#12 Movie: Spaceballs
One of Mel Brooks most well known movies, and also one of his most controversial ones. While critics barraged Spaceballs with accusations like being ‘painfully juvenile’ and ‘being late to the Star Wars spoof scene’ (I’m looking at you Roger Ebert!) One the other hand, this movie has a huge cult following. Especially among Star Wars fans. Like all of Mel Brooks’ movies, this movie is quite absurd, with plenty of ridiculous quotes, clever names, and some truly ingenious parody scenes. And, in classic Mel Brooks fashion, one hilarious breaking-the-fourth-wall moment in the climactic end battle. Dark Helmet is easily the best character in this movie, with such scenes as the ‘Going Plaid’ and the ‘Mr. Coffee’ being funny almost solely because of him.
#12 Game: Half-Life 2
First of all, let me say that I have not beaten Half-Life 2, nor have I played either of it’s two additional episodes from The Orange Box, and I have not played the original Half-Life. But darn it, even though I still probably have 25% of the game left to beat, I’m still putting it on here. Half-Life 2 is easily the most atmospheric games I’ve ever played. just the beginning sequence is enough to put it on here. As you step off a train into City 17, a small city run by the Wallace Breen and the Metro Police, a special task force made up of the alien species the Combine, who are working for Wallace Breen in order to kill anyone who rebels against Breen. As you get off the train, the Metro Police bully you around as they check your suitcase, make sure you don’t have any weapons on hand, etc. They take you to an interrogation room where the Metro Police officer takes off his helmet and reveals himself as your friend Barney (from Half-Life 1). He introduces you to Dr. Kleiner, a character I will always dislike for whatever reason, with a communication screen. Just when Barney is about to take you to Kleiner’s lab, the Metro Police knock on the door and you are forced to take an emergency exit (the window). Then, you leave the train station and walk into a city square. I actually said “Wow.” during this moment. Birds fly overhead, people talk about all the political issues regarding Wallace Breen and the Metro Police, someone carries their groceries towards their apartment building. It just looked so real, as if it were happening right now. As you make your way to Kleiner’s lab, which is hidden in an apartment building, you are interrupted by the Metro Police. I know I’m saying ‘Metro Police’ a lot, but that’s the only thing they are called in the game. Anyway, with no weapons on hand, you just have to make a run for it. As you sprint up the stairs, they begin chasing you with their Stunsticks (basically a taser) in hand. As you reach the attic, you lock the door behind you, and search for a way out. The MPs are trying to break down the door, and they’re awfully close to it. You finally see an open window as they knock down the door, as carefully climb out, onto the small ledge circling the perimeter of the building, you hear machine gun fire coming from behind you. You hastily creep along the ledge until you aren’t in their line of sight. Then, you look down. I’m sure some people actually experienced vertigo when they realized how high they were. Sure, it’s a video game, but it looks so realistic that I doubt anyone realized that when they first played it. People down below suddenly see you up there, and they begin to gasp and scream. A crowd gathers, but quickly has to disband as Metro Police cars begin swarming the street. A few people try to stay there and watch, but they are quickly killed by the officers for getting in the way. The MPs begin shooting you from below, and you continue nudging along the ledge. Finally, you see a window, and crawl in, there are two people inside, a man and a woman, watching television and crying, wondering when the war between Earth and the Combine is going to end. They are startled when the see you, and the man even grabs a gun and orders you to get out before you bring the Metro Police to them. As you leave, you see the MPs coming from the top floor of the building you’re in, you sprint down the stairs and open a door leading to a long hallway. As you head down the hall, a huge group of MPs come out the door you were about to go through. You turn around to take the other door, but they are coming out of that one too. You try to head back up the stairs, but the stairs are now destroyed. They are closing in. You have no weapons, no means of escape, and…… How about I end this entry here? It’s long enough isn’t it? If want to find out what happens after that, just buy off of Steam for $10. Or even better, buy the Orange Box, which contains Half-Life 2, it’s two extra episodes, an ingenious little puzzler called Portal, and an epic-ly fun online FPS called Team Fortress 2, for only $20. As a matter of fact, the Orange Box is on sale right now for only $10. So get it while it lasts!