Movies

Five Movies with more Depth than given Credit

This little article I have written just because as I watch some of these movies, I am reminded of how great they are and how I don’t feel like popular opinion shares the same idea so I just want to give my two cents on why I think these movies are so great.  Obviously, this also means that if you haven’t seen these movies then you certainly should find a way to watch them or to watch them again with another perspective.  And so, without further adieu..

5. Heat (1995) – “You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we’ve been face to face, if I’m there and I gotta put you away, I won’t like it. But I tell you, if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.”.

This movie.  This movie right here is one that I feel has never gotten the credit it deserves.  I mean, I hear it talked about highly once in a while by a fellow Heat fan like myself, but not in mass regard and I just don’t know why.  This movie has it all.  I would place this movie up against any all crime dramas, mobster movies, cat and mouse movies, any type of movie to be honest.  I mean I think this is one of the greatest movies of all time as well that doesn’t get put in that high of a regard ever.  The movie is about a criminal named Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), who along with his crew played by Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, and in the last heist Dennis Haysbert, knock off high-end scores for a living.  In contrast, you have police detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and his Robbery Homicide crew of Wes Studi, Mykelti Williamson, and Ted Levine.  In the middle, you have McCauley’s fence played by Jon Voight, Ashley Judd playing Val Kilmer’s wife, a young Natalie Portman as Pacino’s step-daughter and appearances in various roles by Xander Berkely, Hank Azaria, Henry Rollins, Tone Loc and even Jeremy Piven.  I mention all these actors because this cast for this movie is insane in terms of pure talent.  After a job goes bad and the heist crew has to kill guards to get away because one of their new hires gets trigger-happy, Pacino’s crew is on the case to find these guys.  Meanwhile, a mob group, who owned the property that De Niro’s crew stole, wants to kill the group to send a message.  As we traverse through the story, we find out that the line between Lt. Hanna and criminal Neil McCauley is a blurred one to be sure.  The best scene in the movie, and a golden moment of cinema, is at a point where the two sit down for a coffee together to basically say they each know what the other is up to and for Lt. Hanna to let him know that he will be at his next score and is gonna take him down.  In this sit down, we learn that each has a recurring dream, one of them being about having enough time, the other about all the bad they have seen in the job that they do.  The movie climaxes with one of the most intense shoot-outs in cinema history with it even being, arguably, the inspiration for the L.A. shootout of 1997 between bank robbers and police.  The final scene of the movie is the showdown between De Niro and Pacino where we find out which professional wins in the end.. if any..

4. Red Dawn (1984) – “All that hate’s gonna burn you up kid.”

America versus the Commies..  Believed by many to be an ultra right-wing movie meant for the cold-war era that it was made in that took advantage of the paranoia of the red scare.  Anti-communist, pro-gun, pro-war, survivalist propaganda.   Now I have seen this movie more times than I care to admit.  I watched it over and over as a little kid, wearing out one or two copies of the VHS tape that I had it on.  I have the VHS we recorded it off of TV on, the VHS I eventually bought in stores, the DVD when it finally came out, the Collector’s Edition DVD that eventually came out and finally the Blu-ray that is current today.  Now even at a young age I never thought this was a pro-war movie and it seemed like people only looked on the surface of this movie for its content.  This movie is actually in no way pro-war but really shows you how war takes its toll on people in various ways and the costs that come along with war.  Let’s start with who my favorite character, Robert, which was because I thought he was cool because he wore a black mask over the lower part of his face and always had an RPG and was the ruthless one.  The Russians killed his dad and the rest of the kids’ parents so I thought he had every right to be as vengeful as he was.  In fact, I can still say that he has every right to be as ruthless as he was but also I see the reality of a comment the Air Force pilot  Lt. Colonel Tanner says to him when he sees him making tally marks on his gun for every one of the enemy he has killed and he tells Robert “All that hate is gonna burn you up kid.”  At which point Robert says back “It keeps me warm…”  This pretty much is saying that all Robert lives for now is getting revenge and killing as many of the Russians/Cubans as he can before he dies.  In fact, I felt like when Robert comes to his end he knowingly does it when the group is attacked by Mi-24 Hind helicopters and he attempts to hold them off while the others get away.  As he damages one with a rocket and sees the others coming rather than attempting to hide he just puts on his mask to cover his mouth and nose like he usually does in battles and fires his AK-47 at the helicopters as they approach, knowing he has met his end.  I think he does this because he is tired and just ready to be done with it all and fully consumed by the hate.  I also think their are deeper moments to show that war is not glorious when various events occur within the group and it shows a moment of weakness where Jed, the leader, who always shows a tough exterior to the group, breaks down and cries when he is alone and looking at a picture of him and his little brother Matt.  I could probably write a whole article on this movie alone and all the themes about it but I will leave it to this and just say while it has an awesome, bombastic soundtrack with slower more melancholic songs as well the movie is much deeper than the surface shows that of just a pro-war movie.

3. Young Guns (1988) – “But there’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip”.

This movie shows us Emilio Estevez as William H. Bonney a.k.a. Billy the Kid, and how he played a role in the Lincoln County War of 1878.  It was a list of who’s who of the young 80s actors of the time, from Emilio Estevez, his brother Charlie Sheen, Keifer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, and veteran actors Terrance Stamp and Jack Palance.  I always liked the movie for its music, performances from all the characters, and the themes of the movie.  It was only many years later that I learned that this was an actual event that occurred, the Lincoln County War, and many of the characters were real people or based on real people.  The movie is essentially about revenge and what has to be done when the law fails due to corruption at the local and state level.  As Billy is taken in by local cattleman John Tunstall, an Englishman, it is not long after that Mr. Tunstall is murdered by a posse who is made up of a group of men who work for the rival Murphy and Dolan cattle company who are also backed by the governor of New Mexico and local law enforcement.  After being deputized to bring in the men who killed Mr. Tunstall, the Regulators soon find themselves wanted by the law as well after killing several of the men in cold blood rather than arresting them, mostly due to Billy being out for revenge rather than seeing them go to jail.  As the group are officially outlaws, they are wanted by the law as well as those outside the law and are slowly hunted down.  It all ends in a massive shootout between the Regulators and the local law, local thugs, and even the national guard army.  Three of the Regulators survive in Doc Scurlock, Jose Chavez Y Chavez, and Billy the Kid, who killed Murphy as Billy was escaping from the gunfight.  I think the part about the movie I like so much is aspect of “Pals”, which is touched on in several conversations in the movie and what it means to stick with your pals when that is really all you have and so your friends are essentially your family.

2. Midnight Run (1988) – “Get yourself a new watch.”

In a movie that is probably the least watched of the five, among the people who may actually read this article, it is what seems at first to be a typical “two guys forced to travel across the country together” kind of movie.  Charles Grodin plays an accountant who was laundering money for the mob in Chicago and is arrested and let out on bail.  Robert De Niro is a bounty hunter in Los Angeles who is tasked by the bail bondsman, played by Joe Pantoliano, to find Jonathan Mardukis (Grodin) and bring him back before the loan defaults and Joe loses his business and before Mardukis is picked up by the FBI or killed by the Mob who is trying to find him as well.  Yes, the cliche of them hating each other and eventually liking each other does happen but the way in which it happens is what separates it apart from other movies.  Grodin’s excellent portrayal of his character with the right amount of quirkiness but you also find out just how intelligent he is as the movie plays out helps to add much depth to his character.  De Niro’s character of Jack Walsh is also very good in that even though he is cranky and tough much of the movie he also is very resourceful and has that hint of comedy in some of his actions that just very much like De Niro does in many of his movies today.  The relationship the two men have is one of necessity for Jack and circumstance for Mardukis but they do eventually find a mutual respect for one another. One of the best scenes to me that adds that extra something is when they are on a train in a storage car and having a conversation about Jack’s watch and how it relates to his life and his past life he had with his family and as a cop before he was set up and run out of Chicago by the very same mobsters that are trying to kill Jonathan.  It is believable in how they end their time together in that its not that they became best friends all of a sudden in the end but that after everything they have gone through they can at least say that perhaps they could be friends, “In the next life.” as they put it.

  1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) -“I know now why you cry, but it’s something I can never do”.

Alright folks, this is it.  I have been passionately discussing the merits of this movie for years to anyone that will listen or happen to be in the room when I go on a sudden rant should something happen to spark a relation to said event and the movie.  Let me tell ya a story.. So I was in class teaching about translation in cells in AP Biology class and we came across the role of the terminator sequence and I said “terminator” in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice and for some reason proceeded to go into a lecture on how great of a movie Terminator 2 is and how its underrated and overlooked as an all-time great movie and how sad the ending is and how myself, someone who never cries about anything, found myself getting watery-eyed at the ending every time and how moving it is because John never had a real father figure and the terminator was the best thing he ever had to one.  (also side story! I once won a trivia game in front of many by spelling Arnold’s last name off the top of my head and I did it!)

Besides the ending, the rest of the movie just has moments when the violence and desperation from running away from dangers is ceased , that when stacked up add to giving the movie extra depth and make it more than just a great action flick.  Scenes such as John and the T-800 talking and John trying to get him to become more human and another which is only in deleted scenes or extended editions in which John shuts him down to flip a switch that will make him more capable of learning to be more “human” but Sarah almost destroys the chip with a hammer makes to add more depth to the movie.

In this Terminator movie, we follow John Connor, having been born since the original Terminator film, and his attempts to elude the new T-1000 terminator that has been sent back to kill him so that he doesn’t become the leader of the uprising that he is meant to do in the future.  This time, a terminator in the likes of the original T-800 from the first film, is also sent back but reprogrammed to save and protect John from the Skynet terminator.  As they journey together and evade the authorities and the T-1000, John finds a friend in the Arnold terminator and, ultimately, what will turn out to be the closest thing to a father figure he will ever have.  They break John’s mother, Sarah Connor, out of a mental facility as she was held their due to her beliefs in the apocalyptic future that she knows is suppose to be the future.  This all leads to a mission to destroy the company’s research facility where they have the arm and CPU unit from the first terminator wreckage from the original movie, believing this will prevent Judgement Day.  The movie climaxes with a final battle between the two terminators and Sarah Connor to protect John.  The ending scene, which I mentioned at the start, and then monologue by Sarah Connor is one of great sadness but also hope that mankind can do better and avoid our eventual destruction.  All I can say is that this movie is a true 5/5 stars and one of the best movies of all time.

Well there you have it folks, five movies that I think are underrated and deserve another look and greater appreciation.

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Movies

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

I will begin this movie review just as the movie begins… with a song.  As Papa Was a Rolling Stone by The Temptations begins to play as the movie starts to rise and shine it is a good indicator of things to come in that aspect of the film.  The soundtrack for the movie is excellent and really made me want to buy the soundtrack but as things go these days I just went to iTunes and did a little picking and choosing of the soundtrack, much like a nice buffet.  Considering the movie takes place in the late 70’s, the soundtrack for it does an excellent job of contributing to the environment and feel of the time period and the moments in the movie.  Ranging from The Temptations, Kool and the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, Al Green, the Bee Gees and even a Herb Albert song which I find funny for another reason that I will mention later in my review.  As the case unfolds, you are able to groove to the tunes as it they fit with the time period or hint at an introspective that the characters are feeling.

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To start off, I will say that these two definitely are not Martin and Riggs from Lethal Weapon, which I bring up because the writer and director of this movie, Shane Black, actually wrote the script for Lethal Weapon.  No mullets or old-man grumblings here, just a stache-patch combo and a love of gold fish.  To harp on the tropes of the buddy cop genre would be a play to start but I don’t feel like this movie really falls into that trap.  Some might point to certain aspects and say “typical” but I really don’t see many; none at least that are glaring in your face.  I feel that in this movie the combination of the writing with the chemistry of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling come together to give it just a little something extra than typical. To me, the relationship between the two was realistic and their progression throughout was also something of great acceptance and natural flow.  To compare to another movie that is a favorite of mine, I think of the movie Midnight Run (1988).  I mention because the film is another buddy flick where Robert De Niro, a cop, and Charles Grodin, a criminal, are on the run together and in the end they become friends which sounds like a typical film that could be written in a week but its actually one where, because of writing, acting, and supporting cast makes it a little something extra.  The term might make you chuckle but I will say that their is something just a little “magical” to the films because of the relationship and interaction between the two main characters that most films of the genre don’t have and how the final outcome is positive and uplifting but with a depth of reality and not over the top, perfect life ending.

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I LOVED the comedy of this movie.  It is sort of that situational, awkward humor where you feel like the line that the character said would be something a person in real life would actually say or a line that is delivered with perfect timing and gusto that plays perfect to the moment and makes you laugh out loud…. or at least I did, which I try to avoid due to my self-conscious nature but I just didn’t care in this movie.  Now I am laughing while thinking about parts from the movie.  Once the movie was over, I heard someone say outside the theater that they liked it but thought in the end everything ended up being a little too nice and tidy and easily wrapped up but I disagreed with them entirely in terms of it being a weakness.  First, I felt that it was suppose to go that way because, I think, part of this  movie is that it is sort of a nod to the buddy cop movies of the 70’s which, in those films, that’s how they almost always end up working out.  Also, when I saw the trailer I thought, seems a little Big Lebowskiish… Well, while I feel like a got a little bit of that Cohen Brothers taste in the movie, ultimately I think it was just a small part of the personality of the film.  Oh I mentioned the Herb Albert thing earlier because he has a song in the movie and he also had a song in The Big Lebowski so i thought, what a coincidence.. or perhaps Cohencidence?????

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In conclusion,  I cannot recommend this movie enough to a person to go see it.  I am, of course, only basing it on my sense of humor and my opinion on how well the movie fit together and how well the cast played off of each other. I intentionally did not bring up the plot very much because I expect most people to read and not have seen it yet and I don’t want to spoil but if you want a quick synopsis then fine, somebody dies, the two guys end up investigating it individually but then start working together and then hilarity ensues as the plot thickens and the movie unfolds…there.  I am going to say that it was probably the funniest movie I have seen of 2016 so far and I do see quite a bit of movies.  I am no theatre major, nor am I a technical film expert, but I am a guy who has seen a hell of a lot of movies, a hell of a lot of times in my life, but with an attempt to not be a film snob.  I find some kind of entertainment in most films.  On that note, I am going to rate the film with a 4.5 out of 5 bonfires.. Yeah, I am going to use bonfires as my rating system.  Why not?  Go see the film so we can laugh about it!

 

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Movies

And the Winner is…

As 2016 begins and we experience the changes of a new year, I just wanted to give my personal movie awards as I felt they should have been as I have to say I was able to watch a lot of movies in theater this year.  The only caveat is that I am only going to base this on movies that I actually saw.  So if I didn’t see it then there is no chance of me having it in my nominations. Also I have decided to add movies that I watched this year on video that were really late 2014 releases so weren’t released on video until this past year.

And so, without further adieu…

 

Best Animated Movie

Nominees

Big Hero Six (2014)

Hotel Transylvania 2

Inside Out

The Book of Life

Rio 2

The Winner is……  Big Hero Six

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I enjoyed all five of the movies I had in my nominations but this movie just seemed to have that little something extra going for it.  I would say it had the most laughs for me as the robot was quite comical and all the supporting characters were funny in their own right also.  As not to give anything away, there is also a little bit of heartfelt drama to add to the comedy of the movie.

Best Sports Movie

Nominees

Creed

McFarland, USA

When the Game Stands Tall (2014)

Southpaw

And the Winner is……….. Creed

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This is honestly the hardest category that I had to pick of all of these and it even has the fewest nominations.

When the Game Stands Tall was one of those from 2014 that I didn’t see until later in 2015 on video and it was quite so-so.

Southpaw was really good and I think the boxing fight scenes looked better than Creed and had a good soundtrack.  Jake Gyllanhall did a really good job as I would say his character was like no character I had seen him act like before.  Forrest Whittaker did a really good job in his role as the boxing mentor of the troubled leading character.

The reason for the struggle in this category is the popular vote of Creed versus what I thought was one of the best gems of the year and still is a movie that I watch whenever it is on tv and that is McFarland, USA.  The Disney movie about a coach who starts a cross country program at a school in California where many of the kids are workers along with their parents as pickers in various fruit or vegetable fields by day, teaching the kids that they can hope for and aspire to something more than working in the fields for the rest of their lives and be seen as winners in their own eyes.  Creed is a great movie in its own right and one that has you pumped after you see it with great performances by the cast and well directed but McFarland has that really feel-good spirit to it but with real substance behind it.  The fact that it is a true story is just all the better.  Not to mention a good soundtrack that I bought on Amazon haha.. So officially I would say that overall Creed is the better movie in the technical sense and so it gets the award but I give a heavy nod to McFarland as the movie I “like” more.

Best Comedy Movie

Nominees

Trainwreck

Spy

Ted 2

The Wedding Ringer

Get Hard

The Intern

And the Winner is…  SPY

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“You really think you’re ready for the field? I once used defibrillators on myself.  I put shards of glass in my fuckin’ eye.  I’ve jumped from a high-rise building using only a raincoat as a parachute and broke both legs upon landing; I still had to pretend I was in a fucking Cirque du Soleil show!  I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer.  This arm has been ripped off completely and re-attached with *this* fuckin’ arm.”

Best Action Movie

Nominees

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Mad Max: Fury Road

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Jurassic World

Furious 7

And the winner is…  Jurassic World

An unpopular choice I am sure for many if they were to read this, but in a list of movies that were great at drawing up nostalgia, keeping me on the edge of my seat,  over-the-top violance and for just being a great thrill ride.  I liked every one of the movies on this list, some for very different ways.

Furious 7 I enjoyed because it was just crazy action from start to finish, some of it insanely improbable or even impossible but boy what a ride… And ended the journey of Brian O’Connor and Dominic Torreto with class.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was such a pleasant surprise.  I really enjoyed the humor of it and it was pretty well acted by all of the actors.  I am looking forward to the sequel that was announced for it.  I don’t think it did very well when released in theaters but it has gotten much more notoriety since released on video.  I recommend a watch but it is very violent just fyi.  Samuel L. Jackson is great as the James Bondesque villian.

Mad Max was an awesome movie and I was absolutely happy to see how it did so well and was received so well considering I was a big fan of the series from the 80’s.  I know it is possibly going to win quite a few rewards but the only thing I want to bring up is that while I highly recommend the movie, I don’t understand the talk about how ground-breaking the movie was.  To me it really was a reminder of the great action movies I watched growing up where the movie got right into the action and hardly let up to the end of the movie.. And all the talk of the feminism of the movie..  Yeesh.. I say hey Max is the title character and he is there and that its cool that one of the hero’s of the movie is a female lead character but thats just what it is.   A few great characters that are the protagonists of the movie but I feel like its just that on the surface and not some grand statement… but then again, “Who killed the World?!”

Jurassic World wins for me because, to me, it was a great “Jurassic” movie that was darn near as good as the original if not as good and if you know how much I like Jurassic Park then you realize that is a big statement to make. I thought Chris Pratt did a great job and the story was well-written with a lot of nods to the rest of the series.  Other movies on this list may have been crazier and grander in their approaches but I just thought this movie was moving right along from start to finish with plenty of moments where I was worried about what was going to happen because I really cared about what was going to happen and that was the difference… You’re my boy bleu..

Alright, let’s get this party started… The Big Awards

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees

Steve Carell (The Big Short)

Christian Bale (The Big Short)

Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

Benecio Del Toro (Sicario)

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

And the winner is… Steve Carell

Alright, i take it back, these are all really tough categories for me to pick a winner for.  So much great work was done this year.  In what I think is certainly one of the top 3 movies of the year, the Big Short showed a lot of great work from all the actors involved which means it had a great script behind it.  To be honest, I almost went with Tom Hardy for The Revenant because I felt like Steve Carell and Christian Bale sort of “split” my vote because they both were so great in the movie but they each did such a great job I just felt like Steve went further outside his normal range with the role.  I wanted to give it to Sylvester but alas, the great underdog did not win this time… much like his original movie.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees

Charlize Theron (Mad Max:Fury Road)

Anne Hathaway (The Intern)

Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

And the winner is… Charlize Theron

Some would give the Best Actress award to Charlize for Mad Max but I felt like it was more of an ensemble cast so I give the award as a supporter.  I want to give a special shout out to Olivia Cooke for her role in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because that movie hit me right in the feels this year…

Best Actress

Nominees

Emily Blunt (Sicario)

Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)

And the winner is… Jennifer Lawrence

Hmm.. Guess I didn’t watch a lot of movies with a female as the lead actress.  Then again, I don’t think it would matter much because Jennifer Lawrence did such an awesome job with Joy that I find it hard that someone would outdo her in that role for this year.

Best Actor

Nominees

Matt Damon (The Martian)

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies)

Michael B. Jordan (Creed)

Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw)

And the winner is… Matt Damon

Whew… I know the move to get Leo an award is strong and he did a hell of  a job with the Revenant but I just feel like Matt Damon had a little more with his role but both did awesome jobs.  Tom Hanks did a great job as always and the two boxer roles with Creed and Southpaw both did an excellent job in their own right.

Best Ensemble Cast

Nominees

Straight Outta Compton

The Big Short

Joy

The Revenant

Sicario

Creed

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

And the winner is… The Big Short

Any movie on this list I think is a movie worth spending your time watching.  These all were movies where you had multiple great performances going on and so obviously the movies are great themselves.  Straight Outta Compton was second on this list for me as it was a movie that I really enjoyed and everyone in the movie did really well especially Paul Giamatti, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell.  The Big Short only wins because I felt the movie had oscar-worthy performances from Steve Carell and Christian Bale with great performances also from Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling.  The Revenant had two oscar-worthy performances itself with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy as well.

In Memoriam

Many were lost around the entire world and these are just a few that would impact myself because of their contribution to my life through entertainment in my lifetime and to get away from the realities of this tough world.

Christopher Lee-To be Saruman from The Lord of the Rings trilogy he easily will be someone who will be missed.  He was an avid Tolkien reader and fan and put so much into the movies that are my favorite movie series and favorite book series of all time.  I believe he is also credited with the most movie roles of anyone all-time.  For horror fans he is important as having played Dracula in many of the hammer horror films of many years ago. He will be greatly missed but live on in his works.

Robert Loggia- For me, he is best remembered as Coach Wally Rig from ,secretly, my favorite football movie “Necessary Roughness”.. and my second favorite sports movie period, behind Major League.  Seriously though, their aren’t very many good football movies.  Secondly, from “Big” as the owner of the toy store that Tom Hanks works for and plays Chopsticks on the big piano in the toy store that is an iconic scene of 80’s movies.  Besides those, I will remember him from being a villian in the John Candy movie “Armed and Dangerous” and as part of the president’s cabinet in “Independence Day”.  He also can’t be forgotten as the guy who gave Tony Montana his first chance in “Scarface” as Frank Lopez.

Alan Rickman- Severus Snape from Harry Potter, Hans Gruber from Die Hard, Alexander Dane from Galaxy Quest, Metatron of Dogma, that cheating guy in Love Actually and one of the underrated villains of all-time, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Your sinister villains, perfect humor, and the great misunderstood Snape will always be remembered… Always.

James Horner- Braveheart soundtrack.. So emotional.

David Bowie- Will be remembered by many for so much more than this but for me it will always be about the Goblin King… Dance, Magic Dance.

Leonard Nimoy-Words just can’t say enough.. but I will just say, Live long and prosper.

 

And now my last award..

Best Picture

Nominees

The Martian

Straight Outta Compton

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

And the winner is… The Big Short

I think I have said enough about this while I explained the other awards but I will just say again that this movie was just a mass of wonderful performances that was well put together and about a serious, complex topic.  This is one of the last movies I saw and it dethroned Straight Outta Compton which I had as my favorite movie of the year up until The Big Short..  Go see all the movies on this list as they are worthy of your time.

To end my article,

Notables movies I saw that weren’t mentioned much or at all that I recommend: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Chappie, McFarland, USA., Sicario.

 

 

 

 

 

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Technology

A Tale of Two Geocities..

As I start my first website/blog since the 90s I really wasn’t sure what to make my first post about.  All the rants or reflections that I have had that make me say “I’m going to start a blog” have been forgotten at the moment but as I went about starting this my mind wandered back to when I made my first true website back in the day.  It was 1997 when I made my first webpage on the Geocities webhosting site.  It was a site dedicated to the Blizzard North game Diablo and the “clan” I had joined with that game.   The game had a “multi-player” aspect to it where 4 players could go through the levels together or actually could attack each other if they wanted to.  Anyways, in order to be a part of the clan and join and advance up the ranks you had to play online a lot and link your webpage with the webpage of the clan.  The memories I currently have of all the details I put in to creating the website is a stark contrast to webpage making today.  I actually had to learn HTML coding, which I looked up online some basic coding that made your website show this and that.  What code gave your webpage a different background color, gave a line break in the page, gave color to the font on the page.. even have a midi sound file playing on the page as you loaded the page up..


 

The picture above, for this article, was a random geocities webpage that I found online to show, sort of, the decor of what geocities web pages were about.  They varied in look, size, shape and topic…  And now to the meat of the article.  In my stroll down memory lane, I discovered some interesting facts about the geocities community.  First of all, in case you didn’t know, geocities was shut down in 2009 and so if you were someone like me who created a webpage and wanted to see if it was still up and running you won’t be able to find it on the internet…. Or can you.. “Good News Everyone!”I have discovered that when news of Yahoo’s plans to take down all the Geocities webpages was heard then multiple entities when on the crusade of downloading every single Geocities webpage that was in the community for the most part.  That’s right, one of the relics of the internet has been preserved and you can download them from various locations.  The website www.oocities.org seems to be fully dedicated to the keeping of the history and nostalgia of the websites and their relative importance to the internet culture.  There you can also search for individual websites if you remember your username or a particular one you are looking for.  If you want the entire archive you can download it here on Pirate Bay torrent site.  In the archaeology of the internet I think that these are rather important as a show of where we came from in terms of the internet in general and in terms of how the fad of webhosting sites can and have come and gone through time.  So take a look at some of the past and reminisce about the 90’s and early 2000’s.

Oh well, this first post has gotten long-winded and slightly rambling like an old man on a park bench in the spring time.  Then again, maybe I am closer to that scenario than I think..  I’m sure my future posts will be more movie and game and technology related and possibly even in connection with how it relates to everyday life today but that’s for another time.  I hope I didn’t waste your time too much I just found that when I looked into my old website I found a lot more interesting history to it than I thought I would and to think how it compares to website building today is how I titled this article A Tale of Two Geocities…

Good night and remember that Two-Player isn’t always better..

 

 

 

 

 

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