November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Words

For my Thanksgiving column this year I wanted to do something a bit different. Taking a cue from last week, I took the letters T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G and tried to come up with as many words from those letters that I was thankful for. Feel free to use these words during the Thanksgiving meal with friends and family. Have them play a game and you'll look the best. (But you better have someone else suggest the game, or it will look rigged.)


Laureate and Dragon helped me and there were a few words I'm just not that thankful for, like HAVING, TAG, VIG, SHAG, SAVING, THIN, STINK, SINK, VAT, NAG, HAG, ANT, AINT, GAIN, VAIN, SING, GNAT, SHIN, GAIN, ASKING, KNITS, KIN, VAIN, SING.


The rest I am much thankful for, and hopefully you will be too. (Some are videos, and I hope you take the time to watch. You can't imagine how much work it took to get this thing ready.)


THE TOP THIRTY THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR THAT I GOT OUT OF THANKSGIVING



#30 Hanging (Ten) – You wouldn't believe it, but I'm quite the Surf Hound



#29 Gin (Rummy) – I don't mean to brag, but I am the world's greatest Gin Rummy player. Ever.



#28 Kang – Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos. (For another incredible Kang check out Alita Kang at www.alita-kang.com Ai mommi!



#27 Stag – You should have seen the video I was going to run here. Instead, you can look at the nice deer about to get eaten by wolves. (Actually, that was pretty close to the stag party video.)


#26 G- Thang – Look how skinny Snoop looks here!


#25 Gang – Not the Crips, not the Bloods, not even the Jets or the Sharks. The greatest gang ever? The Get Along Gang, of course!



#24 Saint/Sin – Perhaps the most famous sinner turned saint there is. Uttered the immortal words, “Lord, grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”



#23 Nat (King Cole) – The man can sing. His daughter? A leech, but papa's the Man.



#22 Ving (Rhames) – I'm not allowed to post the video I want, but let's just say the word “Medieval” comes up



#21 Ink – I will never get over my love affair with pens (and if you'd like to buy me this one, or any Fisher Space Pen, I will show you my own ball point. Wait, that's too suggestive. Um, if you want to buy me a Fisher Space Pen I will squirt my ink all over...that's no good either. I'll be very happy)



#20 Thing – He's not just “Orange Hulk,” but has his own feelings of rage!



#19 Kant – I find “Critique of Pure Reason” a bit dry, but you'd by hard-pressed to find a better argued philosophical treatise ever. (EVER!)



#18 Tank – Goes down as one of the Top Ten Military advances of all time.

#17 Sting – Did you know Sting got his name for an outfit he used to wear that looked like a bumblebee?



#16 Night – 'Cause as far as Hyperion's concerned, the night time is the right time!


#15 King – I would love to have this dude at parties.



#14 Hat – Life is just so much better with a cool black hat.



#13 Viking – These guys don't get enough credit. They are basically less gay pirates. (They raped looted and pillaged just like pirates, but they couldn't stand to be away from women that long so they stayed close to shore.) You'll also notice I am not depicting a Viking with horns, as only an idiot thinks actual Vikings had horns. In case you are one of those idiots, think a minute and see if the reason doesn't come to you.



#12 Grin – Now what's Waingro grinnin' for?



#11 Ankh - For those "cool" spiritual kids


#10 Hank (#1)– The greatest country music singer of all time.


#9 Hank (2) – I'm hankerin' for this dude to return. Who wouldn't eat cheese with this pitch?



#8 Knight – I wrote a whole movie about these guys, except mine could fly!



#7 Tang – Every growing boy's day should start off with some Tang!



#6 Skin – Here to show us the wonders of skin, Miss Heidi Klum. A big hand for Heidi, Ladies and Gentlemen!



#5 Thinking – we shore don't do enough of this



#4 Sight – Else, how could I look at whatever's caught her attention?



#3 Hag – Only because I know one, and she's as cool as the other side of the pillow.






#2 Han (Solo) – I prayed long and hard over which video to show you, finally realizing that Han Solo needs three!


And the number one word pulled from Thanksgiving that I'm thankful for.....


#1 (Genghis) Khan – My hero, whether he's conquering Asia or terrorizing a Mall

November 17, 2006

Movie Car Chases

I decided to rank the best movie Car Chases. I limited my list to the last 10 years or so. Because of technology, special effects, and big budgets I don't think it's fair to compare car chases of the '60s, '70s and '80s with today. However, I would like to take a minute to honor great car chases of yore from BULLIT, THE FRENCH CONNECTION and of course CANONBALL RUN.


(Where available I have video clips instead of pictures. You need Java to view them, and it's worth your time to do so)


Probably would have made the list had Hyperion seen the movie: GONE IN 60 SECONDS – I've only recently come around on Angelina Jolie, and this was my phase when her presence in a movie was enough for me to skip it.



THE TOP FIVE MOVIE CAR CHASES OF RECENT MEMORY





#5 THE ITALIAN JOB – I confess my memory is hazy here, but I do remember the three Mini Coopers. This car chase falls to number five if for no other reason than it does not stick out in my mind .


#4 THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (read Hyperion's Review) – What's great about it: The world's most indestructible Taxi (a Russian made Volga). That thing takes more direct hits than Tom Cruise's reputation, and not only keeps moving, it barely looks dented! I want that Volga. What's not so great: Director Paul Greengrass doesn't show the same eye IDENTITY director Doug Liman had, especially in the car chase. I get that closeups and lightning fast cuts give the audience a “you are there” feel, which can heighten suspense. However, when you go to all that trouble to film a kick-ass car chase you want to be able to see what's actually going on, and too often it's hard to tell what's happening.


The Top Three are a huge step up......



#3 THE BOURNE IDENTITYWhat's great about it: Everything. First off, the car chase has the best Car Chase Theme Song ever (EVER!), with Paul Oakenfold's Ready Steady Go. Next, the pacing is incredible, never trying to go over the top, while always keeping the adrenaline going. Finally, the filming gives enough perspective so you can see they really are doing those stunts through the streets of Paris (at least most of them). Terrific job all the way around. What's not great: My understanding is that car chases compel women to remove clothing. Why Franke Potente is impervious to this immutable fact is beyond me.



#2 RONIN (read Hyperion's Review) – What's great about it: Just like the rest of the movie, they don't try to be flashy. Elegant is the best way to describe what you're watching, to the point that it's almost understated. Years Before BOURNE thrilled audiences with wrong-way chases through Paris streets RONIN perfected it. Even though (like all car chases) the stunts are improbable they are shot in such a way (and our belief in the characters is such) that we almost believe they might really be able to pull it off. From a technical standpoint the most flawless car chase in history. What's not great: I just watched the movie last week and I can't remember the music. With better music RONIN'S car chase would rightly take its place as one of the best action sequences of all time.


And the number one car chase in recent memory.....


#1 THE MATRIX RELOADED (read Hyperion's Review) - What's great about it: The wizardry of Star Wars may be more accomplished, but for wide-eyed stupefaction in the theatre I don't think I've ever been more blown away then RELOADED. And in a movie full of jaw-droppers, the car chase tops the list. The sheer audacity of what they attempted is uncharted territory, and even understanding the technical prowess available with computer rendering you're left speechless. Heck, I'm impressed they could have invented technology do some of that. Highlights include the fight on the truck, the destruction of that car's hood, the HOV ghosts, and of course the Kitana Sword moment at the end. What's not great: The only points I can take off is that we know going in how much had to be FX, especially since most of what they try would be physically impossible. Still, a minor quibble. RELOADED forevermore raises the bar on what a car chase can be.


November 14, 2006

NOVEMBER

For some reason (read: a desire to avoid work) I found myself staring at the word NOVEMBER, and wondering what words I could make from that. Never one to squander a Rank Everything opportunity, I turned it into a list. For your viewing pleasure, I present:


THE TOP TWENTY-FIVE WORDS YOU CAN MAKE FROM NOVEMBER



#25 Never – otherwise known as the odds Koz will win the “Best Rack” contest over on Monkey Barn.



#24 Berm – I don't even know what this is. Something do do with a ship, right?



#23 Meer – I don't generally like cats, but when you spell it with a K I'm on board.



#22 B-Mer – Okay, a cheat, but who wouldn't want one of these?



#21 Boer – I was going to go with “bore,” but who likes those? At least the Boers fought some cool wars.



#20 Morn – I ain't a fan, unless I look over and see a slinky dress on my floor, and hear the sound of bacon from the kitchen.



#19 Moen – Next to Farrah, the best faucet there is



#18 Norm – mostly for the comic strip “The Norm,” but the other one too. Say it with me: “Norm!”



#17 Ore – 'Cuz I'm all about the Natural Resources, baby. (And you can take that more than one way, wink wink.)



#16 Bone – Especially when it's followed by a “Thugz & Harmony. For no particular reason, this reminds me of one of Andrew Dice Clay's Naughty Nursery Rhymes (Did you know he was on the last season of M*A*S*H?) Anyway, if you're easily offended you might want to skip to the next item: “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard, to get her poor dog a bone. But when she bent over, Rover took over, and gave her a bone of his own.” (OH!)




#15 Beer – I don't drink it myself, but Kapgar would cry if I didn't include his beverage of choice. (Schrodinger might cry too, if she wasn't loaded on Apple 'Tinis.)




#14 Rove – Your pick: either the kin to “Roam” or the hand inside the puppet himself: Karl.



#13 Moe – Syzlak, not Stooge.



12 Room – I think hotel rooms are my favorite rooms, especially when a nice lady or two might just stop by.



#11 Veer – my favorite running play back in football was 34 Veer (the 3 Back in the 4 Hole). I was a Right Tackle then, and the Tight End and I could open a hole that would make Courtney Love jealous.



#10 Beever – This guy is an incredible artist, sort of the street version of M.C. Escher. (Why, what did you think I meant? Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of play 34 Beever would make?)



#9 Move – Only because I so want to.



#8 Oven – Mostly because the Outlaw camp doesn't have one, and I sorely miss it.



#7 Nerve – Mostly for that creepy song in KILL BILL VOLUME 1, Twisted Nerve. You know: the whistling song when the nurse is walking towards the bride's room? Plus: “How dare he put that word on here! Of all the _____!” (hee hee)



#6 Born – But only if it's free. Actually, now that the Democrats have taken over Congress, being born at all is going to get tougher and tougher. (Note: it may seem like my goal for this list is to piss off every woman alive, but that's only because women don't have a sense of humor.)



#5 Over – I just watched AIRPLANE last night. It may be a simple joke, but naming one pilot “Oveur” and one “Roger” just leads to high comedy.



#4 More - What Hyperion likes to say at dinner. (What Hyperion likes said to him later on that night.)



#3 Ember – RemEMBER, it only takes a spark to get a fire going....



#2 Ever – Best Word Ever! (EVER!)


and the number one word you can make from NOVEMBER....



#1 Men – Without them, how would women know their place?




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