Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Top 30 Favorite Actresses

A couple years ago I come up with a list of my favorite actors. Since that time, I have been trying to make a list of my favorite actresses, but it is a lot harder than I expected. I find it is hard not to judge an actress by her looks. I think good looks can be one of the things that can makes an actress more appealing to viewers, but I don't want to turn this list into a beauty pageant.

Below is a list of some of the actresses I have enjoyed watching over the years. Please don't take offense because I left many of the old school big names like Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, and Katherine Hepburn off my list. I'm not claiming these are necessarily the greatest actresses, just ones I usually like seeing in movies.

Charlize Theron
Jennfer Connelly
Helen Miren
Sigourney Weaver
Meryl Streep
Jodie Foster
Natalie Portman
Angelina Jolie
Naomi Watts
Sandra Bullock
Nicole Kidman
Julianne Moore
Halle Barry
Michelle Pfeiffer
Diane Lane
Emma Thompson
Keira Knightly
Judi Dench
Monica Belluci
Gwyneth Paltrow
Vanessa Redgrave
Rachel McAdams
Lauren Bacall
Kathy Bates
Kate Blanchet
Maggie Smith
Julia Roberts
Helena Bonham Carter
Penelope Cruz
Helen Hunt

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Perfect Movie

I've been in a movie funk since December. I want to see more movies, but there are not many in theaters that currently appeal to me. Am I getting pickier or is there just more crap out there these days?

Jack and Jill, One for the Money, The Devil Inside, Abduction, and New Years Eve all come to mind when I mention the word crap. If I had the necessary resources (money and talent), I would just go ahead and make the perfect movie.

You will notice on my rating chart on the side bar that I refer to 10 stars as being the perfect movie. I have never given out a 10 for any movie. My favorite movies come in at 9, so I guess my 9's are really 10's. I'm starting to sound like Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap "Ours go to 11".  What I'm trying to say is that the perfect movie does not yet exist. If I were to make it, it would feature all of the following elements:

* A prison break or escape from an oppressive enemy.
* A witness protection program and someone hiding for their life.
* Science fiction elements.
* Some sort of big brother or conspiracy theory.
* Action with great stunts and martial arts.
* Mystery and suspense with several twists.
* State of the art special effects, not just sloppy CGI.
* A script with incredible detail and depth.
* Some comedy and dry humor.
* A complex and mentally stimulating plot that would make Inception look like Dude, Where's My Car.
* On top of all that, it would also have to be realistic.

Once I had successfully incorporated those items together in my movie, I would hire a talented cast. There would be so many big names in my movie that it would make The Expendables look like a low budget Indie film.

It's a shame that Hollywood releases so much sub-par material every month. I challenge the big studios to give me a chance to make a movie. Give me 100 million dollars and Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg as my assistants, and I'm pretty sure I could make the perfect movie.

Until that happens, I'm afraid we will just have to take whatever movie scraps Hollywood throws our way.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Chronicle is a movie that fits into the "found footage" genre which includes other movies like Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, and The Blair Witch Project. The entire film is seen through the eyes of a teenager and his video camera. This movie is about three teenagers who find  a mysterious underground object that appears to be a meteor or some kind of extra terrestrial object. After coming into contact with it, they soon develop powers of telekinesis that get stronger with time.

They go from being able to levitate legos and small items to be able to raise their own bodies and eventually fly. As their powers increase, so does the pressure put on the lead character, who happens to be an unhappy introvert. A series of embarrassments, bullying, abuse, and stress push him over the edge and his dark side comes out as he uses his power for revenge and goes out of control.

I liked this movie for a couple reasons. First it was nice to see relatively unknown actors and made it feel more like actual video footage than it would have been if it starred Daniel Radcliffe. I did think some of the excuses to be recording all the time and certain camera angles were pushing it, but I don't have any ideas on how that could have been done better.

Chronicle taught me some other lessons. First of all, if I am ever given this power, I will not waste it on a school assembly talent show. Second, it is better to be a philosophical dude who has studied the great minds and thinkers of civilization, than an unadapted cypher when you inherit superpowers.

This movie has some cool special effects despite having a very  low budget feel to it. It also has a depressing feel to the movie, but I liked the twist it had for the overused superhero movies that have been so popular. I give it 7.7 stars.
Large Association of Movie Blogs