Closing of 2011

What a year it has been. Not for criticasm.com perse but for the entire world. We are talking about strikes, crisis, falls of complete governments, the coming of 3D, the world of tablets and many many more things. Looking at the post count it has not been an impressive year, but this does not mean we never commented on the many things happening around the world. Our most dedicated followers know and have been confronted many times with our foul spitting humor – if you can call it that – about many things.

With 2012 I personally doubt more postings will be done, though we will try to aim to post more than 2011. In the years of 2012 and early 2013 I’ll be focusing on my studies, trying to be the best I can, and being the best you can means sacrificing a lot of time to write.

But to not let 2011 go out with a sizzle, I’ll try to summarize the most important things in media, gaming and events worth mentioning. And no I will not be talking about the Arabian Wars or the Economic Crisis, expect to read things about Steve Jobs, DOTA 2, DRIVE and perhaps a little Harry Potter.

We’ll start with cinema:
Looking at a list I found on internet I must say that 2011 has been quite a decent year for moviegoers. Some great flicks like CAPTAIN AMERICA, DRIVE, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2, WINNIE THE POOH, X-MEN FIRST CLASS, CRAZY STUPID LOVE, PAUL, HORRIBLE BOSSES, PAUL, PUSS IN BOOTS and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. (That’s quite a list already isn’t it?)

The titles I mentioned here are those I all saw and thought were worth my time. Some of these movies I even watched several times even though they will probably not win any awards. I will not go through them all, but will mention a couple which you should definitely watch if you ever come around to it. I’m quite sure many of them will be on TV in the coming year.

First movie I want to mention is DRIVE. This movie already won many awards, but I want to tell you why I think this movie is so great. Nowadays when an action movie is made it has lots of special effects and they tend to show you a lot in very few seconds. Like cars exploding, some briefcase being grabbed and the main character shooting down a dozens of bad guys. This is your average action sequence in a random action movie. With DRIVE you are looking at an action sequence in which nothing happens, really nothing, but you are on the edge of your seat waiting, watching and wondering what will happen. Ryan Gosling does an excellent job in playing the dark and mysterious guy, fighting for a righteous cause.

Second movie worth your time is HORRIBLE BOSSES. I have seen this movie two times and during the first screening I really did not like the movie to be honest. But during a flight back from my vacation I decided to watch it again. Looking at the movie again I could understand why people like it so much. Everything which happens to the three employees most of us will recognise in their own work. If you have experienced similar situations, you will love this movie, if not you will probably see it as a cliche comedy offering nothing special.

Last movie I want to mention is CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. Looking at the trailer and movie description most of you will judge this movie as your average standard romantic comedy. And yes this movie is just that, but the story being told is a good one. In CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE we follow Steve Carrel while his life goes down the drain, losing his wife, house and connection with his kids. He then is given a choice, start a new live as a playboy (with the help of Ryan Gosling) or fight for the love of his wife. The reason I would recommend this movie is because of the truth it contains. I often hear couples ending their relationship saying “yeah the love was gone”, but remember you always have a choice to fight for it instead of just starting over (or being unfaithful).

Crazy Stupid Love

My penis is indeed in your face

Next up games:
Even though I play my fair amount of games, when it comes to 2011 I hardly played any new games. The ones I can recommend are SKYRIM, DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, PORTAL 2, L.A. NOIRE and BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY.

Other games worth checking out are of course MODERN WARFARE 3 and/or BATTLEFIELD 3 if you are into those kind of games. STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC – the new MMO of EA – is my honorable mention for this year, since pretty much everyone I know and their dog is currently playing and enjoying it.
You might ask then “but NrFive what do you play then?”, well good that you asked. Some of you might know that Hi-Rez Studios bought the Tribes IP from GarageGames and have released a beta of TRIBES: ASCEND. My other site (www.gameshrine.org) focuses on Tribes: Ascend and leading a community requires you to play the game and since we know and love the Tribes franchise since 1999 we are forced to play this game and give the developers our feedback. With the little time I have left to even play games, this time is divided between STARCRAFT 2 and random single player games like PORTAL 2 and BATMAN.

Portal 2

Discover if the cake still is a lie in Portal 2

Last but not least, major events:
One of the biggest events this year was the gaming convention in Leipzig, GamesCom. The reason I want to mention this event was the tournament hosted by Valve for their upcoming game DOTA 2. Even though the game was still in an alpha stage and buggy as hell, the amount of attention it gained was enormous. Everyone was talking about it and everyone wanted to see how the game looked during real competitive play. In my honest opinion Valve dropped the bomb on us and the entire gaming community by staging such a tournament, kudos to them.

Hackers are among us, yes it felt like the movie HACKERS with Angeline Jolie all over again this year, but 2011 will go down as the start of an online war. The fall of many regimes in the Middle-East also contributed in the uprising of many hacker-groups, but the hack of PlayStation Network was the most noticeable one, leaving the network down for months. Now I do not approve what hackers do, but the reasons behind their doings are (mostly) the right ones. The problem with society as it is now, is that nobody can really stand up against the greedy corporations who think they can pretty much do anything they please. Like LinkedIn suddenly using pictures without your permission, or Sony stating that they cannot be sued even if they are wrong. I know many people will say “ you are not forced to use their products”, but remind yourself that as time goes on you are eventually forced to use their products since alternatives do not properly exist. Yes we are still talking about luxury products here, but this does not mean that companies (and even governments) can do as they please. As a consumer you should always be aware for what you are signing up, what information you are putting online and with what products you want to work with. As time goes by we can only hope for proper alternatives so consumers have a choice.

Shut down your government

Power to the People (or something like that)

This also brings us to the last big thing I want to write a little about, which is the death of Steve Jobs. Many of us suspected his demise for months / years, since he was on and off again, showing up thinner each time a keynote presentation was held. Though many will like the way he did things, nobody will deny the impact he had on the technology sector. He inspired new generations of hardware and even though the only thing of Apple I own is the iPhone, holding any of their products really is a joy. Going through his biography and following the rumors, Apple is on the verge of causing another stir in the tech-world. First it was the MP3, then the Phone followed shortly after with tablets, the next step… the TV?
All I can say about Steve Jobs is that he really pushed the boundaries of technology development, even though the way Apple work isn’t always nice, the enormous drive to keep improving is always a good one.

2011 was a year in which a lot has happened and 2012 is looking like it will continue the way 2011 is ending. I hope everyone will be able to withstand the crisis, survive the several ongoing wars and try to stay positive whenever possible.

On behalf of criticasm.com we all wish you a Happy New Year and try to be safe when shooting them fireworks.

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