I’m a bigger fan of Iron Man 2 than most people I know and I gotta say I love the look and feel of Potter but nothing comes close to Inception’s visuals and presentation. 
Robbed: Tron. Say what you will about the movie (and I’ve said what I’ve, um, willed) but, come on, it should at least be in the top five. While Tron’s 3D is not very good at times and the CGI Jeff Bridges looks like an uncanny valley drop-out (I guess that’s better than dropping out of Sweet Valley), it’s certainly better than, say, the grotesque and muddy looking Alice in Wonderland monstrosity which has no right being here. Or anywhere.


Yawn: The Other Categories
Once again I find myself wondering why these are part of the show and not announced separately.

Best documentary short subject…

“Killing in the Name”, A Moxie Firecracker Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl”, A Portrayal Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More”, A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up”, A Sun Come Up Production, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang”, A Thomas Lennon Films Production, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Will: Who Cares. Fine, whatever, Strangers No More. Congratulations!

Best animated short film…

“Day & Night” (Walt Disney), A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”, A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”, A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”, (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment), A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”, A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois

Will: Who cares. Oh, I already said that. Going with the bigger Disney short was once a safe bet but not anymore. So it’s Day/Night vs. Gruffalo. Gruffalo then because I’m tired of getting burned here and there’s probably a bunch of Jeneane Graffalo fans out there that think this short is about her… as if that crappy MTV 90s animated show Daria wasn’t already. 

Best live action short film…

“The Confession” (National Film and Television School), A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
“The Crush” (Network Ireland Television), A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
“God of Love”, A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” (Premium Films), A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143?, A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Will: Wish 143. Why? The title. I have a theory that the “best” sounding title, one with the most oomph, usually wins because people are stupid.

Achievement in sound editing…

“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Richard King 🙂
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague 😐
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey 
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox), Mark P. Stoeckinger

Will: Inception.
Should: Inception.
Robbed: Pilgrim.

Achievement in sound mixing…

“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin 😡
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Will: First off, how the hell did King’s Speech get nominated in this category? Der. Okay, then, Inception.
Should: Inception.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim.

My initial reactions reposted…

😀 Noms

  1. Christian Bale in The Fighter. We all knew it would happen but it still feels great that Bale finally got nominated and is the frontrunner for the win.
  2. Trent Reznor for Social Network. I honestly didn’t think the Oscars were progressive enough to know good music when they heard it.
  3. Dogtooth nominated for Foreign Film. Greece’s first nom in 30 years!
  4. Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.
  5. After being snubbed so long ago for You Can Count On Me (his first role) Mark Ruffalo finally gets a nomination.
  6. John Hawkes!
  7. David O. Fucking Russell, congrats! You were snubbed for directing Three Kings so this one’s earned. Good movie to boot.

👿 Snubs

  • Christopher Nolan for directing Inception–an average movie in my book but one with exceptionally noteworthy direction. The Oscars hate Nolan for some reason. And of all the things to nominated him for… they go with writing? Really?! The film has a clear visual mastery going for it but, come on, the story and plotting sucked and only exist to serve the visuals. It’s shocking and sad that a director of Nolan’s caliber, who is doing very interesting things with big Hollywood budgets is getting passed over. Nobody makes big movies like Nolan does and the Oscars love big movies (Avatar). So what gives? His Dark Knight is the reason the Best Picture nominees got increased to 10 and his snub here should really be looked at.
  • Ryan Gosling–Michelle Williams, also very good, got nominated. But Gosling was amazing. I don’t get it.
  • Ghost Writer–in almost all categories. Writing, directing, editing, cinematography, and acting (Brosnan and Williams esp).
  • Scott Pilgrim–No sound or editing nominations? BS. Unstoppable got nominated but not Pilgrim!
  • Shutter Island–It had a tiny bit of momentum but nobody was buying. Sad considering it’s Scorsese’s best movie in years.
  • Leslie Manville for her performance in Another Year. So sad she missed out. She’s in good company though because the Oscars also snubbed Sally Hawkings in Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky. Something about wacky Leigh characters the Oscars don’t like.
  • How does Annette Bening get nominated in Kids are All Right but not Julianne Moore? Benning is very good in that movie. Moore is every bit as good.
  • Okay, Tron: Legacy sucked but to not nominated in the Best Visual Effects category is insane.
  • Inceptionagain. I just realized that it missed out on an editing nomination. The only two noms it should have gotten is directing and, yeah, editing. That is missed both is insane and they might as well have not nominated for Best Picture in that case (which would have been fine by me).
  • I would say Waiting for Superman in the doc category except it’s not a snub if it shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place. Surprising, yes, snub no.
  • Andrew Garfield had a good shot of getting nominated but the real best supporting actor in Social Network was Armie Hammer. Not was Armie Hammer snubbed but his twin, Armie Hammer, was also snubbed.
  • Ditto Mila Kunisin Black Swan. She had great odds with a SAG and Globe nom but I felt her performance was lacking and unmemorable. Barbara Hershey was not and she should have been nominated in the supporting category. Hence the snub.

Wut?

  • A Clint Eastwood movie gets nominated for visual effects. Hum. Haven’t seen the film. And don’t want to but, hey, it’s Clint so I got to.
  • Alice in Wonderland gets three nominations. That’s three nominations too many
  • 127 Hours gets a Screenplay nod. Really?
  • Inception also gets a Screenplay nomination. Makes no sense. That would be like nominating Avatar for its writing last year (which they didn’t).
  • Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the GREAT Mike Leigh got his fifth writing nomination for his amazing work on Another Year. But, as with 127 Hours and Inception, this is not a writerly film. Plus, isn’t a lot of dialogue improv?
  • True Grit is an okay movie. I liked it. And I like the Coen Brothers but this is not close to one of their better directed films. I don’t know how they slipped in this year over Boyle, Affleck, Nolan or some of the other buzzed about directors. I guess they’ll get nominated for making just about anything at this point. Time for a Ladykillers 2!

Overall, a solid list of nominees. Nothing too awful here. Some overrated films (Social Network, True Grit, etc.) but overrated films that are far from bad. I just this was a very weak year for movies in general so if this is the best Hollywood could do then I guess it could have been worse.

 

 

Best of 2010: Video Games

1. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)

I don’t often give Xbox 360 games their due. Well, here I am giving them their due. Mass Effect 2 is a juggernaut and, as far as the world of video games is concerned, the year belonged to it. It’s literally peerless, especially when you take into account that not even the first Mass Effect matches up to its grandeur or efficiency. Mass Effect 2 is a perfect sci-fiaction RPG adventure and, yeah, while that’s a lot of genres at play the game is streamlined and the genres all add an invaluable imprint. I can even call it a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game because multiple playthroughs yield different experiences; all brilliant and unique. It’s similar to Heavy Rain in that respect except with 100% more alien sex. In a nutshell, the story has you traversing the universe to discover why humans are being abducted. But that description is as lacking as saying that Star Wars is story about a kid that finds his father. This is a fully realized science fiction world (as good as any other modern sci-fi mythos) where you can (or at least feel like you can) do anything. Most importantly, you feel like you, as a player, make an impact on the world(s) and that effect is unique to how you play it. In other words, it’s your game! Having a real sense of ownership of the story and characters puts Mass Effect ahead of just about anything else out there. From his and her design to the choices made under their command, Commander Shepard is, for better or worse, my character. I played through the game as two very different Shepards, one an evil male (natch) and the other a morally fierce female. As good as those playthroughs have been for me I can’t wait to start it all over again on PS3. But that’s not all because the year will end with the release of Mass Effect 3 and by that time the series’s domination will be complete. Mass Effect 2 is an easy choice for game of the year for me. I can put up no argument that, alongside Uncharted 2, it’s the most important game in the current generation.


2. Just Cause 2 (PS3)
The most underrated game of the year. I’m calling JC2 a sandbox killer because once I played it I can never go back to other open world games. It’s first victim is the overrated Red Dead Redemption voted game of the year by most sites and publications but rendered useless and boring and about 1/100% as enjoyable as JC2. If my criteria of what the best game of the year was simply what I had the most fun playing day in and day out then Just Cause 2 would be that game. It’s the kind of game where beatingit is nice but ultimately means nothing because you keep going back. When I fire up up my save I never know what I’m going to do. I do, however, know that I will have a lot of fun. As a bonus, the game even lets you record your antics and post it on Youtube! JC2 is also the ultimate time killer. Hours will go by and as you’re gliding through the air you will marvel at where you are and how you got there and appreciate theguarantee that whatever you do next it will also be a blast. Creatingan open world game where you can not only grapple anythingyou can see (including people) but also whip out a parachute creates near limitless potential for fun and mayhem. Add to that a beautiful jungle island that, to my knowledge, is the biggest open world game of all time (San Andreas might be bigger) and you have a truly special experience. As for the story and the main character go, neither are good. And that’s not a bad thing because open world games are almost always hurt by too much story. It’s not needed because it’s OPEN WORLD and story, by design, is restrictive and didactic. Just Cause 2 gets that while so many games like GTA, RDR and Mafia II don’t. Next to Red Faction Guerrilla and San Andreas this is the best open world game ever made.
3. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
It’s rare enough for a PSP game to make the list at all, let alone at a position this high. That’s the wonder of Peace Walker. It’s NOT a PSP game. It’s a Metal Gear game. As full and complete and satisfying as the best Metal Gear Solid experiences out there (meaning: part one and three). The title transcends whatever system it’s one, be it the 8-bit NES or top-of-the-line PS3. Another reason this should not reduced by its handheld “limitations”… it’s huge. Though I spend a good chunk of my summer beating it, I’m still playing it.
4.  Alan Wake (Xbox 360) (tie)
Three games tied for the number 4. Normally I don’t like doing that but 2010 saw the impressive and unexpected return of mystery/horror games. The following three titles elevated the genre in uniquely different ways. The similarities they share is that they are all near perfect classics. Very rare for that to happen in this genre. Even more rare that it would happen three times in a year.

Another Xbox exclusive makes the list! What happens when an author’s dark imagination turns against him? You get one of the best survival horror games of all time. I put off playing this game for obvious reasons. It looked lame. Dark woods–yeah, been there. Strange hauntings–yeah, yeah, I know the drill. Creepy small town setting–that would be special if none of us ever played Silent Hill. Well I was wrong to not play this game for so long. Cliches do not slow down this air tight survival horror expiernce. In fact, as much as I love Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space (the King and Queen of survival horror in my book) this game beats them in a lot of ways. The setting perfectly fits the atmospheric spooks. The story is deep and complex and rationed out in enjoyable bits. The use of music and Television conventions is truly innovative (the entire game is a “season” with episodes acting as chapters). The central light mechanic (flashlights are your main weapon against the evil “darkness”) is smartly implemented and creates a lot of surreal sights of morbid beauty as twisted shafts of light stand out from afar and bathe you in safety when you’re in its warm embrace. You feel this game. It’s so visceral. When you’re running through the woods in dark with one bullet left and no flash light juice you WILL feel the pressure. This is a survival horror game where the menace is more or less a logical part of the narrative. And the self awareness featuring an author caught up in his own world/nightmares/mania adds a tremendous purpose to what you’re doing. The last thing this game wants you to do is question the logic of what happening and that’s ironic because this is a game that holds up quite well.
4. Heavy Rain (PS3)
A landmark in the medium of video games. A story you enjoy in the same way you might read a book, except you’re simultaneously experiencing the story and helping to create it. Or not… because this is not for everyone. Heavy Rain will or at least should be studied for the way it uses the narrative form to engage the player in a multi-faceted mystery. The game requires you to to find a serial killer and make the tough choices and sacrifices along the way to get it done. Not an easy task. This game challenges you. Not in terms of gameplay (which is smooth and well designed) but psychologically. I do not feel it’s embellishing to say that no mystery/thriller movie or novel has the ability to affect the player/viewer the what Heavy Rain does. A landmark title in not just video games but the mystery genre.
4. Deadly  Premonition (Xbox 360)
Another mystery/horror game makes the list. In a year that polished games with high production values bought um earned uniformly good reviews, Deadly Premonition, the small game that could, got awful reviews. That right there exposes the video game “journalism” industry as a bought and owned fraud. But who cares about critics, it’s all about the players and the cult experience many of enjoyed this year. When playing one must keep in mind that it’s a b-movie of a game that borrows from that other b-movies/shows like Twin Peaks. It also borrows (perhaps not intentionally) from Silent Hill, Heavy Rain and Alan Wake. And why not? It’s one of those games that gets everything right… by doing everything “wrong” technically speaking. The controls are awkward, the open world is bland and tedious, the story is weird, the characters are out of place, the dialogue is… uh, very Japanese (“What a hell! EVEN ___ has been killed” blank space added to avoid a spoil), the survival horror is well below the gold standard Resident Evil 4 set (on the PS2 no less!) and the graphics, oh the graphics, look like they were rejected from a Xbox era game. But all of that contributes to the unhinged small town nightmarish aura the game is going for.
The game is not just good but one of the most pure and endearing video game experiences of the year. Amazingly, it starts off so bad it’s good and ends up so good it’s, well, good. The game shines brighter than so many American products that are either sequels or involve the military. DP is about a quirky FBI agent named York Morgan (Agent Cooper meets Agent Mulder meets Agent Tyler Durden) who waltzes into a small, David Lynchian town with his imaginary friend, determined to investigate a murder… and drink as much coffee as possible. The the way the cream swirls in his coffee, by the way, gives him vital clues as to where to go next. Of course things go to hell (almost literally) from there and the story spirals out of control as a Raincoat killer straight out of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” strikes again and again… and again. The game never takes itself too seriously but still manages to be scary and atmospheric. And heartfelt! The character of Yorke and his imaginary friend is a gem and one of the best original video game heroes of all time. He makes creepy rape faces every chances he gets, talks to his “friend” Zach about b-movies constantly (he loves “Tremors” and “Remo Williams,” how cool is that?!) and he gets visited by demons that nobody else seems to be able to see. Actually, I’m wrong one other person can see and it’s it’s the player and we’re just as crazy as him for playing this delightful cult game.



5. Bayonetta (Xbox 360)
The best action game since the first Ninja Gaidenon on the original Xbox. This game is unrelenting. “Enough” is just not in its vocabulary. What starts as an obnoxious Japanese action game starring a naked witch with a “Tangled”-sized rope of black hair (that’s also functions as her suit!) who battles angles in her free time turns very quickly into a symphony of beauty, violence and gorgeously choreographed, balls-out hyper sexualized fighting. The creator of the game admits that each battle is basically designed as a violent reenactment of the act of sex ending in, uh, a very intense moment. From there, each individual battle does likewise as it leads up to the (always crazy) end boss of each level. And finally the bosses (and there’s a lot of em) ramp up to the orgasm of all orgasms. Your primary endgame is to defeat God, or at least a God called Jubileus, The Creator (great boss name btw!). It’s not a stretch to state that I don’t think I’ve ever played a game as over-the-top as Bayonetta. In a year with an unusually large among of fighting games, it’s curious how lazy this once great genre has grown. While not bad, the current king of action games, God of War 3, added nothing to the franchise and that was before Dante’s Inferno, Darksiders, and Castlevania: Lord of Shadows all embarrassed themselves by copying the clearly stagnant GOW formula. Unlike those button mashing boy’s club efforts (the best of which is Castlevania I guess), Baynotta changed things. She is able to take on a God and kill it in the game and does a similar thing to the action genre outside of it. Where do we go from Bayonetta? There’s no topping it!


6. Pac Man Championship Edition DX (PS3)

How good is the new Pac Man game? The DX stands for dick xplosion! It’s that fun! The most simple yet addicting game of the year. Pure kinetic movement. I sunk hours into it last year and will sink countless more hours this year trying to improve upon what I did last year. The feelingI get while gobbling up those ubiquitous dots and stringing up them sweet-ass ghost trains up before chomping them all into the digital void of nothingness with Mr Pac Man’s pizza slice shaped maw is so basic yet so fundamentally enjoyable. Eating dots and reversing the tables on ghosts is like buildingblock of all video games. AHHHH, SOOO GOOOD<<<. In a way, in a lot of ways actually, this is a perfect game in the sense that what it does, it does perfectly. There’s no room for improvement with Pac Man CE. So many late hours were spent trying to top my personal score, checking out leaderboards (you people are insane!) and of course trying to grab the most ghost combos possible. Who could have ever guessed that in a year that saw the release of new Halo, Call of Duty, God of War and Fallout games, Pac Man would beat them all! Could 2011 be the year of Pong?

7. Vanquish (PS3)

I can’t believe how good Vanquish turned out. The game looks like a generic space shooter when in actuality in revitalizes the genre much in the same way Bayonetta did. With hyperbolic flourishes of overkill. The guy behind Resident Evil made this game as the shooter to end all shooters. Vanquish delivers in ways many shooters don’t even bother with. I don’t consider myself to be a huge fan of the genre but if I’m going to play one I want to shoot! A lot! This game gives me exactly what I want, unlike Gears of War which just annoyed me with it’s false sense of story, overwrought atmosphere and annoying grunting characters. This game eschews all that in favor of, yes, shooting. Pure, blissful almost orgasmic bouts of shooting. And when you are not shooting you are dashingfrom one cover spot to another so you can shoot some more. And you shoot everything. Mech, robots, giant robots, giant mechs, air crafts, humans, you name it. This is the Bayonetta of shooting games and if there were any justice both games would have sold more than Halo and Black Ops combined. Of course that didn’t happen.


8. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (PS3)
It’s good! It’s actually good! A cash-in? Of course. This game exists to milk every last drop of blood from the franchise before the next big Creed release. Still, had they called Brotherhood Assassin’s Creed III instead not many people would have objected because it’s a full length and fully satisfying experience. One just as good as any other Assassin’s Creed title (or most games released this year for that matter) and that’s high praise. As cash grab expansions go this game fares much better than Fallout: New Vegas, Black Ops and last year’s horrible Halo: ODST. Bottom line, I didn’t expect to love Brotherhood but here I am saying I love it and meaning it. Openingup Rome is one of the defining moments of the entire series. Contrary to what I thought before playing there’s a lot to do and lot more story to uncover in the increasingly complex Creed mythology. The side quests, ranging from recruiting assassin’s and giving them orders a la Metal Gear: Peace walker to buying landmarks with all your hard earned loot, are as enjoyable as the main ones.  As an aside I can’t help but think that if Ubisoft is going to spin-off another AC game they should now make one that is Desmond-centric, but that’s just me. Maybe Ubisoft still will seeing as how you now get to control Desmond in his own little open world area (which, in a very cool twist, is the modern setting of the very same hub plaza from AC2). The story works because it expands the mythology without exhausting it (the game conveniently skirts the more sci-fi alien visitors stuff, which may or may not be a good thing) while the new cat-and-mouse multiplayer mode is actually a lot of fun and thematically relevant as MPs go rather than some forced mp component. While Brotherhood won’t win any awards for creativity it sets a welcome new benchmark for full priced expansion games. This is a must for fans of Assassin’s Creed.



9. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
I can be jaded when it comes to Wii games. Hell, a lot of us adults playing video games are and for good reason. We play games like Mass Effect and Heavy Rain and Final Fantasy and Halo etc. and have little respect for recycled “kids” fluff, especially when it appears on the more lazy than not Wii console. But the worst thing a gamer like me (or any anybody) can do is ignore a quality title like Super Mario Galaxy 2 because of the system it’s on. There’s no reason not to play this game. Mario is back and, well, that’s it. The story is of course a non-factor (this is a Nintendo game after all). The gameplay is however a major factor and that’s what matters with a series like this. Everything that was great about the first Galaxy is back, better and bigger. Sure the first Galaxy was far more innovative for its time but the platforming, the hub space ship world, and the use of gravity and planet hopping is top notch. And the ability to play as Luigi and Yoshi is the icing on the cake. This game provides non stop fun and smiles while also providing a strong challenge. It is the King of platforming. That being said it disturbs me to see that in 2010 more people were still playing and buying last years uninspired and overrated New Super Mario Bros Wii over this but, as I said, it’s on the Wii and the kids who play that system wouldn’t know or respect a quality game if they got it for free. See, there I go again being jaded.



10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (PS3 Network)
Not quite an 8bit game. More like 16bit. Hey, not a problem. This game takes me back to the beat-em-ups of  the golden era. Similar to games like Double Dragon and River City Ransom but with a elevated sense of humor and a lot of cool references to past games and of course the Pilgrim comic/movie. This is a meta-game about games! So much to love here, especially the price ($15). The combat is fun and actually very complex (not to mention HARD in the early stages). The co-op is exciting (even though it lacks an on-line mode for some reason). The story is classic Pilgrim pugilism. The music rocks to no end. The stat and XP building is so deep it almost takes the game into RPG territory. And the little details thrown in are appreciated by any fan of the Pilgrim film or comics; ex. Edgar Wright makes a cameo, all the characters from the book are included (love the gay bearded music guy) and you can even pay off Scott’s $400+ late fee for Land of the Lost. Haha. A lot of love went into this game. Well, consider that love reciprocated.
also…

Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP)
The second of three PSP games to make the list. Up until 2010 there were not three worthy games in the systems entire run! But this is not a case of too little too late. It’s never too late for a new ValkyriaChronicles game. They’re even making a 3rd game for the PSP. This is a full fledged Valkyria Chronicles game that I can play in bed. Consider me recruited to the cause. While the game is a bit watered down from the amazing PS3 cult hit (I hate how the maps are divided) it’s just great to see the series live on in any capacity. The strategy RPG elements are as sharp as ever and the game even manages to surpass its forebear in some ways by including fantastic pre-mission segments set in your company’s barracks. I love the hub world offered and feel it connects the game world more than the history book gimmick of the last game. That being said the story proper is not particularly strong and the young hero is about as annoying as JRPG young heroes get (his stupid hair and annoying laugh haunts me: “Ah HA, ah HAHAHA”). VC2 packs so much into such little space that it gives Metal Gear Peace Walker a run for its money.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS)
A bold new perspective for the point and click series pays off. The series is known for it’s charming problem solving lawyer action but this spin-off focuses on detective work. And it works! Edgeworth is a fine character that deserves his own game and I’m happy to see his first outing to be such a success. Perhaps not financially (this is a cult game after all) but certainly in terms of how fun it is. For a series not known for its innovation this game is a mini-revelation. Can’t wait for the second part.

Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
Were it new and/or had it not already received the FES treatment, the PSP Persona would be the best game of the year.  No question. The PSPsimprobable rise to fame in 2010 continued with the superlative Persona 3 port. Just enough is changed from its PS2 brother to make it a must-play for Persona fans. Beingthat I picked this game as the second best of the entire decade one extra line of dialogue would have sealed the deal for me let alone an entirely new playable female character. Oh yeah, and the game came with Jumpei’s hat! The lack of an explorable game world hurts a bit but hardly enough to make a dent in one’s overall enjoyment of what might be the best JRPG of all time. I’ve beaten the PS3 version of Persona 3 two times and logged plenty of hours into this new portable version. Even if I never finish this version it makes me feel good knowing I have it and can play it anywhere. If that’s not the definition of nerdy than I don’t know what is?

Dark Void (PS3)
Perhaps the most underrated “bad” game of the year. As high profile flops go, Bionic Commando this is not. Imagine Uncharted with a jet pack. And aliens. Great fun, quit complaining. It’s world war 2 and Hitler’s winning. The solution? Fly around an alternate dimension shooting UFOs down and hijacking others only to land (or crash) them and take cover so you can kill a bunch of aliens. This game is exhilarating at times. I don’t know why people are so hostile towards it, especially now that you can get it on PS3, Xbox360 or PC for a little over $5 bucks. EA thought it had a big franchise on its hands and Brad Pitt even optioned Dark Void for a movie. Whoops. Less than a year later and very few people even remembers it existed. Those it do make fun of it. I have a soft spot for it. It’s even better than…

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows (PS3)
Definitely a love/hate thing going on with this game. Impressive looking. Insane combat. Beautiful visuals (the inside of castles look as gorgeous as snow covered mountains). Great voice actingfeaturing awesome narrative oration by Patrick Stewart. And an ending that knocked me out of my chain mail. This game has a lot going for it… but a lot going against it at the same time. Namely, it can be slow, tedious, awkwardly designed (pulling a lever and punchinga button can be a challenging!), overlong (I rarely say that) and at times infuriating. The puzzle sections also suck. Seekingto create a new line in the long running franchise the game missteps by tryingto be God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and Lord of the Rings. The fact that the one thing it does not try very hard to be is Castlevania is odd and off putting. At least until the end. Oh, the end. Loved it! Overall, and despite my bitching, not a bad game at all and easily the best 3D Castelvania to date (sorry Lament of Innocence). I hope Konami make a follow-up because I have a feelingit will be something special. If you can get this title for cheap it’s well worth picking up.

Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)
Halo is a fun. Still. Somehow, and I don’t know how or why because it’s not like the series has tried anything new since, like, dual wielding. So, yes, Halo is not better than ever but in a lot of ways (some good, some bad) it’s as good as ever. A streamlined product that is the total refinement of a truly original idea (Halo: Combat Evolved) that single handily ignited a new era of console gaming. While some fans feel the series gets better and better (story and gameplay) I have the opposite reaction. The concept gets more and more used up for lack of a better word. It’s entertainingbut not really exciting anymore. By doingthe whole Master Chief-less prequel thing (again!?) and setting the game on the doomed planet Reach, a world on the cusp of a world-ending war, this is as good of a place as any to “end” the series–certainly better than the shamefully lackingODST. The game gets points for not only providing a polished Halo experience but for connectingwith the player emotionally. The fatalism of thinggame is quite compelling. I wonder if Microsoft will quickly cash-in a la Modern Warfare’s year-in/year-out model or give the series a proper breather before craftinga proper reboot and/or exploring a new aspect to freshen up the same-y universe? I hope the Halo series is careful and takes its time but why should it be? People will buy no matter what because, lets face it, the core FPS fan is the kind of meathead who is more interested in callingpeople “fags” and spamming grenades with 12-year-olds than being challenged by a new Halo or single-player Bioshock story. And being that I’m somewhat of a Halo fan I guess I’m just as bad as everyone else. Given that even Halo is now using some of Modern Warfare’s aesthetics (the tightly shot FPS narrative passages) I think I know where this is heading and it’s fate could be far worse than that of the planet Reach.

Enslaved (PS3)
So much vision. Such a cool plot. Such intriguing characters. And yet still something’s missing! Above all I love running around in this postapoclayptic Eden. Doing so with Andy Sirkus as a buffed out brute named monkey with some random hot chick wearing ripped pants makes it even more fun in the non homoerotic sense of the word (that’s why I mentioned the girl). Made by the same crew of Heavenly Sword (and future maker of the Devil May Cry reboot that is almost guaranteed to suck), this game is full of atmosphere. The world, or what’s left of it, is lush and the remnants of a long past civilization (our civilization) is ugly, rusty and rotting. That stark contrast makes for a great visual duality. The story (basically getting from point A to B) is involving but with a premise about a (hot as hell) woman enslaving an apish man and forcing him to do her bidding while bitching at him to “hurry up!” all along the way (because god forbid he takes too long or strays too far from her clutches) I got very annoyed very quickly. When Metroid: Other M’s female protagonist was controlled by the male powers that be everybody freaked out but nobody seems to mind it when the roles are reversed. Seriously, though, we’d need about 1,000 more games like this before the it balances out so I’m far from offended. That being said, that’s not even the problem with the game. It’s the gameplay and short length that ultimately hurts the experience. The GOW fighting is shallow but at least it’s fun on that simple punch-punch-heavy-punch level. The rest of the game is climb-based platforming which is oh so popular these days. But the climbing/jumping/shimmying/dropping routine is tedious and mostly unrewarding; more Prince of Persia reboot than anything Nathan Drake got into. As for the length, well, that’s not so much of a problem now that the game (an under performer) is bargain priced. Problems aside, Enslaved is still very fun and belongs more on the good list here than the slightly-less-than-good one featured below.
Note: This is the only first person shooter to make my best list this year though I did have fun playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Fable III (Xbox 360)
This is the first Fable game to make my list because it’s the first Fable game to be, uh, good. It’s true. The past games bite off more than they can chew and end up muddled and awkward examples of almost-great western RPGs. While deeply flawed this game gets a lot right. First off I love the setting. An industrialized world that’s as much steam punk as it is D&D. The characters are fun and lively, the dialogue is brilliantly wry as is the story and graphics. The main reason this Fable makes the list though is the basic hook. You play a sibling to a tyrannical king. Throughout the entire game you defect and rebel, building up your “terrorist” group in an effort to overthrow him. But that’s not the end. Once you do a new kind of game begins. Sure, the game fails in lot of areas (combat is simple, some glitches etc.) but the sense of tangible progress is undeniable winning. I not only got the thrill of overthrowing a king but of managing my own kingdom. In between, the game adds some awesome Sims/Dark Cloud elements like buying property, managing your house, raising a family and either being good or evil to the people in the kingdom. As Mel Brooks said, “it’s good to be King” and it’s just good to play as one–especially when he’s a total dick. In the end Fable III is brought down by it’s short length and inability to wrap everything up. Like the other Fable titles, it’s a victim of its own ambitions.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)
Layton and his man-love boy Luke travel to the future to solve more random-ass puzzles. When in trouble thugs will say “It’s time to teach you a lesson! Solve this puzzle!” instead of just beating you up. No worries, Layton never misses a beat, he busts out some of his most gentlemen-like moves to date. Featuring more back story and a very fun plot, Unwound Future is the best Layton game to date. The puzzles are weak but that’s the only shortcoming in an otherwise very fun game. We get exactly one new Layton game every year and this is one of the only franchises where that’s not enough.

Super Scribblenauts (DS)
The first is still the best in my eyes. But many now prefer this one for all it improves (more words and better controls). This game’s updated vocabulary (with big hairy slimy adjectives now!) maximizes the random-ass fun to be had as your imagination runs wild. The level building feature is also very fun.

NBA Jam (Wii)
The classic NBA Jam returns. And besides graphics nothing has changed. And that’s exactly why it’s still great. It will always be great.
Alien vs. Predator–I actually had a lot of fun with this new Alien game in which you can play as humans, aliens and, um, more aliens (Predators). Each mode has its own story and mechanics. The story is decent (Bishop is back !) and the three campaigns are competently interwoven into the narrative.  During these campaign the first person shooting is innovative and switches styles based on the character (Marines shoot, Aliens crawl and Predators are stealthy bad-asses). The game is a somewhat low rent so people poo-pooed all over it. Their loss. Easy for me to say since I didn’t actually buy it but it makes for a great (and quick) rental.

Angry Birds (iPhone)
Some people are bitching that casual games are ruining legit games. Uh, hardly! As if $1 games will ever fully replace Modern Warfare. And if they do, great, that’s lets me buy 59 more games. Angry Birds came out late last year but (literally) exploded in 2010. These physics based games are very addicting. And very simple. But it’s simplicity should not be considered dumb. Far from that. This game is very challenging and very rewarding. The constant updates are great too.
The Worst Game of the Year:

Final Fantasy XIII
It’s a bad sign when the best character in a game is a black dude with a Chocobo living in his afro. It’s all downhill from there and it’s a steep hell because this is far and away the worst game of the year. The shocking thing for me though is that I never thought I have to call a Final Fantasy game the worst anything of any given year. If the series is the stuff of legend (and it is) than it’s most recent installment is the stuff of infamy. My hatred for this game is intensified by the fact that it exists in what may be my favorite video game genre of all time. This linear role playing game is of touch in almost every way imaginable and games like this are the reason American gamers laugh at Japanese RPGsand the reason many feel Japanese games are on their way out. FFXIII stubbornly withholds all the joys of RPGs and including a lamentable lack or misuse of open endedness, item management, character development, character design, story, writing and any sort of variety. That it somehow figured out how to offer a decent battle system is a small miracle seeing as how it fucks up everything else.
To play and beat the game ALL you need is two pieces of tape. That’s it! Once the game is fired up and the exasperating cut scenes play out (beware of some uberannoying anime cliche characters that giggle and “uuughn” and give their best blue steel faces while wearing outfits designed by retarded cosplay wearing teenage girls) you use the first piece of tape on the analogue. Tape it forward. Next, place the second strip of tape on the x button (or A button on the Xbox–which no Final Fantasy game should ever be played on by the way). Your character will now run and hit the action button endlessly. As your character automatically runs straight (straight is the only direction in this linear game) and fight her/their way through mildly challenging battles on her/their own, you are free to do whatever you want and, trust me, sitting in front of the game is not what you want unless you want punishment. Twenty or thirty hours later your taped controller will have beaten the game. Upon beating the game I had only one thought and feeling: I hate you, Final Fantasy XIII. I cursed it’s creation every second I played it, cursed its characters and cursed some more through the end credits. Then I cursed at my dogs for allowing me to play through this entire game without putting me out of my misery. Friends don’t let friends play Final Fantasy XIII. To put things in perspective I called Final Fantasy XII the best game of the year and ranked it as one of the ten best of the decade. It’s not just a case of how the mighty have fallen but how the mighty have fallen and dragged its fans down with it in the process.
Runner Up: Metriod: Other M
I bought this game. I actually paid money for it. Lots of people did. Why? Because it’s Metriod and not just Metriod but a console version of Metroid from the guys who made Ninja Gaiden. Well you know what, we all got screwed.
What Happened?
Overrated/Disappointing/Etc.
1. Red Dead Redemption–The most critically acclaimed game of the year and, accordingly, the most overrated. I think “older” gamers like me are to blame. I guess they like the pacing and the novelty of the western genre. Yes, I played it. And beat it. And I never want to touch it again. Not bad by any means (I’d give it a B- or 8.0 out of 10) but it’s just another pretentious Rockstar game full of pointless side quests, imprecise shooting and glitches. Maybe that’s why I call it Grand Theft Auto IV with horses. That game also got plenty of GOTY awards so I must be missing something. A big something. As an aside, I continue to detest Rockstar’scharacter models, motion capture and cinematic cut scenes. Very hackyand predictable. It’s all hand waving, pacingand silly posturing.
2. Fallout New Vegas–Ugh, this is still a sore subject. The follow-up to my game of the year for 2007 will not even make my top twenty. That’s the very definition of “What happened?” The answer:… nothing. And after sinking almost 250 hours in Fallout 3 (one of the ten best games of the last decade) I fired up New Vegas and learned instantly (and heart breakingly) that I’m kind of over it. I wouldn’t have been if they improved in any way upon the original but this game is miles behind the last one! The sun soaked world you play in is promising at first but ultimately very bland and unrewarding. It’s big, sure, but so big and so vast and so disjointed that it’s endlessly open ended immensity ends up hurting the experience. All that beingsaid, the game still could have had a shot of making my twenty best list above. Why didn’t it? Because it’s fucking broken. As in it does not work in some of the most basic of ways. As in I encountered so many game breaking glitches that to even call it a game is a bit unfair at times. My gun keeps shooting, my character falls into a non existent pit, other characters get stuck on nothing, items go flying, books open themselves (maybe they’re haunted), characters refuse to talk, my character randomly will drop dead and after putting up with all that my save file got corrupted. FUCK! I put about 20 hours into Vegas and gave up. They I played more Demon’s Souls. I will beat it one day to be sure but that day is not today.
3. Dead Rising 2–What happened is the game’s goddamn timer ruins any chance of fun you might have otherwise had (and there’s a lot of fun to be had) in this fantastically flawed open world mall/stadium Zombie action game. You can make just about anything, do just about anything, and kill just about any zombie that ever lived, oh how fun… BUT you also have to keep checking the clock and if you dare to get distracted by, you know, all the fun you’re having then you then have to run like an idiot across the map because some arbitrary timer insists you have to give your stupid daughter her stupid anti-zombie medsat the exact time indicated. If you don’t: fuck you, game over. Not level over or check point over but GAME over. The entire game ends. If you’re two seconds late: fuck you, game over. If you arrive on time your game STILL may end because the clock of death is iffy and imprecise at best. Where’s the fun in that? WHERE?! I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that was pretty much totally ruined by something unnecessary and avoidable. They should have called it Clock: The Game.
4. God of War 3–Same old God of War. That was good enough to make GOW2 a late gen PS2 classic but not enough this time around. I’ve grown so tired of Kratos’s“Wah, wah, wahhhhhhargh” histrionics. So sick of his ALWAYS ANGRY ALL THE TIME fits and daddy issues. Dude, get over it! His petulantly hyperbolic rage towards the heavens is sooo2004. His one-note to date, pure cock rage, is now laughable despite the fact that it once came from a very emotional place that the player could practically feel through the rumble of their controller. I’m being a bit harsh though. This is not even close to being a “bad” game. It’s above average, definitely falling in the B/8.0 range. The graphics are perhaps the best on the PS3 (meaning: best anywhere) and the memorable moments never stop coming at you. Still, I have to wonder if there’s a future in this series. If there is it would probably have to be without Kratos because the character is creatively tapped out. Unless… he’s the bad guy in a new adventure. That would be great because I would love to rip his grimacing head of in a final boss battle, putting an end to his stupid, stupid misery.
5. Call of Duty Modern Warfare:Black Ops–Oh look another COD game. Thank$ Activision, I’m sure you took your time to make this the best game possible. Best selling game of the year, you say? Of course it is! This is the Madden of first person shooters. I’m officially sick of this series. So why am I still playing it?
6. Transformers: War for Cybertron–Bought it, beat it, played it on-line and, in the end, I can respect the game for being the first fully realized Transformers console game ever–it’s Halo: Reach with robots. Still found it annoying. Didn’t like the controls (argh, meelee) and while the graphics are impressive, they start to get old.
7. Darksiders–Average game steals from all better games around (God of War, Zelda, Portal) and… it’s still an average game. The game has it’s fans but I just couldn’t get into it. And enough with squatty character designs. The horizontally pressed, chubby sausage finger Gears of War character designs has got to go.
8. Resonance of Fate–“What happened?” is that this effin game is hard as balls! I love this game… erm… I should say I love the idea of it. I got a good dozen hours into this quirky steam punk JRPG gem before giving up completely and I HATE giving up on games. It’s disgustingly hard and unforgiving. It punishes you because it can. You have to beat it on the impossibly hard normal mode to open us an easier mode. Really?! I love the turn based arena battle mechanics (more than FFXIII decent set-up even) but, god damn, this game kicked my ass and not in a fun and challenging Demon’s Souls kind of way. Rather, in a frustrating way that is hard for the sake of being hard. Such a shame.
9. Sin and Punishment 2–A very good on-rails shooter. Almost made the above list except this one boss keeps kicking my ass so I gave up and now I’m bitter about it. Fail–me.
10. Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands–The magic is gone A competent POP experience but not a memorable one. Better than the reboot a few years ago but that’s not saying much. Where does POP go from here? I’m afraid it’s dead and no amount of time traveling back to the past will revive it. So sad. The memories will love on though. A great modern series.
11. Bioshock 2–I don’t dislike the game at all. Well, unless we’re talking about the shallow and fun slurping multiplayer modes which are a great argument for single player games not needing to shoehorn in MP. Parts of Bioshock 2 are even better than the ever so slightly overrated first game. The last half offers non stop jaw dropping moments. The feel you get as Rapture falls apart is exhilarating and offers some of the best gameplay moments of the entire series. Not to mention the final twist in which you play, uh, from a different character’s perspective. So, yeah, the game has its moments. I list it here however because I remembered at the very last minute that this game even came out in 2010. Despite some improvements the game ultimately fails to make the kind of lasting impression that the first had. This time next year the bulk of Bioshock 2 may disappear from my mind entirely. Especially after Bioshock: Infinite comes out. Oh boy, can’t wait.
12. Goldeneye–Sigh, you can remake Goldeneyefor the Nintendo 64 all you want but it will never be the real thing. And, sorry, the Wii is not a system for first person shooters.

Estimated Money Spent:
$1,600+ 🙂 ….   😐   … 🙁
Estimated Hours Spent Playing: I’m afraid to count.
Best Moments:
(there be spoilerisms below)

Mass Effect 2:A character you love (for me it was Mordin but it could be any character) dies during the final mission. Happened before in video games but never quite like this. If a character dies YOU are the reason and the feeling of loss is palpable. You are now faced with the choice of re-playing the game or dealing with the tragic consequences in the next Mass Effect. The flip side of that is letting Jacob die every time, haha sucka! Very few games give you such a feelingof ownership, making it a moment to remember and a moment that is, in a word, personal. Truly revolutionary gameplay.
Bayonetta: The orgasmic final act in which you kill God. Followed by flying his sorry ass into the sun. Followed by a pole dance. This game really understands what men want from video games.
Castlevania: Lord of Shadows–Not only are we surprised to see that Gabriel, the hero, turns evil after killing Satan himself but that his sidekick has been the lord of death from all the other games. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, after the credits roll the game reveals its ultimate ending. The game jumps from Medieval times to our future and, guess what, good old Gabe somehow turned into Dracula during those years. The same one you’ve been fighting in all the old Castlevania games! Holy shit! That moment just turned a flawed game into a good one.
Heavy Rain: The killer’s identity. A better twist than any movie could come up with this year.
Bioshock 2: I’ll just say it’s a moment that involves a Little Sister. Well, not a moment but the moment.
Deadly Premonition: Yorke’s fate. As “twists” go it manages to be touching, absurd and actually earned from a narrative standpoint. The fact that the game ended with genuine closure is impressive beyond comprehenson. Runner up moment: playing as the Raincoat Killer.
Metal Gear: Peace Walker: Managing Your army and base. There’s some RPG in my cup of Metal Gear and I like it.
Just Cause 2: The first time you realize you can do anything in this game. Cruising around has never been so fun in a sandbox game.
Mass Effect 2: Giant Frankenstine Robot Human Monster of Deaaaaath. As end boss battles go, this was one of the year’s best.
God Of War 3: Chronos Boss Battle. The boss is the entire level! That’s been done before but never with such pleasing rage. Here, you get feel like the world’s most angry and violent insect.
Mass Effect 2: Suicide Mission, under the force field. More Pitch Darkian than Chronicles of Riddick.
Mass Effect 2: Another ME2 moment. In this one Mordin sings Gilbert and Sullivan. First Gilbert and Sullivan shout out in video games? As sci-fiG&S tributes go, this even tops Data from Star Trek singing their tunes. Can’t wait for the Criteron of Topsy-Turvy! I’m getting sidetracked.
Vanquish: The first time you powerslide across the map down a long corridor and manage to hit cover… while shooting, and killing in slow motion. Once this game gets going the momentum doesn’t stop till the end credits. Of course, the end credits involving shooting missiles at the people who made the game.
Halo: Reach: The final stand. The “survive” moment where death is inevitable is quite moving if not totally original (it was done in Final Fantasy: Crysis Core with Zach).
Dead Rising 2: Taking a boxing glove, tape kitchen knives to them. Put them on. Light them on fire. Punch Zombies. 
Demon’s Souls: Shut up, I am still playing it. I will beat it one day (hopefully before the sequel Dark Souls comes out).
Super Scribblenauts: Making my own level. I made a homoerotic version of Lord of the Rings. My favorite touch was adding a rainbow colored Hobbit skeleton in Gandalf’s twisted layer.
Resonance of Fate: Discovering the battle system for the first time. Worst moment: getting defeated by a few short hours later. This game hates me.
NBA Jam: Unlockable characters! Clinton dunking on Palin. Feels. So. good.
The Rest of the Best:
Favorite Writing in a Video Game: Mass Effect 2. Followed by Heavy Rain.
Most Interesting Graphics:Just Cause 2, Bayonetta and Alan Wake.
Favorite Music: Heavy Rain, Scott Pilgrim and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
Funniest Game: Deadly Premonition. Nothing comes close.
Most Innovative: Heavy Rain. Followed by Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Best Multiplayer: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Best Retro Game:Pac-Man. Followed by Scott Pilgrim
Hardest f@$#%*! Game: Resonance of f@$#%*ing Fate.
Most Underrated: Deadly Premonition. Followed by Dark Void and Alien vs. Predator.
Favorite Character/Voice Work (Male):Agent Yorke and his imaginary friend Zach (voiced by Jeff Kramer) in Deadly Premonition. Tied with Yorke is Mordin Solus (voiced by Michael Beattie) in Mass Effect 2. Runner Up: Eathan Mars and Scott Shelby (Sam Douglass) from Heavy Rain and of course the great Sir Patrick “facepalm” Stewart in Castlevania: Lord of Shadows– “YOU ARE THE ONE GABRIEL, YOOOOOUUUU ARRRRRRREEEEEEE THHHHHHEEEE ONNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”
Favorite Character/Voice Work (Female) : Commander Shepard (voiced by Jennifer Hale) from Mass Effect 2. Love her!