Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christmas Carol (Franchise Review)

        Of all the classic Christmas tails that we frequently return to every year, it’s the novel “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens that has always stood out as my own personal favorite. It's a story of redemption, remorse, regret and the beauty of life all in one beautiful package. 
Over the centuries, it has stood the test of time, is widely regarded as one of the most beloved holiday stories ever, and it’s one that seems to find new life for every generation. There have probably been more adaptions and spin-offs revolving around “A Christmas Carol” then any holiday fable under the sun, and each version has its own distinct spin on the source material. The story in general revolves around one Ebenezer Scrooge, the most heartless and joyless man in London, who hates Christmas, and thinks nothing of others. One magical night, he’s visited by the ghost of his late partner Jacob Marley, who’s soul is doomed to linger in eternal damnation. He conveys a warning to Mr. Scrooge that his soul is just as doomed, but there may be a chance for salvation is he but listen to the morals of three visiting spirits. They are the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who lead Ebenezer on a magical journey through time, analyze the errors of his ways, and through the experience he discovers the real riches of Christmas. In the epilogue, we get the privilege of experiencing his full reformation, along with the classic line “God Bless Us Everyone”. Personally, no matter what version, this remains my absolute favorite moment from any Christmas story. It’s just a timeless tale, and part of the appeal is seeing how many different film and television productions bring their own unique spin to the story. I’m not going to pretend like I know every single version, but for the sake of this post, I want to cover a basic variety of the many different adaptions. I’ll be giving my own personal incite on select films, highlighting favorite versions, along with versions I personally can’t stand, and will lead up to what I consider the absolute best film version of "A Christmas Carol". 

      I suppose I should start at the beginning, and by that, I mean, when I was exposed to the source material for the very first time. For me, and many kids from my generation, we were first introduced to the Dickens Classic in early 1990's with ...

The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992)

While I’ve never called this one of the absolute greatest versions, it’s still infectiously lovable, and just leaves me smiling from ear to ear every time I watch it. Kermit the Frog and his band of Muppets are a special group of characters that I actually find myself loving more as an adult then I did as a kid, and they really are the appeal that makes this film stand out. While filmmakers are more than capable to just make a good adaption of the film, there’s just something special about seeing all these lovable Muppets in these iconic roles. In general, it’s so refreshing to look back on a film that didn’t overutilized CGI and instead created this magical world full of practical effects, wonderful sets, and it just feels timeless in its own right. This film also features my favorite design of the Ghost of Christmas past, as she resembles a spiritual child, but with a face that’s also kind of ageless. I also love the Ghost of Christmas present, and how he’s actually got a bad memory due to always living in the present … that’s a great idea. Finally, I obviously need to mention Scrooge who in this version is played by Michael Caine. He does a good job playing it strait when acting off of puppets, and while his performance isn’t quite as consistent as other movie portrayals, I do think he’s one of the absolute best-looking Scrooges. He just has that perfect image, presence and when reading the book, he’s usually the one I think about in the role. All around, despite featuring puppets, this is still a warm and humble holiday offering that for me has only gotten better with age.  

With my introduction to the source material taken care of, lets look at the original classic that many say hasn’t been surpassed. 
Now in truth, there have been adaptions of the Dickens classic that date all the way back to a short silent film made in 1901. The first big motion picture adaption was “A Christmas Carol”, which premiered in 1938, with Reginald Owen in the lead role of Mr. Scrooge. It’s all around a faithful adaption, sticks to the novel and is all around a credible piece of early film. While this version has received nothing but praise over the centuries, it’s still not the one that’s taken the title of “The Great Original Classic”. That distinction goes to an early 1950's picture ...

A Christmas Carol” also known as “Scrooge” (1951)

Of all the Scrooges past, present and yet to come, they will all be riding the coat tails of one Alistair Sims in the iconic role. This is it, the one that’s frequently cited as not only the absolute best film adaption, but maybe even superior to the book itself. While staying faithful to the source, this film dives deeper into the character of Scrooge, adds new compelling layers to his back story, and leading the charge is Alistair Sims who absolutely shines in the lead role. While I have my own personal favorite portrayal of Scrooge, this is unmistakably a performance for the history books. There’s no other way to describe it, Alister Sims is just chillingly good in the role, and the main reason that this film stands above it’s 1938 predecessor … at least in terms of popularity. Personally, I think both of these Black and White classics earn their crowns, but I’d also be lying if I said either of them were among my personal favorite adaptions of the novel. Both are great classics, worth looking into, but they’ve just never held up for repeat viewings for me, at least in the same way others have.   

       In general, I think everyone should give the classics a watch, but I wouldn’t call them the best way to be introduced to the famous tale. 
Truthfully, I think the best place to start is when someone is a kid, and with recognizable characters in the roles, kind of like how I was introduced through the Muppets. Over the years, several iconic cartoon characters have given their own spin on the story. One of the first was “Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol” which premiered way back in 1962, but I’d only recommend that if you’re a fan of the character. Also, I have to mention the Animaniacs, who have their own stab at “A Christmas Carol” titled “A Christmas Plotz”. This satirical Christmas episode revolves around the grouchy WB studio manager who’s visited by the ghostly characters from the novel, but all lovingly played by our favorite Warner characters. 
The Flinstones took a shot at the Dickens classic back in 1994 titled “The Flinstones Christmas Carol”, which actually had some charm. One of the most original was an episode of "The Real Ghostbusters" titled Xmas Marks the Spot”, which featured it's hero's going back in time, and crossing over with the events of the novel. Then there were lesser specials like "Barbie's A Christmas Carol", and "The Smurfs A Christmas Carol". The animated picture “All Dogs Go To Heaven” had an awful direct to video sequel in 1998 titled “An All Dogs Christmas Carol”, and the less said about that one the better. However, the big one to talk about is the Oscar nominated Disney short from the 80's ... 

Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983)

In truth, I think this is a better version to introduce kids to the Dickens classic then my own “Muppets Christmas Carol”. Seriously, what a great way for kids to be exposed to its incredible source material. As you’d expect, this version features Mickey Mouse and all the classic Disney characters in the roles, and it’s great. Seeing Scrooge McDuck in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge is about as fitting as they get, and all the other famous Disney characters fit right in with the other roles. It gives children a fresh perspective of the characters from the book, and allows them to fully appreciate seeing them in later live action renditions. I especially love how this special is only 30 minutes long, and yet it captures the atmosphere, tone and spirit of its source beautifully. Heck, this short even delivers all the right emotional moments, and that’s no small accomplishment. Bottom line, if you have kids that have never even heard of “A Christmas Carol”, this is a great version to introduce them to it. To call this my favorite Disney Christmas short might be a little too simple, because along with the likes of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, I think this is one of the all-time greatest animated Christmas specials.

      Of course, once kids get their initial exposure, it’s good to seek out a real adaption of the novel. After my own personal introduction with the Muppets, I saw the version that made me fall in love with this timeless tale ... 

"A Christmas Carol" (1999)

Staring Sir Patrick Stewart in the lead role, this TNT adaption has become something of an underrated gem. Speaking personally, this version is hands down my absolute favorite film adaption of “A Christmas Carol”. This was the movie experience that really made me see how genuine, wholesome and timeless this story really is, and it’s the one that I find myself re-watching the most frequently. Aside from getting me hooked on the source material, another ace up this films sleeve is Sir Patrick Stewart as Mr. Scrooge. He’s always been one of my all-time favorite actors, and while there’s still many great portrayals of the character, he still stands out as my favorite Mr. Scrooge performance. I’ll admit, he has some really over the top moments, but he also takes the basic outline of the character and through his performance adds his own layer of dimension and class to the role. When he’s grouchy and bitter, you just see an empty shell of a man with no soul behind his eyes. This film version also features my favorite design of the Ghost of Christmas future, as he’s still a tall, hooded figure, but with bright yellow eyes piercing through the shadows. All around, if your lost in a sea of different Christmas Carol adaptions, and don’t know which one to start with, this 1999 movie is one that I’d recommend checking out. One last detail I love about this version is how it utilizes classic Christmas songs like “Silent Night” and “The First Noel”. It really adds a special flavor hearing those songs, which are noticeably lacking in most other versions. However, there is an exception, and it comes in the form of the musical adaptions …  

      Sense the word “Carol” is in the title, it always made sense to adapt the story into a musical, and the first one to take note of dropped at the start of the 1970's ... 

Scrooge” (1970)
Here we have Albert Finney as the lead, and he's a bit ... theatrical to say the least. Boy oh boy, I’m really not sure how I feel about this one, as there are so many things in this version that I love, yet at the same time it contains so many things I can’t stand. For one of the very first musical adaptions of the novel, none of the songs have ever stuck with me as anything special, or even memorable. Albert Finney is also a little too over the top for his own good, to the point where it hurts to watch him in the role. However, there’s some fairly uplifting scenes, and I especially love this films version of the Ghost of Christmas Present, as he gives Scrooge a figurative drink of the gift of life. The Ghost of Christmas future also has the added detail of a skull seen under his hood, which is a cool touch. Of course, the most unforgettable part of this film is the ending, in which Scrooge is sent to Hell, and its lengthy sequence of him wandering around Satan’s dungeon of horrors. No joke, this ending comes out of no-where, and is at extreme odds with the films initial tone. I can’t even determine if it’s a positive or a negative contribution to the film, but it’s certainly the one element that makes this version memorable. Personally, while this isn’t a bad film, I’d probably recommend skipping this one in favor of other versions. However, if your curious, you may get your fix just to see Scrooge trapped in Hell.

      1994 saw the release of another musical adaption of the Dickens Classic, which premiered as a stage show in Madison Square Garden, and continued until 2003. In the following year of 2004, this very musical was adapted into a TV movie ... 

A Christmas Carol: The Musical” (2004)  

Next we have Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge, and while not one of the absolute best, I think he's kind of underrated. This film stands apart from the others with more of an over the top, tongue and check quality, and as such it’s generally never been ranked among the better installments. This puts me in an odd place, because while this is a very cheesy production, and at odds with the tone of the source material … I personally have nothing but fondness for it. With Alan Menken writing and composing the music, it’s hard for me not to love this one. Truthfully, sense it’s a musical, I feel it has the right to be more colorful and upbeat with its presentation. I for one love the majority of the songs, I love the breathless energy on display, the cast is clearly having fun, and it just leaves me feeling warm and uplifted. This film also takes a page from “The Wizard of Oz”, and has Scrooge meet all three spirits in some kind of human form, before revealing their true identities, which I thought was a welcome addition. Also, while Kelsey Grammer isn’t the subtlest portrayal of Scrooge, I still can’t help but enjoy his performance, mostly for how goofy he gets, but he’s not without some touching moments either. The song “God Bless us Everyone” has been ingrained in my mind as an all-around staple of “A Christmas Carol”, and the song “Christmas Together” is perhaps my own personal favorite musical number from any Christmas movie I’ve seen. I can respect why most fans would just right this film off as campy, but if campy is a bad thing … then sign me up, because I just love this one. It’s a completely different experience from the other films, while still maintaining just enough spirt of the classic novel, and that for me is enough to make this one work. It’s also one of the best-looking versions, as the colors and visuals get me in more of a Christmas mood then the other film adaptions … with the possible exception of the animated ones.

       With its supernatural elements, and iconic imagery, “A Christmas Carol” lends itself to the realms of animation quiet well. 
I’ve already mentioned classic cartoon characters in the roles, but then there’s strait forward animated film adaptions, which have their own appealing qualities. One of the earliest was an animated version of “A Christmas Carol” that debuted in 1971, with Alistair Sims reprising his iconic role. This version was produced by one Chuck Jones, who’s an animation legend. While this isn’t exactly a classic version, it does still contain some spectacular animated visuals and designs that shouldn’t be missed. Another note worthy animated adaption of “A Christmas Carol” debuted in 1997, with the great Tim Curry supplying the voice of Scrooge, which is awesome. However, the animated film I want to acknowledge is one of the more recent theatrical film adaptions ... 

"A Christmas Carol" (2009)

First he was the Grinch, and then Jim Carry adorned to role of Scrooge. This is another film that’s gotten a mixed reception from both fans and critiques, but you can write me off as a fan, because I really like this version. The animation is a beautiful, technical achievement, and visually conveys things that just couldn’t be done in the other films. Robert Zemeckis’s likewise gives the film a very unique design, and doesn’t shy away from some scarier elements. In fact, this might just be one of the darkest versions of “A Christmas Carol” I’ve ever seen, with no shortage of thrilling, nightmarish imagery. While there are some cringy moments, there’s more then enough emotional, subtle and beautiful moments that for me balance out. The song “God Bless us Everyone” performed by Andrea Bocelli is also one of my absolute favorite modern-day Christmas songs. Finally, I’ve loved Jim Carry my whole life, and this for me was his big sendoff performance before he quietly disappeared, and stared in sub-par family comedies. This was a case in which I felt that Jim Carry disappeared in a role and acted less like his usual, goofy self, which is something to admire. I also like that Jim Carry plays the three Christmas spirits, as if to say there all different variations of the same man. With solid leading performances, and beautiful visuals, I think the animated 2009 version really holds up for modern viewers.

     As one would expect, this tail has became so popular that it's become an easy target for spoofs and parodies. A number of  live action TV shows took a satirical stab at the Dickens Classic. In 2010, there was “Doctor Who’s A Christmas Carol”, which was an odd one to say the least, yet it some how worked and is one of the shows better Christmas episodes.
 Another popular one that personally sank to the bottom of my Christmas viewing list came about in 1988 titled Blackadder's Christmas Carol”. This one took a cynical approach with is satire, showing the events of the story in reverse, and personally ... I was not a fan. Viewers of the show Blackadder” consider it a small holiday classic in it's own right, and they can have it. Truthfully, this is a special I could do a separate review of, but for simplicity sake, I just didn't care for it ... so lets move onto another dark comedy satire from the late 80's ...

 Scrooged” (1988)  

Now, I know a lot of people like this film, and consider it a hilarious comedy, with the always talented Bill Murray leading the charge, as well as being a unique take on the source material. Well … good for them, but once again, don’t count me among those people. This film takes the tale of “A Christmas Carol”, sets it in modern times, and with a nasty business man who already knows the story of Scrooge. Yeah ... it’s kind of hard to get invested in a character who already knows both the story, and what the life changing message is at the end. I also wasn’t too pleased with the films darkly comedic overtone, and boy can this film get annoying. My biggest issue being this films rendition of the ghost of Christmas Presence, who’s easily the most annoying of all. Don’t get me wrong, I want to love this movie, I already love Bill Murry, and the premise isn’t without some potential. Yet, every time I see this, I’m always left feeling just as bored and annoyed. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this film and instead just stick to any one of the other excellent film adaptions of the Charles Dickens classic, but if you’re among the many fans that do like this, then don’t let me spoil it for you. 

Now at last, after looking through the different highs and lows, we finally come to what I consider to be the absolute best movie adaption of the Dickens Classic ... 

A Christmas Carol” (1984)

I've loved George C. Scott ever sense I first watched "Patton" with my dad, and his portrayal of Scrooge is another great one to add to his resume. While I declared the 1999 version with Patrick Stewart to be my favorite, there’s still a fine line between personal favorite’s and what I genuinely consider the absolute best. This is the version that just gets every detail down perfectly, and gives us things that no other film, or even the book feature. This is the version where upon going back in time, Scrooge as an older man gets the chance to really look at his father, analyze him and you can just feel the human emotion and pathos behind Scrooges eyes. Every other version features Scrooges falling out of love with a young woman, but this version goes another step further showing how she raised her own family, and what Scrooge could have had if his greed hadn’t gotten in the way. The Ghost of Christmas future, while kind of a basic design, is thematically more terrifying then in any other version, as he first arrives from a distance and slowly moves forward with each possible, future outcome, until he’s finally hovering over Scrooge and conveying the awful truth that Scrooge had been trying to avoid. Finally, this version features my absolute favorite epilogue of any version, and is the one that always gets me terry eyed. While I’ve always loved seeing Scrooges reformation, there’s one selects scene in this film, where Scrooge reconciles with his nephew and, nephew wife, apologizes for the mistakes he’s made and finally becomes one with the family on a more personal note then any other version. 

The big take away line for me is when Scrooge says “God forgive me for the time I’ve wasted”. It’s such a powerful moment that really hits home, and in my opinion is the most emotional moment from any version. Now I’ve loved George C. Scott ever sense I was a boy watching “Patton” with my dad, and he is absolutely electrifying as Scrooge. He gives the character a lot more personality and charisma, which makes him the most fun to watch. All in all, if you had to just pick one version of “A Christmas Carol”, this is the version I’d recommend above all the others. It has the best details, emotional character drama, mystical atmosphere and a killer lead performance. 

     In the end, it really doesn’t matter which version you see, because it’s still the same outstanding story that everyone should experience again on Christmas. It’s a story that’s beautiful in theme, original with its creativity, and compelling with one of the greatest literary characters of all time. There are plenty great ones out there to view, so do yourself a favor and find the one best suited to your own personal taste …

I give "A Christmas Carol" (all around) ... a perfect 5 stars out of 5.

            And God Bless UsEveryone!   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Nostalgia Critic: My favorite episodes and biggest laugh out loud moments

      Even though I’ve always had my own opinion on films and have always wanted to share them with others, my inspiration for reviewing films came from other popular reviewers like Siskel and Ebert. But my biggest influences came from Internet reviews like “Confused Mathew” or “Cinemassacre” and a personal favorite of mine has always been the “Nostalgia Critic” from “That Guy with the Glasses. Com”. This show’s sort of a fun mix between film reviewing and a laugh out loud comedy show. He focuses on old films that he grew up with, preferably the bad ones because he can be as silly and as funny as he wants with those. Then occasionally, he’ll review something positive from his past and those are the ones that inspire me to review movies and shows that I grew up with. Whether it’s one of his funny reviews or his honestly nostalgic reviews, this show was a lot of fun to watch and now after roughly five years on the internet, this show has reached its final episode. So to celebrate, here are my personal, top 11 favorite Nostalgia Critic episodes. Why top 11, because every single list of his was a top 11 list and in order to do a proper tribute, I’m going to have to make this a top 11 list as well.   
11. NC reviews "Casper"
 Over all the years of funny Nostalgia Critic Halloween reviews, nothing has quiet stuck with me more then his early review of “Casper”. The movie itself was an okay film that I grew up with, but didn't really think there was enough material in the film to make a very funny review out off. Well, not only do the jokes in this review work, but there some of his most memorable stabs at a spooky family film. The joke that makes this episode stand out is that a cartoon Casper is constantly picking at the Critic for reviewing his film, which is something we'd never seen before from his video's. This leads to one of his greatest climaxes ever where the Nostalgia Critic suits up in a Ghostbusters costume, battles the Casper cartoon, chases him down the street to a video game expo, and then has a full mob of costumed people behind him. This was his first time he appeared at a convention of any sort, and he definitely made a big splash ... quiet literally as it ends with him diving into a pool. At the time, it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen on the internet, and while the critic still continues to make me laugh after all these years, there was just something special and unique about the comedy in this review that makes it my personal favorite Nostalgia-Ween review. 
10. AVGN VS. NC: The Final Battle (in 2 parts) 
Aside from reviewing movies and constructing top 11 lists, sometimes the Nostalgia Critic will just have a random, special episode with guest characters and odd, comedic storytelling. One of his best long running specials was in the very first season of the show, where he was literally at war with another popular comedic, internet character called the Angry Video Game Nerd. This was a fun little running joke that these two had a grudge against each other but the highlight was the last episode, simply titled “The Final Battle”. It’s just this crazy one on one fight between these two over the top, comedic guys, with lots of flashy effects, lots of really quick jokes and it was such of fun conclusion to this running series of episodes.       
9. NC reviews "The NeverEnding Story III: Escape to Fantasia" 
This was one of those movies that I grew up with and hated with a passion, so it was great fun to see the Nostalgia Critic expose this film for the unbelievably terrible movie that it is. The jokes are all really funny, especially some new cartoony jokes, like the Critics jaw cartoonishly dropping to the floor at the shock of just how bad the film gets. It’s one of those bad movies that he can really have a lot of fun with and it all leads to the biggest breakout of rage as he literally destroys a DVD copy of the movie with a crowbar.
8. "Batman" (1989) VS. "The Dark Knight" 
His old vs. new episodes are terrific specials where he compares an original movie to its remake or reimagining and my favorite is his comparison of the original “Batman” to “The Dark Knight”.  His comparisons between the two films are interesting, he brings up a couple of things from the original that I had never really considered before and it’s always fun to have a big Batman themed video. Even though I didn’t agree with opinion on which of these two is better, I still thought his explanations were good and it had me consistently interested in what he had to say.     
7. NC’s Top 11 Underrated Nostalgic Classics 
One of his best top 11 reviews by far because this one really takes me back to my childhood and it’s such a rare treat to see the Nostalgia Critic put aside all the silly jokes and honestly come forth with a discussion on old films that he feels deserve more attention. While I don’t exactly agree with all the films on this list, I certainly agree with most of them, especially the film at number 1 on this list and it’s also just a really nice treat to look over all these great films that people hardly ever notice. It’s warm, it’s cheerful and it perfectly lives up to the title of Nostalgia. 
6. The Return of the Nostalgic Commercials: "We'll Be Right Back..."
 This was part of a trilogy of episodes where the Nostalgia Critic literally just looks at odd and silly commercials that we grew up with as kids and it’s such a joy to see just how funny some of these advertisements can get. Personally, it was this middle episode titled “We’ll Be Right Back” that had me laughing the most. This one had all the really funny commercials to look at like the “Bubble Thing” product and this crazy kid that loves Nerf guns. But the big advertisement that steals this special is the “Wonder Boner” advertisement, I can’t even express in words how funny that was. Overall, his commercial specials where an absolute joy to watch and it was this middle episode that easily stands as one of the NC’s best experiences.
5. NC reviews "Pokémon: The First Movie" 
I’ll always regard the first Pokémon movie as one of the absolute worst experiences of my child hood, even as a kid this film sucked the big one. Honestly, of all the bad movies that the Nostalgia Critic reviewed, there was no greater joy then seeing him bash this film. The jokes he makes in this review are brilliant, the delivery is great, and this was actually one of his very first episodes that got me hooked into watching the show. A lot of his early reviews were really good because they were all for fun, without as much screaming and yelling. But it’s this review that I’ll always regard as his best, classic review.    
4. That Guy With The Glasses: Team Brawl 
Now this was something special, at the end of his very first year on the website, the NC celebrates by giving us this mega episode with all these different characters and reviews from his website and other sites getting together for this ridicules epic battle. At the time, I never would have expected to see something this big, this crazy and this over the top on an internet show. There are lots of crazy effects, lots of fun slapstick fighting and lots of terrific guest characters, including the Angry Video Game Nerd, who had one last fight with the NC. It’s too good to be real and it was just too fun to have for just one year, that’s why at the end of every season, there’d be another yearly anniversary episode that brought all these silly internet characters together.   
3. The complete Disneycember Marathon 
By the time his last season came around, a lot of his reviews were just becoming stupid and even a bit unwatchable. But then in December 2011, he does something outstanding called Disneycember. This was a series of short reviews of every single classic animated Disney movie and this time, he reviewed them as himself (Doug Walker) as opposed to the Nostalgia Critic character. I’m a big fan of classic animated Disney movies and while I didn’t agree with every opinion of his regarding some of these films, it still felt like one of the most truly Nostalgic things he’s ever done. I loved listening to his honest opinions of all these classic movies, I loved how short and simple they were and I’ve actually always wanted someone to just go down the list of every traditional animated Disney movie and share their thoughts on them, so this was like a mini dream come true for me.   
2. NC’s Top 11 Coolest Clichés 
This is my favorite of his top 11 lists because it really felt like a celebration of things that we love to see in movies. There are hardly any jokes or rants, it’s just a perfectly loving tribute to the stuff we enjoy in film and it’s a rare case in which I agreed with just about everything he listed. It’s just a really fun video and it’s the one NC episode that I find myself re-watching the most.
1. Suburban Knights (The 3 Year Anniversary Special in 7 parts) 

 Unlike the first year anniversary, which was just one big, fun, fight, this third year anniversary was an epic little comedy adventure that spanned over seven parts. The premise goes like this, the Nostalgia Critic and his team of reviewers from his website dress up as classic fantasy characters from movies and video games, they then head out on a hilarious and relatively exciting little adventure filled with lots of fun battle scenes, crazy jokes, great music, nice little character moments, including some hilarious new characters and an awesome villain character. The story is surprisingly competent for an internet made movie and while other yearly anniversaries would be a comedic adventure, they never reached the same highlights that this special has to offer. I love the whole medieval adventure theme, the passing is great and it just seems to feature every great thing that the Nostalgia Critic has to offer.  

Runner Up’s include: Doug's Top 10 Movies He Likes But Everybody Else Hates, NC’s Moonwalker review, To Boldly Flee: 8 part series, Batman and Robin review, all other Halloween reviews, Tom and Jerry: The Movie Review, all Christmas Reviews, Howard the Duck review, Every other Old Vs. New, Top 11 Villain Songs, The Room review, Animaniacs Tribute, NC’s Top 11 Drug PSAs, Top 11 Dumbest Spider-Man Moments, The Wizard review, The Langoliers review and NC’s Top 11 Batman The Animated Series Episodes.    
Biggest Laugh out Loud Moments
As an extra bonus, here are my top ten biggest laugh out loud moments from the Nostalgia Critic episodes.    
11. Girls mud fighting from the NC’s review of “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation 
10. Non-censored Duck from the NC’s review of “Howard the Duck
9. Mara Wilson’s cameo from the NC’s review of “A Simple Wish”.
8. Captain Planet educating kids about Aids from the NC’s review of “Captain Planet”.
7. Chasing down Casper from the NC’s review of “Casper”.
6. Pee-Wee Herman’s drug PSA from the NC’s Top 11 Drug PSA’s  
5. Zack Morris over the top costume in the NC’s review of “Saved by the Bell”.
4. The “Bat Credit Card” gag from the NC’s review of “Batman and Robin”.
3. Reacting to Tommy Wiseau’s bad acting from the NC’s review of “The Room”.
2. The Wonder boner advertisement from the NC’s second commercial special.
1. Baby Arnold Schwarzenegger from the NC’s review of “Junior”.