Monthly Archives: April 2011

Facebook Friends

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Unlike a lot of people on Facebook, I run a lean friends list.  How lean?  It’s only 78 people.  It isn’t a grand number.  In terms of Facebook friends, it’s actually quite small.  This is mostly due to the fact that I do not actively go out and search for friends, either by searching my past for people I knew, or by combing through the vast list of people who Facebook recommends that I could possibly be friends with.  There are a number of reasons for that.

The biggest reason why I don’t search for friends comes from my current friends list.  I have a lot of friends on that list who have befriended a lot of people… A LOT of people.  In all fairness, they are more popular than me, and some of that is work related (both the popularity and the number of friends).  But the end result of that my suggested friends list tends to have a gigantic number of people on it, most of who I do not even know.  Because of the number, and the fact that Facebook doesn’t seem to want to allow me to say, “I don’t know this person, don’t show me them again,” it makes wading through the gigantic list a lot more arduous.

Facebook also has made it a bit more difficult to filter friends.  It used to be that you could filter a list not only by school, but graduation year as well.  As near as I can tell now, that option is not available.  So, now I see not only people from my graduating class, but everyone who ever went to that school.  It’s all well and good for my high school, which tended to have smaller classes, but I went to Syracuse University for college.  Syracuse tended to not have small classes… ever.  It’s difficult enough to search for just my graduating class, now I have to try to filter out every other graduating class too.

The last reason is probably the most personal.  I never really had a lot of friends growing up.  I still don’t.  A lot of the people I was friends with I do have as contacts on Facebook.  But there are a lot more people out there that I knew growing up that I wouldn’t say I was great friends with.  Fringe classmates, people I know in passing, but not all that well, and a few crushes here and there.  Often when I look at the list of people Facebook suggests I might be friends with, I run across someone I knew in this capacity.  And, for that brief moment, I wonder if they would actually want to be Facebook friends with me, then usually move on.  I usually feel like if I were to Facebook friend them, it would almost be like stalking them, especially with the nature of Facebook’s posting system.

Don’t get me wrong.  If anyone actually wanted to Facebook friend me, and was someone I knew, I would most likely befriend them (there may be one or two people I wouldn’t… everyone has those people in their past).  Unless that happens, my Facebook friends list will stay its lean 78.

The Best 10 of all Time

I had originally intended this to be a Best 10 in the Last 10 motif.  The only problem is that I really could not come up with ten movies in the last ten years that I’ve seen that I would classify as “best.”  So, I decided to expand my top 5 all time to a top 10 of all time.

I try to adhere to the rules that I set up in my previous “10” lists (theatrical release, had to have seen it, etc).  Also keep in mind that the list is subjective.  Some of my Top 10 will undoubtedly be on other people’s Worst 10 or Guilty 10.  As I mentioned, this is my top 10.

Now, my Top 10 of all Time (as always, in no particular order)

Phantom of the Opera 1925 – Probably the earliest of the movies I include on this list, but a true cinematic treasure to watch, especially if you manage to get your hands on a good DVD copy.  This version is probably the closest to the original novel’s story, down to the appearance of Erik (brilliantly played by Lon Chaney).

Henry V 1989 – This is the Branagh version of the Shakespearean history.  This is a brutal version of the play, leaving in much of the negative scenes that the earlier Olivier version left out.  Unapologetic in its tone, it celebrates Shakespeare with a stellar cast of British acting.

Goldfinger 1964 – the first of the movies on my list that some may debate the merits of, but this film remains the quintessential James Bond movie

Evil Dead 2 1987 – Definitely a guilty pleasure, but one of the horror movies I enjoy watching over and over again.  A lot of Sam Raimi’s style that he uses in his later mainstream movies shows up in this film, and cements Bruce Campbell as a B-movie hero

Captain Blood 1935 – The swashbuckling adventure of Peter Blood, physician turned slave turned pirate captain, this is one of Errol Flynn’s best roles.

The Great Escape 1963 – One of the best war movies, telling a tweaked version of the true story of the escape from Stalog Luft 3.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1974– An irreverent look at the legend of King Arthur, with all the hilarious mocking that Monty Python is known for.  You would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not know as least one line from this classic.

Batman Begins 2005 – Probably the best Batman movie to be release since the 1989 Tim Burton Batman, this version reboots the franchise, forgoing classic villains for the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul (though both are classic comic villains), creating a Bruce Wayne/Batman seeking direction until he finds himself.

Brotherhood of the Wolf 2001 – Admittedly, this is the only foreign language movie on my list, this movie retells the legend of the Beast of Gevaudan, twisting and turning its way through a tale that is one part “werewolf” movie, one part adventure, and one part conspiracy movie.

Psycho 1960– Simply Hitchcock at his best.

Guilty 10 in the Last 10

Following the same guidelines set in my previous post Worst 10 in the Last 10, here are the 10 movies in the last 10 years that I like in spite of themselves (and other people).

I’m still working on the Best 10 list.

The Guilty 10…

1) Daredevil (2003) – There is just something about this movie that just clicked for me. Maybe it was Colin Farrell as Bullseye, or the really cool explanation (and effects) of how Daredevil’s radar sense worked, I don’t know, but I usually end up watching this movie whenever it’s on. Check out the Director’s cut, it actually added a lot to the movie.

2) Punisher (2004) – Granted, Rebecca Romijn is way too good-looking to be Joan (who was a bit mousey in the original story), but Thomas Jane is spot on as Frank Castle. Even better, we do see him wear the Punisher’s iconic skull in this movie, unlike the Dolph Lundgren version.

3) National Treasure (2004) – This one I saw on DVD because my dad wanted to see it. I have to say, I was really pleasantly surprised by this neat little adventure movie.

4) Snakes on a Plane (2006) – In another decade, this movie would have been late night theatre fare much, much like Rocky Horror Picture Show, with all the audience interaction of Rocky Horror. Still, it’s just a fun movie to watch, especially on commercial cable (“I am tired of these monkey fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!“).

5) Silent Hill (2006) – I loved the creepy video games. And this movie managed to capture the same creepiness.

6) Slither (2006) – I love old horror movies, the Universal monster movies, Them, Hammer horror. Slither manages to play into the who B-movie/alien invasion movie while keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing.

7) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) – This movie captures the feel of the old serials.

8 ) Hellboy (2004) – a decent job bringing Mike Mignola’s comic icon to the big screen. Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy.

9) Blade: Trinity (2004) – The last of the Blade movies, but it is Ryan Reynolds that shines as vampire-hunting wiseass Hannibal King.

10) DOA: Dead or Alive(2006) – This is the epitome of the guilty pleasure. It’s not well acted in general, and the story is, well, it’s based off a video game where the principle premise is that scantily clad women fight each other. Regardless, I still have fun watching it, sort of like the fun you have when you watch an old kung fu movie.

The Worst 10 in the Past 10 – Revised

I originally did this roughly two years ago. In that time, I felt it was necessary to revisit the list, seeing what may have dropped off, and what may have been added.

The criteria for the list is simple. First (and obviously), the movie had to have been released in the last ten years (2001 to 2011). Secondly, I had to have seen it, or at least enough of it to know it’s garbage. Finally, it had to have seen theatrical release (thus eliminating a number of direct to DVD and Sci-Fi Channel movies).

I do hope to make a Best 10 in the Last 10 list, but this one is a lot easier to compile.

The List (in no particular order)

1) Piranha 2010 – Not much should be expected of a movie that is based off a Roger Corman movie.  Corman’s films are not exactly known for being… what’s the world… good.  But, at least Corman gave you a cast of characters that you could kind of care about.  With the exception of Elisabeth Shue’s Sheriff Forester, that just aren’t any character that you feel sorry for when they get eaten by the titular creatures.  In truth, this movie seems to exist only to show off the naked bodies of one-dimensional (ironic phrase, considering this movie was released in 3D) characters Danni and Crystal, but special gore effects used to show the carnage of the piranha.

2) Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones 2002 – Episode 1 was a disappointment in that I thought it could have been a lot better than it was. Episode 2 killed the magic of Star Wars for me. Where the characters were flat and uninteresting in Episode 1, the were just total jerks in Episode 2. It is sad when you have a talented cast like Episode 2 had (and Hayden Christensen), and the best acting is from a computer generated muppet. I stopped watching Star Wars movies altogether because of this one.

3) Aeon Flux 2005 – Beyond the occasional appearance on MTV’s Liquid Television, I never really got into Aeon Flux. When I watched this movie, I found it incomprehensible. Somehow, I have a feeling watching the original series would do anything to clear up the confusion.

4) Ultraviolet 2006 – It is really saying something when half way through watching a movie, you decide to do something a bit more interesting, like house cleaning. This movie just did not make me care about it at all.

5) Alone in the Dark 2005 – Seriously. Did casting really think we would believe that Tara Reid was a scientist?

6) House of the Dead 2003 – The second Uwe Boll movie on the list (Boll directed Alone in the Dark), House of the Dead was based off the arcade shooter. The movie is horribly clichéd, badly acted, and just downright bad.

7) Bloodrayne 2005 – The third Uwe Boll film on the list, and probably the one that cemented his reputation as the Ed Wood Jr. of the 21st century, though that’s really kind of an insult to Ed Wood Jr. Even more shocking is that Ben Kinglsey, the man who played Gandhi (and won an oscar for that role) was in this… movie.

8 ) Matrix Reloaded 2003

9) Matrix Revolutions 2003 – I put these two movies together not because they are both Matrix movies, but because personally, I think the two of them, edited down and merged into one, could have been a great movie. Instead, what we got were two movies with scenes that were way too long (some almost painfully long), and action sequences that were added to say, “Hey, look what we can do!”

10) Underworld: Evolution 2006– I had high hopes for this movie. I loved the first one. Sadly, I was disappointed in this one. The story seemed to go nowhere, the characters seemed to do nothing, and the love scene between Selene and Michael seemed to be there so that the director could say, “Oh yeah, that’s who I get to sleep with every night.” From what I heard, the third movie in the series is supposed to be vastly better. From what I’ve seen of this one, I don’t think it could be worse.

%d bloggers like this: