Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

The French, as Groundskeeper Willie once famously intoned, are a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, their rifles made of rubber so that they might bounce back into the empty hands they’ve thrown up in certain defeat.  Their cuisine is confusing.  Their language rolls off the tongue like a razor blade.  Their personal grooming and bathing habits are suspect.  Yet despite all these terrible qualities, this otherwise hopeless country has managed, like a blind squirrel finding a nut, to get at least one thing right:  Horror.

In the new millennium, a group of talented French filmmakers unleashed a new wave of horror that would make even the most jaded of gore hounds take pause.  Filled with unfortunate souls in unfortunate situations, these films are often bloody, frequently bleak, and almost always morally nihilistic.  They are not easy to watch but they are well made and well worth your time.

Here are some of my faves!

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5.   La Horde (The Horde)

A group of dirty French cops invade a tenement high-rise under the control of the vicious drug gang that was responsible for the death of their colleague.  Their quest for vengeance is thwarted in a vicious gun battle leaving casualties on both sides.  Before the surviving gangsters can dispatch their enemies, an unexplained zombie apocalypse lays waste to the city.  Trapped on the top floor of the building, now surrounded by the undead, the two forces join sides to navigate their way to a parking garage that serves as their only avenue for escape. Along the way they must deal with their fallen brothers, now risen and hungry for flesh, and their distrust for each other.  The flick is relentless.  From the cops siege of the building to a final showdown in the garage with the few survivors and hundreds of zombies, the pace never lets up.  The final shot is so perfectly depressing and so very French.

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4.  Haute Tension (High Tension)

Two young college girls get away for the weekend to the country house of one of their parents.  After a nice meal with the family, they settle in for the night.  The visiting girl, Marie, is still awake when she hears someone at the door.  Her friend Alex’s father answers.  And all hell breaks loose as a madman is unleashed on the unprepared family.  As the killer stalks through the house, Marie hides under her bed just as the killer enters.  Finding no one, there he moves on.  She comes downstairs just in time to see the vicious predator dragging Alex into his truck.  Marie sneaks into the truck before it drives off setting up an ultimate confrontation with the killer that will decide both her and her friend’s fate.  There is an ill-advised third act twist that almost derails the whole flick but one can forgive it for all the goodness that comes before the big reveal.

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3.  Ils (Them)

What’s up with the French and their fear of the countryside?  Several of the films on this list involve isolated folks surrounded by malicious forces with emergency services not readily available.  Here, a young nurse leaves the big city returning to the country home she shares with her boyfriend.  Their evening is interrupted by strange noises and music coming from outside.  They investigate and see someone drive off in their car.  They return to the house only to find that they are no longer alone as unseen parties begin tormenting them.  The film is short and economical with no fat on the bone.  It conveys with brutal effectiveness the couple’s realization that their lives are in jeopardy.  The film is all the more disturbing because it seems entirely plausible made even more so by the reveal that closes it.  Highly recommended.

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2. Martyrs

This film is not for the weak of heart.  It is unflinching and brutal in the depiction of its subject matter all the while taking sudden turns that keep the viewer guessing just what the hell might come next.  It opens with a young girl escaping captivity from an abandoned warehouse and briefly follows (through videotape footage) her recovery.  It then jumps to a typical family enjoying a simple weekend breakfast…in the country (See?!?)  A doorbell rings.  The father answers.  A cold, dead-eyed young woman, Marie, is at the door.  And she is about to unleash hell.  Her motives become clear as she exacts bloody and indiscriminate revenge.  Her accomplice, Anna, another woman abused in her youth, is shocked at the level of violence, almost sympathizing with the victims.  Soon, Anna won’t have time for sympathy.  The film bravely asks whether violence and pain serves a purpose.  More bravely, it answers that question.

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1.  A l’interieur (Inside)

I was fortunate enough to first catch this film at a horror con that came to  town a few years ago.  That viewing continues to be one of the most visceral and nerve-wracking theater experiences I’ve had in my 40 odd years.  As the lights went up in the theater, my body unclenched from the terror to which it had been subjected the previous 82 minutes.  I let out a deep breath knowing I’d been exposed to something special.  The story is simple:  A widowed mother-to-be, alone in her house on Christmas Eve and scheduled to have labor induced the next day, is set upon by another woman who wants what the protagonist must treasures:  her child.  The lengths this total stranger will go to claim her prize know no bounds.  The film’s violence is almost operatic, escalating by the minute as the antagonist lays waste to anything in her way.  It ends on an image so profoundly heartbreaking it will test your soul.

 

These fine films are but a sampling of the great offerings France has had to offer in the last decade.  The French New Wave has slowed down a bit but the product that has made its way overseas speaks for itself.  It’s not for the squeamish or for those who get morally outraged.  Because, remember, the French have no morals.  Such a dastardly people.  And cinema is all the better for it.

 

I love a good old-fashioned time travel flick.  There is of course the Back to the Future trilogy.  You’ve got wonderful Terry Gilliam gems like Time Bandits and 12 Monkeys.  You even have great movie romances that tackle the subject such as Time After Time and the heartbreaking Christopher Reeve vehicle, Somewhere in Time.  I find that I most appreciate the movies with multiple time jumps.  They usually involve someone trying to fix a wrong only to create a new timeline where everything is all catawampus.  Then they try to fix that and so on.  You get the point.  It’s often referred to as the butterfly effect.  So, it’s only fitting that I begin this list of perhaps lesser known or under-appreciated time travel movies with…

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5.  The Butterfly Effect

This is a nice little sci-fi thriller that should not be lumped in with its inferior direct-to-video sequels which to their credit don’t star the at times grating Ashton Kutcher who is at his well-behaved best in the 2004 original.  Kutcher plays a collegian prone to frequent blackouts in times of stress.  His was a troubled childhood filled with abuse both sexual and psychological.  While reading his journal entries from his youth, he discovers that he can send his mind back in time to occupy his past body.  He realizes these little mental jaunts through time are the source of his blackouts and he decides, that like Sam Beckett, he will put right those things that once went wrong.  Oh that it were that easy.  His actions, of course, have unforeseen consequences.  It’s a little shoddy.  It’s definitely trashy.  But if you just like a pure time travel yarn, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

4.  Retroactive

James Belushi is Frank who, along with his co-dependent girlfriend, picks up a stranded motorist on a lonely road in Nevada or New Mexico (I don’t remember which…maybe Arizona?)  Anyway, the grateful motorist, a psychiatrist by trade (played by the fetching Kylie Travis), quickly recognizes the signs of an abusive relationship and realizes Frank is not such a good guy.  She decides to bail at the next gas station but bears witness to a shocking act of violence by Frank.  She takes off on foot through the desert with Frank in hot pursuit to eliminate her.  She stumbles onto a research facility where a lonely scientist is studying time travel. She explains her situation.  He offers to send her back so she can save the lives previously taken.  The carnage continues as everything she tries to fix the situation results in more death and more jumps back in time.  Finally, she decides to take control and confront Frank directly.

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3.  Triangle

The UK brings us this trippy little tale that loops back in on itself multiple times before a devastating conclusion.  Melissa George plays Jess, a single mom with an autistic son.  She’s more than happy for the opportunity to get away for a while on a boating trip with some friends after dropping the kiddo off at school.  They hit a strange electrical storm on the open waters which disrupts their communications and capsizes the boat.  The survivors come across a bizarrely empty cruise ship and desperately search for a way to contact the coast guard.  They quickly realize they are not alone as a masked assailant begins stalking and killing them one by one.  Jess soon discovers that she is in a never-ending time loop and decides that she will do whatever she must to break the cycle and return to her son.  There’s some really clever stuff and striking images in this one.  To say much more would be to spoil the fun.

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2.  Primer

Filmed in Dallas, TX in 2004 on a budget of $7,000, writer/director/star Shane Carruth delivers perhaps the smartest time travel film one is ever likely to see.  The simple plot is that a pair of scientists stumble across the key to time travel.  As most people would, they decide to make money by using advance knowledge of the stock market.  Then they decide to play.  And that’s when things get ugly.  It can all get a bit confusing considering Carruth made the choice to use actual technical jargon as opposed to spelling out the science for the viewer.  Since its release the film’s cult status has grown.  There are web pages devoted to tracking the many alternate time lines that are created by the protagonists multiple trips back.  There’s a scene near the beginning of the third act that will blow your mind and make you doubt everything you’ve seen prior.  This is truly a film that rewards multiple viewings.

1.  Timecrimes

Written and directed by Spanish wunderkind Nacho Vigalondo, this is quite possibly the perfect little small-scale time travel movie.  Hector lives with his wife in the Spanish countryside in a house they are renovating.  One pleasant afternoon while she is off shopping, his spies with his binoculars a comely young lady undressing in the woods just beyond his property.  Being a dude, he goes to check it out only to be attacked by a pink bandaged man.  He flees the scene and breaks into a nearby building.  An intercom bursts to life instructing him to hide in a large mechanical device.  When he emerges from the machine, a scientist is waiting and informs him that he has gone back several hours in time.  Hector then sets out a mission with, against and back again in time to discover the truth behind the man who attacked him.  Ultimately, a great sacrifice must be made to protect the one he loves.

Writing about all these movies makes me want to watch them all over again.  If only I had the time.  Wait a minute.  Maybe, just maybe…

One list to slay them, One list to flay them, One list to kill them all

Jason Voorhees is undoubtedly one of the top movie slashers of all time, sitting comfortably in a triumvirate of terror with his good friends Mike Myers and Frederick Krueger.  The films chronicling the wacky misadventures of the sometimes living, sometimes dead Voorhes, like those of his compatriots in carnage, are a mixed bag to be sure.  But if you like movies where stupid people are dispatched of in increasingly ridiculous and creative ways, well…there’s definitely some gold in them thar hills.

To wit, I present to you my favorite Friday the 13th movies.

5.  Jason Lives:  Friday the 13th Part VI

This was the second of the series that I saw in the theater.  I was 15 so I had to sneak in.  Wasn’t the first time (that was Beverly Hills Cop) and it wouldn’t be the last.  The film wisely chooses to ignore the events of the fifth movie, the conclusion of which sees Tommy Jarvis poised to inherit the mantle of the man he killed in the fourth movie.  Here, Tommy had decided that a dead Jason is simply not enough.  Never mind the fact that the guys been dead like 10 years.  Tommy decides the best time to dig up and burn the body is during a thunderstorm.  Said thunder brings the lightning that strikes the metal rod Tommy has angrily jammed into dead Jason’s cadaverous chest.  Tommy’s misfortune is our gain as said lightning revives Jason, setting him upon an undead murderous rampage that lasts another 5 movies.

4. Friday the 13th (2009)

The reboot/remake that attempted to restart the franchise back in 2009 is a divisive film for Jason faithfuls.  I rather like it if I’m being honest.  It’s got everything you could possibly want in a slasher pic about a dude with a hockey mask.  Creative, bloody kills.  Boobs.  A likable hero and two possible survivor chicks.  It even deftly references the very first film in the franchise.  The movie made a fair enough amount of money and was certainly the best, or at least enjoyable, of the Platinum Dunes ‘remakes’ that come out from time to time.  It was primed for a sequel and there was a lot of talk of it being in development.  But here we are three years later and there hasn’t been a peep about it in a long time.  The only comfort, and it’s a cold one, is that Jason like all good slashers won’t stay dead.  He’ll be back.

3.  Jason X

A three word tagline is all you need to know about this movie:  Jason…..in…..SPAAAAAAAACEEEE!  The film opens with Jason in the present at his old stomping grounds. mysteriously returned from his unfortunate and misguided trip to Hell.  He is quickly taken down by paramilitary forces and put into suspended animation only to be revived on a spaceship in the far future.  With cybernetic parts.  Yeah.  It’s patently ridiculous but adeptly pulled off.  There’s a likable crew of soon to be dead victims serving on the deep space vehicle and there is a brilliant holodeck type sequence that harkens back to the good old days of Camp Crystal Lake.  Great fun is to be had here if one just merely allows it.

2.  Friday the 13th Part VIII:  Jason Takes Manhattan

 I’ll admit that I wasn’t particularly fond of it at the time.  But its place and worth in the series’ history has only grown in the decades since I first saw it.  Jason’s chilling and chained at the bottom of Crystal Lake after being dragged underwater by the spectral father of some psychic chick.  Don’t ask.  That’s Part VII:  The New Blood.  And it’s a mess.  Anyway, there he is just waiting for some party boat filled with late 80’s tragedies to come sailing by pulling up an exposed underwater power line that will spark him back to murderous consciousness.  Good thing that exact thing happens.  Said boat is headed for Manhattan.  There’s a great boxing match and at the end Jason reverts to his childhood form before dissolving in a pool of New York sludge.  It’s the perfect analogy for the American dream.

1.  Friday the 13th:  The Final Chapter

It may be the most inappropriately named movie in the history of cinema, but the perfect storm of Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman help elevate the fourth film in the series to the top of the heap.  Set just a few days after the carnage of the 3D offering, another group of incredibly intelligent young adults throw caution to the wind and rent a cabin on Crystal Lake situated about 20 feet from the fresh, fly ridden corpses Jason recently left behind.  Their cabin is located next to that of the Jarvis family, a mother with her teenage daughter and younger son who evidently don’t get out much or read the newspaper in those days where the internet was just a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.  Feldman plays the boy who is obsessed with horror films.  He’s wicked handy with a machete and a knife as Jason soon discovers after laying waste to all those other poor unfortunate souls.  This would have served as a fine ending to the series.  But I’m glad it didn’t.

Enjoy your Friday the 13ths, dear readers, whenever they might occur.  They, like blonde haired flat-chested murder camp counselors, are few and far between.

One list to rule them all

Imagine: Our erstwhile hero/heroine is confronted with crazy events. People around them die or go missing. They’re being chased by a faceless menace. And in the end, it turns out that they are simply bugnuts and nothing we’ve been seeing is the truth because all the crazy was in their head.

I don’t know when I first was exposed to this terrible plot device. I do know that I found it very annoying. I present to you the five worst examples of this wretched trend to warn you. So that you will stay far away. There be spoilers ahead…if you consider spoiling a crappy movie a spoiler.

A Beautiful Mind

Russell Crowe plays John Nash, a brilliant Princeton mathematician, in this biopic directed by Ron Howard. There’s so much wrong about that sentence I just typed. I’m not sure I’ve ever truly enjoyed a Ron Howard film. I sure as hell didn’t enjoy this one. Nash struggled with schizophrenia during his college years and eventually develops a fantasy world to serve his insular nature. Of course, we don’t find this out until the end when it is revealed that his clever, witty charismatic roommate…NEVER EXISTED. He was just in Nash’s head. Look, the movie won a Best Picture Oscar. That doesn’t mean a damn thing. Ron Howard blows.

Identity

This is the only one of these ‘gems’ that I’ve seen twice. It starts as a clever spin on the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians) set at a run down desert motel. It maintains a great whodunnit pace until the pointless, out-of-left-field ending where it’s revealed that all the characters we’ve just seen get killed were merely split personalities of some sweaty fat dude chilling in the back of a cop car. You see the crazy, serial killer personality was fighting for control…and oh never mind, even John Cusack can’t get me to watch it a third time.

Secret Window

Johnny Depp plays a famed mystery author with a wicked case of writer’s block. John Turturro plays Shooter, the odd man who shows up mysteriously at Depp’s cabin accusing him of plagiarism. As Depp asserts his innocence and tries to prove Shooter wrong, his accuser becomes more malevolent and violent. Yeah. You guessed it. Shooter’s just a figment of crazy Depp’s imagination. Imagine that. A crazy writer. It’s based on a Stephen King short story which I’m sure is much better. Read that instead.

The Ward

Take Identity. Replace that funny guy from Say Anything with that hot chick from Drive Angry. Substitute the beat-up motel with an insane asylum for girls. Add absolutely no nudity from Ms. Heard. Multiply by the disappointment that this dreck is directed by John Carpenter, the man responsible for some of the best horror/action films of the 70’s and 80’s. All of it together equals a giant monster turd. Fifteen minutes in I looked over at my friends and said, ‘I swear to God, if this has one of those shitty Identity/Rear Window endings, I’m gonna scream.’ I screamed.

Shutter Island

Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this dud is beautifully shot, decently acted, and long. Two-plus hours is a quite the haul to find out that Leo is just some crazy wannabe gumshoe who went off his nut when his wife died. Some creative therapy by a wacko doctor played by Gandhi has our hero running around the big island trying to solve some mystery that has no real solution. Of course, we don’t find that out till the end. I knew it going in cause I’d read the book about the same time some of these other stains had come out. Not sure why I watched the movie. Maybe I hate myself. Maybe I’m a sadist. I don’t know. The film gets the top spot on the list because it’s directed by Scorsese who should have known better. C’mon Marty. You directed Raging Bull. GoodFellas. Kundun! Well, maybe Kundun isn’t a good example.

So there you have it. Five movies you should avoid as though your life depended on it.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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.

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?