August 19, 2005

See ya!

I am going on vacation for a while. If you're new to this site, there are 30 ranking lists to look through. Have at it. If you're a regular, chill for a bit. I'll be back.

But for now the Top Ten things I will be doing on Vacation


#10 Studiously avoiding the telephone - I hate the telephone. I don't understand why I have to answer it. So I'm not going to.

#9 Catch up on Spring TV - Yes, I'm THAT behind. I quit watching most TV in March or April and started taping things for when I would be less busy. When is that supposed to happen? Screw it, I'm plugging back in with Wisteria Lane and the the Bait Shop.

#8 Answering every letter in my InBox - Why would a guy on vacation do this, you ask? Two reasons. One, hate seeing hundreds of emails every time I log on. Two, you cannot imagine the number of stupid ill-thought out letters I get. For the most part I try to be diplomatic and user-friendly. Forget that. I'm going on the warpath.

#7 Re-reading Harry Potter and The Wheel of Time - I can't think of anything better than this, no matter how long it takes, so by gar I'm gonna.

#6 Preparing witty insults for al the morons I encounter each day - I am so tired of worrying if people like me. I don't like them. Why should I care if they like me? I'm not looking for trouble, but if people want to bring it, I'm ready. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

#5 Graitch - 'nuff said. Don't have enough money for beef jerky, but I can and will have graitch.

#4 Get involved in at least one hare-brained adventure - I want to start my first column in September with the words "So there I was naked, armed only with a bull whip, facing an entire gang of Russian Mafia...."

#3 Relaunch HyperionX - It is time to burn the Internet to the ground, baby.

#2 Break the record for consumption in at least three restaurants - you're just lucky I don't drink.

and the number one thing I will be doing on my vacation...

#1 Turning 10

Up next: Check back in September

August 18, 2005

'80s Cartoons (All)

In the ‘80s, boys properly hated girls as cootie-infested monsters and girls, well, who knows what they were thinking. The battle of the sexes was fierce, constant and without quarter.

However, there was one area of d├ętente, where boys and girls could come together: cartoons. What follows are the worst and best of the decade.

Worst: Obviously the SNORKS go without mentioning. I have not seen a bigger rip off since HOME ALONE 2. Even the freaking voices were the same. And also, THE GUMMI BEARS. This was a loathsome show, with a terrible theme-song, that made fun of the portly. (They were so mean to Tubby Gummi. Grrr.)

Now the best.

#6 DUCK TALES – “Life is like a hurricane…here in, Duckburg…” You have to hand it to Disney. They took what could be a crass attempt to cash in on the Donald Duck legend and turned it into solid gold. Scrooge was fascinating, the nephews were fun, and did somebody say Dark Wing?

#5 SHIRT TALES – Okay, get this: miniature versions of a tiger, panda, orangutan, some sort of mole (I’m going from memory) and a raccoon all lived inside a tree in the middle of the park. How cool is that? But it gets better. The Shirt Tales spent their time fighting crime to keep harmony between the animals and the humans, and even had little cars and little airplanes. I wish I was a Shirt Tale.

#4 TALE SPIN – Featuring Baloo the bear (and the woman who loved him) and her little one Kit Cloudkicker. Sounds like an Indian Ninja. The deal is that Becky ran a business making deliveries by cargo plane, but there are bad guys trying to stop them. Get this: Shere Khan is a business tiger now! I saw an episode recently and TALE SPIN surprisingly holds up pretty well. Wouldn’t mind having the DVD. (And if you’re really interested one of my readers runs a Fan Fiction website you can find here.)

#3 CARE BEARS – Before they ruined it with those stupid non-bear animals the Care Bears ruled. Care-A-Lot just seemed like a swinging place, you know? Their little cars were cool, the girls were hot, and even though nobody got killed, this was a great show. Animation was great too.

#2 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. Possibly the greatest theme song of any cartoon in history. I know that’s a bold statement, but can you think of any better? The Turtles came out of a very dark comic from the ‘80s I collected, and when they made their transition to TV all cute and cuddly I initially thought I would hate them. But they simply won me over. Leonardo was my favorite, although who couldn’t vibe on Michelangelo’s surfer dude? The new version just sucks and worst yet: they changed the theme song!!! Here’s the best praise I can give: this is a boys’ cartoon and yet girls loved it. That has to tell you something.

And the number one cartoon for both boys and girls….

#1 SMURFS – There can’t possibly be an argument here (except for those people who think the Smurfs are evil and devil-worship, and let’s not even get started on those whack-jobs). The Smurfs symbolized everything right with the world. They got along well with each other. They were helpful, even Brainy when he had to be, they all listened to their wise leader, Papa. They all shared Smurfette…Okay, that one was a joke. Aside from the glaring inconsistency of how Papa begot all those smurflings without any chicks (remember: Smurfette was a creation of Gargamel), the Smurfs were perfect. They even had great idioms, using “Smurf” for everything! Makes you want to say “La La La La la la, la La la la La.

Up next: the most special list yet.

'80s Cartoons (Boys)

Today we continue our look at the best decade for cartoons, the ‘80s, by examining the top guys’ cartoons from that decade:

Worst: There were a lot of bad boys’ cartoons from the ‘80s, but two really come to mind: the GOBOTS were the worst of TV rip-offs. In every way imaginable, they paled in comparison to their cartoon cousins. I’m not talking about I DREAM OF JEANNIE vs. BEWITCHED, or CHICAGO HOPE vs. E.R., where one show was superior, but the other was good. No, the GOBOTS just sucked. Also on this list I would put GHOSTBUSTERS, only because this could have been a really great cartoon, but instead it turned out so boring and average. I mean, seriously: I can remember watching the PUNKY BREWSTER cartoon on a competing network when it was on at the same time as GHOSTBUSTERS. That’s bad. Now the best:

#3 HE-MAN – I can still vividly remember the day we tuned in FOX (then a UHF channel) by putting the TV in a different corner of the basement and messing with the rabbit ears. (Those of you under 20, ask your older siblings or parents about rabbit ears). After ten minutes of fiddling, there is was, scratch sound and snowy picture, but HE-MAN. I don’t think I could have been happier if you’d made me an actual Master of the Universe. He-Man was already huge because of the action figures. (This itself is another story, involving betrayal and my brother, but another time.) By the time they figured out to make a TV show, kids were psyched. It turned out the cartoon was not as dark as the little comics that would come with each figure or accessory (like the ultra-cool Castle Greyskull), but then again, it was TV. One thing they did was add a Clark Kent persona to He-Man, a wuss named Adam. Battle Cat had to have one too, the biggest pussy (cat) in the universe: Cringer. However, the true genius was adding Orko, this little magician thingy from another planet who was a bigger coward than Cringer. Orko brought much needed comic relief to afternoon TV. Good Times. (Interestingly, of the remakes that have come out lately, the new HE-MAN and of course JUSTICE LEAGUE are in my opinion the only ones worth watching.)

#2 TRANSFORMERS – He came to Earth to save mankind. He was despised and rejected by men, but he never forsook them as he battled the powerful enemy. Has there EVER been a more noble, good-hearted “I’d follow him into the gates of Hell” leader than Optimus Prime? Everything about the TRANSFORMERS ruled. Yes, in a way they just took the concept of VOLTRON and extended it, but in such a cool way. TRANSFORMERS wouldn’t have worked without those great personalities. Along with Optimus Prime were such greats as Jazz, Beachcomber and Hot Rod, and along with the hated Megatron was the cool Shockwave, Octane, and the most deserving cartoon of his own talk show (with the exception of Cobra Commander); Starscream. These were the heroes of old; robots of renown.

And the number one guys’ cartoon…..

#1 G.I. JOE – I know there’s a lot of love out there for Transformers and others, but this isn’t even arguable. G.I. Joe redefined cool like nothing else in the decade, except for maybe Hulk Hogan. You think about that. First of all you had great guys to cheer for. Duke, Flint, Lady Jay, Scarlett, Gung Ho, Roadblock, Shipwreck, and let’s not forget Stormshadow; the most enigmatic and morally conflicted good guy of the entire decade. But just as important (and perhaps more so), you had colorful wonderful eminently watchable bad guys. You had a supremely cool Day-to-Day Commander in Destro. You had Zartan, the Dreadnoks, Dr. Mindbender, the Baroness, the twins, and through it all, the craziest most entertaining guy you could ask for in a villain: Cobra Commander; part Hitler, part Stewie on FAMILY GUY. Now you know, and knowing’s half the battle.

Up next: best cartoons that both genders could watch (even though girls still had cooties then)

August 16, 2005

'80s Cartoons (Girls)

I think there are three things we can all safely agree on: grape popsicles are clearly the best, when a woman wants to be mad at you there’s nothing stopping her; no matter how crazy or tenuous her logic is, and the ‘80s were the definitive decade for cartoons.

I know some people will claim that title should go to the ‘70s; and I like to call these people “habitual drug users.” The ‘70s were simply too cheesy and self-referential, cartoon-wise, to be great. The defining cartoon of the entire decade was SCOOBY DOO, a parody of old detective shows, and filled with more illicit sex and drug references than an SNL skit. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for post-modern self-aware cartoons, but when you break down the fourth wall, all you’re serving to remind people is how real the story isn’t.

And the ‘90s…don’t get me started. Morning and afternoon cartoons have completely been co-opted by large corporations. The majority of cartoons seemed to serve basically one function: push whatever toy was soon to come out. Grrr.

No; the ‘80s were it for Cartoons. First of all you had the holiness of Kids’ Sabbath: Saturday mornings. After a hard week at school, there was no day a kid looked forward to more than Saturday morning, when getting up was actually fun, and cartoons ruled until 11:00 (when ABC would run that Children’s Story Hour, which was sometimes good, but most often not). A few years into the decade the afternoons became Cartoon Destinations, and yes, many of the cartoons had product tie-ins, but the cartoons existed independently too: it wasn’t so crass and commercial. (Or at least: I didn’t notice it.)

The only problem was the the ‘80s were mighty segregated when it came to cartoons. There were three types: those solely for girls, those solely for boys, and those that everyone could watch without feeling queeny. In tribute to this Animation Triad, I have the top Girls’, Boys’, and Mixed Cartoons of that glorious decade: the ‘80s.

GIRLS

Worst: MY LITTLE PONY and MUPPET BABIES. MLP was an abomination, clearly written by actual ponies. The stories insulted girls’ intelligence. Seriously, if I had been a girl, this would have caused a major revolt. Obviously I didn’t collect MLP, but quite a few girls did, and they deserved better. As for MUPPET BABIES, I only have one thing to say: when they decided not to have Baby Stadler and Baby Waldorf, they made a life-long enemy in Hyperion. .Loathsome show.

#3 SHE-RA - Obviously a knock off of HE-MAN, but they did a pretty decent job of it. Remember; this was all pre-Buffy and Girl Power, so She-Ra was a good thing for girls.

#2 JEM – Barbie meets Pat Benetar. By day she was a business woman (or something), but by night she was the lead singer in the Jem and the Holograms! Several readers have pointed out that sometimes-contributed Jerrica is the same name Jem took when in her “normal” character, and asked if it’s the same girl. Yes, yes it is.

And the #1 Girls’ Cartoon of the ‘80s…..

#1 Rainbow Brite – I used to make fun of my brother Achmed for watching this, but the truth was, Rainbow Brite was a pretty good show. If it hadn’t been about…you know…dolls, I think I’d have been a regular too. The animation was decent for the time, and most importantly, some major talent was writing the stories. As I recall, Rainbow Brite’s job was to protect color. How cool is that? With the possible exception of protecting the Childlike Empress, can there be a better gig? I thought not.

Next up: Boys’ cartoons

August 15, 2005

Bad Ideas when pulled over

I'm not sure what made me decide to post this one, originally from one of my very first columns (#3 "I think I saw some doughnuts about a mile back...") Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to do a list. I'm supposed to be on vacation people. (Which reminds me: if you want to do a guest list, now is the time, because once my vacation is over I'm back on the horse!)

Anyway, here are

THE TOP 13 THINGS NOT TO SAY WHEN PULLED OVER BY A COP

13. "I just saw a couple of your friends. One was going to Market and two were fighting over roast beef. Shouldn't you be going home?"

12. "How many bribes am I going to have to pay tonight?"

11. "I'll have a cheeseburger, large fries and a chocolate milkshake."

10. "I didn't know she was your daughter."

9. "...And I really didn't know the other woman was your wife."

8. "I've got a body thawing in the trunk so I'm kind of pressured for time, here."

7. "Read my lips: No more blowjobs!"

6. "Did you hear the one about the cop who pulls a guy over in and gets his head chopped off?"

5. "Sorry to hear about what happened to your family.......tomorrow." (Best with red contact lenses)

4. "Soouuueeeeeeeeey!!!!"

3. "Shouldn't you be racial profiling?"

2. "I'd kick your ass but I'm afraid your mom would break up with me."

and the number one thing not to say when pulled over....

#1. "Give me a break; I've been drinking."

August 12, 2005

Portuguese Women



THE TOP SEVEN THINGS ABOUT PORTUGUESE WOMEN


#7 Some of the greatest cooks on Earth

#6 They can be very loud

#5 Dark Wavy hair

#4 Exotic Skin

#3 Did we say….passionate?

#2 Fiery Tempers. (Seriously: you all know how long I’ve been looking for a woman who might get angry enough to stab me. You know the saying, “a homicidal woman is hard to find.” Thank God for Portuguese Chicks.)

and the number one thing about Portuguese Women

#1 Curves, Curves and more Curves (three words: Boo Ty Licious)

August 11, 2005

Fast Food

It might seem like I was upset at the very very very low response rate to my “Best Fast Food” request, because I called everyone who didn’t write in morons and because I didn’t post the results on Monday like I said I would. That’s not it. I was disappointed, but I waited hoping more answers would come in. They didn’t. You know, it’s okay. Probably too early in the evolution of Rank Everything to be asking readers to respond en masse. It’s just…I got so much for the driving one…I don’t know. I guess I thought this was the dawning of the age of Reader Response.

Anyway, here are the top five six responses from the few proud readers who dropped us a line:

#5 (tie) KFC and Cinnabon – if only they could combine those two flavors…

#4 Subway – I’m torn between wanting Jared killed and wanting to see him in other commercials, like for Lysol and Pamprin.

#2 (tie) Tim Horton’s and Arby’s – Don’t have much to say here except Tim Horton (HUGE up here in Canada) was a real person who died while drunk driving. I’m not saying those who go to Tim’s are supporting DUIs, but I am writing it.

And…

#1 Wendy’s - All you who did write in? You’re insane.

To right the wrong that is the above list, here’s the

ACTUAL TOP EIGHT FAST FOOD PLACES

First of all, there are only 8 spots on the list because honorable mentions absolutely MUST go to Carl’s Jr. and In-N-Out. They’re only in a small part of the US, but the burgers are simply divine; better than any on this list. In-N-Out is so good that it would be a serious contender for #1. Alas. If you EVER go to California, stop in for a Double-Double, Animal style. (And get the Western Bacon Cheeseburger at Carl’s. Simply rules.)

#8 Del Taco – I know this is heresy, but some (repeat, some) of their food is the best Tex-Mex fast food going. The only problem is how expensive it is. Still, their Taco Salad, which you can eat in the shell—and then eat the shell!—is heaven sent.

#7 Burger King – They copied a few things Carl’s Jr. does and I like them a lot better. The only problem is that their food isn’t super consistent. Sometimes the burgers are burnt. And their fries don’t rule like others’. Still, BK usually has something you want, including the sweet Croissandwich, which I believe they should sell all day long.

#6 Arby’s – Fantastic sandwiches, great curly fries; even the shakes rule. The only problem: you need to be a drug dealer to afford eating there. Unless you have one of those “5 for 5” coupons (or up here “5 for 8”), it costs like 4 bucks for a sandwich. Everything is so expensive. Too bad, really, since their food is so good. Remind me to tell you about the time I was talking to this girl in the parking lot of Arby’s and I got nervous and accidentally broke the rearview mirror. She laughed so hard I thought she’d throw up. Made her fall in love with me, though.

#5 McDonald’s – It physically pains me to put Mickey-Dees this low. I love McDonald’s, and hate the bad rap they get. Yes, others probably make better burgers, but McDonald’s is always very consistent. I can always go for it. And the nuggets? They rule. Shakes? Out of this world. Even the cookies are cool. You remember the fry commercial with the boxer…And let’s not even get started on the Happy Meals.

#4 KFC – Another place with unbelievable food, but kind of expensive. If we’re talking the next level up of restaurants KFC might be #1. I still love them. Their sandwiches rule, the popcorn chicken is good (although I can’t eat it all the time or it gets weird), and in America, biscuits and mashed potatoes. Sadly, these things aren’t available up here, which was enough to make Bear actually cry when he last came for a visit.

#3 Subway – The question you have to ask yourself is: could you eat a Subway sandwich every day of your life? I easily—very easily—could. It’s a no-brainer. With the right toppings and bread and the varieties, I can see how Jared did it. Of course, it helps to have a bread-mama who works there who will give you free sandwiches like I did, but even so…

#2 Taco Bell – Is there any hunger on Earth (with the possible exception of my hunger for Jessica Alba) that is as strong, exact and piercing as the one a.m. Taco Bell urge? How many times have you come out of a movie or concert or football game or whatever, and suddenly realized you HAD to have Taco Bell? Right then. I still remember the first time I ate three soft tacos in one bite (interlaced them and folded them up as one), or the day Bear came to me gasping, only able to make out the words “grilled stuffed burrito.” Add to that the fact that Taco Bell is the most economic place on this list…and you have the stuff dreams are made of.

And the number one fast food place….

#1 Chick-Fil-A – I refuse to even argue with you, so don’t bother. I know there are those out there who haven’t experienced Chick-Fil-A, and I don’t blame you. Rather, I pity you, like Christians pity the heathen natives. Here’s a better example: remember that Simpsons where Homer tried to fix the toaster and kept screwing up the present and finally found the perfect life only to utterly freak when he was told there were no doughnuts in the world? That’s how I’d feel without Chick-Fil-A. Hmm. Let me put it one more way. If you gave me the option of eating all I wanted from Chick-Fil-A every day or taking over the world but never having Chick-Fil-A again, I’d have to think about it for months. I’m not kidding. Since I left Georgia to enter the Witness Protection Program the two things I have missed the most are Koz and Chick-Fil-A. They didn’t invent chicken, just the chicken sandwich. Sniff sniff.

August 8, 2005

Watchable Movies (Part 4)

The Fast Food lists have been few and far between. I think what I’m trying to say is: with a few exceptions, you all suck. I’m extending it a day or two in the hopes that somewhere out there you care.

In the meantime, we have our last in the series of Guest Lists, at least for this topic. I wouldn’t mind doing this some more this month. If you have a list you’d like to contribute, write and tell me the idea. I’m pretty mellow in August.

First up, Jerrica:

10. Back to the Future: Scoff if you will, but who among us hasn't watched at least 30 minutes of this classic every time TBS has a weekend showing, and I mean every time it's on within the same day.

9. Jerry Maguire: Somehow watching Tom Cruise act desperate and idiotic DOESN'T get old if it's opposite Cuba and Renee.

8. Grease: A Whop-bop-aloo-bop....this movie is always fun. Olivia Newton John in black lycra, and John Travolta using saran wrap as a condom? Does any movie need more? A Whop-bam-boom!

7. Groundhog Day: "This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather."

6. Dazed and Confused: "Marijuana on one. Reefer on two." Who's with me? [Editor’s note: I’m pretty sure she means “who’s with me on watching?” not “who’s with me on smoking up?”]

5. Home Alone: This movie is incredible! I'm gonna give you till the count of ten to get your ugly, yella, no good keiester watching this movie. 1-2-10!

4. Breakfast Club: I always wanted to be part of the Brat Pack. This movie gave us so much from Emilio "dancing" to Molly finally acting a little slutty! Viva-la- John Hughes!

3. Princess Bride: Come on people...Andre the Giant rhyming, Inigo repeating himself, and a priest with a speech impediment? Cinema can't get any better.

2. Star Wars Episode VI- Return of the Jedi: Maybe I'm a sucker for happy endings, but to me nothing is better than epic battles, Darth Vader's redemption, and most of all... EWOKS!!!!

  1. A&E's Pride and Prejudice: Maybe you need an inordinate amount of estrogen to enjoy watching all 5 hours repeatedly, but Jane Austin and Colin Firth will always remain at the top of my list.

And last, the place of honor goes to Quincy, whom as many of you know recently moved from here, no longer to be a youth pastor, now to host the game show OBLIVIOUS. Good luck with that.

10) The Muppets Take Manhattan - Kermit, Piggy, and the gang head to New York. TV's "Muppet Show" was must see TV for me and my family while I was growing up.

9) Alien - Scares the crap out of me every time I watch it. I was way too young when I watched it (at a Children's Sunday School party sleepover) the first time. I maintain it's the most suspenseful movie ever made.

8) Crimson Tide - My favorite submarine move, but I also like Hunt for Red October and U-571. Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman's characters fight toe to toe like baseball manager and umpire. Great drama! Great music (see below).

7) Sneakers - A great adventurous flick about computers and hacking before the world witnessed the wide web we now know as the internet. A fantastic film for a guy who was considering computer programming as a profession back when it was released.

6) Tombstone - A college favorite. Watched it many times in the dorm. "I'm your huckleberry." [Editor’s note: if you made a list of best movie quotes from the ‘90s (and maybe we should), this HAS to be in the top 5, right?]

5) Goonies - A childhood favorite with lots of memorable moments. Sean Austin as "Mikey" before he was "Rudy" and "Samwise Gamgee".

4) UHF - Featuring a pre-Kramer Michael Richards and Weird Al. Great stupid movie with a lot of quotable lines - "You're a lucky, lucky, lucky little boy. 'Cause you know why? You get to drink from... the FIRE HOOOOOSE! " Kinda like a late 80's Napoleon Dynamite.

3) So I Married an Axe Murderer - Watched it at least a dozen times my sophomore year of college. "...most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare." Great music from the Spin Doctors. Anybody ever wonder what Six Pence was doing when they re-recorded the "There She Goes Again" song?

2) Top Gun - Whether it's replaying on cable or shown on all the demo-model TV's at the store, I always have to pause and watch for a while. One of the coolest movies ever made. Ever!

1) The Power of One - Emotional story of racism in South Africa during WWII. Features a boisterous score by Hans Zimmer before he became popular doing music for The Lion King and Crimson Tide.

Up next: maybe fast food, if I get some more answers. Come on, people: throw me a frickin’ bone, here!

August 5, 2005

Watchable Movies (Part 3)

I’ve enjoyed the dueling Top Ten lists this week. Today I have my cousin Jonny (note: first non-alias!) and Aviendha.

Sadly, Jonny refused to abide by what everyone was instructed: try to limit big-name movies, but then again, since when does family every listen? Nonetheless, a fine list.

1.Star Wars Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi- This one's all about redemption, sacrifice, and over coming terrible odds...not to mention that the entire dealings between the Emperor, Darth Vader and Luke are the best scenes I have ever seen in any film....ever.

2. Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back- We as Americans have all heard it thousands of times:” Luke, I am your Father" (Actually, in the film its, "No, I am your Father) Though often misquoted, it is still, mind-blowing.

3. The Shawshank Redemption- This ones got more great quotes than the Bible....Okay, not really, but its got quite a few. Throw in a great score, and top notch performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, and, Viola'....Fantastic.

4. Pulp Fiction- Revolutionary, every day casual, funny, dark, ironic, profound. These words all describe the masterpiece that is Pulp Fiction. No one had ever seen anything like this, and never will we again. Plus, I (heart) Tarantino.

5. Fight Club- We all want to have as strong a resolve as Tyler Durden. Fight Club takes American society and hangs it out to dry. This ones as brutal as it is insightful. Brad Pitt and Ed Norton shine.

6. Chasing Amy- Kevin Smith is one of the most truthful and insightful (sorry to use this word twice) writers I have come across. Plus Holden McNeil is one of the most relatable characters I have seen, and no one likes to feel that they are alone in the world.

7. The Lord of the Rings (Yes its all one movie, it was filmed as one, and the books were written as one, unlike Star Wars) Anyone who has seen this knows that it needs no explanation. Those that haven't simply suck at life and I don't care what they think.

8. Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope- Again, completely revolutionary. This is as timeless a classic as you could hope to find.

9. American Beauty- If Fight Club gets at American society, this one gets inside and exposes the lifeless, hopeless American home. Truth is beauty, and this ones got lots of it.

10. Dumb and Dumber- Completely changed comedy forever. Jim Carry gives an incredible performance which is often overlooked by all of the slapstick humor, which I for one can't get enough of.

Aviendha’s list is very cute, and I think now she needs a Care Bear name. I would also like to note she’s the first to give me her list in 10-1 format, so extra cool points for her.

10. Rear Window--My favorite Hitchcock movie, partly because I love Jimmy Stewart, and partly because it freaks me out continuously

9. History of the World, Part One--I absolutely love Mel Brooks. I get caught up in this movie so easily, especially if it hasn't gotten to my favorite part yet, the Spanish Inquisition

8. The Care Bears Movie--It's a throwback to my childhood that, although I realize is ridiculous, I still adore.

7. Dirty Dancing--Nobody puts Baby in the corner...

6. Harry Potter--I prefer the third one, which I've now seen at least 10 times, but really any one will do.

5. The Shawshank Redemption--Every time it's on TNT I just get drawn back in

4. The Great Escape--I just love watching Steve McQueen on his motorbike

3. Arsenic and Old Lace--Really any Cary Grant comedy does it, but this movie will always crack me up

2. Lord of the Rings--Even if I don't have time to watch the whole thing, I will just pop in any one of the trilogy and watch for a while at least once a month

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail--I don't believe I will ever tire of some of the jokes in this movie, and will watch several scenes over and over again (Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries)

Up next: Quincy and Jerrica

C'mon peeps!

C'mon people! I've received very few Fast Food lists, and I'm making the official list based on reader response. So, send in your top five, or you're a rhombus.

August 4, 2005

Watchable Movies (Part 2)

We continue to look at Readers’ most watchable movies. Today we have Ajax and Harriet, and you’ll notice I didn’t bother to reformat the list and put links, mostly because I’m very tired, you can look them up yourself, and other grumbly reasons.

Age before beauty, so we’ll let Ajax go first:

1. SLC Punk- Matthew Lillard as a blue-haired anti-Shaggy. Life for punk-music lovers in Salt Lake City during the height of the Regan Years.

2. Top Of The Food Chain- Ultra-megacampy horror comedy where carnivorous aliens are ultimately stopped by the power of television.

3. Star Wars, A New Hope- Of course, if you're not watching the version where Mr. Solo clearly shoots Greedo under the table in cold blood, you're wasting your time.

4. Cyrano de Bergerac- Finally, a movie with a hero with enough flaws to actually be interesting. And he's French. What are the odds?

5. Goodfellas- A genuine gangster movie without the overwhelming Ford-Coppola epic feel. What? You think that's funny? Funny how?

6. The Blood Of Heroes- A quirky post-apocalyptic film about when an innocent, harmless little game a bit like Austrailian rules football (without referees. and melee weapons.) goes horribly wrong. With dog skulls.

7. Equilibrium- Watching a society come off it's legislated mood stabilizers is some fun. And when the gun-fu dojo opens in my neighborhood, I'm totally there.

8. Boondock Saints- Irish polylingual vigilantes in Boston. With Billy Connolly. And Willem Dafoe more in touch with his feminine side than you'll ever want to see.

9. Constantine- Nothing breathtakingly new or earth shattering here: God vs. Devil for the souls of mankind, but Peter Stormare as the Devil... Better than you'd expect from the guy who played the crazy Russian in Armageddon.

10. Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead- Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Walken, Steve Buschemi, and Treat Williams as Critical Bill. Easy-heist goes bad movie, and when I say bad, I mean Buckwheat bad.

And now Harriet.

1. My absolute, all time, if I could only have one movie in my collection favorite: A Few Good Men. Well written, well cast, well acted, and who can argue with that many big names in the same film?

2. My second absolute, if I could only have two movies in my collection favorite: Gone in 60 Seconds. Beautiful cars, cool music and man that guy can drive! J

3. X-men (the first one). I like the characters Rogue and Logan, I like the twist on the idea of good vs evil, where it is harder to define which is which. I really like Patrick Stewart in movies and the friendship between his character and Magnito is sentimental. A good movie.

4. Ok, time to pull out the girl movies. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Although this is a sappy, predictable movie in a lot of ways, I think it handles the subject creatively, has some really funny moments, it has Matthew McConaughey and the total reason I watch this movie is for the great Keith Urban song and the accompanying love scene- it gets me every time!

5. Romancing the Stone –classic love story, plus it is about a writer ( my secret aspiration J)

6. Robin Hood (the Kevin Costner one) this is a sentimental one on several levels

7. Shrek- [ed. Note: Harriet forgot to write something for this one, so I’ll imitate her and say that Shrek looks a lot like her husband]

8. Thing Called Love. This movie stars: Sandra Bullock, River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney, and cameos by a number of country music stars. I watch it for the music and the dancing!

9. Diggstown. Do you remember this movie? With out seeing it is hard to describe, but basically the underdog really sticks it to the too rich and too sleazy for his own good bad guy and brings retribution where it is needed. Another really good movie

10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Who doesn’t want to be in on this joy ride, plus the music again. Classic!

Up next: More Readers' movies
Remember to get in your Fast Food list!

August 3, 2005

watchable movies (part 1)

To try something different, I asked several readers and frequent Hyperion Institute contributors to compile their own top ten list. They were told to pick any movies they wanted, but try to stay away from just listing super popular films or critical darlings. (I mean, everyone loves those.) Bottom line: you have to watch these ten movies every week for the rest of your life. Could you do it?

The first to answer my clarion call were Dominique and Koz. I thought I would present theirs together, as a sort of compare/contrast. The next couple of days we will have a few others. If you felt left out and would like a chance to opine (on this topic or others), let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

THE TOP TEN MOST REWATCHABLE MOVIES (DOMINIQUE AND KOZ EDITION)

Dominique

#10 HARRY POTTER - any one of them – all of them – I cannot get enough of it

#9 HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN TEN DAYS – we either have or know someone who has done at least of these things if not more (likely more)

#8 CHARLIE CHAN – poor #2 son

#7 THE THIN MAN – a classic tale of mystery – classic (love all of them) – W. Powell & M. Loy

#6 VICTOR/VICTORIA – a woman pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman – music – and the mafia – good stuff

#5 WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING – my fav romance – I could watch it ALL

#4 XXX – things being blown up – Vin D – and a just cause – heck yeah!

#3 THE ITALIAN JOBVenice – thievery – hot guys – wit - & cars – I’m happy

#2 YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN – “Putting on the Ritz” – Abby Normal – oh heck yeah!

And Dominique’s #1 movie she could watch forever….

#1 HOPSCOTCH – W. Matthau – a seasoned agent writing a tell all novel – taunting the CIA – and always 1 step ahead – smart & stylish flick with international intrigue and cat & mouse comedy (if you’ve not seen it – you must)

And now for Koz

#10 THE GREAT ESCAPE – 2 words: Steve McQueen

#9 GREASE – I hate to admit to this one but the music is what draws me in.

#8 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – I watch this at least once a year – at Halloween

#7 OCEAN’S ELEVEN – There are so many good actors in this movie it could have only been better if Tom Cruise had been in it

#6 LIFE OF BRIAN – 3 Words – Wolf’s Nipple Chips

#5 DEAD POET’S SOCIETY – I mean there are restaurants that got their name from this movie.

#4 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION – Before Tim Robbins became a political activist he was actually a decent actor. There are too many good actors in this movie and it has a great script.

#3 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – Who’s your Daddy?

#2 FULL METAL JACKET – Caveat – I can only watch the first half of this movie over and over. My dad was in the Marines and says the boot camp part is pretty realistic. As a bonus there are too many memorable lines.

And Koz’s number one movie he could watch forever….

#1 DAZED AND CONFUSED – Alright, Alright, Alright

Up next: Ajax and Harriet get their say

August 2, 2005

Your next assignment

Perhaps I was unwise to give the weekend for additional answers on Best Driving Song. I was crushed under the avalanche. But I guess that's a good problem to have.

I'm doing it again. I will give you until Sunday evening. I want you Top Five fast-food restaurants, and (briefly) why.

Try to stay away from restaurants that are only in your town. Go for the chains that others have heard of.

I will rank each response as #1=5 points, #2=4 points and so forth, so that #5 =1 point, and I will present the audience's choice as it comes in.

So send me your answers.

Songs to Drive to

This was such a hard list to do! I realized that I didn’t specify I was looking for songs that were real upbeat, and several people correctly pointed out that on long trips a slow set can be perfect. However, to help me narrow it down I tried to look for songs that were explosive (beating on the steering wheel), you could sing to, and only one song per artist (or it could get really messy).

Even by those standards I could only get down to 150. Koz helped me knock it down to 80, which were so good that I have like 50 honorable mentions at the bottom. Finally I decided on 30 songs. Seriously: you could make the coolest road CD ever by taking these 80 songs.

Anyway, with much sweat and tears on my part (and HUGE thank yous to everyone who wrote in, many of you edumacating me on some good music), here you go:




THE TOP 30 SONGS TO DRIVE TO


#30 LAST SASKATCHEWAN PIRATE (Angry Worms) – I’d never heard of it before this, but I took a listen and had to agree it was pretty cool. Plus, being a pirate!

#29 DREAMS (Van Halen) – This is another I really didn’t know, but have to agree it goes on the list. Personally I’d pick JUMP, but several had this on their list, so I’ll bow.

#28 SUMMER OF ’69 (Bryan Adams) – I wouldn’t put this on my list, but quite a few of you did, so it goes here.

#27 BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS (Smashing Pumpkins) – I thought this was “Ready to Cage” growing up. Am I the only one?

#26 SUMMERTIME (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) – This is a smooth groove song, and makes me wish I had a convertible just to drive around playing it

#25 I WILL SURVIVE (Donna Summers) – Just one cool lady

#24 SWEET HOME ALABAMA (Lynyrd Skynyrd) – A bonus for putting this song on the list; I just figured out how to spell the band’s name.

#23 MONEY FOR NOTHING (Dire Straits) – If only for that sweet beginning.

#22 CALIFORNIA DREAMING (Mamas and Papas) – Okay, this doesn’t rock, but it’s pretty sweet to sing while driving.

#21 HOT IN HERRE (Nelly) – You can trash this choice if you want, but you know when it comes on you sing it too.

#20 SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (Nirvana) – This would be even higher if I could actually decipher the lyrics enough to sing along more than “na na na na”

#19 DEVIL INSIDE (INXS) – Laureate correctly points out NEED YOU TONIGHT would be great for parking, but tooling around I’ll take this.

#18 EVERYBODY’S WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND (Loverboy) – This is THE perfect Friday afternoon song.

#17 ENTER SANDMAN (Metallica) – this video scared me too.

#16 MY PREROGATIVE (Bobby Brown) – I wish Bobby still sang instead of his current career of beating and getting beaten by Whitney

#15 POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME (Def Leppard) – I broke a friend’s steering wheel once rocking out to this.

#14 BLACK DOG (Led Zeppelin) – Side one of 4 could go on en masse, but if I had to pick one, this’d be it.

#13 EVERYTHING ZEN (Bush) – this video scares me, but the song sure rocks

#12 BULLS ON PARADE (Rage Against the Machine) – I hate their politics, but I sure love to make sound effects along with this song (you know what part).

#11 SLOW RIDE (Foghat) – If I had a child, I’d name him Foghat.




#10 LOW RIDER (War) – The second of what could have been 5 songs from DAZED AND CONFUSED (sorry Alice Cooper). This is the best groove song on the list.



#09 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART (Bonnie Tyler) – The Second most listed song, I wouldn’t normally consider it, but I can just see people singing it in their car, and I have to agree.



#08 STAYIN’ ALIVE (Bee Gees) – How do you pick just one song by them? This was tough, as I love all the Brothers’ output.



#07 NOTHING BUT A G THANG (Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) – When I said LOW RIDER was the best groove song, I may have spoke too soon. This song makes me wish I had hydraulics.



#06 SWEET CHILD OF MINE (Guns N Roses) – Another group I could pick 50 of their songs, but this one never lets up.



#05 THAT’S THE WAY (UH HUH, UH HUH) I LIKE IT (KC and the Sunshine Band) - Were those guys ever sober?




#04 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Queen) – Way too long and slow, but c’mon. Who hasn’t sang this with their friends? Wayne and Garth live forever.



#03 BORN TO BE WILD (Steppenwolf) – The most requested song, by far. How can I argue?



#02 I WANT YOU TO WANT ME (Cheap Trick) – Just now half the girls reading were shocked to find out this song doesn’t come from the 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU soundtrack, although I like that version too. This song just rules.

and the Number One song to drive to…



#1 LIFE IS A HIGHWAY (Tom Cochrane) - You can disagree. Hell, maybe even I would if I did this list tomorrow. But to me, HIGHWAY is a perfect driving song. Easy to sing, easy to keep beat, does that a cappella thing. Can’t improve on perfection.

HONORABLE MENTION

1999; 99 Luftballoons; All Star; As Heaven is Wide; Atom Bomb; Bad Touch; BARBRA-ANNE; BEAUTIFUL DAY; BILLIE JEAN; BLACK; BORN TO BE WILD; BORN TO RUN; Brass Monkey; CALIFORNIA ONE; CAN’T TOUCH THIS; CRAZY; DANCING QUEEN; DREAM ON; FEEL GOOD; Fire It Up; Firestarter; FREE FALLIN’; GARDEN STATE SOUNDTRACK; Gettin’ Jiggy With It; HOTEL CALIFORNIA; Hungry Like the a wolf; I CAN FEEL IT COMING IN THE AIR OF NIGHT; I DON’T WANT TO RUN AWAY; I WANT YOUR SEX; IT’S MY LIFE; IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD; JEREMY; JUMP; LIKE A PRAYER; LITTLE DEUCE COUPE; LITTLE RED CORVETTE; ME AND BOBBY MCGEE; ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG; OPEN ROAD SONG; PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHT; PERSONAL JESUS; REARVIEW MIRROR; SANTA MONICA; SCAR-TISSUE; SEMI-CHARMED KIND OF LIFE; Send Me an Angel; SINCE YOU BEEN GONE; SMOOTH CRIMINAL; SOLITAIRE; SOUL CITY; STEAL MY SUNSHINE; The Distance; TODAY IS THE GREATEST DAY I’VE EVER KNOWN; TOXIC; TRAGEDY; WALKING ON SUNSHINE; We Didn’t Start the Fire; WHAT’S GOING ON; YEAH; YOU GOT TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY; YOUR MAMMA DON’T DANCE; YOUTH AND BEAUTY BRIGADE

Up next: Rewatchable Movies




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