Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

Top Ten Date Movies?

I was listening to Hugh Hewitt’s 1/25/08 podcast and he had a guest on that was talking about the movies. One of the topics was “Top Ten Movie Rentals for early dates (1-3).” I’m going to provide the list, and some other lists that may be more… accurate.

*side note*
The guest said this in reference to 22 to 30 year olds in Hewitt’s Audience:

“Do you actually think there’s somebody in that demographic that listens?”

The answer is yes! I’m 24 and I’m sure there are more of us – give us some credit, eh?

Top Ten Date Rentals (approximately 3rd date)
(according to Hugh Hewitt’s show on 1/25/08)

10) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) – bad idea
9) When Harry Met Sally (1989) – good idea
8 )Far from Heaven (2002)
7) Notting Hill (1999) – my skin crawls just thinking I may one day have to watch this movie again.
6) The Philadelphia Story (1940)
5) the African Queen (1951) – what? the African Queen as a date movie? Not in this dating generation.
4) Some Like it Hot (1939) – alright, I could see that.
3) It Happened One Night (1934) – I could see that too I guess.
2) Casablanca (1942) – cliche… don’t do it.
1) the Notebook (2004) – I have not seen it but know what it’s about… I don’t know about that for a date early on.

March of the Penguins (2005), Mad Hot Ballroom (2005), Last of the Mohicans (1992), – Pride and Prejudice (the six hour one) were also mentioned by listeners. I could see Last of the Mochicans and I’ve never seen Mad Hot Ballroom, but the other two are terrible ideas.

What would my top pick be? The choice is clear: Princess Bride (1987). Charming, funny, and romantic.

Happy Valentines Day folks,

-dm

Other top 10 date movie Lists:
About.com
Askmen.com

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There Will Be Blood…? 8 nominations… really?

A modern day Citizen Kane. These are words that I would NEVER USE to describe this film.

I liked Magnolia. I have not seen Paul Thomas Anderson’s other films but I am sure I would like a few more of them. I liked what I saw of Boogie Nights. And you know, I’m sure he’s probably a really nice guy on top of everything else.

I did not like There Will Be Blood. Not even a little. In fact, I’ve never been so frustrated in a movie in all my life (and I’ve seen Valentine). I’ve only been moved to write a review about two films. This one, and Star Wars Episode III. I did not like Star Wars Episode III at all, but I prefer it 100 fold over There Will Be Blood.

At no point am I going to rag on any particular individual involved with this film. I will say that in my humble opinion, nothing really worked. Again, not trying to be a jerk – just in my opinion nothing really worked… at all.

BEING UN-CONVENTIONAL
The friends that I saw this film with said It wasn’t bad, it was “un-conventional.” Let me explain something. If you make a film that is un-conventional, that does not give you a free pass to avoid criticism. Movies can be un-conventional AND terrible. There is an important category that must be paid attention to. The quality category: that is “good” and “bad.” An example of a “good” and un-conventional movie would be Memento.

THE PERFORMANCES:
Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible. I loved his performance, and nothing bad can or should be said about it. Not too excited about anyone else. I guess the translator was pretty good.

THE SCORE:
It sounded in some sections like the THX logo was about to come up. In other sections it sounded like a musician fell into a closet full of instruments. No kidding… at one point a teenager came into the theater ringing some Christmas bells and… I am seriously not kidding… I thought it was part of the movie. Totally out of place, completely strange and I didn’t even realize it was not supposed to be there. No kidding.

THE STORY:
Movies are storytelling. Some stories are not worth telling. Maybe I’m crazy… maybe I’m alone in this but I just didn’t care. If someone walked up to me at a party and started to tell me this story about this guy who was a gold miner and then got into oil drilling and went from town to town looking for land that had oil under it and one day he found a crazy religious guy who caused him no end of trouble but he took his advice anyway and then made a lot of money but- right about here I’d probably just give them the back of my head and walk away. I don’t care about this story. At two hours into the movie, I still didn’t care.

THE CHARACTERS:
Everyone was a Jerk. I couldn’t root for anyone; I didn’t care about anyone, and I really didn’t care what happened to them. So incredibly boring.

THE GOOD PARTS:

TWO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BAD PARTS:

  • Whenever the characters started to get violent with one another the majority of the folks in the theatre I was in began laughing. I don’t blame them. It came off funny. I don’t know if it was supposed to; I really don’t think so, at least not most of the time.
  • Why did I have to watch him look for gold in the beginning? I suppose to show that he started a man by himself; just a one man show that by the end has a mansion and tons of money? I feel like we would have gotten that anyway. If not cut that, then please cut something – or pick up the pace. Way too slow; way too long.

I feel like I’ve ranted enough for now. Long story short, great performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, but that’s all I have to say. He was a flower growing out of a pot of dirt (no offense to anyone – just saying it like it is). Yes, I know it was nominated for lots of awards. I have two words for you: English Patient. Not many folks liked that movie, but it still won Best Picture in 1996 over Jerry Maguire.

Where am I going wrong here?

-dm

Everything I need to know I learned from America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Let’s face it… America’s Funniest Home Videos it the best show on TV. Everyone seems to be going to youtube for their short clips of funny things happening when they could just watch AFV. Naturally, the hosts are not that great but the new guy… Tom… he’s pretty good. Besides, if you have DVR you can fast forward through the host anyway.

AFV is not just good for entertainment – it’s practically virtual life experience. As they say, anyone can learn from their own mistakes, but truly wise people learn from the mistakes of others. Here are a few things I’ve learned.

TEN AFV LESSONS:

  1. If a squirrel gets into your house and you try to catch it (or chase it out) your house will end up in shambles. It seems that the best thing to do is learn how to co-exist with the squirrel. This is particularly difficult to explain to your pets.
  2. If you have a baby, and you are laying on your back, don’t hold the baby above your face. It will definitely puke in your mouth.
  3. Geese know exactly where your nuts are, and they will attack you there upon purpose.
  4. If you are going to have children, keep paint and chocolate far out of reach.
  5. Cats are the weirdest of God’s creations. Yes, I know about the duck billed platypus. I stand by it; cats are completely insane. If they are not chasing bags that are attached to their feet, squeezing under doors, or darting at full speed into walls, they are making strange noises that sound like a human drowning or performing seemingly impossible acrobatic tricks. If that is not enough to convince you, ponder this: I have seen a cat chase a bear away (on AFV). Think about it. They’re probably aliens.
  6. Kangaroos are not cute, and the danger they can cause to people is almost always severely under estimated.
  7. Elephants are not afraid of mice in real life… women truly are.
  8. If you film your wife drooling and then wake her up, she will probably divorce you. If your wife is filming you drool and you wake up and are anything but happy about it, she will probably divorce you.
  9. When you buy a new car MAKE SURE you know how to park it so that it won’t roll down your driveway and into a lake, someone’s house, or oncoming traffic. It’s called an emergency break people… just like your old car.
  10. Dogs are worth every penny. They will probably break something at some point but they’re worth it because they’re just so happy all the time!

TEN THINGS NEVER TO BUY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES:

  1. Pinatas – one way or another, you will get hit in the crotch or face. The same warning applies with T-Ball sets for your children.
  2. Trampolines – Make a list of “ways to have fun on the trampoline” then make a list of “ways to get hurt on a trampoline.” If the “ways to get hurt” list is longer than the “ways to have fun” list (it will be), don’t buy the trampoline. In fact, trampolines aside, this is a pretty good test for almost anything.
  3. Tickets to a drive-through safari – It’s just not worth it – monkeys will probably rip your windshield wipers off. If you MUST do go to one of these safaris, please don’t roll your windows down. If you MUST roll your windows down, please don’t encourage giraffes or elephants or any other animals to eat right off of your hands. They are wild animals folks – I have never seen more drool – not even in the movies.
  4. ATVs or Snowmobiles – Enough said.
  5. Those big Styrofoam airplanes – actually, you can buy those if you want but DEFINITELY film the results, post the video on-line somewhere, and let me know where to find it. I can always watch more people getting smacked with those things.
  6. Those little airplanes with a string attached that fly around the operator in circles – those videos are almost not funny – I think I almost watched someone die of strangulation on National TV.
  7. Gymnastics lessons – and give Karate some very careful thought. Don’t just sign up on a whim.
  8. Macintosh Products – this has nothing to do with AFV but… don’t believe their marketing lies, people. They did not invent the smart phone. Macs crash too! Honest – I had one!
  9. Baby Alligators – just trust me on this one.
  10. Above Ground Swimming Pools – It will break. There will be a mini-flash flood that (depending on where the water goes) could cause substantial damage to your home and/or loved ones. If you have a dog, this warning is ten fold.

TEN THINGS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS TO PEOPLE, BUT APPARENTLY ARE NOT.

  1. Don’t snowboard off of your roof. Just because it’s covered with snow does not make it safe.
  2. If you’re going to cut a tree down, make sure you are not tied to the part that is going to fall.
  3. If you weigh 300 pounds and you are going to try to swing into a lake – that’s fine – just make sure that both the rope, and the tree branch that the rope is attached to can support you. I’m not trying to offend anyone, I’m just looking out for you. You could end upside down in the mud, or worse.
  4. Bears will kill you. I’m not kidding.
  5. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES – I MEAN NO CIRCUMSTANCES try to bench twice your body weight WITH NO SPOTTER. I can’t stress that enough people.
  6. Don’t film your family or loved ones in the shower. How would you feel? I mean, come on.
  7. Don’t go para-sailing in Mexico – particularly if you are over the weight limit. Again, I’m not picking on anyone. It just looks really painful. Actually, it’s probably a good idea to just stay away from para-sailing all together, regardless of your weight or where you do it.
  8. Keep silly string away from birthday candles… or any open flame for that matter.
  9. Please do not get in a tractor tire and roll yourself down a hill. Parents, if you encourage your children to do this, you are bad parents. I don’t want to hear excuses. In fact, any parent who decides it’s a better idea to keep filming their children doing wild and dangerous things needs to get their priorities straight. PUT THE CAMERA DOWN AND STOP THE WILD AND DANGEROUS THINGS FROM HAPPENING. YOUR CHILD COULD BE IN SERIOUS DANGER!
  10. On a camcorder, look through the EYEPIECE, not the lens. Otherwise we just get lots of footage of your eye.

ULTIMATE RECIPE FOR DISASTER
If you want a solid AFV experience, just do the following and make sure to have a video camera ready:

Your wedding reception must be outside. Definitely have alcohol, and an expensive cake. At some point in the evening, make sure to break a pinata (blindfolded). For some extra excitement, do this on a trampoline. Tell everyone to bring all of their children, as well as their dogs and cats. When opening the champagne, NEVER point it away from anyone. Lock your knees at all times no matter what. Invite LOTS AND LOTS of old people and tell them they can’t wear belts, then play catch with them. If you don’t know lots of old people it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invite a local retirement village just for fun. I’m sure they’d appreciate it anyway.

The real lesson here is to watch AFV not only for entertianment, but also for good life lessons. I’m telling you, it’s changed my life and I think it would change yours as well.

-David May

p.s. This post is dedicated to two of my old roommates.  One of our rituals was watching AFV together.  I miss that, and I miss them.  Here’s to you A.T. and Kev.