Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Golden Globes LiveBlog

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Thoughts: Life

My enthusiasm for Life is only tempered by the fact that I know that the show will fail and be cancelled within a month. With minimal PR, at least in comparison to Chuck and Bionic Woman, I imagine that not even NBC has high hopes for Life. Which is surprising, since it's better than Chuck and anything else new I've seen so far this week.

I've been a big fan of Damian Lewis since I first watched Band of Brothers. Capt./Lieut. Dick Winters was the glue of the series, keenly touching on the themes of virtue and duty while not being stuffy or jingoistic. His scenes with Ron Livingston as the comic foil were some of the best non-action moments of the program.

So I was of course more than excited to see him pop up as the lead actor of Life, and he exceeded my expectations. Part Rain Man, part Monk... Lewis' Det. Charlie Crews is peculiar, partial to Zen-like nonsensical sayings, yet interesting. The story behind his odd behaviors is the 12 years he spent in prison, getting beaten up (prison-style) as a former cop convicted of murder. The pilot played off of his past quite well...and his ignorance over modern technology wasn't was actually rather amusing.

I didn't know from the previews that Life would be more of a procedural drama, which brings it down a notch for me, since procedurals are usually television's version of Mad Libs. I'll be curious to see how they balance the "find out who framed me" plotline with the weekly crime scene procedural stuff. If they strike a strong middle ground, Life is definitely a keeper for me.

And my only other criticism is the lazy "documentary" interviews that were inserted into the pilot. It's a lazy way to present exposition, and it rarely works as a plot device. Look at Entourage's "Behind the Scenes of Medellin" episode as another example of a flawed mockumentary.

Show us actual scenes with Crew's former partner or his attorney...they do a much better job of developing character and backstory than a silly head-on interview can do. Adam Arkin really this desperate? I mean, he was great in his role and all, I'd just think that he could get some meatier roles with his resume. And the MILF neighbor from FNL plays the lawyer...does this mean we won't have to endure the annoying cuteness of Bo Miller, the brat next door? Cause that would make me even MORE pumped for next week.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

First Thoughts: Cane

Ah. First day of school...Opening Day...Midnight Madness...and the first disappointment of the fall TV season.

I shouldn't be all that surprised, after all, that Cane was boring and unimpressive. It's a soap opera trying to be like the Sopranos, but its on network TV, so it will be lobotomized and watered down. I should have called it, but I was blinded by the residual good feelings of Jimmy Smits as Rep. Matt Santos from the West Wing.

Actually, that was part of the problem with Cane. If you're going to have a drama about a family in a cutthroat business, then you better have some characters who are cutthroat. Hector Elizando needed to wake out of his Princess Diaries stupor and grow some business sense...or at least seem like someone who would be a hardass to worth with. The only character with any sense of ferocity is the "villain"...who is so one-dimensional that he's laughable.

Milquetoast is probably the one word I'd use to describe Cane. The flashbacks, filmed in sepia tones, even, were so poorly done that I thought I'd switched channels to Lifetime. The preview for the rest of the season made Cane look even worse...why they are fixating on the murder of Quinones, the man who killed Elizondo's daughter decades earlier, is bizarre.

While some people criticized The Sopranos for rarely having corpses come back to haunt the mob family, I appreciated that you never quite knew what would happen next, and that the Mafia operated on a different level of legality than everyone else.

If the Vega/Duque family are even worth caring about, then they need to be powerful enough to be above the law. Otherwise, they're as boring as watching molasses move. I'm done with this one.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Thoughts: Reaper

So remember how I wrote yesterday that Chuck had the problem of being derivative and seemingly unoriginal? That was nothing compared to Reaper, which is pretty much exactly what you would expect if a lower-budget network like the CW tried to rip-off Chuck. The similarities between the shows are depressing and make Reaper just look lame in comparison.

Unfulfilled potential in main lead actor? Check (or should it be Chuck?) Wise-cracking sidekick? Check. Unattainable female lead? Check. Mockery of Big-Box stores? Check. Lead actor has unexplained mental powers? Check. Sigh.

I wouldn't have even considered watching the show had Ian (yay!) not auspiciously mentioned how excited he was for its premiere and that it was "one of the best reviewed new shows" of the season. And, its not as if this were Kid Nation and I wish had my hour back, but I'm mostly shrugging off Reaper as a failed attempt at a bizarre premise for a show.

The lead actor, Bret Harrison, does his best to make Sam unexceptional and uninteresting...and it strains incredulity that he would be uncomfortable around his hot female co-worker (who could have been Hillary Swank had she been attractive). Yes, it's odd that in a series about a 21-year-old (and Sam looks like he's 25 years old, because he IS) whose soul is sold to the devil, the part that makes me pause the most is the unspoken love between two of the lead characters.

Missy Peregym, the shapeshifter from last year's season of Heroes, is a fine actress...I just have a hard time believing that she'd be single and mopey. Hot people can't be least, thats what I like to tell myself.

The saddest part about Reaper is the missed opportunity with Ray Wise as Applegate, Beezlebub, The Devil. As the best part of 24's Season Five, Wise's presence was underused in the pilot, and I hope for his sake that he gets a bigger role in later episodes. The best role in Damn Yankees is Applegate...Good Ol' Days is a ham-handed showstopper, but the character is rife with opportunities to chew the scenery. Why not let Wise take over the spotlight wasted on Bret Harrison?

Lastly, the special effects were awful. This was one of the many things that confused me about Buffy's popularity...where the special effects struck me as second-rate. The scene with the arsonist was laughable in its melodrama, especially when you compare it to the effects from Heroes or Chuck.

What were your thoughts on the zamboni thing? I was cracking up at the audacity of it....but seemed out of sync with the tone of the rest of the show. If they're going dark comedy, with Wise as the star, then there's still hope.

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First Thoughts: Big Bang Theory

Dorks are all the rage this season, or at least, on Mondays around 8:30 pm. Enter this version of "Beauty and the Geek" starring the second best part of "8 Simple Rules", Kaley Cuoco, and a few other guys including the Nicholas Cage impersonator from Studio 60. So, he's gotten a promotion.

Speaking of Studio 60 remembrances, the nameless, speechless Asian character from that show ended up on Chuck as a member of the Nerd Herd. And she actually spoke! Another promotion!

I believe it has been Ian who has said that pilots are often a poor way to judge a TV show, which is kind of like judging a restaurant during its first two weeks. I say that because there was a lot of repetition in the types of jokes told, as if the writers needed to browbeat the premise into our brains. I'll give the show another episode or two, mostly because of Jim Parsons.

He has great comedic timing and fits his character perfectly, reminding me of David Hyde Pierce's scene-stealing performances as Niles Crane on Frasier. Sadly, Johnny Galecki as Parson's roommate, is not very good and does little to build up the empathy I'll need to feel sorry for him when Kaley finds ways to reject him frequently, yet gracefully.

For tips...he should check out Chuck. Dork power.

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First Thoughts: Chuck

So I'm a day late with my first post of premiere week, but it took a tad long to help a friend move, so forgive me.

We start things off with Chuck, which in spite of a full-speed ahead ad campaign that aimed to make a smart show look as stupid as possible (think the opposite of Studio 60), was actually very very good. It's my early favorite for the best new show of the season.

Even though lead-man Zachary Levi (Jew!) borrows too many of his mannerisms from John Krasinski of The Office (good) and Jimmy Fallon (unspeakable), he really pulls off the endearing and charming qualities of Chuck, which in a few words describes the show overall: endearing and charming.

The only problem I have so far is that everything seems derivative or it reminds me of someone else. Chuck's character takes the idealism (and occupation) of Steve Carrell from 40-Year-Old Virgin and the unfulfilled potential and sense of humor of Jim from The Office. His goofy sidekick is the pathetic (in a good way) lovechild of Seth Green and Jamie Kennedy. The CIA love interest is your typical blonde bombshell (see: Christine Taylor or Paula Kruger).

As for last night's ep, it set up the premise of the show rather well while still leaving many loopholes in logic...that will hopefully be explained in upcoming shows. Why Bryce picked Chuck of all people to send the CIA's secrets to is perhaps the biggest question out there. I do like the comic potential of having the NSA guy working at NotBestBuy, so consider me excited for the next episode of Chuck.

Score one for NBC's Monday night.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Emmy Live Blog!! Part III

Finally, we're done with all the movie and miniseries awards. Seacrest is STILL awful.

10:04 Masi Oka is great...and he's talking about computers. OOOH, dorks on their computers, or should I say....Macs. Masi better watch out...Al Gore is ocming on stage, and he WANTS TO EAT YOU. My God gore is fat....and green. He gets a standing O, way to live up to your stereotypes of being hippies.

Ah, Al Gore. Proof that there is something more boring than hearing the President of the Academy speak.

10:07 It's the cast of Til Death making a bad sex joke...followed by a great cleavage joke. Followed by a really mean joke, followed by a great Charlie Sheen joke. Talk about an uneven performance. They keep going, a bad craigslist joke, and a good Sen. Craig joke.

Despite the horribleness that is Everybody Loves Raymond, I'm prepared to believe that Brad Garrett is actually funny.

They're up their to give the award for best performance in a comedy/variety show: Tony Bennett, of course. This is terrible... my only consolation is that Colbert will be funnier because of it.

I had to root for Tony Bennett, who then came on and mumbled something about Target. One of the few downsides of gambling, I suppose.

10:11 So Anthony Anderson and Teri Hatcher are at the Emmy stage...and its not too bad. They bring on the guest stars for comedy series; Stan "Mike Wolly look-alike" Tucci and Elaine Strich. Hahaha, she can't read the teleprompter, and it's the best moment so far on the show.

Elaine Streitch (or whoever she is) is my hero.

They're giving the award for Directing, comedy series: Richard Shepard, Ugly Betty.. Hrm. Looks like Jared's pulling away with this competition.

10:16 Teri Hatcher and Anthony Anderson are back for writing in a comedy: Greg Daniels, The Office, "Gay Witch Hunt". I'm really happy for them, but I need to start winning some points if I want to beat Jared.

Yay Office. Well done, Emmys. This time.

10:25 Wayne Brady is fantastic. He should host the Emmys next year. He "randomly announces" two audience members to compete to present the reality award, and its....Rainn Wilson and....Kanye West. This is great did the same room of people who wrote this also wrote Seacrest's crap.

I really have to hand it to the Emmys, the comic interludes have actually been funny.

Rainn presents with Kanye for best reality show: Amazing Race. No shock there, but I think they should have to lose their previous awards for the Family version.

Yeah, really, it had to be Amazing Race. All of us but Scholle were being silly. Good job, Scholle.

10:35 Stewart and Colbert come up to present an award...Colbert has a leafblower, to mock the "green" Emmy's. "If entertainers stop publicly congratulating themselves, then the Earth wins." Well played, Colbert.

They're announcing best actor in a comedy: Ricky Gervais. Thats a shocker, but Steve Carrelll comes on anyway to accept the award.

I didn't realize America cared about Extras. Weird.

10:40 Hold on, there's no lifetime achievement award and no "look who died" montage? Sad. Hugh Laurie and Felicity Huffman give the award for Best Actress to Sally Field. They like her, they really like her.

Wow. Sally Field, never woulda guessed that. Sorry, Edie. I would have sworn the Sopranos lovin' would have spilled over. By the way, I'm not sure I could guess how old Sally Field is if you gave me a ten year cushion either way.

Fox is afraid of the PTC....dammit, they cut off Sally Field because of she said "goddamn." I'd really like to believe its not because she criticized the war.

10:44 I spoke too soon. MONTAGE OF DEAD PEOPLE...I love this stuff.

Yankees up 4-1 in the 8th and Patriots up 31-14 in the third.

It is really creepy that Brian loves the dead person montage. Right? That's not just me.

10:52 Debra Messing and the Shat present the word for Actress, Comedy: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty. No shocker there.I can't figure out if she's cute or not. But good for her...I dont really know if she's any better than the other nominees since I dont watch any of the show's nominated.

I feel like after all these awards, I have to Netflix Ugly Betty. Which will make the inevitable disappointment hurt so much worse.

10:55 And the James Gandolfini award goes to....James Gandolfini. As read by...WHAA????? JAMES SPADER??? YOu can't blame these Emmy's for being predictable. Absurd.

There's a new series called "Private Practice and Cane"? Sounds pretty good!

I would have lost a rather large amount of money if I could have bet on Gandolfini winning. Man. That's shocking.

11:02 Jared: Well, it all comes down to this.

I dont know why Jared thought 2.5 Men would win, cause it clearly won't. 30 Rock, that's pretty surprising, again. Tina Fey isn't very funny, and I dont think I can ever be convinced otherwise. Ian's pleased, I know, but...The Office is better! COME ON!

John will be happy, even if it means we tie. I've made promises to watch this show, so I'll reserve comment.

11:08 Queen Elizabeth dishes out the award for Outstanding Drama Series...which I would have thought was a shoo-in for The Sopranos, but after Gandolfini-gate, who knows. The Sopranos. Hear, hear! The last season was really really good, so nicely done Emmy Committee.

Jared: Well, I'm glad the Sopranos won Best Drama. Glad to see the Emmys have a little class in them.

I'm forgoing writing about the acceptance speech, cause we have to drive back to the district tonight, and I'm tired.

This has been fun. See you at the Golden Globes.

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Emmy Live Blog!! Part II

9:04 Jared starts off Hour 2 in an...interesting manner.

I feel like the Vanessa Hudgens scandal will be giving Brian wet dreams for the next month. Good thing there is a rather thick wall between our rooms.

To class things up a bit, Queen Latifah gives a tribute to Roots on its 30th Anniversary. Actually, I think that the reason they dont push the miniseries out of the main event is because of Roots' legacy. A number of cast members from the show stand on stage and recieve a standing O...for being actors. This is a bit over the top. Cicely Tyson could read a medical dictionary and it could sound dramatic. LeVar Burton could take a look, its in a book, its Reading Rainbow.

The cast of Roots are badasses. I wouldn't mess with a single one Especially Cicely Tyson.

They announce the award for best mini-series: Broken Trail. Good thing they won...because the cast of Roots giving an award to The Starter Wife would have just been awkward.

Duvall is rambling about Chinese girls? What the hell is going on? Play the exit music. Now!

9:10 Hayden Pantierre and NPH announce nominees for best guest actor and actress, but im confused. So now the winner for best guest actress announces the award for directing a dramatic series: Alan Taylor, Sopranos. This was for the episode where Christopher is killed, and it was a phenomenal episode. Even better, he gives a shout out to Steve Buscemi for "Pine Barrens" which was also brilliant.

Really, the whole category should just have been FNL and Studio 60 episodes. The Sopranos director looks like Kenny Mayne. FNL should have been nominated at least two episodes here. Just saying.

9:14 Now, the award for writing, dramatic series: David Chase, Sopranos. Maybe now he'll explain what the finale meant!!! Nope.

9:20 Steve Carell comes out...sadly this is the only time we'll see him since I dont think he'll win. Bah. But Jenna Fischer gets to shine for her comedic timing!! He presents the award for best Variety/Comedy show: Daily Show. Of course I'm happy, but once again I got it wrong.

Stewart's magnanimous in victory...I can't wait for Colbert to be vicious in defeat.

He also gives out the award for best variety show, which wasn't on the list Jared provided to us. I blame him for Tony Bennett winning.

The Office bit was really funny. I'm impressed with these little one-offs. They keep the show moving, I think.

Yankees tie it up. Tony Bennett wins another award. The world loses.

9:28 Is it off if Marcia Cross frightens me? She looks like a robot. But she and Marc Harmon give out the award for best supp. actress in miniseries/movie: Judy Davis. Smoooth, Marcia Cross.

Marcia Cross cleavage? Like the sun, don't stare directly at it. You'll hate yourself afterward. Judy Davis didn't show up because she knew Toni Collette should have won that sucker.

ZZZZZZZZZ, the head of the television academy talks. Ugh.

9:36 Mary Louise Parker is such a babe....and a strong role model for female actors. How soon I forget.

It is kind of funny that Glenn Close is happy that cable is developing shows for strong women because, you know, Glenn Close is a man.

They're here to give the award for best movie: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Hooks falls far behind, and I'm still two behind Jared. I came close to watching this, but I didnt get over to Shuppy's to watch it.

9:38 Fat Tony puts on a Jersey accent to introduce the Jersey Boys honorific for the Sopranos. I'm guessing that their presence is somehow connected to media conglomeration. Just a guess. I'm skeptical as to how good this will be....well, as long as its just them singing, and no actual clips from the show. This is just an ad for the Broadway show.

I love Frankie Valli and the Sopranos should get a send off and all, but really, this is a bit of stretch, don't you think?

Yes, I do. That was dreadful.

9:44 Cast of the Sopranos makes an appearance...and this is a nice trip down memory lane, although the minor characters (Charmayne, for instance) mugging for the camera is a bit much. And....commercial.

9:49 Sally Field and Patrick Dempsey announce the awards for actress in a Miniseries/Movie: Helen Mirren. Dammit, Scholle. She's not even playing a queen, for chrissakes. But yay PBS!! I dont think anyone actually saw this movie, they just like Helen Mirren.

Friggin' Helen Mirren. She can't be stopped. It would be funny if she celebrated like...say...Chad Johnson. That would be good.

For those keeping track, the Pats are up 24-0 at half, and the Red Sox and Yanks are knotted at 1, with only five hits combined in the bottom of the sixth.

9:52 Ah, Lewis Black. Silver Spring native and brilliant asshole, he cracks me up. His delivery is usually better than his actually joke, but you can say that for most comedians. Because if they have a bad delivery....they write for the Daily Show.

Lewis Black is funny, but I think he needs some help coming up with valid points around which to base his diatribes.

9:56 Some non-descript guy and and a chick whose name I dont remember give out the award for Directing, Movie/Miniseries: Phillip Martin, Prime Suspect. How British.

Masterpiece Theater is still on the air? Who knew.

Same couple gives out the award for Writing, movie/miniseries: Frank Deasy, Prime Suspect

You know miniseries are cool and all, but it seems a bit off to me that they get so much time during this show, when you think about how many TV hours are spent on regular programming.

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Emmy Live Blog!! Part I

8:01 -- So Stewie and Brian from Family Guy are kicking it off with a musical rendition of mocking TV....and isnt this about 3 years too late? Family Guy is a bit...old by this point, right? On the other hand, it probably has the most respect for old-tyme television out of any show on TV.

(for the record, its Jared in italics, and Hooks will be chiming in as well. Regular text is Brian)

I thought the family guy opening was a little weak, good idea, but it came off a little too clean.

8:03 -- Way to be self-congratulating. Its never a good time when you start off your own series of applause for Johnny Carson.

8:06 -- THis set is absurd. Are they on the set of Deal or No Deal or American Idol? Great they're trying new things at all...but what happened to the glamour of red velvet aisles and chandeliers?

Ryan Seacrest does OK in his monologue. Hooks and Jared are working on the picks for the Emmys, so I'm going solo for the moment.

Seacrest delivers a solid if unspectacular opening, showing he's clearly intent on making this his life's work for the next three decades or so.

8:10 Since Seacrest isnt a comedian or a singer, they bring on one of the former to do a monologue of sorts. Ray Romano...kind of funny in the Parents Television Council kind of way. But really, with over two dozen awards to give out, dont they need to start moving on with this show. Romano makes a very basic sex joke...ha ha.

8:12 First award for Supp. Actor in a Comedy: Jeremy Piven. Well deserved, because he's the only funny part of Entourage any more. Everyone else is just reading the lines. I knew I shouldnt have picked Rainn Wilson of the Office.

I open out in front, where i'll remain for the rest of the evening (Ed note: Hooks got it right too)

8:14 Supp. Actor in a Drama: Terry O'Quinn WTF? Really? I dont think anyone saw this one coming. We all went for Masi Oka. I kind of wish that Terry said "Yatta!" right now.

terry's win was just to make up for his long-overlooked appearance on matlock (hint: he did it!)

8:22 3 years ago, do you predict tina fey and julia louis-dreyfus are here in plunging necklines, presenting an award and nominating? who could have called that?

Seacrest is about as inoffensive as possible. See him next year. Supp. Actress Comedy: Jamie Pressly. Not only did Pam NOT win, but I also didnt pick Jamie Pressly. Dammit. Jenna Fischer is GOLD, baby. GOLD! And I bet that if Tori were watching, she'd be heartbroken that her girlfriend Holland Taylor didnt win. Sorry, T-Ball.

Obviously I'd rather either my pick or Jenna Fischer win this, but jamie pressly isn't a bad pick here, i don't think

8:26 KYLE CHANDLER!!!!!! W0000000T!!!!

He and Katherine Heigl (pronounced HIGH-GUL, as she told the disembodied female voice) present Supp. Actor in Miniseries/Movie: Thomas Haden Church. Yay. Would anyone care if the miniseries/movies were booted to the Creative Awards?

8:33 They're really passing around the "hosting" duties, with Ellen feigning being stupid and now she's rambling. IT'S A MONTAGE!!!! YAY! Its a comedic, bush-bashing, tom-snyder-loving MONTAGE from the late-night hosts. And now Entourage.

i was going to rail against the montage, but slipping in the tom snyder tribute? that's classy

8:38 The cast of Entourage and Eva Longoria (just deal with it) present Supp. Actress Comedy: Katherine Heigl. Wow...good for her, and I am continuing to suck at this pick-em thing. She was great in Knocked Up, thats all I have to say about that.

Brian apparently is giving us all a head start on the picks. Or he is really bad at this. You be the judge. Or Judge Mathis. Either way.

My problem is that I gave the dumbasses at EW too much credit.

8:43 These intros of the comedy writing teams is fantastic....they should give an award just for that. Goes to Conan O'Brien and his team. Kind of surprised it didn't go to the Comedy Central teams, but they'll get their due.

The variety writing bits were really good. I approve.
Conan? Boo.

Jared doesn't like Conan? How could he be so wrong?

8:50 Brian used EW as a resouce in picking Emmys? That's sad. Really, that's sad. Also, for a sports update, Pats are up 7-0 halfway through the first quarter, and Boston is up 1-0 in the bottom of the second.

8:51 Seacrest makes a Kid Nation joke...ha! Now its a musical routine from Tony Bennet and XTina.

Things I want to see less than a Christina Aguilera/Tony Bennett duet right now? The Pats winning and a Red Sox-Yankees game. That's probably about it.

8:53 A drunk Alec Baldwin announces the award for directing a variety show: Tony Bennett. Good for Tony Bennett, or his diretor at least. This was much better than show #12601 of the Daily Show.

Yeah, I mean, Rob Marshall, Tony Bennett, it had to be. Why does a Tony Bennett TV show win so many awards? Are the voters all over 60 years old or Claudia?

8:56 Jack Bauer and Ali "Varsity Blues" Larter announce the Actor in a Miniseries: Robert Duvall. I thought he might not win, but then I realized that Duvall will act in anything for money.

I'm a little sad that William H. Macy or Tom Selleck didn't win. But really, it almost isn't fair when a respected movie actor does a spot on a TV show.

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Emmy Live Blog!!

Welcome to yet another liveblog...this time, we make fun of the Emmy's and how they are totally the ugly step-sister of the Oscars. And that's pretty ugly. Even uglier than Betty, which I'm predicting will have a big night.

Keep tuned.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

American Film Institute Loves the Kane

The final scores: John, 24; Jared, 28, Brian, 38. Woot.

My final thoughts? I'm impressed at the way AFI members managed to mangle this one. My biggest beef is Rebel Without a Cause not being on the list. It has to be on the top 100 movies. It just has to. Other than that, I'm kinda curious what will happen 10 years down the road. I never would have figured that the the older movies would play bigger this time around. I'm not quite sure what that says about the AFI and their membership.

Citizen Kane. Cinematically, brilliant and ahead of its time. Is it better than the Godfather? Debatable? But this list has so many more problems that I wouldnt even bother debating this. No Rebel Without a Cause?? How are there so few modern movies? Where's Goodburger? CMON! Gnight folks. Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Citizen Kane at #1. I know that I'm supposed to argue against this, but what you know what? Screw it. It deserves to be #1. That's no knock against Casablanca or Godfather, but Citizen Kane is just a fantastically solid movie that holds up so well for so long. Well done, Citizen Kane. And AFI, for at least getting this one right

Godfather. Well, this is how I would rank my top 2. Godfather probably ranks at the top of "Most stop channel surfing now" level, although its equally great to watch on TV. Even when its slow, its captivating. What else can be said? Jared?

Guess he's too busy counting up how much money I'm owed.

Casablanca. Nailed it, again. I liked this movie the first time I saw it, but since then, I havent really had any desire to re-watch it. Maybe I just need a girlfriend to introduce it to. Any suggestions?

Well, this puts the game squarely in the hands of Brian, I think. Obviously enough, I disagree. I love Godfather to pieces, but personally, I'd take Casablanca over Godfather, both personally, and what it has meant to American cinema.

Jared, thats a bold choice.

Raging Bull. Good for Scorcese. This list seems to get more and more random the closer we get to #1.

This is a pretty big overrate, if you ask me. This should be Rebel Without a Cause. No doubt in my mind.

The best American movie musical, to fill out my top 2. Even though the ridicuous "Gotta Dance" interlude is too long and goofy, the Singin in the Rain scene makes up for it. The music isn't even all that special, but I like it.

Don't tell Brian I said this, but Singin' in the Rain isn't the best movie musical ever.

Gone with the Wind. Jared and I are terrible movie buffs. We havent seen this either...and I own it. I like that line "Frankly my dear....Let's get back together." Thats how the Simpsons told me it happened.

Brian and I decided our scoring system was a little off. You can be sure I'll bring up this point if I end up losing. Otherwise, frankly my dear(s), I don't give a damn.

Lawrence of Arabia. I love me some David Lean epics, and this is the best of them all. And still culturally relevant. A bit too long, but it made me appreciate Peter O'Toole a helluva lot. This, along with My Favorite Year.

from john: "lawrence of arabia- perhaps the best british film of all time?
maybe it had an american editor or something"
brian and I saw Lawrence of Arabia at the AFI Silver Theatre. We are that cool.

Schindler's List. I am a terrible Jew. No, I didnt make out during Schindler's List. I've never seen it.

Some bonus points here for Jared, but will it be enough? The way this list is turning out, probably not. I've never seen Schindler's List, due to a variety of circumstances that seem always set against me

Vertigo sucks. Sorry; it's boring. Kim Novak is hideous. The plot is frustrating. and Jimmy Stewart overacts as he usually does. The supposedly fantastic effect where Kim Novak comes out of the Green is cheesy by today's standards. Im pissed.

How is Vertigo 9? In what world? Seriously? What happened to this list?

The Wizard of Oz comes in at 10, which is well deserved. There's really no explaining where any of these movies place, so whatever. Hard to believe how well it holds up after 70 years, though.

to the voice of God, AKA Morgan Freeman, only one of the top 10 movies held the same spot. In other words, Jared is screwed.

City Lights. Is the AFI trying to prove its irrelevance? Two silent films in the top 25, and three Chaplin films in the 100? How about making yourself intriguing to anyone born past 1960?

so, um, who would have guessed the top 25 would have an later average release date than 10 years ago. How does that make sense?

SUCK IT SCHOLLE! Of course The Searchers is making an 80 point leap. This movie is so racist, and so overrated, but people who love westerns love this movie. Also people who think John Wayne is a great actor love this movie. Both groups are wrong.

I wish you all could have experienced the sheer joy Brian exuded when The Searchers was announced.

Star Wars. No complaints here, although I would have liked to ahve seen it higher, mostly for its widespread influence.

Really, what's left to say about Star Wars? Other than that I can't believe I forgot to TiVo that Robot Chicken Star Wars

I cant imagine what it would have been like to ahve seen Psycho without knowing the twist. Same deal with Planet of the Apes, but I feel robbed by not getting to watch the final reveal knowing nothing. Also the shower scene. Why did i have to know so much?

Psycho is a movie that I always think is overrated. Until I watch it again, and I realize just why everyone likes it so much.

Duhhhhh....Dehhhhhhhhh.....Dahhhhhhhhhhhh. DAH dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 2001 is on the list. Cmon, where's The Searchers??

2001 is a terrible movie. Repeat after me, people. Just because a movie is artsy, that doesn't mean it is good. I just don't understand how 2001 belongs this high. How many movies are direct descendants? Boo.
John says 2001 is the most overrated movie of all time, and I may not disagree

Sunset Boulevard. Again, no real desire to see it...everything about is uninteresting to me.

I found Sunset Blvd. a little too...cute? for its own good. It is OK movie, and gets point for the jabs at Hollywood, its age, and its quotes, but I dunno.

Mostly because of the soundtrack, and Katherine Ross' general hottness, I like The Graduate a lot.

I saw a production of The Graduate in Miami...let me tell you, I appreciate the movie a lot more now. Still, I think that the soundtrack makes it a little more revered than maybe it should be

The General. Sure, I guess you need a Buster Keaton on the top 100 list. But this is absurd. Did anyone younger than 70-years-old vote in the poll?

18? AFI has their shocker, I guess. But wow. Who could have guessed that?

On the Waterfront. We are terrible movie buffs. We havent seen this movie either. We coulda had class.

I think that invalidates what tenuous claim to being movie buffs we have. Especially since, you know, Brian owns this movie.

It's a Wonderful Life. I'm too busy eating Chinese food and watching new releases at the movie theater to ever watch this Christmas classic. Jared, no one will hurt you because you're Jewish.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never seen this movie. Please don't hurt me?

Chinatown. Jared and I just saw this...neither of us were that impressed. L.A. Confidential was a better update with better acting and no incestual plotlines.

Chinatown? Eh. Probably the most overrated movie on the list.

Some Like it Hot is still funny, nearly 50 years after it came out. Some people still have taste, fortunately. The sepia-interviews are sad, though. Jack Lemmon was the man.

What?!?! Some Like it Hot is THE acceptable comedy to like as a classic. As such, it deserves to be higher up the list. It works on basically every level. And I made a Some Like it Hot reference earlier this week. That should count for something

No real desire to see Grapes of Wrath, although it is the 23rd best movie ever, so maybe I should.

Grapes of Wrath is the first movie I cut from last time's top 25. Maybe I should see the movie before it gets me again ten years down the road

Neither Jared nor I thought ET would make it. I';m still bitter that Steven Speilberg took the guns out of the officers hands at the end. What a wusstastic move.

I think we are all surprised E.T. stays up there. I dunno, I just don't think people talk about it as much anymore. Don't worry, Drew Barrymore is maybe 5 years too young for Brian in the movie.

I nailed this one. To Kill a Mockingbird. Quality film, and of course its the 25th best movie ever. Another trivia moment: Robert Duvall's first movie. And the kid who played Scout was pretty good.

Man, Brian nails #25. Can't say that's the way I wanted to start this thing

Double Indemnity. The only time I've heard of this movie is on stupid AFI lists. That shouldnt count!

Is there a secret society of people who do nothing but watch Double Indemnity? Because I know almost no one who has even really heard much about this movie

All About Eve, and my top 25 picks are dropping like flies. I only know one thing about eve, and that's her bumpy ride line. Thanks ADD!

Brian just misses out on a couple of movies, and those points could be pretty crucial as we approach the all-important top 25. All I have to say about All About Eve, is that I can never remember if I've seen it. That can't be a good sign.

Jared, you can't remember anything. Although I am incapable of picking hte top 25, since I had High Noon in there too. This is one of Tony Soprano's favorites, Gary Cooper being the strong silent type and all.

I've nothing to say about High Noon. Other than my now-standard, "Remember when people made westerns?" Oh, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a fantastic movie, but not eligible here, obviously

The AFI is so xenophobic, man...why they gotta be so American? Where's my 8 1/2? Following a commercial break, we're gearing up for lots of point counting with #26, then the money.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It's so gosh darn idealistic, that it is difficult to watch nowadays without rolling your eyes and falling asleep. Great for its time, I guess.

I'm sorry, but Mr. Smith Goes to Washington just isn't that great a movie. Stop saying it is!
TOP 25 TIME!!!

34-30 Snow this is the kind of movie that I want to hear John Lasseter talk about. None of this screwball shiz.

I'm glad Disney made it on this list somewhere, but I do see how Disney is more an accumulation of movies than any one specific one.

One flew flew west....One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. This is part 2 of 3 of my favorite trivia question ever (sweeping the oscars) (part 3 is Silence of the Lambs). Never seen this either.

For the record, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a pretty fantastic book. You all should read it.

GF2. How is this not in the Top 25?? BOOOO. Look, there are logical people who say that GF2 is better than the first godfather. So how can this rank so far below where the first Godfather will rank? I knew it was you Fredo!

heehee, Brian is so sad that Godfather II fell. I'm sure Adam will be as well. Sorry guys, it was never going to happen.

Maltese Falcon. I havent seen this in a long time, but I like Peter Lorre a lot...and Bogart is usually worth his reputation.

I absolutely agree with this ranking in the sense that Maltese Falcon wasn't that great a movie, so it shouldn't get top 25. But I totally get what it has meant for cinema.

Apocalypse Now. I totally dont remember Harrison Ford being in Apocalypse Now...but then again, I miscomprehended Heart of Darkness so much that I think I overthought the movie when I first saw it. The Napalm scene is still cuhlassic.

I was going to add it to my queue, but it was already there! Thanks, past Jared.

From John: "wow. this is a great year for me. first I won time's person of the year, then the head of the afi says I'm the most important person in supporting film"

Dr. Strangelove is so good...and it deserves so much more respect than 39. Sad. When a movie makes you laugh during the few clips they show, even in clips you've seen 10 times over, you know its quality.

My third predicted top 25 movie falls here. Which is sad. Dr. Strangelove is such a great movie.

Badges, we don't need no stinkin badges. They're just using the same clips they used for the 100 quotes show. This time, its for Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Who would have guessed Mel Brooks would give the commentary on Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Not me.

I'm getting depressed now....I havent seen Best Years of our Lives either....I thought that by now I'd have seen a majority of the films on the list.

You know, My Favorite Year is probably better than The Best Years of Our Lives

Bridge on the River Kwai. HEY, how about a spoiler alert, Sir Ben Kingsley?! Just because you've been knighted you think you can ruin the ending of a great classic? Boo. And I never would have picked Spike Lee as the commentator for a David Lean epic.

Wow, huge drop here. I should have had the guts to take it off my top 25. But I've never seen it, so I figured maybe I was missing something.

Annie Hall is the precursor to the great romantic comedies that Jared loves, so its kind of funny that he doesnt like it that much. This is a good spot for it though.

Awww, Annie Hall. You aren't as great a movie as people think you are, but I'm forever indebted to you for the movies you spawned.

44-40 No sepia tones for Charlton Heston to talk about Philadelphia Story? That's cause they're afraid that he's going to shoot them.

What the hell accent does Katherine Hepburn have? That isn't real, I'm sorry.

Another movie that I want to see, but that i've heard is really dated is Midnight Cowboy.

Thanks to all the various trivia I've done, Midnight Cowboy and X will forever be linked together.

Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, and Warren Beatty. I haven't seen Bonnie and Clyde yet...why??

Brian and I have been trying to see Bonnie and Clyde for like five years now, I think. That's sad on so many levels.

King Kong comes and goes pretty fast. Kind of like the dreadful sequel that Jack Black single-handedly ruined.

For the record, Sound of Music is not on my list of top 2 movie musicals ever. Probably top 5, however.

In that segue between King Kong and Sound of Music, it looked like Kong was going to eat Julie Andrews. That would have been sweet.

49-45: This is kind of a ridiculous jump for a movie that wasnt on last decade's 100. I think the AFI cooked the books. Maybe Intolerance is good, but it looked goofy in the segments they aired.

Grace Kelly is so hot in Rear Window, and thank god the overall movie was so good that it blocked out my memories of Prof. Edelman at Tufts telling us how this movie is about anal sex. Professa, please.

I have a bias toward movies with only a couple sets. Hence my love for 12 Angry Men, Phone Booth, and Rear Window. I love that Rear Window was able to be made

Streetcar Named Desire....which will always bring back thoughts of the Simpsons musical. A great early episode from the show. I'll take Jared's word for the quality of it.

Streetcar, is the one exception. Wow, is it bad.

Happened One Night. John Lasseter here again to talk about how funny a screwball comedy is...if I hadnt seen all the Pixar films, I'd think that he has no sense of humor. It's also my favorite trivia question of movies that swept the Oscars.

I feel like a bad person for not having seen It Happened One Night.

SHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane. No real thoughts on this one.

All I really know about Shane is that Mad Magazine, when I actually had a subscription to it, has this hilarious spoof of it. At least, it was hilarious at the time.

54-50 I got MASH a year ago as a gift. Still haven't seen it. Probably should. Oops.

People, watch M*A*S*H again. The movie definitely does not hold up well. At all. The theme, though, "Suicide is Painless" is so much better than the theme to the TV show. I'll give it that.

I'm going to echo Jared here. People, watch Deer Hunter again and see if you can get through the first hour without falling asleep. It is so dreadfully boring and just unwatchable. The latter parts are sometimes riveting, and Walken is good, but half a movie does not a classic make.

If Christopher Walken is in a movie, I'll watch it. No questions asked.

I've never seen Taxi Driver, and neither has Jared, so while I can't speak for him, I know that I would totally kill to get Jodie Foster from that film.

Taxi Driver is one of those movies I keep telling myself I should see, but never while I'm near a computer so I can put it on my queue. Oh. Wait.

I am not ashamed to say that West Side Story is one of the top 2 movie musicals ever made...and its insane that this isnt higher on the list.

I almost had West Side Story on my personal Top 25 ballot. That stupid live action short winning the Oscar aside. Yes, I'm still bitter.

Morgan pops in to give us an update at #50: First Lord of the Rings, my friend. Ha! This is why I didnt add it to my ballot, because who knew whether it would be the first. Commence Jared

ok, so you have two movies in a particular trilogy that are generally considered better. One has a larger box office, more Oscars, and an higher rating. How on earth do you not pick that one for your list? That makes absolutely no sense, AFI. None at all. Why even bother with criteria? Seriously, that's absolutely dreadful. How can we trust any other selection you make if you can't make this incredibly obvious one? It took me 15 seconds to find the relevant information. Just because "Fellowship of the Ring" has "Ring" in it? Poor form.

Nashville is the kind of movie that the more I see of it, the more I think I might like it. But I never do.

Then there's more Chaplin with Gold Rush. AFI loves its old time comedy. Methinks Austin Powers isnt making the top 100.

You know, Chaplin is great and all, but 20 years from now, how many people could actually name The Gold Rush as a movie separate from just Charlie Chaplin the character

YO ADRIAN! Rocky flies high at 57.

Lord, Rocky is such a good movie. And Sly wrote it! Seriously, though, it should be higher, but that the AFI even put it this high says a lot, I think.

The original blockbuster. Jaws. It holds up really well, I have to admit.

Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun!

Jared, aren't you tone deaf? The first Hitchcock clocks in here with North by Northwest, which is also my favorite of his films. Great score....and Martin Landau is a brilliant henchman. Yay.

Someone claims "North by Northwest" is the most entertaining Hitchcock movie. That's kind of a bold statement, I think. It is great, don't get me wrong. But most entertaining? Strangers on a Train? Rope is pretty accessible, I think. I dunno. John says it is absolutely criminal that North by Northwest fell so much.

64-60 Faye Dunaway was kind of a knockout in Network, a movie that was too dark, but
fascinating and fun nonetheless. I agree with Jared's sentiment below.

Network is a great idea executed poorly. Had it been made today, in the right hands, I think it would have been much better. (Sorry, Mom!)

Is this All that Jazz? or Chicago? Fosse? Nah, it's Cabaret.

[sheepishly admits he really likes Cabaret] So, uh...let's chug some beer or look at porn or something.

American Graffiti. George Lucas makes the hard sell, telling us that it has no plot, no characters.

Everyone loves Preston Sturges...but yet, ive never had the desire to see one of his movies. Jared gives a lukewarm review of Sullivan's Travels.

Sullivan's Travels! My mom actually forced my entire family to watch this movie, mostly because she knew that this is the movie from which O Brother, Where Art Thou? got its title. To be fair, it is actually a pretty decent movie.

More Marx brothers brings Duck Soup in at #60.

More Marx Brothers! You get classy, America.

And then Tootsie is one of those movies that makes you glad you grew up in the 90s. What a bizarre inclusion on the new list....maybe the AFI 100 Comedies was an influence. Dustin Hoffman is tearing up...about Tootsie? Really?

Tootsie is a really really bad movie. Why can't people realize that? I understand the premise was great and all, but wow. Just an unenjoyable movie. John claims Dustin Hoffman is high during his interview, and you know what? I'm inclined to believe him.

Unforgiven. Damn...I really thought I had this one locked up by this point. Old people love their westerns, however.

I'm glad these Westerns are so high, but I'm still thinking that 10 years from now, they will drop like the body of a guy who loses a shootout.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ME! Me!

Virginia Woolf sucks, and this movie sucks for reminding me of her.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. As with most of the movies on this list that came out after 1980, this should be higher. But it's good to see Harrison Ford with hair again. Makes me think that he has potential to not ruin IJ4.

African Queen. More sepia toned interviews, this time with Anne Bancroft. Sad. Never seen the movie. This has to be the winner for the big drop, with a plus-50 fall. Jared loses another potential point.

Yeah, the African Queen deserved to drop this much. I didn't think the AFI had the balls for it. Also, what did people ever see in Katherine Hepburn? She's always looked like a skeleton to me.

74-70 May I talk for a moment about how fine Jodie Foster is? Especially in her older age? Sammy might even call her a cougar. But sadly, she's unavailable to me. And no, its not because she's a lesbian, that's just crazy talk. Oh, and the 74th film is Silence of the Lambs.

You know, Silence of the Lambs is pretty good, but I think I'm going to assign it some blame for all the crappy procedurals on TV. Which pisses me off.

One of my top 5 movies ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Who are those guys?? Don't forget, this movie has not one, but TWO montages.

Butch Cassidy is one of the few movies I fell asleep while watching. To be fair, I believe that may have been a night Brian and I drunkenly stumbled home at 2 in the morning and decided it would be a good idea to watch a slow 70s movie.

Morgan Freeman lets me catch up before #73: Shawshank Redemption. A fantastic inclusion. It's on my top 5 "If its on TV while channel surfing, I will stop and watch it." list. An impressive leap from not being included last year.

Shawshank is one you should look at to rise for the next list 10 years down the road. A quality movie universally acknowledged as such, and extreme rewatchability

Two 90s movies in a row, and Brian gets his second "jump on" movie of the night with Saving Private Ryan. It's a World War II movie, of course its on the list.

Saving Private Ryan is our generation's war movie, and I'm not sure anything will be able to change that.

Never seen Clockwork Orange, and I'm kind of scared to see it, but since it brought Malcolm McDowell into our world, I gotta give it props.

A Clockwork Orange is one of those movies that makes you think maybe life was better in the 60s and 70s.

#75-79 The Wild Bunch Damn, I guess I need to see more movies.

The Wild Bunch? Interesting. Where have all the Westerns gone (long time passing)? Is Tom Selleck going to be the last of the cowboys?

Modern Times. There's the Chaplin movie for the list. Can't Complain

All the President's Men. Just saw this for the first time. Very quality, so much that I was disappointed when it ended. That hasn't happened to me in a while.

All the President's Men has such a great group of actors. I wonder, though, if today, they would have gotten Deep Throat to confess at the premiere of the movie, to boost the box office

Forrest Gump. I really wanted to pick this movie to drop off of the list, but I also really wanted to beat Jared. The more I watch this movie, the more I hate it.

So everyone knows, Brian thinks Forrest Gump is a blight on humanity.

Sorry....this movie is overrated. In the Heat of the Night. It's the movie that made me really dread the pacing of any movie made before 1980.

Sidney Poitier is cool and all, but wow. Overact much?

Easy Rider rides in for #84. Ive heard that the movie is obscenely dated and not very good, which means I agree with Jared's next sentiment.

Is it wrong that I never had any inclination to see Easy Rider?

Titanic sails in next, and anytime I get to be vindicated by telling Jared that there was no way it cracked the back 20, is a good time to eat some pizza. And William Friedkin is smoking some crack like DiCaprio and Winslet are our Bogart and Hepburn? Whaaa?

OK, here's the thing about Titanic. I've never seen it. But let's look at the AFI criteria. Box office? Titanic is tops overall, and it isn't close. Oscars? 11, plus gaggles of other awards. Cultural import? I mean, how iconic is that "I'm the king of the world" scene? I understand the reluctance to have a recent movie finish close to the top, but come on, AFI. If you have criteria, you have to use it, otherwise, what's the point?

82. Sunrise. Um, ok. If you say so, AFI.

I'm not saying we know everything about movies, but if Brian and I haven't heard of a movie, how could it make this list? Isn't that counter to what the list stands for?

Who wants to claim to be next? I AM SPARTACUS.
How many people have seen Spartacus, and how many people just know that one scene? I'm guessing the latter is waaaaay larger than the former.

80. The Apartment Never seen it, again. Although I heard its more depressing than advertised. They've resorted to using old footage of Jack Lemmon. As if to remind us that he's dead, he is in sepia tones.

OK, that does it, The Apartment is going on my Netflix queue.

#85-89 Sixth Sense kicks things off, and Night talks about how awesome he is.

John Scholle would like everyone to know that he hates The Sixth Sense. As a fan of the Twilight Zone, I respect what M. Night did for twist endings. Speaking of which, you absolutely have to watch the music video for "Same Girl" (R. Kelly featuring Usher)

Scholle loses another bonus point with Bringing Up Baby. John Lasseter is lying right now. It is not a great comedy, because comedies have to be funny.

"The comedy in [Bringing Up Baby] is bigger than life?" Just like Mo'Nique!

12 Angry Men has gotta be a great movie, ive just never seen it. Should it be higher?

12 Angry Men belongs on any and every top 25. Wow. What a stud of a movie. I mean, I understand why it is so low here, really, how many movies are derivatives of it. But still. What a movie.

Platoon is a pretty good Vietnam movie, but isnt it just a remake of Apocalypse now?

John says the bad guy in Platoon looks like Carlton Fisk. I must see this movie now.

#85 brings Jared's biggest yoink of the night. I can't believe he called Night at the Opera.

A Night at the Opera! Wow. What a call! Thank you, thank you. But yeah, I mean, c'mon. The Marx Brothers? My theory was that they'd get on if only for backlash from new movies

#94-90 Last Picture Show comes next, which is perhaps the only thing that Peter Bogdanovich has become known for, other than his appearances on the Sopranos. But he's still somehow considered a film genius. I dunno.

Brian just hit on a 15 year old Cybill Shepard, for those who are keeping track at home

Dude, no way she's 15 in this clip. (Jared says she was probably 20.)

Pulp Fiction comes next. Jared loses out on his shot for the biggest jump category, and I actually wish he was right. Shyamalamadingdong is right when he says that it's the greatest movie of his generation. Brilliant.

Seriously, it is a travesty that Pulp Fiction didn't move up the list. The movie is exactly the type of recent film that the AFI would recognize as being "good." I mean, I guess it make the list, and that should be enough, but still. I'm bitter.

French Connection. Ah, our first William Friedkin appearance. Get used to him. And again, this movie deserves better treatment than being 93rd.

William Friedkin just called the French Connection chase scene a "metaphor." Yeah, a metaphor for the only reason people still talk about your stupid movie!

Whatever, Jared is just jealous of Gene Hackman. Goodfellas is the first back from the commercial break, and while it clearly deserves a higher ranking, at least they introduced it with the classic Copacabana scene.

Wow, a double whammy for Brian, with Goodfellas going this low. John and I were way off with our guesses for what would jump the highest.

Sophie's Choice is 91st, and the only thing I can think of now is "Sophie Changes Her Mind" as possibly the best trivia team name ever.

Swing Time is a movie that neither Jared nor I have heard of before. It's a crazy choice, because the person they had introduce it was the crazy of all crazies: Sharon Stone.

Swing time?!?!?!?! AFI didn't actually check anyone's list, did they?

Ben-Hur kicks it off, with a big drop from 72 last year. Then it's Toy Story, which is deservedly on this list. Although that probably counts out any chance for other recent animateds. Yankee Doodle Dandy stays on the list, which is a travesty since all three of us picked that to drop off from its previous spot at #100. Blade Runner comes next, which I've heard that Ridley Scott ruined with the director's cut. This true? Do the Right Thing comes in next, which is a surprisngly diverse pick from the curmudgeons at the AFI.

The great thing about gambling on something like this is the actual pain we all felt when Yankee Doodle Dandy was read. How many non-film majors under the age of 60 have spent more than 10 seconds thinking about this movie?

I'm pretty sure people have stopped writing actual scripts for Morgan Freeman when he hosts something, instead counting on people being hypnotized by his voice.

Opening Montage:
Ok, I love a montage more than practically anyone else I know. But this song is absolutely terrible, and hopefully misleading, because they just showed a clip of Return of the King and that's on Jared's ballot.

The opening music was so sappy that bette midler slapped whoever wrote it

Introduction: Hello to the two people out there reading this, but as things go here at 1410, we're liveblogging a television spectacle. This time around, its the AFI's re-issuing of the Top 100 Movies. Jared and I each already picked the movies we would have voted for on TTO and The Teev. We've also made our predictions, as has John Scholle. We'll update you on the scores as we go. Throughout this entire blog, italics denotes Jared

It's 7:56, the Nats are losing already, and we're almost at showtime. I'm pumped.

Sam Summer, pizza, and the prospect of taking Brian's money in some movie gambling. This is the life!

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So if Hillary is supposed to be Tony...

...then who is supposed to be AJ? Joe Biden? Ha, I kid.

Much of the political buzz this afternoon surrounded the parody the Clinton campaign produced of the Sopranos ending. The critical response has been generally positive, and it's baffling me. Unsurprisingly, I disagree wholeheartedly with Brunk, who giving "credit where credit is due," called it "possibly the coolest web stunt" pulled so far this year.

Dean Barnett over at said it was hilarious.

From top to bottom, I can't figure out what people like about it. First off, why would you ever compare yourself to a sociopath like Tony Soprano, especially if you are running for President? Secondly, if one of the continuing memes of the campaign against your candidacy is that you are always fake and scripted, why would you put yourself in a web video where you're acting and reading a script. Third, and perhaps this is being a tad too picky, why include the random black dudes shot?

In the actual Sopranos ending, I saw the gang-banger shot as a joke of sorts to build up the tension, because of course Tony is going to assume the worst of two black guys. That was part of the show lore. Sure, the dudes in the Clinton parody were laughing around, but why bring back the memory of the earlier negative stereotype.

And the random Johnny Sack cameo?

Sure, Bill was funny, but the entire clip was stilted and forced -- two of the critiques that have had the most resonance on the Clinton campaign.

To make matters worse, they chose a CELINE DION song as the theme song. It'll be a long summer. And don't even get me started on the creepy, Stepfordian, yet irrestistably earnest Romney Christmas video.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

The AFI Has Run Out of Ideas...

So for the past 10 years, the American Film Institute has been shamelessly creating made-for-television specials counting down the 100 best movies, songs, villains, heroes, romances, comedies, etc... Some have been uber-lame (Cheers....way too few sports movies), and others have been pretty cool (quotes). But this year, they've run out of ideas, so they're updating their 100 Best Movies ever.

Jared and I will be going balls-to-the-wall with a liveblog coming at you Wednesday night. We also have a pick'em pool going, so if you are interested, let us know.

In advance, however, we decided to make a list of what we would have voted as the top 25 movies had we voted in the pool. The only rules were that we had to pick from the 400 movies (reg. required) placed on the ballot and that we had to use their criteria (Critical Commendation, Major Award Winner, Popularity Over Time, Historical Signifiance, Cultural Impact) as a guide in making our choices. alphabetical order, my Top 25:

All the President's Men
Bridge on the River Kwai
Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid
Citizen Kane
Dr. Strangelove
French Connection
Godfather II
Great Escape
LA Confidential
Lawrence of Arabia
LotR: FotR
Manchurian Candidate
North by Northwest
Pulp Fiction
Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Right Stuff

Shawshank Redemption
Singin in the Rain
Star Wars
West Side Story
Usual Suspects
Wizard of Oz

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