Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Movies That Should Have Won Best Picture

Boxer is taking a break this month (and maybe longer?) and the Milk River Madman has graciously offered to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is MOVIES THAT SHOULD HAVE WON BEST PICTURE. This is an excellent theme. I did a little looking and realized that 1976's Rocky beat out Taxi Driver for best picture. What? I mean, Rocky is a good rah-rah sports underdog movie, but De Nero's performance in Taxi Driver was stellar. So off I went to find the clips and I actually found the "screwheads" and the "bloody finger gun to the head" scenes. Perfect, I'll write this up and I'm done.

But something was nagging at me. Wasn't there another film that I liked that was made in 1976? Research again. Well, there was Network - meh, except for the "mad as hell" quote a pretty forgettable movie. There was also All the President's Men - boring. And Carrie which was kind of scary for me because I was graduating high school right around then, but it had some good nudity. Then I remembered. The best western/civil war movie EVER MADE - The Outlaw Josey Wales.

How this movie didn't get nominated for best picture and best supporting actor (Chief Dan George) is beyond me. It did, however, get nominated for best music, original score and lost to The Omen. Best music, really? Other than the opening song and Rose of Alabamy, I never realized there was any music in this movie because of all the gun fire. Anyway, here's the movie trailer followed by the best line (and there are many - Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining comes to mind) in the whole movie.

This short commercial clip is funny as hell.

Go on over and see the Madman to see what other movies were snubbed by the academy.

And not that I have anything against the Madman but:

Boxer! Come back!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Visual Haiku - Summer Nights

Barbecue dinner.
Cut and water lawn before
relaxing Phils game.

Jimmy Rollins' game-winning two-run home run in the ninth inning off of Kerry Wood beating the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, June 23, 2010, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 7-6.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Worst Movie Remake

Boxer is taking a break this month and the Milk River Madman has graciously offered to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is WORST MOVIE REMAKE. The Madman gave me a short fuse this week, so minimal research and thinking went into this. That said, I narrowed my choice to two movie remakes that didn't need to be remade. Both (strangely?) are children's movies - sort of.

The runner up this week was the 1966 TV Christmas movie classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. All of us have fond childhood memories of seeing this on TV in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Knowing that it could only be seen on TV and if you missed it was gone until next year - no VCR or DVD. Jim Carrey's 2000 remake just destroyed the simple magic of the original. It was fine the way it was.

Which brings me to my choice. Another children's classic that was non-animated, insane fantasy. I'm talking about 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This is the first movie I ever saw Gene Wilder in and he played the eccentric, mad inventor perfectly, so matter-of-factly. And this is my favorite scene, the Missouri Boat Ri...I mean the Psychedelic Boat Ride.


The 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake was just wrong. I like Johnny Depp, but he turned Willy Wonka into a scary, Michael Jacksonish gay guy. No magic here, just - cringe. Here's Tim Burton's version of the Psychedelic Boat Ride - meh.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Boat Scene.

And here's the creepy.

Didn't have enough? Then go over and see the Madman for more god-awful movie remakes - and bring the kiddies.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Visual Haiku - Flag Day

Giving comfort and
defending those who harm her -
Freedom costs a lot.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Culinary Throwdown - Picnic Basket

This month's Culinary Throwdown Challenge is being sponsored by LaDiva Cucina and the theme is PICNIC BASKET. Diva will also do the judging - I guess. Well, as usual I waited 'til the last minute. I had been thinking about what to do and had an actual plan. I was going to do it this past weekend and actually try to take the Mrs on an actual picnic. The schedule, of course, actually went to hell in a hand basket and didn't happen.

So I regrouped today (Tuesday the 15th) , got my shit together and had at it. The picnic meal is Cold Barbecued Chicken, Amish Cole Slaw and Quick Potato Salad. We go on an annual family canoe trip and always take KFC with us because it travels well in the freezer chest. The slaw doesn't have mayonnaise so it will last a while. The potato salad was just because I like potato salad. So this was my inspiration - and I had 1 hour to do it in after I got home from work and cleaned up the mess the boys left in the kitchen.

Let me take a second here to vent and say that nothing torques me up more than coming home to a dirty kitchen when I'm in a time crunch. The Mrs never sees this because she doesn't get home until 6PM and even though I explain what I find, she thinks I over-exaggerate. She wonders why I'm always in a foul mood when I come home to find dirty dishes, frying pans, soda cans, food wrappers and glasses left over from the after-school smorgasbord the boy indulges in. And half the time he's eaten what I had planned to serve for dinner. I can't wait until he goes to college next year - but I digress.

Here are many of the ingredients that I used. I didn't use the hard boiled eggs because I didn't have any.

I mixed up both salads and had them in the fridge in about 30 minutes. The Amish Cole Slaw is from a favorite cook book and is very close to the one I linked. The big difference is the amount of vinegar is doubled and the sugar is halved. I think I will go with this next time because my cook book recipe tends to be too sweet.

The chicken thighs were par boiled and frozen (by me) a few weeks ago. I just defrosted them, slathered them up with my favorite barbecue sauce and grilled them for about 10 -12 minutes. Trust me that they were cold when we ate them because the Mrs was about 20 minutes late.

It was such a nice evening here in Jersey (about 75 degrees) that we ate out on the deck - picnic style. No blanket because the deck boards are to hard for my candy ass.

And here you go.

After Action Report: The chicken was good. Hard to mess it up and I had Mesquite wood chips in the barbecue for some nice smoke. I love the smell of Mesquite when I'm cooking. The slaw was meh. A little on the sweet side. The potato salad was surprisingly good for slapping it together in about 20 minutes. Everyone liked it a lot although the boys fished out the tomatoes. This is a keeper and I will probably add some fresh parsley and a little more mustard for color next time. All in all a decent 1 hour picnic meal.

This throwdown promises to have huge participation, so swing on over to Diva's to see the rest of the picnic fare.

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best TV Series Made into a Movie

Boxer is taking a break this month and the Milk River Madman has graciously offered to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is BEST TV SERIES MADE INTO A MOVIE. Now again, I'm going to stay away from the Star Trek series because you know J-Cake will be doing The Wrath of Kahn. In fact, she could probably use The Wrath of Kahn for about half the themes we've done so far. Good series, good movies, 'nuf said.

Get Smart was another great series that was recently made into a movie with Steve Carell and the movie was really funny. But I used Get Smart before, so I will give it honorable mention and move on.

No, the movie, or rather movies, I chose are the Naked Gun movies. A lot of people don't know that these movies were based on the very short lived Police Squad from 1982. There were only 6 episodes made and it was truly a tragedy that it was cancelled. This series, from the Zucker Brothers (think Airplane) was absolutely hysterical. If you've never seen them, do yourself a favor and rent them. Anyway, here's a clip from the third movie, 1994's Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. The intro spoofs the stairs scene from The Untouchables. And there's OJ in there too.

This memorable quote is from 1988's The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! I laugh every time I hear it.

And here is one of the intros from the TV series Police Squad, 1982 . They always have a special guest star who gets killed in the intro. There's one with Bill Shatner (in honor of Star Trek) but I couldn't find a descent clip.

So go over and see the Madman for more of the best TV series made into movies.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Visual Haiku - Summer

Hot pizza by the pool.
Cold beer smuggled in coolers
with friends Thursday nights.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Sequel

Boxer is taking a break this month and the Milk River Madman has graciously offered to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is BEST SEQUEL. Now there are a number of movie franchises that have many sequels to them. Star Wars, Star Trek and James Bond immediately come to mind. And while some of the sequels were good, when you have mega-franchises like these that produce a film every other year, the sequels tend to be meh.

The movie that immediately came to me because this was a sequel that was way better than the original, was The Road Warrior. I remember seeing this with a bunch of college buddies at an on-campus screening and it was great. I didn't see the original, Mad Max until a couple of years later and was very disappointed. Yet I didn't choose this one because of the high probability of blogger jinx.

What I did choose was 1973's Magnum Force, the sequel to 1971's Dirty Harry. Everyone that reads me knows I'm a big Clint Eastwood fan (and so is Madman and I'm hoping I didn't blogger jinx here too). Magnum Force was a great follow-up to what would become one of (if not the biggest) police movie franchises in history. The subsequent sequels, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool just went down hill from Magnum Force. Harry Callahan was Clint's career-defining character and the target range scene is one of my favorites.

Man's got to know his limitations. (I couldn't embed this one, so you're going to YouTube).

So go over and see the Madman for more of the best movie sequels ever made (and I'm real curious to see what everyone comes up with).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday (on Thursday) - Best War Movie

Boxer is taking a break this month and the Milk River Madman has graciously offered to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is BEST WAR MOVIE. I love war movies. Probably my favorite movie genre. There are so many good ones out there it's hard to choose. I just recently rewatched the HBO Band of Brothers series and the the more recent Pacific series and both were very intense. I liked Band of Brothers a little better because it was a lot like saving Private Ryan. SPR is probably the best war movie of all time. The Madman took it off the table for this Meme and rightly so.

My personal favorite war movie is Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. But I've posted on that one before, so I will just say it's a great movie and move on. Other movies I considered but couldn't find descent clips for were 1965's In Harm's Way with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas and 1981's Das Boot with a youngish J├╝rgen Prochnow. Both great naval movies - one on each side of the line.

The movie I selected for the Meme is 1962's epic D-Day invasion movie - The Longest Day. This movie had like 40 major stars in it (including a very young and incomprhendable Sean Connery - horrible cockney accent) . There are a whole bunch of small stories within this movie (like vignettes) as well as fairly accurate battle history that make this movie so interesting. I chose the movie trailer because it has the best sequence in the whole movie included in it. That of the Luftwaffe pilots strafing the beaches. From a direction stand point, that short sequence involved hundreds of men and machines timed perfectly with explosions to depict the beaches of Normandy. I thought that was so cool.

So go over and see the Madman for more of the best war movies ever made.

Visual Haiku - Veterans

Mind, Soul, Heart and Limbs
scattered o'er battlefields
bravery's sewn flowers.