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25 Personal Favorite Reviews--Toot Your Own Horn

  • Feb 23, 2010
  • by
Recently I saw as @Sharrie made a list of her personal favorite reviews.  It was such a neat list to read and also exposed me to more of her reviews.  So I figured... why not do the same?  As I went through my own history, one thing stuck out: I have too many reviews.  As I write this list I have 246 reviews posted here on Lunch.com.  So while I can't just pick ten reviews, I figured I could at least pick 10%.  And while it isn't exactly 10%... I cheated and rounded up to 250 since I'm close to that mark.  This allowed me to pick twenty-five favorites... and believe me picking those twenty five favorites wasn't easy.

On the other hand, I have thought long and hard about making a list to honor the reviews I enjoy by other lunchers similar to the way @Count_Orlok_22 did, but I'm going to have to wait on that one because choosing just twenty five of my own was hard... how am I supposed to choose from the rest of the whole community?

Anyway, this list also gives me a chance to provide commentary that I kept out of reviews and that I didn't want to post in the comments section of said reviews.  If you follow me, you're pretty much in the loop on a lot of this stuff (I've received many nice comments from you all). 

Lastly, I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to actually put this up because I didn't exactly want to seem like this sort of arrogant and egotistical asshole.  In the end I decided to hell with it.  If people think I am, I suppose that's their choice.  Actually I thought this would be a nice way to give people a better understanding of who I am, and to some degree why I chose to write some of the reviews I've written.  In short, it's a way of putting myself out there so that those who would like to get to know me more... get that chance to do so in a way that isn't quite so typical.  As Sharrie did before me, it wouldn't hurt to do your own.  Let people get inside your head.  

Now here's your chance to get a little further inside mine.
1
Reviews on Lunch
Okay, this one is preferential.  Of all my write ups it actually is my personal favorite.  I wanted to do it because someone had written under the data point about having Too Much Choice and I guess you could say that inspired me to write something that might be helpful to those having a tough time getting started on Lunch.  Plus, it gave me a chance to say things about reviewing that I always wanted to say.  And Lunch.com I wouldn't look absolutely crazy saying it all.  It's my personal favorite.  I'd say "Go check this one out for sure," but as I write this... uh, apparently just about all of you have.  The review has garnered 282 compliments and LOTS of commentary by fellow Lunchers.  For that I thank you and wish you all the best of luck in your reviewing travels as you explore, create and review datapoints in the future.
A Bit of Trivia: I actually wanted to make the write up longer but I ran out of characters to do so.  Originally I wanted to pull examples directly from other contributor reviews.  In particular I was amused by the write-ups of @woopak_the_thrill and @Count_Orlok_22.  I didn't want to give shoutouts JUST to those two in my review.  I also had examples and shoutouts prepared for @trashcanman, @Scotman, @Dekeboo, @devora, @Husher315, @drifter51, @angelodignacio, @djevoke and @jrjohnson.  In the case of dekeboo it was for inspiring me to write it.  In the case of angelodignacio it was for bringing me here and for jrjohnson it was for creating the site in the first place.  For the others it was because I remembered a specific moment when reading their write ups that I found something that could illustrate the points I  was trying to make.  In the end I had run over the character limit and the only way to compensate was getting rid of my examples and shoutouts.
See the full review, "One Man's Look at The Art of Reviewing".
2
Lunch.com
At the time I wrote this I was actually excited at the fact that I could do so much on Lunch.com that so many other websites restricted me from doing.  In short, I escaped censorship and was able to put in images (which I was excited about for a while).  I also got a chance to joke around a bit, which I love doing a great deal.  Here the joke is overboard because it involves images, but I did that because... you know, I could.
A Bit of Trivia: It's pretty obvious now, but part of what I was trying to do with the review was show those new to Lunch that there was a lot of freedom with what you could do and say.
See the full review, "OH MY GOD WE CAN REVIEW LUNCH TOO!".
3
Similarity Network on Lunch
This was a fun one to write. It's also quite recent in terms of my write ups.  When it comes to Lunch.com, I like to review the different aspects of the site because it gives me a chance to talk about them, and gives new members a chance to sort of understands just what is meant when someone talks about "Similarity Network" or something like that.  With this one I wanted very much to drive home that one of the things Lunch.com is about is finding common ground so I wanted to express that a low similarity of say... 69% isn't meant for you to say, "Oh, God we'll be mortal enemies!"  It's there so that you can explore what it is you do have in common.  You're looking for common ground... not a date.
A Bit of Trivia: I was originally gearing up a review of Lunch.com's list feature and the review was almost done but then I had some creative differences with myself over how I wanted to do it.  So while I put that one on the back burner to edit I went searching for another portion of Lunch that seemed adequete to talk about.  And the Similarity Network was the first thing that popped up.  To write the review I simply went through my own similarity network and compared the top five people with my highest similarity with the top five people with my lowest similarity.  I've never had more fun writing a review.  Odd, yes?
See the full review, "It's About Finding Common Ground".
4
devora on Lunch
Tributes are fun!  And I've only written two so far, but I plan on writing a couple more in the nearby future.  I like the tributes because it's a way to honor friends and express some appreciation.  It's fun to post and watch as the others comment, joke and have a good time with it.  For Debbie it was fun to write because she's such an easy person to get along with and because she's so much fun to converse with.
A Bit of Trivia: When doing tributes I like to put it in a sort of news story like format where it seems as though you're reading a profile of sorts (or a narrative interview) about the person.  When writing something like this, it doesn't come together by itself all the time.  @djevoke helped me fine tune and iron out the wrinkles before posting, and managed to keep it secret from the rest of community.
See the full review, "A Tribute to Lunch's Most Adorable Member!".
5
woopak_the_thrill on Lunch
My first tribute came just as the guy became a #1 contributor, and before posting I had to change it to reflect that.  Although a little trivia note: I spent a lot of time trying to prep and plan this one for two reasons.  The first was that I was nervous as hell about writing a review about a fellow Luncher.  I became so nervous about it I went off and asked permission from Jrjohnson and ultimately William himself before doing it. The second was I didn't know if I wanted to do something satirical or something heartfelt.  In the end, obviously, I chose the latter and wrote it up in a manner that would be similar to a News Story you might read in the paper or a magazine.  I figure when it comes to Lunch.com and the community, there could be no harm in showing appreciation for other members.
A Bit of Trivia: Interviewing William turned out to be a lot of fun, but like the tribute to Debbie above, I went to a member of the community to help me iron out the wrinkles and keep it secret from everyone else.  You know who helped with William's write up?  It was @devora.  Ironically enough, the second tribute I wrote was about her.
See the full review, "A Tribute to Lunch's #1 Contributor".
6
MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)
Now we're transitioning into movies and getting critical at the same time.  I've probably written more about movies than anything else on the site, but the review within the movie community that I like the most is the one which talks about the MPAA.  It's a long review (and those who read it will note that A LOT of the research came from the documentary: "This Film is Not Yet Rated," but if you're going to review the MPAA and examine it, you need to watch that documentary).  
A Bit of Trivia: The title of the review is, "The Following Review is Rated R"  It came about halfway through when I said "Fuck" for the second time and realized that if my review were actually a movie, it would get an "R" Rating because the F-Worded appeared once again a third time (I knew it was coming because I was discussing it) and I thought to myself... "If this were a movie I'd get an 'R' Rating for using this word more than twice..." and since I had no title and I need one to post... why not?
See the full review, "The Following Review is Rated R".
7
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Poster
And this was my first critical movie review I posted on Lunch.  I thought I would run into a lot of people prepared to flame the living hell out of me because when I ventured onto the imdb and posted in a forum that I didn't like I got flamed so much the Salem Witch Trials look like someone lit a match instead of burning someone at the stake.  So when the first comment came I quite literally braced myself.  And then it turned out to be a compliment... and it ultimately lead me to make Lunch.com a regular staple for posting my reviews when I realized the community wasn't out for my head every time I opened my mouth to be critical.
A Bit of Trivia: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has actually been the datapoint in which I've changed the rating the most.  When the review was originally posted it was at a -2.  Then I was talking about it with a few friends and it went to being a -3.  THEN I was forced to sit through it again and it became a -4.  Finally, I just said "To hell with it," and settled happily on a -5.  Of all the movies I saw in 2009, Revenge of the Fallen wasn't just my least favorite... it was my most hated.  And for me to actually "Hate" a movie is quite rare.
See the full review, "Headache Inducing".
8
The Lovely Bones (2009)
Of all the reviews I've written of movies, I'm not sure why, but this is my favorite.  It's the closest I'll ever get to writing an awesome movie review as far as I'm concerned... and I have a lot of movie reviews.  Being critical isn't exactly hard when it comes to Jackson's The Lovely Bones.  But more than that, while I don't particularly like comparing to the book, I like how within the review it's able to satisfy readers of the book and non-readers alike.  Something I don't think I've ever been able to do since.
A Bit of Trivia: A friend of mine from Facebook saw this review and got very very very upset with me that she posted all over my page: "Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You," and went on like that for God knows how many lines and ended with "DOUBLE Fuck You."  I'm still rapping my head on that one because she must've said the expletive at least two dozen times.  So did she put "DOUBLE Fuck You," in there so that she wouldn't have to type it two more times?  Was she running low on characters and saved time by writing "DOUBLE?"  The world may never know.  But I've always been amused at how a disagreement over a movie (or rather, that she liked a bad movie... I'm just saying) caused such rage.  At first it was hurtful but now it's actually kind of funny.
See the full review, "The Broken Bones".
9
Avatar
And looking on the positive side, the AVATAR review isn't so critical and has a lot of energy to just talk about the film.  It's certainly a lot easier to write a positive review than a negative.  It's a neat little review to read in part because it has that energy.
A Bit of Trivia:  A few friends and I went to go see Avatar at midnight in 3D (which is actually not the best experience if you already wear glasses) and the review was written--almost literally--the moment I got home.  I haven't actually lost my stance on the movie, but I'm very accepting of the "The premise is exactly like Pochahantas" stuff... because it most definitely is.  I should point out, however, that I'm far from being those crazed fans who dress up in blue make up and go online talking about how depressed I am because I'm not a Na'vi... uh... as much as I like the movie I really don't want to be a cat person... that explains why a lot of the furry fandom likes the movie...
See the full review, "It's Like Stepping Into a Dream...".
10
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
It is no secret that I am a Stephen King fan.  And The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies.  This is an earlier review.  Nowadays I'm a bit more to the point, but writing the review for Shawshank is a special thing because it gave me a chance to provide a lot of background and trivia on the movie in and of itself.  It's also one of the few reviews where it seemed entirely appropriate to dig into its themes and discuss them at large.  
A Bit of Trivia: I was a fan of the movie before I learned King actually wrote the book.  I saw the movie and loved it.  In high school a friend of mine, who loved Stephen King, said she loved the movie too.  And while I admitted I wasn't much of a King fan, she was quick to point out that King actually wrote The Shawshank Redemption.  I thought she was joking and that's when she brought in "Different Seasons," the book which includes a novella entitled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption."  Since the irony of King actually writing the basis of such a cult movie appeals to me a great deal I couldn't help but include King and Darabont's history in the backstory of the review.
See the full review, "Fear Can Hold You Prisoner; Hope Can Set You Free".
11
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
I can't talk about my favorite reviews without pointing to at least ONE of the Twilight movies.  Seeing as how the New Moon movie is the better review, I decided on that one.  Because it's filled with a lot humor and a lot of analysis of the movie itself.  But it does so without trying to bash the movie.  I don't like bashing too much, but it's always fun to watch a movie you know you'll like because of its flaws and not in spite of them.
A Bit of Trivia: When I went to see this movie it was actually with FOUR guys and ONE girl.  There's the first bit of irony.  And the girl was the one complaining.  "Why am I being dragged off to a chick flick by men!?"  The second bit of irony?  Once at the theater to see it, a mock fight was in order!  So I decided to start a mock fight with a friend.  The word "slut" was thrown around a lot and there was a lot of sissy bitch slapping.  But it was fun.  I tried to work that into the review somehow, but the occasion never really came to do so.  It just wouldn't be appropriate.
See the full review, "It's a Full Moon".
12
The Simpsons
This was the first review I ever wrote which became a "Featured Review."  It always surprises me since it's the one I think actually did go on for a little too long with the history of the show and the changes to the show.  I was still in the mode of making sure to include images at the time.  It's also one of the few reviews that includes a video that's not a movie trailer.  It's probably my first real quality review as well.  The first half spends its time bring kudos to the show while the second half is filled with criticisms and backings.  I'm a huge Simpsons fan... at least I was until around Season 12 or so.  After that it became hard.  As a result of that...
A Bit of Trivia: This was probably the hardest review I've ever written on Lunch.com.  It's hard to mash my love of the show with it's crippling quality.  In the end I came out with giving it a +4 because even though the newer episodes are often the ones that stick out, the classic episodes became so instrumental to our culture as a whole.  But with how the show has declined, and with how much it KEEPS declining, I couldn't give it a +5.  The only thing that would push me to that is if the show got cancelled before it go worse.  I'd give a lot of kudos for that.
See the full review, "A Strong Show for So Long... But Not Strong Forever".
13
Lois, Stewie, Peter, Brian, Meg, Chris & Brian
The review for The Simpsons became a model for this one because it's written in the same manner.  The first half is filled with praise while the second half is filled with criticisms. It didn't quite get off as easy as The Simpsons did, though (and I've yet to review Southpark) because Family Guy just doesn't have a huge staple that was built that's nearly as memorable (for example: the phrase "D'oh" was added to the dictionary... Family Guy still hasn't reached a level of cultural significance... yet).  I had to find a way to couple my love of the show when it first began with the frustration of the show as it went on... and even BIGGER frustration as it became a political tool.
A Bit of Trivia: I actually like Seth MacFarlane a great deal.  His sense of humor actually mirrors my own.  It's just that his jokes became so hit and miss (and his show became too politically correct) that it's hard not to be critical.  In short, my criticisms of MacFarlane don't actually come because I don't like him.  They come because I actually adore what he created in the late 90's and early 2000's.
See the full review, "It Began as a Hilarious Show...".
14
Cleveland Show
When you review one Seth MacFarlane show, you've reviewed them all.  My respect for The Cleveland Show actually had a small increase (it went from a +2 to a +3).  It wasn't hard to review (not nearly as hard as Family Guy and The Simpsons) because MacFarlane basically created the show a third time.  But it's one of my favorites because there's actually a bonus at the bottom of the review.  A little skit I wrote about Seth MacFarlane's meeting with a Fox Executive.  There's a Family Guy reference and a Simpson's reference, but I think what I like best about it is that it actually might've been better if that was what I used to write the review of Seth MacFarlane than the actual prose I put under his datapoint.
A Bit of Trivia: The Cleveland Show is actually one of the few datapoints where I increased it's rating rather than decreased.  As I watched the Show more it doesn't do anything to stand out from Family Guy, but it certainly is better.  It went up to a +3 although I haven't really edited the reasons for it just yet.
See the full review, "Hey It's Family Guy... With Black People!".
15
Stephenie Meyer
When it came to writing about Stephenie Meyer I was annoyed by two things.  The first was that I was annoyed by the fans who thought Twilight was the greatest thing ever written (it's not) and I was also annoyed by the Anti-Twilight crowd who could do no more than insult Stephenie Meyer and somehow think it's a found criticism.  The latter crowd actually annoys me more than the former.  It's primarily because anyone can insult Stephenie Meyer.  Anyone can say "Twilight sucks" and anyone can label Stephenie Meyer a hack.  Again, however, that's not criticism.  They're insults (calling a writer a "hack" is just a more sophistocated insult).  Yet what surprises me most about the "Twilight sucks" crowd is that the majority of people within that crowd haven't actually read those books.  They've seen the movie, but unfortunately when criticizing a writer you can't just pick at the story (and seeing the movie just isn't a good frame work for the book).  In short, I wrote the review because of my frustation with the Twilight Haters who came to loathe the book because of its popularity and not because of the actual stumblings of the books themselves.  I heard a lot of insults about Meyer, but never much criticism.  There had to be a more logical and analytical way to do it.  And for that I became more glad that I read the books if only because it allowed me to focus on much more than just Meyer's story.  I'm fairly critical of Meyer myself, but I'm not one to go against something just because it becomes really popular.  In short, my write up on Stephenie Meyer was written for the sake of those Twilight Haters and not actually to combat Twilight fans who couldn't care less about what I had to say concerning Stephenie Meyer in the first place.  I just figured that if you're going to be some Twilight Hater... you can at least be above the insults.  Unfortunately for Twilight haters looking at me now, they'll try to justify themselves by saying they saw the movie and that's enough.  Not really.  Especially when you actually read my write up on Meyer.  If you're going to criticize Meyer you need to get into the arena.  Anyone can sit on the side lines screaming, "You suck!" You don't HAVE to read Twilight to say those kinds of things.  But you DO have to read Twilight in order to be critical of things outside of the story and what you hear about it.  What I'm getting at is that looking at her style and approach to writing is also really important.  Case in point, there's a whole section in the write up where I discuss Stephenie Meyer's abuse of adjectives.  I have more respect for Twilight fans because at least when discussing I can be more certain they actually read the book before showering it with love.  I have respect for the haters as well... but only if they put themselves through the pain of actually reading said books.
A Bit of Trivia:  I actually have a bit of respect for Meyer.  I don't exactly hate Meyer, and while I'm critical of her writing I do have respect for the fact that she was able to get a lot of people actually reading (we have this warped idea that people should only read WHAT WE THINK IS GOOD, but I disagree, you actually want people starting off with stuff like Twilight so that they can build their way up to reading better things).  I'm a critic of Twilight but I don't particularly get a lot out of bashing.  Though it's no secret that sometimes I find some very... unusual things concerning it.
See the full review, "An Accidental Genius?".
16
Eragon Book Cover
Eragon is also one of my favorite reviews.  We all know the obvious stuff, that it's basically Star Wars all over again.  I responded to Count_Orlok_22's comment about how I bet we could probably guess what happens in Eldest before reading it.  I'm tempted to read it just to find out if I'm right, but scared because Eragon was such a nightmare to get through.  Yet, as with Meyer, as much as the "It's just like Star Wars," stuff is true to a tee, there were also things I wanted to point out in Paolini's style that annoyed me.  The most trying of which is that Paolini is so focused on vivid descriptions with a billion adjectives. If a character in his book cries, he focuses more on the tears streaming down his face than he will on just why he cries... Meyer may not be the best either, but even Meyer took time to actually focus on what her characters were feeling rather than getting caught up in her own descriptions and holding up the story with long passages about the sunset.  Instead of saying, "He fell asleep," for example, Paolini has to say something along the lines, "He closed his eyes and let the darkness of dreams take him to a world which no longer existed in reality, but instead exists wholly within his mind."  That's not something I actually pulled from the books, but you get the idea.  My whole purpose behind writing the review was to bring to the attention of readers that story isn't the only important aspect to writing.  So is the language.
A Bit of Trivia: The first is that I discovered Christopher Paolini was born on the same day that I was.  Just a different year.  We were both born on November 17, Paolini is just three years older than I am.  Call me crazy, but that actually fascinates me a great deal.

See the full review, "Star Wars?".
17
Fountainhead
This was another review that was hard to write.  Because I also like to talk about the writing style of a book as well as the basic structure of the story and its themes (sometimes it's themes, not always).  As I said earlier, there's so much more to a book than just its story, and when I reviewed The Fountainhead I conceded that it was a thought provoking book.  What I primarily argued was that thought-provoking and good didn't necessarily mean it wasn't "boring."  What you find boring and what isn't is up to you, but I mostly wrote up the review as a means to see if I was capable of find that sort of middle ground with Rand.  My review had little to do with her beliefs or even if I agreed or didn't.  I didn't think whether or not I agreed with Rand or not was really all that important.  It's not like me agreeing or disagreeing would make the book in and of itself better or worse.  
A Bit of Trivia: Writing this review was easier than I expected because it just so happens that when talking about one of the most important aspects of the book (the characters) there just happened to be notes in the back of the book itself.  And that actually helped with the review immensely.  Although I really think they were just included to help readers understand the complex ideas presented in the books.
See the full review, "What Is a Man? And What is a Storyteller?".
18
Ayn Rand fascinates me.  When reading about her it doesn't seem like she's human.  Although there's a lot to read and discover.  She was quite an amazing woman, and ever since January 20, 2009 I've been hearing her name brought up constantly (I'll let you piece that one together for yourself).  It's unique to read about her, which makes writing about her incredibly difficult.  It doesn't become easy to form an opinion outright.  Just when you think you might know something about Ayn Rand you might discover something to lead you in a completely different direction. 
A Bit of Trivia: For those who can't figure out the January 20, 2009 reference I'll put it this way.  Whenever a Democrat gets into office in the White House Ayn Rand's name pops up a lot because her ideas and philosophy are quite the opposite of what Democrats usually stand for.  Problem is... Ayn Rand did not particularly like Republicans much either.  And she just about hated Libertarians.  So for those looking into all the politics of Ayn Rand, she was crazy about Capitalism and Ego and she loved America but she had a lot of beliefs that clashed with all walks of life.
See the full review, "A Fascinating Philosopher... Bad Storyteller".
19
The Lost Symbol
Dan Brown is a lovable author to pick on.  When The Lost Symbol came out I just happen to get it in my grasp because a friend had it, didn't want it and gave it to me.  I wrote it up trying not to let the resurgance in Brown's popularity get to me (I'd been hearing about him a lot with the publication of the book) but I also was trying very hard not to draw too many comparisons to The Da Vinci Code... it actually turned out to be easy because the book wasn't great...
A Bit of Trivia: A portion of that review that people seem to really like is that reference to "Dora the Explorer."  Ironically enough, I was babysitting for one of my mother's friends and they were sitting there watching Dora as I wrote up this review and they were watching an episode in which Dora was looking at the audience and was saying, "Do you see the mountain?"  And I thought, "That's exactly what Dan Brown appears to be doing..." and then I put it into the review when the oppurtunity presented itself.
See the full review, "Robert Langdon is Back and Roaming the Streets of DC".
20
I don't get political too often on Lunch.  I sometimes do, but writing about it is hard.  Except for in the case of "Two-Sided Politics," which the data point aptly defines as, "America's backwards idea of politics."  This was the first "experiment" I did with writing on Lunch.  Instead of being a straight out review it was divided into sections that was hell bent on trying to explain something that's hard.  I always see this, "Politics suck!" kind of stuff and "Politics is screwed up," and I began to wonder why, so I wrote this write up as a means to really put out there why it seems that the political climate in this country is so shitty.  Many of you reading this are immediately thinking, "Is Sean Liberal or Conservative?"  If you ARE thinking that, you probably should read this write up as you prove the point of what it's expressing.  Politics suddenly became a sport.  Whether someone is Liberal or Conservative should have absolutely nothing to do with their analysis.
A Bit of Trivia: I was trying not to be partisan in the write up and trying to get across that no one is right because of their political label.  In short, it isn't bias to criticize say... Barack Obama anymore than it is bias to criticize Sarah Palin.  In short, what I really tried to put out there with the write up was that in order to REALLY discuss politics you've got to be able to abandon the labels.  Leave your "He's right because I agree with him!" bullshit alone.  That's not politics... that's a sport.
See the full review, "Are Politics Really That Messed Up? Yes They Are...".
21
Sarah Palin Headshot
And yet I did a write up on Sarah Palin because, once again, I got tired of hearing about how much she "sucked" and how "stupid" she was and instead decided that if people weren't going to speak rationally and thoughtfully (not the kind of lubby-dubby, "I want to consider your feelings" kind of thoughtfully) then it was only adding fire to an already scorched political landscape.  It's hard to be "fair" when it comes to reviewing politicians, which is often why I don't review politicians.  The political landscape is so tough because people will always get sucked down into whether or not you support a particular politician or not or whether you're Liberal or Conservative.  That's not just silly... it's downright stupid.  In short, writing about Palin was hard because I didn't want to write about my own personal politics, I wanted to write about Palin's personal politics and her actions.  The problem is that she does so much that I'll have to go in and edit constantly, which I don't want to do, and which I don't like to do.  The review was written around the time her book was published so what she did after that is pretty much not covered in the write up.  The point is that if you're looking at this particular write up and thinking along political lines I think you misunderstood my mission.  I am not a lobbyist or a political opponent.  It's not my job to get you to love or hate Sarah Palin and it isn't my job to judge her based on my own political beliefs, but rather for me to judge her based on her actions.  You already know whether or not you like or don't like her.  But your personal feelings shouldn't stand in the way of whether or not she's some sort of "God" or a "Devil."  She's neither.  She's simply Sarah Palin.
A Bit of Trivia: Seems a lot of people actually found this write up pretty fair.  And I think that's actually ironic because if there's one things politics most certainly isn't... it's fair.  I've always believed that "Fair and Balanced" in politics is like saying a triangle has four sides.  Politics is definitely not a fair and balanced game and that's one thing I actually also wanted to get through in my write up... I'm not sure if I succeeded in that department.  Fair is foul and foul is fair, I suppose.
See the full review, "Who Did We Talk About Before Sarah Palin?".
22
Game Systems
You all know I'm a passionate gamer.  And much like the reviews thing, I divided this into parts when talking.  It was a lucky thing this data point existed.  It gave me a lot of time to express what it was I really thought about gaming in general and a chance to talk to both gamers and none gamers and talk certain aspects that were important.  And it also gave me a chance to talk about the negative stereotypes and how they came to be.
A Bit of Trivia: Originally I didn't want to talk about the negative stereotypes or breach the subject of Violent Video Games.  I decided on it because there are A LOT of non-gamers who read my write ups and I wanted to address those concerns and how they weren't actually as bad as one might think, but rather that it's easy to focus on the negative aspects if that's all you hear.  In short, it's hard to appreciate gaming when you're not a gamer, and I wanted to get across that for as much as the media has turned the gaming community into these psychotic freaks, many are anything but.
See the full review, "Interactive Art".
23
new PSP device
It's a console review!  Of a handheld, but it's the only console review of a handheld that I actually like to read.  Consoles in gaming are pretty bad to review because people in gaming are all too quick to label you a "fanboy".  In the case of the PSP Go, I didn't suffer much (although I did have one person ask me, "How much did Microsoft pay you to say that!"  Gamers can be the most annoying of trolls sometimes).  Fanboyism isn't something I care for.  At first I wrote trying to ward off the whole fanboyism stuff and it became hard so then I just said screw it and wrote what I felt like writing.  Turned out that worked out much better.
A Bit of Trivia: Concerning the troll asking me how much Microsoft paid me... here's something that's interesting for Non-Gamers, "Microsoft" wouldn't be interested in the success or failure of the PSP Go.  That's not their competition.  Their competition is the Playstation 3... they don't actually have a handheld in the arena.  The PSP's competition is actually the Nintendo DS.  In short, that troll gets an "F" because instead of asking how much Microsoft paid me to say that, he should've been saying, "How much did Nintendo pay you to say that?"  Because in the handheld arena that's where Nintendo and Sony are battling.  Not Sony and Microsoft.
See the full review, "It's a No Go...".
24
Valkyria Chronicles Boxart
In 2008 when Valkyria Chronicles first came out, my first thought was, "No one will play it," and my second thought was, "and that's because no one knows what it is."  I'm not entirely sure why I love this review.  It was one of the first reviews that I put here on Lunch.  It was before I posted a review which garnered a lot of attention and so it's one that many of you reading this list actually probably don't know about because it's really buried in there.  Far at the back.  It was the fourth review I ever wrote.  It carries over a couple of the stylings I still put out there on Amazon.com, but I hadn't yet decided to let the "Pros and cons" thing at the beginning go yet.
A Bit of Trivia: The "Pros and Cons" thing at the beginning is actually something that was done for the sake of Amazon customers who were constantly complaining that my reviews were too long.  On Lunch.com--where long detailed reviews are appreciated--I decided it didn't help any to keep it and thus, I stopped doing it.
See the full review, "A Deep and Enriching Experience".
25
Box Art
When I first came to Lunch.com I wrote two reviews.  One for Final Fantasy X and the other for Kingdom Hearts.  After that Final Fantasy X review I took a three month hiatus from Lunch.com and went back to Amazon.  Once the community on Amazon.com got so annoying I couldn't take it anymore, I returned to Lunch--permanently in early March of 2009 and have been here ever since.  Final Fantasy XII was the first review I wrote upon my return, although it's the one that absolutely nobody read at all (it took me a while to find my footing on Lunch... look where I am now!).  It's my favorite because it started me on a path to being a contributor.
A Bit of Trivia: The review I wrote for Final Fantasy XII here and the one written for Amazon are so amazingly different that one of them (preferably the Amazon.com one) should be taken down without question.  When I first played Final Fantasy XII on October 31, 2006 I was so in love with the game I gave it a five star review when I posted the Amazon review.  Unfortunately Amazon doesn't allow you to edit the ratings, and I've tweaked it several times since then.  
Even MORE Trivia: On Amazon.com this review has the third highest number of votes of any of my reviews (with well over 200 by now, right behind my review of the Nintendo DS and DSi) but it's also the most "contraversial" review I ever wrote on Amazon because of several people who didn't like Final Fantasy XII coming in and deciding to flame me based on the five star rating.  The comments were so nasty at one point I had to contact Amazon to come in and start filtering out some (and they did).  The comments ran from one person accusing me of plagarism, to several accusing me of never having played a Final Fantasy title before XII to another accusing me of being an employee of Square-Enix!  With such hostility, ill mannered ilk it was hard to want to go back to Amazon.com... and yet I stayed for another three years before leaving for good.  But you might say it was my review of Final Fantasy XII that eventually started my war with Amazon.com!
See the full review, "Not a Fantasy for Everyone".

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October 01, 2010
What a fun review!!
 
July 23, 2010
This is terrifingly good!
 
February 24, 2010
toot..toot!!!! make way...make way!! toot toot!! Nice creative list (inspired by Sharrie) but I am not sure if I'll be able to pick some personal reviews of my own since...I try to be impersonal with mine (does that make sense?) LOL!
February 24, 2010
If you don't toot your own horn I'll just have to toot it for you.  Wouldn't that be funny?  "25 Bitchin' Reviews by Woopak_the_thrill!  A list by Sean Rhodes."  That would be hilarious and certainly very interesting.  I actually didn't link it from Sharrie's list, though, which I probably should've.  I like the idea because it gives people a chance to actually talk about what they review, why they do it and what it is they like about it.  Not to mention it really gives people a chance to get inside your head with this kind of commentary.
February 24, 2010
ha-hah! but I have to tell yah, Sean, I may just review myself just for fun LOL! Hey, I really like this idea, but I guess I wouldn't know how to begin. You are darned expressive, and you do such a great job expressing your thoughts.
 
February 23, 2010
I don't think that you're an egotistical a-hole for posting this up.  In fact, I think it's awesome that one of Lunch's most prolific reviewers wrote all of these fantastic reviews, compiled them, and then added some really interesting and insightful commentary to them, thus creating a list that reeks of awesomeness.   And plus, the title of this list is "Toot Your Own Horn" afterall.  And I guess it's kind of tooting mine and Woo's, too! ;)  Great list, Sean!  That was a fun and interesting read :)
February 24, 2010
toot...TOOOT!!!! make way...make way for Lady D! :-) toot....TOOT!!!!
February 24, 2010
HONK! ;D
 
February 23, 2010
A couple of comments on two points in your list. First, Ayn Rand. I read her most famously quoted book "Atlas Shrugged" when I was younger and unbelievably undertook the tome again last year. Yikes! It is a long book, but it reads differently a few decades later. One thing that is eerie in the current political climate is the whole bail-out concept (which both parties are responsible for)...she looks like Nostradamus on that one. On Sarah Palin, I agree. If you say something negative about someone enough times eventually it sticks. When you can't argue ideas, attack the person. That is a philosophy that seems too commonplace in politics. I recently changed my affiliation to "unaffiliated" to give me greater leverage, especially in the primaries. I am tired of either party expecting they can get my vote. For all the bad talk about "tea baggers" they make the most sense. Make government accountable and stop taxing the hell out of us. How about showing us a little something for all the money we dump into the IRS? A tangent, I know. Your list is good, both those two points (and your eloquent take on both) were the ones I enjoyed the most.
July 23, 2010
Obama was born in Kenya and is a Muslim Communist. =)
 
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About the list creator
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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