My Top 100 Favorite Movies

My Top 100 Favorite Movies

Well, I had planned to write a little something about my in-the-works novel for today’s post, but when I stumbled upon Nathan Bransford’s “Best 100 Movies Challenge,” I decided I had to give it a shot.

This was really, really hard. I enjoy watching movies, but I don’t actually sit down to watch them very often, and when I do it’s usually to rewatch something I’ve already seen. It was tough for me to come up with 100 movies I’ve seen, let alone 100 movies I liked.

Now, before you get all riled up about some iconic movie I left out, please note that I did not include any movie that I haven’t actually seen myself. That means you won’t find certain classics like “Gone With The Wind,” “Fight Club,” and “The Godfather.” It’s not that I don’t appreciate these movies, it’s just that I’ve never seen them.

Here’s my List, in no particular order:

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  2. Boondock Saints
  3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  4. The Hobbit (Rankin/Bass 1977 animated version)
  5. Joyeux Noel
  6. All the President’s Men
  7. Holes
  8. How To Train Your Dragon
  9. Slumdog Millionaire
  10. Charlotte’s Web
  11. Mona Lisa Smile
  12. The Land Before Time
  13. Lawrence of Arabia
  14. Titanic
  15. The Prince of Egypt
  16. Freedom Writers
  17. Speak
  18. V for Vendetta
  19. The Sandlot
  20. The Return of the Pink Panther
  21. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  22. A Christmas Story
  23. Spirited Away
  24. Star Wars
  25. Watchmen
  26. I, Robot
  27. Finding Nemo
  28. Lord of War
  29. Shrek
  30. Legally Blonde
  31. Dogma
  32. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  33. Iron Man
  34. Serenity
  35. Jumanji
  36. Pay It Forward
  37. Men In Black
  38. The Princess Bride
  39. Matilda
  40. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  41. Lost In Translation
  42. The King’s Speech
  43. Old Yeller
  44. Big Fish
  45. The Last Unicorn
  46. The Lion King
  47. Ip Man
  48. Balto
  49. Amadeus
  50. Excalibur
  51. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
  52. The Dark Knight
  53. Chocolat
  54. Master and Commander
  55. Schindler’s List
  56. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  57. The Sound of Music
  58. Reds
  59. Let the Bullets Fly 《让子弹飞》
  60. Mary Poppins
  61. Jurassic Park
  62. Spy Game
  63. The Fox and the Hound
  64. Down Periscope
  65. He’s Just Not That Into You
  66. The Iron Giant
  67. The Year Without a Santa Claus
  68. Lean On Me
  69. Ever After
  70. The Neverending Story
  71. Mrs. Doubtfire
  72. Annie (1982)
  73. The Devil Wears Prada
  74. The Wizard of Oz
  75. Back to the Future trilogy
  76. Fiddler on the Roof
  77. Forrest Gump
  78. Law Abiding Citizen
  79. Hook
  80. The Secret of NIMH
  81. Fifty First Dates
  82. All Dogs Go to Heaven
  83. Julie and Julia
  84. Moulin Rouge
  85. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
  86. The Last Emperor
  87. A Knight’s Tale
  88. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  89. Pete’s Dragon
  90. Homeward Bound
  91. Harry Potter series
  92. The Jungle Book (Disney)
  93. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  94. Ratatouille
  95. Drunken Master

The last five on my list are not movies at all, but television shows. (Yes, I know, I’m cheating!) I’m not including these because I couldn’t think of five more movies—I definitely could—but because I’d rather list these five TV shows that I love than five mediocre movies that didn’t quite make the cut. Besides, isn’t a TV series just like a reeeeeally long movie?

So here they are, my top five favorite TV series.

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. The West Wing
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  4. Firefly
  5. Price and Prejudice (1995 mini-series)

What movies would YOU include on your top 100 list? Share your favorite movies with me in the comments!

Beating Four Video Games In One Month? Hells yeah!

Two days ago, I spied this motivational article over at Kotaku.com, and I’ve decided that I’m going to commit to “Four in February.” That means I’m going to beat four games that I’ve never finished in just one month.

Holy crap.

I’ve referred to myself as a gamer on this blog, but the sad truth is that I don’t spend enough time playing video games to become a better gamer. I’m ready for that to change. So, beginning February 1, I’m challenging myself to play around 50 hours of gamplay and complete four different games in 28 days.

Here are my “Four in February” picks:

Mass Effect

1) Mass Effect: 10 – 15 hours (Xbox 360)
I currently have two Mass Effect playthroughs going, and I haven’t gotten far in either of them. The first is the playthrough I’m doing with my fiance, who is a huge fan of the Mass Effect franchise. We’re playing the standard-issue “Soldier” Shepard with the Spacer/War Hero background.

Then there’s my own playthrough, in which I play a badass custom FemShep named Aubrey with the Earthborn/Sole Survivor background. I chose the Infiltrator class, which means her skills are balanced between Tech and Combat. I think my most recent save is on the Citadel, just after Shepard’s big promotion to Spectre status. Those of you familiar with Mass Effect know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the plot at this point.

It’s my FemShep playthrough that I’ll be completing for “Four in February.”

Now, I’ve been told that this game can be finished in 10-15 hours, if you stick to the main plotline and don’t wander off to do a lot of side quests, so that’s what I plan to do. If I tried to go for a thorough playthrough, I could end up clocking 40+ hours just for Mass Effect, which wouldn’t leave me a whole lot of time for my three other games.
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Do “Fake Geeks” Exist, and Why Do We Care?

I’ve said before on this blog that I’m not a fantasy purist. That means that I don’t think you need to be able to recite the royal lineage of Númenor from memory to consider yourself a Tolkien fan. (Though it would earn you bonus geek points, and my lifelong friendship.) It also means that if you didn’t know who George R. R. Martin was before “Game of Thrones” debuted on HBO, I won’t call you a poser for wearing that t-shirt emblazoned with the words “WINTER IS COMING” beneath a direwolf head.

"Pumpkins Are Coming" © Kailey Rynne

If you were really cool, you’d carve it into a Halloween pumpkin, like my mom and I did.

But I’ve also talked about how mainstream acceptance of fantasy has encouraged the cheapening of fantasy as a genre. And it isn’t just fantasy—it’s all of geekdom. The same sort of people who bullied me for being “weird” in high school are now the ones watching Doctor Who and dressing up as the Avengers at comic cons.

This is a good thing, right? I mean, we’ve been trying for years to convince people that Tolkien and GRRM and Doctor Who and comic books are awesome! Even if they aren’t as obsessed wither, that is, as interested in—geek culture as we are, shouldn’t we be happy to see the fandom growing, to see others experiencing that joy we’ve felt all along?

But we aren’t happy, are we? Deep down inside, a lot of so-called geeks feel uncomfortable, annoyed or even spiteful around newcomers who started calling themselves geeks only after being a geek became cool.

I think it’s equal parts pride, resentment and mistrust because:

  • We were playing video games long before “Call of Duty.” Ever heard of Zelda?
  • Ten years ago you were stealing our lunch money, and now you want to be one of us?
  • You’re going to ruin the things we love with your dirty pop-culture, you goddamn hipsters.

Some geeks even scorn or shun those who haven’t done enough to “prove” their geekiness. Which leads me to an important question:

Do fake geeks exist?

It’s a question that’s been on my mind ever since watching this YouTube video by albinwonderland, posted on December 1 of last year:

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In Defense of Violence in Video Games

Xbox 360 Controller by Chris J Bowley, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Before I get started, I want to be clear—violent video games can inspire acts of real-world violence. Of course they can. To argue otherwise would be naive at best and dishonest at worst. This blog post isn’t a discussion about whether or not we should keep violent games out of children’s hands (of course we should!), but rather a counterargument to the unfair misconception that violent games are inherently corruptive and devoid of cultural value.

For the last few weeks, the buzz in the gaming industry has been all about violence in video games. On January 11, Vice President Biden sat down with executives to start up a dialogue on the industry’s social responsibility. The New York Times reported:

With the Newtown, Conn., massacre spurring concern over violent video games, makers of popular games like Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat are rallying Congressional support to try to fend off their biggest regulatory threat in two decades.

The $60 billion industry is facing intense political pressure from an unlikely alliance of critics who say that violent imagery in video games has contributed to a culture of violence. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met with industry executives on Friday to discuss the concerns, highlighting the issue’s prominence.

No clear link has emerged between the Connecticut rampage and the gunman Adam Lanza’s interest in video games. Even so, the industry’s detractors want to see a federal study on the impact of violent gaming, as well as cigarette-style warning labels and other measures to curb the games’ graphic imagery.

Though the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary has not been linked to violent video games, that hasn’t stopped some from taking aim at the industry. In Southington, Conn., just a 30-minute drive from Newtown, the local community organized a buyback of violent video games, which they later burned. The Guardian reported that the group doesn’t blame video games for the Newtown tragedy, but believes that violent games desensitize children to acts of violence.

Call of Siberian by Sibeckham, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Last week, President Obama announced new measures to curb gun violence, including a call for Congress to put $10 million into a study commission on the relationship between video games and violence.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see any meaningful legislation come of all this, but it’s obvious that violent video games are a concern for many—be they parents or politicians.

But both parents and politicians suffer a fundamental misunderstanding about violent games, borne of the fact that they themselves don’t play video games. For most parents, listening to a gamer defend violence in games is like listening to a crack whore defend cocaine. In their minds, we become part of the evil that must be stamped out in order to protect their children.

Well, I may not be a crack whore, but I am a gamer, and I take offense to that.

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The Sonic Saber: “Rumored PS4, Xbox 720 Specs Circulate the Web”

Good morning, Internet denizens!

While I work on getting “COFFEE AND DRAGONS” up and running for Tuesday’s reboot, you can check out my latest nerdy blog post over at “The Sonic Saber.”

"The Sonic Saber"

“The Sonic Saber” is a geek blog that covers all the latest news about movies, TV shows, video games, comics, and more. My friend Dave owns the site, and he has an especial love of all things Star Wars, for those of you who (like me) grew up pretending that your baseball bat was a lightsaber.

I just uploaded a new post to the site, titled “Rumored PS4, Xbox 720 Specs Circulate the Web.” In the article, I talk about how the PS4 and Xbox 720 reportedly match up on computational power and RAM, as well as the rumored 2013 release dates for both machines.

Even if next-gen gaming doesn’t interest you, please do take a few minutes to go check out “The Sonic Saber.” I think you’ll find something there you’re bound to like.