Saturday, July 21, 2007

Can't Talk -- Busy

I've got the basics triggered to post for the next couple of days. See you later!

Politics Annoy the Shit Out of Me

Can I please stop hearing news stories about President Duh's butt cancer check? Because I'm already sick of having to hear about the president's potential butt cancer. And is there any reason why, in getting a routine check for a possible buttectomy, Chim-Chim needs to cede his presidential powers to Dick Cheney? I mean, can one branch of government (Executive) really transfer their powers to another branch (Cthulid)? I know that the 25th Amendment provides for the temporary ceding of powers the the vice president, but does that still apply now that Cheney considers his office to be above the president's? And, really, didn't George W. Bush, potential butt cancer victim, cede all of his powers to Cheney back in 2001, anyway?

Oh well. King George can do whatever he wants, right? I mean, aren't we still in a declared state of emergency? He can act as unconstitutionally or as constitutionally as he wants.

A couple of other brief political notes that don't have to do with the president's potential cancer of the asshole (and believe me, I sure don't hope that he gets a painful and lingering cancer in a place so uncomfortable, because that would just be uncharacteristically cruel of me).

India elected its first woman president, Pratibha Patil. Reuters is saying her supporters are characterizing this as "a boost for the rights of millions of downtrodden women." Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, called it proof that India "respects women." How much does India respect women? Well, there is still violence related to dowries, that's certainly respectful. A woman is murdered, raped, or abused every three minutes in India. The Indian government has also been talking about creating a registry of all pregnancies in order to stop feticide; people in India prefer boys so much that 10 million infant girls have been killed by their own parents in the past 20 years. However, they're listing fetuses among the dead; this is really about preventing abortions not done for what the government calls "an acceptable and valid reason." Progressive country that respects women, ain't it? At least, that's what we'll tell the two-day old found alive and buried in a grave by her grandfather recently. I'm sure writing down the names of all the pregnant ladies in a country of 1.1 billion will really make a difference.

Also: Iraqi government going on a month-long vacation? Because, what, they've earned it? I can't wait to see how many people die because the government decided it needed a four week break from trying to make a new system work. Excellently done. You have the needs of your citizens about as firmly in hand as our government does for us.

At least we can't claim that we're not providing an example for them. Because they're doing what George W. Bush does during a national crisis--taking the summer off.

Friday, July 20, 2007

500 Faves

276. Modern Times (1936)
directed by Charles Chaplin; starring Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford"I'll get you a home even if I have to work for it!"

277. Mon Oncle (1958)
directed by Jacques Tati; starring Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Lucien Fregis
278. Mona Lisa (1986)
directed by Neil Jordan; starring Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane"She needs me, George." "And you needed me to get her." "Haven't you ever needed someone?" "All the time."

279. Monkey Business (1931)
directed by Norman Z. McLeod; starring The Marx Brothers, Thelma Todd, Rockliffe Fellowes, Harry Woods"Afraid? Me? A man who's licked his weight in wild caterpillars? AFRAID? You bet I'm afraid!"

280. Monsters, Inc. (2001) directed by Pete Doctor, David Silverman & Lee Unkrich; starring John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly"Psst, Fungus. Fungus, you like cars? Because I got a really nice car. You let me go, I'll give you... a ride... in the car." "I'm sorry, Wazowski, but Randall said I'm not allowed to fraternize with victims of his evil plot."

281. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)
directed by Terry Jones; starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle"Yeah, I've had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One: People aren't wearing enough hats. Two: Matter is energy. In the universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person's soul. However, this 'soul' does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia." "What was that about hats again?"

282. Mother (1996)
directed by Albert Brooks; starring Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Rob Morrow, John C. McGinley"I love you." "I know you think you do, Mother."

283. Mountains of the Moon (1990)
directed by Bob Rafelson; starring Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Fiona Shaw, Peter Vaughan"In this wilderness you will find only Allah's terrible whimsy."

284. Mudhoney (1965)
directed by Russ Meyer; starring Hal Hopper, Rena Horton, Lorna Maitland, John Furlong"Mudhoney leaves a taste of evil."

285. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
directed by Brian Henson; starring Michael Caine"I fell down the chimney and landed on a flaming hot goose!" "You have all the fun!"

286. The Muppet Movie (1977)
directed by James Frawley; starring Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton"Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat: a Studebaker"

287. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
directed by Frank Oz"I'm staying! You hear that, New York? The frog is staying!"

288. My Life Without Me (2003)
directed by Isabel Coixet; starring Sarah Polley, Amanda Plummer, Scott Speedman, Deborah Harry"You pray that this is your life without you. You don't know who or what you're praying to, but you pray. You don't even regret the life that you're not gonna have, because by then you'll be dead. And the dead don't feel anything. Not even regret."

289. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
directed by Hayao Miyazaki; starring (English version) Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Tim Daly, Pat Carroll"I've always wanted to have a haunted house. It's been my lifelong dream."

290. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
directed by Isao Takahata; starring (English version) James Belushi, Molly Shannon, Tress MacNeille, Daryl Sabara"So if dad had been handsome and really smart, and mom had been truly beautiful and a wonderful cook, and our family was really rich, my life would be completely different. I got a raw deal."

291. The Naked Kiss (1964)
directed by Samuel Fuller; starring Constance Tower, Anthony Eisley, Michael Dante, Virginia Grey"I saw a broken down piece of machinery. Nothing but the buck, the bed and the bottle for the rest of my life. That's what I saw."

292. Nanook of the North (1922) directed by Robert J. Flaherty
293. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
directed by John Landis; starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Karen Allen"I think I'm in love with a retard." "Is he bigger than me?"

294. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
directed by Harold Ramis; starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, John Candy"I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgeory to remove our godamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes! I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!" "Dad, you want an Asprin?" "DON'T TOUCH!"

295. Natural Born Killers (1994)
directed by Oliver Stone; starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore"Mickey and Mallory know the difference between right and wrong; they just don't give a damn."

296. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)
directed by Edward F. Cline; starring W.C. Fields, Gloria Field, Leon Errol, Franklin Pangborn"Some day you'll drown in a vat of whiskey!" "Drown in a vat of whiskey. Death, where is thy sting?"

297. The NeverEnding Story (1983)
directed by Wolfgang Petersen; starring Barrett Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Deep Roy"The video arcade is down the street. Here we just sell small rectangular objects. They're called books. They require a little effort on your part, and make no bee-bee-bee-bee-beeps."

298. The New World (2005)
directed by Terrence Malick; starring Q'Orianka Kilcher, Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer"There's something I know when I'm with you that I forget when I'm away."

299. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
directed by Charles Laughton; starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason"It's a hard world for little things."

300. The Night of the Iguana (1964)
directed by John Huston; starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon"There are worse things than chastity, Mr. Shannon." "Yes: lunacy and death."

Embarrassing My Mom Is the Best Present of All

My mom called on Tuesday night to say Happy Birthday. At one point, she suddenly asked: "So, did you get your birthday surprise, or is that later?"

ME: What?

MOM: Are you going to get your birthday surprise?

ME (genuinely confused): What are you talking about?

MOM: You know... your BIRTHDAY surprise?

(Long pause.)

ME: You mean, like, a blowjob?

MOM (shocked): I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!

Let the Links Hit the Floor

Well, once again there's not going to be a Throwdown this week. I mean, here's the news: people like Transformers, Lindsay Lohan's doing Ecstasy while she's being monitored for alcohol, a bunch of famous chicks wore bikinis at the beach, Congress had a slumber party, the tenuous Iraqi government is taking the month of August off, and the seventh Harry Potter book comes out tonight. And that's pretty much it. Not much to work with, even for me, who goes off on a tangent about nothing. So, here are a bunch of links, and I'm probably taking the weekend off. Hey, I got to finish this Harry Potter book, after all!

First, let's do the Harry Potter links!
* The Last Visible Blog: Harry Potter Is a Literary Phenomenon
* No Smoking in the Skullcave: Wizarding Words Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, and Day Five
* Pointless Waste of Time: Harry Potter Book Disguises
* Cracked: 6 Questions the Last Harry Potter Book Had Better Fucking Answer
* Byzantium's Shores has an excellent suggestion for the final page.

(It's not this one, though.)

* Ken Levine with a romantic comedy scenario and an opinion about Scott Baio's reality show.
* Lazy Eye Theatre on Michael Bay's oversensitivity.
* My New Plaid Pants with some hilarious quotes.
* Splotchy goes to see Spider-Man 3.
* MC comments on something that was bound to finally happen.
* I-Mockery lists ten great things about Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.
* Nikki Stafford on why the Emmys suck and the nominees.
* The Onion AV Club on one of the worst movies ever made: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I might be going to see Hairspray tonight. Dark Horizons gets me in the mood by interviewing my Mandy Pants.
* The Get Smart trailer made me laugh my ass off.
* Johnny Yen's son has a quip that made me chuckle.
* Entertainment Weekly lists 10 great CG characters.
* Time lists their 33 favorite Simpsons cameos.
* Vanity Fair lists theit top 10 Simpsons episodes, but number ten is a dirty, bald-faced lie.
* The Muppet Newsflash on the (sort of) return of Farscape.

* Cracked: The 10 Worst Celebrity Bands
* Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches on a Beatles project I thought was underrated.
* Lady, That's My Skull says it all about the Sandman.
* retroCRUSH with the best supervillain costumes.
* Becca has some cute pics of Brittany Murphy and (I know I've said this so much it's lost all meaning) the sexiest pictures of Aria Giovanni ever.
* JA celebrates his 30th birthday with a neat movie post.

* Splotchy rocks the language posts with a safeword, some interjections, and hypothetical quotes.
* Bubs has some awesomely disgusting insect stories.
* Chance has a great post about flags.
* MC misses some stuff from his younger years.
* Johnny Yen reminisces over 1968.
* Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein looks at hypocrisy, history, violence, equality and justice.

Ron Charles and the Total Fucking Obviousness

It's been a decade now, and yet every time a new Harry Potter novel is released, there's one like this in the Washington Post, where Ron Charles makes what he seems to think is the astoundingly original and still-highly-relevant point that just because kids (and adults) are reading the Harry Potter novels, it doesn't mean that kids are actually reading more.

Um, duh, professor.

I suppose he has to justify his job as senior editor of the "Book World" section by writing something about the final novel in this bestselling series, and I guess when you write for the Washington Post it's bound to be something pretentious and hackneyed. Predictably enough, he starts by making sure that we, the reader, know that he (and his daughter, whom he praises for it) is far too smart to enjoy the Harry Potter books. He even resorts to an overwrought cliche as quickly as possible: "O, the shame of it: a 10-year-old girl and a book critic who had had enough of 'Harry Potter.' We were both a little sad, but also a little relieved. Although we'd had some good times at Hogwarts, deep down we weren't wild about Harry, and the freedom of finally confessing this secret to each other made us feel like co-conspirators."

Ah, precious. Secure in the knowledge that his readers have been reassured at his incredible brilliance in discerning popular fiction over Important Literature, he then derides adults for reading J.K. Rowling's books: "perfectly intelligent, mature people, poring over 'Harry Potter' with nary a child in sight. Waterstone's, a British book chain, predicts that the seventh and (supposedly) final volume, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' may be read by more adults than children. Rowling's U.K. publisher has even been releasing 'adult editions.' That has an alarmingly illicit sound to it, but don't worry. They're the same books dressed up with more sophisticated dust jackets -- Cap'n Crunch in a Gucci bag."

Wow, you're only the five thousandth person to point out that there have been adult editions of the Potter novels, although you are one of the few to miss the American adult editions that have been prevalent for the last seven years or so.

Charles goes on to slam Harry Potter readers by branding this "cultural infantilism," and then laments the continuing decline in the amount of readers. But immediately after, we get to what Charles really wants to write about: his personal problems and how he feels underappreciated as a social force.

"Whenever I confess to people who work for a living that I'm a book critic," he bitches, "they turn to each other and shake their heads, amazed that anything so effete should pass for a profession." See, this little invective isn't really about Harry Potter, but about a supposed prejudice against literary critics. Then he goes on to say that people who say they don't read still want to know what he thinks of Potter, and he responds: "Of course, it's not really a question anymore, is it? In the current state of Potter mania, it's an invitation to recite the loyalty oath. And you'd better answer correctly. Start carrying on like Moaning Myrtle about the repetitive plots, the static characters, the pedestrian prose, the wit-free tone, the derivative themes, and you'll wish you had your invisibility cloak handy." So, in a mere two paragraphs, he's illustrated that his job is underappreciated and that people who love Harry Potter are both a) incredibly dumb and b) somehow violently opposed to people who don't love Potter.

What Charles also goes on to illustrate is his own prejudice against anything as popular as J.K. Rowling's series of books. He even downplays it by pointing out NEA data which says there is "a dramatic and accelerating decline in the number of young people reading fiction. Despite their enthusiasm for books in grade school, by high school, most kids are not reading for pleasure at all." Seriously, National Endowment for the Arts, it's the same saw every year. Not that I don't think more kids should read--reading has, after all, been one of the great pleasures of my life since I was five and I read Charlotte's Web all by myself--but how many years in a row is the NEA going to characterize this decline as "sharp and accelerating"? If it were happening as quickly as they say, no kid would even know what a book is by this point.

Charles then criticizes what their parents read (Evanovich and Patterson are name-checked), and decides that the Harry Potter series means nothing in the scope of literature, but is merely a phenomenon of advertising and marketing: "event" publishing, basically. "Through no fault of Rowling's," he charges, "Potter mania nonetheless trains children and adults to expect the roar of the coliseum, a mass-media experience that no other novel can possibly provide."

He concedes that schools teaching the same dusty classics over and over is part of the problem, but isn't that interested in going into it. I think it's too easy, anyway. For every teacher whose intepretations of Lord of the Flies were really stupid or who taught Shakespeare like an exceptionally bored android, there were two who made Huckleberry Finn, The Plague, and Moby Dick come alive, who turned me on to Julian Barnes or Ovid, or who finally made me understand the whole point of The Merchant of Venice. There are effective and ineffective teachers just as there are interesting and obvious book critics.

But perhaps the most totally fucking obvious point he makes about the literary market is this: "Like the basilisk that terrorized students at Hogwarts in Book II, 'Harry Potter' and a few other much-hyped books devour everyone's attention, leaving most readers paralyzed in praise, apparently incapable of reading much else." He backs this up by pointing to an oddly useless and stunningly easy Stanford (!) study that concluded: "In 1994, over 70 percent of total fiction sales were accounted for by a mere five authors." What did the fifth dentist recommend?

That's the real uselessness of this entire diatribe. Charles gets hysterical over what he thinks is a cultural phenomenon but is actually the way of the world. Popular books have always outsold the ones that last. It's the same thing in movies, and there is always someone bitching about it. Yes, it sucks that more people would rather see Star Wars and Transformers and Adam Sandler movies than Brokeback Mountain or Good Night, and Good Luck or Grizzly Man. But you also have to accept that more people are interested in what they (rather lamely) call "just being entertained" than anything deeper. Hell, Mark Twain wrote an entire essay about how pedestrian James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking novels were and lamented their popularity, adding: "I may be mistaken, but it does seem to me that 'Deerslayer' is not a work of art in any sense; it does seem to me that it is destitute of every detail that goes to the making of a work of art; in truth, it seems to me that 'Deerslayer' is just simply a literary delirium tremens."

My point is, this is hardly a new game in American culture--or, really, Western culture. If it isn't J.K. Rowling that the snobs are bitching about, it's Danielle Steele or Anne Rice or Robert Jordan or someone else who writes popular novels. This is a world where Entertainment Weekly hires Stephen King to write a column, and King--who has quite the complex about being taken seriously by the literary establishment--kisses up to the snobs by dismantling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a book he in one breath professes to love...even though he "knows" he's too smart to overlook its flaws.

What King and Charles and those others begging to be taken seriously forget is that the true works of art last. Moby Dick, published in 1851, sold around 3000 copies in Herman Mellville's entire life, and it's the greatest book ever written in the English language. It was outsold in 1851 by another novel, a piece of populism which sold 3000 copies in less than a year. That was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Both are respected as literary classics now. See, that's the other side. Sometimes the works of popular fiction last, too. Sometimes they're later appreciated as real classics. Maybe Little Women, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer weren't written to last, but they certainly have. Not only does art last; so does quality, whether it's popular or not. They never seem to remember that Shakespeare was a popular author, too. And Rowling's novels will live on, and one day they'll be taken as seriously as C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia or Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain or J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings--none of which exactly garnered a glowing critical reception when they were published, either.

But I like the Harry Potter novels now; not in a snobbish way or in an anti-snobbish way, not in an ironic or a postmodernist way, not with any reservations or any intellectual critiques. I don't need a critic--or in this case, a reviewer--to do my thinking for me and tell me I'm stupid for liking them. Are they perfect? Are they Art? I don't really care. I genuinely love them. I love being in the world of magic and wizards and dark lords and a boy trying to grow up in the most outlandish and genuinely dire set of circumstances. And that's the only criterion I have for liking a book: is it a joy to read? And when it comes to Harry Potter, the answer is most resoundingly yes.

Surprised On Both Counts


Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?




Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Michael Moore vs. Homophobes

They keep saying he's fat because they can't attack his research. I'm glad Michael Moore keeps making documentaries, one-sided or not. It's not like the other side is exactly being fair, either.

Anyway, Moore said to The Advocate that he's considering a documentary on the anti-gay Christian Right movement, saying: "I think it's a very ripe subject for someone like me to make a movie about. Simply because we are not there yet and it remains one of the last open wounds on our soul that we are not willing to fix yet."

"There is nowhere in the four Gospels where Jesus uses the word homosexual. The right wing has appropriated this guy ... and they have used him to attack gays and lesbians, when he never said a single word against people who are homosexual. Anyone who professes to be a Christian and does that is certainly not following the teachings of Jesus Christ."

Good for him. I can't wait to see it, and I can't wait to see the Christian Right twist and bend and hem and haw and shuck and jive and fumfuh and bluster about how their monstrous prejudice is justified.

500 Faves

251. Love Actually (2003)
directed by Richard Curtis; starring Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy"All I want for Christmas is you."

252. Lust for Life (1956)
directed by Vincente Minnelli; starring Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown"All I see when I look at your paintings is just that you paint too fast." "You look too fast!"

253. M*A*S*H (1970)
directed by Robert Altman; starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman, Tom Skerrit"I wonder how such a degenerated person ever reached a position of authority in the Army Medical Corps." "He was drafted."

254. M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
directed by Jacques Tati; starring Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax
255. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
directed by George Miller & George Ogilvie; starring Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn"Remember where you are. This is Thunderdome, and death is listening, and will take the first man that screams."

256. Madadayo (1993)
directed by Akira Kurosawa; starring Tatsuo Matsumura, Kyoko Kagawa, Hisashi Igawa, Joji Tokoro"Mahda-kai?" "Madadayo!"

257. The Madness of King George (1994)
directed by Nicholas Hytner; starring Nigel Hawthorne, Ian Holm, Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett"I am the King of England!" "No, sir! You are the patient!"

258. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
directed by John Sturges; starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Charles Bronson"There's a job for six men, watching over a village, south of the border." "How big's the opposition?" " Thirty guns." "I admire your notion of fair odds, mister."

259. Mallrats (1995)
directed by Kevin Smith; starring Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Claire Forlani"You fuckers think just because a guy reads comics he can't start some shit?"

260. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
directed by Fred Zinneman; starring Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw"Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!" "And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?"

261. Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)
directed by Joseph Pevney; starring James Cagney, Dorothy Malone, Jane Greer, Marjorie Rambeau"Still don't have the stomach for freaks, do you?"

262. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
directed by Alfred Hitchcock; starring James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Miles"You have muddled everything from the start, taking that child with you from Marrakesh. Don't you realize that Americans dislike having their children stolen?"

263. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
directed by John Huston; starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Saeed Jaffrey, Christopher Plummer"Now listen to me, you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men."

264. Manhattan (1979)
directed by Woody Allen; starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep"Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Beneath his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. I love this. New York was his town, and it always would be..."

265. Manhunter (1986)
directed by Michael Mann; starring William Peterson, Brian Cox, Dennis Farina, Joan Allen"And if one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is."

266. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
directed by John Lounsbery and Wolfgang Reitherman; starring Sterling Holloway, Paul Winchell, Sebastion Cabot, John Fiedler"The only reason for being a bee is to make honey. And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it."

267. El Mariachi (1993)
directed by Robert Rodriguez; starring Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gomez, Jaime de Hoyos, Peter Marquardt"All I wanted was to be a mariachi, like my ancestors. But the city I thought would bring me luck brought only a curse. I lost my guitar, my hand, and her. With this injury, I may never play the guitar again. Without her, I have no love. But with the dog and the weapons, I'm prepared for the future."

268. Mars Attacks! (1996)
directed by Tim Burton; starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Sarah Jessica Parker"All green of skin... 800 centuries ago, their bodily fluids include the birth of half-breeds. For the fundamental truth self-determination of the cosmos, for dark is the suede that mows like a harvest." "What the hell does that mean?"

269. The Mask of Zorro (1998)
directed by Martin Campbell; starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Stuart Wilson"Do you know how to use that thing?" "Yes. The pointy end goes into the other man." "This is going to take a lot of work."

270. Match Point (2005)
directed by Woody Allen; starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode"Men always seem to wonder. They think I'd be something very special." "And are you?" "Well, no one's ever asked for their money back."

271. Microcosmos (1996)
directed by Claude Nuridsany & Marie PĂ©rennou
272. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968)
directed by Peter Hall; starring Paul Rogers, Ian Richardson, Judi Dench, Ian Holm"Lord, what fools these mortals be."

273. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
directed by George Seaton; starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood"Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles."

274. Mister Roberts (1955)
directed by John Ford & Mervyn LeRoy; starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon"Frank, I like you. There's no getting around the fact that you're a real likable guy." "Yeah? Yeah!" "But ..." "But what?" "Well, I also think you're the most hapless, lazy, disorganized, and in general most lecherous person I've ever known in my life." "I am not!" "You're not what?" "I am not disorganized!"

275. Modern Inventions (1937)
directed by Jack King"Your hat, sir."