Pick your movie of the week: The worst of Star Wars (Nov 26-Dec 2/17)

Most people agree that episodes 4-6 are the best Star Wars movies, and most agree that episodes 1-3 are the worst (Funny how #7 seems to be split down the middle). So this week you vote for  which prequel episode is the worst Star Wars movie of all. And feel free to add why you made that pick.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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Are You Ugly or Stupid?

These are perhaps the scariest words in the human language. Usually there is one that especially concerns us. For me, it is the latter. I don’t mind too much if someone sees me as ugly, but if they think I’m dumb I tend to take it hard. I love laughing at Derek, Hansel, and Mugatu in this week’s movie, but I don’t want anyone doing that towards me.

Can we even believe the sentiment that “everyone is beautiful” or “there is genius in everyone”? Is that too naive? Well, I can say that when my grandmother was alive I would look at her white, thin, balding hair, her missing teeth (age does weird things to us), and her hunched posture and I couldn’t think of anything or anyone more beautiful. And I must insist that this isn’t mere sentimentality. It’s as true as truth can possibly be. I’ve worked with mentally delayed and mentally challenged people and I cannot say in good conscience that they were stupid. Again, this isn’t because I think it would be mean or inappropriate. Deep down inside, I know it’s just not true.

As much as I have a hard time convincing myself of this, please take my word for it: you are beautiful and smart.

Well…except for you. You know who you are.

Congratulations Zoolander. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Jennifer Anniston as Jenny in Marley and Me.
Best Actor: Will Ferrell as Mugatu in Zoolander.
Best Quote: I’m sorry that good-looking people like us made you throw up and feel bad about yourself.” — Derek in Zoolander. Though one of my favourites is when Matilda confides in Derek and Hansel that she was a “fat kid” when she was a child and Derek responds with, “Ew!”

My Top 10 Favourite “Dumb Character” Performances

10. Brennan and Dale (Stepbrothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly)

9. Frank Drebin (Naked Gun, Leslie Nielsen)

8. Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther, Peter Sellers)

7. Romy and Michele (Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow)

6. Alan (The Hangover, Zach Galifianakis)

5. Navin Johnson (The Jerk, Steve Martin)

4. H.I. McDonough (Raising Arizona, Nicholas Cage)

3. Nigel Tufnel (This is Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest)

2. Cousin Eddy (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Randy Quaid)

1. Lloyd and Harry (Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels)


And My 5 Least Favourite “Dumb Character” Performances

5. Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) — I like the movie, and I love the lines they deliver, but I find the “dumb-ness” of the characters a little hard to believe.

4. Billy Madison (Billy Madison, Adam Sandler) — I’m not one to join in on hating Sandler, but this character just hasn’t aged well for me.

3. Brick Tamland (Anchorman, Steve Carell) — I love the movie, and I think Carell delivered better on this character than anyone else possibly could. But again, a little hard to buy.

2. Mr. Yunioshi (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mickey Rooney) — Yeah it’s racist, but also really stupid. Never found it funny.

1. Jar Jar Binks (Star Wars, Episodes 1-3, Ahmed Best)


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Pick your movie of the week: Owen Wilson! (Nov 19-25/17)

This guy is hilarious, and like a lot of successful comic actors he surprises us with how good he is in non-comedic roles. Which of his movies would you choose over the others to be our movie of the week?

Zoolander (2001)

Marley & Me (2008)

Midnight in Paris (2011)

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Prison, Jesus, and Paul Newman Salad Dressing

Top 10 Prison Movies

10. Lock Up (1989) — A prototypical Stallone 80’s movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly as a young man.

9. The Great Escape (1963) — Old, but classic. And a good movie at that.

8. In the Name of the Father (1993) — My man, Daniel Day-Lewis.

7. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

6. The Green Mile (1999) — To me, Michael Clark Duncan is the highlight of this movie, which says a lot seeing as this is a Tom Hanks one.

5. Dead Man Walking (1995) — I waited too long to see this one. Sean Penn is so underrated.

4. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) 

3. The Hurricane (1999) — And I love the Dylan song just as much.

2. American History X (1998) — This is one of those “good-for-you-to-watch” movies. It enlightens you and can make you a better person.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) — Duh!

My Top 8 Paul Newman Movies

8. Cars (2006) — One of my least favourite Pixar movies, but as a Newman flick it makes the list. 

7. The Hustler (1961)

6. Road to Perdition (2002)

5. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

4. The Sting (1973)

3. Slap Shot (1977)

2. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Top 10 Movies with an Allegorical Christ Character

10. Taxi Driver (1976; Travis Bickle) — This movie gets a lot of praise, and though I like it a lot it’s not my favourite Scorcese/De Niro movie.

9. Cool Hand Luke (1967; Luke Jackson)

8. The Green Mile (1999; John Coffey)

7. Superman Returns (2006; Superman) — I know it’s crazy, but this is one of my favourite Superman movies, second only to Superman II (1980). The airplane scene especially made an impression on me.

6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975; Randle P. McMurphy)

5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982; E.T.)

4. The Matrix (1999; Neo)

3. The Lion King (1994; Mufasa)

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03; Gandalf)

1. Star Wars trilogy (1977-83; Luke Skywalker)

Congratulations Cool Hand Luke. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Claudia Cardinale as Jill McBain in Once Upon a Time in the West.

Best Actor: Clint Eastwood as Harry in Dirty Harry.

Best Quote: “Sometimes having nothing is a real cool hand.” — Luke (Paul Newman) in Cool Hand Luke.

I was hoping to find an actress who served in WWII, which I had a hard time finding. I did, however, make a cool discovery about a legendary TV star: Bea Arthur served in WWII!

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Pick your movie of the week: WWII Veteran Actors! (Nov 12-18/17)

You may have known already that Jimmy Stewart, Elvis, and Charlton Heston served in WWII. Bud did you know that Clark Gable, Gene Roddenberry, and Bea Arthur did as well? In another tribute to Remembrance Day, which is this Saturday, here are 3 movies featuring 4 other WWII vets:

Cool Hand Luke (1967)
– Paul Newman –

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
– Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda –

Dirty Harry (1971)
– Clint Eastwood –

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War Movie Quotes: The Memorable, the Inspiring

Lord, we stand before you this evening, to say thank you! And we thank you, father, for your grace, and your many blessings! Now I run off, leaving all my young’uns and my kinfolk, in bondage. So I’m standing here this evening, Heavenly Father, to ask your blessings on all of us. So that if tomorrow is the great getting-up morning, if that tomorrow we have to meet the Judgement Day, O Heavenly Father, we want you to let our folks know that we died facing the enemy! We want ’em to know that we went down standing up! Amongst those that are fighting against our oppression. We want ’em to know, Heavenly Father, that we died for freedom! We ask these blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen! — John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) in Glory (1989)

At this time of year it’s nice to hear stories and speeches that stir us inside. They remind us of the heroes who have gone before us and how fortunate we are to be heirs of their heritage. In that vein, we are going to recognize some war/military movie quotes, because even fictional speeches and quotations hold deep meaning.

Some of them are funny. Some of them angry. Some inspiring. There’s at least one that I find disturbing. But, hopefully, they will all help us do what is most important every November: Remember.

“Remember us.” As simple an order as a king can give. “Remember why we died.” For he did not wish tribute or song. No monuments, no poems of war and valour. His wish was simple: “Remember us,” he said to me. — Dilios (David Wenham) in 300 (2006)

We’re gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. And once we’re in enemy territory, as a bushwhackin’ guerrilla army, we’re gonna be doin’ one thing and one thing only – killin’ Nazis. — Raine (Brad Pitt) in Inglourious Basterds (2009).

You smell that? Do you smell that? … Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for twelve hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. But the smell – you know, that gasoline smell. The whole hill smelled like victory. — Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) in Apocalypse Now (1979).

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom…my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. — Col Jessep (Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men (1992).

We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A.’ You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw ‘Old Yeller?’ Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? I cried my eyes out. — John Winger (Bill Murray) in Stripes (1981)

When I go home people will ask me, ‘Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?’ You know what I’ll say? I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is. — Hoot (Eric Bana) in Black Hawk Down (2001)

I won’t ask you to do anything I haven’t done myself. — Don Collier (Brad Pitt) in Fury

A brilliant man will find a way not to fight a war. — Admiral Yamamoto (Mako) in Pearl Harbor (2001)

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! — A Jewish Barber (Charlie Chaplin) in The Great Dictator (1940)

I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel. — Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) in Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Congratulations Dunkirk. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Anamaria Marinca as Irma in Fury.

Best Actor: Mark Rylance as Mr. Dawson in Dunkirk.

Best Quote: Men my age dictate this war. Why should we be allowed to send our children to fight it?” — Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) in Dunkirk

There were only 2 votes, so I decided to go with the movie that didn’t get one. Dunkirk is one of those films that is not only great, it will get better with every viewing. Also, even though Grave of the Fireflies (1988) isn’t even mentioned anywhere above, it too is a great one. Not everyone’s into anime, but I promise it’s good.

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Pick your movie of the week: WWII Remembrance (Nov 5-11/17)

The poppies are out and it’s time for us to remember. Last year we looked at WWI movies, and this time it’s the second world war. Which movie—each very fitting for Remembrance Day—would you choose to be this week’s movie?

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Fury (2014)

Dunkirk (2017)

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