Assassin’s Creed 2

My biggest problem with the original Assassin’s Creed was the lack of variety. While in many ways Assassin’s Creed 2 improves every aspect of the game, I found the mission types in the sequel were actually much more similar. For me the game felt like it dragged on a bit and while it didn’t feel as padded as the original did, it did still feel overly long. Great graphics, great atmosphere and a pretty good story, but by the end I was just relieved I was done with it.

The King’s Speech

Having heard a lot of good things about this movie, and seeing Colin Firth win a Golden Globe for his performance, I came into The King’s Speech with high expectations – and the movie didn’t disappoint. The film has a lot of charm about it, and Firth’s performance as Prince Albert/King George VI was great in terms of showcasing the personal struggle of a man struck so incredibly vulnerable by his speech impedement.

It might seem like a benign unimportant issue having a stammer, but I doubt anyone who has ever had such an impedement would agree, and you really do feel the King’s struggle in this movie. A very good film, definitely worth checking out.

Unstoppable

I kind of feel like you don’t get a lot of the more old school disaster action movies any more. When you consider that the two “heroes” of the movie just sit in the driver’s cab of the train for most of the movie, it’s pretty impressive just how good the movie is at conveying the intensity and action. So much so in fact that the guy sitting near me in the cinema was literally leaning forward on the edge of his seat such was the tension he was feeling.

The movie moves along at a brisk pace, things like character development get only the most cursory of attention, with the focus pretty much solely on the action. Sure it’s cliched and more than a little silly but only in the right ways.

Favourite Movie of 2010: Inception

At the beginning of 2010 I realised that I was struggling to compile a list of 10 movies that I was excited about seeing. Overall this year did feel like a bit of a let down, particularly compared to the stellar year that was 2009, however when all was said and done, the movie that ended up as my overall favourite was a truly fantastic film.

Inception was a movie that seems so well crafted, so beautifully and carefully put together that it appears to me like a near flawless piece of work. I have watched it over and over again, and scrutinised all it’s elements so deeply and always find myself satisfied with what I see. Everything that happens in the movie, happens for a reason, there are no points that just seem like a lump of exposition required to explain what is an unusual setup. It is a true testament to Nolan that he is able to explain what is going on in a seamless way without ever losing the momentum of the film.

The construction of the film is also impeccable. The movie carefully explains the rules of the universe it is set in, and then the story plays out and throughout the rules are followed to the letter. There is no cheap moment of deus ex machina – everything is consistent and it all fits well. The true mark of a great story teller and great film maker.

Top 5 Movies I saw in 2010:
1. Inception
2. Toy Story 3
3. Iron Man 2
4. Clash of the Titans
5. Kick Ass

Favourite film of 2009: Avatar

Favourite Video Game of 2010: Mass Effect 2

Although I certainly played a hell of a lot of video games in 2010, I had such a backlog of games from the year before that I actually only played a handful of games that were released in 2010. That said, it should take nothing away from the game which was my ultimate favourite for the year, Mass Effect 2.

Building upon the strong story and the richly detailed world from the first game, the sequel improves in every single facet, and in the places where the gameplay were particularly weak in the original, they certainly got it right this time.

In addition to the main story, the game had additional downloadable content throughout the year, which I lapped up and despite being a long game over 40 hours in length I’ve poured nearly double that time replaying it, trying to find the parts I missed, (playing as a renegade lady Shepard rather than my traditional paragon man Shepard).

Top 5 Games I played in 2010:
1. Mass Effect 2
2. GTA IV
3. Batman Arkham Asylum
4. Bioshock 2
5. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Favourite game of 2009: Uncharted 2