Recent comments

  • Favorite Movies by Genre   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Yeah, you have a point. But "Not Entirely Computer Animated" is too cumbersome a genre for me. Besides, except for the ballroom scene, it feels hand-animated.

    I'd be curious to see your favorites-by-genre list, Dave.

  • Favorite Movies by Genre (under MUCH CONSTRUCTION)   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Man, jen, is it just me, or do you have like, many more genres than any one person should have? :)

    Oh, and part of a debate I've had before... shouldn't "The Empire Strikes Back" (easily the best of the trilogy) be under "Fantasy" or at least sf/f? :)

  • Favorite Movies by Genre   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Yeah, I have to update my choice for that one, though. Got caught by the recency effect in choosing Deep Blue Sea. Switching it to Jaws. Looking forward to seeing your choice!

  • Movies w. Apes or Monkeys that don't suck   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Gorillas in the Mist was excellent, and I enjoyed Tarzan quite a bit. Outbreak was an unremarkable rental, but not awful. And it did have a couple great gross-out scenes involving germ-spread (including a lovely slow-motion sneeze beginning with the spray of germs, and culminating in someone else inhaling a few).

  • "this song is about me and him" songs   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I'm not really sure what the list title means, but I love Moby and Ani. I hope being on the list isn't a bad thing!

  • Underappreciated Directors   13 years 50 weeks ago

    John Sayles is totally underappreciated. I never saw a film by him I didn't like. And most of them are intensely rewatchable. My favorite is "Passion Fish".

  • My 10 Favorite CDs   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Another ABBA fan! Great! Go to barbieOO's break-up music list and insist on ABBA representation for me!

  • My 10 Favorite Books   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Is Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport a kids' book? Cause it sounds like a book I once heard read on "Reading Rainbow"! Is it?

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    . . . as for the "below the line" movies, first note that this list is ordered by "preference" rather than "importance." Sure, Snow White was groundbreaking and very important, but when given a choice of putting it or Beauty and the Beast in the VCR I'll pick the latter every time.

    Of course, claiming the preference vs. importance exemption is a cop out, where I dodge dealing with the statement that "people must stop applying their 90's sensibilities to works made in the first half of the century." But I won't let you down . . .

    While I never took any literary criticism classes (I was the worst English major ever), I believe there are two main schools of thought in this area:


    1. When considering the text, you must take into account the environment, historical context, influences, author's mood, diet, etc.
    2. All you have is the text - that the author might have been an alchoholic Nazi wife-beater is irrelevant.

    I'm too wishy-washy to subscribe to either school. I tend to take these things on a case-by-case basis. So here's how I see it . . .

    Except when you're just in it for the entertainment (e.g. Deep Blue Sea), I figure cultural experience (film, books, music, etc.) builds character. You learn stuff and you grow from it. When dealing with historical works whose sensibilites no longer conform to modern sensibilites, you learn in basically two ways:


    1. you get a window into what life was like (so you learn your history, you're not doomed to repeat it, etc.), and
    2. you contrast the sensibilities presented to your own to better define who you are.

    So for me, saying that I can't apply my 90s sensibilities to older stuff doesn't really make sense. Am I really just supposed to check them at the door? Then what? Enjoy the story such as it is? I'd suggest this is possible only where the sensibilites presented don't clash with your own; otherwise reconciliation is required.

    I prefer my heroines less docile. Sure, as a youngish white male, I've probably had that preference beaten into me, but such as it is. Snow White doesn't do anything for me as a heroine. In fact, I can't think of a single work that I like in spite of a hero/heroine that I don't admire on some level.

    But y'know, I really haven't given much thought to this issue. Above is my gut reaction. Please try to change my mind - it could be educational for both of us.

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I also have HUGE problems with The Lion King, most of them similar. The female lions not just standing up for themselves (which would happen in nature) really REALLY annoyed me. And Simba? I HATED SIMBA! Why should he get to be king anyway? I actually thought Jeremy Irons' lion had a right to be that pissed off. I mean, come on, Simba's just a whiny little brat.

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    For the ones I missed, I adjusted the list comments accordingly.

    I hated the soundtrack for The Lion King. And female lions are the hunters! Why didn't they just tear Jeremy Irons to ribbons and speed the Circle of Life on it's way? (Can I apply my 90s sensibilities to 90s movies? :) I didn't like our hero, or the sidekicks (except Rafiki (sp?), but he was only in the movie for all of 5 minutes).

    I didn't know about the Aristocats/Cinderella cheat. Cool! I'd love to see your list.

    The rest deserves it's own post . . .

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Yeah, I'm not sure why I liked Mulan; it just rubbed me the right way. And I liked Eddie Murphy ("you MISSED?!"). I haven't liked a Disney soundtrack since Howard Ashman died, so I've stopped considering them except where they make me completely crazy (e.g. The Lion King). I enjoyed the characters, the training sequences, and the plot in general. Sorry to be so vague.

    I hadn't considered the "careful nod to political correctness," either. But you got me thinking about it, so I searched around for the source material. This is all I could find. If it's accurate, the movie seems a decent interpretation.

  • BREAK-UP MUSIC: for a boy or a girl....   13 years 50 weeks ago

    well you're just a dorky, ABBA-loving, "movie fiend!!!!" hahahahahahahahaha right back atcha....this is not an abusive post, right??? hmmm....

  • Favorite Movies by Genre (under MUCH CONSTRUCTION)   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Actually, I'd love to be able to figure out some kind of non-lame genre-split that would allow me to include Face/Off on my FMbG list. The whole Cage-plays-bad-guy/Travolta-plays-Cage-playing-bad-guy (and vice-vice-versa) was just too much fun (Travolta-playing-Cage bashing Travolta's appearance, for example). Combined with some fantastic action sequences, decent lines, and a slam-bang finish really make it a contender for best action movie, I think.

    I'd completely forgotten about Cyrano; I have to find a place to add it. You've both seen Roxanne, I assume?

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   13 years 50 weeks ago

    No, but you're thinking in the right mode.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   13 years 50 weeks ago

    No, this Seattle author is not quite that well-known.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Good guess based on content, but incorrect.

  • BREAK-UP MUSIC: for a boy or a girl....   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I demand satisfaction for ABBA! Not only have you not put one ABBA song on your list, you have not even expressed a desire to hear them! Yet I live but a few minutes away, and ABBA is clearly the master of break-up songs, having broken up themselves while still a band. You must listen to ABBA soon and provide options for people who need poppy light break-up music! I know where you live!!!

  • Movie Quote - identify the movie!   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I'll take that as a confirmation! Though a very vague one!

  • Favorite Movies by Genre (under MUCH CONSTRUCTION)   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I used "Aussie" film to represent the whole continent. New Zealand film seemed like too narrow a category.

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    I agree with most of what you say. Lady and the Tramp, especially!

    And I would have put Mulan below the line. Combine uninspired animation (given the potential of the content), a almost-wholly-cut-from-whole-cloth plot with a very careful nod to Political Correctness, a sound track that sounds like it was rejected by a Broadway musical, and a Beverly Hills Cop, and you end up with a snorer.

  • Sometime between 5 and 10 years ago, I saw a US   13 years 50 weeks ago

    As would I. I don't even remember the exact format. Did the survey ask for favorite movie, and then tally which movies were chosen by the most people? Or were people asked for their top 5? I don't remember. I vaguely remember the list being in alphabetical order, but I may be wrong on that. It was not limited to current releases, though of course more recent movies were more likely to be chosen, given a random sampling. It is also possible that USA Today has made the survey more than once- it would be interesting to see how the list changes.

  • Animated Movies, My Personal Ranking   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Ah- animation- a favorite of mine (and not *only* out of neccesity). Off the top of my head, what about, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Black Cauldron, Alice in Wonderland and Sword in the Stone. (Not in any order and some of those of dubious quality.)

    I'm curious to know why the lower three fall below the black line of ill-review. Snow White is where it all began! Please don't tell me you dislike it for its-- horrid, simplistic, poor, victimized, woman saved by dwarves and abandoned by them for prince charming, plot. Just as a book or non animated movie must be judged in its historical context so must animation. People must stop applying their 90's (or new millenium) sensibilities to works made in the first half of the century. The animation is stunning and all hand drawn. (101 Dalmations was the first Disney movie to use that cutting edge technology, the xerox copy!) Imagine seeing Snow White when it was first released, it was probably similar to seeing Star Wars when it was first released-- it was entirely new and different.

    Sleeping Beauty is also a period piece. It oozes 1950's, and the theory behind it, animating it like a medieval tapestry, all linear, etc. is pretty good.

    Lion King is spotty, but has its redeeming bits of quality animation and Jeremy Irons is awfully good at being bad.

    What I do love to catch Disney at is cheating. Have you ever noticed that the nice lady in Aristocrats is Cinderella's evil stepmother with a happy facial expression? I used to be able to name at least 10 of these type "cheats". Hmm, maybe I should immerse myself in Disney and resurface with a great list.

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   13 years 50 weeks ago

    Jim, I know now where I saw this one before and why I didn't use it. I won't claim the identification - if you want to know why, send me an e-mail. Sir bertie.

  • Favorite Mystery Authors (of non-formulaic mysteries)   13 years 50 weeks ago

    You're right, mysteries are pretty formulaic, but some are more "by the numbers" than others. That's why I called this list "non-fomulaic" -- to signal that these books try to develop characters and delve into the situation and conflicts more than the typical who-done-it. I've read two of the Kate Fansler series and liked them.