Off Topic Messages

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:01 pm

Here's a few more great films from the last 15 years:

Dances With Wolves
Big Fish
Forrest Gump
Million Dollar Baby

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:11 pm

Elvis Babe,

I don't understand why you keep going on about the critical awards...etc.

As you have proven with me, I embrace Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz...which were both snubbed. I tried to break it down even further and you have chosen to ignore it.

I never once said that Buffy was without merit. Though someone writing a paper is hardly proof. What a proffesor chooses for his course work...or some independent makes of the dialogue, has no bearing on its importance in time(though I will save the trouble of typing the actual examples here....even a fan such as yourself knows that Buffy has its less then stellar moments!).

To call the Graduate a "horrible" film to me is someone that is out of touch or just plain doesn't get it. Even Mike Nichols detractors would not make such a statement.

Not creative and poorly made? Are you really serious? Hmmm and Spice World and Back To the III are your Top Tier. Ok... I got it. Geez I guess the soundtrack wouldn't get a nod from you either. Though it still would be interesting for you to explain how you came to this conclusion. Many of the camera shots were one of a kind. The underwater cam, the fade back overhead when he is at the bottom of the pool. Mrs. Robinson in the corner after Elaine has shut Benjamin out of his life, then he turns back to focus and fade.... The editing was wonderful. The story, was one of a kind, and not just for "shock" as you put it...etc. etc. If it was so bad, why does it continue to be used in films today 30 years after its release while Spice is pretty much forgotten?

It is funny to me how much of our tastes are alike. Though Night Of The Living Dead is a well done movie-and while the minority that survives has been noticed...I think you are streatching it when you call it a civil rights message! Seems you have been listening to too many critics, or better yet, second rate documentaries.

I also would hardly call Revenge Of the Nerds a monumental "message" movie. Again, been done before. Though it did have a certain degree of creativity and the peak of the film was fun.

In both cases I think you are greatly exaggerating the importance. Again this is not saying the films are without merit.

My real questions are this.

Did you ever come up with your Top Tier list? Have you grasped the concept that even in your ramblings of what to you is good, that the ideas themselves keep rehashing what was already there?

Oh and for the record, yes Star Wars had its influences, but one thing it stands alone in, the special effects were unmatched. If you cannot see its importance, over say....Revenge Of the Nerds, then how can I possibly relate?

Again ask the 20 years, will people be looking at many of your films and saying, yes...Spice World, Revenge Of the there were movies that changed film making, they influenced generations in such a way that even children could relate.

OR are they going to actually look at the "jocks" and think they are the dorks and the "nerds" don't really stand that far apart. There are always going to be friends in the world, but the message will more then likely be lost in later generations. It is an enjoyable film, but yet The Wizard Of Oz will continue to astound because it is set apart from the other's mentioned.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:17 pm


I myself have never seen Goodbye Mr. that is a hall of shame for me. There are quite a few listed that I need to watch.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:30 pm


I never mentioned Citizen Kane, and I should have. The rise and fall story is perhaps one of the greatest. It is a hard first watch, but after repeated viewings the enjoyment comes.

I think you misunderstood me with innovation. I wasn't just talking about special is the whole enchilda. Story...creative ways to tell that story...etc. And yes like you say, individuality.

I would not agree about Alfred Hitchcock. Though he is one of the greatest directors of all time, he too had his share of clunkers. I myself hold Spellbound as one of them. Relying more on gimmics then story. Though this is a rarity and I do see your point. BUT does Psycho really compare to The Wizard Of Oz. This is a tough one to me, and I never said my list was absolute.

All this talk about Academy Awards(which was pretty much brought on by Elvis Babe..not me!), I do not hold thier decisions as absolute either. Many times that have completely missed the mark. i.e. Evita. The award shows can be an indicator and I certainly think the runner-ups have proven to be a good guide, but that is all.



We are in complete agreeance about Cleopatra. A unfairly ridiculed movie that deserves better treatment. I enjoy it alot.

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:41 pm

i put down on spice world and revenge of the nerds, if you didn't notice. i said spice world (which i called HORRIBLE) was preferrable to the graduate for me--which you know i don't like. i already mentioned i didn't like the camera work (underwater camera work? give me a break. seen a shark documentary yet?) or the way the story was used for shock value. yeah, i get the whole coming of age story thing. and as far as i'm concerned there are a billion coming of age stories that were better and more innovative.

american graffiti for example. a montage of completely disconnected stories that happen in one night that all their lives get changed. yet, it also is able to poke fun at itself and have fun.

back to the future II and III have merits that you miss. i personally consider II fairly a rehash of the events in I, with a twist, whereas III was in a different setting--there were many great moments in it.

return of the jedi had the ewoks...yet you bash on bttf III. empire strikes back was the star wars movie that was truly completely serious.

and the good moments and artistic merits in a show like btvs and ats far outweigh the "beer bad"s--you've got "seeing red", "dead things", "surprise/innocence", "becoming pts. 1&2", "sleep tight", "lullaby", "the trial/reunion", "reprise/epiphany", "not fade away", "a hole in the world/shells", and all the episodes that make for some of the greatest hours of television ever. what you are talking about are the few (and relatively insignificant) lapses in 12 seasons of television.

seen the last few seasons of happy days or bewitched lately? angel ended on a very high note. and both happy days and bewitched are incredibly famous and important shows.

for a tv show, it was one of the few that has ever been shot like a movie--especially angel: the series. it's widescreen and very cinematic. the creature and prosthetic work is also incredibly impressive in both serieses. part of the charm is the campyness sometimes. that's a merit, and it was on purpose. the show MOCKS the horror genre. it is also extremely satirical.

amadeus is a perfect example of a movie that combines both low-brow comedy and high-brow film art, with beautiful production values, yet a main character who is as described as "that was mozart. that dirty-minded creature i had just seen crawling on the floor!" what you had there was the low-brow genius and the high-brow mediocrity. the film may not be entirely accurate historically--salieri was probably not involved with mozart much, but it was executed beautifully. the ending is one of the greatest movie moments of all time. requiem mass is perhaps the most haunting song of all time.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:21 am just keeps going and going...

Did I ever say that The Graduate was the first underwater camera?? I said the way it was used was the difference. That part was very symbolic of what Ben was going opposed to Esther Williams. So no..I don't think Shark documentaries are a valid comparison. I don't think you have even taken the time to actually read what I have written..instead you keep blathering on title after title. As if doing such makes your angle any more favorable. The shots that were used in the Graduate were copied many times over and its constant reference in films today prove its worth. When was the last time anyone really gave a crap about Spice World?

as far as i'm concerned there are a billion coming of age stories that were better and more innovative.

Yeah how about naming a few. I will be more then glad to give it the Pepsi challenge. Perhaps you will be right, though it would be interesting(or hilarious) to see what you come it with.

Did I put Return of The Jedi in my Top Tier list?

Also Empire, while critically favored, cannot be original. More serious or not, it pales in its innovative exploits in comparison to the first(fourth?) Star Wars movie. It can only exist in the confines of the first, and the people voted with their dollars, thus that is why it exists firmly behind Gone With Wind in sales. Empire is a well done sequal, but WAAAAYYY down the list in terms of something new...oh and that goes for any Star Trek movie to boot.

BTTFIII is interesting at best. As a great film..NEVER. Others obviously agree compared to its poorer sales.

But hey, please tell me, what did BTTFIII do for opposed to just being a movie that you enjoy? Tell me what element in filmmaking was more original then the Graduate which you find to be so horrible. Did it even have a worthwhile soundtrack?

i personally consider II fairly a rehash of the events in I, with a twist, whereas III was in a different setting--there were many great moments in it.

My point exactly..REHASH!

Though I must comment, if you think the Graduate's only appeal was the coming of age story, then you need to seriously look again. Funny how you breeze over things I have written and fail to comment on any of it. Even with direct questions.


Funny how you go on and on about BTVS when I have yet to speak badly against it. If you want to seriously hold it up as one of the greats that changed then film..then that is where I differ. I Love Lucy..All In The Family...I would hold in much higher esteem. BTVS is a glorified soap opera at best. From beginning to end. It is very very entertaining, but would never be in the same class of even many of today's shows. There is nothing memorable, and the audience must have thought so to because Angel was cancelled. Hell when it comes to Vampire slaying, I would take Blade anyway. A much deeper comic, and considering the first film, a much more satisfying watch. I prefer adult as opposed to young love. It appeals to a teenage crowd, and that is alright, but I for one have not forgotten its place.

You keep harping about Amadeus, I haven't even spoken against it, and I would consider it one of the greats. Though not Top Tier IMO, it still hold up better then Revenge of The Nerds...still cracking up over that one. I don't know how you can compare these films to classics with a straight face!

I at least give you credit for backing out of the pitiful civil rights view on Night of the Living Dead....that and you picking a better caliber of film to fight with. American Graffiti is a well done film, though again not on par with Star Wars in the grand scheme of things.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:14 am

actually--angel had seen an increase in its ratings in the last year, but the wb cancelled it at the same place they cancelled btvs (also cancelled at season 5 but picked up by upn--that's why buffy died in season 5) and the wb never appreciated either show. ratings wise, season 5 picked up viewers because of spike coming on the show.

and it's a lot more than a soap opera. it's a morality epic of heroes, villains and shades of gray. for example: in season 6 of buffy, the bad guys are 3 pathetic nerds that like playing with toys, and warren did as much damage to the scoobies as angelus. warren killed tara (which set off veiny vengeful evil willow who flayed warren--a pathetic human who was willing to repent in his last moments--and almost destroyed the world) and angelus killed jenny calendar--the gypsy.

i notice you mention blade as being more "mature" than btvs/ats. no, i disagree. it is more MASCULINE (which i understand because you are a guy) and action-oriented. btvs/ats are heavy on complex storytelling and incredibly long story-arcs, drama, satirical comedy, coming-of-age issues, moral questions about right and wrong, butt-kicking action, and a touch of horror (or frequent spoofs of it).

and as far as "DEMOGRAPHIC", my 64 year old dad and my 55 year old mom watched nearly every episode with me and loved it. and my mom hates comedy, and my dad hates soaps. i actually was able to pull my mom away from the lifetime network for several months. to me this is a large accomplishment.

but since you obviously prefer all in the family (not the kind of characters i can get into--the voices drive me nuts) and i love lucy (which i watch for desi arnaz and vivien vance more than i watch for lucille ball)...which yeah, i love lucy is definitely a classic. along the lines of bewitched, i dream of jeannie, addam's family, the munsters, leave it to beaver, the andy griffith show, mr. ed, gunsmoke, happy days, and everything else on TVLand. these shows are some of many retro shows. one of these days the list will grow, and we'll see what ends up on there.

you're lucky i like i love lucy. if it were my dad on here, he wouldn't be able to stop talking about how much he hates lucille ball's voice. i personally don't mind it. but he rags on me for watching even that.

and my digs about bad movies (like nerds and spice world) were only used as EFFECT. i mostly hate them too. but i'd choose them under duress if i was faced with watching something that i struggle to stay awake during. crouching tiger, hidden dragon was another movie i really had trouble watching.

and btw, the night of the living dead thing--that was from a documentary i watched with the people WHO MADE IT.

animal house is indeed a cult classic btw. not a critical darling by a long shot, but when 25 years later they are recreating the parade in LA and oregon, and trying to break the record for largest toga party ever--you know it impacted people. it's the top-selling comedy of all-time.

cult pop-culture phenomina--again, my interest. whether it is "adult" enough for you, is completely another subject. because apparently, to become cult, you have to at least be popular and long-lasting.

there's a lot of hard-hitting dramas that get lost over the years and many are never heard about again because they all kind of blend together. it's those movies that pop out at people (whether worthy of acclaim or not) that they remember.

titanic is a bad movie. it's popular now to say that. but remember all the raving that was done back in 1997? the entire oscar show was about it. it broke tons of box office records. i saw it 4 times in the theater, much to my dismay later. still, it's bound to get remembered for years. it's like waterworld--the badness jokes will never cease. infamy becomes pop culture.

jack nicholson's debut (the guy in the dentist's office that loves pain) in film was in a little movie called "the little shop of horrors" that was filmed in 2 days. guess what? it flopped BAD. yet people damn sure seem to remember it. once again, pop-culture phenomina.

my all-time favorite movie btw (and several years running) is the blues brothers.

a little information on storytelling. there is a saying that the only original story was homer's illiad and the odyssey. it's a very famous saying. it's because everything in history has been people rehashing other stories and twisting them in new ways. there's no such thing as originality. we all take things from other things and put them together. mythological stories have been the basis for just about everything. if you think something is so new--go back into mythology and you'll find it really isn't.

and my question to you is what is so wrong with what i consider quality entertainment? as i said, top tier means completely different things to different people.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:32 am

Genesim- I wasn't just pointing to special effects when I spoke about innovation although that is a very important part of it. Just that I believe innovation is no guarantee of permanent greatness. Bela Lugosi's "Dracula" was one of the most innovative and influential films of its time. It was the first US made suspense thriller to openly deal with the occult and the supernatural. It was the first sound horror movie. In all previous horrors there was always some rational explanation at the end. It was the first US film to incorporate the techniques of the German expressionist movement. It also started the still going US horror cycle and was arguably the first Gothic horror. In 1931, it really was cutting edge. However, I think that today we would both agree that it is not a top tier film. While it's still worth a look (and for a horror buff like myself many looks) but time hasn't treated it kindly.

Personally I find "Empire" the better movie (better directed, better acted) but you're right about the fact that it is only part of a greater whole and the original movie can stand on its own.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" actually does have a reputation as one of TV's elite shows. In the 1990s it received raves from critics. I have actually never seen it. So I can't express an opinion but it's rep is with the top shows of all-time.

It's tough to compare "Psycho" to "Wizard of Oz" because its goals were so different. But in many ways it is equally as breathtaking. What it attempted to do in terms of story was very groundbreaking. First off was killing Janet Leigh, the star, off in the first half-hour. Then there was shifting our empathy mid-way through from the heroine to the villain. And it works. When that car bubbles in the swamp you want it to sink back down. It was one thing to have an anti-hero but to switch our sympathies to him mid-way through a story about another character is quite daring. And what about the implications between Norman and his mother and the ending was truly a shocker. Then there was the technique of the shower scene with its multiple cuts. And all of Hitch's other tricks. I also think it still has some scare factor particularly in the scene where the private eye gets killed. Even though I know it's coming I always jump because of the timing.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:45 pm


Great point about Dracula...I too considered it for like..a second. Though I clearly prefer it over Frankenstein, it cannot be on the top. The pacing is one. That alone would take it away from from being that kind of film. Time has not treated it kindly. So yes...innovation is only a part of it. But again, it is innovation in story telling as well. It has to feel new. Perhaps that is where Dracula falls short. When you think about it, the movie reminds me of alot of big films of today. So much was put into the expectations, that in the end there isn't much plot.

About Psycho...the bubbling car works because at that point we do not believe that Norman is the villian. We feel a need to sympathize with him because of the apparent uncoditional love of his mother. Though I wouldn't exactly call us sympathizing for him. It is a tool having us linger on the car. I put it in line with a loud buzzing alarm clock. We just want someone to turn the f*cker off!

You certaintly don't have to convince me that Psycho is a great movie. The more I am thinking about it, perhaps you are right about the quality. It isn't easy comparing the movie, and yet it is perhaps the greatest horror movie of all time. I considered it before, and I have again. Psycho belongs on the list. There are too many great things to say about it for it not to be.


Elvis Babe,

Like I said before, I enjoyed the show as light entertainment. It doesn't surprise me how people outside the demographic could be addicted. Especially having a daughter that is clearly interested. lol It really isn't hard.

Still lets not get things confused. It is a glorified soap opera. I don't even have to say it. You being a huge fan of the show knows it. I will leave it at that. It is fun. Someday I may give it another chance. They are easily at my disposal now and who knows...

Funny how you don't enjoy All In the Family and I Love Lucy(well at least the intergral part of Lucy) because of voices? Pretty shallow don't you think? True we all have our tastes, but the two biggest shows of all time deserve a little more then that. They are clearly more relevant and in time you will see I promise.

Little Shop of Horrors is known mainly for the remake. The other being Jack's debut. Oh wait why not mention that it was a broadway smash... :roll: If you think the original is got another thing coming. See how many cheap versions are scattered around because no one major cares about the license.

In the same way, you are trying to equate togas to Animal House??? Don't you think another group should get credit for that one?

it's the top-selling comedy of all-time.

Where did you get that stat? Looking at the Box Office adjusted for inflation of all time Blazing Saddles is 404 million while Animal House is at 383 million. Of course..what is categorized as a comedy is subjective to me. I find the Graduate to be very funny and much more entertaining as a comedic piece then any of the other two. Looking at the list..there it stands in the top 20 at 547 million.

To answer yet another of your questions since you refuse to answer any of mine, or even adress any of my points...what is wrong with what you call entertainment. NOTHING. I love most all of the movies that you have listed. It is actually amazing. But you hit it right on the head. Most all that you have put down, are just what they are. Entertainment. The Blues Brother's has a cult following. Enjoyable film. Never in the ranks of Top Tier. Perhaps I should have saved what I said a few posts back. It has been done before, and better. Hell even the finale is based on who??? lol Don't bother answering that one, it is obvious.

I back up my arguements with concise answers. You have shown true devotion to your subjects, that you are blind to discussion. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a "stump" as a so called scholar would, but it is a little frustrating when I have tried my damndest to adress everything you say post by post paragraph by paragraph with basically no response, but more lists and more blather about Buffy.

There is such a thing as originality, and no I do not think things will continue to "pop out" if there isn't something there.

Incidently, it is funny how you state that the only appeal of Blade is more masculine.....try more CREDIBLE. Yeah its true, watching a guy fight is a hell of alot more entertaining then watching some teenage girl with stand ins every other second. Call it sexist, but it is actually more then that. Wesley Snipes is at least a black belt. Oh and for the record, if I want to watch a blonde girl kicking ass, I will start with Cynthia Rothrock.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:03 pm

ack, i'm sorry--animal house is the #1 top-selling college movie of all-time. not to mention the debuts of multiple famous actors and the biggest movie of many other actors. did you know if donald sutherland had taken a proportional percentage of the revenue instead of taking a couple thousand dollars--he would have made more money on this than anything else in his career. :lol: and the horse was paid more than john belushi was. it was made for $3 million. next to the gross...that's peanuts. it made a lot of money and was made for very little. "i'm a zit. get it."

and yes--SOME toga parties existed prior to animal house, but once animal house hit they became a national college pastime. animal house had major effects on college culture.

grease, shrek 2, and ghostbusters are actually the first true comedies on that list.

not a fan of shrek, but i LOVE grease and ghostbusters for sure. so many classic moments. these movies are true classics.

favorite grease scene is frenchy in beauty school dropout with her pink hair and stockard channing's rizzo making fun of sandy with her rendition of "look at me, i'm sandra dee"...not to mention john travolta and olivia newton-john... yeah this movie is definitely one of the most famous musical comedies. just about as many people who have seen the wizard of oz have probably seen this as well. kids love it, adults love it.

ghostbusters is your classic snl guy movie--really the movie that made bill murray a film star. danny aykroyd wrote the movie--using his classic love for the supernatural and over-the-top themes. once again, a lot of stars, a lot of classic moments. and possibly one of the most overused quotes of all-time--"who you gonna call?" the movie spawned a very good sequel ("she's a harbor chick!") and an 80s cartoon show.

hey, btw, genesim...seen the deleted song/montage of pictures for the missing scene of the wizard of oz??? the jitterbug?

and for the record, l. frank baum's 14 oz books are really good--written from 1900-1919 and true classics. he also wrote novels like queen zixi of ix (oz spin-off), father goose, the aunt jane's nieces series, and dot and tot in merryland. one of my biggest collections is of l. frank baum memorabilia...including a copy of ozma of oz from 1907. among other turn of the century books--i have 3 of the aunt janes nieces (earliest one is from 1912), and several others from this era.

Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:15 pm

uh oh............this one is even beyond my scope.

Yes I have seen the jitter bug sequence(though it is maily lost)...the rest of the post is cuckoo..cuckoo..cuckoo. Keep up the conversation Elvisbabe, it is clear you don't need my input. :wink: