Title Comment Comment Date Comment Link
SONGS1. [Past] Songs That Give Me Goosebumps

Man, that's a song I haven't heard in a while, but for a good six-week period some 4 or 5 summers ago, I played this song incessantly. Great song!

8/25/2002 View
Cross-Pollination: Movies ∩ Music: Movies Based on Songs

I recall seeing a film version of "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia", starring Kristy McNichol (whatever happened to her?)...needless to say, it was absolutely terrible.

Also, wasn't there a TV movie or show based on that all-time hardcore headbanging classic "You Light Up My Life?"

8/22/2002 View
Post Here: Which Movies Should've Made The Sight & Sound List?

Oops! I meant 10.5 points for both films. Sowwy!

8/22/2002 View
Post Here: Which Movies Should've Made The Sight & Sound List?

Actually, I was never much of a fan of "Blue", so, if you'll please, may we score 1.5 points for each film?

Glad to see "Wages" in the top 3 so far. For years, I used to think I was the only person I knew who had seen this film. Nice to know there are others who not only have but recognize it as one of the greatest films ever. By the way, I think I'm of the small, silent minority that also enjoyed William Friedkin's remake, "Sorcerer".

8/22/2002 View
Post Here: Which Movies Should've Made The Sight & Sound List?

WAAAAH!!! No fair! Whaddya mean I can't add "Lawrence of Arabia" to my list???

Okay, I'll play. This sounds like fun, so here's my list, in no particular order (I'm too lazy to sort from best to worst):

- Casablanca (dir: Michael Curtiz, 1943)
- Le Salaire de la Peur; aka The Wages of Fear (dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)
- Nashville (dir: Robert Altman, 1975)
- The Seventh Seal (dir, Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
- Duck Soup (dir: Leo McCarey, 1933)
- Fight Club (dir: David Fincher, 1999)
- Paths of Glory (dir: Stanley Kubrick, 1957)
- Klute (dir: Alan J. Pakula, 1971)
- A Hard Day's Night (dir: Richard Lester, 1964)
- The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (dir: Peter Greenway, 1989)
- The French Connection (dir: William Friedkin, 1971)
- The Graduate (dir: Mike Nichols, 1967)
- Trois Coleurs: Rouge; aka Red (dir: Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994)
- Trois Coleurs: Blanc; aka White (dir: Krzysztof Kieslowski,1994)
- The Empire Strikes Back (dir: Irwin Kirshner, 1980)
- Blade Runner (dir: Ridley Scott, 1982)
- Ninotchka (dir: Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)
- Night of the Living Dead (dir: George Romero, 1968)
- Blazing Saddles (dir: Mel Brooks, 1974)
- Metropolis (dir: Fritz Lang, 1927)

8/21/2002 View
Bands and Musicians: I Can't Believe Aren't In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Yet

The nominating committee is probably comprised of critics, journalists, and those in the know in the music industry. I guess their argument is that someone like Tom Petty is more in the public eye (i.e., more record sales, videos, etc.) than Yes, hence his induction. I just cringe thinking of the day when Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Poison get tapped for induction...ugh!

8/16/2002 View
Guide to Weird Al Yankovic's released parodies

Oh, that silly Al...

Quick note about your "La Bamba" question: It's a "traditional" Spanish folk song. I speak spanish myself, but I've never been able to figure out what the lyrics mean because no one's ever written the full lyrics down, since it's been passed down from generation to generation and the lyrics have been revised. The song was brought into the limelight by Ritchie Valens in the late '50's (perhaps 1957 or '58), who, despite being of Mexican heritage, sang the song without any fluency of Spanish or the meaning of the lyrics. Los Lobos covered the song for the 1987 Valens biopic "La Bamba", which was a top ten hit that year.

8/15/2002 View
2002: Movies I've Seen

Good lord, you actually paid money to see "Master of Disguise"???

I suggest you get a refund immediately!

8/15/2002 View
R-Rated Movies

My pleasure indeed! I hope you enjoy these movies someday, and if your opinion differs, do let us know.

I understand your distinction. If I were a parent, I would rather my teenager(s) view a film that accurately portrays violence, no matter how harsh or explicit, than subject them to the cartoonish violence that Hollywood and the videogame makers seem to think is acceptable. It pisses me off to no end that that the MPAA would rather pimp the latest Ah-nuld bloodfest simply because it stands to generate more ticket receipts. And it also takes a group of misguided "moral" film critics, like Jeffrey Lyons or Michael Medved, to trash "Fight Club" for its' "gratuitous" violence, but remain conspicuously quiet regarding any film containing fantasy, high-body-count violence.

That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it!

8/7/2002 View
R-Rated Movies

AJ, as promised, here's my running commentary for your "not yet approved" of list. Sorry for its' lengthiness, but here goes:

Not Yet Approved:
About Last Night...: Honestly, I didn't think this was such a good movie. I found it slow-paced, and the lack of conviction from both Rob Lowe and Demi Moore was distracting.
Amarcord: Uhh...I sort of have a love/hate relationship with Fellini. I love his earlier films, like "La Strada", but "Fellini Satyricon" makes me violently ill. Unfortunately, I haven't seen this one (sorry!). Hopefully for me it'll be more of the former than the latter.
American Pie: Yeah, so you're probably familiar with the apple pie-humping scene. While it's an above-average oversexed teen comedy, there are some truly hysterical moments, which are both genuine and cringe-inducing. And, hey, the kind of stuff teens refer to in this movie shouldn't at all be foreign to anyone. Or offensive.
Bachelor Party: Only if you have to see it. Sure, as a kid, just like when I first saw it, you'll be completely titilated by its raunch, but I found out later on in life that it's more embarrassing than funny. Still, there's some goofy moments, but not enough to suggest viewing it. I'm sure Tom Hanks looks back on this one fondly...
Bulworth: Not sure why your parents would object to this, only if they find hip-hop culture threatening. Plenty of foul language, but since the plot of this film involves Warren Beatty's character reaching out to the African-American community, and embracing its' culture, I suppose you can say they had to "keep it real, yo!" But it's a very funny, biting politcal satire, one that hits the mark but doesn't preach or pontificate.
Catch-22: The book's better.
Chasing Amy: Like any Kevin Smith film, the dialogue is punchy, honest and horribly un-PC (which is a good thing). If you can get past the smugness that is the sole domain of Ben Affleck, you'll enjoy the slightly-twisted love triangle that is the center of this film. Easily, it's Smith's most human, emotional film, and it's surprisingly sweet.
A Clockwork Orange: Like "Fight Club" below, the ultra-violent content can be misconstrued as gratuitous. For the most part, it isn't. If you think of it as a violent film that overstates its' brutality, you'll miss the satire and harsh indictment of it all. Does a society that is decaying in its moral center have the right to punish those who have essentially fed off the decay of society? Brilliant film, but do watch it with an open mind. Read the book as well if key aspects seem to lose you.
Easy Rider: While I've never liked this film (I find it hopelessly outdated), it's still the only film of its' time that accurately chronicles the hopefulness and chaos of the late 60's. Yet upon viewing, you can see that, through the freewheelingness of it all, how the whole peace-love-and-happiness vibe was really a fraud. So, yeah, watch it, but I'm not responsible if you roll your eyes throught it.
Fight Club: See "A Clockwork Orange". While all the talk was about the violent nature of the film, this movie succeeds greatly due to gritty, masterful performances from Pitt and Norton, innovative, in-your-face camerawork, and a memorable plot twist. Plus, it raises many questions about what it means to be a man in a society that values material over substance. See it, see it, see it.
Go: This movie came out as a string of films based on the rave & ecstasy subculture a few years ago. Thankfully, it doesn't glorify Ecstasy, much as "Trainspotting" didn't glorify heroin. "Go" accurately depicts the chase of the high as well as the harrowing effects of the crash. It's also quite lighthearted in its' intertwining three-episode story. Nice plot twists, and a good example of how emsemble films should work.
Heathers: Man, this is one nasty little movie. It's dark, mean-spirited, vengeful, and there's not one likable character in it. But damn, it's funny. Shouldn't come as any surprise to you, or for anyone whose had to endure the capital punishment that is high school.
Midnight Cowboy: This one's the anti-"Easy Rider". What happens when the dream of fast money and good times suddenly comes to a grinding halt. It was rated X back in'69 because of an oral sex reference that nowadays may seem tame. Great performances from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as two complete losers whom you probably wouldn't want to spend one second with, but the magnetism of their roles completely captivates you.
Mulholland Drive: What's good about this one is it's fairly straightforward for the first half; it plays like a good mystery. Then, out of the blue, BOOM! The plot twist! Note: the love scene between the two female protagonists is quite steamy and very explicit. But it's such a damned good movie.
Nashville: The blueprint for a great Robert Altman film: multitudes of characters whose relationships intertwine with one another, loose narrative, wide camera structure. It's easily his best film, an narrative that acts like a scathing satire of pop culture and the unashamedly vapid self-interests that fuel celebrity and the love for celebrity. It's such a terrific film, and probably one of the ten best of the 70's, which isn't to say that the film isn't relevant today. In fact, it's probably more relevant now.
North Dallas Forty: "Any Given Sunday" tried and failed to capture the on and off field drama of football, but I think this one captures it best. It's been said that football is a lot like war, and it sure seems that way here. The players seem like weary soldiers stuck in their trenches. Loads of raunchy language and drug use, but hey, isn't that what football is? This movie does to football what "Slap Shot" does to hockey.
Opposite of Sex: Two words: Christina Ricci. She shines as the ultimate white trailer trash harlot who wrecks everyone's lives she crosses. It's a good example of using sex as a way to get what you want from someone, even if it means leaving them in your way. Funny as hell, too.
Out of Sight: I didn't think much of this movie, even though I've seen it twice. All this talk about the chemistry between Clooney and JLo leaves me wondering. But it's a Steven Soderberg film, full of clever camera tricks and rapid-fire dialogue. Probably the least-deserving R-rated film on your list.
Polyester: Like Fellini, I also have a love/hate relationship with John Waters. I don't like this one as opposed to most of his movies, and the truth is he's probably made more from less talent than any director. It's an okay black comedy that tries to be subversive but ends up being more juvenile and tasteless.
Porky’s: Oh, come on! Do you really, REALLY want to watch this? I've seen porn that is less moronic than this. Skip it.
Private Parts: It's surprising funny, considering how Howard Stern demonstrates an admirable ability to be at all times self-effacing and humble in the face of naked breasts and insult humor. More of a love letter to his wife who encouraged him through every step than a celebration of his steady rise. The moral of this story is that every socially inept, pot-smoking super nerd can still make it to the top.
The Professional: Funny, I happened to catch Luc Besson's best film, "Nikita", the other night. Superior in many respects to "The Professional", but this movie has high value. The heart of the film is the unexpected dynamic between a simple-minded hitman who reveals a gentle heart and the orphaned girl he reluctantly, then courageously, protects. It's not a plot device (tough guys protects young girl from harm) that hasn't been used before, but few have been as memorable as this. Lots of slick-filmed gunfighting to counterbalance the film's sensitive side.
Pulp Fiction: What you've probably heard or read about is true. While it's probably Tarantino's best film, there are camps that believe "Reservoir Dogs" is his better effort. One of the few films that can claim to be influential, and more likely, never to be duplicated again.
She’s Gotta Have It: Spike Lee's first film has such a low-budget look to it, you feel as if you're a fly on the wall in someone's living room. It's a funny romantic comedy about a young professional woman involved in a love quadrangle, but her inability or desire not to commit to one of her three suitors leads to inevitable tension.
South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut: The first 30 or 40 minutes of this cartoon is flat-out brilliant. Sadly, it really loses steam after that, and you kinda hope it ends soon. What makes it work in the begining is its' thinly-veiled assault on the ratings system. You'll have to see it to believe it. And, yes, it's much fouler than the TV show. Even the title of the movie is a double entrendre.
Unforgiven: It shatters, and finally puts to rest, the myth of the heroic gunslinger. Eastwood, both as star and director, paints an uncompromising, brutal, bloody melodrama about a crazed antihero who comes out of retirement to settle a score. The score, in this case, is the half-baked ideal of justice in the western frontier.
Welcome to the Dollhouse: Ah, the hell that is junior high. This movie is so unflinching, you almost want to turn it off half way. What's great about it is it avoids making the lead character a cliche; the nerdy girl who deep down inside, if only anyone could see past the dorky glasses and the crappy clothes, is a beautiful, intelligent, cool girl. She's a dork, and doesn't even realize she's a dork. All she really wants to is get along, which is a major struggle for her. Oh, this movie is hell. And so damned accurate.
Wild at Heart: Of all of David Lynch's films (and excluding "The Straight Story", which is so out of Lynch's character it's like asking Michaelangelo to touch up your kitchen), it's probably his least "weird". Not a bad film, some decent chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, but it sure as heck ain't "Mulholland Drive", baby!

8/6/2002 View
R-Rated Movies

Yeah, some say it doesn't really add any extra value to the film. The 40 minutes in question involve Capt. Williard (Martin Sheen) and his convoy encountering some die-hard French colonials who won't give up their plantation to the Viet Cong. After much debate over imperialism, a sumptious meal and a somewhat unnecessary romantic encounter, Williard and his men head back up river. There are some extra scenes as well which may or may not clarify some inconsistencies in the original cut.

Oh, and I'm still working on my suggestions for your "Not Yet Approved" list. Stay tuned!

8/1/2002 View
R-Rated Movies

Good choices your parents have made for you recently, although I have to disagree that these are the most violent of the bunch. I don't see how "Blade Runner" is more violent than, say, "A Clockwork Orange". I would start with the more lighthearted fair, "Monty" and "Shakespeare". The only thing R-rated about "Shakespeare" is Gwyneth Paltrow's nude scene, in my opinion.

At the very least, the violence in the remaining films is not of the gratuitous, cartoonish blend. The 'Nam films cannot be disputed for their accurate depiction of the insanity of the Southeast Asian conflict (be sure to catch "Apocalypse Now Redux" - it's about 40 minutes longer than the original). You can even say that "Blade Runner" and "Chinatown" are related; both feature cynical, hardened detectives caught in a conspiracy beyond their initial understanding. "Psycho" may seem a bit tame by today's slasher flick standards, but the shower scene, obviously, is still unnerving. "Taxi Driver" isn't as much an exploration into meaningless violence as it is a study of a socially inept man vainly trying to fit into a world he despises.

The beauty is all of these movies are well-crafted, so not only are they terrific films, but they're fun to watch as the director's image unfolds before you.

As for your other unseen not-approved-of-yet list, I'll give you my comments on which to watch and which to avoid soon.

7/31/2002 View
A Character Game With a Twist (Tougher)

Nahhhh! Let's let someone else take the credit for the other Gibson role. I don't want to seem like a credit hog.

Great list, and fun, too!!! Keep up the great work!

7/31/2002 View
A Character Game With a Twist (Tougher)

4 & 26 is Tom Hanks, "Forrest Gump" and "Volunteers"
16 & 22 is Mel Gibson, "Lethal Weapon" and "The Bounty
27 & 48 is David Niven, "The Pink Panther" and "Casino Royale"
13 & 29 is Whoopi Goldberg, "The Player" and "Ghost"

7/30/2002 View
TV Guide's 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters

Heckle & Jeckle were a pair of mischevious magpies who always got themselves in the worst of predicaments, but their smart-assedness always seemed to bail them out. I remember watching them when I was a wee laddie. There was always a level of Marx Brothers-esc anarchic humour in their cartoon.

Oh, and Pikachu #15? You gotta be kidding me?

7/30/2002 View