Sunday, 3 February 2013

Top 10 Geek out moments of 2012

Last year I bloged about the top ten things that made me geek out in 2011 well its a little later than I would have liked as life does have a way of encroaching on fun, but here are the 10 things that made me geek out in 2012 and like last year there is no particular order.

Harry Potter World (Orlando): When we booked to go to Orlando last year we made a decision not to go to Disney World not because we don't like it but because its so expensive, we did however buy tickets to Universal and Sea World mainly because we had never been to Sea World and Harry Potter was now in Universal. Both my wife and I are big Potter fans and were looking forward to seeing what this new addition to Universal would be like, I did have some reservation that it wouldn't live up to the hype about it or our high expectations but I needn't have worried. From the moment we saw Hogwarts as we entered the park we were awe struck with the world that had been created, the castle is magnificent both inside and out and holds one of the best interactive rides I have ever been on. The town of Hogsmeade is spectacular and makes you feel like you are actually in the film, one tip visit it on a night and you really see it come to life. The park characters also play their part in creating the magic of Harry's world with live singing and displays along with street sellers selling butter beer and pumpkin juice (not very good), a must see is the excellent Olivanders show where one child is picked from the audience to get his or her first wand just like Harry. After the show you magical exit into Olivanders wand shop and at $30 a wand they are not too expensive, the one down side for me was that I bought a display set of wands for $175 that I could not get on to the plane as hand luggage (and believe me I tried), they ended up costing me an extra £40 to put it in as extra luggage thank you Virgin Airlines.

Sea World: Having never bothered to visit this park before we took the plunge on this visit as the tickets were only $60 for unlimited access to both Sea World and the water park Aquatica, well I found myself asking why did we not visit here earlier. The shows are spectacular from the awesome Shamu show where we were 15 rows back and still got wet, to the breathtaking Blue Horizons show with Dolphins, Wales, Parrots and acrobats it is simply stunning. There are also ride for the more brave the Kraken looked terrifying (I didn't go on), you can also feed the Sea Lions, Dolphins and Sting Rays yes it does cost but when ever will you get the chance to do something like that again.

The Dark Knight Rises: There were two big comic book films out last year and for me as good as the Avengers was Batman was the better of them, Batman had a lot to live up to after the fantastic Dark Knight but it delivered in spades and tied up the whole story line by the end of the film something that directer Christopher Nolan should be applauded for.
The cast of Bale, Cain and Oldman were perfect as they have been throughout all three films, but special praise should be given to Anne Hathaway for her portrayal of Selina Kyle like many I thought no way when it was announced she would play the role how wrong I was. The clever thing about her character was at no point was she called Catwoman yet everyone watching knew that she was, her costume was a nod to the one worn by Julie Newmar in the 60's TV show but still looked modern. My one slight grumble about the film was the character of Blake who at the end of the film was revealed to have the first name of Robin, I would have much preferred for him to have been revealed as Dick Grayson but that's just the fan boy in me.
One last point at the end of the film my wife and I sat there as the credits rolled  up the screen, after around 5 minutes the lady from the cinema came up to us and said there is no end sequence on this film. As we looked around we were the only two left in the theatre and all the cleaning crew were by the door waiting to come in, we quickly got up and left looking rather sheepish.

The Avengers: Joss Whedon delivered a film I didn't think was possible and as a comic book fan I sat mesmerised as the Avengers came to life on screen, how he managed to keep everyone happy and ensure all egos were satisfied is beyond a mere mortal like me. Everyone has their time in the spotlight and their moment to shine although there were ones who shone just a little brighter than others, Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark is always more interesting than he is as Iron Man and Mark Ruffallo made an excellent Bruce Banner. However the standout performance for me was Tom Hiddleston as Loki his performance was simply perfect, the Avengers showed that it is possible to make a superhero film with costumes the same as the ones drawn in comics something I don't think has been done as successfully before.

Thought Bubble Comic Con: Like last year Thought Bubble makes my list again as it just keeps getting better and better, the highlight for me at this convention was meeting Robert Llewellyn, Kryten from Red Dwarf who was there to promote his new book. He happily chatted with me about Red Dwarf 10 and and his love for the show and his character was very clear to see, when I asked him if there would be another series he said there was nothing definite but would be surprised if there wasn't I left him one happy man.
Other highlights of the convention were a fully working Dalek that moved around the convention floor, meeting Charlie Alled of Walking Dead fame and having my wife Helen with me to share the con experience (her first con) I suspect it wont be her last.

Galaxy Tab: I joined the tablet generation and bought a Galaxy Tab after saying that I didn't really need one, however I changed jobs in July 2012 and was given a very generous amount of gift vouchers that I wans't sure what to do with. In the end I decided to buy a tab with them and plumped for the Galaxy and I am so glad I did, its brilliant for quickly surfing the web, checking out the social networks, catching up on the news in the geek worlds I tend to inhabit online and for reading digital comics. Yes I know I wrote a post on how digital comics wasn't for me but you are know looking at (well reading) the converted, I have my comixology account and I download and read comics on the tab as and when it suits me. I have particularly found it handy to be able to download comics that are hard to get in the UK, due to licencing issues comics such as IDW's Doctor Who and Ghost Busters are not officially shipped to the UK but are available for download which is cheaper than buying off EBay.

DC 75 Years of History Book: I have had my eye on this over sized book about the history of DC comics since its release in 2011, but it has always been out of my price range in truth I could not justify paying around £120 for a book as much as I wanted it. Then at Christmas my wife and I gave each other money so we could each buy what we really wanted I had a statue in mind (I like my statues), then as luck would have it Helen saw a copy of DC history book in the local comic store which had been reduce to £50 for a quick sale. I know a woman in a comic shop who would have thought, but that's a whole different blog for another time. Statue forgotten I walked out of the shop with the bargain of the year (well I thought so), it also cemented what I have always know that I have one cool wife and I'm lucky to have her.

Arrow: Suddenly Green Arrow is cool again not only is the current comic book one of my top monthly reads but the TV show has become a must watch for me, yes I know he takes his shirt off at every opportunity but if I looked like that so would I and you have to keep the ladies happy. However shirt apart the story's are well written and well acted and there is enough to keep none comic book fans entertained, while throwing in little Easter eggs for any long time comic fans as well.

Elementary: As a Sherlock Holmes fan I expected to hate this show but I have been surprised at how much I enjoy it, I am not a traditionalist Holmes fan and not against bringing him into the modern era. The BBC show Sherlock is one of the best interpretations of Holmes story's I have ever seen, but Elementary seemed such a radical departure I just didn't see how it was going to work. Not only was it set in modern day but also in New York not London, throw on top of that changing Watson's character to a woman played by Lucy Liu it could be nothing but a recipe for disaster or so I thought. Jonny lee Millers portrayal of the flawed detective is nothing short of brilliant he has all of Holmes traits off to a tea and Lucy Liu is also excellent in her portrayal of Watson, staying away from traditional Holmes story's is also a clever move by the writer giving Holmes modern cases to work on while keeping some of the Holmes mythology still there Irene Adler for example. At the time of writing this Elementary is on its mid-season break, and I for one cannot wait for it to come back on.

Batman: For me this is the best comic out there in 2012 nothing came close as this book has delivered quality stories month after month, the Court of Owls story line was brilliantly put together over the year giving us what I think has been Batman best story line since Knight Fall. Scott Snyder has crafted a dark, scary but brilliant world for Batman and his partners to inhabit, its a book that continues to be the shining light of DC's not so New 52.

So that's it my top 10 for 2012 which on reflection was a fairly good year, here's hoping 2013 will be as good if not better.

1 comment:

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