AVATAR The Last Airbender: Truly one of the greatest animated series ever created, the "Boomerang gang" delivered another solid season in "Book 3: Fire" of incredable storytelling, breathtaking animation, & character growth, that few series of any type can boast. It is amazing to see such quality be put into an animated series of this type & the realism of the characters turmoil, & parallel word to are own make it even better. There has not been a cartoon on THIS good in years, & many of the best don't even touch it in terms of quality & freshness... This is the one series that I can't recommend enough to all ages. Truly one of the TV masterpieces of the decade.
*Avatar art on the left by by Deviant artist arriku*
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA: This movie ended up being my favorite "under the radar" hit of the year. It was the one movie I went to see on a whim (rather than very planned out) & it had more charm, depth, & warmth than most family films even touch. Walden Media is one of Disney's best new projects & I look forward to their future films... AnnaSophia Robb was perfect as Leslie Burke, & even though I liked a lot of films in 07 (like Pan's Labyrinth, 300, Harry Potter 5, Pirates 3, & Transformers) ...this film had so little expected yet delivered on so many levels of great storytelling, superb acting, & difficult subject matter with a innocence that was required..."Terabithia" will be one film I continue to cherish always.
...now in "Comic Colors!!"
GI JOE: If you know me on a personal level, you know I am crazy about the new G.I. Joe "25th Anniversary" line. I total homage with updated sculpts to the original ARAH 80's line. Hasbro finally did something breakthrough again with Joe that made me fall in love with the battle against Cobra all over again. I go on mad-hunts looking for the latest figures with Randy all the time... the figs are hard to find with strong sales & collectable, and trust me, we love it!! Not to mention so much new product is always coming out which makes me even more anxious & excited about th eproperty, as I always am reciving new information. Much like TF's in 2007 Hasbro is bulding this classic line to get fans on board right before the Big-Budget Movie expected for 2009, and most likely a follow up animation... ans I for one, can't wait...
Olivia Munn Is Baroness - Every10Mins.com
GRINDHOUSE MOVIES ON DVD: Finally, all the B-film, exploitation, howlers, schlock, & martial arts 1 can muster from the 60's, 70's, & 80's is coming out on DVD thanks to great companies like BCI, Blue Underground, Severin, Retro Seduction & Blue Underground. Truly a guilty pleasure, grindhouse fans are seeing the jems of yesterday restored to their full uncut glory & making the rounds at Amazon & Bestbuy to add to your obscure but awesome collections! Movies from your childhood, sticky floor theatres, or cable movie channels are finally coming out from the vaults & are being uncompramised & priced for keeps!!
GO!GO!7188: In 2007, J-Rock band GOGO struck back by launching 2 tours in the US, the 1st with the "Japan Nite" ensemble in the Spring, then with their own tour in the Summer of 2007 just months later!! They performed brilliantly (Yuu's vocals... @_@) & were so kind to their fans by making fun live content & delivering solid shows from their discography. For a favorite band of mine that I thought I would never see, or have a t-shirt of, nevermind have them come to my area twice, was defiantely my best J-rock experience of 2007, with meeting the girls & getting autographs as additional frosting!!... Couple that with a new more retro album, harking more toward's their early works, and the fact that "569" also included a DVD release featuring "Japan Nite" footage, & you have IMO 2007's "band of the year" by a landslide, as this act did more for me than I ever imagined possible in 2007!!
JULIANNE HOUGH: I have never taken to a celebrity like 2-time DWTS champion Julianne Hough... Her presence on DWTS Season 4 (with Apollo) & Season 5 (with Helio) made each & every week of the show a "must watch" for me. She deserved the final win both times, & I voted for her with a vengeance!! A gorgeous girl oozing with talent, humour, & personality had me seeing the perfect TV girl again in a long time. Couple that with her future on DWTS, as well as singing & acting & I am sure she will be making herself more well-known in 2008!! I never get tired of her & am always interested in what is new, & her newfound fame has made that easy with her legions of fans...It is rare that you have a chance to see celebs in person , & I saw this angel live in July & will be venturing to see her again this February...I can't wait!
J-ROCK: 2007 was a strong year for many bands on the Japanese music scene... In the US, many tours hit the US like Japan Nite, Jrock Revolution, Dir En Grey's live tour & more... It also marked the return of my beloved X Japan, something I never thought would ever happen. IAnd 2007 also saw oldskool bands like The Brilliant Green, Luna Sea & D'erlanger return...Couple that with strong works from fan-faves Abingdon Boys School, The Gazette, Galneryus, Hizaki Grace Project, L'Arc ~en~Ciel, Nightmare, Rentrer en Soi, Taia, & Versailles...it made for the perfect year of this ever increasing in popularity here in the US genre!!
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: Although MOTU has been a kind of a quiet franchise in 2007, it offered alot in so many ways. With the success of the 07 Transformers Movie, Masters was green-lit to hit the big screen for a big budget movie in the future... 2 more waves of the artistically perfect Stactions + exclusives were released to the awe of collectors. There is still nothing more satisfying as a collector than putting a new one of these on my shelf. A new classic styled prototype He-man was revealed at SDCC which could mean some more "big things" for the franchise... And as always, the wonderful art community & He-Man.org friends & family is a part of my daily life. Here's to some hopeful annoucements concerning the brand in 2008!!
THE OFFICE: By far my favorite TV (live) show for 2007, "The Office" had me hooked in 2 episodes. So much so that I immediately bought seasons 1-3 on DVD so that my family & friends would be caught up for Season 4's premiere. This show is hilarious, & is the perfect counter-balance for my other fan favorite comedy "Scrubs." The adventures of Michael Scott (his smallness, lovable mishaps, & overboardness as potrayed by Steve Carrell) & his funny suboridinates are a welcome laugh each & every week
& have an amazing REALNESS to them. Working in an office environment myself, I can't help but relate to the characters & the humourous, yet daily instances that they potray...this show has made myself & the others with me laugh so hard sometimes we have had to pause the DVD just because we couldn't stop laughing...
TRANSFORMERS: To me, 2007 was the biggest year for TF's since the 84-86 saga (& even much bigger than Beast Wars at it's peak), it was quite possibly the biggest year for Transformers ever. Actually, it was."Classics" started the year off on the right foot, & is quite possibly the best TF toy line in history. The quiet (& not so quiet) steam building of fandom for the ultimate TF experience for the mainstream, "The Movie" in 2007 was the momentum for it all, hitting quite effictively in the middle of the year. BOTCON was AWESOME in 07, & I don't think they could have had more desirable exclusives, or put on a better show with having Peter Cullen, Stan Bush (with an extremely fun concert), & David Kaye as their headliners. I really enjoyed my 2nd experience with Botcon, & it riveled my original 1997 experience, then BEAT it. I think with Hasbro giving us so much postive information, like when we thought "Classics" were over, they were actually coming back as "Universe"... A sneak-peak at "Animated", & a chance to see the new Movie (before release), the real Optimus Truck from the film, Pepsi Prime & the "Games Of Deception" Box+, they really catered to fans in a way that I have never seen before, the dinner party/concert was killer, & reminded me why I go to Anime Cons to this day. And even if you had to wait to the initial release of the Movie, it didn't faulter as a mainstream success, I personally enjoyed it very much & I find it SO interesting that people now, who knew nothing 6 months ago about TF's, can realate because they now know who Optimus Prime & Bumblebee are. Kids were excited about TF's in a new way, so much so that stores were constantly empty of product, something that (as a whole) I have not seen (ever) for TF's. The year winded it's way down (in a good way, minus bare shelves) & Animated premiered, featuring what seems to be a new positive direction for the franchise & to maitain high interest in the brand. Hasbro took some INCREDIBLE risks this year, by NOT doing what they HAD been doing. "Classics" was a safe & steady bet, what many fans have wanted for years, following that up with a Blockbuster/radically different looking Movie that fortunately was a major success, was a huge gamble for them (imagine if it bombed??). Then follow THAT by another completely different non-anime, western-style cartoon headed by CN (so it actually gets a good timeslot) was another bold move that looks to be another major pay off for them come 2008. This formula worked in spades for them, & they are currently USING THE SAME formula with GI Joe, (25th classic style figures, Big Budget Movie in 2009, most likely followed up with an animated series...& my guess is the con will be in RI that year too. ^_-) It was an AMAZING year for TF History & one that will always stand as a "Staple Year" for how lucrative & innovative it was. Now I can truly call 2007, the year for "Transformers!!"
*2007 Honorable metion goes to WOTC Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures...The Minis game was a favorite of mine for about the 1st 6 months of this year, but with a change of the game going to 2.0, & most of what I have & learned going out the window... I have pretty much lost my current interest in THAT aspect of the franchise... Although I will always love D&D & it's vast universe on many different levels (history, cartoon etc.)...