Time for not only year-end movie lists, but the beginning of decade-end movie lists as well!

With my apologies from the people at Times Online, who have posted their version of the top 100 films of the decade.  Yes, this is a British online magazine, so the tastes may differ, however it’s pretty extensive.  Again, I have marked the ones I have seen and have some of my comments next to a few.  All movies are listed with (Director, release year).  Thus far I have seen 32, own 4 not watched and have 27 of them in my Blockbuster queue.  I am a bit surprised at the list, but again, I think it skews from the British mindset.

Without further ado, here we go!

100 The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006)
99 Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)
98 Crash (Paul Haggis, 2004) [This movie has been in my DVD player (which holds 5) for at least two years.  One day I’ll get around to watching it!]
97 Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-Wook, 2005)
96 Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)
95 Amores Perros (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2000)
94 An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2006)
93 House of Flying Daggers (Zhang Yimou, 2004)
92 Dirty Pretty Things (Stephen Frears, 2002)
91 Lantana (Ray Lawrence, 2001)
90 Wedding Crashers (David Dobkin, 2005)
[Really?  This movie?  Frat boy humor has never really been my cup of tea.]
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“Steal a Pencil For Me” Review

I know that there are people that don’t like documentaries.  I know there are people that don’t like subtitled movies.  Conversely, I know that there are people that ONLY watch documentaries or movies with subtitles.  I am neither of these people.  I like all movies, and occasionally I find myself in the mood for a true story or something a bit more realistic than the CGI enhanced schlock that seems to be prevalent among today’s selection.sap-index1

I had recorded the movie Steal A Pencil For Me when it aired on my local PBS station a few months ago.  I hadn’t been in the mood, so to speak, for a story about two people in a German Concentration Camp.  Depressing movie, I thought.  Gritty subject matter, I figured.  Plus, I didn’t feel like crying as I was almost certain I would.

Well, the only part I got right was the crying.  What a moving story.  Two individuals meet in Holland at a mutual friend’s birthday party in the early 1940s.  She is 17, he is 27–and married.  His marriage is over, and both parties involved know it but agree to wait until after the war to get divorced.  Then Hitler invades Holland and their entire world is changed. Continue reading

I thought Pixar was for kids?!


I have the disk of all the Pixar short films.  (I’m sorry, but Geri’s Game is just freaking brilliant!) I’ve seen them all before, but it’s still fun to see them again.

Have you seen Tin Toy?  It’s the one with a new gift for a baby and he hides under the furniture with the rest of the toys that are afraid of the baby.  It’s a great little film, even won the academy award for best short film.

Can you blame the toys for being scared, though?  That is one seriously disturbing looking baby.  Its appearance is just darn creepy!  The oversized the diaper, the too-short arms, and the head!  With the skin!!  It’ll give me nightmares, that’s for sure.  Just plain weird!!!

A Fitting Eulogy and Must See Movie!

Fred Knittle

Fred Knittle

If you haven’t seen the movie Young At Heart yet, please run, don’t walk, to your nearest Blockbuster store or Netflix queue and grab it. It is a heart warming story about a choir consisting of seniors, average age is over 80, who tour while singing songs from The Clash or Sonic Youth or Coldplay, etc. It is a moving story of how you can’t let age stop you from enjoying things and how sometimes the community of peers you surround yourself with is what makes you stronger.

That being said, one of the stars of the movie, Fred Knittle, passed away this week.  He was such a comedian, and I will never think of the BeeGees again without remembering him toting his oxygen tank. A writeup on his passing was in USAToday and can be found here.  I have also copied excerpted text from Anthony Breznican’s article after the jump.  Once you see the movie, let me know what you think! Continue reading

I don’t hate Christmas. I just hate a Christmas STORY.

I know. I, a 30-something female that came of age in the 1980s, should love this flick.

I’m sorry. I just don’t.

Sure, Ralphie is cute in his dorkiness. Yes, when I bundle up for football games and cannot lower my arms to my sides we make reference to the snowsuit scene. I have seen this movie a hundred time–at least!–and have no desire to watch even a single second of the 24 hour TBS marathon every year.

Let’s talk logistics, to begin with. Ralphie says he wants a Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the 93 minute movie. This means that roughly every 3 minutes and 19.2 seconds he is reiterating the phrase. Which 80% of the time is followed by the admonition of the closest adult regarding his ocular safety. Then there is his little brother. I don’t know about you, but if we didn’t eat we sat at the table until we either a)ate, or b)fell asleep. And if it was option b, we then had the same plate of food at the next meal until we ate it. None of this ‘show me how the piggy eats’ bullshit. Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a week from the tanning my hide would have received if I had tried to pull that off.

Then there is the concept.  I don’t care if someone triple dog dares me to do it, I am NOT sticking my tongue on a frozen telephone pole.  (Incidentally, the kid that played that role starred in another 80s classic I love, The Toy, before going on to star in porn flicks.  Go figure, there must have been a commodity for tongues that had been ripped to shreds because of freezing.)  Plus,when I was growing up, if I asked for something 28 times in 93 minutes, there wasn’t a chance in hell i’d get it because I’d been nagging so much.

I will stop now, and not go on.  Although I could that’s for certain.  I just had to vent.  This one movie is the sorce of 24 solid hours of programming on one station alone, which I honestly feel is about 23.9 hours too many.

A proud member of the non-conforming Christmas movie club

As I’m sure I have made clear, I am a pop culture junkie.  I love movies, the theater, television, books, and just about everything else that makes you believe a story.  Especially movies.  In a not-so-fantastic childhood I was able to escape my own life for hours at a time by living through the characters I saw on the screen.  Great 1950s musical stars, old Hollywood contract actresses, even the kooky Helen Hunt in Girls Just Want To Have Fun.  Great way of taking your mind off of things.

At no time is there a larger plethora of feel-good movies than during the holiday season.  From the classic Dr. Seuss to the lovely Charles Schultz, there are many to choose from.  (Side note: Did you know that the Charlie Brown Christmas show was originally an ad for Coca Cola?  They took that part out of the now-shown version.  Cracks me up.  Movie noted for maintaining the true meaning of Christmas was originally a 60-minute commercial.) I have my favorites, of course.  But there are a few that don’t exactly thrill me either.  I’ve never cared much for Christmas Vacation, for example.  I have never cared for the Nutcracker on Ice..  Things like that.

But the one movie that I absolutely cannot stand is It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading