Recent comments

  • Great Musical Numbers in Non-Musical Movies   14 years 10 weeks ago

    This may not fit your idea of "musical number" exactly, but I really liked Audrey Hepburn singing "Moon River" in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

    This list has been plaguing me for a few days now. I know I know more scenes that would fit into this category, I just can't think of them.

  • Books I Read in 2000   14 years 10 weeks ago

    What'd you think of A Canticle for Leibowitz. I just finished reading it as well, though for me it was a reread for a book group I'm in. I'd suggested it as one of our monthly reads and am very curious to see the other people's reactions since I don't think any of them are SF readers generally.

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    correct

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    correct; always good to play on the way to work early in the morning...

  • So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Fan - 2005 Edition   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Madonna was excluded only because, like many of the 80s artists, I believe she works better as a singles artist than an album artist. Had I chose to allow compilations on the first tier, you would surely see The Immaculate Collection on this list.

    I'm leaving work, so I'll type a fuller response later. Thanks for the input!

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Favorite Actors   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Bruce Willis feels like he belongs here. And I know you're a Die Hard fan . . .

  • So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Fan - 2005 Edition   14 years 10 weeks ago

    It does help for the 90s, thanks. But the 80s still look a bit thin to my untrained eye. Which bands on this list are 80s bands? I'm kinda surprised U2 isn't on here, but for no articulatable reason. Wasn't Madonna quite influential through there as well, or does she not count as rock n' roll? I mean, I know female vocals were well (or at least better) represented in jazz and soul, but didn't she (help) bring about the emergence of female rock leads? Just my intuitive sense - no facts to back it up. I know Janis Joplin preceded her, but I don't think you saw the surge of female soloist and band-leaders after her that you saw follow Madonna. Hmm. There's The Pretenders. Jefferson Airplane. Okay, I'm probably forgetting a ton. But I'll post this anyway.

  • I must   14 years 10 weeks ago

    I thought Tom Cruise was terrific. I hated his character, and yet I was drawn into seeing where they were going with him. And they pulled it together beautifully with the deathbed scene.

    But he was probably only in the movie for 45 minutes at the most, so really I only want my 2:15 back. :)

    What follows is more rant than spoiler (although there are some), but I still thought I'd give you the option of skipping it.

    As for what I didn't like, I absolutely hated the "singalong" scene, and don't know what the deal with the frogs was. I kinda liked the "all those weird things happen" theme when the weird things were at least somewhat plausible, so why throw in obvious divine intervention. And shouldn't a divine (I assume) plague of frogs be some kind of portent? "It rains frogs. Life goes on."

    And why didn't the gameshow host's wife ask "that question" 14 years ago? Or if she didn't know, what prompted her to ask then?

    Didn't care for William H. Macy, who I usually enjoy. I was highly conscious of Julianne Moore's Performance, and thought it completely obscured her character.

    Unless I missed it, what was the point of the body that John C. Reilly finds? And were we really supposed to derive the answer to that mystery from the rap, or did I completely miss that too? If the point is that JCR doesn't listen, and that he realizes he needs to learn to listen (as he tells us later), then shouldn't we catch what he missed? Or was that scene designed to make me feel stupid (or hard of hearing - I only caught every 3rd word).

    Oh well. Maybe you can tell me why you liked it? If I can find a few more redeeming features, maybe I can reclaim some of that 2:15.

  • Disappointing Movies   14 years 10 weeks ago

    I don't think it's a requirement for me, but it certainly helps. Perhaps I'm using sympathetic too broadly. I don't feel I have to like or personally identify with a character to like the work in which they appear, but I do have to find them interesting. If I find the the main characters of a movie to be unlikeable AND uninteresting then I will almost certainly not like the movie. In the case of Pi, our hero met those criteria. Perhaps I found him uninteresting because I found the plot absurd, and therefore his laboring within the confines of the plot was pointless to me. But I couldn't bring myself to care about his plight, nor his madness. Well-done migraine scenes, though.

    Another thought . . . I do tend to dislike movies where our characters engage in self-destructive behavior that I, as a viewer, feel they could have avoided. I like a good tragedy as much as the next guy, and when the tragedy comes from unstoppable external events, that tends to work better for me just because it's easy to make believable. When the tragedy comes from internal processes or "fatal flaws", I don't usually go for it. Not because I think these situations are less tragic - quite the opposite - a good "fatal flaw" tragedy can't be beat. But I think these types of tragedies are very hard to pull off. I'm sure Pi was trying for this (one man's inability to stop throwing himself against the madness-inducing, unsolvable, all-kinds-of-mystical-overtones problem), but for me it failed.

    In short, I like "self-destruction from within" as a theme, because that's usually the way it goes in real life. But it's rare where I find a movie that pulls it off to my satisfaction. I would love to come out of movies like these with a tear in my eye thinking, "alas, poor soul", but unfortunately more often than not I usually end up thinking, "gah, what a loser."

  • Seen Recently At Theater   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Excellent! Glad to see you liked X-Men; I went in expecting it to be pretty good based on what I'd read, and was still pleasantly surprised.

  • Seen Recently At Theater   14 years 10 weeks ago

    sk, I wonder how many visitors to this list, and viewers of the movie, will get the "chicken coop #17" reference? An oldie but a goodie. One of Bill H's best.

  • So far, I love   14 years 10 weeks ago

    I'm not quite sure what I thought of it actually. It took me awhile to get into it, but towards the end I started wanting to see what was going to happen next. The ending (which I'll tell you nothing about) surprised me a bit. *shrug* I'll have to try one of his others at some point here and see how it compares.

  • Excellent Fiction   14 years 10 weeks ago

    I've read those 3 plus The Path to the Nest of Spiders and Cosmicomics.

  • Seen Recently At Theater   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Good Point. Check it out.

  • So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Fan - 2005 Edition   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Nirvana's Nevermind and Primal Scream's Screamadelica are the only entries from the 90s. In creating a list of albums for a list purporting to be the foundation of a great rock collection, I chose only to include albums I felt were foundational in some sense, works that other great artists have used as cornerstones to build from. Factoring in this element of influence, obviously some time is needed after an album's release to see if anyone else picks up on its innovation and works it further. As a result, the only 2 albums from the previous decade to make the list were both from 1991, rather early on in the decade. Nirvana's Nevermind certainly inspired not only grunge music, but also post-grunge music and 99% of what was played on "modern rock" radio until very recently. Screamadelica was one of the first albums to take the free-form, lengthy dance music of the late 80s and early 90s and work those beats and styles into the conventions and restraints of rock music. As such, it has very possibly influenced music nearly as much as Nevermind, with artists as diverse as Garbage, Sting, and the entire Trip-Hop crew now working strands of dance loops and beats (and therefore, to some degree, Primal Scream's work) into their own music. I'm not really aware of any other albums from the 90s exhibiting quite this degree of excellence and influence on rock music. Several come close, and they will appear on future tiers (if I decide to create them).

    That's something of a mess, but does that help explain my choices?

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Movies that made me Cry (a lot)   14 years 10 weeks ago

    No, but everyone tells me that I will really enjoy it, and that it will truly surprise me (which is very rare).

  • 0028: Part 2 - L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Correct! Great album, eh?

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • 0028: Part 2 - L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    That's the exact version I'm looking for. Great job!

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Excellent Fiction   14 years 10 weeks ago

    I've only read four of Calvino's works, and I enjoy Invisible Cities far more than the others. The other three were If On A Winter's Night a Traveler (which has to be one of the coolest titles I have read in quite some time), The Baron of the Trees (?), and The Castle of Crossed Destinies. I'm not sure I "get" Calvino, which is probably why I like Invisible Cities...it is not extremely deep. Still, it has a place on my shelf so that I can flip through every so often to try to understand it all.

  • 0028: Part 2 - L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    i believe #1 is "Frankly Mr. Shankly" by the Smiths...

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, sung both by Monty Python in Life of Brian and Bruce Cockburn on his Live album.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • 0028: Part 2 - L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    That's it, correct title and all!

    I need to add some quotes quickly!

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • 0028: Part 2 - L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 10 weeks ago

    11 - Liz Phair, Help Me Mary (possibly not the right title but it's on Exile in Guyville)

  • in current rotation   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Can this be true? Sheila Walsh has a new album out? I'm shocked. Even after years of the 700 Club, I still can only picture her as that new wave woman singing with Steve Taylor...

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Disappointing Movies   14 years 10 weeks ago

    Hmmm, this is the second time you claimed to dislike a film, at least partially, due to an unsympathetic character. Do you find that films need a sympathetic character in order for you to enjoy them? Just curious...

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs