Monday, March 31, 2008

My Top 25 MOVIES

In this new blog feature, created by me of course, I will from time to time publish a list of my favorite things. I will call it "My Favorites" and it will be just that...A list of my top favorite things.

In this first edition I will tackle movies. I hope you enjoy, and by all means, comment if you agree, disagree and let me know if you feel like I missed something good! Here goes!! (These are in random order)

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
I thought this movie was spectacular. Great characters, a great story line and a great soundtrack made for one of the most memorable movies I've seen. The two sequels were so-so. More of an afterthought. I try not to think of this as a "trilogy" and I don't think it was intended to be that. It was intended to stand alone and it does that beautifully.

2. Last of the Mohicans
I think this is Daniel Day Lewis' best movie. A very dramatic movie and a compelling love story set against the backdrop of the French and Indian war and based from the novel by James Fenimore Cooper. The depictions of battle were heart stopping and the last 30 minutes of this movie are possibly the best I've ever seen.

3. A Few Good Men
An all-star cast makes this a spectacular drama. I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, but this is one of the few movies of his that I really like. I could watch this movie every day and never get tired of it. The court sequence between Cruise and Jack Nicholson is the stuff of legends. I don't care who you are or what movies you like or don't, this one has to rank up there with the best of them.

4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Unlike Pirates, this is a real trilogy, though I don't think of it that way. I think of it as more of an epic. To me it's like one giant movie. Peter Jackson's brilliant portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel is breathtaking. Non-stop action and heart stopping moments abound and the actors involved in this epic all brought their best stuff. This has to go down as one of the best movies in history and cements Jackson's place as one of the best and most sought after directors in Hollywood.

5. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Kevin Costner's portrayal of Sir Robin Hood is the best I've seen in modern cinema. That and the fact that Alan Rickman could quite possibly be the best villain in any movie ever made. Well, he and Jack Palance. Great cast and a fun movie that puts a bit of a different twist on the classic English folk tale we all have grown to love.

6. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
One of many "National Lampoon" movies but this one outshines the rest (no pun intended) by a long shot. One of Chevy Chases best movies, I could watch this year round. No matter how many times I've seen it and no matter how well I can quote pretty much every scene I still laugh my rear off every time I watch it. And up to this point, that is 4,382 times. Not really, but you get the picture.

7. The Journey of Natty Gann
I grew up watching this Disney classic. Not one of the more popular ones, but a story I could connect with as a young child. A young girls father goes cross country to find work during the depression and leaves young Natty behind, but not for long as she treks across the country to find her father with the help of a very young John Cusack and a dog named wolf. This is one of those movies that take me back to my childhood every time I watch. If you haven't seen it, watch it. If not, let me know-it's a hard find but I have it.

8. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
I am a huge fan of the late Don Knotts. Personally I think he is the funniest man that ever lived, but that's just my opinion. This movie of a bumbling reporter spending the night in a haunted house is enough to double you over with laughter. For an old movie it's got some pretty catchy music too! Knotts has made some great films, but this will always be one of my favorites.

9. Young Guns
A fabulous retelling of William H. Bonney, AKA Billy the Kid. A great cast of actors including Keifer Sutherland, Jack Palance, Charlie Sheen, Terry O'Quinn, and Emelio Estevez as Billy, put on an entertaining show in one of my favorite shoot-em-up movies. I'm not a big western movie person, but this makes my short list.

10. Tombstone
The story of Wyatt Earp has been told, retold, and told again. This movie stands (in my opinion) as the best retelling of the story ever made and stands as one of my favorite movies ever. A near flawless performance by Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday and a convincing performance from Kurt Russell make this movie one everyone should see at least once. The rest of the cast is a who's who as well with Bill Paxon, Sam Elliott, Terry O'Quinn and brief appearance by Billy Bob Thornton.

11. Die Hard
The first "big break" for Bruce Willis (aka John McClane). This movie saved Willis from a career as a soap star and vaulted him into one of the most beloved action hero's of the 90's. This movie was a hit and has since produced 3 sequels all pitting our "wrong place, wrong time" hero against an assortment of bad guys and forever ingraining that one phrase into our know the one. All this on top of the fact that once again, Alan Rickman proved he was the best villain on the market!

12. Live Free or Die Hard
The 4th installment of the Die Hard series pits a reluctant McClane against a different type of terrorist. One he can't see. As the bad guys try to infiltrate our National Security, McClane again comes to the rescue along with computer geek Justin Long. This movie has some of the best car explosions ever and when McClane takes on an F-35 jet with a tractor trailer, you know you are in guy movie heaven. I vote McClane for president in 2008!!

13. Indiana Jones Trilogy

Perhaps the most loved and best action hero of my time. Harrison Ford was terrific as Dr. Jones, a college professor who just couldn’t keep away from adventure after adventure. All 3 of these movies are action packed and keep you on the edge of your seat! Sean Connery was great as Jones’ father and the supporting cast was always terrific! When I was a kid, all I did when I was at a store was look for brown fedora hats so I could look like Indy. Hec, I still want a hat and a whip!

14. Escape from NY

Don’t ask me why, but this has always been a favorite of mine as I have always enjoyed Kurt Russell flicks. A dark film by John Carpenter shows NY as a future prison for outcasts, thieves and murderers. It takes one Snake Plisken (Russell) to dive in headfirst and rescue the President of the United States. This one won’t be on many peoples list, but it will however always make mine.

15. Star Wars Trilogy

When I say Star Wars Trilogy, I mean the original 3. Star Wars; Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I am not a big fan of the new prequels. I was perfectly happy with things the way they were before Episode 1-3. A lot of people may disagree with me on this, but to me, Star Wars was a classic and didn’t need to be messed with. Was it neat to see the new ones? Did I like them at all? Wasn’t it neat to see how things began? Yes, Yes and Yes, but it’s the originals that make my list.

16. Planet of the Apes

Not the new Mark Whalburg version, but the old one. Charlton Hestons version. One of the best movies of all time in my book. The scene with the Statue of Liberty is one of the most unforgettable movie scenes ever. The sequels were good too, but this one is the one I put right up there with the best!

17. Spider Man 1 & 2

Growing up, all I did was ready Spidey comic books. I lived and breathed Spiderman and thought it was cool that I had the same last name as Peter (although now, that’s more of a curse…more on that later I’m sure). How could I not be stoked about these movies??!! Great story lines (though not completely accurate), great villains, and great effects made this movie major exciting. While I wasn’t and am still not thrilled at the choice of actors, it still overcomes that objective to make the list. The third movie was kind of a let down and got really cheesy.

18. Top Gun

I’m a guy. You knew this movie would be on here. Quite frankly, one of the best films to come out of the 80’s! Again, not a big Cruise fan, but this one kicks major…um….rear. Great cast of actors and nonstop high flying action make this a must see. And who hasn’t quoted “That’s a negative ghost rider, the pattern is full”?

19. Saving Private Ryan

This is the only Tom Hanks movie you will see on my list. I can’t stand Tom Hanks, but this movie is absolutely fabulous. I couldn’t take my eyes off for one minute. The detail put into this movie is unrivaled and really brings a new level of respect to those who died that morning on the beaches of Normandy. I must see for anyone alive. At least that’s what I think.

20. The Princess Bride

A Classic comedy that requires your utmost attention if you’ve never seen it. Quite possibly the only time you will ever catch me watching anything with Fred Savage. The wit and humor of this movie is unrivaled. I quote this movie daily. If you have not seen this movie, be careful or you might get eaten by an r.o.u.s. What is that you say? Sounds like another good reason for you to watch the movie!

21. American Graffiti

A classic movie with Ronny Howard playing the lead part. Takes you back to the days when drive ins were hoppin’ and drag racing classic cars were hip! Note a very young Harrison Ford making one of his first movie appearances.

22. To Kill a Mockingbird

Based on the novel by Harper Lee, this movie is an American classic! Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Adicus Finch was spot on and if you watch closely, you’ll see a very, very young Robert DiNiro making an appearance as Boo Radley.

23. Shawshank Redemption

I’m not a fan at all of Tim Robbins, but this movie is a “must have, must see” movie for anyone, hands down. The story of a banker who escapes from prison after being wrongly accused of murder is top notch. Add in a great supporting role by Morgan Freeman and you have a movie that is unbeatable. An emotional drama that will suck you in from start to finish and leave you wanting to watch it again. And again.

24. Field of Dreams

My 2nd favorite Kevin Costner flick about a middle aged man who loves baseball so much, he builds a field in his corn field. Not only that, but many legends of baseball past – including Shoeless Joe Jackson show up to play literally in his back yard! Great supporting cast including James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster.

25. Dumb and Dumber

Sorry, but I’m pretty sure this makes at least every guys list. One of the funniest movies ever made and another huge breakout movie for Jim Carrey. It doesn’t make any difference how many times I watch this movie , I still laugh my rear off ever time and not a viewing goes by that I don’t catch something I didn’t catch before. I must have for everyone!

Did you miss me?

So I've been AWOL for a few apologies! I've had some computer issues, but not to worry, I'm back and everything is a-ok!

So here is a second, I'll be posting a new feature in my blog, called "My Favorites." It'll just be a list of my favorite movies, tv shows, music, food, places, so on and so forth. I'll put a new one up from time to time so keep on the lookout for it! And as always, feel free to comment...I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Obliviot sighting

"Obliviots": People who are oblivious to the world around them and the people living in that world.

I had to make a stop at the store today to pick up a few things. No biggie. I gathered up my things and took them to the check out counter where I found myself in line, behind a guy with a mason jar. Full of pennies. The cashier rang up his items, and advised him that he owed eight dollars and some odd cents. Well, much to my dismay (along with the others who had gathered in the line behind me) the man dumped his jar of pennies on the counter, looked up and smiled at the cashier and backed up. The cashier, seeing this unfold along with a growing line of people waiting to be checked out, looked distraught. She asked the man how much was there and he replied right away that he didn't know. Five minutes or so later, the ever patient but frustrated cashier had counted out the eight dollars and some odd cents and then advised the man that she didn't need the extra pennies laying on the counter. The man looked at her and replied that she could just go ahead and put them back into the jar and he handed it to her. Finally having enough, the cashier pushed the jar and the pennies to the side and advised the man that he could do it himself because she had to take care of the 9 or so people that were in line by then, to which the man shrugged and moved over to the side, placed the remaining pennies in the jar, took his things and left whistling a tune.

It's obliviots like this that cause normal people to go out of their mind. I get so sick of going here or there and running into people who have no regard for others and really act like they don't even know other people exist. If all you have is a jar of pennies, then fine, but before you go into a store, have them rolled, or at least have the right amount or somewhere remotely close to the right amount before you go holding up a line of customers who are waiting patiently. Furthermore, if that's all you have, don't dump them on the counter and make the cashier count them. That's not her/his job. Have some respect for other people and don't be so dad gum selfish. It's infuriating. On top of this, how dare you even have the nerve to tell the cashier to put the pennies she didn't need back in the jar. You made the mess, you clean it up punk. This is a perfect example of a selfish obliviot who needs someone to teach him a good lesson.

For those of you reading, don't be an obliviot. Try to be considerate of others around you on a daily basis. In other words, if you have a buggy full of groceries, don't go through the express lane checkout because it has a shorter line. Try your best (and it's not hard) to park inside the lines. That parking space is plenty big enough for your car or truck and when you park over the line, you are making it harder for everyone else. All these things really take is paying attention, so be careful when you go out in public. I am of the belief that going out in public is not for everyone. If you can't act like an adult, and be considerate of others, stay home.

That's all I have to say.