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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu

My goodness, look at the calendar. Only 40 shopping days left until Hanuramakwanzmas, and you know what that means. Yes, it's time once again* for 2011: The Year in ReFu!

* At least, it would be again, if we'd remembered to do it last year.

Meaning that today, and for the next few Wednesdays, we're going to be revisiting Great Moments in Geek Fulery from the year now rapidly drawing to a close, with an eye towards helping you pick out those great gifts that will look so wonderful when wrapped in the traditional Tyvek and burlap and placed under your family's Hanuramakwanzmas pencil cactus, and when given and opened will warm the little atrial chambers of your favorite Geek's heart!

Today's list: MOVIES! And the nominees are:

Top 5 Sci-Fi/Superhero Movies of 2011
1. Captain America. It's exciting! It's fun! It's patriotic, in a safely distant way! It's full of sly little cross-references to Iron Man, Thor, and a whole lot of other obscure bits of the Marvel universe (the Howlin' Commandos and Dr. Phineas Horton's Synthetic Man, anyone?), and evidence that Marvel is currently in the process of building a sprawling multi-generational saga the likes of which George Lucas can only dream of creating. Buy it today!

2. Battle: Los Angeles. It's everything Independence Day and the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds aspired and failed to be. It's a great modern-day sci-fi alien invasion splat-'em-up with real heart and soul, and none of the insubordination and "relationship issues" nonsense that Hollywood always seems to think belongs in a military movie. If you're looking for an example of good, taut, tight, action/adventure storytelling, this is the movie to watch and study. Plus, a whole lot of #$*& blows up, and best of all: no Will Smith!

3. Um.... Uh...  Er..... Did I say five? I meant two. The Top 2 Sci-Fi/Superhero Movies of 2011!  (What, you want to nominate Cowboys & Aliens? Why not Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, while you're at it?)

Most Disappointing Sci-Fi/Superhero Movie of 2011
Oh, this is a toughie, but I'll have to go with Green Lantern. To be disappointing a movie must engender some hope that it might be good, first, but I never had any hope that Super 8 would do anything but suck and as soon as I saw that The Green Hornet starred Seth Rogen, I knew it was a write-off. Any other nominees?

Most Truly 21st Century Sci-Fi/Superhero Movie Actor
Hands down, the winner must be Andy Serkis, who follows up his starring roles as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the eponymous big ape in King Kong with his remarkable performance as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Except, when you're not actually on-camera yourself, but rather are providing the physical motion-capture modeling for a CGI creature, is it acting, or puppetry, or stunt work, or... just what the heck is it?

Whatever it is, it's terrific, and just as soon as they get the skin texture and "dead eyes" issues solved, we can expect to begin seeing CGI Angelina Jolie and the rest of her ilk to live on in movies for centuries to come. Scary thought, innit?

Most Ignored Movie of 2011
I dunno. The Adjustment Bureau? Apollo 18? I have no idea; I ignored them. Did anyone else go see any of these movies?

Most Trepidation
That would have to be reserved for The Adventures of Tintin, which is slated for a U.S. release in late December. I mean, just look at the cast: Daniel Craig. Jamie Bell. Andy Serkis (not an ape, this time). Simon Pegg. Nick Frost. Cary Elwes. It should be great.

But then, look at the director. If anyone can take Tintin, suck every last bit of life and fun out of the original material, and turn it into a painful, plodding, overwrought, overblown, and epic botch, it's... Oh, I can't even say it.

Anyway, those are my picks. How about you?

Let the arguments begin!
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