Monday, April 13, 2009

Continuing the Classics..

32. Classic Movie (13/33) - I have continued my quest to see every Best Picture winner since 1950 at a pretty good pace lately. Since Silence of the Lambs, I've seen Chariots of Fire ('81), The Deer Hunter ('78), Oliver! ('68), On The Waterfront ('54), and Driving Miss Daisy ('89).

Here are my quick reviews of each film:

On The Waterfront surprised me. I have never been a huge fan of old movies. I think it's my ADD kicking in when they involve too much dialogue and not enough action. However, I really liked this movie. I had never seen Marlon Brando as a young actor, and I thought he was terrific in this film, and it kept my attention the entire time.

My Rating: 8.0/10

Oliver was another one that surprised me. I think I'm starting to gain a bit of appreciation for older flicks. This one surprised me mainly because it was a musical, which I typically do not like, however I highly enjoyed this movie. I never lost interest in the plot and never found myself looking at my watch like I normally do in musicals.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Chariots of Fire was ok. The first hour and a half moved so incredibly slow, but it ended pretty well. It took me awhile to understand what the movie was about, and even though I love competition and sports, I was not that big of a fan of this film.

My Rating: 6.0/10

Talk about an intense film. I had been told all my life that I needed to see The Deer Hunter, and I'm glad I did. Some scenes moved slow, but some scenes were so intense that you start wondering if you are actually there. This was a film that I wasn't crazy about right after seeing, but the more I thought about it, and I did quite a bit, I liked it more. Not quite "legendary" status in my book, but close.

My Rating: 8.0/10

Driving Miss Daisy is a movie that all should see. There is no real solid plot, but you will love the characters and will learn quite a bit from the film. Morgan Freeman was outstanding, and I can't believe he didn't win Best Actor (even though I never saw Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in "My Left Foot"). I had always considered his role in Shawshank to be his best ever, but this role clearly surpasses that. This is a film about friendship and attitude. My favorite scene by far was when they were on their way to Mobile, and he had to use the restroom, and Miss Daisy tells him not to stop, but to continue, and he stops the car and tells him that he's not just a chauffeur, he is a man as well. This scene hit me because most of the movie, you start thinking that he is her slave by the way she treats him, and it hits you that the setting is the 60's, and he is indeed just at his job. I thought this film was fantastic and right to the point.

My Rating: 8.0/10

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rollin Rollin Rollin...

60. Buy 2 new tires - Finally got this done. I had bought 2 tires last year at $240, so I was kind of putting buying the other 2 off. Well, a co-worker came to me yesterday afternoon and was like "Man, your back tire is BALD." I went and looked at it, and sure enough, it was about to blow. So, I went straight from work to NTB to get 2 new tires at $300 (funny how that works, huh?). But now I don't have to worry about my tires blowing out.

You know what's amazing? I have owned 3 vehicles since I turned 16. Not once have I had a blow out, flat tire (except for that time they were slashed), or mechanical problem with a car. I've been pretty freakin lucky...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"A census taker once tried to test me..."

32. Classic movies - If you know the beginning of the quote in the title, you have seen this classic, brilliant film that is "The Silence of the Lambs." "...I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

Many people who found out I had never seen this movie were surprised. I was even surprised. It's one of my dad's favorite movies, its a suspense thriller (my favorite genre), and it is considered one of the best films ever made. Well, thanks to my Best Picture project, I ordered it on Netflix.

This 1991 Best Picture winner is just a brilliant film, if I can sum it up one word. The acting is phenomenal, the storyline is intriguing, and the suspense is thrilling. The dialogue between Dr. Lecter and Clarice Starling is just absolutely genius. SPOILER ALERT! The story behind the "silence of the lambs" leaves the viewer thinking deeply into it, the way that Clarice figures out who Buffalo Bill is and the scene where Dr. Lecter escapes is just brilliant. That scene, when the cops figure out that the body on the elevator is not Dr. Lecter's, but yet the injured cop with no face, was so amazingly portrayed.

The only negatives that I saw was that there were some parts that were hard to understand, and I also didn't fully understand the point behind the flashbacks that Clarice kept having with her father dying. They never really summed that up, and I just felt like it was just there. I kept waiting on some sort of symbollism, but it never came.

I don't know why it took me so long to see this film, but I am so glad that I finally did.

IMDB Rating: 8.7 (#24 all time) My rating: 8.5

Friday, February 27, 2009

Catching Up..

32. Watch a classic movie each month - Ok, I know I haven't blogged about any movies since November, but I really have been watching movies. However, I am making a slight change to this goal, but it stays on the same concept.

I just recently joined Netflix (amazing so far), and with this, I am making a goal to see every Best Picture winner since 1950 that I haven't seen. I had seen 18 of them before starting this. These are all considered classics, so it stays on the rules of this goal.

I have seen 2 movies since joining, and they are:

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) - I watched this in high school but didn't pay attention, so I wanted to make sure I watched it. I thought it was alright. I expected a war film, and instead got a slow-moving, dragging 2 hour, 40 minute movie about something I could have made in 15 minutes. The ending was awesome, but the middle parts just dragged. I know I have to view movies made in the 50's differently than in the 90's, but my attention span doesn't go much farther than 2 hours, and this movie was very hard to stick with. But in the end it was an interesting story line, I just wish they had made it in 2 hours instead of dragging it out. I believe I would have liked it much better.

IMDB rating: 8.5 My rating: 5.5

Million Dollar Baby (2004) - I had been wanting to see this movie for quite some time. I had heard about it, had heard it was depressing, but the hype around it made me very excited to see this movie. It was very disappointing. SPOILER ALERT!!: I thought that they tried way too hard with the end story line. It was mind-boggling to me that he ended up killing her. I know that she wanted it, and I know that he felt he had to do it for her, but what he did was highly illegal, and upon an autopsy, he never would have gotten away with it. Hillary Swank's acting was absolutely phenomenal, but it wasn't enough to save this movie. It was all a little too unbelievable. They tried too hard with her family being greedy, they tried too hard with her wanting to die, they tried too hard making her so successful. The underlying story-line with the retarded boy at the gym made no sense. What was the point of that?? So he's retarded and gets beat up by one of the other guys at the gym, he comes back in the end to train, what's the point? What did Morgan Freeman's character mean by "her ghost walked through the door?" I was just left puzzled at that. I thought the beginning of this film was so interesting and so awesome, but it became a train wreck about half-way through, and can only think the only reason it won Best Picture was because of the directing and acting by Clint Eastwood.

IMDB Rating: 8.2 My Rating: 4.0

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Bad Dog Club..

#6 - Read a non-fiction book - I might as well be a part of the Bad Dog Club the way I have been ignoring my blog and goals lately. But I did knock out a goal recently..

I finished reading "Marley & Me," something I wanted to do before seeing the movie. I am a sucker for dog books, and had heard this one was good, so decided to give it a go. I am so glad that I did.

"Marley & Me" is a phenomenal read that keeps moving and keeps you hooked from the very beginning. It has countless stories that involve laughter and sadness, leading to the imminent very sad ending. I read "Where the Red Fern Grows" when I was younger, and cried at the ending, and this book was no different to my feelings. It doesn't help that my Shadow is growing older and weaker and may not be around much longer, but maybe it did help me in that it began preparations for losing her. Whichever affect it has on me, I am so happy that I read this book. I will definitely re-read it down the road, and now I have to see the movie.

I highly recommend this book for a casual read for dog lovers, you will love it. Now it's time to find a fictional novel for another goal..

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Seein the Texans and Da Bears!

83. Go to a sporting event with just my dad. - I have been slacking big time with my blogging, so this one will be sort of a catch-up blog on my goals.

First, some bad news, one goal is now listed as unachievable, as I failed to go to the dentist in 2008. I'm really upset at this one, but I waited too long, and before I knew it, I was way too busy to do it. I'm sure that being terrified of the dentist had nothing to do with it.

Second, I am in the middle of a few goals. I need to update my classic movies, I did watch one for November and December, just haven't written about them yet. I am 70% done with my non-fiction book, and I am almost done with Season 1 of my recommended t.v. series from the beginning (The Sopranos).

Thirdly, I was able to knock out a goal last weekend, when I went to the Texans-Bears game with my dad. My mom's doctor (shes a nurse) has season tickets and couldn't make it, and offered us his tickets. We said yes not even knowing how amazing the tickets were. When we got them, I freaked out seeing that they were Section 107, Row F (that's 6). I looked up Section 107 and found out that that's on the 45 yard line. Basically, you can't get much better seats than these.

I wanted to go to a sporting game with just my dad so that we could bond. We had gone to countless Astros and Oilers games together growing up, and as I got older, I started going with girlfriends and friends instead, so this was a perfect opportunity for us to go to a football game together and have a good time. My sister and her boyfriend were also going to the game, but their seats weren't anywhwere near ours, even though they came down and sat in 2 seats behind us in the 4th qtr.

We had an amazing time at the Texans game. The seats were unreal, getting to watch the players in all their motions right in front of us. Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter and Steve Slaton (my favorite player) all sat on the bench right in front of us, about 20 feet away. It was surreal seeing all this in person, I felt like a kid all over again. My dad and I had a good time, getting to bond and talk and enjoy the game in front of us. Plus, the Texans won and knocked the Bears out of the playoffs!!

I took a ton of pictures, here are a few of the best ones:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movin On Up...

66. Move into my own apartment - Wow, it has been forever since I have blogged. I have been so busy with the holidays and the Big Move that I have totally forgotten to post, but I am still knocking out goals in the process.

I finally moved out of the lease house that I had lived in for over a year and got my own 1-bedroom apartment. It is really, really nice, and I was the first person to sign a lease in the whole place. It is brand new and they are still working on the other buildings.

The clubhouse has a Resident Lounge with a plasma tv, chairs, pool table and demonstration kitchen (Benihana style); the fitness center has tv's on each treadmill and eliptical and is open 24 hours; the Wi-Fi lounge has a plasma tv, chairs, computers, and a free coffee bar; and the pool is a wade-in pool with fountains, grills on both sides and outdoor fireplaces with lounge chairs.

My apartment is about 800 square feet, 1 bed, 1 bath, and it is just awesome. I haven't been able to take many pics yet, but everything in my living room is brand spankin new, including brand new furniture and a 42" plasma HD tv and tv stand.

I am so happy to have been able to take this step in my life and I feel so fortunate to be able to have a place of my own. I can't express how happy I actually am that I have accomplished this goal.

Here are a few pics from a house-warming get-together I had: