Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Right Now I'm Loving...

So every once in a while I post about random things that are capturing my attention. I used to call this segment "Makes Me Laugh" but then I realized not everything on the Interwebs that sucked me in was actually funny. Like this week.

Because this week I'm loving... my own capacity for making stupid decisions. 

Particularly my stupid decision to do an Ironman in 2014.  And just so we're clear, before any of my smart aleck friends can make any comments about how I'm not allowed to "do" an Ironman since I'm already married, we're not talking about this Ironman:

Although it's not a terrible idea...

We're talking about the Ironman Triathlon. All 140.6 miles of it. Wikipedia defines it as thus (I love how they felt it necessary to put "without a break" in the description):

So, 2.4 miles of this:

Followed by 112 miles of this:

And 26.2 miles of this:

Ahem, to summarize:

Doesn't that just get you excited and make you want to sign up for an Ironman race RIGHT NOW?? Cause there's nothing like almost-drowning, road rash, and heat exhaustion to make you appreciate the fact that you spent $100's of your own hard-earned money for the privilege. 

I won't be clogging up this blog with all the details of my near-death experiences Ironman training. I've got a whole different blog for that -   

I'm not alone in this little endeavor, my normal partners in crime jumped on the stupidity bandwagon as soon as they heard about it. They're the Thelma to my Louise, let me tell you. Any cliff that we can find, we are quick to drive over.

It will be hard, but we don't turn away from hard. It'll be stupid, but we don't turn away from that either. And by the time it's all over we'll be more an Ironman than Tony Stark ever was.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb Battle (#12)

It’s the Sunday Movie Showdown, The American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 vs. the Internet Movie Databases’ (IMDb) Top 100. 

#12: The Searchers vs. The Empire Strikes Back

John Wayne The Searchers
I had never seen The Searchers, mostly because it’s a western and that’s not my favorite genre. It’s a story about a man (John Wayne – possibly at his very best) hardened by war and his attempt to rescue his niece who has been taken by Indians.

In short, it’s great. It’s a fantastic western, sure, but also an unforgettable film of any genre. And it actually deals with some complex issues: racism, sexism, the price and worth of survival. It’s another perfect example of why I wanted to do this movie showdown in the first place: to force myself to see truly great films I might never had seen otherwise.

The Searchers (like The Treasures of the Sierra Madre, On the Waterfront, All About Eve, and Sullivan’s Travels) is a film you should see immediately if you’ve never had the opportunity to watch it. Or watch again even if you have.

Natalie Wood John Wayne The SearchersUnfortunately, The Searchers is up against Empire Strikes Back (which is also a western if you want to start looking at overarching themes in the genre).  Last week we looked at Star Wars against both Seven Samurai and Psycho (Star Wars won against both, not surprisingly – have you met me?). 

Although Empire is widely recognized amongst Star Wars fans (and anyone with a brain) as the best of the trilogy, Empire doesn’t make it onto the AFI list at all. I honestly think AFI’s inclusion of Star Wars over Empire is its attempt to pay homage to all three of the original Star Wars films (that’s right, because regardless of what you think of Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks, the movies are a set of three). AFI did the same thing with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy – they included the first one Fellowship of the Ring as a nod to the entire trilogy (even though Two Towers and Return of the King are both better movies than Fellowship).

But anyway, I am sorry The Searchers is up against Empire because up against about 90% of the other movies in the list it would’ve won. But alas…

So the score now stands at AFI – 47, IMDb – 42. And since we already did #11 (City Lights vs. LoTR: Return of the King) a few months ago, that means starting next week we’ll be in the Top Ten. The Wizard of Oz vs. The Dark Knight will kick off #10 for us.

AFI’s Top 100
IMDb’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)


#11 City Lights (1931) LoTR: Return of the King (2003)

The Searchers (1956)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars (1977)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Psycho (1966)
Star Wars (1977)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Goodfellas (1990)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Casablanca (1942)
The Graduate (1967)
Fight Club (1999)
The General (1927)
City of God (2002)
#19 On the Waterfront (1954) LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Rear Window (1954)
Chinatown (1974)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Psycho (1960)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
The Matrix (1999)
High Noon (1952)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
All About Eve (1950)
Se7en (1995)
Double Indemnity (1944)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Memento (1990)
#31 The Maltese Falcon (1941) LoTR: The Two Towers(2002)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Annie Hall (1977)
Leon: The Professional (1994)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Citizen Kane (1941)
#37 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Apocalypse Now (1979)
#38 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) North By Northwest (1959)
#39 Dr. Strangelove (1964) American Beauty (1999)
#40 The Sound of Music (1965) American History X (1998)
#41 King Kong (1933) Taxi Driver (1976)
#42 Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
#43 Midnight Cowboy (1969) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
#44 The Philadelphia Story (1940) Vertigo (1958)
#45 Shane (1953) Amelie (2001)
#46 It Happened One Night (1934) Alien (1979)
#47 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Wall E (2008)
#48 Rear Window (1954) Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
#49 Intolerance (1916) The Shining (1980)
#50 LoTR: Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Spirited Away (2001)
#51 West Side Story (1961) Paths of Glory (1957)
#52 Taxi Driver (1976) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
#53 The Deer Hunter (1978) Double Indemnity (1944)
#54 M*A*S*H* (1970) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
#55 North by Northwest (1959) The Pianist (2002)
#56 Jaws (1975) The Lives of Others (2006)
#57 Rocky (1976) The Departed (2006)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)
#59 Nashville (1975) City Lights (1931)
Duck Soup (1933)
Aliens (1986)
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
American Graffiti (1973)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Cabaret (1972)
Das Boot (1981)
Network (1976)
The Third Man (1949)
The African Queen (1951)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Chinatown (1974)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Goodfellas (1990)
Up (2009)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)