“Like Kurosawa I make mad films
Okay, I don’t make films
But if I did they’d have a Samurai.”
Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
If you are following my blog and/or podcast, then I don’t need to explain the significance and value a good director brings to the making of a movie. But if you need empirical proof, take a look at your multiplex, or steaming provider. We are living in a gilded age of remakes and reboots. Whereas the originals have given us iconic images and memorable scenes that made them timeless classics, the newer versions are created by those that lack the creative vision, and fail to learn the lessons why the originals work so well. Continue reading “The Top Ten Movie Directors”
“Oh Star Wars,
Nothing but Star Wars,
Give me those Star Wars,
Don’t let them end.
Oh Star Wars,
If they should bar wars,
Please let these Star Wars
– Nick Winters (a.k.a. Bill Murray), from “Saturday Night Live”, Jan 21, 1978
I wish I could have been at LucasArts at the ground floor. They created a bunch of wonderful and underrated game in the 1980s that myself, and many others still adore to this day. But the main reason is the slew of Star Wars games they have created the past four decades. And as long as we have home video game consoles, and video game systems, we will have Star Wars video games. In fact, I think one of my best friends and I had the only 2 video game systems that did not have a Star Wars game in its catalog: Channel F, and Vektrex. So if you thought I was going to make a new Internet Rule, forget it!
When you consider that the video game franchise maker was part of the deal that Disney acquired back in 2012, the price tag looks even more like a bargain!
Continue reading “The Top Ten Star Wars Video Games”
“I don’t need your civil war,”
– Guns N’ Roses, “Civil War”
During the 1980’s, the comic book industry, after seeing the success it brought the television networks the previous decade, decided to create their own mini-series. Before then, if a comic book wanted to tell an extended story, they would just tell the story over multiple issues with little to no fanfare. The story arc would be given a name after the fact (e.g.: the X-Men’s “Dark Phoenix Saga” is the name given to issues #129 – 138 of the comic title, “Uncanny X-Men.”) But when comic books industry hit its first bubble in the eighties, the companies decided that they can generate even more sales if they hyped their story arcs ahead of time, and dubbed them as events. And it worked! Continue reading “The Top Ten Comic Book Mini Series”
Pop music has been going through a long, continuous drought of protest songs. This dearth of message music goes back the 1980’s. This, not coincidentally, coincides with the advent of hip-hop to the top of the charts. While this is no surprise to millennials, this is counter-intuitive to Gen Xers who grew up on old-school hip-hop and rap, whose roots and early history was almost exclusively built on critical commentary of modern urban life. Continue reading “Nine (more) songs that were ahead of their time”
“You used to say, ‘Live and let live.’”
Paul McCartney and Wings – “Live and Let Die”
Up until recently, I was a big aficionado of chicken wings. It was my favorite finger food. But technically, I preferred drumsticks over the wings. I found it easier to chew the meat from one bone rather than the two wing bones. And anyone that has ever seen me eat chicken wings are simultaneously impressed and repulsed by the fact that I leave no meat behind on the bones.
My appetite for this appetizer has been curbed by the advent of the boneless variety of chicken. Not only do you receive larger portions, but it is usually cheaper than their bone-in brethren. Not to mention that I now do care that the handi-wipes do not entirely remove the smell of buffalo/barbecue/teriyaki sauce from my fingers.
I suppose I am not alone in my exodus: there are many restaurants that do not serve chicken wings on their menus, but do provide boneless chicken, some under the guide of nuggets, or popcorn chicken. (Chicken tenders are a completely different item ; they are closer in size to a patty than a wing. The most surprising is that the majority of these examples are the fast-food franchises that specialize in chicken (e.g.: Chick-Fil-A, Popeye’s). Continue reading “The I, Omnibus Chicken Wings Power Rankings – November, 2016 edition”
“Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a Street Fighting man.”
The Rolling Stones – “Street Fighting Man”
One of our more popular Top Ten lists is The
Ten Twenty Favorite Arcade Games of the 1980’s. And just like in Hollywood, when something is popular, a sequel is inevitable. And since it’s so popular, and such a rich category, we’re not limiting ourselves to just ten. Once again, we’re turning it up to twenty.
I talked about how the arcade games reached a peak in the 1990s. At the turn of the decade/century/millennium, many genres of video games began to disappear. The only remaining games were fighting games, racing games, dance/rhythm games, and first person shooters. Filling the void in the arcades were crane games, skee ball, and basketball and/or football games which reward players with tickets. The arcades morphed into boardwalk carnivals. Just when I had enough money to play pinball, sports games and RPG video games, they disappeared. Continue reading “The Top Twenty Arcade Games of the 1990’s”
“I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien”
Sting – “Englishman in New York”
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, we already did a Top Ten movie alien list. This one is different for two reasons: 1) the former was just about the characters, this one is now about the films; and 2) this list is omitting the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises (we’ve done plenty of lists regarding those franchises already.)
So what makes an alien film good? Makeup and special effects help, sure, but that is not the be-all and end-all. A plot always help, but if I want to see a story about “us humans defending our blue Earth from evil invaders”, I’d watch an anime. Of course, I’d mentioned over and over how my reviewing mantra is, “It’s the characters, stupid.” But we did that list. Continue reading “The Top Ten Movies Featuring Aliens”
“What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way.”
Chris Issak – “Wicked Game”
Hey folks! Guess what list we’re working on currently for episode 91 of Podcast Unlimited? I’ll give you a hint: it’s the long-awaited sequel to our more popular, and one of our very earliest Top Ten Lists. And like that list, it will contain more than just 10 games. But more of that in a future post.
If I had put a time stamp of the high-water mark of the arcade game, it would be between 1992-1993. After that, the number of arcade games produced diminished, and arcades themselves began to go out of business one by one. There are multiple reasons for this. One of them, which I will get to in yet another future post, was because of all of the quality pinball games being played during the 90’s. (I spent more time playing pinball games than arcade games, but probably less money.) But the main reason was because the home video game systems finally caught up, graphics-wise, with the arcades. Why spend tens of dollars every week losing at fighting, racing, and sports games, when you can play the same quality game at home for free?
What I’m sayin’ is that there will be no trilogy – no top ten arcade games of the ‘aughts. Continue reading “The I, Omnibus Top 10 Worst Arcade Games of the 1990s”