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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Educated Adults Watch TV, Too!

Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon

Wow! Powerful. Passionate. Intelligent. Beautiful. Not exactly words usually associated with a TV series. We've come a long way from Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Eight is Enough, American Idol, and whatever insipid trash we've been buried under for so much of the history of the television genre.

Gael Garcia Bernal is the perfect mad genius. This is the best work he has ever done and the best character he has played—that's saying a lot because he's been good in everything. "He does have an undeniable charm," it is said of him at one point—very easily the biggest understatement this TV season. Here's the key: charm, something almost impossible to define. On paper it's easy enough: to delight or please greatly by beauty, attractiveness, etc.; enchant, but on the screen it's another story altogether. Were it not for his enormous charm the character of Rodrigo would just be annoying. This works for the Malcolm McDowell character but he has less presence in the series and serves as a foil to Rodrigo.

And then there is just the perfect touch of humor. There also happens to be a lot of great music.

I do have one complaint. I can't believe that I'm saying this about film but the episodes should be longer; talk about leaving your audience wanting more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Ten Excuses for Jihad Not Sanctioned in the Scripture

Mohammed Leggo

There are a host of reasons for Muslims to commit holy war, or Jihad. The Islamic holy scriptures lay out many important threats to their faith which justify going on the offensive against the kaffars (us).  As you can see, the followers have plenty or reasons to put the boot-crush on the infidels. I don't have the space to list all of them here but I'll give you a few examples:

#4 – Protecting the Islamic state from the evil of the kuffaar (us)
#6 – Exposing the hypocrites (nobody likes hypocrites!)
#7 – Purifying the believers of their sins and ridding them thereof (not sure who gets their ass kicked with this one)
#10 – Ridding the world of corruption (good luck!)

However, things have started to get out of hand and many of the faithful break into jihad at the drop of a hat. Being devout is one thing but let's not go overboard, people. Below are ten unsanctioned reasons for waging a holy war.

 1) Someone has more than 10 items in the express checkout at the supermarket
 2) Losing your card at the sandwich shop just before getting 10th sandwich for free
 3) Bootleg HBO suddenly stops working in the middle of Girls
 4) Happy Hour buffet at strip club no longer serves hot wings
 5) Dallas Cowboys don’t cover the spread
 6) Neighbor’s dog keeps crapping in your yard
 7) Impossible to transfer contacts from Blackberry to new iPhone
 8) Racist Mall food court in Nebraska only has two felafel stands
 9) Nothing else to do
 10) Trying to impress girl on first date

Am I missing any?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Top 100 Movie List

I have attempted to make a list of my favorite movies. By favorite I mean movies that I want to see again. There are lots of great movies that I like, but I never care to see again. Citizen Kane comes quickly to mind as an example. I tried to put the list in order of preference, but that became complicated very early on so don’t put too much credence in the numbers.


A casual glance at my list shows that I heavily favor crime and gangster themes and that I prefer newer films. My list is pretty much a fucking bloodbath and I can only wonder at how many homicides are portrayed in all these films. As the Dude says, these are just like my opinion, man.


1)      The Godfather (1972)

2)      The Godfather II (1974)

3)      Amadeus (1984)

4)      Goodfellas (1990)

5)      The Pianist (2002)

6)      Groundhog Day (1993)

7)      A Prophet (2009)

8)      Master and Commander (2003)

9)      The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

10)   Michael Clayton (2007)

11)   Vision Quest (1985)

12)   Tapas (2005)

13)   Un Franco, 14 Pesetas(2006)

14)   Cousin, Cousine (1975)

15)   The Boxer (1997)

16)   Au Revoir les Enfants(1987)

17)   Rushmore (1998)

18)   Moneyball (2011)

19)   Limitless(2011)

20)   The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

21)   Jean de Florette

22)   Manon des Sources

23)   Fever Pitch (UK)

24)   The Big Lebowski

25)   High Fidelity

26)   La Torre de Suso (2007)

27)   Lone Star (1996)

28)   True Grit (1969)

29)   True Grit (2011)

30)   Alien

31)   The Bounty (1984)

32)   The Road Warrior (1981)

33)   The Wizard of Oz (1939)

34)   Apocalypse Now

35)   Hannah and Her Sisters

36)   West Side Story (1961)

37)   Say Anything (1989)

38)   Munich (2005)

39)   Training Day (2001)

40)   Super Troopers (2001)

41)   The Lives of Others (2006)

42)   Street Kings (2008)

43)   Duck Soup (1933)

44)   Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

45)   Snatch (2000)

46)   RocknRolla (2008)

47)   Pulp Fiction (1994)

48)   Volver (2006)

49)   Reservoir Dogs (1992)

50)   Layer Cake (2004)

51)   Das Boot (1981)

52)   Life of Brian (1979)

53)   The Princess Bride (1987)

54)   Barry Lyndon (1975)

55)   Boiler Room (2000)

56)   The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

57)   The Untouchables (1987)

58)   The English Patient (1996)

59)   El Lobo (2004)

60)   Gladiator (2000)

61)   Tempest (1982)

…to be continued