Saturday, July 07, 2007

100 Years of Robert A. Heinlein

I almost didn't make it, but today is the 100th anniversary of Robert A. Heinlein. I just wanted to mention it; he's one of my favorite writers, and I have every one of his books. Thank you, sir, for writing them. Especially Friday and Stranger in a Strange Land. And even Time Enough for Love.

"A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future."

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

500 Faves

Since everyone seems to be doing their personal 100 lists, I thought I'd just join in. Except, I'm doing 500. Not the 500 greatest movies ever made, but my 500 favorites. The movies I love, the movies I've grown close to, the movies I get caught up in no matter how many times I've seen them. My personal 500. I know 500 seems like a lot, but it's one-twelfth of the movies I've ever seen. And everything released in theaters counts for me. There are unorthodox choices, unpopular choices, some movies that are just plain stupid. But I don't care. They're my favorites. Presented without comment, in alphabetical order, 25 a day until I'm done.

SamuraiFrog's 500 Faves

1.A-Plumbing We Will Go (1940)
directed by Del Lord; starring the Three Stooges"Where are we?" "What do you care as long as we're not in jail?"

2. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
directed by John Cromwell; starring Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon, Mary Howard"Well, it just happens to be the thought that's always heaviest on my mind."

3. About a Boy (2002)
directed by Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz; starring Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz"The thing is, a person's life is like a TV show. I was the star of The Will Show. And The Will Show wasn't an ensemble drama."

4. About Schmidt (2002)
directed by Alexander Payne; starring Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney"Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow, it doesn't matter. Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone. None that I can think of. None at all."

5. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
directed by Terry Gilliam; starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce"Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."

6. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)
directed by Irving Rapper; starring Fredric March, Alexis Smith, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale"Oh, if only you knew. What you have considered my death has been greatly exaggerated."

7. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)
directed by Will Vinton; starring James Whitmore, Chris Ritchie, Gary Krug, Michele Mariana"The human race, in all its poverty, has only one truly effective weapon: laughter. Against the assault of laughter - ha-ha-ha-ha! - nothing can stand."

8. The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986)
directed by Masanori Hata
9. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
directed by Lotte Reiniger
10. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
directed by Michael Curtiz & William Keighley; starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Raines"You've come to Nottingham once too often!" "When this is over, my friend, there'll be no need for me to come again."

11. Age of Consent (1969)
directed by Michael Powell; starring James Mason, Helen Mirren, Jack MacGowran, Neva Carr-Glynn"I only want you for your body--to paint, of course."

12. The Age of Innocence (1993)
directed by Martin Scorsese; starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Miriam Margolyes"You gave me my first glimpse of a real life. Then you asked me to go on with the false one. No one can endure that." "I'm enduring it."

13. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
directed by Werner Herzog; starring Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo, Del Negro, Ruy Guerra"I am the wrath of god. The earth I pass will see me and tremble."

14. Aladdin (1992)
directed by Ron Clements & John Musker; starring Robin Williams, Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman"To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world."

15. Aliens (1986)
directed by James Cameron; starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton"My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are."

16. All About Eve (1950)
directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz; starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm"Nothing is forever in the Theatre. Whatever it is, it's here, it flares up, burns hot and then its gone."

17. All That Jazz (1979)
directed by Bob Fosse; starring Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Anne Reinking, Leland Palmer"If I die, I'm sorry for all the bad things I did to you. And if I live, I'm sorry for all the bad things I'm gonna do to you."

18. Amadeus (1984)
directed by Milos Forman; starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint."

19. American Graffiti (1973)
directed by George Lucas; starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Charlie Martin Smith, Paul Le Mat"Rome wasn't burned in a night."

20. American History X (1998)
directed by Tony Kaye; starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Stacy Keach"Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it."

21. American Pop (1981)
directed by Ralph Bakshi; starring Ron Thompson, Gene Borkan, Jeffrey Lippa, Eric Taslitz"Crackerjacks! You're the prize in my box! And my box is this country. It's all tinfoil on the outside. Corn and sweetness on the inside."

22. American Psycho (2000)
directed by Mary Harron; starring Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon"There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there."

23. American Splendor (2003)
directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini; starring Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Judah Friedlander, James Urbaniak"So, if you're the kind of person looking for romance or escapism or some fantasy figure to save the day... guess what? You've got the wrong movie."

24. Anastasia (1997)
directed by Don Bluth; starring Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd"What do they teach you in those orphanages?"

25. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
directed by Adam McKay; starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell"I love lamp." "Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying that because you saw it?" "... I love lamp!"

OMG, Scarlett Has a Sexy Older Sister!

Hmm, ScarJo is in Barcelona making a Woody Allen movie right now and it turns out she has a sexy older sister named Vanessa who is also an actress. Coincidence?

I don't know, maybe it's too cliche for me. I'm just saying, we haven't met each other's families yet, so it's kind of up to me to introduce myself.

Scar, you're coming back soon, right?

UPDATE: Maybe your twin brother, Hunter, can keep me company instead. I mean, he could even stay at my place if he wanted. I mean, we're both guys, so it'll be cool if I don't put on a lot of clothes, right? Right?

Hey, Biel

We need to talk. No, this isn't about that. But oh man, that, that was... Well, anyway, I just wanted to ask you something. Not as a guy or a friend or a sometimes more than friends. No, this is as something like a fan of yours. My question is... Why the hell are you doing this to me?

Seriously, what is this all about? This is you in that crappy insult to decent humanity, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. And there's more than this. There's you in your underwear, too. This is the kind of thing I've always wanted to see you do--be sexy and funny. And you're doing it in a movie that I will never, ever see. Because I've made the mistake of seeing movies because you were in them before, and they're always Stealth or Blade: Trinity. The only movie I've ever seen you in that I liked was The Rules of Attraction, and time is whisking us away from that single bright spot.

Why, Biel, why did you have to do this movie? I mean, Adam Sandler? Kevin James? Ugh! I already hate this movie so much just from seeing that long, long, looooooong trailer that... ack!

Seriously, Biel, please find yourself an action movie with Milla Jovovich or something. Because she's an actress I will see a movie for. I want you to be good, I really do. Just do one that I can watch without hating myself for. Just one.

Pretty please?


Friday, July 06, 2007

Throwdown 7/6

15 random thoughts, questions, and observations for the week.

1. Apparently, Paris Hilton is going to capitalize on her brush with the law by producing a movie based on her “life.” Seriously, Lindsay Lohan is going to star. Britney Spears is going to sing. This sounds like a joke, but Paris is serious about it. And what an exciting movie that will be! Act one: Sits on the couch a lot, grows up spoiled, parties, “accidentally” flashes nipples 547,000 times, fucks anything that can buy her some coke. Act two: Does reality TV, becomes a minor reality starlet who thinks she’s incredibly famous and important, “accidentally” flashes nipples a further 978,000 times, thinks her life is somehow newsworthy, makes some amateur porn, hates black people. Act three: “accidentally” flashes pussy 97 times, keeps breaking the law, blows a sheriff to get out of scary hospital bed, lies to Larry King about doing drugs and being religious, lays on the couch. Oh, and she loves dogs. Whew, does it smell like an Oscar in here?

2. Oh. Good. Thanks, Hollywood. You have to admit, though, it looks a hell of a lot better than a movie about Paris Hilton.

3.Lots of girls out there are crying online because Oily Bloom grew a ‘stache for a play and it makes him look ugly. Yeah, it’s the moustache. That’s what makes him look ugly.

4. Can Robert Zemeckis no longer make a movie without doing it in motion capture? Motion crapture is not animation. He did it in The Polar Express and it looked like shit, he’s doing it again in Beowulf, and now he’s going to do it with A Christmas Carol. Look, either animate them or don’t. This is just a gimmick that either needs to die or needs to be used well.

5. Steven Spielberg has decided that he’s not going to use CGI effects in Indiana Jones 4. I hate to say it, but I like the other movies enough that the fan excitement is starting to get to me just a little bit, and I’m almost starting to look forward to this flick. Anyway, no CGI, because he wants to “keep the B movie feel.” It’s a nice sentiment, except for two things: one, the other three movies are still laden with a ton of special effects, CGI or no; and two, Spielberg pretty much makes nothing but B movies, so the feel ain’t gonna be a problemo.

6. Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo (whoever that is) fucking. There, now it’s old news. Nick threatened to sue. Why? Dude, did you think that you’re the only people who fuck? Or did you think that we’ve never seen anyone fuck before and you were somehow special?

7. Rumors are rampant once again that Jessica Simpson is doing Dane Cook. Oh, honey, I know that you’re still upset that we’re not going to get back together, but Dane Cook? I mean, I didn’t think you could take a step down from John Mayer, but it’s apparently possible. Sweetie, you’re special. We both know it. Why keep whoring yourself out as arm candy to guys who are… well, only using you for army candy? Especially one as obviously in the closet as Dane Cook?

8. Nicole Richie is pregnant. That fetus is going to have nothing to feed off of, though, so we’ll see how that goes. I’d hate to suggest she’s gotten knocked up to keep herself out of jail, but I just did, so what’s the point of lying? In other news, Hilary Duff, who was not impregnated by the lead singer of shitty fake goth band Good Charlotte, still has her self-respect.

9. Katharine McPhee: “I want to have, like, 15 babies. I’ve always wanted to be pregnant.” SamuraiFrog: “Um, I’ve got lots of free time if you’re looking for donations.”

10. I’m not necessarily a fan of holding people to their past mistakes, but seriously: Patrick Dempsey is one of the hottest stars of TV? I couldn’t accept it when he was supposed to be one of the biggest stars of shitty 80s teen comedies.

11. Avril Lavigne is being sued for possibly plagiarizing her embarrassing single “Girlfriend” from a lovely Rubinoos song called “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” The Rubinoos were a good band. Of course, the apologists and the angry kids are already out defending her, just like they defend Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook when they steal, too. Kids today are so fucking depressing; they excuse creative theft all the time instead of demanding people create. You get the hackery you deserve, then. But hey, it’s Avril. She stole the punk movement, why not steal songs now, too?

12. Not to belabor an old, old feminist point but: exactly what part of Jennifer Aniston’s intelligence is being put forward in this ad for “Smart” Water? And, actually, what is it about the water itself or drinking it that’s smart? Just asking.

13. Vivica Fox got arrested for drunk driving after her Cadillac, which was going 80 mph and weaving around, got pulled over. She failed sobriety tests, then when being arrested called the white cop a racist. Great, that’s just great. Just because you got caught breaking the law doesn’t make the man who caught you a racist, madam. Why go to racism? You were breaking the law.

14. As long as I need items for my Throwdown, Isaiah Washington, it seems, will always be there to say something incredibly dumb. Now he’s blaming everything on Patrick Dempsey for delaying work with his chronic lateness. To hear Washington tell it to Larry King, apparently Washington just wanted to work and Dempsey screamed at him with a string of invectives, and Washington responded “There’s no way you’re going to treat me like the B-word, the P-word or the F-word.” Grown-up language, isn’t it? Anyway, Washington apparently feels he shouldn’t be vilified for saying faggot because he didn’t mean it in an anti-gay sort of way, but says the word means “somebody who is being weak.” Wow, that’s actually even more insulting than just calling someone a fag. First of all, Isaiah Washington, you unbelievable asshole, a faggot is a bundle of sticks held together and used to start a fire, or it’s a cigarette. And second, how do you think that you can use a term that disparages homosexuals as a euphemism for weakness and say it’s not disparaging? Oh, sorry, you didn’t mean being gay is bad, you meant that it was weak. Sorry, didn’t mean to misinterpret you there while you were being a nigger. Oh, it's okay, when I say nigger, I don’t mean it in a racist way, it means someone who whines uncontrollably and uses racial issues as a shield for not acting like a responsible adult. There, Isaiah, do you see the difference? Do you still see how it’s still offensive? You’ve played the race card, you’ve blamed the victim—can you just hurry up and blame it on alcoholism so we can go back to ignoring you?

15. So, I’m torn on this whole gay boycott for Hairspray. I understand that there are people calling for a boycott of the film because John Travolta is playing an iconic gay role and his fake religion hates gay people. Personally, I despise Travolta for that and many other reasons. However, Amanda Bynes is in the movie, and I’ve always gone to see her movies on the opening weekend because, well, she’s my Mandy Pants and I adore her. But Travolta… Well, let’s hang him with his own words: “There is nothing gay in this movie. I’m not playing a gay man...Scientology is not homophobic in any way. In fact it's one of the more tolerant faiths. Anyone's accepted.” Oh, where to start. Okay, the “church” of scientology is not tolerant. Look at Tom Cruise; does he come across as a tolerant guy? I mean, yes, he believes men should marry women young enough to be their own daughters, but he sure has a lot to say about people who use prescription drugs or go to see shrinks. Second, just because Tom Cruise and John Travolta are so obviously and completely gay doesn’t mean the “church” is tolerant. It’s pretty well-established that one of the tactics of the “church” is to force gay dudes and chicks into straight marriages (Nicole Kidman, anything you want to admit, because it’s just so obvious?). Third, there’s nothing gay in Hairspray? Um… Well, the original was written and directed by openly-gay filmmaker and one of my favorite people in the world John Waters and starred Divine, not only a drag queen but also an openly gay man. The stage version featured music by Marc Shaiman, whom I also believe is gay. And the Divine role was played by the great Harvey Fierstein (whou should be in the movie). And isn’t the director of the new film, Adam Shankman, also openly gay? And, you know, I hate to indulge in stereotypes, but it’s a musical. Dude, this is going to be the gayest movie of the year that's not Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Get a grip, John. Those women that loved you when they were in their twenties? They don’t love you anymore. I promise you it won’t ruin your career if you just come out. Closets are for clothes, John. The sun’s brighter on the other side of the door. I mean, being gay may have prohibitive standards of hygiene—and all that dancing!—but you’re okay with both of those, right? Grow up and be yourself.

It Took 6 Whole Hours and 5 Whole Days for All My Links to Come Undone

Well, Scarlett's going to be heading out of town so she can be in Woody Allen's next movie! She starts filming in Barcelona on Tuesday, but before the long plane ride she wants to relax and read some links.

* Ken Levine saw Paula Abdul's new reality show.
* Dr. Monkey has a new show I'm sure FOX will air and, sadly, I would probably watch.
* Nathaniel ranks the Pixar movies in order of preference.
* Grooooaaaaaan, but in a good way. (Splotchy)
* Piper lusts after an underage girl (but the media made him do it).
* JA has news on George Romero's next and a great Roger Ebert quip (always a pleasure).
* Dr. Zaius likes the Go-Go's because, let's face it, they rock!
* Slowly Going Bald posits a new reality show.
* Becca draws Aquaman and Chiana.
* Living Between Wednesdays rates super hunk 12: Superman.

Hey, creepo, Scar knew what you were doing and was just too nice not to slap you like you deserved. You know what makes her feel better? Political discourse. Like Cap'n Dyke's post about the cost of the war in human terms. What else did we read this week?
* Dr. Monkey blogs against theocracy and comments on something I said, and comments on the Libby commutation.
* The Libby commutation is also commented on by Marty Kaplan and The Rude Pundit.
* The Rude Pundit has a lot to say this week: here he is on the Supreme Court, Michael Moore, Thomas Paine, and the "thoughtfulness" of the commander guy.
* Infidel753 looks at another half-year of Republicans.
* Splotchy notices that gas is slower to pump these days.

Uh-oh, Scarlett's really getting ready to go! Here's some more stuff for you to read, baby! The Fourth of July was this week, what did some people have to say about that?
* Peter Lynn offers five alternatives to The Star-Spangled Banner.
* Layercake lists some rather pornographic fireworks.
* No Smoking in the Skullcave gives us Aria Giovanni instead of fireworks (these are awesome, too).
* Happy Canada Day, E!
* Some religious debate over the week, some of which I thought you should see: Jimmy Dean's Fucked-up Cousin Clyde looks at the words on our money and Tengrain questions orthodoxy; Infidel753 looks at religion in politics; Atheist Revolution looks at prayer as bullying; Dr. Zaius explains some of his views; and The Last Visible Blog sums up something I agree with as far as religion's place in the world.
* Cap'n Dyke and Marius have some things to say about accepting people.
* Dr. Monkey watches someone make a deal with the devil.
* Johnny Yen ruminates on what possessions really mean.
* Jaquandor doesn't want to hear you say these anymore.
* Jeff Zaslow reconsiders Mr. Rogers.
* And finally, Scarlett has one last thing to say before she leaves.

Thanks, Scar! Have fun in Barcelona, and take some time to see the sights inbetween work! Don't worry, I'm sure Ashley Tisdale will keep me out of trouble.

Thanks to Dr. Zaius, I can't get this song out of my head. But like I told him, in the canon of fictional bands, Josie and the Pussycats rock pretty hard!

I Guess This Means I Should Actually Read Some of His Work Now

I am:
John Brunner
His best known works are dystopias -- vivid realizations of the futures we want to avoid.

Which science fiction writer are you?