21 August 2006

The end of my Top 5 Lists

I ported this over from my old Top 5 list page for archival purposes...dated from the day of my last post (Top 5 Fruit).

This was started after I saw High Fidelity. Narrowing any "best of" list to 5 ain't easy, but I've given it my best shot. Maybe some more lists will pop up from time to time.

Top 5 Fruit
1. Plum
2. Avocado
3. Rainier Cherry
4. Watermelon
5. Mango
Honorable Mention: Banana, Pineapple, Grape

Top 5 Movies of 2006
1. Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
2. Inside Man
3. Little Miss Sunshine
4. Superman Returns
5. V for Vendetta

Top 5 Movies of 2005
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2. Batman Begins
3. The Aristocrats
4. Serenity
5. Zathura

Top 5 Words in the English Language
I'd use these every day, if I could...
1. Ameliorate
2. Defenestrate
3. Exsanguinate
4. Catharsis
5. Diaphanous

Top 5 Awesome Albums I Don't Hear Played Enough
1. No One is Really Beautiful - Jude
2. thirteen tales from urban bohemia - Dandy Warhols
3. Welcome Interstate Managers - Fountains of Wayne
4. Sing When You're Winning - Robbie Williams
5. Drunken Lullabies - Flogging Molly

Top 5 Movies of 2004
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Sideways
3. Kill Bill (complete film)
4. The Incredibles
5. Finding Neverland

Top 5 Movies of 2003
1. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2. City of God
3. Whale Rider
4. Big Fish
5. Terminator 3

Top 5 Movies of 2002
1. About a Boy
2. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
3. Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)
4. Y Tu Mamá También
5. Insomnia

Top 5 Movies of 2001
1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2. Bridget Jones's Diary
3. Memento
4. Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le
5. Black Hawk Down

Top 5 Movies of 2000
1. High Fidelity
2. Two Family House
3. Finding Forrester
4. Quills
5. Gladiator/Almost Famous (tie)

Top 5 Perfect Albums of All-Time
(where every track is a masterpiece)
1. Paul Simon - Graceland
2. R.E.M. - Life's Rich Pageant
3. The Beatles - Abbey Road
4. The Traveling Wilburys - The Traveling Wilburys
5. Chris Isaak - Forever Blue

Top 5 Movies of All-Time
1. The Princess Bride
2. Angels with Dirty Faces
3. The Empire Strikes Back
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. The Godfather, Part 2

Top 5 Comedies of All-Time
1. Ghostbusters
2. Young Frankenstein
3. Annie Hall
4. This is Spinal Tap
5. The Big Lebowski

Top 5 Romantic Comedies of All-Time
1. When Harry Met Sally
2. The Wedding Singer
3. Shakespeare in Love
4. Bridget Jones's Diary
5. High Fidelity

Top 5 Sci-Fi Films of All-Time
1. Aliens
2. 12 Monkeys
3. The Abyss
4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
5. Blade Runner

Top 5 Animated Films of All-Time
1. The Secret of Nimh
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
4. Toy Story
5. South Park Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
Honorable Mention: The Iron Giant

Top 5 Fantasy Films of All-Time
1. The Dark Crystal
2. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
3. Time Bandits
4. Army of Darkness
5. Yellowbeard

Top Romantic Songs By Decade
(this may be getting a bit too specific, but just something I was pondering today)
1950s: The Sun's Gonna Shine Again, Ray Charles
1960s: (tie) Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield
Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra and Count Basie
1970s: Your Song, Elton John
1980s: (tie) In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel
Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits
1990s: Sandalwood, Lisa Loeb
2000s: Unemployed Boyfriend, Everclear

Top 5 Books of the 20th Century
1. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
2. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
3. Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
4. Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
5. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Interestingly enough, they all start with C.

Top 5 Literary Characters of the 20th Century
1. Ignatius Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
2. Alex Portnoy, Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth
3. Charlie Gordon, Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
4. R. Daneel Olivaw, The Caves of Steel et al., Isaac Asimov
5. Batman (Bruce Wayne), Detective Comics et al., Bob Kane

Top 5 Worst Movies I Ever Paid Money to See
1. In Love and War
2. Dead Man
3. The Avengers
4. The Blair Witch Project
5. Batman Forever

Top 5 Movies I Love, Yet Know Are Terrible
1. Oscar
2. Dude, Where's My Car?
3. The Re-Animator
4. Krull
5. The Phantom

Top 5 Television Comedies of All Time
1. The Simpsons
2. The Muppet Show / Muppets Tonight
3. Monty Python's Flying Circus
4. Seinfeld
5. Scrubs
Honorable Mention: Mystery Science Theater 3000

16 August 2006

Long Overdue Reviews

Miss Niki said she missed my movie reviews. I told her it was because I've hardly seen any movies this year. She said that's no excuse. I'm behind on the following five films (3 of which made it to my 2006 Top 5 List), so here we go...

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest, 3.75 Stars: This movie was everything I'd hoped it would be: exciting, action-packed, well-acted, great effects, beautiful cinematography, and (assuredly) a cliffhanger. Other than it being a bit long (but not tediously so), I have virtually no complaints about this film whatsoever. I would like to update, however, my original impression of the first Pirates film, which, while positive, was less-than-glowing. After repeated viewings, both are masterpieces of action-comedy. I can't wait for the third. Oh, and be sure to stay till the end of the credits.

Superman Returns, 3.5 Stars: After all the hype, it became fashionable not to like this film. Frankly, I don't get it. This was a great superhero movie. It's not Batman Returns, but since Superman ain't Batman, I wouldn't expect it to be. In fact, as Superman stories go, this was fairly dark. First off, I love that they wrote off Superman III and IV. They sucked and are worthy of dismissal. Brandon Routh was more than able as Supes; Kate Bosworth (lovely, if too skinny, as a brunette) was surprisingly good as Lois Lane, and Kevin Spacey was simply awesome as Lex Luthor. Kayser Sose owns every scene he's in. The only character I didn't get was Parker Posey's annoying moll. She was but a pale imitation of Valerie Perrine's great Miss Teschmacher. Bring on the sequel. Then let's have some Christian Bale - Brandon Routh action in Batman & Superman!

She's the Man, 3 Stars: This update of Just One of the Guys (itself an update of Twelfth Night) was on a cross-country flight, so don't worry that I actually shelled out money to see it. The only reason I put my headphones on was that during the opening credits I saw Vinnie Jones and David Cross, a combination not to be missed. It turns out that it's a pretty darned good teen comedy. Amanda Bynes was quite good as the girl in men's clothing who just wants to play soccer. So was everyone else. The real thing this film was lacking (which JOotG had) is boobs. A movie like this needs boobs. Bring on the boobs.

The Da Vinci Code, 2.75 Stars: Notwithstanding the race riot which almost started when Barbie told the folks in front of us to quit text-messaging with their flashlight-bright cell phones, this was a pretty dull interpretation of Dan Brown's bestseller. Tom Hanks's hair was creepy. Audrey Tautou was wooden. Jean Reno wasn't in enough scenes, and Ian McKellen was, as usual, marvelous. Ron Howard is, as always, capable in his direction, but no more. I wish someone like Michel Gondry could've gotten the job and done the book (which was pretty good, but not a masterpiece) justice.

Annapolis, 2.5 Stars: I saw this on the airplane on the way back. This is a passable boxing film disguised as An Officer and a Gentleman. James Franco is the angry, brooding Brando-in-On-The-Waterfront-type who gets into the Naval Academy off the wait list and somehow manages to pass his classes despite being fairly dim and never studying. The film, overall, is watchable, though predictable. Jordana Brewster is ridiculously hot. Tyrese Gibson is a suitably pissed-off Marine (why a Marine is at Annapolis is never explained), and Vicellous Shannon is given his first decent role since Hurricane.

08 August 2006

Missing: From Dusk Till Dawn Trilogy

Okay, who's got it? I used to have the FDTD Box Set in my DVD collection. Now it's up and disappeared. Did I loan it to any of my regular readers?

Anyone know where it's at?

03 August 2006

It it possible...

...that the mass media of so many western nations, at the mercy of the 24-hour news cycle, has completely forgotten what investigative journalism is?

...that they are incapable of distinguishing lies from truth, and in the interest of being "fair and balanced," simply let representatives of warring factions dictate what is happening?

...that they are capable of distinguishing lies from truth, but are simply unwilling to do the legwork to do so?

...that they are willing to do the legwork, but have let radical terrorists intimidate them into submission?

It's a doozy, to be sure. Woodward and Bernstein may have brought down a president, but they were fairly (not 100%) certain that they were unlikely to come to any real harm in the course of their investigations. That's the difference between the USA and Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. No reporter wants to be the next Daniel Pearl.

So while journalists have relatively free reign in Haifa, Netanya, and the rest of bombarded northern Israel, the ones in Beirut and southern Lebanon have minders and spinners, and are given carefully orchestrated "tours" of the areas bombed by Israelis.

It makes me wonder why supposed "news" organizations would even bother going to report from Lebanon. I suppose they rationalize that some news is better than no news, but broadcasting what amounts to propaganda is more irresponsible than broadcasting nothing at all. Especially when they could go across the border into Israel and walk around wherever they please. I suppose it all comes down to advertising revenue, which sickens me.

I say to all news agencies of the western world: get all of your useless, terrified, browbeaten, propaganda-delivering "journalists" the hell out of Lebanon, and tell Hezbollah that they're not coming back until they are allowed to report the news. If the world only gets the Israeli side of the story, so be it. At least they'll be hearing unvarnished truth. Maybe that'll finally bring some clarity to this mud.