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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Steve Jobs, Alan Moore, Jonathan Maberry, Sookie Stackhouse and George R.R. Martin Top Our Favourite Books

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, Tuesday featured our musical faves, Wednesday was all about comics, Thursday looked at the best in video games, while Friday our writers went to the movies. Today, in our final instalment, we look back at some of the books that highlighted our shelves in 2011.

Andy Burns:

When it comes to non-fiction, no book could top the brilliant Steve Jobs biography. Written by Walter Issacson with the full cooperation of Jobs, the book delves deep into what drove the man who created and marketed some of the most revolutionary technology of our lifetime. Reading this book is discovering the genius of one of the 20th centuries most important figures. Hugely recommended to anyone who owns a Mac or “i” anything.

 

 

As for fiction, the book I enjoyed the most was our friend Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night. A zombie novel with heart and soul, that goes to great and entertaining lengths to make a undead apocalypse seem highly plausible. Solid horror. In the meantime, I’ve got Stephen Kings 11/22/63 sitting beside my bedtable, waiting to be read. Hello, 2012!

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Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Apes, Captain America, Harry Potter and More Made A Mark At The Movies

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, Tuesday featured our musical faves, Wednesday was all about comics while Thursday looked at the best in video games. Today, Biff Bam Pop’s writers offer up the movies that moved them most in 2011.

Shannon Watkins:

And so comes the end of the most lucrative movie franchise in history. Yes, even more than Star Wars, James Bond and Twilight. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the final chapter of the series was not a let down. The action-packed finale flew by, feeling much shorter than it’s two hours. All the loose ends were tied up and you really get a sense of how much the series has grown with the audience. Images of Harry’s once-safe haven, Hogwarts, as a crumbling and smoking battleground feel impossibly dark when compared with the shiny-goodness of the first installment.

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Can Mission:Impossible Hang On To Number 1 To Close Out The Year? Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions, Weekend of December 30th, 2011

No new openings this weekend, which means the heavy hitters from last weekend are looking to due battle once again for bragging rights. Lisbeth Salander vs Ethan Hunt vs Sherlock Holmes, which some chipmunks and horses thrown in for good measure. Here’s how I predict the weekend will turn out:

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Cult Classic Lovers And Government Agencies Chasing Down Superheroes Tops The (Belated) Wednesday Run – December 28, 2011

Once a week, every Wednesday for the past year, Biff Bam Pop! has been pushing you out the door and into your local comic book shop to pick up an interesting release. In terms of interesting, this Wednesday, the final Wednesday of the 2011, is no different.

Run! Run now and head out to your local shop and pick up the trade compilation called, simply, Chase.

Chase
Written by: D. Curtis Johnson and J.H. Williams
Illustrated by: J.H. Williams and others
DC Comics

Chase is a bit of a cult-classic these days. The main character, Cameron Chase, first appeared within the pages of Batman back in 1998 – an appearance used to promote her own monthly series which lasted all of ten, brief issues. Still, that series has resonated within the minds of a loyal fan base and now, with creator/writer/illustrator J.H. Williams working magic on the amazing Batwoman series, Chase has returned to the forefront of the DC Universe.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Best Of 2011 – Arkham City, Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 Take Top Honours

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, Tuesday featured our musical faves while Wednesday was all about comics. Today, Biff Bam Pop’s gaming gurus tell their favourite plays of 2011.

Mat Langford:

Not a bad year for gaming! Heavy hitters such as Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3,  MW3, and a few others all hit the shelves, making it a very confusing time for gamers figuring out what to play first! I made my decision for Game of the Year based on the overall playability of the game, including its appeal to not just the hardcore gamers, but also the casual ones.

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5 things that’ll make 2012 great

We’re on the threshold of a new year.

There’s plenty of reason for excitement, but if you watch stuff like this or this, you might be thinking our civilization and way of life are doomed.

I say nuts to that.  Personally, 2011 was an awful year.  I’m glad to stick a fork in this one come Sunday, and I think you should too, especially knowing what good stuff is on the horizon.

To pick you up before 2011 go-goes, here are five reasons 2012 is going to be a great year:

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Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Batman, The Boys, Severed and More Great Comic Reads

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list, while Tuesday featured our musical faves. Today, here’s a list of what comics left their marks on our writers.

Jason Ward:

Best – Dynamite Entertainnment’s The BoysFans of writer Garth Ennis know he’s not keen on the superhero genre.  He enjoys it to a degree, sure, but he’s been poking fun at the cape & tights crowd since DC’s Hitman made it hilarious in the 1990s.  The Boys takes it a step further in a world where irresponsible superheroes are the product of a corrupt corporation trying to find leverage in the arms market.  Someone’s got to keep an eye on things and slap the supes down when they get out of hand, and that’s what The Boys are for.

This year, we got to learn why team leader Butcher Baker hates the cape-clad crowd so much in Butcher Baker, Candlestick Maker, as well as see Wee Hughie learn The Boys’ origins and reunite with the team to investigate an apparent murder by a member of the world’s “greatest” super team, the Seven.

The Boys are headed for some dark places as the final showdown with the Seven draws near, and The Boys have already lost one of their number this year.  From this point forward, anything goes – and that’s how it should be.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Prog Rock, Hair Metal, Folk and More Make For An Eclectic Year

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Monday, we looked at what topped our tv list. Today, here’s a list of what topped our list of favourite musical moments. As you’ll see, all of our contributing writers have some diverse taste

Andy Burns:

This was a year that featured a whole mess of big box sets from the likes of Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, U2 and many more. Out of all of those, I’d have to say that Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here Immersion Box Set was the real revelation to these Floydian loving ears. Imagine putting on an album you’ve heard hundreds of times and then feeling like you’re experiencing it for the first time. That’s what it was like for me listening to the Surround Sound mix of WYWH. From the wind blowing to the sound of machines working to the actual music itself – I was placed right inside that album. You’d expect an experience like that from Dark Side of the Moon, of course, but Wish You Were Here in surround sound is a revelation that every Floyd fan should check out.

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Steve Jobs Biography Winner Announcement!

Congrats to longtime Apple acolyte Darrin! He won our final Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway, a copy of the brilliant biography on Steve Jobs, written by Walter Issacson, and courtesy of our friends at Simon and Schuster. Congrats, Darrin! And thanks you everyone who entered all of our giveaways!

Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Television: American Horror Story, Breaking Bad and More

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Today, here’s a list of what topped our list of tv favourites. As you’ll see, one show in particular seemed to resonate with many of our illustrious contributors:

Corina Hitchcock:

Whenever I try to describe this show to someone who hasn’t heard of American Horror Story, it comes across as something insane -and it kind of is. AHS is a sprawling, David lynch type nightmare involving a haunted house in Los Angeles, a family torn apart by infidelity, dead starlets, teen killers, a monster-baby hybrid, a guy in a rubber suit…and so much more. I sometimes wonder how the writers are going to keep the momentum going with this one, but I look forward to following along.

Jason Shayer:

American Horror Story – Smart, clever, and damn twisted. Turned off by a really weak second season of The Walking Dead, I was looking for something with bite and this show delivered. A great, compelling drama with a jaw-dropping surprises which is rare these days.

Andrew Burns:

I have a hard time believing that American Horror Story came from the same mind that gave us Glee. I love the fact that the show is on FX, as it means Ryan Murphy can take off the gloves and let loose with some of the most twisted horror ever created for television. Sure, Dylan McDermott may cry a little too much on the show, but somebody better polish off an Emmy with Jessica Lange’s name on it, as she’s doing great work as the next door neighbour you’d never want to mess with.

Shannon Watkins:

Episodes on Showtime: A TV show about making a TV show. More specifically, a TV show about an American studio ruining an adaptation of a successful British comedy. Playing himself playing the leading man, Matt Leblanc does a fantastic job of both roles. His willingness to have a major plot point hang on the fact he isn’t a particularly funny or talented actor shows that he is, actually, quite hilarious and capable of range in his portrayal of characters.

JW Ward:

Best: Community on NBC/CityTV – NBC might have decided to put the show on hiatus mid-way through its current season, but the adventures of the study group at the fictional Greendale Community College continue to be the most inventive half-hour of television you’ll find on any of the big networks.

Joel McHale, Allison Brie, Danny Pudi and Donald Glover  form the best parts of an ensemble cast that delivers comedy gold week after week.  From making an entire episode about role-playing games, to an exploration of western film tropes via paintball, to even the more recent homage to Heart of Darkness (because it was way better than Apocalypse Now), Community came into its own in 2011 and deserves six seasons and a movie, even if it’s now nearer to the fate of shows like Arrested Development and Firefly.

Worst – Smallville finale on The CW – Filled with more plot holes than a Michael Bay film, the culmination of Superman’s ten-year coming-of-age journey made it feel like the Boy of Steel would never man up.

When it finally came time for Tom Welling’s emo-tending Clark Kent to put on the tights, all viewers got to see was a flying animation at a great distance – not even one shot in the full super-suit.  Starting out with a Clark & Lois wedding that never finishes, the epilogue skipped ahead seven years to find Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark still unmarried. And what was with Chloe, her kid and that comic book?  Does that mean everyone in their universe knows Clark Kent is Superman, working away at the Daily Planet?

An angry fan could go on.  Thankfully, the show didn’t.

Corina Newby:

South Park: always relevant with a little as 6 days to air, fearless satire and a stand alone animated series
Parks n’ Recreation: hilarious and bold character development, and a great alternative to the office which had yet to recover from the loss of steve carrell
American Dad: jumped ahead of the Seth MacFarlane pack long ago, Roger is a beacon of comic genius, and continues to cement itself as best franchise of all three.
Children’s Hospital: always edgy, riddled with an obscene number of comedy cameos, and heading in to its 4th season for 2012. Thank god for Rob Corddry.
Dark Matters (doc): great documentary released round halloween about dark, twisted and true tales from scientific history.
– and although I just started watching and only in 2nd season, Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston’s ongoing lead is nothing short of spectacular and continues to impress even after 4 incredibly high intensity seasons (heading into its fifth in 2012)

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