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Jerry Shaw Has Great Taste In Movies

August 13th, 2009 No comments

Karin and I were enjoying a quiet evening at home on the couch watching the movie Eagle Eye.  Nearly an hour into the movie, when the (blank) reveals to (blank) that his life is (blank, blank, blankety blank…I’m not gonna ruin in for you), this quickly flashed on the screen:

Wow…apparently some of Jerry Shaw’s favorite movies include The Big Lebowski, Donnie Darko, The Usual Suspects, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (you’ve seen this film…right?), Office Space, Full Metal Jacket, and…Fight Club.  Not only was Fight Club listed, they used an image of the first DVD pressing.  Nice touch.

I’m an absolute slave to this film, and if I didn’t mention this sighting I’d have to turn in my Cool Kids Club card, and man…I wouldn’t want to do that.  After all, they serve hot ham-and-cheese sandwiches on Wednesdays for lunch…

My Top 10 Movie List

August 3rd, 2009 2 comments

I’m a movie fanatic.  No, wait…that doesn’t sound right.  Movie buff?  No, that won’t do.  Movie freak?  Yeah, that sounds more like it.  What does my movie collection look like?  I’ll show you mine if you show me yours:

I’ve often been asked what my “Top 10″ movies of all time are.  Well, my top five have been pretty solidly locked in place for years now, with the six through ten slots changing a bit over time.

If you were to ask me today what my top ten movies are, this is the list I’d rattle off:

1) Fight Club
“We have front row seats for this theater of Mass Destruction. The Demolitions Committee of Project Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns of a dozen buildings with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges, and a few square blocks will be reduced to smoldering rubble. I know this, because Tyler knows this.”  And so begins this modern tale of confusion, mistrust, empowerment, schizophrenic behavior, and soap.  Beautifully filmed and very nearly loyal to the novel, David Fincher captures the alienation and minimization of the individual in the face of a corporate, materialistic world, and how it sends one man over the edge.

2) The Warriors
Based on the ancient Greek story Anabasis, about a group of mercenaries trapped deep behind enemy lines, The Warriors follows a street gang after a botched truce meeting in the Bronx as they bop their way back to the safety of their home turf of Coney Island.  This 1979 film is highlighted by imaginative gangs and costumes (go Furies!), and from what I’ve read was actually considered controversial for its time.  Any movie that Pop Will Eat Itself sampled heavily from is okay in my book.

3) 12 Angry Men (1957)
Throw some of the finest actors of a generation into a room, lock the doors and let the cameras roll, and you have the makings of one of the finest films ever captured on celluloid.  Henry Fonda leads the cast as the lone holdout on a jury who, over the course of the film, gradually sways the eleven other jurors over from their impetuous guilty judgements.  This is the very definition of a character driven film.  

4) Repo Man
It’s hard to imagine a time when Emilio Estevez had a viable career, but in 1984 he starred as Otto in this movie about (surprise!) repo men.  Part schtick, part social commentary, a dash of conspiracy, and a heaping pile of musical goodness, Repo Man not only stands the test of time, it forms a cornerstone of cool in an era of self-importance in the “Me” generation.  It’s 4 A.M., do you know where your car is?  Oh, and +1 for the inclusion of Harry Dean Stanton!

5) The Matrix
Locked in a prison we can’t see, ruled over by Agents we can’t defeat, leading lives we have no control over.  This is The Matrix, and Neo wants to free humanity from it’s invisible shackles.  Ground breaking for its time, the Wachowski brothers forced the red pill down our collective throats, allowing us to see what binds us, and what will eventually set us free.  The Matrix is the one movie all other science fiction movies wish they were.

My top 6-10 movies are very fluid, with a few jostling for position, and a couple that have fallen out of favor, replaced by new/old comers.  These movies are, in short:

If I had to recommend one of these as a “must watch” film, it would have to be The Dish.  It’s a lighthearted film about the Australian contribution to the first landing on the moon and the subsequent television broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s first tentative steps on the surface.  Brilliantly cast is Sam Neill as the head of the Parks team, and Puddy (er, sorry…Patrick Warburton), as the U.S. liaison.  An absolutely charming movie, perfect family fare, and an essential part of any movie collection.  Just go watch it already!

So….what are some of your favorite films?

Categories: Blu-ray, DVD, Movies Tags: , ,

What’s The Point?

July 31st, 2009 1 comment

What’s the point of DVD / Blu-ray cardboard sleeves?  The same information and pictures are printed on both the sleeve and the movie itself.  In this environmentally conscious society we find ourselves in nowadays, why are the movie companies wasting paper with these worthless sleeves?  

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical when studios force those lame “environmentally friendly” blu-ray cases on us, yet they insist on killing trees and using harsh bleaching chemicals to produce these useless sleeves?

Go on, spot the difference.  I dare ya.

Oh, BTW, Benjamin Button was on sale at Fry’s today for $14.00.  Peeling back the layers of stickers revealed the original price of $29.95, which proves that one should never by blu-ray movies on their release date. 8)

Categories: Blu-ray, Movies Tags: ,

Just When I Think I’m Out…

June 18th, 2009 No comments

Going through the mail the other day I came across a love letter from Best Buy that contained one of these:

I’m guessing that Best Buy didn’t get my “Dear Jane” letter I wrote them a couple months ago.  If they had, then they wouldn’t have bothered sending me this $5 gift card.  Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I set foot in a Best Buy, but it must have been quite a while ago for them to start missing me enough to send me this obvious attempt to lure me back in.

But who am I kidding?  I’m a sucker for free.  Call me weak.  Free food samples at the grocery store?  I’m there.  Free cookies at the bank?  Yep, count me in.  Free trial subscriptions?  You betcha.  I’ve even been known to make an appointment for the dentist just to scam a free lollipop, so you know I’m all over this $5 gift card from Best Buy.

But this is it.  I swear after this, it’s cold turkey.  No more Best Buy, no matter how convenient the store location or how glamorous the sales promotion, I’m drawing the line.  Your blu-ray prices pushed me out the door, and I don’t plan on coming back until you’ve changed your ways, and I don’t expect you to do so any time soon.  In fact, I feel so confident in that assertion that I’ve given Fry’s a promise ring, and I don’t intend to see anyone behind her back.

After all, she now has my letterman jacket, and asking for it back would be, ya know…kinda awkward.

Addendum:

Weird Neighbor Alert…this morning at 12:16 am, my pool-playing neighbor was busy hauling what looked like body bags from his garage into the side of a white 70′s Econoline van with diamond-shaped tinted rear windows.  We couldn’t help but take notice because every few minutes we heard a distinctive hollow *THUD!* as bag after sealed bag hit the floor of that van, and we just had to open the blinds to see what was going on.

Surveillance will continue… ;-)

Categories: Blu-ray, Movies, Random Tags: , ,

Dear Best Buy: I’m Sorry I Have To Tell You This…

April 8th, 2009 1 comment

Best Buy:

Over the past two years we’ve become very familiar with each other.  Every Tuesday I loyally make the quick drive from work to see you during my lunch hour, anxious to see what new movies were released on DVD.  Slowly, I would wander your aisles, softly whispering movie titles under my breath, carefully fondling your newly stocked selection, and unconsciously, almost out of loving reverence, when I noticed a DVD out of place, I would pick it up and gently place it in its correct location.

Things were good and right with the world.  My movie collection was growing at an exponential rate, and I couldn’t be happier.  It was then, after nearly a two-year love affair, that she showed up.

Her name was blu-ray.

The moment that I gave in, my knees trembling, seduced by her superior picture and sound, I knew our relationship was on rocky ground.

Sure, things were still status quo for a couple of weeks.  I was swinging by every Tuesday afternoon, but now I was noticing things…small things really, that I never noticed before.  Your blu-ray selection was sparse, leaving me wanting.  Your prices were high, often charging me double what a new DVD would sell for.  Your once bright and comforting atmosphere began to grow cold and aloof.  I no longer felt at ease under the flat sheen of your unwavering florescent lights.

This is difficult for me to say, so I think I’ll just say it:  I think we should spend some time apart.  You know, perhaps see other people?  I still love you, I really do.  It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you this in person.  Writing this letter was hard enough, and I couldn’t bear saying these words and seeing the heartache on your face.  Please, forgive me.

Love,  HermanTurnip

P.S.  I’ll be spending my Tuesday’s at Fry’s, you know…if you ever want to talk.

Categories: Blu-ray, DVD, Movies Tags: , ,