Saturday, May 28, 2005

You go away for a week.....and look what happens!

I have not even been away from the land of the rising sun for a week, and I find myself in trouble big time. CDR Salamander has tagged me with a meme:

An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve. Examples of memes (and meme systems) include political theories, proselytizing religions, and the idea of memes

As defined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976): "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation." "Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation." In this sense, chain letter components are

A term coined by Richard Dawkins, who defines it as "a unit of cultural inheritance, hypothesized as analogous to the particulate gene and as naturally selected by virtue of its 'phenotypic' consequences on its own survival and replication in the cultural environment.

So it sounds just like an infection I think, infected with a strong desire to emulate the Bookworm. The only way to rid my self of this illness is to comply. So I will.

The subject here is about movies, specifically top five lists of movies that I like and can watch over and over. As a guy who once spent a lot of time on ships, I know a thing or two about that. I've watched more than my fair share of bad ones and even a couple of good ones. So here goes:

Total number of films I own on DVD/Video:

Since they and my books were about the only thing I was able to salvage when I walked out on the shrew...I have just under 100. About a 60/40 split between VHS video tapes and DVD's.

The last film I bought:

Phantom of the Opera. It sounds great when the DVD player is hooked up to the sound system. The S.O. had dragged me to see the movie about 4 months ago, and I liked it.

The last film I watched:

On the plane from SFO going east, watched "Because of Winn Dixie". I also watched Oceans 12 and Coach Carter on the Trans-Pacific flight to SFO.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

Here is where I am going to deviate from the format just a bit. I think its too much to lump classic films with new releases. They are like wine , needing time to mature and hit their prime. So I will give you my top movies from 3 categories: Classics ( meaning any movie from "The Jazz Singer(1927)"- 1975.) , Contemporary movies-1975- present, and finally,recent releases (Last 4 years). Like I have said before, Japanese TV is pretty boring and I travel a lot, so I get to watch a lot of movies. And no, my dear Bookworm....there's no porn here.

Top 5 Classics:

Casablanca- " Here's looking at you kid" and " of all the gin joints in all the world....she had to walk into mine". Plenty of classic lines in this picture. Its a great movie and I think it should be on any real man's top 10 list.

The Quiet Man- John Wayne as an American who emigrates to Ireland. Again, my kind of movie. The Duke drinks a lot of beer, kicks some uppity Irish ass, and gets married to Maureen O' Hara. A great flick.

The Magnificent Seven- Every real man should have this movie in his collection. Its just an outstanding movie.

Dr Strangelove..or How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Bomb.- Stanley Kubrick's farce about the Cold War. I still think there is no better scene as when Peter Sellers is playing the President of the United States trying to convince a drunk Soviet premier that he is his friend.

To Kill a Mockingbird- Read the book in High School- Gregory Peck is great in the movie and the story is a great story about injustice.

I've left out a whole ton of great movies here that are of equal caliber......and of course no real man is not without his quota of 3 Stooges clips.......

Contemporary Movies:

Absence of Malice- Paul Newman and Sally Field show that the Main Stream media were not above getting the story wrong to sell newspapers, even before the days of blogs and the internet.

The Paper- Can you tell there is a theme here? Inside me is a frustrated journalist wanting to come out on this blog. I think this is a great movie that tells a great story, and it adheres to all the 3 unities ( You folks who listened in high school English will remember that a good story should have unity of time, place and action). This movie has all 3 as it chronicles the news cycle as it happens.

Blazing Saddles- Again the precursor of an entire genre of comedy movies. This is again a movie every man should have in his cabinent. I've seen this movie so many times I can recite the script with the sound turned down.

The Goodbye Girl- Yes its a romance film, but I like Richard Dreyfus in the movie and he epitomizes all of the frustrated actor impulses in yours truly.

Goodfellas- This is a great mob movie. Great story and great sound track. Plus Robert DeNiro and the rest of the cast all look like they were born to play their respective parts. Casino is also a great mob flick as well.

Special Bonus Foreign Film: Eat, Drink, Man ,Woman(食、飲、男、女)- Chinese film shot in Taiwan about a girl who reconciles with her father a famous chef in Taiwan. Great scenes, good drama, and if you have ever been to Taipei, its a great snapshot of the places you went......

Recent Releases-

Friday Night Lights


Proof of Life

The Alamo

Primary Colors

No explanations here with this last category. They are just recently released movies that I have liked. I've had deliberately slighted Science Fiction and Animation, both of whom are Genre's that I love. Science Fiction because I can't solve the Star Wars vs Star Trek thing (I like 'em both) and animation because I like Spirited Away and Heavy Metal. Hard to reconcile that conflict......(Its a one way ticket to midnight!!). I also left out any of the really dirty movies because if there's a lot of gratuitous female nudity, then it always gets two thumbs way up!!
Those types of movies deserve their own ranking IMHO, but this is already long enough.

No one to tag here, because I want to wait to move this one down the pike. However all you citizens of Bloggerville, keep an eye out and practice safe blogging, or you will get infected with a meme!



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