Sunday, August 21, 2011

Animals vs. Humans (whoever wins, we lose)

John, thanks for the Simpsons post; I really enjoyed it. I ranked these about a year ago. When Jeff and I re-watch them (whether he wants to or not), I'll probably provide an update.

1. The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace
2. They Saved Lisa's Brain
3. Homer to the Max
4. Lisa Gets an A
5. Make Room for Lisa
6. Lard of the Dance
7. Maximum Homerdrive
8. Wild Barts Can't Be Broken
9. Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble
10. Mayored to the Mob
11. Bart the Mother
12. Treehouse of Horror IX
13. Monty Can't Buy Me Love
14. Simpsons Bible Stories
15. Marge Simpson in: Screaming Yellow Honkers
16. The Old Man and the "C" Student
17. Viva Ned Flanders
18. Sunday, Cruddy Sunday
19. I'm with Cupid
20. When You Dish Upon a Star
21. Mom and Pop Art
22. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo
23. D'oh-in the Wind

I agree with a lot the comments you made. The third act of the Treehouse of Horror episode is unbearable. Thankfully Jerry Springer references/jokes are mostly extinct now.

We seem to differ a bit on D'oh-in the Wind. Ha, I think I would like to hear more about your hatred of the 60s. I don't hate hippies, but I hate that episode so much because the jokes are terrible and the story is so extremely stupid...a shame, given George Carlin's involvement. Were the 60s a golden age? Musically, yes. Otherwise, nah. I'm sorry to disappoint my fans, but I'm not a big advocate of psychedelics and free love. But I suppose it's better than an age in which credit default swaps are apparently legal and go unpunished. Really, there's no such thing as a golden Woody Allen brilliantly points out in Midnight In Paris (haha, I just had to add that).

I figured you would enjoy Homer Simpson in "Kidney Trouble." I want to repeat that I feel you and the episode's writer, John Swartzwelder, would get along very well. You have the same first name; there is little photographic proof of either of your existences, and you both enjoy Westerns. Swartzwelder also wrote the season 13 episode "The Lastest Gun in the West," which you'd love if you haven't seen it. Also, he has written a few novels - Double Wonderful being a western. I recommend it, though I have to admit that I've never read it myself and it's probably only available on amazon; I don't think any library would have it. Recommendations are best when they're free. Sorry.


On the animal/vegetarianism stuff - right, I figured that's what you meant, but I really did want to go on record and state that I'm not a vegetarian. When I joined film club, I told everyone that Jeff and I are very similar. Given that and my pro-PETA/anti-factory farm statements, I thought it was important to be clear. Didn't mean to suggest that my response was somehow "got'cha journalism" - I only save that stuff for Sarah Palin.

I definitely understand why my stance on animal vs. human abuse in film is strange. It sounds a little strange even to me. And by that I mean that I don't fully understand why I can watch De Niro be shot to death in Heat (spoiler alert) but if someone runs over a dog in a movie, I feel like shit.

I guess it's partly to do with the pet idea. People love dogs and other domesticated animals; dog is man's best friend, they say. Jeff and I grew up with our beagle (named him Lucky because we were heavily influenced by 101 Dalmatians during mid-90s). Now we have a cat and even though she's slightly evil, I love her and wouldn't want anything bad to happen to her. Animals are also like babies. They're cute and amusing. I don't think we'd want to watch babies be harmed in a movie.

A great example of cats being thrown around by their tails is in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Obviously it's done comedically, but it's done nonetheless and I don't have a problem with it. On the other hand, there's an episode of Game of Thrones in which a lance goes straight through a knight's mask - impaling and killing him - no problems. In that very same episode, another knight (who loses, but lives) gets so pissed off that he chops his horse's head off. Silly and over the top - certainly...but it still rubbed me the wrong way. And yet, I recommend the show to everyone I know and will continue to watch it. But that shot was unnecessary, in my opinion, even though I know that it was all computerized.

Film is simulation, and actors choose to be in film. They read the script beforehand and they know what they're getting into. If I see a guy on screen getting his scrotum removed by a butter knife I will look away in disgust and disapproval (reading it is another thing...haha, nicely done). But at the end of the day, I know that it was fake and the actor knew what was happening. Animals are forced into it (not cruelly or anything), even though they've been trained to act and do their part. I'm not saying that animals shouldn't be in films (keep those Air Bud movies a-comin'!) but that's something that many people don't consider. If a stunt man is hurt, it's part of the job and he/she receives treatment, payment, and his/her name is in the credits. If a horse's leg accidentally breaks during a shoot, it can only receive medical treatment.

But I don't know that any animals are harmed in movies or television at all anymore, and so I won't chain myself to the gate of a movie studio and demand that someone puts a stop to it. I can't say that I care about the issue too much, but obviously I do to an extent. I do hope some of this made sense. If not, let me know. I do enjoy talking about this stuff.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Simpsons Episode Rankings: Season 6

David Mirkin's second year as show-runner was another success and it really can viewed as a continuation of the 5th in terms of style/number of jokes per episode. It really was a tough call in choosing the best episode; in the end, I had to give the nod to "The Springfield Connection" because it makes me laugh from beginning to end (bear in mind that when I re-watched that episode it was probably the 20th time that I've seen it, and yet it's still hilarious). It also features one of my all-time favorite quotes - Lisa asks Marge if apprehending a criminal was the most exciting thing she's ever done. Marge claims that it was pretty exciting but that,"Celery soup's pretty exciting too!" Just a great reading from Julie Kavner.

This season is also notable due to the episode, "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" I have slightly vague memories of the contest that coincided with the episode. I was too young to enter, but I remember all of the ads and the hype surrounding it. Great times.

1. The Springfield Connection
2. Homer Badman
3. Lisa on Ice
4. 'Round Springfield
5. Treehouse of Horror V
6. Lisa's Rival
7. Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 1
8. Homer the Great
9. A Star Is Burns
10. Bart of Darkness
11. Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy
12. Itchy & Scratchy Land
13. Sideshow Bob Roberts
14. Homie the Clown
15. Bart's Comet
16. Lemon of Troy
17. The PTA Disbands
18. Homer vs. Patty and Selma
19. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds
20. Lisa's Wedding
21. Bart vs. Australia
22. And Maggie Makes Three
23. Bart's Girlfriend
24. Fear of Flying
25. Another Simpsons Clip Show

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Save The Kitties

Now might be a good time to admit that I am not a vegetarian; I just had roast beef for dinner, in fact. Factory farms are just an evil concept to me despite my love for steak and chicken and pork - essentially my hypocrisy, but I never said that people shouldn't eat meat. I just don't want meat that has been shot up with steroids and has been tortured. We should have a barbecue together sometime, John, and I'll offer some notes for that script of yours. Right off the bat, I think it's lacking some disgustingly sexual scenes.

I get some of my news from the Huffington Post (that's right, bitches) but a lot of the time I skip past the news and go straight to the videos of baby animals doing cute things. Now that's the news I care about.

Brandon, I tried not to back PETA 100%, and I do agree with you. They aren't without their problems - but again, those problems seem minuscule compared to what factory farmers do to their animals. But just for talking shit about PETA I'm going to dump some red paint on you...when you least expect it.

Alex recently told us that you're a Cleveland Browns fan. I'm a Philadelphia Eagles fan and when they added Michael Vick to their squad, PETA protested the signing. Eagles fans flipped their shit and starting ripping on PETA in return. I think PETA's reaction to Vick is understandable - the guy tortured and killed dogs and then a couple years later was handed millions of dollars. That has to be infuriating. Having said that, I like Vick and I think he served his time and I believe him when he says that he is reformed and wants to put a stop to all dog fighting.

I enjoyed the gunfight in Heat as well. It's definitely enthralling and bad ass.

And you definitely made sense with your last post. I sort of agree, but I maintain that we've been extremely violent for centuries. Obviously movies didn't influence the crusades. At the same time, John Hinckley saw Taxi Driver and tried to assassinate Reagan as a result. I think it definitely aides, but it isn't the main cause, which maybe you were saying to begin with. And the media being part of the problem is an interesting idea. After Columbine, trench coat teens all over the country wanted to do the same due to the publicity that Columbine got. So to an extent we are desensitized to violence when watching way too many violent films, violent stories on the news - agreed.

Also, I should state that I haven't seen Antichrist. I probably won't see it. But I don't think that it's wrong for the curiosity to be there - even with you and the case of A Serbian Film. It is just a film (simulation, as John notes) - it's not like someone is trying to market a pro-holocaust film with actual footage from concentration camps or anything. So again, I don't want to make it seem as if I want to outlaw torture porn. As Jay Sherman states in that clip - the blame falls more on the viewer. Human Centipede 2 is on its way, and the audience is at fault. But they're the ones watching it, not maybe they aren't at fault at all. It might be lame to take a stance against something and then just back down, but at the end of the day, I just say no to these kinds of movies and I don't really care if others go. But again, I think the filmmakers of A Serbian Film could probably find something better to shoot/say. It also just strikes me as lazy. Essentially you just have to come up with the most fucked up thing you can imagine - then, time to start shooting. There's not a lot of thought to it, and therefore, it loses points and shouldn't be considered art.

Movies and television have probably allowed our imaginations to grow. But while movies/tv can plant ideas in our head, there needs to be something else there to make us act on those ideas.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Plugging Things

(the caption on the video references Transformers 3, but I'm not posting it as a commentary on that film, even though it blows; this is someone else's youtube post).

"Fox and the Hound," "94 Chapin," "Et Cetera," and "Baseball Bat" are all a lot of fun to listen to - I enjoy them immensely. I don't mean to kiss up to Brandon like this, but really, I'm kissing up to the whole band. And let's face it, he's not the reason why the songs are so great. Kidding. Again, sick bass lines.

Mad Men is a better show than Breaking Bad, John. Those aren't fighting words - it's just the opinion I've developed after re-watching the first two seasons of Mad Men on NWI. Having said that, I do love Breaking Bad and I'm not feeling as critical of the show as I was a few weeks ago. Also, feels like comparing these two AMC shows might be like comparing apples and oranges. Though the oranges and apples would both have to be dramatic ones. It's not like one needs to be considered better than the other. They're both great for what they accomplish. So maybe I take it all back.Maybe not.

I caught the first few episodes of Showtime's The Big C and I flat-out hate it. Laura Linney is the only redeemable aspect of the show. The characters, the actors, the writing - all a big thumbs down. And it has nothing to do with the tone of the show when it comes to cancer. I like that the show tries to put more of a positive spin on things. It's just the tone of everything else on the show that I hate. I don't recommend it.

John, It doesn't surprise me that you've fallen asleep while watching The Simpsons Season 10. Geez, listen to me, I'm such a stereotypically embittered fan. But the watching of The Simpsons is definitely something that I positively associate with sleep - it's something of a tradition for me around bedtime to put a Simpsons disc in, press the sleep button on the remote and watch an episode until I pass out. In a way, the show is like a teddy bear or a blankie to me.

But if we ever meet, John, and I hope we do, we'll definitely have to let you borrow seasons 1-9 of the show. I'd love to hear your perspective on those episodes.

The watching of Twilight Zone has resumed. I know you've haven't had the chance to watch any yet, but Jeff and I just finished season 3's "The Hunt."  It's happening.

And what about The Critic? This is directed at everyone (other than Jeff) - if you're a fan of the short-lived cartoon series about film critic Jay Sherman, you and I will always be pals. Not only was it a funny show (created by Simpsons writers/producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss), it features a ton of great movie parodies. One of my all-time favorite television shows. A shame it only lasted 23 episodes. If you haven't seen it, looks like there are some full episodes up on the youtube.


Netflix stuff - Saw Heat and I enjoyed it. Liked De Niro, Kilmer, and Pacino in it. Also loved it when assault rifles were used in the middle of a busy street. All right, that last bit was sarcasm, but the rest wasn't. John, you don't care for Jon Voight, but his mullet/'stache combo in this one is one for the ages.

Watched The Sweet Hereafter. It was a strange film and I honestly don't know where it stands with me yet. I know I liked it, but I'm not sure how much. Also seems to be one of those movies where the book might be better than the film. Just felt like that to me and that you'd get more details from the novel. But yeah, mostly I have a favorable impression of the film.

Watched Dead Man Walking. I don't know why I watched this - well, I do, but I don't know why I watched it when I did. Seems like something that should've been put on one of my many back-burners, but it came up on the queue and I watched it. I wouldn't throw all of it in the trash or anything, but a lot of it was pretty standard. A lot of what I liked about it would be considered spoilers. Oh hell, if you haven't seen probably won't. So I liked the fact that Sean Penn's character did commit the murders. He was the awful person he was accused of being the entire film and yet - he is still a human being who garners some sympathy. The execution of criminals isn't always black and white, but I think in the case of this film - it actually is that way (surprisingly and slightly unconventionally); Penn's character deserved death row and so the movie isn't really about innocence. I think it's nice too that Susan Sarandon's character did as Jesus would have done. I liked that she establishes a relationship with both Penn and the parents of the people he murdered.

I'm going to pull the plug on the 80s part of my current movie project (the one in which I watch movies that I missed from the 90s and 80s). I'll watch some 80s movies here and there that I haven't seen or that I haven't seen in a long while (E.T.), but after I finish up the 90s stuff that I want to watch, I'm moving on to the 60s, 50s, and 40s. Time to watch more classics and lesser known classics. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to take them. I definitely want to watch all of the Hitchcock movies I've yet to see. A top ten Hitchcock movies list awaits.

On gore, mostly I agree with Brandon. I think the only time that I do approve of it is when it is done in a comedic way, as he talked about. Evil Dead and the Rodriguez films that you cited were hilarious and I can enjoy them. Very cartoony indeed. And I can appreciate them because I know where the filmmakers are coming from. They are trying to entertain, even at the expense of grossing you out a little and making you uncomfortable with the sexual stuff. I think sex plays a large part in these films as well, not just violence.

And while the creators of Saw or Human Centipede might claim to be doing the same - I could never agree with them. I really don't know where those people are coming from...and definitely the audience is to blame as well because I don't necessarily know what they're getting out of it...especially to go back and see sequels.

I definitely DON'T condemn violence in film. Again, just watched Heat and I don't disapprove of the amount of bullets flying or of the number of people getting plugged. I can watch The Bride chop off Sophie's arm over and over and not feel as if I've been desensitized to violence because I know that it's just a movie. Movies get to show us the things that aren't approved of in society/the things that aren't physically possible. You could say the same things about Human Centipede, I guess, but when it really comes down to it - that shit is digusting and I see no reason for it to exist even in a fictional world. It disturbs me that some people's minds go to that place. But whatever, I'm not too hung up on it; it's very easy to ignore it, I find.

Should horror and gore films exist? Yes and yes. And they should exist without regulation. But there is a part of me, I guess, that would want more people to condemn movies like A Serbian Film and say, "We're not interested. Find something else to say."

On violence, I know I am getting mostly off-topic here, but I feel that people always make the case that television and movies have desensitized us and I completely disagree. I think humans are violent and it's always been that way. People used to watch hangings or gladiators fight to the death. Our world is a violent place.

And as it's true with most things - some people love to watch violence more than others. There's a market for everything because different people like different things.

I think I'm like Jeff in that I'd rather see a person die in a movie than an animal. Never fun to watch an animal harmed or killed, even if it's fake. I think people hate on PETA too much. Yeah they do some ridiculous things, but I don't understand how people can spend time ripping on them and ignore/or approve of what goes on at factory farms. Not to get all political and shit, but those places need to be outlawed, for realz. Oh, highly-opinionated're so much fun.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gangsters and Dads

 Top 5 Gangster Films (So Far Edition)

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather Part II
3. Reservoir Dogs
4. Mean Streets
5.  Bonnie and Clyde

I tried to make a list of ten, but in order to do that I would have to list movies that I don't really care about - like The Untouchables and Scarface ('83). It kinda pisses me off that I've seen Barton Fink but I haven't seen Miller's Crossing; I have it in my queue though and intend to watch it soon. I also need to see some James Cagney films, as that would really help me out.

I also tried to list movies that weren't covered by Brandon or Jeff, so that's why I have Reservoir Dogs listed and I don't have Pulp Fiction; same with Mean Streets and the exclusion of Goodfellas, though I really love Mean Streets and rate it very highly. The Godfather vs. The Godfather Part II is a tough call, but I think I'm close to deciding that I'll always love part I more than part II.


Brandon, given the similarity with our childhoods, I am glad to hear that your Dad has redeemed himself. I wish I could say the same of mine, but unfortunately things seem to have only gotten worse; I no longer fear him, but he annoys me more now than he ever has. But I wouldn't say that there isn't the potential for things to get better. While I don't necessarily respect my father, I do love him.

I'm really curious about how much the audience influenced my feelings on Tree of Life. Had I not been annoyed by the people around me in the theater, maybe I would have been able to find faults in the film. It's possible, but I doubt it.

I wouldn't say that it's a flaw of yours to find fault in the things you love. It does make sense because it's so hard to define perfection. I do it, too, but I think there are a handful of films that I wouldn't change a thing about. Right now, Tree of Life makes the list. And I think I am on board with John's assessment of the film's achievement. But better to hear it from a more credible source like him.

Jeff, agreed. I think we both love Tree of Life and Synecdoche, New York for the fact that both movies say so much about life/existence in such a small amount of time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Did someone say, 'Tree of Life'???

All right, so I just got back from seeing this one at the Art Mission. I read everyone's initial thoughts on it too, but stopped reading after the gloves came off and it was Lisa and Brandon vs. John and Jeff. I have a short attention span and I really just want to dive into things. So if you're wondering why I'm covering things that have already been covered, that's why.

First of all, I loved this film (though I don't necessarily want to call it a film. Sure, it's captured on film and it features actors, a script, etc., but I think we're dealing with something different here). Because I loved it, I cannot wait to watch it again and would even go back tonight. Another reason why I would love to see it again is because I think I had the worst theater experience ever. I really don't want to spend too much time on this, but you all know how much I love to rant...

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Art Mission Theater, it's pretty small. I picked the worst seat in the house (as you'll discover) and had I been in a bigger theater, this all could have been avoided. But I sat with the wall to my left and my friend, Sharon, to my right. To her right was a small family of about four people. The six of us filled up the row, so I really felt trapped in this seat - me getting up would've caused a huge inconvenience to the people in our row and the people behind us. Anyway, the reason why I bring that up is because the guy sitting in front of us had terrible BO. I'm not a mean-spirited person; I didn't spend a lot time thinking about how much I hated the guy because he smelled, but I think we all can admit that bad odors are hard to put up with. I spent the majority of the film smelling my hand. Behind us, and I mean directly behind us, were two of most loquacious women I've ever come across. They talked throughout the movie and it was the usual commentary that you tend to hear from people in theaters - stupid observations, obvious remarks, etc. Toward the end of the film, one of them begin to yawn repeatedly. Jeff told me that you guys had people walk out of your theater....I was waiting for that to happen in this case. I don't think these women are stupid because they didn't like the film, but (as Jeff established in his Midnight In Paris post) I absolutely loathe anyone who treats the theater like it's his/her living room. So between the talking heads (not the kind I'm a fan of) and smelly guy, my movie experience was under attack.

And despite all that, I enjoyed the hell out of Tree of Life. I mean, I can't wait to watch the dvd from the comfort of my own home and with the subtitles on, but I was still able to strongly connect with the film tonight. Like Brandon and obviously Jeff, I was able  to relate to Jack's childhood. There's the scene where Jack asks his mother if Brad Pitt is away - he is and the kids jump for joy around the house. Malick must have been spying on the Howard household when he wrote that scene.

One thing that I loved about Brad Pitt's character is that he is never abusive. He's an asshole who's quick to point out the shortcomings of Jack, but he's never purely evil or sadistic. There's even the moment when Jessica Chastain begins to hit on him, instead of smacking her across the face, he holds onto her to stop things. Even when he gets really angry during their meal, he never hits his son, he just sends him outside. Again, I haven't read all of Jeff's thoughts on this, and we haven't spoken to each other at all about the movie, but our father is similar to Brad Pitt in that sense. He's a self-centered asshole most of the time, but he has never been abusive. Brad is phenomenal in the film, as Brandon points out. But I was even more impressed with Chastain. And maybe that's the case for all of you as well. The word perfect comes to mind. Perfectly cast, perfectly written and executed. Beautiful and pure.

Lisa, I wonder, if the film was about a girl growing up in Waco, Texas, do you think you would have enjoyed it more? I know that's probably tough to say, but one of the thoughts I had was that I think I really got the film because I know what it's like to grow up as a boy with brothers. I guess the siblings aspect is very important too. But I'm definitely with Brandon in the nostalgia that the film provides. As boys we have spent time hanging out and chucking rocks at windows and strapping frogs to firecrackers. It's what boys do. I don't think that that's all the film has to offer, but I just wonder if you would have liked it more had Jack been a Jill instead. Just a thought...and I apologize for that last line.

Tree of Life is what you get when you attempt to shoot someone's memory. And it's much more than that. It's ambitious. It's challenging and thought-provoking. It's not afraid to ask the questions that have been silently wondered by me and many others. It's a film that loves and hates creators. I think it's probably popular to compare Pitt's character to God. The hypocrisy, the offering of free will - these are just a few examples of how they're similiar. But one thing I took away from the film is that parents are more God than God. They create life and they teach their offspring how to live, act, and speak. There's such a larger influence of a parent on a child (more so than God's influence on a child), even in a religious home.

Lisa had the question of why is Jessica Chastain is looking up to the heavens and offering her son to God near the end. Chastain is also and more directly offering her son to the world and the people in that world. At a certain point, Jack is no longer under her control. He is under the control of everything that is out of her control.

I also see Chastain as a representative of nature. She's viewed lovingly by Jack in the way that nature is viewed lovingly by Malick (I think her Snow White burial is further evidenced by this). And yeah, Earth is often feminized, so I realize that I'm not telling you something you haven't heard or thought before. But anyways, in the mother there is much beauty and tranquility. It's what we find in the visuals of the world/nature.

I know I'm really starting to analyze the little things about the film, but I would like to take a step back and say that I think we'll do a disservice to the film if we analyze it too much. I was expecting to watch a film that I would not really comprehend, but that wasn't the case at all. I think the story of Jack's childhood is basic. And I mean that in a good way, but also in an oscillating way. It's also pretty damn complex and intricate. Again, another reason why it's well done.

But I really feel that those who feel that the film is a) an artsy fartsy film that is too smart for them, or b) pretentious bullshit that isn't intelligent at all - are either dismissing it too quickly or are making it seem more complex than it is (and I would say that it is definitely complex). When Sean Penn begins to walk on the beach at the end and he sees his family and others roaming around, one of the women behind us asked, "Is he in Heaven?" I don't think it matters. Sure, we can theorize about it, and hell, I'm sure there are some great theories/analyses out there, but it really doesn't matter where Sean Penn is at the end. I think too often we try too hard to figure things out and explain them. It's as if we cannot like something until we understand it. I don't know what that location represents. I do know what the interaction between Penn and his family represents, but beyond that, I'm not too concerned. I don't feel like I need to know what it fully symbolizes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as if one of the criticisms is that the relationships seem too detached. I know I kinda addressed that with my thoughts that I was able to relate to the family because it's similar to my own, but I just want to write a few more thoughts on that idea. This isn't a movie that holds your hand throughout or anything. This family has existed longer than the duration of the film. There's back story and exposition needed. There's more interaction needed between the family members certainly. But I really didn't need more than what I was offered. And obviously the character's facial expressions are heavily relied on, and for me they work. I didn't have a problem with the voice over. Sure, sometimes it was very inaudible, but it wasn't enough to bug me. Another complaint may be about the length and pacing. It felt much shorter than 2 and half hours to me. Thought the pacing was great. Never lost interest in it. I think a Malick film and my ADD are somehow a match made in heaven.

I have more to say, but I'll stop here. I know you guys are probably all tired of this shit.

Ben, can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Brandon, that's really cool that you're friends with Colt. I found Whispertown on about a year ago and I'm really enjoying them. Yes, my list is pretty white...but come on, I've got Nas on there. Okay, true, a white guy would put Nas as the token hip hop artist on his list. Fair enough. Love Hip Hop is dead because of the Jimmy Page guitar riff. ZEPPELIN RULEZ DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Top Ten Albums of 2006

I'll talk about movies again soon, but figured I would take the time to submit this list...better than posting something that is more of a comment than a post, though (as I did a few days ago). Tree of Life is finally at the Art Mission and I'll probably see it tomorrow. I also forgot to write my thoughts on Source Code, so I'll have that to talk about as well. Also watched Michael Mann's Heat today.  So I will get back into the swing of things here shortly. In the meantime, here is a very white guy's list for the best albums of '06.

1. The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun
2. M. Ward - Post-War
3. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
4. The Black Keys - Magic Potion
5. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
6. The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
7. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
8. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
9. Murder By Death - In Bocca Al Lupo
10. Fionn Regan - The End of History

Honorable Mention: Starlight Mints - Drowaton, Beach House - Beach House, Neil Young - Living With War, Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back, Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones, The Whispertown 2000 - Livin' In a Dream

Disappointments: Cursive - Happy Hollow, Tilly and the Wall - Bottoms of Barrels

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You Would

Man, Jeff, you would have Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal tied for first place.


I brought a couple of DVDs over...Doctor Zhivago, Brief Encounter, and Bridge on the River Kwai. A Lean night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bye Bye Braffie

I just finished Before Sunset and thought this would be the perfect time to update my 2004 list (actually, no, the perfect time to do it would be after I've re-watched Hotel Rwanda, The Aviator, and the Motorcycle Diaries, but I really don't know what else to post right now). Also, since two of our members are on vacation (lucky bastards), most of this is recycled info and so there's no need to really respond or anything...unless you want to, of course.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
3. Kill Bill Vol. 2
4. Before Sunset
5. Hotel Rwanda
6. The Aviator
7. A Very Long Engagement
8. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
9. The Motorcycle Diaries
10. Primer

Honorable Mention: Shaun of the Dead, Club Dread, Garden State (I won't abandon it completely)

Before Sunset truly was a great sequel - I was very impressed but I can't say that it's better than the first because of how easily it is to perceive both films as one. Julie Delpy was phenomenal and I think she left me speechless because I really don't know what else to add to that. Oh wait...her control of her character is so smooth and genuine. She makes you feel more than what the scene is giving you - and the scenes give you a ton. Another great script from Linklater, though I see that Hawke and Delpy got writing credits as well. Hats off to that trio.

I also watched PTA's Hard Eight. It's clear to most of us now that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best directors currently working, but now that I've seen his first film it's apparent to me that he knew what he was doing from his first day of shooting - a born filmmaker. Also a great script, too. I respect anyone who can both write and direct (and do it well, obviously).

Finished watching Twin Peaks for a second time (this time with a friend) and I'm still trying to figure out how David Lynch got a TV show on CBS. I'm definitely not complaining because I love the show and Lynch, but this is the same network that gave us Two and a Half Men. It's time for networks to take risks again, my friends. More Lynch, less Sheen.