Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coffee Break Poem: Talking to Grief

by Denise Levertov

Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don't know you've been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

1001 Books You Should Read

For a bookworm, I don't seem to be doing to well catching up on my reading . Of the 1001 on this list - these are the only ones I've read. I have a loooooong way to go.
Stuff I Read:
  • Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
  • Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
  • The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (currently reading)

* Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

Stuff I’ve been meaning to read:

· The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
· A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
· The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
· 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
· The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
· The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

· Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
· A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
· Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
· The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
· Persuasion - Jane Austen
· Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

1001 Movies to See Before You Die

There are books that they say you should read before you die. Now here's a list of 1001 movies to see before you die.
Here are the few that I've seen from this list (by personal categories):

My All-Time Favorites:
· When Harry Met Sally (1989)
· Forrest Gump (1994)
· Fight Club (1999)
· The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)- Add in Two Towers and Return of the King to this list
· Chicago (2002)
· Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)- & Vol. 2, of course

Movies I like:
· Back to the Future (1985)- and the other two sequels
· The Naked Gun (1988)
· Big (1988)
· The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
· Groundhog Day (1993)
· The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
· Amelie (2001)
· And Your Mother Too (2001)- Original Spanish Title is "Y Tu Mama Tambien"
· Moulin Rouge (2001) - I liked Baz Luhrmann'a mash-up style
· The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Hands down classics:
· Casablanca (1942)
· Roman Holiday (1953)
· Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
· My Fair Lady (1964)
· Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
· Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
· Star Wars (1977)
· Saturday Night Fever (1977)
· Grease (1978)
· Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
· Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
· Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
· The Pianist (2002)

“Uh –it was ok” movies
· Ghostbusters (1984)
· The Princess Bride (1987)
· Batman (1989)– It could have been much better. Christian Bale has done the best job as Batman, so far.
· Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
· Braveheart (1995)
· Strictly Ballroom (1992)
· There’s Something About Mary (1998)
· The Matrix (1999)– Watched all three plus Animatrix, and I still didn’t get it. Love the outfits though.
· The Blair Witch Project (1999)
· American Beauty (1999)
· Eyes Wide Shut (1999)– Two words: Tom Cruise
· The Sixth Sense (1999)– I just liked the ending.
· Gladiator (2000)
· Meet the Parents (2000)
· Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Movies I’ve been meaning to watch but never got to:
· Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror (1922)
· The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
· Dracula (1931)
· The Seven Samurai (1954)
· Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
· Gigi (1958)
· La Dolce Vita (1960)
· A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
· 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
· The Godfather (1972)
· The Godfather Part II (1974) - and Part III
· Manila in the Claws of Brightness (1975)
– My mother had a small role in this movie (Can’t find a copy anywhere)
· Nosferatu: Phantom Of The Night (1979)
· Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
· Cinema Paradiso (1988)
· A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
· Die Hard (1988)
· Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
· Schindler’s List (1993)
· The Piano (1993)
· Pulp Fiction (1994)
· Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Classics I’ve seen remakes of: (without seeing the original)
· The Ladykillers (1955)- The remake was hilarious!
· An Affair to Remember (1957)
· Psycho (1960)- Maybe the original Hitchock version was better.

Movies I’ve seen but don’t care much for:
· Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)- I tell you, Snow White is a vampire!
· Pinocchio (1940)
· Dumbo (1941)
· The Ten Commandments (1956)– Saw this on TV on every Holy Week as a kid. The Sound of Music (1965)– I only liked the music. Not so pleasant watching Nazis as a kid.
· The Jungle Book (1967)
· Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)– Saw this and the remake, and still don’t like it.
· Jaws (1975)
· Carrie (1976)
· Rocky (1976) – I didn’t understand a word Stallone said.
· Alien (1979)
· Mad Max (1979)
· Airplane! (1980)
· E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
· The Terminator (1984)
· A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
· Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
· The Fly (1986)
· Aliens (1986)
· Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
· Top Gun (1986)
· Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
· Pretty Woman (1990)
· Edward Scissorhands (1990)– Couldn’t stand Johnny Depp in this one.
· Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
· A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001) – Hated it.
· Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)– I was bored out of my wits. The worst Dracula movie ever.
· Philadelphia (1993)
· The Lion King (1994)
· Toy Story (1995)
· Clueless (1995)
· Independence Day (1996)
· The English Patient (1996)– I really tried to appreciate this one.
· Scream (1996)
· Titanic (1997)– Hate this with a passion for a million on cinematic reasons.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Coffee Break: David vs. David

Had a feeling this was gonna be a David vs. David fight.
I like good little boy David A., but alas I've always had a weakness for dark horses.
My money's been on the rocker-bartender-wordnerd dude --- even when he had the funny hair. But I guess they all start out kinda scruffy.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Batman vs. Iron Man

Darn it! It's like choosing between Canon and Nikon! (Click on title for the video)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Coffee Break: Robert Downey Jr.

Here's a letter I came across on The New Republic about actor Robert Downey Jr. - who is now best known for his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark.
I'd have to say I partially agree with this guy. Partially, because he's the one who decides to take on these roles as well.
But I do agree that he is a really good actor.
I first saw Downey in the "Chaplin", and his performance was brilliant. Of course there are his more popular romantic comedies that all through the90s. But this has been overshadowed by his constant struggle with drugs.
Personally I hope this comeback brings him even better roles, and a better life.

Dear Hollywood (I'm not going to cite you individually by name, but you know who you are),

I'm writing to ask you to please, please stop trying to kill Robert Downey Jr. It's bad for cinema, bad for the box office (as this weekend will emphatically attest), and simply not a nice thing to do.

What am I talking about? You know perfectly well, but I will explain anyway:

Downey has noted that his recreational drug use in the 1980s did not spiral into a full-blown debilitating addiction until he played an addict in Less Than Zero. As the star recently told Starpulse, "Until that movie I took my drugs after work and on the weekends. That changed on Less Than Zero. The role was like the ghost of Christmas Future. I became an exaggeration of the character." Downey's subsequent addiction resulted in arrests, incarceration, and the near-demise of his acting career. Nobody wants anything like that to happen again, right?

Cut to three years ago. A rehabilitated Downey was making his comeback, and you cast him as the lead in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a sly noir subversion that offered one of the best roles of his career. But you just had to sneak in a subplot in which Downey's character loses a finger and spends the remainder of the film smashed on painkillers. As he notes at one point, "Then and there I made a decision: If it fucking killed me, I would not stop until I got, like, two more Demerol."

Yes, I know. It's just one movie. It's a coincidence, all one big misunderstanding. But how are we to explain the following?

-- The next year, you gave him a role in A Scanner Darkly as an abuser of Substance D, a drug so addictive that "you're either on it, or you haven't tried it."

-- Then, it was the part of Paul Avery in Zodiac--a flamboyant reporter whose career falls apart thanks to drug and alcohol abuse.

-- Following that, you made him the principal/dad in Charlie Bartlett, another alcoholic, and this time one who waves a gun around drunkenly in one scene. (Downey also faced weapons charges in the 1990s.)

-- And now, finally, he gets to be Tony Stark in Iron Man. But what seems at first glance to be a career pinnacle--a great performance in a movie poised to make $2 gajillion--is just another step in your elaborate plot to undo him. Sure, he's just amiably boozy in this one (though he puts down enough Scotches that one wonders if his Iron Man armor has retractable cup holders). But, given that Stark is probably the most famous Marvel Comics hero to face serious alcohol abuse, it's all too clear that within a sequel or two you intend to have him hammered out of his mind, waving his repulsor rays around and demanding that someone get him an Oxycodone.

Seriously, guys: Please cut it out. Downey is a terrific actor and seems to be a nice guy. Find him a role as a yoga instructor or the owner of a health food store. Let him play a vegan FBI agent or a Seventh Day Adventist shock jock. Make him Captain Frickin' America. But this has got to stop.


Christopher Orr

Friday, May 2, 2008

Coffee Break: Gisele

I don't think anyone is surprised Gisele was named the model raking in the most dough. Where don't you see her?