The Top Ten Movies You’ve never Seen; Or…

Have Forgotten (altogether).

No. 10= Big Fish

I rarely meet someone who has watched this flick, let alone, someone who likes it. As for those who actually GET IT…fewer, still. We are a rare breed, those who watch a movie to infer the contents of the soul(s) behind it. This was a movie about a young man who told tall tales about a mostly imagined life (as seen from the point of view of his very cynical and over-worked, modernized son). This was a tale told to remind us how great our fathers and grandfathers were. To teach a generation of decomposing values how our mothers waited and our fathers fought. How hard and how epic was the journey of life when it still meant making a climb or two. It’s visually stunning with exceptional dialogue, and a hero we can’t help but to love. Watch and enjoy.

No. 9= The Ringer

Yeah, it might be a bit cliche, and it’s definitely the ONLY format movie you’ll see on this list (same storyline….insert character name; here…type of bullshit), but it’s got something beautiful to say. The Ringer reminds me why I like the Farrelly Brothers so much. The characters aren’t perfect, but you’ve got to love them. The realism of those offbeat people who waltz into your life insisting you take notice of a world you hardly ever see, are the most beautiful of our gifts, here.

No. 8= Vanilla Sky

Yes. I know I’m the only person on Earth who liked that movie. Guys who wanted to get into my pants have occasionally pretended, but it’s easy to tell when that happens…usually. Hear me out. I love Vanilla Sky for a couple of reasons. The first is that the preview set me up. I didn’t expect a single effing thing that happened, aside from her driving off the bridge. I’m  a writer. I enjoy a good old-fashioned mindfuck every now and then. It’s why I write…or play chess…or fiddle with Pandora, just to see what they’ll make me listen to, based solely on the masses. The other reason, is the dialogue. Yes, they all talk like writers (which I generally loathe), but they all are writers and agents, so it fits…for once. The writers want the agents to pull for them; the agents want the writers to think they are witty enough to sell them. It’s a fake world to begin with, except the one real thing; love. Hence; the tagline (title of the original Spanish Indie flick, by the way): “Open Your Eyes”. This is funny…it’s a good seguay for the next one.

No. 7= American Beauty

Call me dumb, if ya want…I call me young. I certainly didn’t see this little spin on Romeo and Juliet (with the fathers as the dead people) coming. It was a great little switch for me and it sort of paved the way for me to be this independent thinker type. I said it before and I’ll say it again…if I didn’t see it coming; I’m impressed.

No. 6= Prime

Uma Thurman has always looked like an alien to me…sorry. She has this face you want to send to its home planet. Nonetheless, I respect her as an actress. There was the leap from daft looking cover girl to Pulp Fiction, plus the fact that she rocked the bride in Kill Bill(s). Then, she dates this hot young guy in a romantic comedy where (wait for it….SPOILER ALERT!)

Nah, I’m messing with you. Watch the movie, already. I’m not a dick.

No. 5= Nothing But Trouble

Man, was that movie fun. John Candy, Chevy Chase, Demi Moore (when she was still cute, before the boob job slutty stuff), a couple of other 80’s funny people… It was good stuff. Way out of the ordinary, unpredictable, random cast. Just a really fun story. I loved that movie, purely for its inherent weirdness.

No. 4= It Happened One Night

Okay, so it’s a classic. Does ANYone born after 1965 remember why?? I highly doubt it. If you ever catch TCM; you’ll see the stage set for everything that came after. This movie is the reason I hate modern comedy. It’s a farce of a copy of something real, at this point. When you make a copy, it will always be flawed, and I see why.

No. 3= The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

If I were terribly biased, all seven of Wes Anderson’s movies would have been on this list, simply by default. I picked this one because it was my first, and because I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this movie. I sat there, watching it, wondering (for two hours) if it was worth my time. I almost turned it of fifteen times; but something compelled me to watch. I guess it was akin to the thing that keeps the horrible (but naked), big-breasted, blond actress stamped firmly to the floor in a bad horror flick a second too long, except that I wasn’t murdered. At the end of the movie, I immediately rewound it (yes; VHS; I was poor) and watched the whole thing over again. I was in love with that style of movie-making from the get-go.

No. 2= The Dark Crystal

I can’t really explain it. Just watch and, either you get it, or you don’t. It’s weird; I’ll grant you, but it does have a way of morphing into (at least) slight obsession; so look out. It’s Henson at his best, truly.

No. 1= (drum roll; please…)  Harold and Maude

Again, it’s hard to describe. I lost myself somewhere in between the Cat Stevens soundtrack and a teenager’s obsession with death mixed with the oddest love affair I have ever seen. The thing about Harold and Maude; you see; is a grand lesson in not taking life too seriously.

Stay tuned…guilty pleasures might rear their ugly heads in a day or two. And, again, thank you for reading.

Hipsters; Beware! You Are Not “Not Cool” (enough)

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The Top 5 Lame/Awesome Bands:

5. The Spice Girls. Why; you ask? Who doesn’t dance to that godawful song when they hear it? Terrible as it is, it squirms into your head like an earwig from a bad science fiction movie to lay eggs in your brain. You can’t deny it.

4. The Spin Doctors. How come; you say? Who has never been one of Two Princes and/or Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong? Come on; man…need I say more?

3. New Kids On The Block. They had some catchy stuff. They’re on this list because I liked Pink Floyd when I was 8 years old and they still duped me into spending my allowance on T-shirts and posters.

2. Hall & Oates. I doubt I need to elaborate. ‘Sarah, Smile’ really speaks for itself. Might I point out, however, that ‘Rich Girl’ is one of the most honest songs of bitter heartache, mixed with male pride that I have ever heard…no? Okay. Google it. Badass tune, if a little sad.

1. Genesis. The Phil Collins Project. Yeah….I said it. Genesis. They had some good tunes. Videos were lame, but hey…that’s what makes youtube so famous; right?

And, there you have it. I was cool to be not cool before it had a label; and don’t adopt me, either, you flannel shirt, trucker hat wearin muthafuckas….I was you before you were a fad.

It only took me five years…

…but, I finally watched ‘There Will Be Blood’, which turned out to basically be a modern day ‘Barry Lyndon’. If you haven’t seen it; do. Barry Lyndon, that is. The former turned out to be sort of a ripoff. More than sort of. That last scene, in fact, was a mixture of Lyndon and The Shining. The guy was a talented director and all, but, regurgitating the classics (almost verbatim) negated his wit.

Of course, now I’m watching a Mandy Moore movie, which might possibly negate my good taste. It might, except that she was such a little badass, weirdo, Jesusfreak in ‘Saved’. So, I can’t really hold anything she does against her (even that wicked awful candy song she did to launch her singing career).

All that aside, it’s hard to watch a supposedly serious movie-maker pretend s/he’s completely original when it’s all been done before. There were probably Greek satires who rivaled ‘Saved’, for example. And I’m serious. The stuff we do has all been done. You want to put your spin on an old classic (like ‘The Easy A’, or something), fine by me. But don’t cut and paste various Kubrick films into an abortion of true originality.

That’s all I’m saying. Just BE YOU, dammit; people!

Don’t you like American Music?

Forgive me for my line larceny, but the Femmes are one of my favorite bands and this is one of the best tunes they sing. For all the half-hearted fans out there, they also sing ‘Blister In The Sun’. I had a great discussion (with a young person; no less!) about real music the other day. It seems as though lyrics are disappearing to be replaced by a single mantra, repeated incessantly and a tired, old beat you can (at best) jiggle or gyrate to. I miss the more innocent days of poets strumming out a tune for all of us to fall in love with and never tire of, no matter how scratchy the record becomes from overuse.

Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding-A-Ling comes to mind. It’s one of the cutest little songs I have ever heard and he plays it with such an air of little boy’s innuendo that it makes me feel like a kid again. Now we have wardrobe malfunctions and raunchy “lyrics” who feel more like sentences from Penthouse Forum. I have been known to blame ‘American Idol’ almost exclusively for the abattoir of art and originality in American music, but it’s not all their fault. I also blame a generation that can’t wait for things, feels a constant need for instant gratification, and hopes for nothing more in life, than the fleeting infamy of being some sort of Jersey Shore reality “star”. They are the worst brand of impatient and ignorant, these facebooking, sexting, nose in a smart phone attached to a head up their ass, kids.

I occasionally see a glimmer of hope, but they are few and far between. Keep your kids off drugs…yeah, sure. But also remember to keep your kids off TV and facebook. Talk to them, every now and again. Pay attention to the people who will one day be running a world forgotten. Keep us from our Idiocracy outlined fate.

I know I’m always ranting about crappy movies, but, seriously???

Who in the hell thought it would be okay to make a movie with this title: ‘Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Killer’? What empty, soulless, money-hungry demon of Hollywood said, “I know, let’s just go ahead and admit to the world that we have no stories left in us.”?

I mean, should I even go on? This is pitiful on so many levels. I do plan to watch the remake of ‘The Three Stooges’, just because I can appreciate the Farrelly Brothers’ sense of respect for the trio. I didn’t watch ‘Footloose’ (which felt like blasphemy). This, however, goes way too far. If they need decent writers, I would be happy to help them out with a screenplay. In fact, I have a project in mind, that might sell without turning a historical figure into Buffy (Kristy Swanson or Sarah Michelle Gellar; take your pick; they both sucked), for God’s sake.

I might as well start at the beginning. I went to see ‘The Dicatator’ tonight (Sacha Baron Cohen is our Peter Sellers; he is the funniest man alive). Mixed in with the regular previews for movies that make a tiny bit of sense, was this visually stunning preview for a movie with Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was going to be about John Wilkes Boothe, or the Civil War, so I thought I might watch it. Then, the title flashed…

I hope they sick him on Twilight, so we can kill two horrible ideas with one top-grossing stone.