Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! How about that Rise of Skywalker, huh?
It’s hard to believe that 2019 is coming to a close, and with it, the decade itself. Mayhaps I should start doing some ‘Best of the Decade’ awards along with my yearly ones?
But let’s think about that a little later. It’s Christmas, holmes! And being Christmas Day, that also means – you guessed it – it’s WWE wrestler Rusev’s birthday!
Oh yeah, it also means it’s the anniversary of Wizard Dojo’s launch!
Okay, so technically I launched this website earlier in December of 2014, but decided to wait to post anything until Christmas Day of that year. So Christmas is the official launch of the Dojo. And this year is a big one, as today marks the five-year anniversary of Wizard Dojo! You know, five years. As in half a decade.
So let’s try to make this Christmas/Anniversary special a good one!
So pull yourself away from those new Playstations Santa Clause brought you for a few minutes, grab some hot cocoa, a Victorian-era top hat, and take a seat to spend your precious time on this sacred holiday not with family and friends, but reading the crap I write. ‘Tis the season.
So let’s get crackin’ and get this show on the road!
Chapter 1: Wizard Dojo’s Reviews of 2019
Normally, this section of the Christmas special highlights some of my reviews written in the year. But seeing as I’ve been keeping better track of how many reviews I’ve written in 2019 and things of that nature, why don’t we just put them all up here!
Titles in bold were released in 2019.
2019 Movie Reviews
2019 Video Game Reviews
Chapter 2: If I did this Site Differently
Wizard Dojo is now five years old! In that time, this site has only seen one notable change in its overall style. That being in mid-2018 when I swapped out my .5 rating system for a more straightforward whole number 1-10 system. At that time, I also changed the overall layout of how the Dojo looks, if only slightly. So while hopefully my actual writing ability has improved over time (it probably hasn’t), not much about the overall nature of the Dojo has changed in the half-decade since its inception.
While some changes here and there are certainly inevitable, I don’t plan on changing things up very drastically in regards to how I write reviews. Though some changes I hope to make in the new year/decade are – as I’ve said in the past ad nauseam – to start doing reviews for television series, and to start doing more top 5/10 lists more regularly. I also plan to start updating my site with my progress with video game development once I get started on it proper. And I may post some drawings on here or somethin’. I dunno.
While my planned changes mostly consist of additional types of content, I have often wondered what it would be like if I gave Wizard Dojo a total overhaul.
For example, I have toyed with the idea of adding a ‘pros and cons’ section at the end of my reviews. While I would still take my reviews seriously, and that includes the hypothetical pros and cons section, I would also use it as a means to toss in a joke every once in a while. For example, if a video game were to feature a walrus in it in any capacity, “It has a walrus” would go in the pros section. Meanwhile, every Super Smash Bros. game would include “Doesn’t have Geno in it” under the cons section until the day Sakurai finally pulls the trigger and makes Geno a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Yeah, the pros and cons would still mostly be serious, but every now and again, why not lighten the mood? Now I feel kinda bad I didn’t include pros and cons in my reviews from the get-go. It could be fun, but I really don’t want to go back and add such a section to all my existing reviews.
Sometimes I’ve even thought about removing my rating system altogether…or at least when it comes to movies. I’ve only really thought about doing so because my reviews often get ridiculously delayed because I keep flip-flopping with what score I want to give whatever I’m reviewing (on a related note, my Frozen 2 review should finally be done sometime soon!). I probably won’t do that, because I’m too meticulous a thinker to not try to sum up my thoughts and opinions on stuff with an exact number.
Chapter 3: Top 10 Steamed Hams Memes
It is an objective, scientific fact that ‘Steamed Hams’ is the greatest meme ever devised by man.
Based on the hilarious segment of the season 7 Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” which joyfully eviscerates the old sitcom trope of “preparing dinner for your employer going horribly wrong,” Steamed Hams is hilarious unto itself. But what makes the meme transcend all other memes is that it’s been used as a platform for people to express their creativity in a way other memes don’t. This isn’t simply posting a goofy image referencing something with the impact font, but a means for creators to tinker, edit, and reimagine the classic Simpsons clip in their own unique way.
If you are unfamiliar with the original Steam Hams segment, stop reading this, go look it up, then come back.
If you are familiar with Steamed Hams, then take a gander at the following 10 Steamed Hams videos, which are the ones I’ve continuously gone back to whenever I want a good laugh. So I guess that makes them the best, in my opinion.
Okay, so I’ve admittedly seen a lot of Steamed Hams videos. Perhaps more than any soul should (actually, scratch that. Steamed Hams videos are good for the soul). Perhaps I’ll remember some other greats down the road and have to update this list. But as of now, if you were to ask me what the best Steamed Hams videos are, they’d be these ones…
10: Steamed Hams but it’s Banjo-Kazooie
Uploaded by: Tony B
The dialogue is “translated” into Banjo-Kazooie gibberish. While having subtitles in the vein of the Banjo-Kazooie games would be ideal, I can perfectly understand why someone wouldn’t have the time to make that drastic of an edit. Also, this was the first Steamed Hams video I saw, so it has that going for it.
9: Steamed Hams but it’s Pulp Fiction
Uploaded by: Cory the Norm
Given that much of the Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” is a parody of Pulp Fiction, it only makes sense that there’d be a few Steamed Hams memes that are parodies of Quentin Tarantino’s classic (this isn’t even the only such video on this list). The editing of the Simpsons characters onto the actors in Pulp Fiction is both well done and delightfully crude.
8: Steamed Hams but it’s an Epic Movie Trailer
Uploaded by: The Vixter
Many of the best Steamed Hams videos don’t just combine the iconic Simpsons segment with another entity, but also serve as delightful parodies of said entities themselves. One such example is this video, which is a pretty spot-on take on modern movie trailers. But, y’know, with Steamed Hams.
7: Steamed Hams but it’s Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Uploaded by: RetroMovieGuy
And we’re back to Tarantino! This is a great parody/homage to the director’s many tropes (intentionally dated picture quality, two unrelated narratives happening concurrently, etc.). Naturally it uses some of the Pulp Fiction parodies from the actual 22 Short Films About Springfield episode, and also integrates a Django Unchained parody from a more contemporary episode of The Simpsons (which explains its lack of subtlety, though the segment is seemingly justified for its inclusion in this Steamed Hams video). Also, this is a better Tarantino movie than Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
6: Steamed Hams but it’s We Are Number One (Revised)
Uploaded by: FishTitan64
What’s this? Steamed Hams AND Lazy Town? It’s like meme Nirvana!
Of course, the coming together of Steamed Hams and We Are Number One had been done before this video, but not nearly as well. The editing, both in visuals and audio, is top-notch. And trimming/altering certain lines of dialogue to fit the melody and (sort of) rhyme? Beautiful.
5: Steamed Hams but it’s The Confrontation from Les Misérables
Uploaded by: Barry Cannon
Okay, so there isn’t much ‘video’ to this Steamed Hams video. In fact, it’s just one still image the entire time. But the creativity still shines through, as it translates the Steamed Hams segment into a wonderful parody of the song “The Confrontation” from Les Misérables. Great stuff.
4: Steamed Hams but it’s Edited like Dragon Ball Z (and it’s the Funimation Dub)
Uploaded by: Aninalysis
Now we enter top-tier Steamed Hams territory. I honestly had a difficult time ranking the top four against each other. But in the end, well, I had to rank them.
Following-up on a different Steamed Hams video parodying the original Japanese version of DBZ, this version follows suit with a tribute to the most famous English dub of Akira Toriyama’s beloved anime. The voice impressions are spot-on, and the editing – from awkward pauses to strange closeups and moving cameras – is just as accurate.
Oh, and the “Next Time” segment at the end? Delicious!
3: Steamed Hams but it’s Dubbed by the DK Rap
Uploaded by: RyanYTP
It is exactly what the title says it is. And it’s glorious.
2: Steamed Hams but Recreated Using Only Seinfeld Clips
Uploaded by: Sitba
The sheer time and effort that must have gone into this is remarkable. Using Seinfeld clips to recreate not only the dialogue of the Steamed Hams segment (with a few approximations when necessary, like character names), but also the scenes and imagery of Steamed Hams is astounding. This is a work of art.
1: Steamed Hams but it’s Metal Gear Solid
Uploaded by: Adam Davidson
Both the best Steamed Hams video, and the best Metal Gear Solid parody I’ve ever seen. Just watch it.
Chapter 4: Wario
For no particular reason, I decided to review one Wario-based game a month during 2019. And unlike many of the other things I set out to do on this site. This time I followed through!
While not all of the games were technically “Wario games” in the sense that Wario wasn’t the main character, each game did feature Wario in a prominent role and in the title of the game. The Wario madness went as follows.
January: Wario Land II – 6/10
February: Wario Land 3 – 6/10
March: Wario World – 4/10
April: Wario Land 4 – 7/10
May: Wario’s Woods – 7/10
June: WarioWare, Inc. Mega Micro-Games – 7/10
July: Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman – 6/10
August: WarioWare Touched – 6/10
September: Wario Land: Shake It! – 7/10
October: Wario: Master of Disguise – 3/10
November: Mario & Wario – 6/10
December: WarioWare Twisted – 8/10
Obviously, WarioWare Twisted is the clear-cut winner, if this were a competition. While Wario: Master of Disguise would come in dead-last place, with only Wario World being comparable to it (which is a shame, seeing as it’s a Wario beat-em-up made by Treasure, it had the potential to be awesome).
*Door breaks open, revealing Wario*
Wario: What’s that?! You mean to tell me you didn’t give all my games 10/10?
Oh, well… you see, Wario sir… I…
Wario: WAH! I don’t want to hear your excuses! Wario’s gonna have-a his revenge!
Please, Mr. Wario sir. I was only trying to be fair. And aside from Master of Disguise and Wario World I mostly had nothing but good things to say.
Wario: Lies! Deceptions! Master of Disguise is an objective masterpiece! Do you mean to tell me you didn’t like the game’s captivating storyline and not-at-all shoehorned touchscreen controls?
Wario: Bah! You obviously didn’t understand the game’s many brilliant subtleties and nuance.
I gotta be honest, Wario sir. The storyline is utter nonsense…and not in a good way. And it takes up way, way too much time. And the touchscreen controls are more than a little unreliable and forced.
Wario: Bah! You only didn’t like it because you only like games that feature JUMPIN’!
But your games have jum…
Wario: WAH! I don’t want to hear your excuses. Wario will have his vengeance yet!
Sure… but could we discuss this another time? I’m kind of in the middle of my annual Christmas Special, and I’m already writing most of this at the last minute.
Wario: I’m-a not leaving until you say something good about Wario: Master of Disguise!
Uhhh… Hmmm… Uhhh… It’s better than the 2002 Dana Carvey movie also titled ‘Master of Disguise.’
Wario: You got that right! Even by-a Wario standards, that movie stinks!
Oh, most certainly. Now do you mind letting me finish this Christmas Special, Wario?
Wario: Fine! But mark my words! Wario will be back! And next time, I’m-a gonna win!
I…don’t even know what he means by that. Let’s move on to the next chapter, shall we?
Chapter 5: Random Musings
As I just told Wario back there, I’m kind of writing most of this year’s Christmas Special at the last minute. So apologies if it kinda sucks. I’ll do my damndest to start on next year’s Christmas Special much, much earlier so it feels more complete. Maybe I should start it now to be safe?
Anyway, let’s fill out this next chapter with some random thoughts, opinions and queries I’ve had on my mind for a while, but have had no reason to post them to this site until this very moment.
If FromSoftware ever makes Bloodborne 2 (and they totally should because that game is a masterpiece), they should somehow get Werner Herzog to a voice a character in it. The dude has the most Bloodborne-y voice in existence. And yes, I did know who Werner Herzog was before The Mandalorian, thank you very much.
Why does King K. Rool live on a pirate ship while his alter ego, Kaptain K. Rool lives in a castle? You’d think it’d be the other way around.
Jango Fett is actually cooler than Boba Fett.
If the Blurrgs are in The Mandalorian, does that mean those made-for-TV Ewoks movies from the 1980s are canon?
The Wind Waker was probably the best thing to ever happen to video game graphics.
Rachel Green is the worst friend on Friends. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
Toy Story 2 > Toy Story > Toy Story 3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Toy Story 4.
Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” is a terrible movie that completely squanders its promising concept. It isn’t funny in the slightest.
Bruni from Frozen II is cuter than Baby Yoda.
Why would anyone play Red Dead Redemption 2 and NOT grow out Arthur Morgan’s beard? If you ain’t playing as swamp-hobo Arthur, you’re not really playing RDR2 at all.
Chapter 6: The Last One
Yes, sadly, I must cut this Christmas Special a bit short. I’m afraid life got in the way of me writing this sooner, so most of this hs unfortunately been a bit rushed. Hopefully 2020’s Christmas Special will not only reclaim my annual tradition’s former glory/obnoxious length, but take it to all new heights!
First, I just want to reiterate what’s in store for the Dojo in 2020.
- TV Reviews
- More top 5/10 lists
- Progress updates on game development
- Maybe other creative stuff (drawings? writing?)
And of course the floodgates of movie and video game reviews will continue to be open. But I can’t guarantee they’ll always be as frequent as they once were. I still don’t know how I managed to crank out 100 video game reviews in this site’s first year. That seems impossible now.
For the near future, I will be reviewing the remainder of the Star Wars films, catching up on some 2019 games, and finally get around to my Frozen II review (I wish I had done it sooner). There are some other 2019 films I’d like to write about because I have a lot to say – such as Knives Out (spoiler alert: I did not love it like everyone else). Going forward, most of my video game reviews will be from past years (retro and recent past). I’ve said it many times now, but the sheer length of modern games (which is oftentimes quite unnecessary) makes it too hard to keep up. Maybe if I didn’t do anything else, I could do it. But I still want to watch/write about movies and write/do other things.
Anyway, now I’m just repeating myself again. I gotta stop doing that.
Apologies again this Christmas Special may have been on the shorter side. But no matter what, I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Festivuz! Happy Rusev Day! Happy Holidays to all!
See you next year!
…Actually, assuming you’re reading this, I guess I’ll “see you” next time you visit this site or I post something new. I’m just reiterating my hopes for next year’s Christmas Special! Don’t @ me.