I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!
So in case you hear that anywhere this is the movie that is from. I have seen it a few times before and it is a favorite clip on news shows when they want a quick soundbite. I think the last time I saw it was on the Glen Beck show which is funny because the guy who said it was very anti-democracy and anti-nationalism. I think its an especially sweet irony when lips like this or songs are used by the Republican Party to promote their events when the really meaning behind them have the exact opposite significance, but I digress.
So the movie really didn’t catch my attention at first. It starts off fairly slow and is very reminiscent to the opening scenes of Dawn of the Dead in the newsroom scenes. I think this is was what was turning me off because I was hoping that any second it would start showing footage of zombies and shit would really start going down.
The movie starts off with the news anchor and the center of the story breaking down on air and saying that with the recent cancellation of his show that he has nothing more to live for and will kill himself on air in a week. Well needless to say the network freaks the fuck out and wants him off air and are trying to run damage control. While this happens a few people on the network decide that they should actually put him on the air more and people will tune in if they think hes going to have a break down ever episode. Well low and behold it works and the network gets amazing ratings and make a full show out of this guys rantings and ravings. This turns they’re legitimate news show into a sort of side show of psychics and end of the world predictions.
The premise for all this pretty interesting and you would think that the rantings of the crazy newsman would be what holds your attention but it is really the network it self that is the star here. You really get a glimpse of how cold and heartless they are to exploit what ever cause it is in order to get more ratings. They wind up working directly with a terrorist organization to make a action show out of their plight and allow the newsman to all but loose his mind after his stress break down. All this made for a compelling movie but I wasn’t really drawn into it until about halfway through. Somewhere during the movie it turns from a regular drama to more of a I Heart Huckabees sort of discussion on the human condition sort of movie. My favorite parts were a couple of the newsman rants and the interactions of an older member of the network who is having an affair. Together the drama and social commentary make for a good movie but I feel like something is lost in the movie and it can’t decide what it wants to be. I couldn’t really get into the drama parts of the movie because the of the intellectual breakdowns (the I Heart Huckabees like parts) made me feel that the movie was too unrealistic and then the drama lost it’s importance. At the same time the main characters all but dismiss the new mans rants so even when watching it and I felt like he was spitting some real shit out there I got the sense the audience wasn’t suppose to really care and were just watching him to see what he did next. In the end I didn’t get the same feeling of profoundness I got when I saw I Heart Huckabees and I didn’t really wind up caring about any of the characters as I would in a normal drama because they were too over the top.
The Bottom Line
It was a good movie but if you want to watch movies off this list I say watch some of the other ones first. I don’t see what aspect of this movie really made it one of the best movies of all time other than the line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!” gets used frequently in pop culture. I mean seeing this movie will help you in trivial pursuit or in a family guy episode some day but it won’t make it to your favorite movie list. Again, not bad and if you don’t have anything else to watch do it but don’t go out of your way for this one.
So I think most people have read this book at some point in there life. It’s one of the classic required readings that people have read so they love to put in their favorite books on facebook to seem more cultured. I had also read this book in high school and to be completely honest forgot what it was about. I all really remembered was Scout, there being a trial, and a creepy guy, Boo Radley.
To recap briefly the movie is about a trial going on in the south during the Jim Crow era. The trial is for black man who is accused of raping a beating a white woman. Because of the times there is a lot of tension against the lawyer defending the black man and tension against the man himself. It is a real testament of the times and shows the unfair treatment shown towards blacks when clear cut evidence that he is not guilty is presented. Again, the story is a literary classic and has been repeated several times in different movies/books.
Well watching the movie really refreshed me on the book I had read and after watching the movie I really have to say some of the copy cats of the story have done a better job. Movies like A Time To Kill or Mississippi Burning or even Just Cause have similar stories of white lawyers defending (sometimes) innocent blacks in the Jim Crow era and I really feel some of them have done much better jobs. Now that isn’t to say this movie isn’t important as it really was the first of its kind and told this story at a time when siding for blacks was not the socially acceptable to do as it is now. In A Time To Kill, I felt that the story hit a lot more emotions and you got more of a sense of how taking on a unpopular case like this really effected the lawyer in all aspects of his life.
During To Kill A Mocking Bird, Atticus (the lawyer) is puts off as being a very cold person so you don’t really get a feeling of how he really feels about taking the case and how doing so has effected him. Watching it he really seems to be a champion of civil rights but really watching I could not tell if he was really taking the case on for the sake of civil rights or for his belief in the justice system. This was probably necessary at the time since being a champion of civil rights would not of been very well received but in my opinion it plays it to safe. It is similar to the Fox News correspondents who will claim they are independent and then only have guests with strong right views and will let them say whatever they want with out fact checking them. They can still claim to be independent if they just let the guest talk like a psycho and just stay quite it. This is sort of a bullshit way of making a statement with out having to be held personally responsible if it doesn’t work out. I would have been a lot happier if Atticus would have balls up and made a stand one way or the other on how he felt about race.
This leads to my next point, AFI the institution that made the list I am watching movies from, has a lot of other lists based on 100 best musicals or comedies. One of these lists was the best Heroes and Villains (here is a link to the list), on which Atticus Fitch is listed as the number one hero. I have beef with this because all though he is a clear cut hero in this story he is far from the greatest hero in any movie. During the movie all though his son is attacked there isn’t a feeling that he is in much danger the whole movie. The people of the town still respect him and seem more upset at the black man being accused than Atticus himself. Atticus really just looks to be going through the motions, you get a sense he knows the consequences of taking on the case means but at the same time doesn’t really seem to be effected by it. Not only that but he doesn’t really show emotion to any one. His own kids call him by his first name and for the most part doesn’t pay much attention to them at all. My point is that there are Heroes in movies that whole lives are changed detrimentally due to their attacking on what is right and at the end of this movie you get the feeling he will be gong to back life as normal in a couple of weeks.
The Bottom Line
It is a good story and the movie holds up well. It was made in 1962 and in black and white but the cinematography holds up and the story is pretty timeless. Being that this is one of those books every one should have read and might come up in conversation if you haven’t read it you should probably see the movie as so you can fake it and tell people you have. If you read the book and weren’t really into it or indifferent I would skip the movie, the movie will be a rehash to you and you won’t get more out of it than you did the movie.
Star Wars actually ranks fairly high on the list coming in at number thirteen. At first I thought of this as kind of a surprise that Star Wars would really be he thirteenth greatest film of all time but the more I thought about it the more this film has really effected all pop culture in all most every aspect. A few weeks ago ComicCon was held in San Diego and for the first time a ComicCon panel was televised in its entirety. During this panel it was revealed that a “Music of Star Wars” touring concert would start up this fall. It will have a full symphony orchestra playing live music from the movies while scenes play on large monitors. This won’t be happening at concert halls but at full scale arenas and will probably sell out. What other movie could do this? I mean this is a 30 year old movie so ingrained in our society that its orchestral score alone can sell out arenas!
Any ways back to the movie, Star Wars VI: A New Hope (or known at its release only as Star Wars) is the first yet 4th movie in the series. The movie is about Luke Skywalker a boy living on a farm on a desert planet who, by extraordinary circumstances is thrown into greatness. Going over the plot feels redundant because even if you happen to haven’t seen the movie you probably all ready know what happens.
So how does the movie hold up? For being over 30 years old the movie holds up very well. If you happen to watch it on TV today or buy it on DVD you’ll be watching the “special edition” version which has a few extra scenes and cleans up some of the more poorly digitized scenes from the original and gives the sound a boost. This is a plus for the most part except that these moments are not found through out the whole movie so when they happen it is really obvious when you do see a newly done CGI scene compared to the originals. Compared to the prequel movies there are not a lot of the grand battles and major light saber sword play. This isn’t to say there isn’t action in this movie but you really don’t feel cheated by the lack of CGI tech at the time since there are only a few scenes they actually use their light sabers. The story is really immersive and translates well for pretty much any age group. Since this is the “first” movie in the series you don’t need to know anything ahead of time to enjoy it and you won’t get lost in the terminology.
The Bottom Line
Really you have to see this movie regardless about how good it is (which it is) or if you like sci-fi. This movie is too engrossed in our pop culture that with out seeing it hundreds of references to the movie in different aspects of culture won’t make sense to you. I watched it recently and what I suggest if you have only scene it once or have only scene it in parts and not all together is to really watch the whole thing start to finish paying attention full attention. It will save you a lot of misunderstanding later on and with just watching this movie you will probably know enough about Star Wars that you can fake your way through a conversation about it if it comes up.
So after thinking about what direction I wanted to take this blog I’ve decided to overhaul and go in a new direction. First I am still unemployed and am actively looking for a job and while looking the unthinkable has happened. I’ve pretty much ran out of new Law & Order episodes. I know I really didn’t think this was possible but I’ve gone through most of the episodes that are available on Netflix instant and more often than not now the episodes I watch on TV have been ones I have all ready seen.
So what to do now? Well I guess the best way is to start from where this idea came from, the Scene it: Box Office Smash game on the Xbox 360. So I’ve had Netflix now for sometime and been enjoying my movies on it and after the initial rush of back log movies that I had wanted to see for some time I needed to go further out to find movies to watch. In come Scene it. Now those unfamiliar with the Xbox 360 every game has achievements in it, and for each achievement you get gamer points which is totaled in your over all gamer score. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. You don’t get extra things for more points, it doesn’t unlock parts of the game, it won’t get you laid. However, for what ever reason I am driven to get as many achievements as possible and for Scene it I was close to getting them all. In comes Being John Malkovich. Now the game has a ton of trivia in it but certain movies come up a lot mainly Being John Malkovich, Heathers, Terminator, and Mad Max 3: Beyond the Thunderdome. So me and my PIC Qcait started watching a lot of these movies through Netflix.
What started off on just getting better at Scene soon lead to me watching a lot of cult classics to better my overall movie knowledge. I started with classics like The Evil Dead, The Running Man, Tron, and Dawn of the Dead. But it soon lead to the more critically acclaimed movies out there like Schindler’s List, The Reader, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Dangerous Liaisons. Well after 2001: A Space Odyssey I realised a lot of these movies were on the AFI 100 Movies 100 Years list and decided to make it my goal to go through the whole list.
What I plan to do is this, with my Netflix handy and extra time not working work my way through the entire AFI 100 Movies 100 Years list. But since I will being seeing the best of the best I really need something to compare it to so I will at the same time be watching and reviewing movies of IMDB’s bottom 100 list of worst movies ever made. My goal is to give a normal viewer perspective to see if the top 100 of what film has to offer is truly that enjoyable and if the bottom of the barrel is really as bad as it seems.
So how to begin? How else but with number one, Citizen Kane. Now for those not familiar with the list, it was made in 1997 and then revised in 2007 with a few movies staying the same, some being dropped and some added (if you are curious what is on the list itself click here). Now on both the original and the revised Citizen Kane remained number one so according to AFI at least this is really the best of the best.
A Brief Synopsis / Review
The movie starts with Kane dying and saying his final word “Rosebud”. Kane is a trust fund child with a lot of wealth and during his lifetime owned and operated a giant newspaper conglomerate. Right after Kane dies you see a quick montage of his life that looks like one of those old timey new reels that you see in movies updating people on the war before they watch a movie. The montage is very black and white and just shows the facts of his life nice and safe manner. Then after wards you are introduced to a reporter from his newspaper who is after the mystery behind his final word, “Rosebud”. He meets with the important people of Kane’s life and you get the real gritty story of a great and flawed man. All though he doesn’t find out what Rosebud meant he finds out the man that Kane was and in the final scene it is revealed what Rosebud meant.
So is it the greatest movie of all time then? It’s hard to say. I know that is a crappy answer but with this movie and many more on this list it is old and very much before my time. Parts of the reason that this movie is so well liked by critics is that it was a revolution in directing. Now I am not a film student so I can’t tell you the the play by play of why this was (nor would I if I could) but I’ll just talk about it as a average person might view the movie. First and foremost it was a really good movie. Growing up with special effects and color television when ever I watch a movie older than 30 years there is a real fear it will be to out of date for me to enjoy. This isn’t the case for Citizen Kane however as even in black and white the story told in this movie is immersive and timeless. As the movie starts out you get a feeling that Kane is the greatest man alive, with a real strong moral sense and a don’t take shit from any one attitude. However as the movie goes on you really get to see his flaws as a man and his disillusionment when the unfairness of the world dick slaps him in the face. There is amazing character development and all though Rosebud isn’t the end all be all answer you think it’s going to be I still really enjoyed the ending. This movie is great really for any one, it isn’t so deep that you don’t understand whats going on and yet a lot is going on and it makes watching the movie fun and even though it was made in 1941 the story relates just as well today.
I really recommended it for any one, it isn’t something that you need to rush and see right away but you can probably impress your friends by seeing it and it won’t disappoint you.
Lets face facts here, the world is going to end and it is going to end in Zombies taking over the world. Now many of us try to ignore this fact or just put it off as one of those things that when it does happen they will have a plan ready, but never do make a plan, just like the second coming of Christ or retirement. What happens is life takes over we get busy with our jobs and what not and never fully make out our plan for the Zombie Apocalypse leaving us completely vulnerable when the day does finally come upon us. So now that you are unemployed take this to your advantage are really set in stone your plans for when the big day finally comes you are ready.
What do I Do First? Get in the Right State of Mind
So what should you do? Making a plan for the Zombie Apocalypse can be a heavy task and feel overwhelming and many of us just don’t know where to start. I think the best way is to get your self in the right state of mind. Making your Zombie survival plan can seem like a chore and if you are thinking of it as such will make your plan weak and will not have the variety of unknowns in it you will need to really survive this thing. So first and fore most watch some classic Zombie movies just to put that fear and seriousness of what the situation will be like back in your system. The first movie you should watch and what you should all ways come back to is the 2002 release 28 Days Later. This film is vastly considered the greatest zombie movie of all time and will not only scare the shit out of you but will begin the real thinking process you are going to need to do when making your plan. The next movie to watch are the entire Resident Evil Series followed by Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead or pretty much any George A. Romero movie. Other good choices are Quarantine, Blindness, and Children of Men. These last ones don’t deal with zombies but are good all around movies about living in a post apocalyptic world. Remember when making your plan that you have to plan for the long haul, sure just surviving will be your main focus but once your survive what you do next will quickly become equally important.
Step Two, Read the Proper Literature
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks is the only book you will need to make it out of the Zombie Apocalypse alive. Scratch that The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brook is the only book you will ever need, period. It really is that important, if you only read one book in your life time let this be the one. Not only does this book have all the survival tips you will need to make it out of most situations it gives you valuable knowledge about zombies and their physiological structure that will help you better prepare for them. Also a good idea to buy are the Zombie Survival Guide deck of cards. These are laminated cards with different facts on them that you can carry along with you wherever you go and memorize information through out your day. I know it sounds like I am pimping this book out pretty hard but I can not stress enough how great of a book it is. Buy one for your self and your family, it makes a great gift, trust me.
Playing Zombie Video Games
Since you are unemployed you should be playing video games all ready, so why not kill two birds with one bullet, and play some Zombie games. Let’s just go ahead and start with the best, Left 4 Dead. This game is for the PC or Xbox 360 and is hands down the greatest Zombie game ever made. I may have been scared in survival horror games before this but I’ve never been as terrified as when playing Left 4 Dead. There is no back story in this game you are just thrown into the action with hundreds of Zombies at a time after your fleshy ass. No where is safe and with the “Director” AI the game tailors itself to how you are playing and there are no preset places the Zombies will come at you from. Meaning that when you replay the game it is just as terrifying as the first time you played. Next on my list of games is Resident Evil 2 & 3 and the Silent Hill games. These games are equally terrifying and have shit popping out at you when you least expect it. They make you become creative as bullets are rare and make you carefully pick each shot you take. Lastly I’m going to go with Fallout 3. This choice isn’t a zombie game but has you talking and dealing with people in a post apocalyptic world. This is going to be important for living your life after you have made it through just surviving.
Last Step, Make your plan!
These things to do aren’t really meant as a recipe type process but you should be doing all these things simultaneously so that your plan has all the what if’s you can think of in it.
First you want to make a plan of where you will go with things go down immediately. Now you will probably be at home since you don’t have a job but you will leave your apartment from time to time so all ways have a place to go. Have a lot of general sets of plans and make them specific at a later time when you have details. For example have a plan if you are stuck in a generic office building to start with. Then later on if you get a job tailor that plan to your office with specific details of safe locations and weapons you have stashed around the place. Start with your apartment, an office setting, an out door setting, a in car setting, and a large indoor area (like a mall). This should get the ball rolling and you will come up with other ideas of situations you might be in when the infection begins.
Next make a detailed list of items you need to get or might all ready have around the house you can use as weapons/supplies. Knives, Baseball bats, first aid kits, and canned food will all be important. Now you don’t have a job so money is tight so just start with listing things you have and can use and list other things you will buy when you do get a job and money isn’t to tight. Remember when the undead start roaming the earth you have a green flag to steal as much shit as you want so if you have a list all ready made you can just pick those things up at a later date. Also get familiar with how you are going to escape/barricade your self in your apartment. Carefully think out different scenarios and all ways have a way out. We’ve all seen those movies when the victim goes up stairs and then they are screwed, now is the time to make a rope ladder so you can get out of there if that situation comes up.
Have a goal of where you would like to end up in mind. Sure it’s going to be rough in the while especially if you live in a major city, but we are in this for the long haul and have to think of where we want to go and live once stickily surviving isn’t all we are worried about. Get a map and mark out a rural location that you feel you could comfortably grow food in and have it marked up and know how to get there. The worst thing that could happen to you is you spend so much time thinking about the initial attack that you starve in your apartment because your plan only entailed you surviving (that or becoming one of the undead).
These are some basic things you will need to think of and there are much more in the Survival Guide and even more things that will be simply unpredictable. Remember be aggressive about this, you don’t have a job right now so you can devote 100% of your time to this are really get this right. Good luck and all ways remember, destroy the brain.
It’s been on for 19 seasons and has inspired 2 spin-offs. The cast has all most completely changed and all most every celebrity known to man has made a guest appearance. Now many of you might not be fans or may say something along the lines of “Why would I watch that show? I’m not forty and don’t have grown children”. Well start by looking at the pro’s of why my fellow unemployed might enjoy watching Law & Order.
1) Day Time TV Sucks
This is no secret or surprise but day time television is pretty God damn awful. Sure you say “what about the price is right? That is my favorite part of sick days!” Fact, we all have fond memories of The Price is Right it hasn’t stayed on the air since the dawn of time because it is a horrible show. But we are talking unemployment here, this isn’t going to a one time stay at home situation. You are going to be spending day after day watching TV while you of course are diligently looking for a new job. After a week the novelty will wear off and Drew Carey will slowly start to piss you off as he is not the Bob Barker you grew up with. Now as a person who spent many of hours during college watching the game show network during the day time I can vouch that game shows aren’t the path to choose when it comes to day time TV. There are many talk shows as well, but it doesn’t take long before you realise why Rachael Ray’s talk show is at noon and no one watches it.
Here is just a sample of what Monday’s TV schedule looks like
12 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
1 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
3 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
5 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
6 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
7 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
8 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
9 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
10 AM – Law & Order: Criminal Intent
1 PM – Law & Order
2 PM – Law & Order
6 PM – Law & Order
7 PM – Law & Order
8 PM – Law & Order/Law & Order: Special Victim Unit
9 PM – Law & Order: Special Victim Unit
10 PM – Law & Order/Law & Order: Special Victim Unit
This is just a typical day, some times the channels change and the type of Law & Order will change but the amount doesn’t. That’s a solid 19 hours of television in a single day, some of these might be repeats but with the 19 seasons that the original Law & Order alone has a normal day like this won’t have any repeats of episodes. Now I’m aware that being unemployed means you won’t be waking up to watch the early morning episodes but with the power of Tivo/DVR you can record these early shows so when you wake up at noon sharp, your daily non-stop Law-&-Order-athon will be uninterrupted, continuous, and commercial free.
3) No Back Story Needed
We all have that one friend that is really into Lost. They tell you constantly how it is the greatest show on television and how in dept the story is and how it will suck you in. Then we fall for it, it happens to be the night that Lost if on so you say hey let’s give it a shot and check out an episode. Next thing you know there is a weird black fog monster and so many ties ins to earlier episodes that you have no idea what is going on and can’t understand why your friend was so hyped up on the show to begin with. First, it’s not their fault, Lost is a great show its just if you didn’t get in on it when it started there is little to no motivation to sit through five seasons of back story just to catch up. This is the beauty of Law & Order, you don’t need any back story. Each episode lays out one case and all that happens in the show is just about the case at hand that is going on. Sure there is some background story going on but it is never big enough changes that if it was your first episode of Law & Order that you wouldn’t completely understand what is going on. Not only that but there are no cliff hangers or worrying about what will happen next week. Let’s say there is a murdering rapiest that eats people on this weeks episode, no worries come better or worse the story will rap up by the end of the hour, every single time.
4) It Keeps You on Your Toes
Now the formula of having one case and concentrating on only it during the show is not a new strategy for a TV show. CSI and House are two great examples of shows that you can jump in on with out much backstory and every thing brought up in the show will pretty much be resolved by the end of the episode. I was sucked into House for this vary reason until after about 15 episodes that I found House follows a pattern that doesn’t ever change.
Here is every episode of House,
1) Opening scene of soon to be paitent falling down/bleeding out/seeing things followed by opening credits.
2) House is dicking around and doesn’t want to take case but then becomes interested and takes it.
3) The next 15-20 minutes is the team trying obvious solution that isn’t working and breaking into patients home to take samples.
4) At some point Lupus is considered seriously as the problem and one of the treatments all most kills the patient.
5) During the last 5 minutes some one will say a certain word to House and he will figure it out and solve the whole thing.
Now this is a good way to run a show but if every episode is run this way it is far to predictable and you simply don’t fall for the false treatments in the middle of the show they want you to think are the solution. This is were Law & Order really shines and breaks through the monotony. With Law & Order you have at the most basic two parts of the show, one part when they capture the criminal and the other part where they try them. Now this might seem like that same formula as House but these two are not given equal time on every episode and you never know with each episode how much time will be spent on each. Some episodes start with the criminal being captured in the opening scene and some the criminal isn’t caught until that very last scene.
Law & Order doesn’t all ways have a happy ending. I’m not saying that I want every show to be depressing and the bad guy to win but with House I know with 100% certainty they will find out what the problem is and solve it 100% of the time. With no change in story you just don’t give into the suspenseful moments when you are suppose to not know whats going to happen. With Law & Order the bad guy gets away with it enough that truley any episode you really don’t know how its going to turn out. Many of times I have watched and thought to my self surely they won’t let this guy get away with it and sure enough not only does he but he rapes another 2 more people.
5) It’s great to have on when you are doing something else
Let’s not stray from our purpose here, this is about surviving unemployment and when you are looking for jobs you need to have something going on in the background. It has to be something good enough to watch yet not detracting enough so you can’t get anything done. Law & Order is on enough during the day that you don’t have to really be paying attention to any one episode fully. Let’s say you are really in the zone and getting things done and before you know it you are 30 minutes into an episode and lost. No big deal, if you can’t figure out from context clues whats going on there will be a fresh new episode in 30 minutes for you to get your fix on.
Unemployment means spending a lot of time at home in front of the TV. You still need a job so you are going to have to look for one but while you are doing that you still need a little entertainment to get you through the day. Law & Order can be a great way to pass that time while stimulating your brain and allowing you to still look for work.