AFI List update!

Ok people, we’re in the home stretch! Altogether, yes I’ve watched over 100 of the combined AFI’s 100 GREATEST AMERICAN MOVIES OF ALL TIME  (say it in Kanye’s voice) and the 10th Anniversary List. But that still puts me at 102/123 of the combined list. Follow along as I power through the final 21 (yes, I need cheerleaders). Here they are folks:

  1. Doctor Zhivago
  2. The General
  3. The Bridge on the River Kwai 
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives
  5. Shane 
  6. Intolerance 
  7. MASH
  8. Nashville
  9. Unforgiven
  10. The Wild Bunch
  11. 12 Angry Men
  12. The French Connection
  13. The Last Picture Show
  14. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  15. Mutiny on the Bounty
  16. Dances with Wolves
  17. An American in Paris
  18. The Manchurian Candidate
  19. Rebel Without a Cause
  20. Amadeus
  21. The Birth of a Nation

Got any tips? What order should I watch them in? Which one should I save for last? Leave a comment below 🙂



Christmas Movies on Netflix

Title explains it all folks:

Scrooged, White Christmas, Love Actually, A Very Murray Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas with the Kranks, Fireplace, Ernest Saves Christmas, The Ref,


On Netflix streaming:

  • The Ref
    • Starring Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey
    • If your a cynical type, like dark comedies, and don’t particularly enjoy the holidays, then this movie is right up your alley
    • Seriously, watch it.
  • White Christmas
    • 1954 version starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
    • So Christmasy it’ll make you barf eggnog all over the tree
  • Scrooged
    • Modern take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
    • Starring Bill Murray
  • Love Actually
    • British Christmas
    • Hella famous people: Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant,  Thomas Brodie-Sangster, etc.
    • RIP Alan Rickman
  • Miracle on 34th Street
    • 1994 version starring ya girl Mara Wilson
    • Also that old dude from Jurassic Park
  • Fireplace for your home
    • If plot and dialogue aren’t your thing, put on the fireplace
    • Comes in classic and birchwood editions
    • Great for during Christmas parties
    • I can’t believe there is a IMDb page for this
    • 5 stars on Netflix…
  • Fireplace and Melodies for the Holidays
    • Oh snap! Someone outdid just fireplace!
    • No IMDb 😦
    • Think about whoever cashed in on this movie idea and marvel
  • Ernest Saves Christmas
    • Ernest and his crazy antics
    • I haven’t seen this but the thumbnail looks promising
    • 3 1/2 stars so probably not as bad as I imagine
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
    • 3 1/2 stars average rating
  • Happy Christmas
    • Starring Anna Kendrick
    • Same director as Drinking Buddies
    • 4 stars
  • Tree Man
    • Documentary about a Canadian man who sells Christmas trees in NYC
    • Haven’t seen it but has a little over 3 stars

In conclusion, not much that I’ve actually seen is available for streaming. Everything else has 2 stars or less average rating. Here are others that you might want to gamble with:

  • The Three Dogateers
    • Three dogs save Christmas
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday
    • Has nothing to do with Christmas but it’s in the Holiday favorites section of Netflix soooo
    • Why hasn’t this man aged?
    • Omg Joe Manganiello is in it?
    • And Alia Shawkat?


50 movies you have to see in your lifetime

Snagged this list from Looks like I’m going to have to add more movies to my queue. And I was down to 150 too (the low end).

27/50–just over half. Will update as I see them.

  1. Heathers
  2. Together
  3. When Harry Met Sally
  4. The Big Lebowski
  5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  6. The Cabin in the Woods
  7. True Romance
  8. Wet Hot American Summer
  9. The Princess Diaries
  10. Casa Blanca
  11. Escape From New York
  12. Boyhood
  13. All About Eve
  14. Yojimbo
  15. Marie Antoinette
  16. The Usual Suspects
  17. The Big Chill
  18. The Beginners
  19. Singin’ in the Rain
  20. Frances Ha
  21. The Princess Bride
  22. Rushmore
  23. Jaws
  24. The Lives of Others
  25. (500) Days of Summer
  26. Jodorowsky’s Dune
  27. Short Term 12
  28. Repulsion
  29. The Royal Tenenbaums
  30. Harold and Maude
  31. The Apartment
  32. The Landlord
  33. The Up Series
  34. Paprika
  35. The Heartbreak Kid
  36. Black Cat, White Cat
  37. The Shining
  38. Clean, Shaven
  39. The General
  40. American Graffiti
  41. Love Actually
  42. In The Mood For Love
  43. Princess Mononoke
  44. This is Spinal Tap
  45. The Raid: Redemption
  46. Lord of the Rings
  47. The Godfather
  48. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  49. Vertigo
  50. Kramer vs. Kramer

List of 1970s movies to watch

[Number of movies rated as of 6/16/2014 is 1399]

It is widely agreed that the 1970s was American cinema’s golden age. I recently watched A Decade Under the Influence (2003) which explores some of the best films of the era. Netflix describes it as “an ode to the art form, one that pays homage to the ‘auteurs’ that emerged from that distinctive time period, such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.”


There are, of course, more movies–important movies–that can be added to this list but I thought I’d put down some of the ones mentioned in the documentary that I haven’t seen and/or aren’t that well-known. These are all now in my queue and I’m going to be slowly wading into them over the course of the next year or so. Enjoy!


Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970): Award-winning actress Faye Dunaway portrays tortured former model Lou Andreas Sand, who, after suffering a nervous breakdown, leads a reclusive life at the beach. Her former lover Aaron visits with plans to record her story on tape. The tales unfold, but are Lou’s memories real or mere delusions? Barry Primus, Barry Morse and Roy Scheider co-star in director Jerry Schatzberg’s Golden Globe-nominated psychological descent into madness.

Scarecrow (1973): Meeting on a lonely stretch of California highway while thumbing their way east, loner ex-con Max (Gene Hackman) and likable loser Lionel (Al Pacino) decide to travel in tandem. Along the way, they develop a profound friendship, but it gets put to the test when Lionel faces a devastating reality. Director Jerry Schatzberg’s fascinating character study features sterling supporting performances by Eileen Brennan and Richard Lynch.

The French Connection (1971): Tough-as-nails narcotics detective “Popeye” Doyle and his partner, Russo, are in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a multimillion-dollar heroin-smuggling operation in this classic crime thriller inspired by true events.

Dirty Harry (1971): When a madman dubbed “The Scorpio Killer” terrorizes San Francisco, hard-boiled cop Harry Callahan — famous for his take-no-prisoners approach to law enforcement — is tasked with hunting down the psychopath.

Play Misty for Me (1971): Silver-tongued radio disc jockey Dave (Clint Eastwood) can’t help but notice the persistent calls from a female to “play ‘Misty’ for me.” But a chance meeting with infatuated fan Evelyn leads to a brief and steamy love affair. Dave quickly learns he’s in for more than a little night music, and that Evelyn will stop at nothing — even the return of one of Dave’s old flames — to have him all to herself. The film marks Eastwood’s directorial debut.

The Last Picture Show (1971): There’s not much to do in the windswept Texas hamlet of Anarene, where the town’s only cinema is about to close forever. So high schoolers Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) lust after incorrigible flirt Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd) while trying to chart their uncertain futures. When Duane heads for Korea after joining the service and Jacy gets shipped off to college, Sonny is left behind in a veritable ghost town.

The Conversation (1974): Francis Ford Coppola follows The Godfather with this intimate film about an audio surveillance expert who faces a moral quandary when he suspects that a couple whose conversation he’s been hired to record will be murdered.

McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971): From director Robert Altman comes a dazzling original film capturing the essence of frontier life while overturning Old West myths. John McCabe (Warren Beatty), an entrepreneurial vagabond, moves to a ramshackle Pacific Northwest town to establish a saloon/brothel. He soon meets the shrewd Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie), a professional madam with years of experience; together, they start a booming business and a blossoming relationship.

Sleeper (1973): Health-food store owner Miles Monroe (Woody Allen, who also directs) bites the dust in 1973 and ends up cryogenically frozen, only to be defrosted in a dystopian future in which people pleasure themselves with an “orgasmatron” and dissidents’ brains are “electronically simplified.” Upon becoming a hunted man, Miles masquerades as an android butler in the home of a self-indulgent poet (Diane Keaton) — but the ruse doesn’t last.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974): Ex-thief Thunderbolt and fun-loving drifter Lightfoot team up with Thunderbolt’s shady old associates to restage a robbery of a bank. Writer-director Michael Cimino kicked off his career with this irreverent caper thriller full of crackling dialogue.

Who’s That Knocking at My Door? (1967): A young couple’s romantic bliss is shattered in this dark drama from Martin Scorsese. When a Catholic reformed street thug (Harvey Keitel) finds out that his girlfriend (Zina Bethune) was raped years earlier, he’s unable to cope with the revelation. Despite his deep feelings for the girl, he’s chained to a repressive moral code and a social milieu that assigns women to one of two categories: virgin or whore.

Mean Streets (1973): In director Martin Scorsese’s look at New York City’s Little Italy, a small-time hood deals with the pressures of working his way up the ranks of a local mob, while coping with his family’s disapproval of his epileptic girlfriend.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975): To get money for his gay lover’s sex-change operation, Sonny (Al Pacino) — who’s married with kids — teams up with Sal (John Cazale) to rob a New York bank on a scorching-hot summer day. The stickup goes awry when the press gets wind of the circus sideshow-esque story. Chris Sarandon, Charles Durning and James Broderick co-star in this classic Sidney Lumet-directed film based on an actual event from the 1970s.

The King of Marvin Gardens (1972): Uptight deejay David Staebler (Jack Nicholson) travels to Atlantic City, N.J., to learn more about an outlandish, get-rich-quick scheme cooked up by his manic brother, Jason (Bruce Dern). Despite David’s suspicions, he plays along — but when the plan’s flaws become evident, neither Jason nor his beauty-queen girlfriend (Ellen Burstyn) heed David’s protestations. Director Bob Rafelson’s evocative drama costars Scatman Crothers.

Carnal Knowledge (1971): Mike Nichols directs a sterling cast in this trailblazing film, which chronicles the sexual mores and escapades of two college pals — loathsome misogynist Jonathan (Jack Nicholson) and shy, neurotic Sandy (Art Garfunkel) — over two decades. Jonathan and Sandy embody a laundry list of emotional dysfunction as they move from one relationship to the next. Candice Bergen, Rita Moreno and Oscar-nominated Ann-Margret co-star as the women in their orbit.

A Touch of Class (1973): Glenda Jackson collected an Oscar for her sterling performance as a shrewd British fashion designer who falls for married insurance adjuster Steve Blackburn (George Segal). Their liaison begins swimmingly, but a succession of comic pitfalls complicate matters. Those include a meddling friend (Paul Sorvino), a coupe with clutch problems and Segal’s dislocated back, leading to what started as a run-of-the-mill affair ending on an unexpected note.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974): Ellen Burstyn won an Oscar playing Alice Hyatt, a destitute widow who must find the strength to go on for her young son (Alfred Lutter) in the face of loneliness and fear, in this classic slice of 1970s cinema from director Martin Scorsese. When the pair lands in Tucson, Ariz., Alice takes a job at a diner and meets a customer (Kris Kristofferson) who helps mend her fractured heart. The film spawned the popular TV sitcom “Alice.”

An Unmarried Woman (1978): A groundbreaking film at the time of its release, director Paul Mazursky’s poignant portrayal of a woman dealing with the dissolution of her marriage won many honors, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Screenplay and Actress (Jill Clayburgh). When her seemingly perfect husband (Michael Murphy) leaves her for another woman, devastated wife Erica (Clayburgh) must find untapped strength within herself to build a new life.

Klute (1971): Thoroughly inhabiting what is by far one of her greatest roles, Jane Fonda won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as a manipulative big-city prostitute who helps a small-town detective named Klute (Donald Sutherland) solve a missing persons case. “Working girl” Bree Daniels (Fonda) dismisses men as victims of their own base instincts — until she meets the incorruptible Klute and starts to fall for him.

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969): A Depression-era dance marathon with a large cash prize brings out the worst in its desperate contestants in director Sydney Pollack’s powerful drama starring Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin and Gig Young (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar). The competitors — including a jaded young woman, a drifter and a pregnant farm girl — push one another to the brink of exhaustion, and finally into the unthinkable. Susannah York and Red Buttons also star.

All the President’s Men (1976): The film that launched a thousand journalism school students, All the President’s Men chronicles how the work of reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) contributed to the public downfall of President Richard M. Nixon. The duo connected a Washington, D.C., hotel break-in with a Nixon “dirty tricks” team assigned to discredit Democratic rivals, launching a series of tense events that forced Nixon to resign.

Shampoo (1975): In this racy satire set in the narcissistic world of late 1960s Los Angeles, a womanizing hairdresser trying to open his own salon in Beverly Hills has trouble juggling his business and sexual affairs.

Coming Home (1978): While her husband is in Vietnam, Sally Hyde volunteers at a veterans’ clinic, where she encounters embittered paraplegic Luke Martin. Feeling progressively disconnected from her spouse, Sally begins an emotional and physical affair with Luke.

The Last Detail (1973): In this classic 1970s road movie, Officers Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and Mulhall (Otis Young) must escort a young sailor (Randy Quaid) to a New England military prison, where the 18-year-old is about to serve eight years for a trivial offense. Determined to cram all the living they can into one lost weekend, the boys booze, brawl and fornicate their way to their ultimate destination. Both Nicholson and Quaid deliver Oscar-nominated performances.

Being There (1979): The uncomplicated life of simple-minded Chance is changed after a run-in with wealthy Eve, and soon his “wisdom” — mostly garden related — has Washington’s political elite hailing him as brilliant.


Children’s movies: Rodents v. Penguins

Has anyone noticed that children’s movies have phases of popular animal species? I, for one, grew up in the late 80s-early 90s where almost every movie I watched had to do with rodents:

  • The Secret of Nimh(1982) – A field mouse must consort with super-smart rats to help her ill son
  • The Rescuers (1977) – The mice Bernard and Bianca must save an orphan girl who is being held captive in the bayou and forced to gather jewels
  •  The Rescuers Down Under (1990) – The mice Bernard and Bianca go to Australia to help save a boy and an eagle from a poacher
  • An American Tail (1986) – A mouse emigrates from Russia to escape from Bolshevik cats
  • The Great Mouse Detective (1986) – Basically Sherlock Holmes in mouse form
  • Once Upon a Forest (1993) – A badger is poisoned by evil men and his friends, a mouse, a mole, and a hedgehog must find him a cure
  • The Witches (1990) – A boy stumbles upon a witch convention and as punishment, is turned into a mouse. Together with another boy who has been turned into a mouse, they must prevent the witches from turning other children into mice.
  • Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-1992) – Chipmunks fight crime (yes this is a television series but I think it’s relevant)

Children born during the aughts will probably have an unusual attachment to penguins:

In conclusion, we pick strange ways of entertaining/educating our children.