I'm making the most definitive list of favorite movies ever.

For every year, I'm listing every movie I've seen and compare them all to each other asking one question; Which movie do I like more. Movies that score in the 80th percentile or higher, advance to the next round: Favorite of the Decade. After each Decade is done, an All Time list will be formed.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

We got to the movie, Sunday night showing, five of us, and it was way too late. Since the theater experience is being destroyed like most of what's good about American life, not by terrorists, but by everyone being a selfish ass, every group HAS to sit with an "I don't know you" seat. Speaking of which, if you're male, and HAVE to sit at least one empty seat between you and your male friend to prove you're not gay, you don't deserve any friends, die lonely and stupid. even though there were about 20+ empty individual seats in the stadium seating, we were stuck with the front row, the one that if you looked straight ahead you have face time with a concrete wall of a stage below the screen. Movie hell. Then the trailers started, there were a couple I don't remember and no one should probably. Then there were three.. First, the new one for King Kong. Almost every image I see has me thinking it'll be one of the most wondrous movies I'll ever see. Don't worry I'm not getting my hopes up. Seeing Kong in color can't help but remind me of King Kong Lives or the Jeff Bridges one either. There's much more bad Kong than good. Not to diss on the original, which I love, but really good Kong lives in the dreams of it's fans. There hasn't been any real Kong... Real fantasy in movies is something new, that dream like quality that Episode 3 and the Lord of the Rings movies have. To watch the old Kong, you need imagination to fall into a detached escapism... but I'm buying the DVD tomorrow anyway, and will love every viewing.

So after the Kong trailer, came more evidence that M. Night Shyamalan hates life kind and civilization by punishing us with another movie (hey, I, at one point, raved about Unbreakable...) then as I sat, entirely too close to the screen, my neck breaking backwards... I cried. I was four years old, Marlon Brando's voice, that theme... then I wiped the tears from my eyes after it ended. I know I'm going to be disappointed in it. Their Superman is going to be an actor in a suit. Christopher Reeve, to a 4 year old, was Superman.

One other interesting note, my 8yo got to see March of the Penguins, my 3yo knows this. When the trailer to Happy Feet came on... wait, there was a trailer to Happy Feet in front of THIS, a PG-13 movie... more on that in a second... anyway my 3yo asks "Is this March of the Penguins?" with a sense of shock. The titles during the trailer are a bit unclear as to what the title actually is, since they have a number of stupid things to say, and Happy Feet is but one of them. My 8yo asks; "What's the name of that movie?" "Happy Feet." She burst into giggles... Well, at least we know how they came to a title.. they got a focus group of 6-9yo's and picked whichever one gave them the giggles. Assholes. FAMILY FILMS SUCK. They're generally crap. We're a family, and we basically are all but free of "Family films" The image of the American family that has been marketed to you, and marketing is your only form of education on most subjects before actual experience, is this; A white family of physically fit and overly dressed for lounging around the perfectly clean house with blinding white smiles pop in, in perfect agreement a Didney classic. Ya, I misspelled it, I don't want to be sued. I'm sure many families do this because they've been trained to, but try this... Watch anything you want. Very few movies aren't fit for children. Pop in the Godfather, the kid's will fall asleep before almost anything that the sensibilities you haven't thought through would find unfit for children. Most family films avoid how intelligent and worldly children are. By the time a kid is 13, there is nothing in Pulp Fiction that they haven't heard or seen in a public school... or in too many unfortunate cases, done. My wife's getting me Pulp Fiction fro X-mas... I look forward to my 8yo seeing it shortly there after. I'm not going to say "Sit and watch this." But I won't shoo her from the room. At one time I thought, I don't want her seeing John Travolta shooting up with a needle in instructional detail... then I realised, I do want her to see Uma's blood soaked face and Adrenaline syringe sticking out of her chest. Nancy Reagan couldn't have come up with a better "Just say No" campaign.

What the Hell does this have to do with Harry Potter? Potter is very honest to and about kids. Especially entering these awkward years, and I hope (I haven't read the books) the stories continue to grow and mature with the kids. Sure, there's way to little use of swear words, but I just assume Wizards don't use those types of words cause they have some magical significance. For all I know, having a wand in hand and saying; "Go fuck yourself!" Will result in that very awkward self-positioning.

Anyway, Nothing I could say would alter the fact that you've seen HP4 by now and loved it. I'm glad we all did... If not, leave a comment and say why you hated it...

Oh, I called this years ago, but to make it official... Daniel Radcliffe = future James Bond.

Well, hat top 5 list is sorting itself out... with only a couple contenders to go...
1.) Episode III (the DVD has been living in the player, that one keeps getting better)
2.) Howl's Moving Castle
3.) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
4.) Batman Begins
5.) tie: Constantine / Serenity
Serenity looses SOOOOO many points for being so loved and so done. It's like a date who won't return your calls.
Worst of the Year... Still that unspeakable piece of TRASH... I even gave it another chance... the PAIN.

But the real champ here is that longtime sponsor of CTW, the letter "H", since Harry Potter 4 had the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie not with a title starting with "S"... Congratulations letter H.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's Wednesday, do you know which comics to get?

UPDATE: Reviews completed!
Ya, I skipped last week. Well, Last week I only picked up the new Rouge Squadron # 2... that was it. Not enough to go to McDonald's with. Actually, while I may seem to heap buckets of praise on Dark Horse's Star Wars line, Rouge Squadron #1 is taking me longer to read the first issue, yup it's a bathroom reader, than our last art race to cross the finish line. Next post I promise... maybe... On with the week's comics!!!!

Walking Dead #23
I know, or at least I think I've said here before, that comics can be a lot like television. This week is more that way than most weeks, but maybe it's because the first two comics I got EVERY month were G.I.Joe and Transformers 20 years ago. Maybe it's just me, but somehow, those 22 pages had an equivalency with 20 minutes of television, a half hour show minus the commercials. I'm not saying a comic book NEED to fill the amount of story you'd find in a half hour of TV, or take a half hour to read even... I have no real point, except that Walking Dead, again, didn't really deliver an episode so much as it delivered a scene. Yup, one scene. Could have been one scene in a stage production... probably about 7 minutes long, and still there's a cliffhanger. We're loyal, we'll pick it up... actually my wife is sick of the cliffhangers being every issue. I can't say anything, I'm a West Wing fan too. I'm not loosing any love for this book. It's always the first read the week it comes out, but the story seems trapped in this prison. The characters are all becoming self destructive, but hey, it's past the end of the world, who wouldn't be? I guess most of our cliffhangers here for the better part of a year have all been negative, we haven't been hit with hope, yet. The Walking Dead #23 checks out the view atop the bell curve at 3 out of 5.

New Excalibur #1
Excalibur, back in the day... Read this list and close your eyes; Sweet Child O' Mine, George Micheal's Faith, U2's Rattle and Hum album... Every Rose Has It's Thorn by Poison. Hear them? Feel your copy of Super Mario Brothers 2 in your hands? Okay... Short Circuit 2, Twins, Naked Gun, Who Framed Roger Rabbit... Shit, I can smell any given dinner of that summer right now. It's 1988 and everybody but me watches the Cosby Show. The original Excalibur series came out. Hell the first 11 issues were as perfect as any of the best of mutant books ever were. The art was gorgeous, the scripts were cunning, cutthroat and never felt like they were holding anything back. Now it's been reincarnated as a title that feels designed in a staff meeting of a toy company. Okay, Marvel was having a string of doing good comics again, now it feels like they're guarding their properties as to not pee in any coffee cups at Merrill Lynch. This felt like a TV pilot, complete with FCC overlords over the shoulder of the writer. Punches were pulled here, and the lack of sincerity is noted. I'd hope for the best, but I'm gonna be cruel to this uneventful first issue; 2 out of 5.

The Book of Lost Souls #2
I want to like this book more than I do so far. It's very classic Vertigo / Sandman, and at the same time, just not to close. Somehow, this book feels expected, yet I don't know what to expect from it. So much of it seems so ambiguous at this point that your head my imagine more cliches than or in the pages. The names are top notch, Maybe I was just to excited to see J. Michael Straczynski and Colleen Doran on the same pages. Am I disappointed? No. OK, yes, I am. I wanted greatness, and It's only above average... Maybe I'm an old curmudgeon today... This is an embittered 3 out of 5. Then again, maybe not... To I weigh on the side of give non-spandex a chance, or call it for being... trite. Lets move on...

Star Wars : Empire # 37
This arc is a joy. I have little different to say than I did for issue 36.

Okay, actually, I do have a bit difference in opinion. I'm mildly irked by Luke being in this book. I'm not saying I don't care about Luke, but the fact is, I don't, at least in this story. This was supposed to be closure to one or Empire's best arc's, with the main character being Lt. Sunber. I thought Empire was supposed to focus on the other side of the lines, and humanize the Empire... which it does do, far more than prior series, but does Sunber have to cross paths with Luke Skywalker. There are neat things about Luke being in the book, one, he's a shit rebel with one high mark on his resume! That's GREAT. I like seeing Luke taking orders and not being special this early in his career, especially out of the cockpit. Hell, by Jedi Han out ranks Jedi flyboy, and you get the feeling that Luke was kinda... in the closet about being a Jedi. Hell, if Star Wars were a different, more introspective narrative we'd have probably seen tertiary Alliance characters making comments about letting him "play" Jedi since there could obviously be no more new ones, unless some survived... not that the head of the council or a general could survive, nurture and train a single uber Jedi... See, this character is too special sometimes, and that's how he used to always be treated in comics... I love seeing him have to earn a place at the table outside a fighter cockpit. It just keeps the universe small that Sunber's going to run into him... I talking everybody knows Worf, Star Trek small! So, this is... a tough call, but honestly... can we give bonus points for art... okay. 4 out of 5.

Lets get on to the real hit of the week.

Star Wars: Republic #79
If you SAW Episode 3... If you want a bar by which to judge what the TV series could and SHOULD be... and want to see the most beautiful art to ever grace Star Wars, BUY THIS BOOK NOW!!!! This is AMAZING. Just crack it open, pop in the Episode 3 Soundtrack and start at track 4. I said the other day, I'm not getting my hopes to high on the Star Wars TV Series, I want it to be amazing, but I don't want to be disappointed due to expectations... I could easily, EASILY be as good as Deep Space Nine's Dominion war seasons. I don't expect it to be as good as Galactica, though the feel must be similar, the worlds of the republic have been torn apart by war and lost their culture and we know it's decades before the Alliance scores a win. Could it be at a Galactica level or better? YES! Republic #79 should have been the pilot episode! But, it's too beautiful to miss... Look!

... Do I need to say it? Ya, cause it FEELS good....
This is a 5 out of 5!!!!!!

See ya next Wednesday.