The Highs of 2011
By Charly SHELTON
My name is Charly Shelton and I am the entertainment correspondent and techno-wizard for this paper. Welcome to my office.
Every year, I personalize my workspace at the offices of the Crescenta Valley Weekly newspaper by printing out some of the best stories and displaying them on my wall. As you can see, I am surrounded by the best stories of the year, be they important films, theme park attraction reviews, posters from conventions or even just a favorite article that holds a special place in my heart. So when it comes time for the year in review, all I have to do is look around to see the best of the CV Weekly Leisure section. Their numbers correlate with the descriptions below along with the issue date of the CV Weekly so you can read the entire review:
1. D23 Convention, Sept. 1 issue. This is the convention for all Disney fans. This year’s convention was fun, but lacking the sneak peek factor that makes the whole convention experience that much more exciting
2. “The Muppets,” Dec. 1 issue. The Muppets are back in theaters with an amazing new Muppet movie from writer/producer/star Jason Segel. Amy Adams costars. This film is really funny and definitely worth paying for. Don’t let this one get away. As of print time, it is still in certain theaters including the El Capitan in Hollywood.
3. “Sherlock Holmes 2,” Dec. 15 issue. The sequel to 2009’s amazing Holmes movie, this one disappoints with a predictable plot but entertains with great action sequences and acting. Maybe wait for DVD on this one.
4. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Aug. 11 issue. One of the best films of the year, Andy Serkis plays an ape with higher consciousness and intellect than his brethren. This is an original story to set up the classic “Planet of the Apes” films. Just released on Blu-ray and DVD, it is not only worth seeing, it is worth buying on Blu-ray if you have one, or DVD if not, because the special features on the “Genius of Andy Serkis” and “Pushing the Boundaries of Motion Capture” are astounding.
5. DC New 52, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15 issues. The classic DC Comics titles such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the rest were reset this summer, some for the first time. Superman started in 1938 with Action Comics #1, and that ran for 904 issues until October 2011 when the series was reset from issue 1. All of the comics under the DC label were reset to issue 1.
6. “Sanctum,” Feb. 3 issue. The film “Sanctum” was really well done, but that is not why this article was important. It was important to me because we featured in the article a personal interview with executive producer of the film James Cameron. Cameron, the Oscar winning director/writer spoke with CV Weekly to give some insight into the team that came together to make the film.
7. QR Codes. These have been featured in every single issue of CV Weekly published in 2011. They debuted on Jan. 6 in our paper and we have used them for links, videos, hidden messages and more. If you have a Smartphone, download a barcode scanner app and try one out. You get the full CV Weekly experience every week with the QR Codes.
8. Pirates 4, May 26 issue. One of the sneak peek announcements of the D23 Convention in 2009 was the announcement of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” along with announcing “TRON: Legacy.” So with huge announcements like that from years before, you can see why this years D23 was a let down. And sure enough, less than two years later, Pirates were once again swashbuckling their way to the cinemas.
9. “Green Lantern,” June 23 issue. The long awaited Green Lantern movie wowed audiences this summer. As a huge Green Lantern fan, I was pleased with the movie, but still held my reservations about how some of the characters played out. This review was by Susan James, but I designed the page.
10. Green Lantern: First Flight coaster at Six Flags, July 7 issue. This was, without a doubt, the worst press event I have ever been to. Ten years of experience, covering every ride opening, every convention, every everything in Southern California, and this was the worst. But the article was funny, so I hung it up. And directly below that is the Green Lantern poster signed by DC Comics head Geoff Johns.
11. New Dino Exhibit, Natural History Museum, July 21 issue. This is a great new exhibit on the dinosaurs of the Natural History Museum. Great for kids and adults alike.
12. Two Page spread on Comic Con, July 28 issue. For the first time, my anti-nerd girlfriend Sabrina finally gave in to four years of begging and came to Comic Con with me. Her take on the convention opened it up to a whole new audience, with my article appealing to nerds and her article appealing to people who don’t care for comics. Also, she dressed up for the con as Slave Leia in the iron bikini from “Return of the Jedi,” and it made my life complete. Beneath the two page spread can be found a “Firefly” poster and to its right, a Star Wars poster, both from Comic Con.
13. Halloween Horror Nights, Oct. 6 issue. Universal Studios and Disneyland had a great Halloween celebration this year with some of the best mazes ever at Universal and family fun offerings at Disneyland. Pictured here is the most terrifying Halloween photo – fellow CV Weekly photographer Matthew Goldsworthy dressed as a heavy metal rocker.
14. Disneyland’s New Rides, June 2 issue. This summer, Disneyland launched two new rides, The Little Mermaid and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Ariel takes children on a dark ride over at California Adventure, while at Disneyland, guests are blasted off into a galaxy far, far away on the reboot of the classic “Star Tours” attraction.
15. E3, June 16 issue. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, was held again in L.A. showcasing the best of upcoming video games and gadgetry. This poster from E3 is advertising Spider Man: Edge of Time, a fairly decent Spider Man game that was released a few weeks ago. Also, to the left of the poster is a certificate from TUGNET (The Users Group.NET). I made a presentation to the group about E3 and the gadgetry found there.
16. Flashpoint, Aug. 18 issue. Also in the article from number five as listed above, Flashpoint was the short issue series that serves as the transition from the old volumes (some ending in issue #904) and explaining why everything starts over in a parallel universe.
17. Tintin, Dec. 22 issue. Tintin is probably my favorite movie of the year and that took me completely by surprise. I had heard about it a little before its release but mostly that Steven Spielberg was excited and going to make a good movie. When I walked into the theater, all I knew was what was on the poster. And now I have seen it five times, and I find something new every time I watch it. Go see this film. You will not regret it.
18. Upcoming movies. Next year there are so many movies coming that promise to be amazing. Among them are, “The Raven” starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe, and the film I am most excited for, “The Avengers.” Even though it is different from the comics by a lot (Ant Man and Wasp are not even in the film), it still looks amazing. And with Nerd God Joss Whedon as director, it can’t get any better than this.
19. The iPad 2. Released in March of this year, the iPad 2 is a versatile tool that allows us at the CV Weekly to make a better product for you, the reader. Specifically, it allows us to program and test our digital edition PDFs, make and test QR codes and even doubles as a controller for our new CV Weekly HoverKam (CV Weekly HK).
2011 was a great year, and we look forward to an even better 2012. A little about me: I am a nerd, as is evident by the numerous comic book posters and TRON: Legacy identity disc in the bottom right. I love technology and I love using it to make people’s lives easier. This is the future, and I love every minute of it. Whether it’s QR codes, digital PDF editions of the paper or video tie-ins to our stories (shot in glorious 1080p), tech is my life.
So as you read this article and any future stories I may write, keep in mind that I speak from experience not only as a 10 year veteran of the newspaper and entertainment industry, but also as a die-hard fanboy who has been following most of these stories independently for my whole life.
If you have any suggestions for upcoming articles or questions about previously published articles, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.