Monday, May 28, 2007

Star Wars Characters

I don't know if you've noticed but this is the 30-year anniversary of Star Wars. There was a huge convention at the LA Convention Center over the weekend and I in my infinite geekiness would've gone if I hadn't been so disappointed by the last two movies.

But no matter how bad Episodes 1-3 were, Star Wars is still a landmark in pop culture and played a huge part of my childhood. Everybody's seen the movies. So who are your favorite Star Wars characters?

My list:

1. Han Solo-I wonder how many fights there have been between kids over the years over who gets to be Han while playing Star Wars.

2. Darth Vader-The greatest villain ever. Too bad he had that goofball moment in Episode 3 where he "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" like a little schoolgirl.

3. Yoda-Sure the puppet Yoda was cooler than the digital one, but you have to admit that light sabre fight with Count Doku in Episode 2 was pretty badass.

4. Lando Calrissian-Sure he turned on Han in Empire, but the Star Wars movies are all about redemption and Lando redeemed himself in Jedi going undercover to rescue Han and becoming an Admiral for the Rebellion.

5. Darth Maul-One badass sith! I'm glad he was killed off before he get over-exploited and watered-down by Lucas.

What's your Top Five?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Food Network Chefs

I remember when I was a kid I would watch Yan Can Cook on PBS with my grandma every day around noon. Well gone are the days of obscure cooking shows on little-watched channels, Food Network is a phenomenon. Chefs who started on the channel have their own talk shows, appear on the Today Show, and are very popular TV personalities. So who is your favorite Food Network Chef?

My list:

1. Tyler Florence-As far as food you care to make with relative ease, Tyler is the best. His food is great and he's good at explaining what he's doing. And has anyone else noticed that two out of his three shows features hot chicks? In How to Boil Water he cooks with the smokin' Jack Hourigan and in Food 911 he actually goes to some hottie's house to teach her how to cook. Smart guy. His third show, Tyler's Ultimate, is his best.

2. Mario Batali-Sure he can be a bit pretentious at times, but he is a world-class chef who really and truly knows authentic Italian cooking. Italian is my favorite food to cook, so watching Mario is a lot of fun for me.

3. Alton Brown-Anyone can follow a recipe word-for-word and wind up with a pretty good dish. But if you want to start creating your own dishes it's good to know some of the science behind cooking. Alton's show is great for that and he's incredibly knowledgeable not only about food science but history as well.

4. Bobby Flay-I dig Bobby. His dishes are always creative and look beautiful. Have you ever seen an episode of his show with his wife? She's young and pretty and is really snappy with Bobby. It's weird. She seems to dislike him almost as much as those two ladies he cooks with on Throwdown.

5. Paula Dean-Great home cooking and a lot of fun to watch. She's getting in to the Emeril-zone of annoying with her live show. Stick to Paula's Home Cooking and skip the live crap which is more style than substance.

What's your Top Five?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Coen Brothers Movies

It seems as if the music topics aren't getting much traffic, so let's get back on track with another list about films. Some of the wittiest, sadistic, creative, and well-written movies of the past twenty years have been made by the Coen Brothers. Although their past few films haven't been up to par with their previous work, they remain some of my favorite filmmakers of all time.

My list:

1.Fargo-A friend once told me that in Eastern Europe cinema classes Fargo is regarded as the perfect film. It would be hard for me to disagree.

2.The Big Lebowski- The Dude: Walter, the chinaman who peed on my rug, I can't go give him a bill, so what the fuck are you talking about?
Walter Sobchak: What the fuck are you talking about? The chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT... Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.
The Dude: Walter, this isn't a guy who built the fucking railroads here.

3.Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?-From music to cinematography to set design to acting, a beautiful and funny movie on every level.

4.Barton Fink-I love it when artists create art about the creation of their art. Brilliant movie.

5.The Man Who Wasn't There-One of their oddest films, a dark and melancholy noir about a guy trying to start a dry cleaning business.

What's your Top Five?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Drving Songs

Where would mass transit be without music? Radios, iPods, tape decks, CD players, they all make your commute a little bit easier. So what songs do you like driving to?

My list:

1. "Spirit of the Radio" Rush-like my friend Ryan once said, "Rush makes your foot a little heavier when you're driving."

2. "Where or When" Frank Sinatra-the best thing about playing a song in the car is singing along with it, and I love singing along with this one.

3. "Breed" Nirvana-when you're going out for the night you like to get amped up, this track gets me amped up like none other.

4. "Triumph" Wu-Tang Clan-hip-hop is so much fun in the car, who remembers the first scene of Office Space?

5. "Cornbread" Lee Morgan-I'm of the opinion that the music you put into your head will come out of your instrument so when I'm headed to a jazz gig this is a track I want to play. It's funky and gets you in a great headspace.

What's your Top Five?

-Big thanks to Drew for today's topic

Friday, May 11, 2007

TV Moms

A Mother's Day Tribute List.

The TV Mom has been a staple character since the beginning of television. With Mother's Day right around the corner let's take a moment to recall our favorite TV Moms.

My List:

1. Carol Brady/The Brady Bunch-I'm totally serious when I say I think Carol was hotter than Marsha.

2. Lucy/I Love Lucy-About as funny as a mom can get.

3. Marge Simpson/The Simpsons-A beehive hair-do with a gambling problem, perfect.

4. Carmela Soprano/The Sopranos-What a terrific actress and complex character.

5. Estelle Costanza/Seinfeld-Another hilarious lady. At times reminds me of my grandma.

What's your Top Five?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Saturday Night Live Cast Members

It's an institution that has given birth to some extremely funny characters and some extremely bad movies. It goes through good seasons and bad seasons but everyone seems to have their favorite skits and their favorite cast members.

NOTE: I'm talking about cast members in regards to their runs on SNL. I love Sarah Silverman and Damon Wayans but their time on SNL was less than memorable.

My list:

1. Eddie Murphy-If you can watch 'Eddie Murphy: Best of Saturday Night Live' without laughing out loud every other minute then you are a humorless miser. Genius.
3. Mike Meyers-Too many funny characters to list. My favorites include Simon, Dieter, and of course Wayne Campbell. The early 90's were the greatest years of SNL and Meyers was one of the best cast members then.
4. Will Farrell-I don't think I realized how funny he really was at the time.
5. Molly Shannon-There's something bizarrely sexy about her. I think 'The Delicious Dish' might be my favorite skit ever.

What's your Top Five?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

John Cusack Movies

In the spirit of the film that inspired this blog today's topic is films by everybody's favorite nice, funny guy John Cusack. A friend of mine once told me "John Cusack plays the same character in all of his movies, but we really REALLY like that character." But if Must Love Dogs is on your list we need to have a serious talk.

My list:

1. Say Anything-"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." Great writing. And whatever happened to that hottie Ione Sky?
2. High Fidelity-I have an obvious soft spot for this one. Love the way music is used in this movie. Without a doubt Jack Black's funniest performance ever. This is one you can watch over and over again. Also one of the few instances where the movie might be better than the book.
3. Being John Malkovich-Brilliant, dark, funny movie. Doesn't rate very high in the "you can watch it over and over again" category though.
4. Grosse Point Blank-What a clever idea for a movie. You have to love a comedy where the main character is an assassin.
5. One Crazy Summer-This one barely edged out Pushing Tin for me because it is one of the quintessential 80's movies. Demi Moore, Booger, Rich Little ... good cast and funny flick. I owe this one another viewing.

What's your Top Five?