you have reached the winter of our discontent


Writer Rebecca Schuman over at longreads wrote about Reality Bites which came out…wait for it…twenty-five years ago. Together with Singles and Slacker the film embodies GenX cynicism and disinterest. It was one of my favourite films at the time. I can’t say anymore because I haven’t watched it for a long time. Millennials who were born the year the film came out weren’t impressed. One comment:

I do not appreciate the attitude of acting like you are above it all and you know something the rest of us don’t

But that’s how it was. That’s how we were.

Our generation is probably the last one without the trappings of 24/7 newscycle and being always ‘on’ in terms of connectivity and technology. Coming after the drug-infested yuppies and self-centredness of the Boomers, this is a typical GenXer:

If you were lucky enough to like something before it got big, then you found yourself flush with the only currency Gen X accepted.

Apple when everyone was on Windows. Music before they got mainstream. The generation that was, and still is, hard to define and target ads at. Because at the core of things, we don’t care that much. In the intervening 25 years, we got on the career ladder, acquired mortgages, and some now have kids or even grandkids. But at our heart, we’re still slackers. I got the career and mortgage, but I just realised I did the ultimate GenX slacker thing, I did my PhD because I didn’t want to become a worker. I hate work, from the first day I started at ANRU to my last day at NE.

I dunno, may be I should find the film somewhere and watch it again. May be I’ll cringe because I no longer find the Ethan Hawke character cool. May be I’ll sing along to My Sharona.


nyt star wars book


The NYT has a coffee table book out called In a Galaxy Far, Far Away which collects all NYT articles about Star Wars. It starts with a 1973 feature on George Lucas who was

working on another science fiction screenplay, ‘The Star Wars,’ which he describes as a ‘real gee whiz movie’ in the Flash Gordon-Buck Rogers tradition.

Obviously there are reviews when ep4 opened in 1977, and has a total of 85 articles. Articles in the Style section about Leia; a timeline when ep1 was released to remind people about where we were; and analysis just before December’s release of ep8.

It’s in the in-between zone, at US$70 ($80 if personalised). As a coffee table book, it’s a tad on the expensive side. As a collector’s item, it’s certainly something die-hard fans will want to get. I can’t help feeling it’s jumped the gun, why not wait till ep9 is out to be more complete?

the last jedi


I saw The Last Jedi on the first day it came out. My initial reaction was wow, it’s brilliant. Hard to articulate emotions or responses because I was trying to absorb it all.

Second viewing, and I was able to pick out specific scenes, dialogue and action. I still couldn’t absorb everything.

There must be a pavlovian response, because my entire body and mind reacted to the logo, the first bar of the music, and the scroll. There were other trigger points during the next 153 minutes that evoked similar visceral responses. Someone said something; someone did something; a certain scene or shot appeared. The response was duller the second time, because I knew what was happening.

My overall impression, it’s quite Empire like, not only because it’s the middle one of a trilogy, but: a) it’s quite personal and b) the MCs spend the film separated in different places. I thought Kelly Marie Tran as Rose was the standout, not only of the new characters, but of the entire cast. Laura Dern did a good job as Holdo but I didn’t think the character was needed. Benicio del Toro was intriguing. Of the ep7 characters, all the new generation actors did a fantastic job, I followed their progress–rooting for them, being frustrated at and for them, crossed my fingers for them, went on their journeys with them. Mark Hamill acted his socks off and Carrie Fisher was so natural as Leia. Can’t help but have a lump in my throat every time she appeared on screen.

Spoilers from this point, and apologies that there’s not much logic to my thoughts.

Skellig Michael is so beautiful it takes your breath away and it’s the perfect setting for the location of Dagobah v2.0 because of how different the two planets look. Ahch-To is barren and yet as Rey sees in her first Jedi lesson, there is life and death and life again. And we learn the first lesson with her. The Force is around and inside all of us, it’s an energy not just a power that can be gained to do party tricks like lift rocks. And not due to some stupid midichlorian count ridiculousness. The prequels suggested genetics play a big part in acquiring the Force, even though we don’t get any explanation of, say, Obi-Wan’s or Yoda’s parentage. Now we learn that no, that’s not entirely true. A Nobody from Nowhere like Rey (and the broom boy at the end) can also be strong with the Force. When mm asked me about it at the end of the film, I explained it in terms of Harry Potter, which she is more familiar with. Hermione’s parents are muggles and she’s both talented and powerful whereas Ron, with his long Weasley heritage, isn’t automatically born a great wizard.

Luke, in spite of his experience and age, hasn’t changed a whole lot. He’s still whiny and full of self-pity. It’s irritating to hear him say “go away” to Rey one more time. Lucky for him, Yoda is still around to be the voice of reason. With a few sharp words and a few sharp prods he admonishes Luke. Keeping the sacred texts sacred for no good reason, riveting reading they are not. Failure is a part of learning. And when he says, “We are what they grow beyond” it ties in with one of the two biggest messages of Last Jedi: change and renewal. Kylo Ren says it in many ways too: let the past die, kill it, time for something new. GQ‘s review:

This is The Last Jedi’s most brilliant subversion of The Empire Strikes Back, and the moment when it severs ties with the Chosen One narrative that has driven Star Wars since the very beginning.

And that’s why the film is called The Last Jedi. Luke is the last of the old Jedi tradition, and Rey and others will become new Jedi or create a new Jedi-like entity. I think of it as being like Buffy‘s last episode. Instead of one girl in each generation who has the burden of being the slayer, all the Potentials are activated so there will be many, many slayers. The way things work, the universe, everything will be new and different.

But is Luke really gone? I doubt it. If he’s as powerful as we know he is, and also with the way he physically fades away with the tell-tale flutter of his robe, a reasonable explanation is he will return as a Jedi ghost like Yoda and Obi-Wan. He all but assured us of that, his last words to Leia:

No one’s ever really gone.

And to Kylo Ren, sounding just like Han:

See you around, kid.

So we have a good foundation to build on for ep9 and the various spinoff films to come. Even though the entire surviving Resistance can fit comfortably into the Falcon, they will rise again and ignite the spark that Leia talks about again and again.

What about the dark side?

I didn’t see Snoke’s end coming and it took the second viewing to fully appreciate where Kylo Ren is coming from. Forget Snoke, forget Vader, forget the Skywalker/Solo legacy. He’s going to dictate his own future his own way. Well, he wants Rey in with him, but after rejecting him multiple times and finally, symbolically, closing the Falcon‘s door on him, he should learn that it’ll never happen. His character development has been pretty outstanding and it’s time to stop the “bad guy who has good in him” trope and make him a worthy villain. There’s still the power struggle with Hux, and I’d like to see the fabled Knights of Ren make an appearance next.

The battle betwen good and evil will be epic because the other biggest mesage of the film is: balance. The more powerful Light or Dark grows, there will be an equally powerful counter growing to balance it out. That isn’t always addressed in literature or film. Good always wins, and evil is always banished forever. Isn’t Balance a better target because many books and films are about “good turning into bad because there’s no counterbalance.”

Jumping around, sad about the demise of Phasma, she had so much buzz. Not much hope that she can be revived, falling into a huge ball of fire like that. I read a review that questioned the entire exercise of hiring Gwendoline Christie and the most we get to see is one eye. She’s destined to be the Boba Fett of this trilogy.

Sad also about Holdo, but there are some commenters that say it’s a waste of a new character. While an act of heroism is needed, why not have Admiral Ackbar be the one? He’s been with us for so long. Whatever the opinion about Holdo, there is absolutely no question that the scene of the cruiser smashing into Snoke’s ship at light speed is a masterstroke of cinematography. The Atlantic:

Using big ships to crash into other ones is a trope of Star Wars space battles…So: Viewers saw this coming, perhaps shortly before General Hux did. But they didn’t see coming just how beautiful it would look and sound.

The use of slow motion, black and white, and the utter silence. The standout shot for me.

Other random thoughts:

  • love the porgs and the caretakers on Ahch-To; fathiers on Canto Bright are a good idea but the CGI too obvious and they seem fake; meh about the crystal critters on Crait
  • not sure what the point is of Luke milking those lounging creatures then drinking the milk. To show his routine, as Rey says, he’s not busy. To try to shock her? A callback to the blue milk we first saw him drink when he was still living with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine?
  • Rey getting sucked into the black hole that symbolises the dark side and confronting her darkest fears is exactly the same as Luke going into the cave at Dagobah
  • “I’m holding for General Hugs” — the subtitles say “Hugs” and even if it’s creative licence from the subtitlers it’s great
  • Leia surviving space and floating back to the cruiser defies all logic and yes, I know they are trying to say it’s the Force
  • rebel cruiser running away from first order fleet to stay out of canon range before running out of fuel sounds almost like a joke
  • Canto Bright is too contrived, our first look at the casino and the music sounds a little like the Cantina but it all falls short
  • R2D2 being crafty and playing Leia’s message from all those years ago to Luke
  • Crait is very cool, red clay underneath a salt crust
  • how did Rey get from Snoke’s ship to the Falcon in time to lure the First Order fighters away? Anyway, love love love when Finn says, “Oooh, they HATE that ship”
  • “I changed my hair” — cry
  • “lifting rocks”
  • it was more obvious on subsequent watching that it’s Luke’s projection that is fighting against Kylo Ren, I didn’t catch Luke’s shoes twisting on the ground and no red footprints first time
  • nobody said “I have a bad feeling about this”

Last words? I don’t have any myself. I’ll borrow from a redditor who described himself as a jaded fan:

I have always maintained that a movie isnt good unless you can leave from it with something changed within you. And looking back, there was more meaning in this movie than I would have ever given it credit for going into it. Was it a good story? It was alright. Was it perfect? In no way. But it did its job. It took a jaded fan, broke his heart and rebuilt it with new hope. It gave me a different perspective on my life, and the changes I’ve made since I was that 6yo kid first watching Star Wars. And it showed me that its ok to feel that way, too…but to never forget why.

And I hope I dont.

“It’s not about fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

the last jedi supercut

It’s December, which means ep 8 soon.

Someone put together a 4min supercut of all trailers and commercials we’ve seen so far. There are naturally A LOT of theories and analysis of the trailers, and I’m trying to stay away from them all. I’m focusing on reading about the events that happened between ep6 and ep7, all gathered from canon and EU places like novels, games, comics.

But anyway, mm has promised to watch it with me. She has a few days off after the 15th so we can even try going on a weekday.

wonder woman


Saw Wonder Woman at the local cinema today. Lots of screens, large cinema, quite crowded. We bought a combo of large popcorn and 2 large drinks, the total came close to the price of 2 tickets. The drinks was coke freestyle which meant I could play around and get all sorts of coke products. I mixed orange flavoured coke zero, lemonade, sparkling water and a little mixed berry juice. Doesn’t taste as awful as it sounds.

The seats were all reclining so the footrest comes up. Comfortable.

As for the film itself, so much has already been said. US$380 million domestic sales, overtaking Deathly Hallows Part 2. US$760 million worldwide. Top grossing film by a female director. Best DCEU film.

It did well not only in box office numbers, but reviews too. 92% at rotten tomatoes, high scores from major newspapers, good reviews everywhere I read. All my friends are raving about it.

They handled the backstory and the reboot into WW1 timeline very well. It suited the backstory–amazon princess misplaced in ‘modern’ era but one without computers or anything too technical. All too often, superhero films and tv programs fall into the trap of making their heroes too idealistic, too wonderful, too much of everything that it becomes a bad cartoon. Patty Jenkins and her team didn’t do any of that. Gal Gadot had an air of determined innocence which was balanced well with a low key performance by Chris Pine. Love the supporting cast too. No one too OTT, too much of a stereotype, never took away the limelight from the main characters. The Verge:

Wonder Woman represents a number of delicate balancing acts: between humor and gravitas; angst and adventure; full-blown, unvarnished superhero fantasy and the DCEU’s usual unpacking of what those fantasies mean.

There’s a lot of attention on the film’s message of empowering women and certainly it has a wonderfully encouraging message to girls and women everywhere. For me though, ultimately I thoroughly enjoyed the film not because it was a film directly by a woman, or had women in starring roles, or even that they had real athletes playing the amazons. In fact, I’m meh at strong women dressed in amazon costumes–I’m not a fan of Xena or the tv Wonder Woman. I guess what I’m saying is that I liked the film despite of that. Because it was a story well told, with exciting fight scenes and believable characters. I think many people feel the same, male or female. As producer Charles Roven said:

Historically, audiences in this genre are male — 60 to 40 percent — but if you can really tap the market and maintain the males and actually add a significantly greater female audience, it’s a great win-win.

ten meter tower

This was during my trip and I was watching it in the hotel room. A short film called ten meter tower about people participating in an experiment by jumping off a 10m diving platform for the first time. Even with the camera only on the people on the platform, we can feel the trepidation. The makers, Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson

sought to capture people facing a difficult situation, to make a portrait of humans in doubt

Around 70% did jump. No one can be sure of what they will do until they are up there on the platform. I know I’d be petrified even though I know logically there is no harm.

rogue one

Saw Rogue One. Took mum to the first showing at 11.30am, she even got a senior discount.

I’ve been not very in touch with what’s happening in the world lately, so I was less familiar with R1 than ep 7. I knew it’s coming out, I knew it’s about the rebels getting their hands on the death star plans, I knew it’s a spin-off / side story. And I knew I need to go see it.


It was totally worth it. They chose the timeline and setting for this first spin-off perfectly. Eps 7-9 is on-going so we should get to ep 9 before tackling that universe. Eps 1-3, ugh. Nostalgia for the shappy space chic of ep 4 is more bankable and fan-acceptable. And every fan will have a great time spotting familiar elements. One of the first scenes, with Galen Erso standing next to a piece of equipment on his farm, an echo to a similar shot with Luke on Tatooine. So many nods to what we already know and recognise. And yet enough differences for it to hold its own as a standalone.

I haven’t seen ep 4 in a while, but like everyone who grew up with it, it’s ingrained in my mind. Variety called R1 Episode 3.9 and said,

for the original generation of “Star Wars” fans who weren’t sure what to make of episodes one, two, and three, “Rogue One” is the prequel they’ve always wanted.

It does the impossible, it explained one of the biggest plot holes of the entire series–how can the indestructable death star be destroyed by one single shot. That said, the journey to that single shot by Luke is not easy. The rebels are horribly outnumbered and R1 doesn’t cushion us with touchy-feely, feel-good vibes about their situation. It’s very grim. Vox summed up R1’s theme:

People die in wars.

It’s obvious, the whole franchise is called Star Wars. The Atlantic goes further, describing R1 a war movie, with

a different, and somewhat more impersonal, story to tell. None of its protagonists are discovering hidden blood relatives or training to be Jedi masters.

The majority of the characters are humans or normal of their species, only Chirrut Îmwe has a vague ability with the Force. Even the Imperial characters like the main villian Orson Krennic are simply human. It’s a bit like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. focusing on the humans of S.H.I.E.L.D. rather than the superheroes. That’s why Vader is so deadly and scary when he finally appears. The problematic part is that the rebel team, when we finally get to the action after planet-hopping in the gigantic interplanetary geography lesson that is Act 1, is a bit clichéd. The war movie is now interspaced with a heist movie

and like every good heist movie, it must assemble a motley crew of specialists.

There’s Jyn Erso, our hero with a tragic background who turns from being cynical to giving a rousing rebel speech. There’s Cassian Andor, a supposedly cruel, unfeeling rebel captain whom she has zero chemistry with. Bodhi Root, an Imperial pilot who defected to the rebels. The best characters IMHO are blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe and his guard Baze Malbus who has this awesome machine gun blaster. The team goes off, with Cassian’s snarky droid K-2SO to steal and send the Death Star’s blueprints.

We all know they get the plans. I didn’t expect them all to die, but towards the end I realised that’s exactly what will happen. It makes sense. None of the characters are in ep 4 and it solidifies the theme. War is horrible. People die in wars, good people and bad people both. It takes guts, to kill off the entire main cast, and points to director Gareth Edwards for making me not feel gutted about it. The breathtaking the last few minutes of the film helped. The precious data disks gets away by the skin of its teeth. It’s given to none other than Princess Leia who tells us about “hope.” We get the optimism even though we know what will come literally during the next 10 minutes. We know Vader (the only time a lightsabre appears) is about to chase after her and capture her. But we also know the rest of the story. That’s the beauty of this film. We can go from the very last second of R1 and seamlessly transition to the very first second of ep 4.

The special effects are mostly great. There’s one shot of a star destroyer coming out of darkness into the light and it looks like a tiny plastic model. The battles were nicely done but I wasn’t blown away. The CGI renditions of Tarkin and Leia, wow. Some people have commented about the creepiness of using a CGI-Peter Cushing. I thought he’d only be in a scene or two; with such a significant role, they could have used a real actor. The CGI of Leia looks like CGI, sorry I’m not convinced. What I really love is using original footage of Red and Gold leaders, and that sound when the death star’s ignition sequence is fired up.

The locations–Iceland, Jordan, the Maldives–are pretty and the cinematography stellar. Where the film falls below par, for me, is in the character department. Jyn and Cassian don’t even feel like siblings / friends. There’s barely time for character development. Reviews complained of a script that would even embarrass George Lucas, summing it up as a thoroughly mediocre movie which is basically a saga of data transmission when it’s hard to find a good signal.


I won’t go as far. I enjoyed it and want to see it again. After all, what’s not to like about a film that gets boycotted by Trump supporters because it’s too non-white (kudos for diversity!) or because the writers changed their twitter profile to add a safety pin, or, gasp, it’s about people who believe in fairness and freedom fighting against a swampful of autocrats. If ever a film set in a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away is a fitting commentary of this crazy 2016 year, it’s Rogue One.

lazy monday

Mum had lunch plans so I had the flat to myself for half a day, yay. Did a couple of loads of laundry then lazed around. I did run out to the nearby pokegym when I saw there was an available slot to get my 10 gold. I can’t believe no one claimed it.

Too hot to do anything else. Turned on the tv and got engrossed in The Two Towers. It came out in 2002, and 14 years later the battle of Helm’s Deep is still as awe-inspiring as ever.

episode 7 #starwarsforceawakens second viewing

itacho01salmon itacho02hamachi

itacho03codliver itacho04oxtongue

Met mm for early dinner at a sushi place. Ordering was via tablet and the place only got busy towards the end of our meal. We had salmon, hamachi, cod liver, ox tongue sushi plus assorted tempura and miso soup. Not bad for a semi-chain.


Reason for early dinner was we went to see episode 7. The second time for me and the first time for mm. She’s less of a fan than me so she wasn’t familiar with a lot of the connections between ep 4 and ep 7. She actually thought this was the end of the series and was loudly puzzled at the end when nothing was resolved. I explained the mythology and the progression of eps 4-6, 1-3 and now 7-9. Overall, she enjoyed it.

[No spoiler tags anymore, it’s been 3 weeks.]

I was able to pay more attention to other stuff going on. I listened more closely to the score. I can see why people are shipping Finn/Poe (first viewing, didn’t register the very hoyay! run & hug when Finn and Poe reconnected at Resistance base). I chuckled at the cameos: Daniel Craig as Rey’s first Jedi Mind Trick victim; the trash compactor joke, the reprise of Han-Luke shooting at TIE fighters with Finn-Poe and then Finn-Rey. I wanted to scream at Han to get away from Ben. I love love love BB-8 and am awestruck at how expressive he is.

I don’t believe the fan theory that Kylo Ren is actually a good guy. He’s mixed up and obviously has issues, especially with his temper, but he’s too immature to have been trusted with such a gargantuan double agent task.

Mostly I wanted to watch Rey in detail again. She and the Simon Pegg character were the only local people speaking English on Jakku (I’m not counting the Max von Sydow character) so it’s conceivable that she was allowed to keep her British accent because that’s what they speak on Jakku. The ship that young Rey shouted “come back!” at wasn’t the Falcon and whoever was holding her hand spoke gruffly and wasn’t friendly. Did she suck some Force from Kylo Ren when he was trying to mind read her? Felt like Dementor’s kiss without the smoke. Still not sure of her heritage, although I doubt she’s Han and Leia’s daughter. Everybody must have collective amnesia if that is the case.

Anyway, still loving the film. Won’t mind seeing it even more times.

episode 7 #starwarsforceawakens


This part is safe to read: teasers and trailers only

From the first few seonds to the very last scene, this was the Star Wars that we know and love. We’ve heard so many hints and statements that

everything old is new again

and that’s so true. My first reaction when I came out of the cinema was “he completely rebooted it.”

We know from trailers and teasers that there will be new characers, and old characters like Han and Leia are back. Almost every scene is something nostalgic, something that brings a knowing smile or grimace. Rey and Finn, the newbies, meet on Jakku, a Tatooine-like planet. Rey is a local resident, a parts scavenger; Finn is a newcomer, he arrives in a stormtrooper uniform. We follow them on their adventures as they get involved in the fight between the good guys and the evil bad guys. The actors, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, do a good job although there is room for improvement. They seem to be intimidated in the presence of the more experienced actors and the entire Star Wars universe. Hopefully they will grow into their roles in eps 8-9. Can’t blame them really, I was very moved when Han, Chewbacca, Leia and others appeared and very glad to see they weren’t there to play cameo parts but were integral to the story.

The other new actors impressed too. Oscar Isaac is a resistance pilot reminiscent of Wedge. Lupita Nyong’o is great as Maz Kanata. Domhnall Gleeson suitably stiff upper lipped nasty. Andy Serkis is a master in what he does. Adam Driver brings depth and intrigue to a Vader-like villain. The CGI…I never noticed the CGI, which is a sign that it’s bloody excellent. When you see the special effects, it’s a sign that it’s done badly.

There are a lot of familiarities in ep7. From the aforementioned Tatooine-like Jakku to a Hoth-like ice planet, a Death Star like menace (prominent on posters), star destroyers, X-wings, TIE fighters, blasters, light-sabers, side characters, bickering between characters, old fashioned fight sequences. A lot of new experiences too. New characters. New information to digest. New questions raised. The dialogue is okay, way better than anything George Lucas did and, phew, no mention of midi-chlorians. At one point, someone says “I have a bad feeling about this.”

The less impressives: there’s a lot of exposition and backstory. I get that it’s necessary, to explain what’s happened in the 30 years between eps 6 and 7 but sometimes it’s like being hit by the cartoon anvil. The plot reveals aren’t exactly subtle either. Some we’ve guessed from teasers, some are obvious 10 seconds before we are shown what it is. Then again, it’s Star Wars, the plot has always been linear, with “surprises” coming at us at regular time intervals.

The biggest question is, is the film any good.

Oh hell yes.

It’s a worthy successor to eps 4-6, it carries on the tradition and rewards fans with copious nods and reminders of how good the originals were. A small scene change, a gesture, a line of dialogue and it’s like “oh, it’s just like [something from before].” Made me forgive eps 1-3.

Usually at the end of recaps and reviews people include language about whether readers should go see the film/read the book/buy the product. I know everyone will go see this one, so no need to say anything. The only thing I will say is, it’s worth it. The wait, the hype, the secrecy. I’ll probably see it a couple more times, with mm and then with sis, may be with mum. The film is meant to be seen unspoiled, which one can only do once, but I don’t mind seeing it again. And again and again.

[spoilers below, do not scroll down until you’ve seen the film, I mean it.]
spoilers start here


First, the New York Daily News published an enormous spoiler on Wednesday, before the rest of the US got to see the film. It’s terrible and I think they were disrespectful. Like I said above, the film is supposed to be seen with a clean slate, and we can only be unspoiled once.

I stumbled on some spoiled information before going to see the film. I wish I hadn’t, but on the other hand, it prepared me emotionally, especially for the one the NY paper spoiled.

Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son and he killed Han. Leia felt it when it happened.

They killed off Han.


I can see the purpose, from a writer’s point of view. It’s like when JK Rowling killed off Dumbledore. That said, I want to see the payoff in subsequent episodes, they better make his loss worthwhile in the grand scheme of things.

But first, talk about other stuff.

There are too many places where ep7 reboots ep4, even ep5. JJ Abrams certainly used all the tropes in his arsenal. From the beginning, the iconic upscreen scroll that tells us that Luke has disappeared and the Resistance continues to fight against the evil First Order. We pan from a starry sky to a planet, and then a star destroyer moves across the screen, it’s so huge that it eclipses the planet. We move to Tattooine–oh sorry, Jakku–where we see a secret entrusted to a droid (BB-8, the new Artoo) who then is found by a poor scavenger, Rey (the Luke-like main character). Rey even dresses like Luke did on Tatooine and yells at someone looking like a Tusken raider. Oh, and Jakku is littered with crashed ships; Rey lives in a downed AT-AT.

The other main character, Finn, is a stormtrooper with conscience who deserts the First Order and rescues Resistance pilot Poe Damaron in a TIE fighter. They crash on Jakku and get separated. Finn is rescued by Rey (or he thinks he rescued her) and they escape the oncoming stormtroopers on the Millenium Falcon. They meet up with Han, Chewie and then later Leia and the rest of the Resistance. The rest of the film is a lot of action and ups and downs. Pretty predictable–the Resistance needs to find a weakness in the Death Star v2.0 planet called the Weapon before it destroys entire systems. A group goes physically down to the planet to disable the shields while another group in X-wings bombard from above. There is a big emotional reveal then more gut-wrenching fights between Kylo Ren and first Finn and then Rey. Kylo Ren, a trained dark lord, is injured, which is why both Finn and Rey can use a lightsaber, a weapon they’ve never seen before, against him. And it’s Luke’s iconic blue lightsaber. At the end the group on the planet escapes with casualties and the Weapon is of course destroyed.

The action plot part is predictable, but I don’t mind that. All action movies are predictable. The fight scenes are awesome without being overwhelming. There’s enough mix between old moments (hit the target at the end of a trench) and so many new things, not just in the action scenes but other scenes too. The cantina scene is reprised. Maz Kanata is as wise as Yoda, and more streetwise. Kylo Ren does the Yorrick thing with his grandfather’s skull-like helmet. He is trained by a decidedly Emperor-looking Supreme Leader Snoke. [The CGI there is so good, we don’t realise it’s a hologram until Snoke fades out.] His lightsaber, with its 2 small crossguards, is different to familiar lightsabers and we see how the crossguards can be useful when he sizzles into Finn’s shoulder with it.

The personal aspect of the film is less predictable, only marginally. We see the embrace between Han and Leia in the teasers and now I realise it’s for the last time. *sniff* We see Han explaining the Force to Rey and Finn, remembering that Han thought it’s mumble jumble. I already figured Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son from the teasers. But less idea about Rey’s parentage. Someone or someones abandoned her on Jakku, for safety? Is she Han and Leia’s daughter? Luke’s? There’s one teaser of Luke’s voice telling her that the Force is strong in his family and now it’s her turn that isn’t shown in the film, suggesting she is the new New Hope. I want to see the film again to see what’s the ship that flew off with her screaming “come back” at it. It doesn’t look like the Falcon.

The “I am your father” moment is when Kylo Ren kills Han, the moment of betrayal is a literal stab in the heart. The narrow bridge even resembles the original setting. At the back of my mind, I want Han to survive. May be in a fanfic world. I doubt anyone will survive a lightsaber stab through his body and a fall to nothingness though. *cry*

The film feels like the end of Act 1, which it is. Rey is the new pilot of the Falcon and she sets off to a remote island (Skellig Michael, yay!) to find Luke. Does she find out Han is her father, thus firing up her passion just like when Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and later Obi-wan were killed? How will she come into the Force? Will Kylo Ren go through the same redemption arc like Vader/Anakin did? What about Finn? We left him unconscious, but obviously he’ll recover. What is his role, aside from loyal hero?

I didn’t come out of the cinema whooping or smiling. Instead, I felt like I did at the end of Empire Strikes Back, and not merely because of the same bleakness surrounding what happened to Han. There are things to remember, emotions to analyse, questions to be asked. If only we didn’t have to wait 2 years for ep8.

star wars ticket


In a few hours, The Force Awakens premieres at midnight. I’ve never been a big enough fan to queue up at midnight for something, not for the iphone, Harry Potter, Hunger Games or anything like that. The initial plan is to go see it when mm’s term ends next week.

The buzz is too tempting. So I went online idly to see if it’s feasible to catch one of the midnight shows. Ah well, only a handful of seats left at the front row. That’s settled, I’m too old to stay up so late anyway.


Instead, I got a ticket for the 10.25am showing thursday morning. The advantage is that it’s the first show of the day, so there’s a discount. Now the question is, do I wear my Darth Maul hoodie? Bring my lightsaber? I gave my Jedi robe to my niece so she can wear it when she goes to see it on Friday.

12 hours. I’ll watch the teasers and trailers before I go to bed.

chicago first day

I went to bed at 9pm last night, so no surprise that I woke up at around 5-6am. Had cereal bars and a nice cuppa. No particularly plans today, relaxed till almost lunchtime. Went to the laundrette then to the cinema.

I hadn’t been to the cinema for ages. Can’t even remember the last time, probably also at Crestwood. We saw Sicario. I’m so out of touch with what’s on that I haven’t heard of this film at all.

It was a very intense film. Set in the chaotic lawless world of Mexican drug gangs on both sides of the border with the US. Emily Blunt is the FBI agent who was volunteered into an interagency task force led by a dubious flipflop wearing Josh Brolin and a mysterious Benicio del Toro who was clearly involved but not from law enforcement. Blunt gave the audience their POV and we felt for her when she realised that things weren’t as black and white as she had previously believed. What the drug gangs were doing were certainly illegal, but what the taskforce was doing was too, so who was the bad guy?

The film was violent, very much so. But that’s realistic because we’ve all read about the mass killings and the missing schoolkids and the turf wars. It’s also realistic that conventional policing methods may not be effective against gangsters who were above the law or even controlling the police.

The performances were brilliant. Emily Blunt was a perfect blend of tough FBI cop and naïve citizen expecting law enforcement to follow the law. Josh Brolin, I didn’t recognise. He reminded me of surfer dude Jeff Bridges. The best performance IMHO was from del Toro, wonderful wonderful wonderful.

By the end, some of the problem had been solved but it was the tip of the iceberg. Other issues, especially Blunt’s character’s conscious, are unresolved at the end. That did not detract from the enjoyment of the film. It’s the sort of film that makes you think afterwards. As EW said in its review,

Sicario is a brilliant action thriller with the smarts of a message movie. And the message is this: Are we willing to bend the rules and sell our souls to fight a war that will probably never be won?



Dinner was homemade beef taco. Minced beef, taco seasoning, refried beans, shredded cheese. It was nice, and hit the spot.

star wars poetry


Everyone is looking forward to episode 7 when it comes out in December. I’m sure the build-up and the anticipation will be felt all the way across the Empire. The prequels will be, thankfully, not directed by George Lucas. I’m in the camp that thinks he messed up ep 1-3. So much so that I’ve pretty much blocked most of those films from my mind.

Some people are more generous. There’s an extensive essay, star wars ring theory, that argues that he used a technique called ring composition in the films, where themes and images are repeated. Some of the argument, and images in the essay, were put together by filmmaker pablo fernandez eyre who made a stunning video that shows the places where ep 1-3 echo ep 4-6. Fittingly titled, Star Wars Poetry:

I watched the video, then I watched it again. Then I watched frame by frame so I could take in both the top and bottom screen. And I try to remember the good things about ep 1-3, but can only come up with Darth Maul. I try. Mostly I remember Jar Jar Binks, the trainwreck that was Anakin and what the hell were midi-chlorians in relation to the Force? So I went back to the beginning of the video, where George Lucas says

you see the echo of where all is gonna go. It’s like poetry, they rhyme

and I almost believe he knew what he was doing and planning, and I forgive him a little. May be even feel sorry for him, that he’s misunderstood.

Thanks, gizmodo, for putting poetry in my feed.

chiara di dio musical


Cough is still bad, so stayed in all day. After lunch, mm came over to visit me to exchange souvenirs—from my trip to nola and her pilgrimage trip. She got me a fridge magnet from la verna, a shot glass from sicily and a cute holy family decoration from assisi, in addition to biscotti and my order of parma ham. I’d reminded her of directions to get to the friendly deli we visited in assisi to get the ham. She also brought me a mug from the book fair and a jar of manuka honey from her place. I got her a nola fridge magnet, big bag of popcorn from costco and biscotti from rubino’s. Naturally we will share my whisky and bourbon; total currently is 78 bottles.

We watched a dvd of Chiara di Dio, a musical dedicated to the life of St Clare, filmed at a performance at San Damiano itself. We loved that we were able to identify the location and rooms at San Damiano. A very moving story and fantastic performances from the young cast. It starts with Chiara on her deathbed, asking for a cherry, It’s August and cherries are out of season so how will the sisters get a cherry, unless with a miracle? With flashbacks, we see her story, from her life as a young girl in a rich family to her meeting with St Francis, her escape from her father’s home on the eve of her wedding, her consecration and the spectacular encounter with invading Saracens. In the words of the writer/director Carlos Tedeschi, the musical

brings out the humanity and the modernity of these two young people, Chiara and Francesco, an example for the youth of today despite eight centuries having passed. A model of how to break the mold, with the power and passion of youth without compromising its integrity

She cooked me dinner of pork ribs congee made with oatmeal in place of rice, what a great idea. We watched food and travel programs on tv and had a great time laughing and making fun of the inept presenters. How do these people get presenting gigs? One girl was cooking Indian food and seemed to be reciting a script: “add a little sugar, some flour” with a complete lack of passion for food and cooking. Yes, she was wearing a bright red cocktail dress and was a pretty face. Another one visited a safari park in Japan and her vocabulary seemed to be limited to amazing and interesting. “Oh the giraffe is so tall!” she’s definitely no David Attenborough.

houshi ryokan — family owned for 1300 years

Houshi Ryokan in Awazu Onsen is the oldest family-owned hotel in the world and second oldest owned hotel. Beautiful ryokan, beautiful onsen, beautifully shot video. Sad too. The ryoden passes down through the eldest son and the current owner, Zengoro Hoshi, is the 46th generation. His son died suddenly, and the film also focuses on Hoshi-san’s daughter, and her struggle to take responsiblity for the business, responsibility and pressure she hadn’t thought was hers.

teaser for episode 7 #theforceawakens

When episode 4 came out, people saw the trailer at the cinema before the regular feature, that was it.

When episode 1 came out, people again saw the trailer at the cinema, but I think it was also on tv shows as the actors and George Lucas did the media promotion rounds. Not sure if it was available online, media companies were much more cagey about sharing stuff in those days. Plus people would have had to contend with dial-up speed. If I looked around, may be some geek would have posted about it on the then brand new livejournal site.

Episode 7 is coming out next year. The first teaser, on the official youtube channel has been viewed 9 million times as of today, and shared an enormous number of times on social media. Everyone watched it multiple times within minutes, hours of it being released. Each frame has been scrutinised and dissected. There are even fan adaptations, like this lego version, itself with 1 million views.

I must admit, I love it. It feels much more like classic ep 4-7 than stupid ep 1-3. Stormtroopers, X-wings, a Tatooine-like landscape, new faces that don’t look annoying, and look at that lightsaber! (still prefer Darth Maul’s double sided one.) I can’t not share this, right? One more year to wait. 

johnny cash out among the stars

I didn’t grow up listening to country & western music, I’m simply not knowledgeable nor had sufficient exposure to appreciate it fully. It’s not the first genre I’d pick (not second, or third either, and I don’t apologise for it) but when I do hear a c&w song, I may stop and listen to it, and I may even like it.

That said, here via slate is a short film of three different musicians / groups covering Johnny Cash’s album out among the stars. This album was recorded in the 1980s, but for whatever reason it was never released. His son discovered it in the archives after his death and it has just been released posthumously to great reviews all around.

Okay, I confess, it wasn’t Johnny Cash that caught my eye, but the mention of Brandon Flowers in the headline. The Killers, well, they will be near #1 on my list of music to listen to, and I won’t apologise for this either. I can listen to him all day, and his rendition of “I Came to Believe” was interesting — not a Killers sound, but even to my uneducated ear, quite Johnny Cash-like. I also really enjoyed the other artists on the film, Father John Misty and Local Natives, even though I’d never heard of them before. The video is 16mins long, it’s a good way to spend 16mins.

gravity — just go see it

Saw Gravity in 3D. No need to write a summary of the story, nor to repeat the massive amounts of positive reviews a simple google search will show. I find this comment from wired interesting, the reviewer described the film as a one-room play. I thought it was very apt, to compare the film to a play — with just 2 (technically 3, but…well) characters, one of whom is only there as support, it’s highly a emotional, personal drama set as a space thriller. There have been other one room films, but this one is set in a room that is endless, and the sense of claustrophobia / paranoia imposed by the universe is just as constricting as a 10×10 room.

After the film, mm asked what was my favourite part. Difficult to pick one. Hers is when Kowalski told Stone to let go which is of course the metaphor for her letting go of the demons in her life. Mine is early on when they were happily bantering and then the voice of Houston (Ed Harris!) abruptly told them to abort mission in the same calm tone he was bantering with them just seconds ago. That in one second, with a few words, so much would change.

Anyway, the Wired review heading is:

Don’t Even Read this Review, Just Go See Gravity

so, well, please do that.

a little miserables

At parents’ this weekend, just hanging out. It’s great. Mum bought a few new dvds so I finally got to see Les Miserables the film version. For me, it’s mixed.

The good first. I love the musical, have seen it several times in London, the first was over 20 years ago. There is a reason it’s one of the longest running musicals in the West End; millions of theatre-goers can’t all have bad taste. Yes, it’s a tear jerker. Yes, too many people die. Yes, the music is emotionally manipulative. But it’s Les Miz. It’s probably the best musical I’ve ever seen. So, with established storyline and music, the film already has a good foundation. I liked that film gives us a lot more in terms of visual richness that is impossible on stage. The dark streets of France, the bars and houses and sewers, and finally I can see rather than imagine (through creative lighting) Javert jumping to his death.

What I liked less. Some of the actors can’t sing. I know that the singing was recorded live and not dubbed later, it means that the actors’ shortcomings are highlighted. Russell Crowe’s voice is too high and too thin; Hugh Jackman overall was good but not all the time; I didn’t like the actor who played Marius (although I loved the one who played Eponine). Lots of reviewers’ praise for Anne Hathaway, I thought she over-acted in I Dreamed a Dream. Didn’t like the Barricade. On stage it was an imposing monster, on film it was a stack of abandoned furniture on a street corner, hardly important when it came support le revolution (though may be, that was the point). I read a review that called it Occupy Paris. Remembering that the original London production was hammered by the critics, it’s kind of auspicious that the film version is experiencing some of the same bashing.

All criticism aside, I’m glad I watched it but I’m also glad I watched it at home. There are simply too many well loved songs to sing or hum along, it would have been embarrassing in a cinema. Fantine’s I Dreamed a Dream, Valjean’s Who am I, Master of the House, Eponine’s On My Own, when little Gavroche started the first line of Do You Hear the People Sing, and of course Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. At the end, it’s the music that carried the film, just like it did on stage. At every stage performance I’ve been to, there is hardly a microsecond’s pause between the last note of the epilogue sung by the company and the audience leaping to their feet in applause. I wanted to do that after the same moment in the film too.

Then again, what I really want to do is to watch the 10 year anniversary concert again. Colm Wilkinson. Michael Ball. Lea Salonga. 17 international Valjeans. Whoa.

kids and food (on 3 continents)

I was watching 2 different Jamie Oliver programs. The first was his food revolution program where he was in an American elementary school and kids couldn’t even recognise a fresh potato, or tomato, or eggplant, or any fresh vegetable. They could all recognise french fries and fried chicken though. The second was an old Naked Chef program where he visited his old school in Essex. He brought out some buffalo mozzarella and asked the class if they recognised it, and most of the class said yes.

The point? It is a sad state of affairs in the US, where kids have never seen nor come into contact with fresh food. Is it typical? I’m no expert, but anecdotally, I can say that America is where I have found the greasiest, most processed, hugest portions of food as well as the least adventurous eaters. I must say, I’m not immune to a big steak or good pizza myself, but there has to be a balance between fast food and fresh, home-cooked food. And NO EXCUSE for parents for bringing up kids who can’t even recognise a potato.

It’s slightly better in the UK, though it seems that the trend is alarming skewing towards obesity caused by fast and processed food. At least people in the UK are more accepting of non-British food. Chicken tikka masala is the national dish, after all (and I say this with sarcasm because it’s certainly not a true Indian dish.) McDonald’s in France feels less like fast food than in America, it’s still McDonald’s.

Which brings me to another part of the world, where palates are developed early in life and food is for enjoyment, not just sustenance. On buzzfeed recently there was an article about a Japanese toddler called Rino who loves trying new food. The youtube channel is called Rino which eats world various dishes and ignoring the slight Engrishness of the descriptions, every single video on there is worth watching. Repeatedly. The construct is simple,

a few shots of food prep — pad thai in one video, a Spanish tortilla in another — then many many shots of Rino shoveling the food in her mouth, usually with total delight

There is no need to understand Japanese, the delight is easy to see. Watch this one where she tries pho. At 2:10 when she picks up a tail-on shrimp and takes out the tail. Then at 3:40 when she claims her meal as her own. And good manners too, at 5:58 when she says thank you. She’s 3 years old and other videos in the channel show her trying bibimbap, tiramisu and tortilla. Very cute.

disney star wars

So Disney buys Lucasfilm. The news was surprising, but then again not. There’s the Star Tours ride and Indiana Jones show at Hollywood Studios; and some of the themes touched by both companies’ films do overlap.

Some fans are aghast, not wanting change, not wanting the Star Wars franchise to become Disney-like (aka childish, predictable, too much sugarcoating). I get that. Will Princess Leia become yet another Disney princess? Will we get even more Jar Jar Binks soft toys?

Personally, I think it’s a good move. I fall into the camp of original Star Wars fans who absolutely hate, hate, hate Episodes 1-3. To me, George Lucas already turned the franchise into a second rate Disney with the prequels and the Ewok cartoons. Darth Maul was the only saving grace. So my take is, it’s about time someone else takes it over, inject some new ideas and give it back its edge. Yes I think Disney is capable of producing films that are a little bit darker. Plus, I’m glad that there’s the mighty Disney $$$ machine behind it that it will continue for many more years to come.

Anyway, on the Star Wars theme, here’s a fantastic flash mob by the WDR Radio Orchestra who treated an unsuspecting crowd at Cologne Wallrafplatz with a…treat.

jiro dreams of sushi

Can’t believe that a generation ago, Japanese food was not very well known outside of Japan. Now, it’s so widely available that it’s hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know how to use chopsticks.

That said, Japanese food outside of Japan suffers the same fate as any other world food that is transported out of its origin country. It becomes bastardized. Which is why I’m so looking forward to this forthcoming documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi,

the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review.

Just watch the trailer, and make sure you have a napkin handy.

harry potter 7b

Harry Potter 7

Did my weekend run, laundry and grocery shopping yesterday so I had time today. Finally go round to seeing HP7b. It was very, very moving. I wish I watched part 1 beforehand to remind myself, but it didn’t matter, I was gripped from the start. The flashback to when Harry first went to Hogwarts, when he was under the sorting hat, wow. Everyone’s grown up, and the grown-ups held their own. Special mention to Neville! Awfully sad to see it end, I stayed all the way to the end of the credits.


Saw HP7 part 1 today at Navy Pier imax. Absolutely brilliant. Would have sat for 5hrs without moving for the whole thing. July 2011 can’t come early enough.

Haven’t read the book yet, I think I’m still on HP5. But it didn’t stop me from appreciating the story, the acting, the special effects…everything about it. Now I’m wondering if I should go see it again before I leave.

transformers in chicago


Transformers 3 has been filming in Chicago for the past few weeks. La Salle and Wacker have been closed and helicopters circling in the sky occasionally.

This week my normal car park near the office was closed “for a special event”. On Monday when I walked past, I saw a couple of huge trucks, Optimus Prime sized, as well as an awesome red fire truck and a whole line of Hummers at the back. The security guard said no photos, but whispered to me that he’s told to say that and if I kept moving he won’t do anything. So I quickly took one of the red fire truck.

Wednesday when I left work there were about 10 people at the entrance openly taking pictures. So I took a bunch. Optimus Prime was still there, but the line of Hummers were gone. There were a few other cars, like a taxi and a black SUV. But no Bumblebee. Bummer.

Managed to take 12 pics at the car park. I haven’t been able to catch any of the filming. Set here: flickr.

london day 2: friends, drones, running

The idea was to check into the hotel then go check out new shirts at hard rock café and get tickets for wicked later this week. But lunch with J&R didn’t finish till past 3pm, we were talking so much. I had to hurry to the hotel, there wasn’t enough time to get the tube, had to get a taxi to piccadilly circus by 5pm to catch drones as part of the sci-fi london festival. I know I’m supposed to gush lovingly about the film, but truth is, it was okay and I fell asleep several times. It was shot over 2 weeks in an empty office building and is all about discovering that your best friend and girlfriend are both aliens and eventually there is a “save-the-earth” scenario. I could see how it would attract a cult following, with its deadpan humour and obviously actors, writers and directors who put a lot of care into it. May be one of these days when I’m less tired I’ll give it another chance.

Running back at the hotel on the treadmill. Dinner was salt beef sandwich from the Brick Lane shop. The internet in the room is free but slow (there is high speed, which costs money), good enough for me.

home leave day 16 | bbmm

Time is running out to spend with mm. Originally wanted to meet for lunch, but she was tired so I said let’s meet in the afternoon. A few more hours lost. We’ll have time, some other time.

Saw Up in the Air. Although I’ll never get millions of miles like the George Clooney character, there were a few similarities especially when I was travelling so much a few years ago, not least that I recognise that all admiral’s club lounges look the same. There was some serious product placement in that film — AA and Hilton and Hertz stand out. mm said she never wants me to become like that, I know she always worried whenever I travel.

Dinner at our usual korean place. We didn’t even need to discuss — korean for lunch and dinner were 2 different places, and it was automatic.

She showed me a couple of iphone games she’s been playing, and we eventually fell asleep at 1am.


I went to see Avatar on IMAX 3D, it was awesome. The special effects were seamless, Pandora was so stunningly beautiful it’s difficult to describe. It’s as of today the second highest grossing movie behind Titanic, and it’s for sure that it will be the highest soon.

Of course, there’s a lot of media hype and every one and their uncle seems to have a different spin on it. Right wingers are up in arms because it cuts too close to the truth about corporate interests, indiscriminate use of force and disregard for other cultures. Others have picked up on its racist undertones. It’s even said to have caused depression.

Yes, the story is clichéd and the underlying warning message delivered to us by a giant hammer unlike, well, what District 9 managed to do. But D9 was made by a South African, and Avatar is so utterly American. I can’t help but think that giant unsubtle hammer is the only way of delivering these political messages nowadays, and all power to James Cameron to do that, and entertain us in the process.

But anyway, back to the film. There is nothing to fault. There are so many colours and light and surprises on Pandora. My first impression was that it’s like a combination of Endor and Laputa, but it’s much much more. So much care has been put to create landscape, plants and creatures in such detail it is hard to believe it’s all in our imagination. The theme of nature-energy-force-we-are-all-connected-to-mother-earth theme is nothing new (I half expected someone to say ‘midi-chlorians’), and yes I cringed when they started doing voodoo-like chants, but at the end it’s all so, so good. I want to run and jump and fly and shout like a hunter-warrior. I want to sleep in those pod-hammocks. I want to ride the Toruk. I want to touch Eywa herself. For such an unsubtle film, there is an unexpected depth. I’m still thinking about it, and mulling over my experience. I won’t forget this film in a long time.

star wars weather


This fun star wars weather tool shows the weather around the world in terms of star wars places. So like it’s cold here in Chicago, but it’s much more fun to say it’s like Hoth. The description goes, “cold, ice, freezing desolation. you may have to climb inside a tauntaun for warmth.”

A little view page source tells me there are 9 places:

  • tatooine — hot, dry, occasional sarlacc — utinni!
  • dagobah — hot and wet and not in a good way — Yoda might be hiding somewhere
  • yavin 4 — hot and cloudy — bits of the Death Star might fall on your head
  • endor — temperate, grey and cloudy — stick around and you may get your own animated series
  • bespin — fog, mist, cloud, can’t see a thing — Lando is going to betray you.
  • kamino — wet — there’s also a significant chance of unconvincing CGI aliens
  • naboo — temperate, dry and pleasant — meesa like-a the weather these days
  • hoth — cold, ice, freezing desolation — you may have to climb inside a tauntaun for warmth
  • alderaan — huh? does not exist

So Hoth isn’t good, we should aim at Endor or Naboo.

[via giz]

District 9

I opened up the NYT today and immediately was drawn to the review of a new film produced by Peter Jackson. District 9 is an alien film with a difference. Yes, there are ugly, dripping aliens who can’t speak Earth. They look dangerous. But it’s not your regular sci-fi film. It’s DEEP and looks amazing and the more poignant because it’s from South Africa. The LA Times says,

In a good summer, there’s usually a movie that will come out of nowhere and completely wow us. This is a good summer, and that movie is District 9.

I don’t know how I can do it, but I need to find the means to go see this one.

15 movies that will always stick with you

Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you’ve seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what movies my friends choose. I hope you participate, even if you didn’t get tagged.

  1. Star Wars
  2. Lord of the Rings series
  3. Casablanca
  4. The Great Escape
  5. My Fair Lady
  6. Reality Bites
  7. St Elmo’s Fire
  8. Streets of Fire
  9. Ladyhawke
  10. Chance
  11. Il Mare / The Lake House
  12. X-files: Fight the Future
  13. Blade Runner
  14. In the Mood for Love
  15. When Harry Met Sally

and the winner is…

meme #12. Tagged by Bobbi.

Instructions: A list of every movie to ever be nominated for a BEST PICTURE Academy Award follows. For each year, the film to actually win the Oscar is listed first. Mark every film you have seen, total them up, and divide the total by your age.

( ) Wings
( ) The Racket
( ) Seventh Heaven

( ) The Broadway Melody – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Harry Rapf
( ) Alibi – Feature Productions, United Artists -Roland West
( ) The Hollywood Revue of 1929 – MGM – Harry Rapf
( ) In Old Arizona – Fox – Winfield Sheehan, studio head
( ) The Patriot – Paramount – Ernst Lubitsch

( ) All Quiet on the Western Front – Universal – Carl Laemmle Jr.
( ) The Big House – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg
( ) Disraeli – Warner Bros. – Jack Warner with Darryl Zanuck
( ) The Divorcee – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Robert Leonard
( ) The Love Parade – Paramount – Ernst Lubitsch

( ) Cimarron – RKO Radio – William LeBaron
( ) East Lynne – Fox – Winfield Sheehan, studio head
( ) The Front Page – Caddo, United Artists – Howard Hughes
( ) Skippy – Paramount – Adolph Zukor
( ) Trader Horn – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving G. Thalberg

( ) Grand Hotel – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg
( ) Arrowsmith – Goldwyn, United Artists – Samuel Goldwyn
( ) Bad Girl – Fox – Winfield Sheehan studio head
( ) The Champ – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – King Vidor
( ) Five Star Final – First National – Hal B. Wallis
( ) One Hour with You – Paramount – Ernst Lubitsch
( ) Shanghai Express – Paramount – Adolph Zukor
( ) The Smiling Lieutenant – Paramount – Ernst Lubitsch

( ) Cavalcade – Fox – Winfield Sheehan studio head
( ) 42nd Street – Warner Bros. – Darryl F. Zanuck
(x) A Farewell to Arms – Paramount – Adolph Zukor
( ) I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) Lady for a Day – Columbia – Frank Capra
(x) Little Women – RKO Radio – Merian C. Cooper with Kenneth MacGowan
( ) The Private Life of Henry VIII – London Films, United Artists – Alexander Korda
( ) She Done Him Wrong – Paramount – William LeBaron
( ) Smilin’ Through – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg
( ) State Fair – Fox – Winfield Sheehan studio head

( ) It Happened One Night – Columbia – Harry Cohn
( ) The Barretts of Wimpole Street – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg
( ) Cleopatra – Paramount – Cecil B. DeMille
( ) Flirtation Walk – First National – Jack L. Warner, Hal B. Wallis with Robert Lord
( ) The Gay Divorcee – RKO Radio – Pandro S. Berman
( ) Here Comes the Navy – Warner Bros. – Lou Edelman
( ) The House of Rothschild – United Artists – Darryl F. Zanuck with William Goetz and Raymond Griffith
( ) Imitation of Life – Universal – John M. Stahl
( ) One Night of Love – Columbia – Harry Cohn with Everett Riskin
(x) The Thin Man – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Hunt Stromberg
( ) Viva Villa! – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – David O. Selznick
( ) The White Parade – Fox – Jesse L. Lasky

( ) Mutiny on the Bounty – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg with Albert Lewin
( ) Alice Adams – RKO Radio – Pandro S. Berman
( ) Broadway Melody of 1936 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – John W. Considine Jr.
( ) Captain Blood – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis with Harry Joe Brown and Gordon Hollingshead
( ) David Copperfield – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – David O. Selznick
( ) The Informer – RKO Radio – Cliff Reid
( ) The Lives of a Bengal Lancer – Paramount – Louis D. Lighton
( ) A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke
( ) Les Misérables – Twentieth Century Pictures, United Artists – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) Naughty Marietta – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Hunt Stromberg
( ) Ruggles of Red Gap – Paramount – Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
(x) Top Hat – RKO Radio – Pandro S. Berman

( ) The Great Ziegfeld – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Hunt Stromberg
( ) Anthony Adverse – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke
( ) Dodsworth – Goldwyn, United Artists – Samuel Goldwyn with Merritt Hulbert
( ) Libeled Lady – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Lawrence Weingarten
( ) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – Columbia – Frank Capra
( ) Romeo and Juliet – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg
( ) San Francisco – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – John Emerson and Bernard H. Hyman
( ) The Story of Louis Pasteur – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke
( ) A Tale of Two Cities – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – David O. Selznick
( ) Three Smart Girls – Universal – Joe Pasternak with Charles R. Rogers

( ) The Life of Emile Zola – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke
( ) The Awful Truth – Columbia – Leo McCarey with Everett Riskin
( ) Captains Courageous – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Louis Lighton
( ) Dead End – Goldwyn, United Artists – Samuel Goldwyn with Merritt Hulbert
( ) The Good Earth – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Thalberg with Albert Lewin
( ) In Old Chicago – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck with Kenneth MacGowan
( ) Lost Horizon – Columbia – Frank Capra
( ) One Hundred Men and a Girl – Universal – Charles R. Rogers with Joe Pasternak
( ) Stage Door – RKO Radio – Pandro S. Berman
( ) A Star Is Born – Selznick International, United Artists – David O. Selznick

( ) You Can’t Take It with You – Columbia – Frank Capra
( ) The Adventures of Robin Hood – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis with Henry Blanke
( ) Alexander’s Ragtime Band – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck with Harry Joe Brown
( ) Boys Town – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – John W. Considine, Jr.
( ) The Citadel – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Victor Saville
( ) Four Daughters – Warner Bros.-First National – Hal B. Wallis with Henry Blanke
( ) Grand Illusion (La Grande illusion) – R. A. O., World Pictures – Frank Rollmer, and Albert Pinkovitch
( ) Jezebel – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis with Henry Blanke
(x) Pygmalion – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Gabriel Pascal
( ) Test Pilot – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Louis Lighton

(x) Gone with the Wind – Selznick, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – David O. Selznick
( ) Dark Victory – Warner Bros. – David Lewis
( ) Goodbye, Mr. Chips – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Victor Saville
( ) Love Affair – RKO Radio – Leo McCarey
( ) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – Columbia – Frank Capra
(x) Ninotchka – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sidney Franklin
( ) Of Mice and Men – Roach, United Artists – Lewis Milestone
( ) Stagecoach – United Artists – Walter Wanger
( ) The Wizard of Oz – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Mervyn LeRoy
( ) Wuthering Heights – Goldwyn, United Artists – Samuel Goldwyn

Total so far: 7

( ) Rebecca – Selznick, United Artists – David O. Selznick
( ) All This, and Heaven Too – Warner Bros. – Jack L. Warner, Hal B. Wallis, with David Lewis
( ) Foreign Correspondent – Wanger, United Artists – Walter Wanger
( ) The Grapes of Wrath – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck with Nunnally Johnson
( ) The Great Dictator – Chaplin, United Artists – Charles Chaplin
( ) Kitty Foyle – RKO Radio – David Hempstead
( ) The Letter – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) The Long Voyage Home – Argosy Wanger, United Artists – John Ford
( ) Our Town – Lesser, United Artists – Sol Lesser
(x) The Philadelphia Story – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Joseph L. Mankiewicz

( ) How Green Was My Valley – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) Blossoms in the Dust – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Irving Asher
(x) Citizen Kane – RKO – Orson Welles
( ) Here Comes Mr. Jordan – Columbia – Everett Riskin
( ) Hold Back the Dawn – Paramount – Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
( ) The Little Foxes – Goldwyn, RKO Radio – Samuel Goldwyn
( ) The Maltese Falcon – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) One Foot In Heaven – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) Sergeant York – Warner Bros. – Jesse L. Lasky and Hal B. Wallis
(x) Suspicion – RKO Radio – Alfred Hitchcock

( ) Mrs. Miniver – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sidney Franklin
( ) 49th Parallel – Ortus, Columbia – Michael Powell
( ) King’s Row – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) The Magnificent Ambersons – Mercury, RKO Radio – Orson Welles
( ) The Pied Piper – 20th Century-Fox – Nunnally Johnson
( ) The Pride of the Yankees – Goldwyn, RKO Radio – Samuel Goldwyn
( ) Random Harvest – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sidney Franklin
( ) The Talk of the Town – Columbia – George Stevens
( ) Wake Island – Paramount – Joseph Sistrom
( ) Yankee Doodle Dandy – Warner Bros. – Jack Warner, Hal B. Wallis, William Cagney

(x) Casablanca – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis
( ) For Whom the Bell Tolls – Paramount – Sam Wood
( ) Heaven Can Wait – 20th Century-Fox – Ernst Lubitsch
( ) The Human Comedy – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Clarence Brown
( ) In Which We Serve – Two Cities, United Artists – Noel Coward
( ) Madame Curie – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sidney Franklin
( ) The More the Merrier – Columbia – George Stevens
( ) The Ox-Bow Incident – 20th Century-Fox – Lamar Trotti
( ) The Song of Bernadette – 20th Century-Fox – William Perlberg
( ) Watch on the Rhine – Warner Bros. – Hal B. Wallis

( ) Going My Way – Paramount – Leo McCarey
(x) Double Indemnity – Paramount – Joseph Sistrom
(x) Gaslight – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
( ) Since You Went Away – Selznick, United Artists – David O. Selznick
( ) Wilson – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck

( ) The Lost Weekend – Paramount – Charles Brackett
( ) Anchors Aweigh – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Joe Pasternak
( ) The Bells of St. Mary’s – RKO Radio – Leo McCarey
( ) Mildred Pierce – Warner Bros. – Jerry Wald
(x) Spellbound – United Artists – David O. Selznick

( ) The Best Years of Our Lives – RKO Radio – Samuel Goldwyn
( ) Henry V – United Artists – Laurence Olivier
( ) It’s a Wonderful Life – RKO Radio – Frank Capra
( ) The Razor’s Edge – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) The Yearling – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sidney Franklin

( ) Gentleman’s Agreement – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) The Bishop’s Wife – RKO Radio – Samuel Goldwyn
( ) Crossfire – RKO Radio – Adrian Scott
(x) Great Expectations – Rank-Cineguild, U-I – Ronald Neame
( ) Miracle on 34th Street – 20th Century-Fox – William Perlberg

( ) Hamlet – J. Arthur Rank-Two Cities Films, U-I – Laurence Olivier
( ) Johnny Belinda – Warner Bros. – Jerry Wald
( ) The Red Shoes – Rank-Archers, Eagle-Lion – Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
( ) The Snake Pit – 20th Century-Fox – Anatole Litvak and Robert Bassler
( ) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke

( ) All the King’s Men – Rossen, Columbia – Robert Rossen
( ) Battleground – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Dore Schary
( ) The Heiress – Paramount – William Wyler
( ) A Letter to Three Wives – 20th Century-Fox – Sol C. Siegel
( ) Twelve O’Clock High – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck

Total so far: 15

( ) All About Eve – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) Born Yesterday – Columbia – S. Sylvan Simon
( ) Father of the Bride – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Pandro S. Berman
( ) King Solomon’s Mines – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sam Zimbalist
( ) Sunset Boulevard – Paramount – Charles Brackett

( ) An American in Paris – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Arthur Freed
( ) Decision Before Dawn – 20th Century-Fox – Anatole Litvak and Frank McCarthy
( ) A Place in the Sun – Paramount – George Stevens
( ) Quo Vadis – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sam Zimbalist
( ) A Streetcar Named Desire – Warner Bros. – Charles K. Feldman

( ) The Greatest Show on Earth – Paramount – Cecil B. DeMille
(x) High Noon – United Artists – Stanley Kramer
( ) Ivanhoe – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Pandro S. Berman
( ) Moulin Rouge – United Artists – John Huston
(x) The Quiet Man – Republic – John Ford and Merian C. Cooper

( ) From Here to Eternity – Columbia – Buddy Adler
( ) Julius Caesar – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – John Houseman
( ) The Robe – 20th Century-Fox – Frank Ross
( ) Roman Holiday – Paramount – William Wyler
( ) Shane – Paramount – George Stevens

( ) On the Waterfront – Columbia – Sam Spiegel
( ) The Caine Mutiny – Columbia – Stanley Kramer
( ) The Country Girl – Paramount – William Perlberg
( ) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Jack Cummings
( ) Three Coins in the Fountain – 20th Century-Fox – Sol C. Siegel

( ) Marty – United Artists – Harold Hecht
( ) Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing – 20th Century-Fox – Buddy Adler
( ) Mister Roberts – Warner Bros. – Leland Hayward
( ) Picnic – Columbia – Fred Kohlmar
( ) The Rose Tattoo – Paramount – Hal B. Wallis

(x) Around the World in 80 Days – United Artists – Michael Todd
( ) Friendly Persuasion – Allied Artists – William Wyler
(x) Giant – Warner Bros. – George Stevens and Henry Ginsberg
(x) The King and I – 20th Century-Fox – Charles Brackett
( ) The Ten Commandments – Paramount – Cecil B. DeMille

(x) The Bridge on the River Kwai – Columbia – Sam Spiegel
( ) Peyton Place – 20th Century-Fox – Jerry Wald
( ) Sayonara – Warner Bros. – William Goetz
( ) 12 Angry Men – United Artists – Henry Fonda, and Reginald Rose
( ) Witness for the Prosecution – United Artists – Arthur Hornblow, Jr.

( ) Gigi – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Arthur Freed
( ) Auntie Mame – Warner Bros. – Jack L. Warner
( ) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Lawrence Weingarten
( ) The Defiant Ones – Kramer, United Artists – Stanley Kramer
( ) Separate Tables – United Artists – Harold Hecht

(x) Ben-Hur – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Sam Zimbalist (posthumous award)
( ) Anatomy of a Murder – Columbia – Otto Preminger
( ) The Diary of Anne Frank – 20th Century-Fox – George Stevens
( ) The Nun’s Story – Warner Bros. – Henry Blanke
( ) Room at the Top – Continental – John Woolf and James Woolf

Total so far: 22

( ) The Apartment – United Artists – Billy Wilder
( ) The Alamo – United Artists – John Wayne
( ) Elmer Gantry – United Artists – Bernard Smith
( ) Sons and Lovers – 20th Century-Fox – Jerry Wald
( ) The Sundowners – Warner Bros. – Fred Zinnemann

(x) West Side Story – United Artists – Robert Wise
( ) Fanny – Warner Bros. – Joshua Logan
(x) The Guns of Navarone – Columbia – Carl Foreman
(x) The Hustler – 20th Century-Fox – Robert Rossen
( ) Judgment at Nuremberg – United Artists – Stanley Kramer

( ) Lawrence of Arabia – Columbia – Sam Spiegel
( ) The Longest Day – 20th Century-Fox – Darryl F. Zanuck
( ) The Music Man – Warner Bros. – Morton DaCosta
( ) Mutiny on the Bounty – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Aaron Rosenberg
(x) To Kill a Mockingbird – U-I – Alan J. Pakula

( ) Tom Jones – United Artists – Tony Richardson
( ) America, America – Warner Bros. – Elia Kazan
( ) Cleopatra – 20th Century-Fox – Walter Wanger
( ) How the West Was Won – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Cinerama – Bernard Smith
( ) Lilies of the Field – United Artists – Ralph Nelson

(x) My Fair Lady – Warner Bros. – Jack L. Warner
( ) Becket – Paramount – Hal B. Wallis
( ) Dr. Strangelove – Columbia – Stanley Kubrick
(x) Mary Poppins – Disney, Buena Vista – Walt Disney, Bill Walsh
( ) Zorba the Greek – 20th Century-Fox – Michael Cacoyannis

(x) The Sound of Music – 20th Century-Fox – Robert Wise
( ) Darling – Embassy – Joseph Janni
(x) Doctor Zhivago – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Carlo Ponti
( ) Ship of Fools – Columbia – Stanley Kramer
( ) A Thousand Clowns – United Artists – Fred Coe

( ) A Man for All Seasons – Columbia – Fred Zinnemann
( ) Alfie – Paramount – Lewis Gilbert
( ) The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming – United Artists – Norman Jewison
( ) The Sand Pebbles – 20th Century-Fox – Robert Wise
( ) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Warner Bros. – Ernest Lehman

( ) In the Heat of the Night – United Artists – Walter Mirisch
(x) Bonnie and Clyde – Warner Bros.-Seven Arts – Warren Beatty
(x) Doctor Dolittle – 20th Century-Fox – Arthur P. Jacobs
(x) The Graduate – Embassy – Lawrence Turman
( ) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Columbia – Stanley Kramer

( ) Oliver! – Columbia – John Woolf
(x) Funny Girl – Columbia – Ray Stark
( ) The Lion in Winter – Avco Embassy – Martin Poll
( ) Rachel, Rachel – Warner Bros. – Paul Newman
( ) Romeo and Juliet – Paramount – Anthony Havelock-Allan, John Brabourne

( ) Midnight Cowboy – United Artists – Jerome Hellman
( ) Anne of the Thousand Days – Universal – Hal B. Wallis
(x) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – 20th Century-Fox – John Foreman
( ) Hello, Dolly! – 20th Century-Fox – Ernest Lehman
( ) Z – Cinema V – Jacques Perrin, Ahmed Rachedi

Total so far: 35

( ) Patton – 20th Century-Fox – Frank McCarthy
(x) Airport – Universal – Ross Hunter
( ) Five Easy Pieces – Columbia – Bob Rafelson, Richard Wechsler
(x) Love Story – Paramount – Howard G. Minsky
( ) MASH – 20th Century-Fox – Ingo Preminger

(x) The French Connection – 20th Century-Fox – Philip D’Antoni
(x) A Clockwork Orange – Warner Bros. – Stanley Kubrick
(x) Fiddler on the Roof – United Artists – Norman Jewison
( ) The Last Picture Show – Columbia – Stephen J. Friedman
( ) Nicholas and Alexandra – Columbia – Sam Spiegel

( ) The Godfather – Paramount – Albert S. Ruddy
( ) Cabaret – Allied Artists – Cy Feuer
( ) Deliverance – Warner Bros. – John Boorman
( ) Sounder – 20th Century-Fox – Robert B. Radnitz
( ) The Emigrants (Utvandrarna) – Warner Bros. (Swedish) – Bengt Forslund

(x) The Sting – Universal – Tony Bill, Michael Phillips, Julia Phillips
(x) American Graffiti – Universal – Francis Ford Coppola and Gary Kurtz
( ) The Exorcist – Warner Bros. – William Peter Blatty
( ) A Touch of Class – Avco Embassy – Melvin Frank
( ) Cries and Whispers – New World Pictures (Swedish) – Ingmar Bergman

( ) The Godfather Part II – Paramount – Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos
( ) Chinatown – Paramount – Robert Evans
(x) The Conversation – Paramount – Francis Ford Coppola
( ) Lenny – United Artists – Marvin Worth
(x) The Towering Inferno – 20th Century-Fox/Warner Bros. – Irwin Allen

(x) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – United Artists – Saul Zaentz, Michael Douglas
( ) Barry Lyndon – Warner Bros. – Stanley Kubrick
( ) Dog Day Afternoon – Warner Bros. – Martin Bregman, Martin Elfand
(x) Jaws – Universal – Richard D. Zanuck
( ) Nashville – Paramount – Robert Altman

( ) Rocky – United Artists – Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff
(x) All the President’s Men – Warner Bros. – Walter Coblenz
( ) Bound for Glory – United Artists – Robert F. Blumofe, Harold Leventhal
( ) Network – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists – Howard Gottfried
( ) Taxi Driver – Columbia – Michael Phillips, Julia Phillips

(x) Annie Hall – United Artists – Charles H. Joffe
(x) The Goodbye Girl – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Bros. – Ray Stark
( ) Julia – 20th Century-Fox – Richard Roth
(x) Star Wars – 20th Century-Fox – Gary Kurtz
( ) The Turning Point – 20th Century-Fox – Herbert Ross and Arthur Laurents

(x) The Deer Hunter – Universal – Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino, John Peverall
( ) Coming Home – United Artists – Jerome Hellman
( ) Heaven Can Wait – Paramount – Warren Beatty
( ) Midnight Express – Columbia – Alan Marshall and David Puttnam
( ) An Unmarried Woman – 20th Century-Fox – Paul Mazursky and Tony Ray

(x) Kramer vs. Kramer – Columbia – Stanley R. Jaffe
(x) Apocalypse Now – United Artists – Francis Ford Coppola with Fred Roos, Gray Frederickson and Tom Sternberg
( ) All That Jazz – 20th Century-Fox – Robert Alan Aurthur (posthumous nomination)
( ) Breaking Away – 20th Century-Fox – Peter Yates
( ) Norma Rae – 20th Century-Fox – Tamara Asseyev and Alex Rose

Total so far: 53

(x) Ordinary People – Paramount – Ronald L. Schwary
( ) Coal Miner’s Daughter – Universal – Bernard Schwartz
(x) The Elephant Man – Paramount – David Lynch
( ) Raging Bull – United Artists – Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff
(x) Tess – Columbia – Claude Berri and Timothy Burrill

(x) Chariots of Fire – The Ladd Company/Warner Bros. – David Puttnam
(x) Reds – Paramount – Warren Beatty
( ) Atlantic City – Paramount – Denis Heroux
(x) On Golden Pond – ITC Films – Bruce Gilbert
(x) Raiders of the Lost Ark – Paramount – Frank Marshall

(x) Gandhi – Columbia – Richard Attenborough
(x) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – Universal – Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy
( ) Missing – Universal – Edward Lewis and Mildred Lewis
(x) Tootsie – Columbia – Sydney Pollack and Dick Richards
(x) The Verdict – 20th Century Fox – Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown

(x) Terms of Endearment – Paramount – James L. Brooks
(x) The Big Chill – Columbia – Michael Shamberg
( ) The Dresser – Columbia – Peter Yates
(x) The Right Stuff – The Ladd Company/Warner Bros. – Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff
( ) Tender Mercies – Universal/AFD – Philip S. Hobel

(x) Amadeus – Orion – Saul Zaentz
(x) The Killing Fields – Warner Bros. – David Puttnam
(x) A Passage to India – Columbia – John Brabourne and Richard Goodwin
( ) Places in the Heart – Tri-Star – Arlene Donovan
( ) A Soldier’s Story – Columbia – Norman Jewison, Ronald L. Schwary and Patrick Palmer

(x) Out of Africa – Universal – Sydney Pollack
( ) Color Purple – Warner Bros. – Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Quincy Jones
(x) Kiss of the Spider Woman – Island Alive – David Weisman
(x) Prizzi’s Honor – ABC Motion Pictures, 20th Century Fox – John Foreman
(x) Witness – Paramount – Edward S. Feldman

(x) Platoon – Orion – Arnold Kopelson
(x) Children of a Lesser God – Paramount – Burt Sugarman, Patrick J. Palmer
(x) Hannah and Her Sisters – Orion – Robert Greenhut
( ) The Mission – Warner Bros. – Fernando Ghia, David Puttnam
(x) A Room with a View – Cinecom – Ismail Merchant

(x) The Last Emperor- Columbia – Jeremy Thomas
(x) Broadcast News – 20th Century-Fox – James L. Brooks
(x) Fatal Attraction – Paramount – Stanley R. Jaffe, Sherry Lansing
( ) Hope and Glory – Columbia – John Boorman
(x) Moonstruck – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Patrick J. Palmer, Norman Jewison

(x) Rain Man – United Artists – Mark Johnson
(x) The Accidental Tourist – Warner Bros. – Lawrence Kasdan, Charles Okun, Michael Grillo
(x) Dangerous Liaisons – Warner Bros. – Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean
( ) Mississippi Burning – Orion – Frederick Zollo, Robert F. Colesberry
(x) Working Girl – 20th Century Fox – Douglas Wick

(x) Driving Miss Daisy – Warner Bros. – Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck
(x) Born on the Fourth of July – Universal – A. Kitman Ho, Oliver Stone
(x) Dead Poets Society – Touchstone Pictures – Steven Haft, Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas
(x) Field of Dreams – Universal – Lawrence Gordon, Charles Gordon
( ) My Left Foot – Miramax – Noel Pearson

Total so far: 90

( ) Dances with Wolves – Orion – Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner
(x) Awakenings – Columbia – Walter F. Parkes, Lawrence Lasker
(x) Ghost – Paramount – Lisa Weinstein
( ) The Godfather Part III – Paramount – Francis Ford Coppola
(x) Goodfellas – Warner Bros. – Irwin Winkler

(x) The Silence of the Lambs – Orion – Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, Ron Bozman
(x) Beauty and the Beast – Walt Disney Pictures – Don Hahn
(x) Bugsy – TriStar – Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson, Warren Beatty
( ) JFK – Warner Bros. – A. Kitman Ho, Oliver Stone
( ) The Prince of Tides – Columbia – Barbra Streisand, Andrew S. Karsch

( ) Unforgiven – Warner Bros. – Clint Eastwood
( ) The Crying Game – Miramax – Stephen Woolley
(x) A Few Good Men – Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia – Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman
(x) Howards End – Sony Pictures Classics – Ismail Merchant
(x) Scent of a Woman – Universal – Martin Brest

( ) Schindler’s List – Universal – Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, Branko Lustig
(x) The Fugitive – Warner Bros. – Arnold Kopelson
(x) In the Name of the Father – Universal – Jim Sheridan
(x) The Piano – Miramax – Jane Campion
(x) The Remains of the Day – Columbia – Mike Nichols, John Calley, Ismail Merchant

(x) Forrest Gump – Paramount – Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Steve Starkey
(x) Four Weddings and a Funeral – Working Title Films – Duncan Kenworthy
(x) Pulp Fiction – Miramax – Lawrence Bender
( ) Quiz Show – Hollywood Pictures – Michael Jacobs, Julian Krainin, Michael Nozick, Robert Redford
(x) The Shawshank Redemption – Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia – Niki Marvin

( ) Braveheart – Paramount – Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd, Jr., Bruce Davey
(x) Apollo 13 – Imagine Entertainment, Universal – Brian Grazer
( ) Babe – Universal – Bill Miller, George Miller, Doug Mitchell
( ) Il Postino (The Postman) – Miramax – Mario Cecchi Gori, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Gaetano Daniele
(x) Sense and Sensibility – Columbia – Lindsay Doran

(x) The English Patient – Miramax – Saul Zaentz
(x) Fargo – Gramercy Pictures – Ethan Coen
(x) Jerry Maguire – TriStar- James L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai, Cameron Crowe
( ) Secrets & Lies – October Films – Simon Channing-Williams
(x) Shine – Fine Line Features – Jane Scott

(x) Titanic – Paramount, 20th Century Fox – James Cameron, Jon Landau
(x) As Good as It Gets – TriStar – James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea
(x) The Full Monty – Fox Searchlight – Umberto Pasolini
(x) Good Will Hunting – Miramax – Lawrence Bender
(x) L.A. Confidential – Warner Bros. – Curtis Hanson, Arnon Milchan, Michael G. Nathanson

(x) Shakespeare in Love – Miramax – David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, Marc Norman
(x) Elizabeth – PolyGram – Shekhar Kapur, Alison Owen, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan
(x) Life Is Beautiful (La vita bella) – Miramax – Elda Ferri, Gianluigi Braschi
(x) Saving Private Ryan – DreamWorks – Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn
(x) The Thin Red Line – 20th Century Fox – Robert Michael Geisler, John Roberdeau, Grant Hill

(x) American Beauty – DreamWorks SKG – Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
( ) The Cider House Rules – Miramax – Richard N. Gladstein
( ) The Green Mile – Castle Rock Entertainment, Warner Bros. – Frank Darabont, David Valdes
(x) The Insider – Touchstone Pictures – Pieter Jan Brugge, Michael Mann
(x) The Sixth Sense – Hollywood Pictures – Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel

Total so far: 126

(x) Gladiator – DreamWorks & Universal – Douglas Wick, David Franzoni, Branko Lustig
(x) Chocolat – Miramax – David Brown, Kit Golden, Leslie Holleran
(x) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Sony Pictures Classics – William Kong, Li-Kong Hsu, Ang Lee
(x) Erin Brockovich – Universal & Columbia – Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
(x) Traffic – USA Films – Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Laura Bickford

(x) A Beautiful Mind – Universal & DreamWorks – Brian Grazer, Ron Howard
(x) Gosford Park – USA Films – Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, David Levy
( ) In the Bedroom – Miramax – Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field
(x) The Fellowship of the Ring – New Line & Warner Bros. – Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Barrie M. Osborne
(x) Moulin Rouge! – 20th Century Fox – Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann, Fred Baron

( ) Chicago – Miramax – Martin Richards
( ) Gangs of New York – Miramax – Alberto Grimaldi, Harvey Weinstein
(x) The Hours – Paramount & Miramax – Scott Rudin, Robert Fox
(x) The Two Towers – New Line & Warner Bros. – Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
(x) The Pianist – Focus Features – Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde

(x) The Return of the King – New Line Cinema – Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
( ) Lost in Translation – Focus Features – Ross Katz, Sofia Coppola
( ) Master and Commander – 20th Century Fox – Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Peter Weir, Duncan Henderson
( ) Mystic River – Warner Bros. – Robert Lorenz, Judie G. Hoyt, Clint Eastwood
( ) Seabiscuit – Universal, DreamWorks – Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Gary Ross

(x) Million Dollar Baby – Warner Bros. – Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy, Tom Rosenburg
( ) The Aviator – Miramax & Warner Bros. – Michael Mann, Graham King
( ) Finding Neverland – Miramax – Richard N. Gladstein, Nellie Bellflower
( ) Ray – Universal – Taylor Hackford, Stuart Benjamin, Howard Baldwin
(x) Sideways – Fox Searchlight – Michael London

(x) Crash – Lions Gate – Paul Haggis, Cathy Schulman
( ) Brokeback Mountain – Focus Features – Diana Ossana, James Schamus
( ) Capote – United Artists – Caroline Baron, William Vince, Michael Ohoven
( ) Good Night, and Good Luck – Warner Bros. – Grant Heslov
( ) Munich – DreamWorks & Universal – Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel

( ) The Departed – Warner Bros. – Graham King
( ) Babel – Paramount Vantage – Alejandro Gonzarritu, Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
( ) Letters from Iwo Jima – Warner Bros. – Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Robert Lorenz
( ) Little Miss Sunshine – Fox Searchlight – David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub
(x) The Queen – Miramax – Andy Harries, Christine Langan, Tracey Seaward

( ) No Country for Old Men – Miramax & Paramount Vantage – Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
(x) Atonement – Focus Features – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
(x) Juno – Fox Searchlight – Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick, Russell Smith
(x) Michael Clayton – Warner Bros. – Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent, Sydney Pollack
( ) There Will Be Blood – Paramount – Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar

( ) Slumdog Millionaire – Film4 – Christian Colson
( ) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Paramount – Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Cean Chaffin
( ) Frost/Nixon – Universal – Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Eric Fellner
() Milk – Focus Features – Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen
( ) The Reader – Weinstein – Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris

Total: 146 Score: 3.39

8+: re you kidding?! Bet you owned a betamax, a video disk player and you know what a CD-i Video is
6-7: Amazing
3-5: Pretty Good
1-2: Fair
<1: Really? Less than one nominated movie per year?

movies i’ve seen — 75

meme #11. Tagged by Car who, together with airlines, provides me with film entertainment.

SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own Facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x’s next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

( ) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 6

( ) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Total so far: 9

( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp

Total so far: 13

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
( ) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch

Total so far: 18

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre

( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
( ) Robots

Total so far: 21

( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
( ) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) King Kong

Total so far: 23

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-mas
( ) Flubber

Total so far: 24

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards

Total so far: 26

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask

Total so far: 28

( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog (the original)
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George

Total so far: 30

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2

Total so far: 34

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
( ) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3

Total so far: 44

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2

Total so far: 54

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street [the original]
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin

Total so far: 54

(x) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings: Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Total so far: 60

( ) Basketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three

Total so Far: 61

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch

(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
( ) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard

Total so far: 63

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
( ) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld

Total so far: 65

( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) The Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness

Total so far: 65

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor

Total so far: 71

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal

Grand Total: 75

films on planes

Long flight, with a 4 hour transit in the middle. I’ve been up for I don’t know how many hours, eaten all sorts of unhealthy food, and slept on and off.

i shouldn’t complain. I can hang out at the lounge, I have comfortable seats on the plane. And there is on demand movies and tv programs. Planes are where i watch the latest films, sometimes even catching up on old ones.

This trip I watched Eagle Eye, Ghost town and Juno. i find that i tend to gravitate towards smash bang adventures or light comedies on planes — anything else is too heavy. Eagle Eye was so implausible and kinda silly, but i loved the mindless loudness. Ghost Town was funny in places, but i wouldn’t have wanted to pay for it. Juno was really good, as all the reviews said when it came out.