Recent comments

  • CC00028: Alanis Morissette   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I also think Jagged Little Pill will slip at least a little over the years. 9 1/2 is entirely too high for the album.

    I've noticed that artists with only one album to their name tend to do very well on these CC lists. Are critics more forgiving when dealing with only one work? I'm not sure, but without having any other work to use as a comparison, it would seem single albums definitely get the benefit of the doubt.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • CC00009: Radiohead   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Since most of my sources only update annually (if that often), Kid A is still a bit too new. I suspect your rating of 8 1/2 or 9 is close to what the consensus rating would be. I personally would probably ride with an 8.

    Hopefully, after a few more of my sources update, I can run through and update all of these CC lists.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Based On The Novel : An Essay From Jeffrey Black   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Jim, a funny thing about knowledge of any kind. I am old enough to have amassed a lot of knowledge and not too old to have started forgetting it yet, but time is catching up...

    Perhaps Mr Black who seems to love nicknames should call me Gill as that has been a nickname of mine for many years.

  • THE MOVIE GAME   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I gotta go with Jason Lee on this one. Another small role in that film.

  • Kurosawa Was Not Alone: The Ten Greatest Japanese Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I just read the book that Woman in the Dunes is based and and did a search to see if anyone had recommended the movie. I'm going to take this as a yes, I should try to rent it.

  • Based On The Novel : An Essay From Jeffrey Black   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I think you have a point in that they are two individual pieces of art, and need to be viewed as such. I do think that a film can deviate quite a bit from its literary source in surface details and still retain the heart of the book. Of course, this area is very sketchy and up for debate most of the time. I don't think that a film should aspire to representing a book exactly - what would be the point? But if a film IS going to be based on a novel, I think there should be a concerted effort to interpret and express the message of the book. A viewer should bear in mind, however, that translating one art form into another medium necessarily involves some changes, and not fault a film solely for that reason.

    A think a reasonable example of what I mean is American Psycho. The director took some creative liberties with the plot, but captured several key aspects/themes of the novel beautifully. Not that I was a terribly big fan of either the film or the novel, but I thought that the one was an interesting interpretation of the other, and both benefit from comparison to each other. I find that sometimes even the differences can shed light on the work.

  • Italianamerican: The Eleven Greatest Martin Scorsese Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Excellent arguments all around, but I do think there is a distinction to be made between sequels (follow-up movies) and filmizations (movies from novels). It is generally true that filmizations are cinematic transfers (often with plenty liberties, distortions or deviations) of the story that exists in novel form. Sequels differ in that they are entirely new stories set in the same universe. With that distinction, I think it's a fair attempt to say they can't be compared (as jblack does when he claims filmizations should be judged independently of their literary source but sequels can/should be judged in context with the original).

    Note that I said "it's a fair attempt." I personally don't agree. I think if you're going to make a case that filmizations should be judged independently from their literary source, that argument must be extended to sequels as well. Why? Simply because the tie back to the source is more tenuous with a sequel than it is with a filmization. A filmization is derived from an existing story and thus shares that story (unless we're talking about The Lawnmower Man, which only shares the title :-). A sequel only shares the environment, which I don't think is as strong a tie. If two works that share the same story (filmization) should be judged separately, than why shouldn't two works that share the same environment (sequels) also be judged separately?

  • dying to be read   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Hey, I read a Nouwen book I really loved once. Unfortunately, I can't recall the title just yet. Oh, yes I can - Lifesigns. Great book. I also received Life of the Beloved as a gift once, but I have yet to tackle that one yet.

    How is Wounded Healer?

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Best Hamlet Adaptions   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Branagh is to be thanked for putting the whole play on film for the first time, but his is not the best Hamlet. His performance is good, but not great. Also, there's some unfortunate casting - Jack Lemmon, in particular, is embarrassing (in fact the whole of Act 1 Scene 1 is very poorly handled). On the other hand, I was very favorably impressed by Charlton Heston's effort as First Player.

    Have you seen Derek Jacobi's Hamlet? If not, you really should, it belongs on this list.

  • NAME THAT QUOTE: A game, using some of my favorites..   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Well, Toole won a Pulitzer Prize for it (post-mortem, mind you), so clearly even the masses believe it has some redeeming qualities. You must be comfortable hating the protagonist, however, as he is utterly revolting. I can't stress that enough.

  • Based On The Novel : An Essay From Jeffrey Black   15 years 18 weeks ago

    My humble nature makes me uncomfortable with the implied title, "Jim #1". :-) Especially since jgandcag's cinematic knowledge exceeeds my own by a considerable margin, as near as I can tell.

  • Italianamerican: The Eleven Greatest Martin Scorsese Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    "This isn't really my argument, so I'll step out now."

    Shucks, you were doing great.

    And I also still love J. Black, who certainly needs no sequel.

  • Many Reasons Why The 50's Was The Best Decade For Movies   15 years 18 weeks ago

    This sounds like High Noon or Shane. A showdown?

    Hell, we are living a 50s film!

  • Beatles XI: The Eleven Greatest Beatles Albums   15 years 18 weeks ago

    The White Album is certainly a great album. I enjoyed L. Bangs's description of it on his top 100 album list. Have you read that yet?

    What would your second favorite be?

  • 0001. My Top 10 Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I'm thrilled that the DVD contains a smashing remastering, as the disc is on my birthday wish list. Hopefully, I'll see this first-hand soon.

    Where would it fit into my top ten? Probably around number 5. I have a bit of trouble pinpointing it since I probably need to update this list to reflect my current taste (not that it would be very different at all, but a few films toward the end might sag off, a few favorites I've reviewed recently might jump up a space or two, and the order of a few might be switched out). I'm hoping to take AAA (where has he been lately?) up on his challenge and create a top 100 list soon, so hopefully oversights such as Lawrence will be included at last.

    So, I guess the short answer is #5. I think...

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • 0001. My Top 10 Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Ok, Mr Bangs. I have just watched Lawrence of Arabia on DVD (smashing remastering). I am wondering where it fits on your top ten. I have not seen this movie in about ten years and was amazed how good it really was.

    I honestly think as a screenplay it has to be near the top of the list. T^hey will never be able to make movoes like that anymore. Economics will not allow it. I am going back to check on the special feature tonight.

  • THE MOVIE GAME   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Hey, I'm throwing in "Chasing Amy", because his role was so miniscule most people have forgotten it, and I want to show off. Hahaha!(His role is the assistant to a television guy who wants to produce the comics the two main characters write in the movie.)

  • NAME THAT QUOTE: A game, using some of my favorites..   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I meant cheat as in looking them up. Who knows if your subconscious gave you a guess you just weren't aware of? Also, you're right on 4, wrong on 15, which I've never actually read. Is it good?

  • Based On The Novel : An Essay From Jeffrey Black   15 years 18 weeks ago

    No offense, but how is my point not valid?

    I do believe that most films based on excellent literature yet not true to their sources tend to be the lesser for it, but these deviations are flaws that can and should detected by a simple viewing of the film, without using the source as a recourse. The films are not weak because they deviated, they are weak because these deviations often weaken the story. There is a reason many of the classics are considered classics - because they are pretty darned good they way they are.

    Shakespeare is no different, unless of course we are going to excuse him because he was a genius, in which case we are admitting that being untrue to a source is alright, as long as it results in excellent work.

    To jump from high to low culture for another example, the James Bond movie truest to the novels is The Living Daylights (Timothy Dalton is nearly a carbon-copy of the Bond of the books), but I don't know anybody who claims this as the best Bond film. Most people claim Goldfinger, which has very little in common with Fleming's novels. Most people also prefer Sean Connery as Bond, even though he doesn't really line up with the extremely thin, cold-blooded, non-Scottish Bond of the novels. As long as the end result is good, the relation of the film to the source just shouldn't (and doesn't, really) matter.

    Gee, and I'm not even a fan of Kubrick's Lolita...

    As a brief aside and answer, David Lynch directed Dune, which you probably already know. Ah well.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • A Film (or two) for Every State   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Being an Oregon native, I have to mention at least on more movie for Oregon, Overboard

  • Guilty Pleasures   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I just have to comment on Remo Williams. I thought it was a good movie (probably a guilty pleasure), but the books are just so much better.

  • Many Reasons Why The 50's Was The Best Decade For Movies   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I assume you're talking to thecritic, and not to me?

    To be honest, I don't really care. Pegging one decade over another is a bit too abstract and silly for me, but I do get a bit tired of people acting as if the 70s were the only golden age for films. Is it a coincidence that most of these people were raised in the 70s? Is this just another recency craze in disguise?

    I don't know, but the wonderful 50s do get over-looked while the 70s are hyped to high heaven, so seeing that, I love this list. He's got over 50 great films up there, and he helps remind us how great films were in the 50s.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs (who also loves the 70s)

  • Italianamerican: The Eleven Greatest Martin Scorsese Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    I think Mr. Critic is correct. Either a film should be judged by its source or not. Did The Hustler need a sequel? No, it didn't NEED one, but then neither did The Godfather. We don't need films, for that matter, but they did exist, just as The Color of Money exists, and I'm glad for both.

    Really, either your comment was off the cuff and not a criticism or a comment implying that The Color of Money should not have been made since The Hustler was so great (which does not treat it as an independent work of art). The first is not a criticism and therefore harmless. The second does indeed fall into the very same trap you argue against when people compare a film to the novel it is based on - refusing to treat a film as an independent work of art.

    This isn't really my argument, so I'll step out now, but no, the critic is not stretching to make his point.

    And, of course, I still love ya'!

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • 0017: The Science Fiction Film Hall of Fame (1900-2000)   15 years 18 weeks ago

    Lets try again. What about Silent Running from '71?

  • Italianamerican: The Eleven Greatest Martin Scorsese Films   15 years 18 weeks ago

    The Color Of Money was bogged down by a so so performance by Newman and Cruise. The direction is magnificent, the story is weak. The Hustler did not need a sequel.