In honour of the University of Nottingham’s very own NSTV celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Impact are looking back at what else first appeared in 2007. We’ve compiled a list of ten things that are now ten years old, so get ready for a jump back into pop culture history – and prepare to feel ancient.
Hot Fuzz, film by Edgar Wright
“You ain’t seen Bad Boys II?”
Ten years ago, Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) and PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) bulldozed onto our screens as a hilarious and completely contrary police duo stationed in a sleepy The Wicker Man-esque village called Sandford.
Edgar Wright is well-known as a film buff, with a published top 1000 movies, so it’s no surprise that over 100 films inspired Hot Fuzz. Many of these can be seen in Danny’s DVD collection (curated from Joe Cornish, Wright, and his brother), most notably Point Break and Bad Boys II.
This is a homage and parody to these action greats, revelling in classic tropes of the genre like the epic ‘us against the world’ firefight, and poking fun at the clichés of action; the fast-cut tool-up sequences of heavily armed big-city American movies are brilliantly put to use in the paperwork of the village of Sandford.
The film has excellent action sequences in its final act, and involves much great visual comedy, championed by Wright with Pegg and Frost since Spaced. It’s the creative, fun, and gory combinations of these two factors that make Hot Fuzz, and the rest of the Cornetto trilogy, so fresh, entertaining and rewatchable.
Eclipse, third book in The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight: Eclipse, a book that can come swooping back into the mind at a moment’s notice, creating either a sense of pleasure or loathing. Either way, we all know of it, and it’s time to commemorate this book to some degree.
The novel followed New Moon, and the storyline kicked off from that moment in time. A moment that was certainly the worst of the four (unless you’re team Jacob).
Is your inner teen re-emerging slightly at this point?
Here’s a refresher. Bella still had decisions to make, Edward was back in town with the Cullens, and Jacob was still sniffing for his (hopefully requited) feelings for Bella. That’s the gist of it, to be honest. For obvious reasons though, The Twilight Saga was and never will be as big as J. K. Rowling’s line of magical writings, but it we can’t deny that it still had a decent following.
Once Eclipse hit the shelves, it was devoured throughout 2007, but then mistakenly (yet again) put into film form. The book is always better than the movie, and if this saying needed a perfect example, it could very possibly be the Twilight film franchise.
Anyone can write what everyone else wants, but Meyer wrote something that was refreshing and directed in a specific way. The creation of a new world of vampires (even if they sparkle) and their universe in a modern setting is not an easy task without copying every other characteristic of a vampire story line ever.
I’m not saying to go and read them, but if you remember when this third instalment was all the hype, just know it’s been a whole decade now…
Pushing Daisies, TV series by Bryan Fuller
Back in early May, Hollywood breathed a sigh of relief as the prospect of another writers’ strike was averted at the final minute. The last time the Writers Guild of America went on strike – between 5th November 2007 and 12th February 2008 – the results were calamitous, resulting in late night talk shows playing reruns, a rise in reality television, shortened seasons for countless shows (Breaking Bad, How I Met Your Mother and Grey’s Anatomy, to name a few) and eventual cancellation for others. One such casualty was Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies.
Confusion regarding the show’s outline would be understandable: a pie maker (Lee Pace), whose gift of bringing back the dead with a single touch allows him to help a local detective (Chi McBride) solve murders, decides to resurrect his childhood sweetheart (Anna Friel), with the added complication that he can’t touch her again lest she dies once more. However, the fact that it could easily be described as both romantic comedy and thaumaturgical mystery means that there truly is something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a series to binge watch over a weekend, you can’t go wrong with Pushing Daisies – its beautiful aesthetic and gentle yet intriguing plot make for a tender salve for a tired mind, even ten years on.
Super Mario Galaxy, Wii game by Nintendo
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the plucky plumber took his first interplanetary adventure. From the light-hearted beginning of the game, where Mario joyfully makes his way to the Star Festival celebrations, to the final battle where the fate of the galaxy is in Mario’s hands, this colourful galactic romp remains one of the highlights of Mario’s many adventures.
During an Iwata Asks interview, the developers revealed that the reason behind the theme of space was that it benefitted a 2D-like experience in a 3D Mario game. The more open-air experiences like Mario 64 (and the upcoming Odyssey) were easy to get lost in, and didn’t quite have the familiarity presented by the 2D games. This game started the trend of having 3D levels designed in a 2D fashion – mini challenges that let you move on the next area – that would influence Mario game design up until 3D World in 2013.
Yet somehow it endures as something more than ‘the game that started the modern trend’. With its beautifully-orchestrated score that sticks true to Mario’s arcade-y roots, a shiny art style that overlooks the fact it belonged to the last non-HD console, and colourful, bouncy fun that just keeps on giving, it’s no wonder I’ve replayed it annually over the past decade.
Favourite Worst Nightmare, album by Arctic Monkeys
It hardly seems possible that this album was already released ten years ago.
While the opening section consists of raucous, sexually-charged tunes capitalising on the success of their similarly-themed debut, Favourite Worst Nightmare also offers some of Arctic Monkeys’ most tender moments to date. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ – the song most indicative of the Monkeys pre-AM – is a cry for half-remembered sexual exploits of youth, and ‘Only Ones Who Know’ is a sparse heart-warming ballad only outdone by the band’s own ‘Cornerstone’.
Out of nowhere comes the fantastic organ-driven closer ‘505’, in which Turner’s vivid and often sexed-up lyrics almost go full erotica. “I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck“, he croons, “and I did last time I checked“. Up until this song, the Monkeys were always a fun indie-pop band who turned their razor-sharp wit onto the nuances of British nightlife; here, for the first time, they prove the greatness they were always capable of.
Ten years on FWN still sounds fresh, with arguably the strongest three-song opening ever in ‘Brianstorm’, ‘Teddy Picker’ and ‘D is for Dangerous’. Though it isn’t as consistent as their debut, it’s never dull, and enough to leave listeners longing for the Monkeys’ noughties sound, while also proving to the early-days die-hards that the roots of Suck It and See and AM were hidden away in the band’s repertoire of sounds all along.
Assassin’s Creed, video game by Ubisoft
A game that made players everywhere feel a sudden urge to climb all surrounding furniture and buildings, Assassin’s Creed was a true novelty of a game when it was released ten years ago. Although its gameplay was criticised for being too repetitive, the game, was considered a wonderful addition to any gamer’s collection.
Players were thrust back in time to a world incredibly different to their own; that of the Holy Kingdom, more specifically Damascus, Acre, and Jerusalem. As a member of the ancient order of Assassins, players were tasked with gathering information either through stealth, or brute force, followed by the swift execution of a specified target, all in service to the organisations leader, Al Mualim.
The game not only allowed players to live the role of an assassin, but to explore ancient, famous cities, from their streets to the tips of the tallest buildings. This, combined with its excellent story, fantastic characters, and beautiful scenery, ensures that there can be no doubt that it was truly a brilliant game.
Ten years and many games later, Ubisoft has now announced the upcoming release of Assassin’s creed: Origins, a game which is to act as a prequel to the entire franchise. It almost seems fitting, that on the ten-year anniversary of the original game, players will finally discover what truly lead to the creation of the famous ‘Assassins’.
Ratatouille, animated film by Pixar
When I first heard people say that they couldn’t watch Mufasa’s death without crying, or listen to ‘Be Our Guest’ without singing along, I found it difficult to understand how someone could have the same reaction to the same piece of art again and again.
However, after watching Ratatouille at the cinema as well as countless times thereafter, I can finally appreciate where they were coming from. Over the ten years since its release, this story of a culinarily-inclined rodent – who defies the restraints of the societal norms assigned to him by virtue of his birth – has come to mean several things to me at different points in my life. At first a funny cartoon, it became (amongst other things) a stark reminder of the importance of family but also of leaving family behind, and the different forms that that can take.
Perhaps not as easily merchandisable as Toy Story or Cars, Ratatouille‘s numerous assets are frequently overlooked compared to Pixar’s other movies. Despite this, it’s important to note that not only does Ratatouille boast both comedy and heart, it does so with stunning cinematography (that last shot is breath-taking), strong writing, and a superb, Parisian-influenced score.
I may be biased, but Ratatouille is as underrated as they come. For the old and the young, for the happy and the sad, at ten years old, Ratatouille still deserves better – and repeated viewing.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, game by Infinity Ward and Activision
Back in 2007, Modern Warfare marked a fresh direction for the Call of Duty franchise, its first step forward from WWII. The case for this game and its decade-long appeal have already been made by the CoD community and acknowledged by Activision in the recent Remastered version of the game, but if you want to return to a time before CoD repeated and rehashed the story to the moon and back (literally), this is perfect.
The game’s characters include Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish, of the British SAS; the rousing, hard-boiled, and immensely quotable Captain Price; and a Middle-Eastern President of a state in the chaos of a coup, introduced in one of the most immersive and shocking ways to present the opening title credits to a game’s story.
Call of Duty had always held itself above other FPS games with relatively good-looking, smooth-playing titles with fast and responsive controls. It may not be the first game with a modern-day setting (Battlefield was already there), but Modern Warfare brought CoD to the next level in a different way. Its narrative-driven campaign was filled with characters players actively like, and the story creation gives emotional motivation to rush through certain sections – as the score swells and the squad shouts, players really feel the urgency to save a friend, catch the bad guy, or narrowly escape death.
Though the franchise has gone back to WWII, and the genre has moved to more original titles like Overwatch, Titanfall and R6: Siege, Modern Warfare is still a must-play, ten years on.
The Big Bang Theory, TV series by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
On 24th September 2007, the first episode of The Big Bang Theory aired. Two nerdy scientists met their new neighbour Penny, and a show full of hilarity and nerdy humour was born. A few episodes later we met Howard and Raj, and now, ten years later, we’ve also become acquainted with Bernadette and Amy.
What was once a show of three, full of nerdy lingo and a continued quest for a young scientist to date the beautiful blonde, is now a dynamic show of seven, more akin to the classic Friends than that of its own first episode. Although still full of the classic comic-book related arguments, Star Trek debates, and scientific jargon, the show now also portrays the struggles and triumphs of marriage, and the bond of friendship, whilst still raising the classic queries about whether or not Sheldon is in fact human, or an alien from a distant planet.
The show has certainly had its ups and downs, some arguing that the later seasons dwindled in comparison to the first four, but with the success of season 10, and the promise of at least two more seasons, it would seem the show is back on track to being a true classic, enjoyable for all. I for one am definitely looking forward to see what else is in store for this brilliant group of nerds.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, novel by JK Rowling
This is a year of much significance for Harry Potter fans. It’s 20 years since the first book came out and we were introduced to Harry and Hogwarts, and on 1st September this year it was the first day of school for Harry’s second son, Albus Severus Potter. But, of course, it’s also ten years since the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out.
Deathly Hallows signalled the end of an era for Potter fans. After years of anticipation, midnight releases, speculation, and excitement, the series had come to an end, our questions had (mostly) been answered, and the reading world would never be the same again.
JK Rowling’s series of children’s books had become a global phenomenon, and 2007 was the climax. Books flew off the shelves as people from all walks of life hurried to find out what would happen. The love for this series broke records, and made fictional characters into household names. And it all finished ten years ago – feel old yet?
I know many students at Nottingham grew up with these books, aging with either the books or Harry himself. It feels strange to think those stories ended ten years ago, but of course we know their impact has never truly stopped. Harry Potter is a unifying cultural touchstone, and will be remembered for generations to come.
Featured image courtesy of ‘Andrea Passoni’ via Flickr.
Article images courtesy of ‘Ian Dick’, ‘Anastasia Alen’, ‘mindspiker’, ‘J’, ‘Nicole Dilley’, ‘Michel Ngilen’, ‘Silus Grok’, ‘fuba recorder’, ‘NASA Blueshift’, and ‘Thalita Carvalho’ via Flickr.
Image use license here.