Thursday, May 29, 2008

Almost done!

As just a quick little aside, I guess that if this news is true, every single person on the face of the earth was wrong about something. I'm not sure if that's ever happened before! So good for you Clay and while this is also quite disturbing, you must be congratulated for slipping one past the goalie.

Anyways, we're really getting into some serious territory now...We crossed the halfway point with the previous entry on the list and now we're really running out of films. Only forty to go, after all! I'm sure there are some that will be predictable but perhaps by now you'll all be wondering if certain flicks will make the cut at all and if there will be some really oddball surprises and perhaps now the rankings mean just that much more.

So we're almost near the finish line and here is the penultimate entry on my list of the Top 100 Films of All Time. This is getting exciting! Okay, it's exciting for me because I have no life outside of this and when this list is done I'll have pretty much nothing to focus my energy on. So allow me my fun, okay?


Films # 40-21

40. The Battleship Potemkin (1925) dir. Sergei Eisenstein- The fact that it was officially a propaganda piece for the Soviet government cannot detract from this Eisenstein masterwork. Indeed as a propaganda film, it is brilliant in its depiction of the rebellion of the sailors against the oppressive Tsarist regime. And the visual style is undeniably brilliant, the utmost example of the Soviet Montage school of filmmaking. From the maggot- infested meat to the harrowing massacre on the Odessa Steps it is a shocking motion picture.

39. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) dir. Hal Needham- Apparently towards the end of his life, this was actually one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite films. Why? Because according to the Master, it was a film in which it looked like everyone was having so much fun making it, something that couldn’t be faked. A wise man, Hitch was dead on. Forget the story and just sit back and enjoy. Totally infectious, carefree and just a total blast. Pop it in on a lazy Sunday afternoon, put your brain on cruise control and enjoy simply being entertained.

38. Tokyo Story (1953) dir. Yasujiro Ozu- Moving at an often glacial pace, this is probably the last movie you want to watch if you need to get your batteries recharged. What you will get though is a moving examination of elderly parents coming from their small town home to visit their adult children in bustling Tokyo. The children however, have their own lives and seem to have little to entertain the old folks. Deeply sad and moving at the same time.

37. Die Hard (1988) dir. John McTiernan- However if you do need your batteries recharged, look no further than this. There’s a reason why pretty much every other action movie that came out afterwards was referred to as “Die Hard on a *blank*”. Bruce Willis is the coolest, most personable and easily chattiest action hero of them all. A great and more importantly human hero you can root for (his feet actually bleed when he walks on broken glass) and Alan Rickman is beyond outstanding as the Euro-trash baddy. “Now I have a machine gun...ho-ho-ho”. How can you not love it? Also a great Christmas movie, don’t forget

36. Fantasia (1940) dir. various- Easily my favorite Disney film, it’s really of course just a lot of great animation (sans dialog) set to timeless music and done some in such a seamless manner that so many of the pieces have become synonymous with the animated segments. “The Waltz of the Flowers” sequence and especially the “Night on Bald Mountain” are standouts and while you could watch them all separately, it’s even more rewarding as a whole. Not as groundbreaking, but also highly rewarding is the sequel (continuation?) Fantasia 2000.

35. Vertigo (1958) dir. Alfred Hitchcock- Incredibly intricate (as always) Hitchcock flick, dealing with the fear of heights and insatiable obsession. Jimmy Stewart is at his best as the detective who seems to find the woman he loves somehow reincarnated or so it seems. This one will keep you on your toes at all times and of course the Bernard Herrmann score is legendary.

34. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) dir. David Lean- An epic like only David Lean could craft ‘em. Features an awesome cast, with Alec Guinness (yup, he made movies before Star Wars remember) brilliant as the Colonel who is determined to prove his British superiority at any cost, building the best-damned bridge possible (take THAT Japan!). Of course also features one of the greatest action scenes of all, one that no computer could ever recreate adequately. Totally amazing POW pic, the likes of which will probably never be seen again.

33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) dir. Steven Spielberg- Impossible not to love. You’ll be whistling along with the music two notes in unless there’s something way wrong with you. I saw on the big screen a few years back and it was just awesome. Maybe the best car chase in history (yes, even over Bullitt and French Connection), plus of course there’s the fact the movie is flawless from once the ball gets rolling (!!) all the way through to the oh-so-droll ending. Yeah Indy 4 totally sucked the big one, but I'm going to try to put that out of my mind and just remember how great the original is.

32. Sleuth (1972) dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz- A supreme acting battle-royale if there ever was one. Olivier and Caine go mano-a-mano playing the ultimate game, over a woman (what else?). The twists are absolutely endless and not until the very end do you know how it’s going to turn out and who is going to win. Sophisticated and witty, with just enough menace thrown in for good measure. I haven’t seen the 2007 remake, but our good pal Beer told me it wasn’t any good. No surprise though, what's the point in even trying to remake a movie as good as this?

31. The Man Who Would Be King (1975) dir. John Huston- Rousing adventure in the grandest Hollywood tradition, Connery and Caine have never been better. They play two former British soldiers in the British Raj, who attempt to essentially plunder the kingdom of Khafiristan. Wonderfully politically incorrect, a winner all around. Caine’s speech at the end is so cool I can recite it perfectly. If you're to look at film as pure entertainment, I'm hard pressed to think of any better example than this.

30. Seven Samurai (1954) dir. Akira Kurosawa- Legendary adventure from the incomparable Akira Kurasawa, it’s no surprise that so many elements from this landmark film have been lifted by American and European filmmakers. The action scenes are breathtaking and the story utterly engrossing and universal. It runs well over three hours, is in black & white and is in a foreign language. This shouldn’t stop anyone with half a brain from enjoying this timeless classic (yes, I used the phrase ‘timeless classic’).

29. High Noon (1952) dir. Fred Zinnemann- Forget every other ‘real time’ thriller, this is the original and the only one that matters. Gary Cooper is the martial who plans to hang up his guns and badge on his wedding day, only to find that a man who has sworn revenge is due to return to town on the noon train. Of course all those he thought he could count on to help one by one abandon him. Chilling and suspenseful throughout, Tex Ritter’s unforgettable “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling” playing throughout makes for only makes it better.

28. Sullivan's Travels (1941) dir. Preston Sturges- Preston Sturges was a hugely under appreciated genius in his day and while now widely regarded in film circles, he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. This is his best film, about a competent but bored Hollywood director who sets out to make a ‘serious’ film (entitled O Brother, Where Art Though, yes this is where the Coen’s got it from). Wanting to ‘know trouble’ as so many less fortunate do, instead he learns that maybe there is something important about comedy after all…

27. This is Spinal Tap (1984) dir. Rob Reiner- Sweet Jesus, this is a funny fucking movie. And apparently a painfully realistic one in some regards, because when it came out a lot of people took it at face value and even after it was widely known to be a joke, many actual rock stars though it hit too close to home on several occasions! There are so many jokes and they pretty much all work, that it’s nearly impossible to pick one favorite. Mine? Today I’ll go with their first drummer who died in a “bizarre gardening accident”, but tomorrow I might have a new favourite. Just hilarious, 'nuff said.

26. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick- One of those totally arty and pretentious 'films', it’s slow moving and needlessly opaque, but its sheer beauty is hard to deny. The Strauss score fits perfectly and the shift from past (tossed bone) to future (orbiting satellite) is genius. God knows what the hell is going on half the time, but it’s totally absorbing from start to finish and the HAL 9000 is (in my opinion) the greatest screen villain of all-time.

25. Umberto D. (1952) dir. Vittorio De Sica- If this one doesn’t move you, then your heart must be made of stone. An old pensioner struggles to survive during the hard times faced in post-WW2 Italy, with his only friends being a pregnant maid in his rooming house and his very cute little dog. Made up almost exclusively of a cast who had never acted before (!!), it’s powerful and unforgettable. Truly tragic, it and its characters will stay with you for a long time.

24. Groundhog Day (1993) dir. Harold Ramis- A true modern day fairytale. That’s probably a term (or something similar) that’s thrown around a fair bit, but it actually does apply here. Bill Murray is pitch-perfect as the jerk-ass weatherman who is given the chance that we all wish we could have: keep on trying and trying until we get this crazy thing called life right. Equally funny and touching, it shows us that this hell he’s trapped in is actually a remarkable blessing, a chance to make it all right, no matter how long it takes.

23. Field of Dreams (1989) dir. Phil Alden Robinson- The best sports movie ever made. Kevin Costner is really good (before his head swelled to huge proportions) as the Iowa farmer who builds a baseball field in his corn so that Shoeless Joe Jackson can return from the dead to play baseball again. Ethereal film, that’s somehow haunting and heartwarming at the same time. The whole cast is amazing from Liotta to James Earl Jones. I can’t even count the number of scenes that give me goosebumps every time, but my fave has to be when “Moonlight” Graham crosses the gravel and leaves the field. Special props (again) to James Horner’s excellent score.

22. Amadeus (1984) dir. Milos Forman- Incredible pseudo-biopic about a man with God-like musical abilities who also happens to be petulant dolt. Tom Hulce is fine as Mozart, but F. Murray Abraham gives perhaps the greatest one-hit-wonder performance of all-time as the man driven to destroy Mozart and revenge himself against God for having used such a petty creature as his musical instrument on earth. Totally riveting and unforgettable.

21. 8 1/2 (1963) dir. Federico Fellini- Totally arty and pretentious, it also happens to be the utterly engrossing story of a brilliant director (masterfully played by Marcello Mastroianni) riddled with the ultimate case of director’s block. Interweaving the past and the present, along with reality and fantasy, this one will take at least a couple of viewings to soak it all in. There are so many great films-within-films, but this is easily one of the most brilliant, involving on so many levels, especially as one which can speak to anyone who has ever been confused as to where they’re going in life.


Wow, we're almost done. Like I said the list is getting harder to rank as I near the more than ever I'm really spending a lot of time contemplating the exact order of this thing...If this was hard to do then the final entry should be even more of a challenge. But it'll be worth it to have out of my system at last. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three years of this and I'm still alive!

It's pretty hard to believe, but today is the third anniversary of The World's Most Depressing Blog.

I remember that I started this thing after the death of The Worst Blog in History founded by our good friend Natmac, who is certainly a blog pioneer and the man who started me on the righteous path. I was one of 17 or 18 contributors to that blog and when it folded, I decided to start up a blog of my own. This little thing is the result and I'm amazed that it's lasted as long as it has. At first it really was just a very depressing blog about my very depressing life, but then I branched out into the realms of popular culture, crazed right wing politics and mind-boggling randomness. Thankfully my life still sucks and I'm able to continue to update all my kind readers on the sorry state of my existence.

There really is no way I'd have the desire to continue this thing without knowing that I have at least a handful of really great folks who take time out of their day to check up on it. To all of you who continue to read, whether you're relative newcomers or have been with me since the beginning, I sincerely thank you. Yeah there have been patches where the updates have been quite sporadic and many times I've threatened to shut the thing down because I don't feel like anyone cares. But God willing, I'll try and keep the old blog going for as long as I can. There may be times when I feel like giving up and times when I feel like it's not worth it but I know in my heart of hearts that I do have some really great readers who give me the strength to keep on keeping on.

Sorry if this is maudlin or rambling or just plain poorly written. These sort of things aren't easy to write but your support is really appreciated and thanks for making depression just a little bit easier!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My most epic work ever, don't pass it by!

Essentially nothing eventful happened to me over the weekend. I got to go home an hour early on Saturday on account of there being little to do at work and still get paid for it. Not bad. I also had Sunday off, though I of course didn't get paid for that. At least I got some sunning done, it was a lovely day. Also talked to hot paint department girl a little. I suppose it went marginally better, but that's not saying much. I tried so hard to be cool and be myself and all that shit, but I don't think it's working. Unrequited love is never easy. Just for once I'd love for it to go both ways...forget it, I'll shut up about it for now. Did have a rather satisfying enchilada dinner though, so the day wasn't a total loss.

On a totally unrelated note, here is part 3 of my Top 100 Films of All-Time. Perhaps no one cares (save a couple of people) and perhaps I really did put too much effort into this, but I figure since most of it is already done, I'd might as well see it through to the bitter end.

Also I fucked up the last entry, somehow skipping from # 73 to #71, as I pointed out in a previous comment. But if you missed it, I've simply amended the thing and now The Producers finds its way onto the second part of the list at # 61, instead of #60. A minor note, but please don't neglect this fine film that you might otherwise think I forgot about!


Films #60-41

60. Unforgiven (1992) dir. Clint Eastwood- Clint's downbeat and elegiac revisionist Western proves why he is not only one of the best Hollywood actors of all-time, but also one of its great directors, a man who truly deserves his two Best Director Oscars. Violent and sad it’s one of the best ever using the old theme about a man trying to escape from his past instead to be trapped by it. The four leads are all outstanding, especially Gene Hackman as the ruthless Little Bill, determined to maintain law and order at any cost.

59. The Great Escape (1963) dir. John Sturges- If there was ever a rousing winner of a film this is it. Of course the story is the classic "escape from the Germans" bit, but one can’t imagine any escape movie being told with as much zest and character as this one. You root for the heroes at every corner and can’t help but hum along to Elmer Bernstein’s iconic score for most of its three hours. Everyone of course remembers Steve McQueen’s awesome motorcycle chase, but this one is a triumph through and through.

58. Almost Famous (2000) dir. Cameron Crowe- Transcendent movie about music when it was great, there’s likely never been as good a movie made about rock n’ roll. Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical tale about his days as a very young Rolling Stone journalist is a pleasure throughout and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The music is great, the performances are great (especially Billy Crudup) and “Tiny Dancer” sequence is an instant classic. If you love rock music, this one is a no-brainer.

57. Superman: The Movie (1978) dir. Richard Donner- Thirty years on, it’s still the benchmark by which all other superhero movies are judged. From the overblown but Brando-rific opening to his childhood in Smallville through to the great scenes with a scene-chewing Hackman’s even up to the deus ex machina ending, one thinks it should fail, but in actuality it never does hit a sour note. The sequel is almost as good and there are plenty of other great comic book adaptations but somehow none of them seem to be able to surpass this one.

56. Stagecoach (1939) dir. John Ford- The film that made John Wayne a star, as well as his first major collaboration with director John Ford, one which would prove to be among the most fruitful in movie history. The story is of course pretty straightforward with a mismatched group of folks taking the ride on the titular vehicle while avoiding those pesky Injuns. But it’s a hell of a ride with some of the best cast the Duke has ever worked with. If you're not a fan of westerns and want a nice accessible place to start, this is it.

55. Sherlock Jr. (1924) dir. Buster Keaton- Very cool film within a film. Buster Keaton plays a movie projectionist who imagines himself entering the very film he’s showing in order to solve the crime of which he’s been falsely accused. Really neat metafiction, the whole thing doesn’t waste a single minute, coming in at under 45 minutes in length! If you’re a silent film novice, try starting here. It not only breezes by, it’s also a load of fun.

54. The Wizard of Oz (1939) dir. Victor Fleming- Yes, it’s not only for gay men and young children. Judy Garland beyond charming and the opening of the door to reveal the merry old land of Oz in all its glorious Technicolor is still stunning. The dog is adorable, the villain is despicable, the songs are great and the message is timeless. Hard to think of a better film for the whole family to enjoy.

53. Grand Illusion (1937) dir. Jean Renoir- Perhaps the original POW movie, this Renoir masterpiece is really an outstanding examination of social class in a rapidly changing world and really about human relationship in general. Many touching moments, but the best is the quite matter-of-fact conversation between the aristocratic German and French soldiers, as one of them lies dying. Truly before its time, it shatters any conceptions of the romantic notion of war.

52. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) dir. Robert Hamer- Easily the funniest movie ever made about mass murder. Perfectly droll British comedy about a young man who stands in line to inherit a dukedom. The only problem? There are eight people in line ahead of him. The Solution? Kill them off of course! If you want dry British wit at its best here it is. Alec Guinness plays all eight victims with nary a fat-suit in sight.

51. 12 Monkeys (1995) dir. Terry Gilliam- Totally beyond trippy adaptation of the 1962 short film La Jetée (which is really worth seeing as well), Bruce Willis is actually very good and the twists and turns just keep coming at you from all over the place. Brilliantly existential and wholly confusing, there’s no way you’re going to pick up everything from just one viewing. And the final line is too perfect.

50. The Ten Commandments (1956) dir. Cecil B. DeMille- There’s a reason why ABC continues to run this fifty-year-old movie every year during Easter every single year. Yes it’s close to four hours in length and when you factor in the commercials, it’s usually around midnight and they’re only getting to the parting of the Red Sea (an effect which still inspires a sense of wonder). Despite this and the fact they ‘format it to fit your screen’ (ugh) it remains a winner year after year, thanks to the indescribable sense of wonder it continues to project and Heston’s unwavering performance which hold the whole thing together

49. Sunrise (1927) dir. F.W. Murnau- Gorgeous, stylized silent masterpiece by German Expressionist filmmaker, F.W. Murnau., it blends the best of that school with the splendor of old Hollywood. Silent and containing very few inter-titles, it’s a stunning example of the old term ‘motion picture’ (remember that?), one that allows the stunning imagery to do the only talking that’s necessary.

48. Being There (1979) dir. Hal Ashby- Peter Sellers proves once again his comic genius as the simpleton whose entire breadth of knowledge comes from watching television, yet somehow rises to the pinnacle of American society. Sellers brilliantly lets everything happen around him, only re-acting in this most subtle and mesmerizing of performances. That final shot? Well, discuss it amongst yourselves.

47. Young Frankenstein (1974) dir. Mel Brooks- Another brilliant Mel Brooks comedy, it’s a wonder this is the same guy who made Spaceballs and Men in Tights. A genius send-up of the old Universal horror flicks of the 30s and 40s, it’s probably Brooks’ most subtle film, but the laughs don’t ever stop. Gene Wilder has never been better and the blind hermit scene with Gene Hackman is probably the funniest sequence in movie history.

46. King Kong (1933) dir. Merian C. Cooper- Remade in 1976 (ugh) and in 2005 (pretty well), this is still the original special effects epic, with a fun story and set pieces that still are still instill wonder today. Light years ahead of its time, it no doubt amazed audiences in 1933 and still holds up to this day. Plus no one screams like Fay Wray did.

45. The Godfather (1972) dir. Francis Ford Coppola- Well of course. IMDB has it as their number one and AFI had it as number two in their latest list. Undeniably a classic, with unforgettable sequences at every turn and brilliant performance all around. Pretty much everything that could be said about it already has been, so there’s no use adding my two-cents. So why do I rate it so (relatively) low? Because the sequel is even better. Anyone who actually bothers to sit down and watch the two together knows that. Duh.

44. A Hard Day's Night (1964) dir. Richard Lester- Basically just a day in the life of The Beatles with the boys playing themselves and singing a whole ton of great songs. There’s no real plot to speak of, it’s just sort of the Fab Four having a crazy time in early, madcap days of Beatlemania. Some of the most inspired silliness ever captured on celluloid, it’s been called a revolutionary film and there’s a good reason for that.

43. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003) dir. Peter Jackson- I know this is a bit of a cheat but they really do need to be seen and judged as a whole. Besides it’s not until you do see all three films that you really appreciate the epic scope of this wonderful adventure. From a book that was thought to be unfilmable, the guy who directed The Frighteners somehow pulled it off and how. The epic battles are a sight to behold but there are also so many great little moments dispersed throughout as well. Also do yourself a favor and watch the extended editions, they’re well worth the extra time.

42. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) dir. Nicholas Meyer- No, I’m dead serious. The fact that this a Star Trek movie or even science fiction doesn’t subtract from the fact that this is a superb meditation on the nature of friendship, on growing old and of course, whether or not the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few…or the one. The epic battle between Kirk and Khan is magnificent and the James Horner score is appropriately stirring. Forget sci-fi or Star Trek or any of that nerdy shit, this is a great movie!

41. The Maltese Falcon (1941) dir. John Huston- The first of the always-brilliant collaborations between Bogart and John Huston. Bogart became an icon with his spot-on portrayal of hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade in this never dull and totally captivating mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. The cast is awesome and the dialogue razor sharp. Truly the stuff that dreams are made of.


Okay, so it looks like we're really getting into the homestretch here....the very best movies ever made are coming up, so if you're not reading on you're doing yourself a huge disservice!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Onto part two!

Without any further adieu (I hate that cliche), here is part two of my list of the Top 100 Films of All-Time. No more preamble, these posts are long enough as is.


Films #80-61

80. Ben-Hur (1959) dir. William Wyler- Long and perhaps even bloated at times, it’s nonetheless the archetypal epic. It won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture (natch) and of course for the great Heston, who carries the whole thing as the former nobleman condemned to a life in bondage. Of course he endures many hardships, escapes and finally defeats his former best friend in the glorious chariot race, perhaps still the best action sequence of them all. Fantastic, overwhelming filmmaking.

79. The Gold Rush (1925) dir. Charles Chaplin- Simply classic Chaplin masterpiece. Quite possibly his funniest film in terms of sheer laughs. Full of all the classic Chaplin motifs of mistaken identities and bad luck and near misses, it also features priceless bits like the little dance routing with the dinner rolls and of course the Little Tramp having to resort to eating a boiled boot. Even if you think you don’t like silent movies, if you don’t find yourself laughing silly at this one, something is wrong with you.

78. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) dir. Robert Wiene- Visually stunning, it’s amazing that this film is almost ninety years old! Very early example of German Expressionism (a favorite period of mine) this is the creepy tale of a mad doctor and his sleepwalking sidekick (played by ‘Major Strasser’ from Casablanca!) who are involved in a series of grisly murders. One of the first films with a frame narrative and of course there’s a trick ending! But it came before all the others, so we’ll allow it without being cynical.

77. The In-Laws (1979) dir. Arthur Hiller- Forget the unbelievably useless remake, this is one of the weirdest and funniest comedies ever made. Alan Arkin and Peter Falk are both hilarious as two odd-couple fathers whose kids are about to get married. Falk is a riot as a possibly insane CIA operative (maybe) and Arkin is perhaps even better in one of the greatest straight-man performances ever. Just watch Arkin’s face during Falk’s story about the giant tsetse flies…it’s priceless. Serpentine!!!

76. Star Wars (1977) dir. George Lucas- When I was originally making a rough list, I made a very conscious decision to not include Star Wars for the simple reason that I hate, HATE the fact that there are so many ignorant ‘movie lovers’ who believe that motion pictures started with it and seem unable to even comprehend that there may have been movies before 1977. But then it came on Spike TV a while back and even in its cropped, commercial interrupted form I still have to admit that it’s a great picture with so many great moments and fine performances all around. Just try and remember that there is SO much that comes before, okay?

75. Metropolis (1927) dir. Fritz Lang- Lang’s silent classic remains a colossus in the genre of science fiction, with its breathtaking visuals and hugely ambitious story. Exemplifying all the sci-fi should be, it’s the kind of movie that defines its genre, in that there’s no way you could transplant it as a western or whatever. The vastness and wonder of the Metropolis is light-years ahead of its time and even though I still sort of hate the corny ending, there’s no denying that this is easily one of the most important movies ever made.

74. The Passion of the Christ (2004) dir. Mel Gibson- Now here is a controversial choice. For the record I am not overtly religious, but I do believe this is one of the most visually stunning and altogether moving films ever made. I can see how this can be such a divisive picture, with some people who feel it’s anti-Semitic (which I don’t think it is) or just a glorified violent pornography (also unfounded). When I saw it in theatres the weekend it opened all I could think was “wow” and I stand by that. Love it or hate it, there is no way you can avoid having a ‘passionate’ (!!!) opinion about it one way or another.

73. Do the Right Thing (1989) dir. Spike Lee- Think Crash if it were a good movie, which is really unfair to say because it came fifteen years earlier. Unlike the latter movie (which somehow won an Oscar and will hopefully be forgotten) this is a highly intelligent and always controversial look at race relations literally boiling over on the hottest day of the year in one Brooklyn neighborhood. One that still holds relevance today and while it's not always an easy movie to watch, but that’s exactly the point. Spike Lee hasn’t really done anything too notable lately, but this one easily makes up for Girl 6 and She Hate Me.

72. Apocalypse Now (1979) dir Francis Ford Coppola- Either you love it or you hate it, I’ve found there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. For long I never knew what camp I fell into and I’m still not sure even though I include it on this list! Sound confusing and needlessly opaque? Well, so it this movie. It’s endlessly fascinating, filled with great showy performances from Robert Duvall as the brutal Colonel Kilgore to Dennis Hopper’s trippy roll as a photographer to Brando reciting T.S. Elliot in the shadows. Martin Sheen however gives his best performance, brilliantly understated and holding this fantastic mess together somehow.

71. The Wicker Man (1973) dir. Robin Hardy- No, not the bottom-of-the-barrel remake with Nicholas Cage. A police detective travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate the purported disappearance of a young girl and finds himself involved with what appears to be a very bizarre pagan cult led by the always great Christopher Lee. Mysterious and totally creepy, this one is an absolute chiller. And even though you sort of see the trick ending coming (hint: it’s in the title), it still totally freaks you out.

70. Gone with the Wind (1939) dir. Victor Fleming- Adjusted for inflation, it’s still the highest grossing film of all-time. The most famous Civil War movie (without a single battle scene!) is admittedly a bit too nostalgic in regards to the Old South and yeah it does go on forever. But it’s also a hell of a picture with great acting, a classic love story and some amazing camera work. This here is the Golden Age of Hollywood and the granddaddy of all blockbusters.

69. Back to the Future (1985) dir. Robert Zemeckis- Oh so much fun, one of the films I felt compelled to write at length about here before. By no means is it a Citizen Kane or a Rashomon (they’re coming) but it really is perfect popcorn entertainment. Read my previous post on it for my more in depth thoughts, but what I failed to mention was that it’s also such a great snapshot of that wonderful decade that was the 1980s, even if it avoids all the drugs and other excesses (though it does have Libyans!). I never get tired of watching Crispin Glover punch out Thomas F. Wilson, it’s just one of those amazing feel-good moments that causes you to pump your fist in celebration every single time.

68. There Will Be Blood (2007) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson- A tough one to include simply because it’s so recent. I don’t know where I stand on whether or not there should be some sort of waiting period for this type of thing, like with the hall of fame or whatever. But I’m cautiously putting it on and we’ll see. Perhaps in five years I’ll feel as if I was too hasty or I’ll still feel as though it was the right call. Again I don’t know, but I’m leaning towards the latter. Daniel Day Lewis is so good it’s fucking nuts. This is just a remarkable character study about a man so driven and complex and yet single minded. The cinematography is outstanding, ditto Jonny Greenwood’s intense score. I’ve heard it referred to as the something of a Citizen Kane of the 21st Century, but this one can definitely stand on its own, thank you very much.

67. Network (1976) dir. Sidney Lumet- Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway won Oscars for this in this wicked satire of network television which is even more relevant today than it was when it came out. They must have had a crystal ball when they made this one, because it speaks so much more about today’s industry than that of the 1970s. Finch’s flashy performance is hugely entertaining, but it’s William Holden who really should have been rewarded for his brilliantly understated work as the film’s moral anchor. I for one am mad as hell and …well, you know the rest.

66. Nosferatu (1922 and 1979) dir. F.W. Murnau and Werner Herzog- Both the original and remake are so equally good, I decided to put them together. Probably the two best vampire movies (with The Horror of Dracula running a close third), try watching these two side by side. The first is an awesome example of German Expressionism, with groundbreaking camera work that’s still shocking today. The scene where Count Orlok rises out of the coffin is still pretty freaky. And the remake, while not as revolutionary, is probably an even better film. Creepy and atmospheric, it features a great performance from Klaus Kinski and neat final shot. Be sure to catch the German version though, not the English one.

65. Touch of Evil (1958) dir. Orson Welles- Film Noir was pretty much on its way out by 1958, but thankfully this Orson Welles masterpiece was better late than never. Wonderfully offbeat, it stars Charlton Heston as a Mexican (!!) police official investigating a car bombing and going toe-to-toe with Welles as the local police heavy (quite literally) who may or may not be playing by all the rules. Both stars are great and make sure you see the longer version which restores Welles’ original vision to its full grandeur.

64. Scrooge (1951) dir. Brian Desmond Hurst- Easily my favorite Christmas movie, unless one counts Die Hard (which could make for a legitimate argument). Of course the timeless Dickens story has been told a thousand times and often quite well, but never quite as well as this. Even though we all know how it’s going to unfold, it still resonates. Alastair Sim is so perfect in the title role that it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else as Ebenezer Scrooge, something that’s a remarkable feat given the many great actors who have tackled the role throughout the years.

63. Strangers on a Train (1951) dir. Alfred Hitchcock- Taut and suspenseful Hitchcock thriller, it’s the classic about the two men who meet by chance and one suggests they solve respective problems in their lives by exchanging murders or ‘crisscross’. Of course one of them goes through with the twisted plan, while the other wants no part of it. A great battle of wits in the best Hitchcock tradition. Also by far the most homo-erotic film Hitch ever made, it doubles as a tale of weird and twisted obsession.

62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) dir. Milos Forman- Truly inspired lunatic performance by Jack is reason enough to include this one. Convincing the authorities he’s insane in order to avoid prison time, he stirs the ‘crazies’ who have been beaten down by the very people who are trying to help them, especially Louise Fletcher who is equally good as the truly despicable Nurse Ratched. The scene where Jack ‘fakes’ the baseball game is beyond priceless and the whole cast of characters are guaranteed to charm. Also a great bittersweet ending.

61. The Producers (1968) dir. Mel Brooks- Mel’s first film is still as hilarious and politically incorrect as it ever was. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder are both dead on as title characters who attempt to put on the ultimate Broadway flop and cheat their investors with hilarious consequences. Yeah some of the 60s stuff may be dated (though Dick Shawn as LSD is a RIOT), but it’s never dull and more importantly always funny. While I never saw it performed live (so perhaps I missed something) the musical version with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick was just dreadful. Again, maybe it was good on stage, but I just can’t see how it could have possibly won all those Tonys. Stick to this one, I say.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I whistled that theme song all day for nothing

So just a few quick thoughts before I continue my epic movie list (which I hope everyone is enjoying). I worked all day today at the lousy Rona Home and Garden (from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM) and I really do need to find real work quick. I just can't do this shit anymore, it ain't for me. Perhaps some people are content with being a retail peon, but I'm just not one of them.

Plus it's officially over between me and hot paint department girl (though it was never on). I elbow my favorite co-worker (who is a wholly decent fellow around my age and the person I'm most chummy with) when I saw some woman who looked really hot from behind. Lo and behold, it was her! She was not in her work clothes, wearing very flattering jeans and her hair was dyed another colour (also very flattering). So a few minutes later a few people including myself, her and my buddy are chatting about things and of course her new hair comes up! So I use this as an in and joke to her "Yeah, I didn't recognize you at all, in fact I just said to (dude) 'check out that hot girl over there'". Nada, nothing. I thought it was sort of a cute thing to say, but I got nothing. I'm not surprised. So now that I know that she couldn't care less if I were dead or alive is to instead repulse her so much, to the point of a potential sexual harassment lawsuit. At least having her hate me is something, right? Okay perhaps not.

On a similar note, I was downtown today (indeed for the first time since school ended) while waiting for my chums to show up before we grabbed a beer and then went off to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I'm not sure if I'd never noticed or plain forgotten how many REALLY hot girls there are in downtown Toronto. I'm sure I have noticed but probably chosen to put it out of my mind. Anyways I was standing on the corner in Yorkville for perhaps all of ten minutes and saw like twenty REALLY attractive women walk by. I don't mean just good looking chicks, I mean REALLY hot, like wow hot. And I can pretty safely say that none of them were looking at me and none of them ever will be. Every time one walks by, I die just a little.

Finally, Indy 4 will most certainly not be a late addition to my list. I really don't even feel like reviewing it. In hind sight it's certainly not a truly awful movie, but it was pretty bad. There were some nice little moments and a few parts when I was trying really hard to enjoy it, but I just couldn't. I don't recall a single moment that I really felt any excitement though there were more than a few when I was just shaking my head. The cast tries real hard, although Cate Blanchett and her horrid wig are less than convincing. Harrison Ford and Karen Allen do have some really cute moments (I've always liked her), but the script is just an unholy mess. 19 years to write this garbage? Simply awful. Like Natmac said, 19 minutes on acid could have produced better and that's not far off the mark.

So with that I will return to work on part two of the list. Be back in a bit folks.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The list to end all lists begins here

Well, I can't say just how many hours I've spent on this one but I'm sure I've devoted more time and energy to this altogether pointless list than I have to any essay I ever wrote in my university career. Granted it is mostly for my own twisted benefit (and for that of the seven or eight people who read this) I truly believe my list to be far superior to the IMDB top 250 or the AFI Top 100 or even Sight and Sound's fine but far too snobbish list. My list is an interesting mix of many different types of films ranging from silent classics to European art films to old Hollywood classics through to some newer blockbusters and pretty much everything in between. I've tried to represent all genres as well as I could, but this is all according my taste, so it's all subjective. I'm not sure if this is a list of the 'greatest' films of all-time or merely my favorite, but I'm inclined towards the latter. At any rate, should the two go hand in hand when one single person makes such a list? Makes sense to me.

At any rate, here is the first installment of My Top 100 Films of All-Time. I will unveil the entire thing over the next week or so and hope everyone enjoys. Let the debate begin!


Films # 101-81

One Froggy Evening (1955) dir. Chuck Jones- Okay, so I’m cheating a little bit. Not exactly a movie, Chuck Jones’ magnum opus is the best cartoon of all-time and I thought I’d toss it in as a bonus entry. A poor schmuck discovers a magical frog that sings and dances, but only when he’s watching. If you’re feeling too lazy or impatient to sample anything else on this list, start here. In about seven minutes you’ll see why Jones is the best cartoonist ever.

100. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) dir. James Whale- Better than the original, this is the Universal horror movies at their peak. Opening with a great scene involving Mary Shelly discussing her own story (great meta-fiction) and it takes off from there with Dr. Frankenstein creating a mate for his monster at the behest of the mad Dr. Pretorious. Great showy performances abound full of atmospheric set pieces and effects all around. If you love the old time horror movies, this one is the very best.

99. King Creole (1958) dir. Michael Curtiz- My favorite Elvis movie and as a huge fan, I felt compelled to include at least one. Great story and a great cast (including Walter Mattheu as the villain!) it’s a shame that Elvis was soon pushed into doing so many forgettable and formulaic musicals, because he really did have true, natural acting talent. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) this one is even better than the more well-know Jailhouse Rock. Dark and perhaps even noir-ish (gasp!) it’s a must for any Elvis fan and a great film even for those who aren’t.

98. Broken Blossoms (1919) dir. D.W. Griffith- Very early silent film, in fact it’s almost ninety years old! Perhaps it is somewhat dated in style and attitude, but I still think it’s as moving as ever and thankfully avoids so many of the racist traps of the time. A Chinese immigrant falls in love with a beautiful young lady who is abused by her brutish father. A touching story about two young outcasts, this is a moving and thoughtful tragedy.

97. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) dir. George Roy Hill- Just a really fun movie about a pair of outlaws you can’t help but cheer for, Newman and Redford have to be among the best screen pair in movie history. A blast and a half (a ‘hole in the wall’ if you will), this one is a grand old time, a great western albeit with a subtle but distinct 1960s flavour. Sadly I can’t ever watch it again because it reminds me of something that I’d rather not revisit. Too bad, I’d love to see it once more.

96. Manhattan (1979) dir. Woody Allen- While Annie Hall won all the Oscars (and is a fine film), it wasn’t on my two film shortlist of which Woody Allen film to include. This one won out over Crimes and Misdemeanors, though it was a close call. Wonderfully New York through and through, it’s a comic gem, shot in glorious black & white, accompanied by a wholly appropriate George Gershwin score. I’m totally convinced that if Annie Hall hadn’t come out only two years earlier, this one would have been a far more serious Oscar contender (and a deserving winner). Perhaps in many ways it is as if Woody just tweaked the earlier film to make it that much better, but I can’t says I mind at all.

95. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1958) dir. Don Siegel- Despite all the remakes (of which one is semi-decent) this 1950s pod-people from outer space flick remains among the most chilling and disturbing films of all-time. Even though many associated have denied it, it’s a brilliant Cold War allegory as well. Fast paced and endlessly entertaining, it’s old school paranoia at its best. Sadly they tacked on a more optimistic, pseudo-happy ending to appease the censors, but if you’re smart, you know when the film really ends.

94. Chimes at Midnight (1965) dir. Orson Welles- Unbelievably never even released on DVD, I had to buy a third-rate VHS copy from some shifty company at quite the cost several years ago. Orson Welles, the greatest genius ever to come out of Hollywood couldn’t secure financing to make a movie if his life depended on it, had to cobble together what money he could and make brilliant films in whatever country it was cheapest to work in. Case in point this film (also titled Falstaff) which is a brilliant combination of several Shakespeare plays (though mostly both parts of Henry IV) into this remarkable study of Sir John Falstaff. The budget is next to nil (something which is painfully clear) but the vision is undeniable. Track it down if you can, it’s well worth it.

93. Ran (1985) dir. Akira Kurasawa- Kurasawa’s final masterpiece, on a very basic level it’s King Lear transposed to feudal Japan, but in reality it’s so much more. Visually stunning, it may be Shakespearean in many ways, but it’s also vintage Kurasawa. Not only is it an emotional triumph, it also contains some of the most vivid battle scenes ever filmed. Very few great directors remain great towards the end, but this one bucks the trend. It jumps out at you nonstop, in many ways even more vibrant than real life. One I’d love to see on the big screen if I ever got the chance.

92. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) dir. Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones- Perhaps not even their best film depending on who you as (many prefer Life of Brian), this one is beyond silly, nerdy and oftentimes downright stupid. Sometimes the jokes even do fall flat, but there are so many of them that do work, it’s probably the most you’ll ever laugh in the span of 90 minutes. There’s a plot in there somewhere, but it’s probably best to just ignore it and enjoy all the bits, whether they be great extended sequences (like the hilarious Black Knight scene) or the countless throwaway gags. If you’re in a nutty mood it’s hard to beat this one.

91. Reversal of Fortune (1990) dir. Barbet Schroeder- A great film that's dominated by perhaps an even greater performance. Jeremy Irons is at his showy best in this bio-pic as the despicable, yet innocent (so he says) Claus von Bulow, accused of inducing his wealthy wife’s irreversible coma. Glenn Close is top-billed but (literally) comatose for much of the film and Ron Silver gives a strong turn as the crusading lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Irons was a no-brainer Oscar winner in this one, droll and hilarious. He’s the perfect rotten scoundrel, someone you just LOVE to hate. Plus it also works as a fine legal film. Oh so highly recommended.

90. Triumph of the Will (1935) dir. Leni Riefenstahl- Easily the most difficult film to include on the list, no question. It’s very simply a Nazi propaganda piece, which should make most decent folks cringe and rightfully so. Hardly entertainment (unless you’re a fascist) it is however a magnificent achievement in filmmaking if looked at objectively. Brilliantly shot and one can easily see how effective a work of propaganda this was. If one were to no nothing of Hitler coming into this and the atrocities he committed, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that you would see why he was so popular. Abhorrent yes, but undeniably powerful in its own way.

89. Schindler's List (1993) dir. Steven Spielberg- Ah, I feel much better with this choice. Yes, it's one of those films some people try really hard to dislike because of its widespread acclaim. But it’s just so hard to do so no matter how hard you try. Even the most hardened person will be touched by this incredible but true story of the heretofore rotten man who discovers his own basic humanity and saves his fellow man from the most heinous of horrors. Liam Neeson never got enough credit for his very real and moving performance of a flawed yet remarkable person and Spielberg truly earned that elusive Oscar with this powerful and unforgettable work.

88. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer- Even back then I’m sure they thought that this one was totally out there and it seems even more so now. So much of it shot in close-up, with relatively few inter-titles, this is truly a film unlike no other in which the human face tells the story. The camera is everything here, you just sort of go where it goes and the result is nothing if not hypnotic. I’ve heard it referred to as influential and a landmark and a breakthrough, along with a dozen other adjectives. But still there’s nothing else quite like it; it really does stand alone.

87. The General (1927) dir. Buster Keaton- The Great Stone Face takes on a runaway locomotive and the results are a blast, plain and simple. Of course there are many hilarious bits, but the stunt work here is what takes center stage. Remember they didn’t have computers and the like back in 1927, this was all done with a real life moving train and people could well have been killed! Somehow a flop when it first came out (I can’t see how), this is physical comedy as it’s absolute finest, of the kind we’ll never see again.

86. Total Recall (1990) dir. Paul Verhoeven- Arnie’s best movie, it’s a clever and action packed thrill-ride about a man who may or may not simply be living out a secret agent fantasy, albeit one which takes him to Mars as a potential liberator for the mutant population with the help of alien technology. Convoluted yes, but also nonstop fun, multiple viewing might not help you decipher the puzzles but it’s always a great way to kill two hours, guaranteed.

85. My Favorite Year (1982) dir. Richard Benjamin- Really entertaining film about the Golden Age of television, with Peter O’Toole giving a magnificent performance as a slightly faded (and very drunk) film star who agrees to appear on a 1950s variety show. As a thinly veiled version of Errol Flynn, O’Toole is beyond charming and the movie’s old-timey feel makes you feel all cozy inside. The fact that this great actor has never won an Oscar is truly one of the great injustices in this world.

84. Shane (1953) dir. George Stevens- Alan Ladd gives one of the most iconic western performances as the gunfighter who just wants to settle down, but of course finds himself drawn into the quarrel between the decent homesteaders and the ruthless land baron who wants to drive them out. Ladd is just great as the mysterious and conflicted soul whose past you never do fully find out about. Jack Palance is also great as the ruthless man in black who is sent to take Shane out. Grand western, too bad they don’t make movies like this anymore. Come back Shane!

83. Midnight Cowboy (1969) dir. John Schlesinger- Actually rated X when it came out (!!) it’s obviously not nearly as shocking and controversial today, though it still remains a powerful character study of two losers trying to make it in New York City and ultimately failing. Both Voight and Hoffman are superb. Really a pretty depressing film, but so well done that you’re willing to look past it. Also Harry Nilsson’s rendition of “Everybody’s Talkin’” is chilling. I’ve still not figured out if they’re supposed to be gay or not though. Anyone?

82. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) dir. Peter Hunt- As a fan of the James Bond films, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a 007 flick and therefore it has to be this one. Lazenby is so often given a tough time by fans and while he certainly is no Sean Connery, he did have the good fortune to star in the best Bond film of them all. In truth he really is a lot better than his critics make him out to be and the story and action are simply top-notch. Diana Rigg is also the best Bond girl of them all and the heartbreaking ending is…er, well a heartbreaker.

81. The Rules of the Game (1939) dir. Jean Renoir- Yeah it’s because of this sort of black & white, pretentious Euro-trash ‘films’ that a lot of people look down upon on these sort of lists. The sort of film that could be seen as being elitist and totally inaccessible and of little interest to the vast majority of the film going public. And that’s probably a fair assertion. But it’s also an immensely charming, no-holds-barred farce on the French upper class, one that turns deliciously deadly in its final act. Not one I’d necessarily recommend to everyone, but if you’re something of a film snob like me, you’ll love it.


I do apologize for the length of this post (and the other four parts that are yet to come) but I tried to figure out the 'read more' thing and it was too difficult. Anyways I hope everyone (all four of your) enjoy it so far and expect the next twenty films in a day or so!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Don't hate me and my crazy politics!

Ah, so it's quite early in the morning here in the EST and I'm still awake. Why? Well, it's a long story, one I'm not going to get into quite now. Perhaps next post or the one after that. Then again by then I'll surely have forgotten all about it. So never. Nevermind! And is it just me or is EST the best of all the time zones? I mean, really. The whole world pretty much revolves around it. I guess GMT also has a solid argument, but EST really has supplanted it, so much that I think that we should be the new GMT. But that would be too confusing. So nevermind. Forget what I just said. Onto other shit.

While many Democrats thought that Bush was crazy to compare any potential meeting with Iranian leaders to the appeasement of Nazi Germany under Hitler, I really don't think he was too far off the mark. There's far too much talk from the left warning against 'saber rattling' in regards to Iran, which I think is unwarranted. They are and always have been the ones doing the rattling. Naming them as part of the 'axis of evil' didn't all of a sudden swing them back into the extremist column or anything of the sort. I know that liberals hate to think in terms of absolutes like 'good and evil' but these guys...well, they're bad guys. Sixty years after the fact anyone who speaks well of Hitler is branded as a nutcase at best and rightfully so. Yet that doesn't seem to be the case with Iran and its insane president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Do we need to wait until these guys acquire The Bomb and attack Israel? Shit.

Along the same lines (you'll see) I've actually started to become more and more fond of Hilary Clinton the more I hear from her, which is a shame seeing as she's pretty much toast now. Though I still think that John McCain is far and away the best candidate to be the next President of the United States, I actually don't think Hilary would do such a bad job. She has the experience and she has the cajones. She was right on the mark when she said that if Iran were to do the unthinkable and attack Israel, the U.S. would have the potential to utterly destroy them. It wasn't a threat or a warning, it was merely giving a stern reminder and good for her. I'm actually glad in a way that she's not likely to be the Democratic nominee, because she'd be a far more formidable opponent for McCain than Barack Obama. Despite his highly impressive rhetoric, everyday it seems as though this is a guy who is more style than substance and is someone who simply doesn't have the necessary experience to be President.

I was really going to go off on the ruling the California Supreme Court made the other night, grossly overstepping their bounds with their highly irresponsible ruling. Their ignorance in comparing gay marriage to that of interracial marriage is mind-boggling. Again, I'm sure everyone knows how I feel so I'm going to bite my tongue and not elaborate upon this. Hopefully this will go before the people of the state, allowing them to decide this. And despite the fact that I don't wholly agree with Senator McCain's stance on this matter (yet I still support him, a sign that we need not agree on ever issue) it is refreshing that he's promised to appoint judges who respect the constitution if elected president.

Anyways I'll shut up about the political shit now, seeing as how it can only create more enemies for me. Life still sucks and I feel like hell (you have no clue) but on the upside I'm nearly done my list of the Top 100 Movies of All Time, so look for it soon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I wish I was charming, even in the slightest

So although I was really feeling like shit yesterday, today I attempted to feel better about myself. Slept in a little bit. Was a really nice day, quite sunny but not too hot. Lay out in the sun for a bit, worked some more on my tan. Actually got two 'smiles' from the lavalife website (which I'm now going to try again) and sent messages to both of them. Okay I've gotten more than two but I mean from even reasonably attractive women. Anyways perhaps I might actually have some luck on it, I haven't in the past. Worked today, it wasn't so bad. I read mostly.

Was going to do something with a good friend after work, but she stood me up. I hate being stood up. It's happened several times to me and it's never fun. It's something I've never done to anyone and never would, short of me being in some sort of terrible accident. I'd always at least call if something awful came up. Anyways she did just call now (two hours after the fact) but at least she was nice enough to call. Her granddad is in the hospital it seems, though nothing too serious it seems. Now I feel doubly bad because I was quite upset at being stood up, though now I feel guilty at being angry. Still a ten second call would have been nice. Does that make me selfish? It might, I don't know.

So many things I've got on my mind, but it's mostly political stuff so you've heard it all before or at least gotten the gist of it. The blog was more baseball and politics than depression for quite a while there, but I think that the pendulum is now swinging back the other way. We shall see about that, I guess it all depends upon my mood.

One final interesting thing that I did want to mention last week but forgot about. I had gone to work one night, I think it was last Monday. When I came back to my car to go home just after 9:00 PM, I noticed the item pictured below on the spoiler of my car. Someone had obviously placed it there, that's the only way it could have gotten there. But why? Was it randomly done? Did someone somehow know the car belonged to me? Perhaps it was just lying in the vicinity and someone assumed it belonged to the owner of the closest vehicle and placed it there? Anyways, I just don't know and likely never will. Still I thought it was interesting even if no one else will.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Even the ducks have each other

In a sign that my level of sanity has been downgraded from "questionable" to "highly suspect", I have actually named the ducks who live in the little forest behind our house and come to our back yard for food. They are Albert and Harriet. Even though they look pretty much like any other ducks you've ever seen in your life, I'll try to snap a photo tomorrow if I think of it.

So I was walking around the mall today, just having purchased some paper towels and a copy of Playboy (seriously) when I decided to 'check out' some rather hot girl who walked by me (there are plenty of them in the mall) and I think I got 'caught' (i.e. she noticed that I was checking her out'). I definitely saw her smile, though I'm not sure if it was at me in a good way or while thinking "what a fucking goof". At first I felt sort of good about myself in thinking that she somehow reciprocated, but now the more I think about it the more likely it was that she only saw me as a pathetic and ugly creep and that she didn't smile at me or even in amusement but rather at the fact that I'm so pathetic.

You see, for this brief moment I foolishly thought I was attractive and actually felt good about myself. I have those occasionally but they never last. Even if I did somehow feel good enough about myself to go out somewhere and meet women, who would I go with? Exactly. I'm now so depressed that I can barely move, barely force my fingers to type, barely even lift the beer to my mouth. Now that is depressed.

There's a girl who works at the salon next to me...there used to be this cute receptionist I would always go and flirt with but she's no longer there. I've even mentioned her here a few times. Sort of asked her out a couple of time but was turned down cold. Anyways, this girl who happens to work there now, I clumsily flirt with when it's slow (so all of the time) and even though I've heard her mention that she has a boyfriend, I don't see the harm in it. Until now.

Today I was hanging around their little counter area and she was killing time by facebooking when I said something like "hey, how come I don't get to be on your facebook". So she adds me and it turns out we have several mutual friends. Lo and behold we went to the same high school, though she's two years younger than I. We both had no clue. So I check out her page and I recognize the dude who appears to be her boyfriend...also someone I went to high school with, who is even a younger than her (and something of a dolt if I remember correctly)!

Why does this make me depressed? It just does. I wasted high school, I wasted university I wasted everything pretty much. Or perhaps not. Perhaps I'm just at the very bottom rung of attractiveness and I never had a shot to begin with. Every time I feel in the least bit attractive, something puts me back into my place. Everyone has had more than me in pretty much any way you can think of. My confidence is zero and there's really nothing out there that could ever boost it. I Everyone else seems to find someone, even if it's for a little while, that's still better than nothing. I on the other hand am going to die alone and that can't come soon enough.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Blog...with a vengeance!

So I just had my last (ever) exam yesterday and while I don't think I did that great on it, I know I didn't fail it either. My mark might not turn out to be great, but I know that I'll at least pass everything. Which means I'm done. It's over and finished with. I actually did it. I took like three years off, went back to school and completed the thing. Good for me. Now what? I'm not even sure what I have to do, procedure wise. Do I have to let them know I want to graduate? Will they automatically see that I've completed all my requirement and send me a diploma in the mail and let me know regarding commencement? Or do they just email me a certificate? If that's the case, I'd probably print it out on the lowest quality...cartridge ink is expensive y'know.

So I have this huge backlog of thoughts and instead of going into massive detail like I usually do, I'm going to attempt to get through all of them as rapid-fire as possible. Ready? Go.

I don't get the whole Miley Cyrus controversy thing. I mean, the photo isn't that offensive to begin with. In fact my big issue is that I don't even really consider her jailbait...she's just not good looking enough. I mean I could wait for Hilary Duff to turn 18...ditto Hermione from the Harry Potter movies. But Hannah Montana? Eh, she just doesn't do it for me.

Oh yeah, Clay Aiken is totally straight. No doubt about this one. I'm wholly convinced.

I was driving to work the other day, a trip that takes me something like 1.8 kilometers (or 2.88 miles). Along the way I spotted FIVE police cruisers waiting to nab people speeding. Fucking horseshit. I mean, I have lots of respect for the law and really appreciate the job these brave men and women do, but this always fucking burns me up (especially since a couple of speeding tickets almost ruined my life). They devote all these resources to nailing moms who are late picking their kids up at school or people who have had long days at work and briefly neglected to check the speedometer. Yet pretty much every night I hear punks racing down my quiet residential street going 100 and nothing is ever done about it. Take care of the real problem instead of this bullshit cash-grab.

Check out the results to IMDB's poll question for April 28, 2008. Most people answered "I am not familiar with most/any of these films"??? Holy fuck. That and the fact that The Shawshank Redemption is apparently the second best film of all-time is why my list (upcoming) is going to be much better than that on IMDB (or the AFI list for that matter).

I can't believe that the Milwaukee Brewers not only signed once effective closer Eric Gagne to a $10 Million contract, but that they continue to stick with this guy. He's a shell of his former self. As our good pal Beer once said to me, no one has gone from 'Hall of Fame' to 'Liability' to 'Grandma' in such a short span of time.

William Baldwin is the epitome of a liberal jerk. Not only is he attempting to push his politics on his brother Stephen, he actually refers to the bible as "that crap". What an asshole.

Lastly, why do I never get a text message like this? $110 for an eight ball? I mean, shit that's a good price. Granted I'd pay double that if I even had any hook ups whatsoever (which I don't), but dang. At prices like those how could one afford NOT to be doing coke? That's what I though.

I'll try and be back with more insanity tomorrow perhaps.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I really should be studying

I am really the absolute furthest thing from a conspiracy theorist. While I certainly don't believe everything that I read (unlike some people I know), I know I'm a pretty smart guy, someone who really doesn't buy into things like the CIA peddling drugs or 9/11 as an inside job or stupid shit like that. People who buy into shit like that are idiots, plain and simple. But something very funny is going on right now.

I'm talking about the U.S. Democratic Primary in Indiana. Something fishy is (was, depending on when you read this) going on in Lake County in that state. For some reason the vote was VERY late in coming in there, with some very flimsy excuse that they wanted to release all the ballots at the same time as they counted the absentee ballots (which could have been counted well ahead of time). As of the time I'm writing this the results aren't final, but I think that they're trying to essentially 'find' whatever number of votes it will take to put Barack Obama ahead in the state.

Now I'm no supporter of the Democrats, so this shouldn't matter to me, but I think it stinks. This seems to me like old-time vote rigging, something that goes on in Zimbabwe, not in a country like America. Shit that used to happen back in the olden days, like in the 1960 Federal Election which Kennedy won as a result of the dead rising to vote en masse in Texas and gross irregularities in Cook County, coincidentally right next door to the current shenanigans. I do have to admit that I've always been a big fan of JFK's, he was a fine President and I much prefer him to Nixon but I'm not so naive that I won't acknowledge that his victory was questionable at best. In this case I'm a little less forgiving, seeing as I personally think that Hillary is the far superior candidate, despite the fact that Obama will be a much easier target for Republicans come November.

Anyways, just thought I'd throw it out there. The coverage has pretty much ruined my planned night of studying, so I might as well blog about it. Oh, I also think I'm turning into one of those idiot sports fans who is convinced that they somehow affect their team, despite the fact that it's impossible. Earlier today I boasted (in a reply to another post) about the Jays' winning streak and sure enough, I did jinx them. Not only did they lose, both of their shortstops had to exit the game with injuries, with Johnny Mac's looking particularly painful. Hopefully it's not as bad as it looked. Still, I'm now further convinced that I really am good for nothing and bring nothing but pain and suffering wherever I go.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Little time, even less effort on the post

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, but I'm in the midst of studying for what should (hopefully) be my last two exams ever. I have one Tuesday morning and one Wednesday night, so I'll try to be back on Thursday, provided this doesn't kill me. I've actually been making a real concerted effort to study and finish things up on a semi-respectable note. Still you know things aren't going all that well when you take a break from studying to do the math on how poorly you can do on the final and still pass. According to my calculations, if I at least show up and get a borderline pass on both exams, I'll at least not fail the courses. Still, I suppose I should ensure that I manage at least that much. So back to attempted studying (nothing is being retained).

Sorry for the really shitty post, this may be one of my weakest ever. If I were judging the blog on the basis of this, I'd bail too. I'll have to do better next time.
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