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more lists

Since I've been looking over the various listing web sites, I thought to make some of my own. I could list my Top Ten Movies of 2008, but I'm always a year behind ... best as I can tell, I've only seen 15 movies that came out in 2008, so a Best of 2008 would be premature (the #1 as of now would be Red Cliff Part 1, if anyone cares). So I'll try some different lists. Here are my Top Ten (+1) Movies of 2007 ... I've seen enough by now to make a list:

1: 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

2: No End in Sight

3-11: Encounters at the End of the World, The Counterfeiters, Juno, The King of Kong, The Lookout, No Country for Old Men, Persepolis, Sicko, The Visitor

How about my Top Ten Movies of the 2000s so far? All of the rest are mostly sorted by release date:

Time Out, Lantana, Murder on a Sunday Morning, Y tu mamá también, City of God, The Hours, Deliver Us from Evil, Pan's Labyrinth, The Lives of Others, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

Top Six of the 1990s:

Bullet in the Head, The Rapture, Hard-Boiled, Hoop Dreams, Princess Mononoke, Run Lola Run

Top Ten (+1) of the 1980s:

The Elephant Man, The Long Good Friday, The Road Warrior, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Stop Making Sense, The Terminator, Ran, Dangerous Liaisons, Grave of the Fireflies, The Killer

Top Ten (+1) of the 1970s:

1: The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II

2-11 in no order: Performance, The Last Picture Show, Walkabout, Cabaret, Mean Streets, Chinatown, Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Last Waltz

Top Ten (+2) of the 1960s:

Breathless, L'Avventura, Spartacus, The Hustler, Yojimbo, La Jetée, Jules and Jim, The Leopard, Dr. Strangelove, Bonnie and Clyde, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Wild Bunch

Then it gets hairy ... too many to pick from in the 1950s, but I'll try to winnow it down to ten:

All About Eve, A Streetcar Named Desire, From Here to Eternity, The Earrings of Madame de ..., Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Touch of Evil, Vertigo, Fires on the Plain, Rio Bravo

Same problem with 1940s:

His Girl Friday, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Sullivan's Travels, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, My Darling Clementine, Hamlet, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Third Man

And with the 1930s:

M, 42nd Street, King Kong, Bride of Frankenstein, Top Hat, Triumph of the Will, Modern Times, Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, The Wizard of Oz

And finally, 8 from before 1930:

The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Greed, Potemkin, The General, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Man With the Movie Camera

The biggest problem with these lists is that they don't include movies I've never gotten around to rating ... as anal as I am about this stuff, there are a LOT of movies that fit that category, including some classics. But all of the films in the above "decade lists" get my extra-special 10/10 rating.

i never have original thoughts #23034

I just follow the leader. Tim Goodman listed the 25 best shows of 2008 today. The top four? Mad Men, The Shield, The Wire, and Battlestar Galactica. Remind you of anything? Among the other shows in the top ten are 30 Rock and Dexter ... among the shows rounding out the top 25 are True Blood and The Office and Weeds and Life on Mars. In all, I am a regular viewer of 14 of the 25 shows, a semi-regular viewer of 3 more, there are only 4 on the list that I've never seen, one of which I have on my DVR to watch at some point ... only one of the shows is in the "started watching it but never got it" category. In other words, when Tim talks, I listen. I am nothing but my influences.

what i watched last week

Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Always nice to see old TV friends make it in the big time. Judd Apatow made a couple of little-watched but much-loved TV series, Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, and he and his cast members have been having a fine old time in movie theaters ever since. Jason Segel is fine as the writer/star, Kristen Bell does what she can with something of an unfortunate role, the other actors are fine, much of the comedy works, and the movie is charming without being too mean-spirited. On the other hand, Mick LaSalle raised a legitimate point: "Right now in America, all the active genres cater to a male audience: action, sci-fi, adventure, crime, etc. If romantic comedy goes that way, too, our actresses may have to emigrate to Europe to find a decent role." 7/10.

Black Snake Moan. Not what I expected ... it's about love.


The Godfather Part II. The second half of the greatest movie ever made. 10/10.

Ghost Town. Fucking prick learns better, with an assist from Téa Leoni. Not a great movie, but neither is it quite what you expect ... whether you're a Ricky Gervais fan ready for plenty of fucking prickiness, or you're a fan of Topper-esque romantic comedies, you'll get something that comes at your expectations a bit sideways. Not too far to the side, though ... as one critic pointed out, this is the kind of movie they would have made fun of on Extras. 7/10.

Doubt. Will probably get four Oscar acting nominations ... that's the way it's written, and they got the cast that knows how to get our attention. Viola Davis is the best, for my money, Meryl Streep ... well, if you like her, you'll like her. I'm not sure any of them are better than Kate Winslet was in Extras. 7/10, and that might be a bit generous.


One of the most amazing parts of the career of Bruce Springsteen is the consistent excellence of his concerts, even late in his career. While he has made many fine albums in the last twenty years, none of them are indisputable classics ... in that regard, his career is pretty normal, although normal for Bruce is pretty great. But he has never resorted to mailing it in as a live performer, never coasted on his laurels. He has played many legendary concerts over the years, and many hardcore fans look to the 1978 Darkness Tour as his finest. But it is evidence of the remarkable quality of his shows that the best example of his live brilliance is probably the Live in Barcelona DVD (occasionally shown on Palladia, MTV's Hi-Def channel, where it looks and sounds even better). This show took place on The Rising Tour, in 2002, when Bruce was well into his 50s (as was his band). Danny was still with us, Clarence was in good health, and the Barcelona crowd was its usual stellar self (when Bruce asks them if they're ready for a singalong, it's something of a joke, since they've been singing since the first note ... and not just the words, the instrumental parts as well).

movie lists

You have too much time on your hands, and you need something to fill those endless hours. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lists of Bests. There are more lists here than you could ever actually deal with, but you should be able to find some that intrigue you ... again, if you have too much time on your hands. Here are two movie lists where I have completed 92% of the films on the list:

Men's Journal's "The 50 Best Men Movies Of All Time"

I can't say that I've heard of Men's Journal, but at some point they chose ... well, you can read, guy movies. I have seen 46 of those 50. The holes in my "guy movie" life are: The Big Lebowski, Blade, Stripes, and The Three Stooges DVD Collection (I don't know why that's on the list). Now all of you Lebowski fans can make fun of me.

Jim Emerson's "101 102 Movies You Must See Before You Die"

I don't know who Jim Emerson is, but I've seen 94 of his 102 films. Yet to see (get ready to make fun of me again): Aguirre, the Wrath of God, The Big Red One, Children of Paradise, Persona, Pink Flamingos, Schindler's List, A Star Is Born, Tokyo Story.

On the other end of the "I've done it" continuum, there's They Shot Dark Pictures, Didn't They? - 250 Quintessential Noir Films. I've only seen 13% of those 250.

The only movie list that really matters is probably They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? - The 1000 Greatest Films. They Shoot Pictures, Don't They is an annually-updated site that collates critical data and calculates the greatest movies ever, based on those calculations. There aren't many surprises at the top ... the three leaders currently are Citizen Kane, Vertigo, and The Rules of the Game ... but it gets interesting once you get to the bottom of the list (#998-1000: Sam Fuller's Forty Guns, Mizoguchi's My Love Has Been Burning, and Tod Browning's The Unknown). I've got a ways to go on this one ... I've seen 40% so far. The list is slanted towards older films ... purposely, as they admit ... so they also annually update their list of the 21st century's most acclaimed films. They'll be doing the next annual update in January ... as of last year, the #1 film of the 21st century is In the Mood for Love. I've done 52% of the ones on that list.

Have fun. Or not, depending on how much time you have on your hands.

friday random ten, 2008 edition

The final Random Ten of the year is a quickie affair, due to the xmas holidays:

1. Pink, "So What."

2. Beyoncé, "Radio."

3. Cast of Passing Strange, "Keys."

4. Martha Wainwright, "Love Is a Stranger."

5. Los Campesinos!, "Miserabilia."

6. Ice Cube, "Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It."

7. Young Jeezy, "My President."

8. Adele, "Chasing Pavements."

9. E-40, "Got Rich Twice."

10. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, "I'll Fly Away." They played this as an encore on the first show after Danny died.

the new bathroom takes shape

For the folks who like the pics. The framework for the new bathtub and shower is in place:

new bath and shower

You can see the tub on the lower left. The white fan is in what will be the shower. The copper pipes on the right are the cold and hot water for the shower ... I think that round thing connecting the pipes is the hot/cold faucet thingie. The shower head is above all of that, out of the picture.

Here's a different angle on the bathtub. Boomer is walking on what will be the entrance to the shower:

boomer new bath

And a special bonus photo:

sleeping starbuck