Turtles have lists as well - Part Zwei
It feels like time for the second list that turtles have. And never fear, there haven't been, aren't, and won't be any boy shorts. Just some lists of movies, televsion, and those in them.
Well this IS ostensably a movie site, but unlike some others here movies aren't necessarily a passion of mine. Sure there are some I really like, as will be listed below, but for me the majority of movies aren't a whole lot more than a way to pass approximately two hours. It's not easy to tell a gripping, interesting, poignant, or even entertaining story in the time available during a movie as Hollywood can easily attest to. But then again, I'm a huge fan of Best Brains and their MST3K work.
15. What the 'bleep' do we know? I'm one of those people who watches 'space night' on Tuesdays on the Science Channel and/or the History Channel. This little docudrama is well done, both with the story and the science behind it. How else could quantum physics make the big screen?
14. 12 Monkeys This is the movie where I discovered that Brad Pitt can actually act. Bruce Willis can too, but Pitt was a revelation when I first saw this one. Terry Gilliam puts together a very Gillianesque film that has enough twists and turns to hold your attention while you follow Bruce's exploits. Good job Terry.
13. Big Fish This is the way a fairy tail should be brought to the screen. A little drama, a little comedy, a little horror, a little romance, a little mystery; wrapped all together with a fine cast with some excellent acting. I don't know, or frankly care, how the critics reviewed this, it's just well done storytelling in more ways than one.
12. Maverick Not critically overly well received, this for me is Mel's best. Starring with James Garner and Jodie Foster, it's a rather predictable story that comes across very well, and that's due to the acting in my opinion. Jodie obviously has fun with a role she was hammered for being given, and Mel and James and the rest of the cast seem to share her enthusiasm. It's just fun.
11. Idle Hands I won't begin to try and speak for the reader, but when I was in the latter stages of teenagery, I enjoyed my dope. More than some, less than others, I liked it. Personally if it was legal I'd enjoy it still. But that's an entirely different issue. Idle Hands makes the list for it's wacky fun protrayal of what stoners would be like in a horror movie; comical. And the dog pushing scene is just icing on a tasty little cupcake.
10. Wizards Yes an animated piece made my list here at 10. Wizards is Raplh Bashki's best effort, by quite a bit. The storyline holds up and is always a good watch. The use of animation along with rotoscoping as well as stock footage came off beautifully. Plus it's got a great line near the end.
9. Major League The only sports movie here, for me it's one of the most accurate baseball depictions as well as being a strong comedy. Another cast that seems to enjoy their project, Major League isn't going to surprise anyone with its story or ending, but it truly doesn't matter as it fulfills the entertainment requirement and then some. Any film that manages to use Bob Uecker this well deserves it for that alone.
8. This is Spinal Tap What can I say about this one that hasn't been already. A true classic, and a must view in turtle homes.
7. Highlander Yeah yeah I know, a Christopher Lambert film? I don't care, Highlander is a great flick. A good storyline with for me the best scene transitions ever, the tale plays out in such a way that even though you know how it's going to end the ride to get there makes it unimportant, it's just good. All that AND its soundtrack is done entirely by Queen. Oh and I like Clancy Brown, especially here.
6. Dangerous Liaisons Ok I really like Glenn Close as an actress. I don't think she's overly hot, I just think she's a really really good actress. And Dangerous Liaisons has her at her best. With John Malkovich and a host of others, it's a great tale acted very well. It makes it here even though it's got an actress I don't particularly care for (Michelle Pheiffer) and a carp. [on a side note, the more modern version Cruel Intentions was almost as good, and it's got Sarah Michelle Gellar. rrrooowwwrrr ]
5. The Adventures of Robin Hood Do I need to say more than Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland? They did a number of great films together but for me this is the best of the bunch. On screen they just work exceptionally as a couple. Better than any other for me. Robin Hood movies will always have to be compared to this one, and I can't see any attempts yet to be made able to surpass it. Rollicking fun.
4. The Usual Suspects What a flick. Anyone who says they knew how it would end is either psychic or lying. The road bounces around and plays with the viewer, until it ends and you're left with a smile playing across your lips. Kevin Pollack's best, and for me Kevin Spacey's best efforts to date, the rest of the cast doesn't hold this back one iota either. I'm not a fan of protaganist friendly movies as a rule, but this one is great.
3. Brazil Terry Gilliam knocks it out of the park with this one. A wannabe utopian society withering in bereaucracy is brought to life. (dystopia) Jonathan Pryce is well cast as the lead, and the supporting roles have an entertaining fun variety amongst them. Plus its got the happy ending Gilliam should be best known for. Just a great piece of filmwork.
2. Alien The first of this series stays at the top of my list. As much as I enjoyed the second one, the first was a rip roaring sci-fi horror film. Sigourney Weaver and a solid cast do a great job bringing this b-grade budget flick to more than life. And who else seriously is going to go back for the stupid cat?
1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail No contest on this list, the Grail for me is the end all and be all of flim. Aside from the fact that I can recite the entire movie from start to finish (much to the chagrin of an ex-wife and a few ex-girlfriends) this for me is perfect Python. More people will say the Life of Brian is the better movie, and I do really like it, it's just not my favorite. The Wall Guards, Bring out your dead, the Black Knight, the Constitutional Peasant, the Witch, the Camelot song and dance, the French, meeting with god, Sir Robin, Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, the Knights of Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Bridge of Death, and anti-climatic ending. Just Gilliam running around behind Chapman with the coconuts is worth it. ALL brillant, and for me the best movie.
I don't watch much network television, as I mentioned before I'm more of the documentary type. But I've watched enough to make a short list of the best I've seen on the small screen
Wizards and Warriors - Consider this an honorable mention, but this short lived series on CBS was great. Dungeons and Dragons meets the Wild Wild West, I knew I was going to enjoy it from the opening joke. ( about a monk being punished - "what was his crime?" "selling a wine before its time.") A tongue in cheek prod at the world of fantasy that never found much of an audience in the early 80's, I remember it fondly and vainly look for a DVD to emerge from the vaults.
Almost Live - Comedy Central used to show this sketch comedy set in and around the Seattle area. Having grown up in the Northwest and having family in Seattle enough to visit semi-regularly, I really enjoyed the hometown touches this show brought out with humorous results.
MXC - With my name how could I NOT enjoy this show? Well written irreverant dialogue plays excellently with the goings-on of a Japanese game show and gets better as the series progresses. Always a good laugh.
Red Dwarf - Dave Lister, the last human, 3 million years in the future on an all but lost mining spaceship. His assortment of companions and their adventures have some original ideas and classic lines. Hilarious stuff.
Black Adder - Rowan Atkinson may be better known in America (perhaps I can't say really) for Mr Bean, but Blackadder is an absolute riot of comedy. The first series may not be as all together funny, but 2, 3 and 4 are incomparable. The characters that surround Edmund Blackadder are brilliant and Atkinson plays off them even better. An all around classic series.
Venture Bros. - I like Adult Swim, at least I used to. They still have a few good shows, but the best they've come up with is The Ventures. The anti-Jonny Quest show, this series pokes fun at all kinds of topics, doesn't take itself too seriously, and has characters that are well thought out as well as perfect villians and one-offs. Maybe it's because my girlfriend bares an uncanny resemblence to Molotov Cocktease, but this show is great fun.
Farscape - Incomparable. This is the pinnacle of science fiction writing and acting. With plenty of science and envisioned science to keep fervent techheads interested, the story of Crichton and his compatriots, especially Aeryn, is fascinating. Wild characters and scenes abound as the story starts, swerves, sways, starbursts and shoots through 4 seasons of delight. No, the SciFi Channel will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER EVER be forgiven for it's cancellation before the fifth and final season was to be made. Star Trek made this possible, but Farscape surpassed it with the fine detail and fantastic acting and stylization. All other science fiction efforts pale in comparison. Absolutely the finest in the genre.
Monty Pythons Flying Circus - Sketch comedy at its best. For anyone whose never seen it I grieve. For anyone who thinks they can (or that I can) describe or define it here, you're out of luck. All I can do is thank my mom for introducing me to Monty Python in my formative years. Thanks mom.
People places and things
I don't follow actors/actresses much these days. For what its worth with people taking on a wide variety of roles or at times being typecast into one, there's not many I'll go see a movie or the like because of, but here's a few.
Nathan Fillion - I just like the way he comes across and the characters he's portrayed. I haven't seen all his previous work, but if he's in it I'll give it a shot.
Glenn Close - Yeah she's here, I just like her attitude.
Terry Gilliam - If he directs it, I'll go see it.
Space - There was a time when I'd go see anything with a space setting. (the summer of 82 is all I should need top say, cause I remember The Day Time Stopped, Battle Beyond the Stars, Yor-Hunter from the Future, and the like) With some of the drivel that's come from Lucas, the crap that manages to be considered sci-fi, and the wreck Star Trek has become, I can't say I feel that way another, but I WISH I did.
Oregon - If it's set in Oregon, or filmed in Oregon, I'll see it. Kindergarden Cop, Stand By Me, One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, What the 'bleep' do we know, of course I have to mention Animal House (since I was in Eugene when it was filmed and saw a scene that got deleted) and others. Hey, it's home.
That's all this time, until my fingers get restless again..........