30 December, 2012

TOP 5 Top 5 of 2012

Here are my top 5 top 5 lists of 2012.

NOTE: Some of these things were NOT released in 2012. I just discovered them in 2012 (books and video games specifically). So, forgive me if I violate your personal rule. This is my blog. I make my own rules.

Top 5 Albums
This year had some fantastic albums (though I think 2011 was even better). These are the ones that moved me most. Though, as I often say, any list I make can change at any time depending on how I am feeling that day.

1. The Sword - Apocryphon: The more I listen, the more I love this album. Stoner metal at its best.
2. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel Is Wiser...: Why doesn't she make more music?!
3. Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE: So highly ambitious it could have crashed and burned. Instead, it works on many levels. It is great that we finally have a modern-day hip-hop artist (if we want to pigeonhole him into a genre) who deals with real social issues without resorting to cliches. And yes, he's also a hero to the LGBT community.
4. Napalm Death - Utilitarian: What I need more in my life is death metal songs that aren't any longer than four minutes. This has a bunch of them! Welcome back into my life, old friend.
5. Soundgarden - King Animal: I wasn't crazy about the first few songs and so I almost dismissed this album. Then it kicked into gear and I couldn't stop listening. Welcome back into my life, dear old friend from way back when.

Top 5 Movies
Any of these movies could have been #1. Also, the movies that didn't make the list could easily make the list on another day (like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", "Killing Them Softly", "Cloud Atlas", "Lincoln", "Safety Not Guaranteed", "Skyfall", "The Hunger Games" and so on).

1. LOOPER: One of the best time-travel action movies in a very long time. So good I can ignore the paradox it created (as most time-travel movies do).
2. THE AVENGERS: Joss Whedon finally received the mass audience his crazed loyal fan base assured he'd someday reach. And comic-book fans finally got an awesome Hulk! Plus everything else was nearly perfect.
3. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: What? Critics had a problem with it? That's okay because sane fans loved it. Especially that brilliant "Riddles in the Dark" scene. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis were brilliant in that sequence. Freeman was a standout in the entire movie.
4. QUEEN OF VERSAILLES: A documentary that sums up the problem with the economy and the American dream from the perspective of the (not-for-long?) 1%.
5. MOONRISE KINGDOM: Two outcast kids fall in love and decide to run away together. And the rest is pure genius. An instant classic.

Top 5 TV Shows
Television has become the most creative outlet for brilliant people and so this list is made difficult purely because there is so much great stuff out there right now. However, this list was the easiest to make because of the passion I feel for the following shows.

1. COMMUNITY: Under the maddening helm of the brilliant Dan Harmon, the third season was arguably one of the best half-hour single-cams in television history! So crazy good that it drove Sony to fire Harmon from the show he created. You know it is too good if TV executives can't figure it out.
2. GAME OF THRONES: Not as great as season 1 but even the worst episode of this show is better than the best episode of most.
3. COVERT AFFAIRS: I was going to put HOMELAND here but then had to be honest with myself. Both shows had problem episodes. This one had less of them and ended up as my favorite spy drama in 2012.
4. PARKS AND RECREATION: A nearly perfect show. Still way under-appreciated.
5. COPPER: This BBC America show is the Brit drama the media isn't going crazy over and tossing ridiculous praise at. It is THE WIRE of period police dramas. Minus one misstep in story telling, it is flawless. So obviously it will not be fully appreciated until it is gone.

Top 5 Books
I read a lot of books this year. Five of those from a little series called A Song of Ice and Fire. I also tossed in a new book that is out in 2013 that I got the opportunity to read ahead of release. So not a single book on this list was released in 2012. Perfect!

1. A Storm of Swords (book 3) by George R.R. Martin: Best fantasy book I have ever read. Arguably one of the best works of fiction ever written. It built me up. It broke me down. It made me cry. It made me cheer. It left me feeling as if someone had punched me in the stomach, and then it helped me make a proper fist and punch right back. Wow. Your move HBO version. Your move.
2. A Game of Thrones (book 1) by George R.R. Martin: Hey! Season 1 on HBO was a lot like this! It is the most faithful book to series translations ever. Still, the book is obviously better.
3. A Dance with Dragons (book 5) by George R.R. Martin: Not nearly as full of life as the first book, and not nearly as devastating as the third. It works as a big tease for what happens next. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!
4. A Clash of Kings (book 2) by George R.R. Martin: Hey! Season 2 on HBO was somewhat like this book! Minus lots of characters.
5. The Aylesford Skull by James P. Blaylock: Sure, it won't be released until 2013 but I read it in 2012 and truly enjoyed it. So much so that I have to put it ahead of a GRRM book (shocker!). Easiest book review ever.

Top 5 Video Games
Much like the books list, most of these were NOT released in 2012. But then this is a list of the top 5 things I loved in 2012.

1. Armed Assault 2 (including all DLC): I had skipped this one until the Steam summer sale and I have been playing it like a madman since. Sure, lots of people bought it for the zombie apocalypse survival mod DayZ, but I got it for the military gaming stuff. And I'm addicted. Here is the proof.
2. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare: I love medieval combat games (as you can see with my #4 pick) and there just haven't been many choices until recently. Out of the ones I played or tested this year, this one is by far the most fun. Even when getting my head chopped off left and right (this is a bloody, dismembering game) I am always having a blast.
3. Dishonored: Thief meets super powers. Ummm, yes please!
4. Mount & Blade: Warband (with Napoleonic Wars): I play Chivalry for the quick combat. I play Mount & Blade for the massive battles, castle/fortress assaults, and all those wonderful mods. Another game I picked up for dirt cheap on the Steam summer sale.
5. Battlefield 3 (Premium): I was a Call of Duty guy for years. Then I played BF3 and quit COD forever. I see no reason to go back to an ancient, boring, unimaginative way of playing FPS games. Sorry COD fanboys, you can keep flocking to crap. I'm with DICE now... as you can see here.

So, what would your top 5 top 5 list look like? Comment below.


25 December, 2012


Much love to all the readers on this site! Much more love to Jimmy for commenting on virtually every article and listening to every podcast! Greater love to all you donators!

Greatest love to Daniel!

So what did you get?

20 December, 2012

Furycast 60 - THE HOBBIT (AUJ) Reviewed

In this episode VladyGG and HGF discuss their feelings about THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and get into some discussions related to the "Lord of the Rings" franchise... all while kind of playing Diablo 3.

Autoplay enabled for your enjoyment!

If you would like to download the MP3 version RIGHT CLICK HERE AND SAVE to your hard drive.

Or you can just click directly to the YouTube version which can be viewed in 1080p.



So... since you won't be needing cash after today, I say spend it.

On me!

And I will love you forever! Which should be about 24-hours. But what a glorious 24-hours spent drinking and eating to my heart's content!


Cut to Red (my lazy masterpiece)

This is what happens when TV goes on hiatus.

14 December, 2012

Review - FRINGE 5.09: 'Black Blotter'

"I wanted to cry for you. But I'm different now."

Walter's acid trip toward the reconstitution of his brain brings a fairy good time.

I know what you are wondering. Did this episode make up for the general weakness of this season? Did the writers finally remember what this series is about and put more focus on characters and relationships over slow plotting boredom? I mean, did they do so without spreading a ton of moldy cheese all over it?


We did get some amount of Walter tripping, Astrid looking cute, and Peter & Olivia in-love. These things work well so the writers have spent a large amount of time not utilizing them out of fear of making what many love about the show less interesting.

That makes a lot of sense since purposely making the show suck DOES elevate the enjoyment of those elements when they are actually utilized well.

So a signal brings our heroes to a house where the Observer kid with the terribly hidden bald-cap is being protected by some old dude and a frail woman. And that's when Walter joins a Monty Python sketch to save the day. After some talk, the gang takes the weirdo back to their secret base and tries to make him drink hot coco. It is here, during some dumb dialogue, that it becomes clear that this kid is September. Not to the characters, of course. That would be too easy. But to anyone with a brain.

In the end, Walter trips some more balls and then sets fire to his damnation. Unfortunately, he is already doomed. He now knows and soon the world will end by his hands.

Did I skip a story element that would illuminate the meaning behind what I just wrote?  If it feels like I'm not putting a lot of effort into this review, consider your observational skills tested and confirmed to be in working condition.

If I had to rate this episode, and the makeup department over at WB says I don't, then I'd give it:

76 out of 100

It wasn't terrible.

What did you think?


The Unluckiest Suicide Bomber Ever

73 seconds of your life that you can get back if you have a time machine.

08 December, 2012

Review - FRINGE 5.08: 'The Human Kind'

As Peter turns into a logic meat puppet, Olivia pines for a bloody bullet, and Walter worries about Peter's ability to cry.

And we get yet another episode of FRINGE, in a season of only 13 episodes that are supposed to close out the series, whose story could have been told in one act of a much better episode. Proving, yet again in an endless proving of yet-again, that 13 episode arcs are in no way superior to television story telling.

When writers get lazy, they run out of quality ideas NO MATTER HOW MANY EPISODES THEY HAVE TO WRITE.

Anyway, so Olivia's mission to find a magnet did feel at some point like a story element that could go somewhere interesting. The character of Simone, the woman who had been waiting for a couple of decades for the blond monotone ice popsicle, as foretold by a gray-haired granny from the past, was one of those LOST type story-lines that always intrigue me. But then a couple of things happened. Things of total mindfuckering stupidity.

First, Olivia decided to school this very kind and helpful sweet lady about her delusions of hope. Yes, darling Olivia, there is no better time to shit all over someone than after they spent TWENTY YEARS waiting for your robotic personality to show up, point a weapon at her, refuse her kind gestures, accuse her of trying to poison you, and then SHIT ALL OVER HER as you try to leave in the vehicle she kept safe for you and just refueled so you could go on your merry stiff way.

And second, while on the road to your clandestine destination, with your super important cargo, in a world where you are one of two MOST WANTED PEOPLE ON THE PLANET and being hunted by super-human beings who can manipulate time and space, you fall for the oldest trick in the book (not kidding, I looked it up, it is on page 1) of highway robbery.

Meanwhile, Pacey Poof's Matrix agent fight take 2, while cool, was so unoriginal and predictable that it didn't do much for me. While his injury and subsequent scene with Walter made me somewhat curious enough to pay attention, in the end it just led us to a half-assed scene between Olivia and Peter where he ends up cutting out his super power for the sake of love.

Wow. Awesome...

The best part of this is that Jackson won't have to channel ice-queen Olivia in any more scenes as a way to pretend to be turning into an Observer. Because there were times I couldn't tell the two apart. Well, other than Torv's less curly hair. Otherwise, it was very difficult... they were like twins.

If I had to rate this episode, and blahblahblahblahblah, I'd give it:

61 out of 100

This probably could have been a good episode if it had different writers, producers, director, key grip, and editors.

So what did you think? I am very interested. And please be respectful in your idiotic responses in the comment section.

Keep it classy.


07 December, 2012

Review - CASTLE 5.09: 'Secret Santa'

I made you all wait three extra days for this crappy review?

My apologies for all those who patiently waited for this. And by all, I mean all one of you. Thank you, maryploppins.

Usually, I could care less about the case of the week on 'Castle'. They aren't always exciting or intriguing or all that difficult to figure out who did it. But most importantly, they are essentially inconsequential to whether or not I liked the episode. But this week was the exception, because their wasn't much Beckett-Castle stuff this week and the stuff that was there was a bit lame.

So I had to hang my hat on something different this week -- like figuring out why a Santa fell from the sky, why he stole the clock, why he changed his life so strangely and who killed the damn guy. And I enjoyed trying to figure it all out and watching to see how in all unfolded.

I also loved seeing Esposito get his clock cleaned (see what I did there?) by that Santa. I've often complained about the show not using enough of Ryan And Esposito (especially of Javy) and it was nice to see him featured more this week. Although, the less Captain Gates we can get, the better. I couldn't care less about her personal life.

As stated earlier, the Castle-Beckett storyline was brief and a bit lacking, but there doesn't have to something big going on between those two every episode, so I didn't have a problem with it or anything. She changed up her tradition for him, and he was going to do the same for her, so that was all swell.

Solid episode, nothing special.


--CASTLE: "And now Santa is dead!? When will it end?"

--BECKETT: "That's a 38, do you still think he fell out of it?"
--CASTLE: "No, clearly he was shot out of it."

--CASTLE: "I think you meant less clausible."

--CASTLE: "I was thinking we should have a Christmas movie marathon ... or some other kinda marathon that makes life wonderful."

--ESPOSITO: "Shouldn't you be home, stuffing your wife's stocking?"


--I don't mind being in the Christmas spirit, but it drives me crazy when people go way too overboard with it.

--Well, that was easy to convince Ryan to have kids.

--If I got a $1 every time I hear: "I didn't kill _____, but I know who did" on TV, I could retire.

--Could Castle have made it any more obvious when trying to convince Gates to let Beckett have Christmas Eve off?

--I know Alexis is a great daughter and all, but no way she cancels her plans at that age to spend Christmas Eve with her father and grandmother.

--I must be a sap of epic proportions, because when Javy got invited into that house, I practically shed a tear.

THE SCORE: 79 out of 100


06 December, 2012

Furycast 59 - Schweddy Balls

VladyGG and HGF whine about their listeners, or lack thereof, while also somehow remembering to talk about STAR WARS, THE HOBBIT, IT, getting old, relationships, sleeping habits, going to concerts, making videos, playing video games, Gandalf the Gay and other stuff.

ATTENTION: I am doing something different this time. The podcast is being posted as a YouTube video which has my own personal video game footage (mostly Diablo 3, but also some from Planetside 2, Dishonered, and Borderlands 2). I am also including the usual iTunes upload and MP3 download link but depending on how you decide to access the podcast, I will most likely get rid of one or more of those options in the future. Listen to the podcast for why I am doing that.

Press play below (choose 720pHD in bottom right corner of the video).

You can also DOWNLOAD this podcast as an MP3 by right clicking on this link and saving it to your hard drive. I recommend this since it is of a higher quality.

Click this link to subscribe to our podcast via iTunes.

If you have any questions or comments that you want addressed on a future podcast, feel free to call us at 201-639-GEEK (4335) and leave a message!



Check it out! For as long as it lasts... until someone takes it down.

And the Japanese version which has more footage.


02 December, 2012

Review - The Walking Dead 3.08: "Made to Suffer"

In the midseason finale our group finally confronts the Woodbury folk and things get nasty! Also, Carl invites his new friends over to hang out! 

I think this episode succeeded in leaving the viewers with just enough to tide them over until February: the cliffhangers were manageable and we got satisfying endings to some of the key plots for the first half of the season. The confrontation with the Woodbury group was intense and climactic enough for the build up, and it made the rescue of Glenn and Maggie seem pretty heroic. Also, the fight between Michonne and the Governor was some good stuff, and the results clearly established a new direction for the Governor as a character. I wasn't thrilled with Andrea again, who didn't seem nearly as concerned as she should be with everything she discovered about her new boyfriend's creepy decorating habits. 

The appearance of Tyrese and crew is the major plot development and yet another piece of the puzzle to tide everyone over during the break. It was hard not to be impressed by Carl's initiative and smarts in this situation. The set up made things look like Carl was slipping some in the sympathy department, but he's learned a thing or two from his dad and he managed that situation well by locking up the new arrivals. The epic Merle/Daryl reveal at the end was spectacular and leaves us all with something to look forward too, while not being so taxing that you'll kill yourself over it before the next episode. I think the best thing that can be said is that this episode struck the right balance between exciting developments and gruesome fun action. I don't know that it's the most memorable episode, but it's still goes out on a strong note, and one that I think will bring everyone back in a month or so.

I give this one an 80 out of 100- some satisfying developments and good things to come.

- I know all the logical reasons, but it was nice to see this show finally have some fun with assault rifles!
- Maggie stabbing a man in the jugular with a bone shiv!- that is all.
- "You've got the short hair…You're not a lesbian?"- ummm perhaps the current scenario just lacks shampoo Axel?
- Did Andrea not notice that she looks eerily similar to the Governor's former wife? Or was she just waxing nostalgic about the way things were before?
- So long Penny!