Archive for March, 2012

One list to rule them all..

I can’t honestly remember the first documentary I ever saw.  I don’t know if it was on VHS, DVD, or in the theater.  Maybe it was Terror in the Aisles.  I watched that a lot when I was a kid.  Regardless, I did not really come to have an appreciation for the art until I was well into my 20’s.  Since then, my eyes have been opened to the endless possibilities that the documentary presents.  There are so many stories that can be told in so many ways.  In the hands of a capable filmmaker, a great documentary can be as good and is often better than any big budget feature film opening at any theater on any given weekend.

With that in mind, I present my five favorite documentaries.

5.  The Paradise Lost trilogy (Paradise Lost, Paradise Lost 2:  Revelations, Paradise Lost 3:  Purgatory)

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky in this epic series of films recount 20 years in the lives of three young men accused, tried, and ultimately convicted of a gruesome multiple homicide most of the world came to feel they did not commit.  One of the genuine moments of happiness I’ve felt in the past year was when it was announced that the West Memphis 3 were to be freed.  The trials and tribulations of the three, who went into prison as young boys and emerged 20 years later as hardened and thankful men is equal parts tragic, riveting and infuriating. Ultimately, the series serves as a testament to the human spirit and to show that sometimes, no matter how long it might take, justice truly can be served.

4. American Movie

In chilly Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt has a dream.  He’s an aspiring filmmaker and he has envisioned an epic movie:  Northwestern.  Problem is…well, Mark’s got a lot of problems.  He’s unemployed, a bit of a drinker and still living with his parents. The documentary chronicles Mark’s attempts to raise funds for the feature film by producing and selling a dark short he calls Coven.  He pronounces it “COH-ven,” but hey, it’s his movie.  He can call it whatever the hell he wants.  Along side the intrepid auteur is his long time best friend, Mike Schank. Mike’s a burn out and all he wants is to get drunk, get high, or both.  Mark & Mike are a true dynamic duo and the movie constantly fascinates in it’s depiction of one’s man desperate and often futile attempts to realize his dreams.

3. The King of Kong:  A Fistful of Quarters

Rarely in any film, be it a documentary or a narrative feature, have the lines between good and evil so clearly been drawn.  Steve Wiebe is a former Boeing engineer who found work as a science teacher.  During his off hours, he likes to play Donkey Kong in his garage and has set for himself the goal of achieving a world record score, a goal which he achieves and submits to the official keeper of such records, Twin Galaxies, via videocassette.  Here enters Billy Mitchell, the previous holder of the record.  Billy Mitchell is a cocky, arrogant ‘rock star’ amongst arcade game lovers and their ilk.  He disputes Wiebe’s record because it came during an unsurpervised taping and on a machine that he claims has been illegally modified.  He uses his influence with the owner of Twin Galaxies to have the record thrown out.  Wiebe attempts to clear his name by challenging Mitchell to a one-on-one competition.  Mitchell is the ultimate villain and you will hate everything he does.  Wiebe is the ultimate underdog, facing down a global organization and industry that owes it’s only real legitimacy to man he’s trying to overthrow.

2. Hands on a Hard Body

Surely you’ve seen such an event on your local news.  Some radio station has partnered with some car lot and a whole bunch of contest winners gather early some Saturday morning under a big tent in front of a big truck.  They place one hand somewhere on that shiny vehicle and, hours (days?)  later, one is left standing with the keys to a new ride.  Here’s hoping they can cover the taxes.   This film shares the story of 24 people engaged in just such a competition in Longview, Texas.  Why would they subject themselves to such physical torture?  How do they plan to outlast their competitors?  Their reasons are myriad, their strategies…unique and often ill-informed.  You will find people to root for and against.  And you will laugh.  Who ever thought a Snickers bar could be so healthy?

1.  Grizzly Man

Considering the somewhat delicate subject matter some mind find it inappropriate for me to proclaim this as my favorite documentary.  After all, it deals with the rather shocking and violent death of a, by all accounts, very nice though obsessed man.  Don’t take that as a spoiler.  Director Werner Herzog, a legend amongst documentarians, establishes that fact early.  His respectful handling of the story is what makes this my favorite documentary.  Timothy Treadwell loves bear.  He chooses to live amongst them.  He names them, builds relationships with them, and tries to protect them from illegal poaching.  And ultimately, that which he loves most is his undoing.  Herzog interviews friends and family to build a portrait of the man.  He uses some of Treadwell’s own footage depicting the man in his element serving a cause that will doom him.  He does not pass judgment.  He merely reflects.  Nature can be a bitch and Herzog’s film does not flinch in portraying that.

I hope you get a chance to check some of these out if you haven’t already.  And if you have, feel free to share your thoughts and perhaps clue me in to some of your favorite documentaries.

Apparently, I’m the only person in America who didn’t see The Hunger Games this weekend.  That’s alright.  I’ll get around to it.  Nor have I read the books mainly because with the notable exception of Ms. Rowling’s epic series, ‘Young Adult’ stuff lands with a dull thud at my dainty size 7’s.

Anyway, the movie racked up the third-highest box office weekend in history behind only movies featuring Batman and Harry Potter.  155 Million Dollars.  And there are two more books in the series.  Think there’s gonna be a sequel?  Katniss is officially the shit.  And she doesn’t owe it strictly to the tween girls to whom she was targeted.  The movie drew to men and women, old and young. 

Now, I’m not here to discuss The Hunger Games.  Like I said, haven’t seen it.  I was just thinking that of all those eyes that landed on young Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role, few had probably ever seen Winter’s Bone, a film from 2010 in which she also starred and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone is strikingly similar to the newer film in many respects.  Both films take place in dirt poor mountainous regions of the U.S.  Both feature Lawrence as a young girl in her late teens who, absent a father figure, must struggle to provide for and protect her siblings and her mother.  In both films, through circumstance, she is thrown into a cruel world where adults would just as soon see her dead if it served their purposes.

Winter’s Bone, however, is most definitely not geared towards the kiddos.  In the film, Lawrence as Ree must deal with the extended absence of her father and the impact it’s had on her family.  The father is a notorious cook and dealer of meth in their Ozark town and was recently arrested.  Upon being bailed out, he disappeared but not before putting the family’s rundown home up as collateral on his bond.  As his court date quickly approaches, Ree is warned that, if he fails to appear, the county will seize the home and put her and her family out on the street.

What follows is a desperate search by Ree to bring her father in to stand for his crimes.  She doesn’t care if he’s guilty.  She can’t afford to.  She just knows that they can’t lose the house.  She encounters road blocks every step of the way as she tries to break through walls of secrecy and loyalty in a region where everyone knows what happened but no one’s talking.  Her only ally is her uncle, Teardrop , who is himself an addict.  At first. he warns her off and tells her to leave it alone.  But reluctantly he accepts that familial bonds require him to protect his niece.  And he does so with gusto.  Teardrop is played to menacing perfection by John Hawkes who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film.  The resolution is both chilling and sadly inevitable.

I picked Winter’s Bone as my favorite movie of 2010 and I stick with that assertion.  It’s dripping in southern gothic dread.  It’s just a damn fine movie.  Check it out if you get the chance.

I like these things. You should too.

The Dudley & Bob Morning Show (93.7 KLBJ FM Mon-Fri 6A-10A)

For 20 years, the premier duo of Austin radio have been bringing a healthy dose of morning reality to the FM dial. A buddy of mine listens to their cross the hall rivals claiming that he doesn’t like the bickering and bitching that comes with the guys but hell that’s half the damn reason I love them. But, there’s so many other reasons to listen.

Dale is borderline neurotic and moody, Bob can be petulant, and funnyman Matt Bearden consistently stirs the pot into a frothy state of excitement. Add in the perpetually defensive Daniel Gallo and the ever unpredictable Carissa Jaded, the freshest presence on radio in many a year, and you have a killer combo that Dale calls the best team he’s had in over a quarter century in Austin. And he’s right. Despite their frequent differences, you can tell the crew genuinely care for each other and would if not take a bullet for the other at least let it graze them.

Through numerous producers, associate producers, interns, and wacky sidekicks I’ve been hanging with the show since I moved to Austin in 2000. I was listening to them the day the towers fell and have shared every major world occurrence with them since. I see no reason to change that now.

Frozen Planet (Discovery Channel, Sundays 7PM)

The newest BBC documentary series from the team that brought us Planet Earth is absolutely beautiful in hi-def. It’s just getting started but I can already tell I’m gonna love it as much as I did its predecessor. This stuff is a joy to behold. It’s a rare treat to see, in the best possible format, things that you’ll almost certainly never get to see first hand. Check it out now on Discovery or wait for the Blu-Ray, but don’t miss it.

Y: The Last Man (DC Comics/Vertigo)

Back when I was working at the funny book store, this was my go to suggestion for anybody who was ‘looking for something good to read.’ It was my go to because it was the BEST thing to read.

In the summer of 2002, a plague of unknown origin wipes out everything with a Y chromosome save one clueless twentysomething and his pet monkey. The setup is remarkably easy but what follows is a fascinatingly complex study of the sociopolitical consequences of a world entirely run and populated by women. Beyond the global scale of the story is the personal tale of Yorick Brown and Ampersand, our heroes, as young Yorick tries everything he can to reach Australia and his lost girlfriend in the wake of the destruction of the worldwide infrastructure.

In turns funny, thrilling and tragic it has everything one would hope to find in the epic and personal story of the last man on Earth.

The first issue in September 2002 was the single best introduction to a comic series I’d ever read and I haven’t read a better first issue since. The series concluded in 2008 after 60 issues in bittersweet and perfect fashion. The entire series has since been collected in various formats and is available at finer comic stores everywhere. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Urban Dictionary defines NERD RAGE as a term used to describe extreme anger, offence, indignation, and other similar emotions by a nerd, geek or similar which can be triggered upon seeing a favorite film/show/comic book/etc degraded or insulted in some way.

You ever see some comic book geek or movie nerd, be it IRL or on-line, get all worked up and raging against the machine because they ran across some kernel of information that ruined the ending to something they have yet to see or do or read?  Yeah, me too.  I always laugh.  I have a right.

Come back with me if you will to that glorious time those of my generation like to call ‘The 80’s.’  It was a magical time filled with hair metal, ‘shot in front of a live studio audience’ TV comedies, and sartorial excellence.  If you need a reference point, find some hipster douche bag on Sixth Street.  That’s what we looked like and we listened to what’s on their iPhone.  But we were cooler because we weren’t doing it ironically.

Anyway, we end our trip back through that wonderful decade and land in late May of 1983.  I was about to graduate 6th Grade.  Elementary school was about to be over and 3 months later I would be in Junior High hell.

It was a Thursday, I believe.  The classroom was filling with the usual suspects that fateful morning.  But one young man was in a frothy state of excitement.  Jason Garcia, my oldest friend since 2nd Grade, is a friend to this very day as we have, lo these many years hence, both landed in the same town working for the same state agency.  He was full to bursting with information and he was about to unleash it on a group of unsuspecting young men and change their lives forever.  For you see, The Return of the Jedi was 2 weeks from coming out and he knew what happened.

He proceeded to tell us that Leia was Luke’s sister and was the ‘other’ Jedi referred to by Yoda and Ghost Ben in Empire.  He told us Boba Fett and Jabba the Hut died and that Vader sacrificed himself saving Luke. He told us everything.  When asked how he came to be in possession of such precious information, he gleefully told us that on the previous evening he was rifling through the Maverick Market magazine section and had come across a Marvel Comic’s graphic novel adaptation of the film.  He read through the book immediately upon returning home and just had to share it with his schoolyard chums.

State’s Exhibit A

A few weeks later I saw the film with my father.  I had to pretend to be surprised at everything.  It would be the last movie I ever saw with him.  Two weeks later, he died unexpectedly while I was on vacation with my grandparents.

Thanks dude.

I’m kidding.  I wasn’t mad.  Never was.  You see, I didn’t really care.  Nothing about knowing what happened changed my excitement about actually seeing it happen.  I still loved that movie.  Always will.  Hell, it was the last flick I saw with my dad.  How could I not?

I truly doubt that the concept of spoilers is anything new.  It’s just been given a name and allowed to assume a form.  Everyone knows what you mean when you interrupt a conversation they are having with someone about some piece of pop culture you have yet to consume.  You mutter excitedly ‘Spoilers!’ and they have to stop talking about Harry Potter cause you haven’t gotten around to reading Half-Blood Prince and you don’t know Dumbledore dies.  Yes, Dumbledore dies.  Snape kills him because of some blood oath and because Dumbledore was dying anyway and in the end it turns out Snape’s a good guy who was very loyal to Dumbledore and Harry admires him so much he names his kid after him.

See what I did there?  Spoiled the end of The Deathly Hollows.

I wonder what the first spoiler was. 

I imagine some smelly dude sitting in a pub in 1850’s Boston awkwardly reading a copy of Melville’s Moby Dick.  Some ginger immigrant comes stumbling in and notices his new American friend reading the ill-received tome that he had read while he was over the pond.  He grabs his pint and uninvited falls into a chair at the American’s table. 

“Hey matey,’ he says. “Don’t waste your time.  That book is shite.  I can’t believe they kill Ahab at the end. Crikey.  Faith and begorra,” and other such Irish nonsense.  Now if you were heavily invested in the Ahab character, you might want to give the other 3000 pages a pass.  Just saying.

Gregory Peck was a bitchin’ Ahab

Citizen Kane is widely regarded by many critics who wish to seem intelligent as THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE.  It’s a fine film, beautifully shot, by a great director at the height of his genius.  I say it’s lofty perch atop many best ever lists is open to debate but ain’t that always the way.  The film center’s on Charles Foster Kane’s dying words of ‘Rosebud’ and one reporter’s quest to discover the meaning behind them.  Sixteen hours later, with the last frame of the movie, you find out Rosebud was his childhood sled.  A cat I could understand.  Hell, any pet.  Perhaps, a plush doll of a cat or a pet.  Some young girl he knew as a child who was the only one who ever truly loved him and understood him.  A sled?  Seriously?  Not so much.  A spoiler such as this could save some people valuable time.

Yup.  It’s a sled.

Upon the release of his film Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock required theater owners to not allow late admission.  This wasn’t some fresh ‘Alamo Drafthouse-type’ idea to enhance the motion picture experience for the audience.  He was simply concerned that people, who arrived late, would be confused because they would not see the film’s ostensible star, Janet Leigh.  Why, you may ask?  Cause she get’s knifed to death in the first reel in the most notorious shower scene in movie history (the only close competition is Kevin Bacon’s in Wild Things.) Shocking?  Yes.  Spoilerfic?  Definitely.

Camera…down…just a…little?  Please?!?

The modern master, and I do use the word loosely, of the twisty spoiler-ready ending is M. Night Shyamalan.  He hit gold with Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense as a counselor whose patient is a kid who claims to see dead people.  Over the course of the film we discover that the little moppet does indeed talk to the dead.  And we watch with shock as Willis’ character suddenly realizes that he is in fact…in a shitty movie!  Actually, he realizes he’s dead.  Upon a second viewing, we realize that none of the other characters in the film have interacted with him.  He’s a ghost.  I have to admit I didn’t see this coming.  I saw it opening weekend and word of mouth rapidly spread of the surprise ending. 

Shamalamadingdong tried to bottle what he got with The Sixth Sense and apply it to his other films with varying degrees of success.  The problem was that everyone expected a twist ending and was so busy looking for clues that they didn’t really pay attention to the story.  It didn’t help that with the exception of Unbreakable, his other movies sucked.  That’s not a spoiler.  It’s a public service announcement.

Willis does his best dead Karnak.  Good job, Bruce.

The most recent example of a film that was heavily spoiled for and by my group of friends was Duncan Jones’ Moon.  In the movie, Sam Rockwell plays the lone employee of a mining company’s lunar outpost.  On a routine mission on the surface of the dead rock, he crashes his rover after seeing what he thinks is an unprotected man on the horizon.  He regains consciousness back at the mining facility, unsure of how he got back but assured of his health by the robotic intelligence (voiced by Kevin Spacey) that handles the life-support and critical station operations.  I won’t say too much but I will say I was quite shocked when Rockwell later finds the crashed rover and discovers himself inside.  Turns out he’s a clone.  Or maybe the other Rockwell is a clone.  Hint:  They’re both clones.

clonecloneclonecloneclonecloneclonecloneclonecloneclone

What?  You didn’t know that?  C’mon, the movie came out like three years ago.  If you’d wanted to see it by now, you would have.

Seriously though the fact that one or the other or both is a clone is irrelevant.  The clone revelation takes place in the first 30 minutes.  The movie is more of a study on what makes a person a person.  It’s really great and you should totally see it.

**********************************

So what is the statute of limitations on spoilers, anyway?  How long does something have to be out before you can openly discuss it without fear of ruffling feathers?  When I worked at the funny book store, we would often try to discuss the latest episodes of Lost.  One of my co-workers would shush us because he wasn’t caught up.  When we asked him where he was, he said, ‘Well, there was this plane crash…”  This was like during season 4.  I asked him nicely to go away.  There was Lost to discuss.

In this wondermous age of the interwebs, one should expect stuff to get spoiled.  If you don’t want to know about the latest episode of The Walking Dead don’t go to Twitter on Sunday night.  Avoid the Facebooks until you’ve had a chance to see it. If you click on articles on Ain’t It Cool News that profess to discuss things you don’t want spoiled, don’t be surprised if things get spoiled.

There’s a film I’m really looking forward to.  Cabin in the Woods.  It played this last week at the SXSW Film Festival to great acclaim.  It’s said to turn the horror genre on its ear.  And there’s a twist.  I want to see it yesterday but until I actually do get to see it I’m avoiding all reviews, all articles, anything having to do with the movie.  I want to go in fresh.  But if something goes all katawampus and shit gets ruined, I’ll still go.  Try and stop me.

Well…that’s that.  But I can’t help but think I’m forgetting something.

Oh yeah.

*ahem*

*** SPOILER WARNING ***

If something got spoiled for you in this article, what did you expect?  I mean seriously it’s called SPOILERS!

Every once in a while, I’ll open up the vault to pull out a forgotten treasure or an underappreciated gem

Three O’Clock High (1987)

Director: Phil Joanau

Starring: Casey Siemaszko, Richard Tyson, Jeffrey Tambor, Philip Baker Hall

This is a great late 80’s high school set comedy that became lost in the wide shadow cast by the John Hughes triumvirate of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Please don’t take that as a slight towards Hughes’ great body of work. I happen to love all three of those films and Bueller rests quite comfortably in my top 5 favorites of all time.

That said, I think anybody would be doing themselves a great disservice if they considered Three O’Clock High as just another high school romp. I first discovered it while in college. It was recommended to me by a roommate and I was immediately taken upon seeing it. All the tropes of your typical high school comedy are here but none of the characters are half as cool as any to be found in a Hughes films. And that’s a good thing. No one could ever be as bad-ass or infallible as Ferris. No one was ever strictly a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal. The characters here are more layered. More real. More like you and me. It’s a high school experience that more closely mirrors real life. As such, the comedy is not over the top and more subtle and there’s a very real menace that hangs in the air. Just like high school.

Casey Siemaszko (before he went on to get shot up in Young Guns) as Jerry Mitchell wakes up on a typical morning to drive him and his younger sister to their typical school in his POS car. Rumors are swirling of a new arrival on the steps of their hallowed hall of education. Buddy Revell (played to terrifying perfection by Richard Tyson who would go on to terrorize that kid in Kindegarten Cop) has left a trail of broken bodies behind him at his previous schools and Jerry, who works for the school newspaper, is given the unenviable task of interviewing the bully for an article. Before 1st Period is even over, Jerry has run afoul of Buddy by committing the cardinal sin of touching him. Buddy challenges our hero to a fight after school and Jerry spends the rest of the film trying to devise some way to thwart the certain bloody beating that awaits him.

Remember. When in doubt, a bro-hug can’t go wrong

To say much more, would ruin the many twists and turns Jerry’s story takes before that end-of-school bell.

Since my initial viewing, I’ve probably seen this flick a dozen times. I shared it with some good friends five years back and was thrilled when they enjoyed it as well. When I finally had the chance to appropriately bust it out for our movie group, it was accepted with open arms.

It’s always a good feeling when people genuinely like something that you introduced to them. I hope you like this movie.

But I’ll live if you don’t.

Three O’Clock High is available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

This!

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Movies, This!
Tags: ,

Casa de mi Padre

Why this? 

Because it’s entirely in Spanish and pays homage to that wonderful Mexican import, the telenovela.

Because it’s directed by one of the people behind Funny or Die!

Because it’s Will Ferrell.  And when Will Ferrell is on, there’s few people funnier.  Ron Burgundy.  Ricky Bobby.  Frank The Tank.  Ashley Schaeffer.

But not that ice-skating movie.  Or that basketball one.  Definitely not those.

 

 

 

With apologies to Franz Lizst and Ken Russell

I have a problem.

My life is controlled by lists.

My friends have noticed.  They encourage me to seek treatment.  They encourage me to be spontaneous.  Occasionally, I can do so.  But not often.  Rarely in fact.  OK.  Never.  Whatever.

I like lists.

With this new column, I will provide you, faithful readers, with handy lists to guide your life.

You’re welcome.

My Top Ten Favorite Lists

10.  Lists of Academy Award Winners

Every year around Oscar season, I’m all up in Wikipedia’s business perusing their voluminous catalog of past award winners and nominees.  It’s an invaluable resource.

 9.  The Post-It on My Door of Restaurants I Want to Eat At

Unless I remind myself to do otherwise, I’ll find myself eating every other meal at Whataburger.  And the other meals at Threadgill’s.  Not bad places but they get old after a while.  The weathered piece of yellow sticky paper keeps me honest and expanding my culinary experience.

 8.  NCAA Top 25 Football List

For 4 months every year, I anxiously await Sunday afternoons so that I might analyze the new college football rankings.  My reasons are two-fold.  I love to see my beloved Texas A&M Aggies creep up the boards only to inevitably fall right back down.  I also anxiously await to see my hated University of Texas Longhorns drop precipitously from their over-ranked preseason ranking.  I hate UT.  I hate cancer and fire and racists.  But I hate UT more.

7.  List of current and former NWA/WCW/WWF/WWE Wrestling Champions

I’m a bit of a closet wrestling fan.  Well, consider this my coming out party.  I’ve been watching on and off (more on than off) since 1988.  I can rattle off a list of former WCW World TV Champs like my life depended on it.  But every once in a while, I get a little brain fritz (I’m 40…deal) and when this does occur, I go right to Wikipedia which has a complete history of every wrestling championship ever.  I mean ever.  How else would I know that Gillberg beat Christian for the WWF World Light Heavyweight Championship, huh?  HUH?

6.  The x Best _______ Movies Lists

This one’s a perennial favorite.  Take a random number.  Now pick a genre of film.  BOOM.  You got a list of movies.  Let the debates begin as everyone hems and haws over the atrocious selection for number 1.  I love to see if other’s opinions match up with mine which is rare as my opinions are so often absolutely right while others’ are almost always wrong.

5.  My Netflix Instant Watch Queue

Hundreds of movies I wanna watch.  Dozens of movies I’ll never get around to watching.  Ten to twenty I probably will watch.  And one I was TOTALLY gonna watch tonight but it fell off the queue and became unavailable last night.  GODDAMMIT!

4.  (tie)  My Stuff To Watch & Stuff I’ve Watched Lists

I have a list of like 300 movies that have caught my eye that I want to watch.  Some of these films have been on the list for 5 or more years.  Some 2 days.  It’s a constantly evolving creature and it will never be completed because I will never have seen everything I want to.  That’s cool.  It’s the never-ending collection, a collection of experiences.  That said, when I do finally watch something that was on my radar, whether it made it to the To Watch list or not, it goes on the Stuff I’ve Watched List.  Date, Movie, Format.  No fuss.  No muss.  As of this writing, this year I have watched 64 films that made it to the watched list and probably a dozen or so more that didn’t.  I watch a lot of movies.

3.  My Movies App on my iPhone

This is a great app.  It was crucial in cataloging my movie collection.  The iPhone camera ‘scans’ the bar code, picks the movie out of the huge database and adds it to your collection.  If you were to show me a random movie, I’m 99% sure I could tell you whether I own it, owned it and sold it, or if it was borrowed by my asshole neighbor who took it with him on a trip out-of-town to show a friend and subsequently he left it with his friend who put it in his travel bag and took it to a foreign country from which he refused to mail it to my neighbor only to return to our country and still refuse to mail it because evidently the post office has stopped working in rain, sleet or in his case snow.  So, now I gotta buy High Tension again.  ANYWAY, I love this app.  It made a list of every movie I own so I didn’t have to.  Oh and for that 1% of the time I’m not sure, it keeps me from buying dupes.  Thank you Steve Jobs, you magnificent dead bastard.

2.  Year-End Best of Lists

There’s a reason a year-end best film list was my very first blog post.  I love this stuff because it allows for honest discussion about film and more often than not moral indignation at the ridiculous films included on some lists and the magnificent films left off.  I mean a couple of years ago some silly ginger said Scott Pilgrim v The World was the best film of the year.  This was AFTER he was quoted on national television ads touting True Grit as the best film.  Whatever. I was livid.  I mean the critic can change his mind I guess.  But c’mon, Scott Pilgrim sucked.  Hard.

1.  My Amazon Wish List

Even if I won the lottery and had all the disposable income in the world, I’d still have an Amazon wish list.  Presently though, my list contains everything I want, everything I need, and is in truth filled with stuff I certainly don’t need and in some cases probably don’t even want.  Regardless, it’s got a bunch of shit on it.  You should check it out and buy me stuff.  I’m not getting paid for this blog, after all.  I’m not hard to find.  There’s only 1 of me in the whole country.  Just type in my name and it’ll pull up my list. Sort by priority order, find the things rated the highest, put in cart, ship to my address as a gift and you’ve done your good deed for the day.

Now don’t you feel better?