Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meg's First and Last Rant (maybe)

You know what the hardest part of having kids is? Thinking that you have some influence or control.

Indeed, when I decided to start a family I had a master plan: My children will only watch Public Television; My children will take music and art lessons; My children will have a love of reading, a love of theater and a love of the great outdoors; My children will like classical music; My children will like going to school. My children will like 100% fruit juice and choose it over drinks with florescent green color.

In short, my children will be smart, creative, loving and say thank-you for birthday presents without being prompted.

Right. Wake up and smell the wee wee.

You can’t control what your children put into their mouths; you can’t control what comes out of their mouths. And you certainly can’t control what comes out the other end--when, where, how often or the consistency; you can’t control how they dress, how, when or where they undress; you can’t control their actions, or inactions; you can’t control their thinking or the seeming lack of it. You can’t influence or control anything.

Zip. Zero. Zilch.

So then when I got me a blog and someone thanked me for sharing a link to Dikipedia, I was all like, what? I actually had some influence over someone else? That rocks!

Problem is…I want more.

And here’s come the rant: I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve visited raving about The Dark Knight—not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hey, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, I get it.

But if I have one gripe about the blogosphere, it’s the American Idolization of it (yes, I know--I've mixed my metaphors). Ditto with music--don’t’ get me started on that.

There are so many films out there people please, get out of your media zone and check out something not produced by the Weinsteins. Otherwise it really is a dark night.

It’s only because I care, and I learn so much from all of you, that I’m giving you a list of possibilities. And, well, I might also be a bit of a control freak. But I can’t end my Toronto Film Festival Festival without sharing some of my favs.

Bet you’ll be glad when I go back to blogging about beer, won’t you?


The Visitor
The Pope's Toilet
La Zona


You Can Count on Me -- see Mark Ruffalo act
My Life Without Me – or anything w/Sarah Polley (have tissues ready)
Grace is Gone – a topic not touched upon in this current war
Lovely And Amazing – with a lovely Catherine Keener


The Big Lebowski – of course!
High Fidelity – JC at his best
Almost Famous – if you love classic rock, don’t miss it
The Savages – w/P.S. Hoffman & Laura Linney, need I say more?


Say Anything - Lloyd rules!
Truly, Madly, Deeply - dubbed as a thinking person's Ghost
Life is Beautiful - a slap-sticky story of sacrifice
Cinema Paradiso - about as sentimental as I go


Fight Club - sex, violence, comedy and Brad Pitt's bare chest
History of Violence - a great character study
Eastern Promises - Viggo with an accent


The Pianist - not the Piano
Casablanca - war or love story?
Hotel Rwanda - based on a (riveting) true story (of courage)


The Science of Sleep –great stop action animation and Gael Garcia Bernal
New World – one beautiful, long poetic story
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – features Tom Waits on the soundtrack
Fur - features a hairy R. Downey Jr.


Lost in Translation – worked in every way for me
Babel – don’t over think it
City of God – says a lot about sociology
The Lives of Others - another great character study (of a gestopo)
Y Tu Mama Tambien – I love how the director comments through the cinematography


Boogie Nights – Mark Walberg was robbed of the oscar
Magnolia – see it for the Tom Cruise’s cami
Punch Drunk Love – a serious Adam Sandler


Citizen Kane
Flags of Our Father
Raising Arizona
Reservoir Dogs

I know I'm going to take a hit on those last two. Be gentle.


If you liked any of these films, or if you didn't, how about smiley-ing me at Humor-Blogs.


Chris Wood said...

Reservoir Dogs and Raising Arizona are both top films but yes, they have been over-lauded (slightly!). Ditto The Dark Knight, although it was brilliant.

Nice to see you have such good taste in films!

BTW do you know Withnail & I? It's a British gem, very strongly recommended.

Jen said...

I just bookmarked your page for future reference. There are many on here that I haven't yet seen and will be adding to my netflix queue. Some I've seen and loved (Hotel Rwanda and of course Say Anything). However, I would add Lost in Translation to the overrated list. I just didn't get what everyone else saw in this one--sorry.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Chris - Thanks. I'll check it out. Did you the British "Mother"?

Jen - I know. I tend to like movies that lack plot. I loved New World, as well and everyone else I know hated it--if they could even get through it.

Chris Wood said...

Meg - no.

But I do fancy Catherine Keener now :-)

Jinksy said...

I would disagree with your thoughts on Reservoir Dogs, but the rest of the list is pretty good.

Blogget Jones said...

No,'re totally right about those last two ;o)

It's Citizen Kane you're wrong about. :oP LOL

:o) BJ

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Jinksy - You may be right. But you aren't. JK!!!

Although I have watched it a second time with a more critical eye, and I can see Tarantino's development of scene and character with later films.

Blogget - You may be right. But I can't expose myself to another viewing of it unless under the influence of something strong!

Honeybell said...

Oh God. One of my delusions before children was that I would ever get to see another movie other than G rated. Ever.


Ms Picket To You said...

Please add Truly Madly Deeply to the romantic column. Trust me.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Hey, Meg, just wanted to let you know 2 days ago I went and put In Bruges on my Netflix queue because it sounded rather intersting...I've seen most of the films you've listed but I'll go back to my Netflix to add the others! :-)
As for Raising Arizona, you can't beat the DP's camera work!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

HoneyBell - Try multiple DVD players--kids in one room, adults in another. Beer goes in the adult room.

Ms. Picket - I love that movie. I completely forgot about it!! A sexy Alan Rickman!!

Coconut Cake - OK. I may have to revisit it. I do love good camera work.

for a different kind of girl said...

Wow! I've actually seen most of these, and somewhere buried in my basement is an A+ film study paper on Citizen Kane.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully Understated: Hmmm. Never heard of any of them, oh, wait, did hear of You Can Count On Me. I need to get out more or put our Netflix account to better use.

Comedy: Haven't seen the Big L, but love High Fidelity and Almost Famous (my wife's two favorite movies by the way), but while thought the Savages was good, thought short of great.

Romantic: My wife even has a blog titled "Your Basic Dare To Be Great Situation" based off a line from Say Anything.

Action and grit: have yet to see Eastern Promises and History of Violence, but Fight Club, loved it.

War: Just saw Hotel Rwanda finally-- Don Cheadle is amazing.

Artsy: Have The Lives of Others in my queue. Guess I should move it up.

Paul Thomas Anderson: Did he also do There Will Be Blood? I liked it (mostly for cinematography) but I don't think The Wife would-- after I told her about it.

Reservoir Dogs: Even though I love that, I could see you saying that be overrated, but Raising Arizona: sorry, have to vehemently (not just stridently, but vehemently, mind you) disagree with you there, just for the Biker of the Apocalypse.

However, you're entitled to your opinion, even if it's wrong. ;)

Hmmm....maybe I should have done my own blog post, huh? ;)

A Free Man said...

God, I could totally rant about the current shitty state of the film industry (and losing my precious pre-parent ideals, but leave that for now). The fact that nearly everything that comes out of Hollywood right now is either a sequel or a remake (or a sequel of a remake. The fact that there is so much independent film that gets completely missed because people are watching Journey to the Center of the Earth of some shit. I love your list, although, come on Raising Arizona rocks!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

DKofG: A paper on Citizen Kane? Maybe you can fill me in. And you do have excellent tastes, I might add.

Unfini.... - My blog is your blog. Be sure to see "The Visitor". I have a link provided.

A Free Man - OK. That's Raising Arizona - 3. How do you feel about Neil Diamond?

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg - no wonder you have to take a nap in the afternoon, staying up until 3 a.m.!

I too loved Big Lebowski, Life is Beautiful, all 3 action/grit, all 3 war and The Savages. Just watched Funny Games with Naomi Watts and liked it was well.

Jenn Thorson said...

I do like Raising Arizona-- my first exposure to the Cohen Brothers-- but I honestly did not enjoy Citizen Kane. I know, I know, we're not really supposed to ENJOY it, just learn from it and THINK. But still.

I was however grateful to finally hear the "Rosebud" line in its original context. :)

PS- LOVE "Lebowski" and... nice marmot.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Anon - Who are you and how do you know I nap? What else do you know about me? That I switched to wine because there are fewer carbs?

But yeah, glad we like the same movies. And btw, I scheduled the post for 3:00 am. because of feed issues.

Jenn - I think those Citizen Kane people have some good marketing folks working for them.

VE said...

The Big Lebowski will never fail to amuse me. High Fidelity...good call! Almost famous, another good one. I'd add Office Space to that. For those in coporate America this one gets more and more real as the years go by. I'd also add Big Fat Liar. It's a kid's movie that never even went to the theater but it IS the definitive Paul Giamonni performance. There are just too many stupid funny scenes that I laugh out loud at to dismiss it.

Yes, Say Anything. That's a good safe one. I'm pretty predictble in this category. I lean to Pretty Woman and Notting Hill as old standbys. I have a secret enjoyment of "Somewhere in Time" despite critics hating it and it's cheesy 80s start. Don't tell anyone.

Action & Grit
Fight Club is under appreciated in my book. That was a smart movie; in a sick twisted way. I'll have to check out your other two; I haven't seen them. I'd add a couple other sleepers I've enjoyed in the past: Red Rock West with Nick Cage and Payback with Mel Gibson. I don't what it is about Payback but it satisfies my 'take no s**t' cravings!

I'd add Das Bot to this list. It's riviting even to this day. For an odd recommendation try Gallipoli.

Looks like I have some viewing to do here. I'll throw in Koyaanisqatsi. It's a visual smorgasbourg.

Personal Favorites
I enjoyed Lost in Translation but found I was "Lost in Translation" with Life Aquatic.
I'd add a few odd things that I don't know where they fit:
Run Lola Run, the original Slueth (oh, to go back and enjoy it for the first time), Life as a House, the Matrix (so obvious but that first one just did it for me), Emelie (so original and quirky), Gizmo (fascinating) and Miller's Crossing.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

ve - Good choices, especially Koyaanisqatsi and Das Boot. And thank you for not giving it to me over Raising Arizona.

Nick said...

I'm glad you share my sentiments about Wikipedia, although probably not for the same reason (poorly written article on the buffalo phenomenon). I have also referred to this worthless sham of a website as "Dikipedia" or "Dickipedia" in the past. You've got to hit 'em where it hurts.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Nick - Actually Dikipedia is a real site. Very different than Wikipedia. Check it out. It fun!!!

muskrat said...

totally agree on "comedy," "war," "artsy," and "p.t.a." some of the others i hadn't seen.

thanks for the tips!

muskrat said...

ps- i saw "hotel rwanda" at a premiere in atlanta and, afterward, got to participate in a question and answer session with paul rusesabagina.

i don't think there was a person in the audience who didn't stand up and tear up when he descended the aisle towards the stool in front of the screen to approach the mic.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Muskrat - That is so totally awesome!! Hats off to Don Cheadle for bringing that story to light.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

If you like serious Adam Sandler, see "Reign Over Me". Bring tissues. It also has Don Cheadle. Then see 'Talk to Me', which just has Don Cheadle and is excellent. (Skip that one if you are offended by language. Its all about the language, but also fabulous period clothes and a very interesting real person.)

JT said...

I have seen many of those and a few I haven't so I'll have to check those out.
You did forget a great action film, one I absolutely adore - Boondock Saints!
And yes, I remember those idealistic of what my parenting was going to be like, then I was confronted by poop that went from the bottom of the footsie pajamas to the neck, next was the eating of the lipstick and laundry soap, then I discovered how quickly they repeat everything they heard, usually at the worst time. ~Sigh!~ Now it's like I'm an AA member, I'm trying to survive one day at a time.

JT said...

Have to add a couple more here :P
My all-time faves along with Boondock Saints - The Princess Bride, Men In Tights, and From Dusk Till Dawn. A note on Dusk - I never saw the previews for it so when I saw it, I was absolutely floored. And while I love Quentin anyway, I thought that movie showed more of his changing growth in his ability to put a Kick A** movie together.

jerseygirl89 said...

Having seen most of those makes me cool, right? Please, something's got to these days.

BTW, have you ever seen Whit Stillman's Metropolitan? Totally got me into indie movies.

April said...

I'm so cool - I've seen most of these, and the ones I haven't are already on my Netflix queue.

Sensei said...

Meg: I am crushed that you didn't include "I am Trying to Break Your Heart." I don't know what to say. (sniff, sniff.)

Blue Lady said...

City of God was so good that I was turning the volume up so I wouldn't miss anything, then I realized I don't understand Portuguese!