5 Worst Remakes of Classic Films

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What makes a movie great? Is it the ability to be watched over and over again? Is it the memorable performances? Is it the fact that Hollywood has run out of good ideas so they make a crappy reproduction that just proves how good the original was? I like to think so. I won't take the opportunity to point out the greatest crime against humanity, the remake of the Stanley Kubrick classic, Lolita. Fuck you Adrian Lyne, but that is neither here nor there. There have been many other cinematic crimes, some egregious errors in judgment, such as... 

#5 I am Legend

What started as a book in 1954 by Richard Matheson resulted in three films being made from the subject material. The first starred Vincent Price as The Last Man on Earth. After a plague strikes the Earth, turning most people into vampiric creatures, Dr. Morgan (Price) spends his days hunting the vampires, and his nights, locked in his home. Stabbing the vampires with a wooden stake and burning their corpses is how this doctor deal with these affronts to God.
Sadly, not 100% successful 

Dr. Morgan, having been bit by a Vampire Bat years earlier, thinks that granted him an immunity to the virus and is convinced that he is the last uninfected person on Earth. Enter Ruth. Ruth is another survivor, in a way, she is infected but through use of a vaccine, she, and others like her, are able to hold the disease at bay. She explains that she has been sent by other "survivors" to spy on Morgan. Using his blood to give Ruth a transfusion, he realizes that he is in fact the cure, and that he can cure all of her fellow vampires. Revelations like this in horror movies never come without consequences. The Vampires attack, forcing him to flee his stronghold, as they exchange gunfire Morgan is hit and wounded. Retreating into a church, he gets impaled on the altar with a spear, and screams that the vampires are "freaks" and that he is truly, the last man on Earth. 
  And what a man!

Like I said this was the first of the three. The Omega Man came seven years later and starred Charlton Heston as the last man, fighting mutants, instead of vampires. Some change but overall still the same basic story. This decent remake couldn't stand, so Hollywood did something about it in 2007. Let's get the Fresh Prince! The ending of the film has a standoff between the infected and Smith, after realizing that they still show signs of humanity he returns an infected woman that he captured and the vampires leave him, leaving him to continue being the monster of the "new humanity". His is no longer the norm, or the basis for deciding what is human, he is the legend. At least that's how it was initially filmed, but a test audience didn't care to much for that ending.
We no like the thinky! Blow some shit up instead!

Instead we end up having a guns drawn stand off between Smith and the Vampires, where he sacrifices himself so that two other uninfected people with him, can escape. Why he couldn't escape with them and still blow up the house and vampires alike is unknown to me. One of those cliched sacrifices to the movie gods that seems to happen more than we'd like to think. That aside, let's look back at the start of this paragraph and see if you can notice anything else wrong with what I've said. If you've noticed my mention of the two other uninfected people then congratulations, you get a thumbs up.
Soak it up cause this will be the only time women like this will give you their approval.

The problem with having a "Last Man on Earth" type of movie is that you must be the last man on earth! The book and the first two movies held the notion that there were no other people left uninfected, that is the whole point of the story. It doesn't work if there are still ten percent, which is what the movie tells us, of the world's population left. Nearly 700 million people survive the outbreak, just to show you a comparison, the total current population of Canada, the US, and Mexico, is around 440 million. Granted the roughly 6.3 billion infected makes them a minority, it is equivalent to the African American population in the United States.
Always part of a minority.

Stay tuned dear readers for part two of my introspective into these abominations that pass themselves off as legitimate cinema and take a moment to click on my link over to America's Hobbies where you can read more of my reviews and witticisms. While there, take the time to watch a few videos about different peoples passions that have nothing to do with movies.


Spoiler Alert! The Four Greatest Twist Endings in Film History

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Disregard the buy it on Amazon link I have to the left of here, it doesn't pertain to the subject at hand, I just wanted everyone to have another chance at purchasing this fine piece of cinematic history. We are here to look at the greatest twist endings in film history, and, not so surprisingly, we only have one made by M. Night Shyamalan. A good twist to the end of your film is one of the hardest things to do, just ask the director of Signs, but when pulled off correctly, can make it shine with the repeat viewing sparkle that all movie studios love to see. I've decided that it would be in our best interests as movieophiles to take a look at four noteworthy times that "twist" has graced us. I really hope this goes without saying but the following post does contain SPOILER ALERTS.

Psycho (1960)

The movie starts a woman, Marion, fleeing from her employer after stealing a sizable amount of cash that was intended to be the down payment on a house, a house purchased by a rich, drunk, Texan stereotype who is purchasing it as a wedding gift for his daughter, another cliche.

 Cliched because he's a Rock Star, no racist comments please
She pulls over into a motel, the Bates Motel, where she meets Norman. A brutal stabbing in the shower later, we have a private detective and Marion's sister stumble upon the motel. After checking with the nervous Norman they grow suspicious and decide to go talk to his mother, and that leads us to... SPOILER ALERT... They remade this movie almost shot for shot in 1998. Instead of the charming and boyish Anthony Perkins, we have an in between shitty comedies Vince Vaughn. Part of the twist in the original is that superstar Janet Leigh gets murdered in the first forty minutes, I couldn't wait to see Anne Heche get hacked apart and dumped into a bog.
 Oh the Horror!
The Usual Suspects (1995)
A star studded cast, and Stephen Baldwin, star in this crime thriller where five criminals are rounded up by the most nefarious criminal around, Keyser Soze, to pull off a theft of $100 million dollars cash, and if that wasn't enough, $100 million dollars worth of cocaine. The story is told in flashbacks to the police by Verbal Kint, the lone survivor of the heist.
We see how each one of these men came to wrong Soze and the planning of the crime. After the story is told and Kint is released on bail, the guy who voices Fat Tony on the Simpsons figures out the lies that he has just been told, and tries to catch Verbal before he disappears forever... SPOILER ALERT... They blew it up, damn them, damn them all to Hell! Heston's journey into the forbidden zone causes the realization that it was Earth all along. The remnants of the Statue of Liberty stare him in the face as he beats his defeated fists against the wet sand. Holy shit right?
  You damn dirty Apes!!!
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Finally we get to the M. Night film. The sixth sense is about a old looking Bruce Willis who plays a child psychologist who gets shot by Marky Mark's brother. After some time passes he meets up with a kid who says he can see ghosts. The ghosts want him to help them get closure, and because a child has never been known to lie, Die Hard goes out of his way to help kid, help the ghosts, help themselves, in getting over their hangups that are preventing them from crossing over.  
This guys brother, you remember him.
Bruce is so caught up in helping the kid that no one will acknowledge him, not his wife, not the kid's mom, nobody. After successfully helping some ghosts deal with being dead, we have, surprise, surprise... SPOILER ALERT... nothing but a string of shitty twist ending movies, each one more ridiculous than the last. Shaymalan blew his creative load with his first offering and instead of trying some other type of genre, he keeps trying to recapture that "clever" tag in movies such as Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village. After four failed attempts, could be more, honestly I stopped watching them, he finally branches out to remake a live action remake of a Nickelodeon cartoon.
 You were the real devil in that elevator.

Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher's mind fuck about making soap stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt as Edward Norton. Not in some sort of everybody's Bob Dylan I'm Not There bullshit, but as in they are both parts of Norton's split psyche. Whenever we see Brad Pitt doing anything, the people beyond the fourth wall are seeing Norton do it. It takes the entire movie and a gunshot to the face for him to realize that this Tyler Durden he is watching and fighting with, is actually himself.
 Pictured: Neither Bob Dylan or Edward Norton
Norton's character suffers from, among other things, insomnia, and because he can't sleep he starts to attend meetings for people suffering from various illnesses. The only thing that gives him the ability to sleep is receiving pity from people who are worse off than he is, which leads us to... SPOILER ALERT... Meatloaf has man tits. One of the groups he attends is for men who have testicular cancer, and because they don't produce enough testosterone naturally, they are forced to take testosterone shots, which causes their body to produce more estrogen, ie bada boom, Meatloaf with bitch tits.
  Like these only not as hot


The 41 year old shitty parody film

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Let us talk about parody movies for a few minutes. Stating first that I have nothing against them in theory, some are actually good, Airplane, Hot Shots, anything by Mel Brooks, even the first couple of Scary Movie films. The sign of a good parody film is that it takes one, or two, main films that it draws it's inspiration from and then peppers in a few jokes that reference other films. Spaceballs was a star wars rip off, one of the most famous scenes has an alien popping out of a mans chest, get the reference? That is how it is supposed to be done. Which leads me to...

The 41 Year Old Virgin That Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It.
Just the title alone is horrible. It is obviously a take up on The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Superbad. Three to many films to focus your parody on. Clever, I'll admit, how they strung them all together, the most clever thing the writers did on this movie, but, just like the title, they crammed way to much shit into this piece of shit. Shit stuffed shit, would have been a great tagline, if I may be so crass.

 Kind of like this, you know, without being to gross
The reason good parody films only focus on one main story line is the same reason that other films only have one story, because otherwise it makes no sense. We have the main story of 40 year old virgin crossed with Superbad which, for some reason leads the characters to Hawaii like in Sarah Marshall with a non sexual encounter that leads to a pregnancy like in the bible. To get all of these pop references into a film that has the running time of 90 minutes there has to be either, the greatest screenwriters ever, or a lot of ham fisted, nonsensical, forced plot twists. Guess which one we have here. I'll agree that some of the best parts of the movie Superbad involved McLovin and his police escort, which appear here without any of the charm of the original, and then dead ends without any explanation.
This film is a train wrecking into a chicken truck outside a Scientology center during an Alien invasion while everyone is suffering from rickets. As if it wasn't cluttered enough, they also apply random cut a-ways, trying to cram in other peoples funny ideas hoping that some of the funny "shit", how many times can I write shit and not have someone tell me to buy a thesaurus, will stick, but as we've established, shit can only be stuffed, it doesn't stick. 
Got to keep it safe for work
It would be a bigger waste of time to watch this movie that it would to watch the eight hours of the films it tries to rip off. I should know, and my time is worthless. Damn you AB for suggesting this movie, damn you to Hell. I, however, am hoping to receive another step in my golden staircase to Heaven for taking the time to warn the world against this abomination. 


Jack or Robin Williams isn't funny

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Szia to all my Hungarian readers out there, and a mighty Fuck You to all you my American readers, talking to you Pat and Cameron. All I ask for is a little feedback, and I can't even get that from you. I'll keep at it though, because I don't know anyone in real life who'll listen to all my bullshit. Here we go.

Jack (1996)
I've already kind of gotten into what I think about this movie in my post about Francis Ford Coppola, go ahead and take a minute to look it up, I'll wait. Damn it got lonely here all of a sudden, I did ask them to leave but I didn't think it would take this long. Oh, you're back then? Good. Let's continue. I liked Robin Williams in One Hour Photo, and really liked him in What Dreams May Come, both serious movies, thought he was wonderful in Good Will Hunting, as for every comedy I've watched him in, he was shit. The exception that proves the rule is of course, Death to Smoochy, funny as hell. Jack is a disaster on so many levels, it has the Williams playing the retarded man child who ages, physically, never mentally, eight times faster than normal. We follow him going to school and using his humor on the only type of people to find it funny, third graders. Diane Lane plays Jack's mother and looks more matronly than a hot movie mom should look. I know she is supposed to be a suburban housewife and that sometimes they dress kind of frumpy but I think we can all agree that if you cast Diane Lane, you're not doing it for acting ability. In what should be a heart warming ending we see the greatly aged Jack graduating from High School, thankfully to old to do all that stream of consciousness funny voice bullshit that seems to be the only driving factor in Robin Williams' career. I can do an old British woman's voice, and if I talk real fast no one will realize that there is no substance in what I'm saying. Instead of the emotional "good for you" the film makers were expecting I couldn't help but be horrified by the terrible aging makeup the "star" wore. It's not worth watching this movie, and if you do it will only make you feel sad and lonely, kind of like what I feel like all the time.

Twilight; New Moon

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I wrote this post for another site I work on, no, work requires getting paid, I contribute to, Americashobbies.com. Because of the way the site is set up at the moment, no one, other than members, can read my post, so I thought it would be a good idea to copy and paste my thoughts over here, where everyone can, but won't, read it. I can't stress enough how much I want everyone to comment on this. I need validation, even if it is negative, which it probably will be. Enjoy.

Twilight; New Moon (2009)
First things first, I need to tell you why I went to see this movie, in theaters no doubt, when I have such an aversion to them. My brother and his wife came down from Kansas and we all decided to go to the movies. Two of my brothers decided to go watch 2012, a horrible apocalyptic look at the end of the world, according to the Mayans, in which the over-rated, under-acting John Cusak survives to annoy me with his smugness in other films. My sister in law, who for some reason doesn't really care for me, I know I'm quite lovable, I don't get it either, wanted to watch New Moon again, so I decided that to metaphorically mend some fences, I would go watch it with her. I, like you heterosexual readers, thought that twilight was nothing but harlequin for middle aged housewives and teenage girls staring vampires instead of pirates, but let me tell you how wrong I was. This movie was excellent! It starts off with Bella, a pretty emo chick who has acting depressed down to a T, feeling bad about something, probably her relationship with Edward the gay vampire. He sparkles in the sunlight and looks brooding throughout, very sexy. He loves Bella so much that he decides it is best if he leaves for some reason, some reason I can't seem to recall just this moment, but that just leaves Bella home alone with the dog boy Jacob, who is also in love with her. Jacob finds out that he is a dog like other members of his tribe and spends his days taking his shirt off and hitting on Bella. Bella is sad that Edward has left decides to kill herself because she thinks he is dead, or something, it's all kinda fuzzy except the parts with the guys walking around shirtless. Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead so he decides he needs to kill himself by going to Rome and telling the red eyed vampires to kill him, and if they won't then Romeo will go walk into the sun were everyone will see him sparkle and know he is a vampire(?) Then the red eyes will have to kill him to protect their secrets. Juliet finds out about this and runs to fair Verona to tell Romeo that she is not dead because phones don't work with vampires, kind of like mirrors. Juliet appears just in time and saves Romeo from sparkling, naturally the house of Montague doesn't like that a Capulet knows that they are vampires and tell Romeo that Juliet will either be turned into a vampire, or die. I seemed to remember at the end of the book both star-cross'd lover died, but thus is cinema. They go back to Washington, or Oregon, or wherever it is that the sun never shines and naturally Count Paris the dog faced boy doesn't really like that his Juliet loves another. The dog and the gay fight but stop cause Juliet starts to cry, just like during the entire movie, and that is all until the next movie.
The pure emotional conflict felt throughout this movie tugged at my heart strings, I didn't realize it was possible to feel so much for the characters on the screen. Bravo Mr. Shakespeare for teaching me about love and tragedy. Truly a classic for the ages and fun for the whole family! This movie get my highest rating ever for a non-Kubrick film: seventeen thumbs up.


The Greatest Director who has, and will, ever live

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To those of you who know me this will come as no surprise. For those of you that don't, this also should be no surprise. We have covered all the greatest directors so far and if you know anything about film it should be painfully obvious that there has been an omission. So without any further ado, my love letter to the most distinguished man who ever set foot behind the camera. Spoiler alert: it's not Sylvester Stallone.

Is there any need for me to actually write anything about a legend? No there is not, but I will anyway. I had seen one of his movies as a child, the Shining, and had, like a child, no idea who made this AWESOME film. I was quite the shithead as a child. It wasn't until I was sixteen that I became self aware, like HAL, see, relevant to the topic. I was at a friends house and he showed me a cinematic masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange. That started a love affair that continues to this day, and well after my death from being stung by killer, possibly Africanized, bees that for some unknown reason formed a hive in my beard.

Killers Kiss (1955)
His first real movie, according to Mr. Kubrick anyway, stars Jamie Smith as prize fighter Davey Gordon who falls in love with private dancer, Gloria, after saving her from her abusive employer and lover, Vincent Rapallo, played by Frank Silvera. A classic piece of film noir with a memorable scene that has Davey fighting for his life against a hit squad of mobsters sent to kill him in a mannequin factory. Learning some of the shooting style that he would become famous for, this is a must see for any fan of Mr. Kubrick as it shows how far he later comes to developing his unique style that makes it so obvious that the movie you are watching has been touched by the hand of the divine.

The Killing (1956)
Sterling Hayden stars as a recently released ex con who comes up with a complex plan to rob a racetrack of two million dollars. Involving planning, cunning, betrayal, revenge, luck, and a kick ass mask we follow the prep and execution of this daring crime. One of the films that Tarantino went to for inspiration when writing Reservoir Dogs, classic hardly does it justice.  Watching Hayden try to escape by plane to Boston with the two million in a suitcase, we feel his anxiety as the stewardess forces him to check his bag and as the yippy little mutt, I fucking hate dogs, causes the luggage cart to swerve spilling open the case. As the millions blow away into the night and Fay tells our antihero Johnny that he's got to run, the true hopelessness of the situation sets in, "Eh, what's the difference."

Paths of Glory (1957)
In his first collaboration with Kirk Douglas we follow a battle during the first world war between the French Army, still sounds like an oxymoron to me but this was the movie, and the German Army. Three waves of French soldiers fail to take the Anthill position from the much better prepared Germans, not to anyone's surprise, and the French General wants all soldiers executed for cowardice, just like the Russians, except the Russians won. Kirk Douglas' Col. Dax represents three soldiers, one from each wave of the attack, who stand trial for cowardice instead of the entire division. A wave of emotion follows suit as we watch the trial and subsequent execution of the soldiers, alas the true emotion is shown at the end as the rough and battle weary soldiers enjoy a brew and bawdy laugh when the lovely German girl, played by Christiane Kubrick, is brought on stage to entertain the troops. As she softly, and timidly starts to sing, the raucous laughter and cat calls fade out until the overwrought with emotion soldiers, crying, start to sing along with her. The true emotions, and humanity of, these battle hardened men comes across in one of the most moving scenes in the history of film and shows us for the first time, without a doubt, that this man is a master of his chosen profession and will go down in history as such.

Spartacus (1960)
In his second, and last, collaboration with Kirk Douglas, Kubrick was brought in to finish this film after it's producer, Douglas, fired the first director. The movie, while a magnum opus, wasn't Kubrick's in the sense that all his films afterward were to be. This was Douglas' project from day one and having worked with Kubrick on Paths of Glory, brought him in after the first director wouldn't follow his orders. It was this tyranical constraint of the most creative mind to ever grace us with his vision that made Mr. Kubrick what he eventual came to be. No longer would he bow to the studio executives or anyone else who tried to fuck up his vision. He made quality not quantity, his vision not theirs, and great films not blockbuster bullshit, all thanks to one egotistical asshole. So thank you Kirk Douglas for being the douche that allowed us to share in the vision of a master.

Lolita (1962)
What to do with all this new found creative freedom? Why not take a highly controversial book by Russian author Vladimir Nabokov and make it for audiences in the highly censored 1960's. He did it. The movie follows Professor Humbert Humbert, played by James Mason, as he falls in love with twelve year old Dolores, Lolita, Haze. We follow Humbert in his journey against Lolita's mother, that equally despicable Quilty, played by Peter Sellers, and society itself in his abominate quest for this little girls love. Revenge, betrayal, and eventually murder bring our narrator full circle in his twisted journey for love. As controversial at the time as it is now, it reminds us that not all of our cinematic heroes are indeed heroes, and that life is not all rose colors and rainbows.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
I have already sung the praises of this satirical comedy set during the Cold War. So in lieu of going into it again, I think I will just mention a few of my favorite quotes.
Major T.J. "King" Kong: Well, I've been to one World Fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.
President Merkin Muffley: Gentelmen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!
Dr. Strangelove: Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!
General "Buck" Turgidson: Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.
General Jack D. Ripper: Flouridation is one of the most monstrously concieved and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.
Group Captain Lionel Mandrake: Colonel, I must know what you think has been going on here!
Colonel Bat Guano: You wanna know what I think?
Group Captain Lionel Mandrake: Yes!
Colonel Bat Guano: I think you're some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some sort of mutiny of preverts. Now MOVE!
Ha, ha, ha, good times man, good times.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke brought forth this space opera that redefined the science fiction film. Always the changing the rules of any genre he approached would become a staple of Stanley Kubrick. A film that merits repeat watching to understand the multiple layers of plot would also become a foundation of his style. A mind fuck set to the tune of classical music features one of the most terrifying villains in movie history, HAL 9000. Douglas Rain gives a sociopathic monotone to the self aware computer who decides that it is only logical to kill the entire crew of the spaceship. The eerily non reflective obelisk that gives the monkeys the knowledge to use tools and the strange white room where an old Dave sits, the visual effects are stunning and as for the story, I've seen this movie at least thirty times and still don't know what the hell it all means. Maybe another thirty views will enlighten me, but more than likely not.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The movie that started my love affair with the legend that is Kubrick started out as just a trashy novel written solely for money by a man named Anthony Burgess. Burgess fancied himself a respected author and only wrote this smut, for the money, like all those real directors who are making porn just to pay the bills on their indie films. After the collaboration with Nabokov and Clarke this started the hate relationship with his subjects authors that continued through Stephen King. Our tale is set in a not to distant future London where the streets are over run with teenage gangs, including our humble narrator's, Alexander DeLarge, future inmate #655321. Told in three acts, the first shows his criminal background full of drugs, rape, robbery, and ultraviolence fueled by drug filled milk such as synthamesc, vellocet, and drenchrom, which is what they were drinking. Betrayed by his fellow droogs, young Alex finds himself arrested for murder, and in the not so caring hands of the penal system. A new treatment has just been developed at the Ludoviko Center which will change the violent behavior of criminals, and Alex is chosen as the first human subject. Using Pavlov's techniques of classic conditioning witnessing or wanting to perform a violent act brings about a death like sickness upon our antihero. Upon his release from prison, a cured(?) man, he starts to run into all the people that he has wronged in his former criminal past and the revenge is well deserved and extreme. Finding out that he is not only adverse to violence, but also his lovely, lovely, Ludwig Van Beethoven, a man he wronged sets about to make him kill himself, by jumping from a third story window. But he did not snuff it, oh my brothers. While his body was was broken and mind in a coma, the doctors tinkered about in his gulliver, righting all the wrongs setting him back right, to hear the lovely, lovely, music, and viddy the beautiful pictures.

Barry Lyndon (1975)
Always the innovator, this 18th century period piece was shot using nothing but natural light. Choosing to, after last time, use the work of a dead author, he tells the tale of young Irish Redmond Barry as he becomes Barry Lyndon. A study of class structure at the time, everyone's want to join the cultural elite and the clawing, cheating, stealing that they will commit to reach those cultural heights. Ryan O'Neal in his only memorable role, by me at least, was a divine casting call, as he seems to me to really be the type of amorral dick that would climb over his mother's casket to get a dollar. Watching the end of the film we see the frivolity of all this: "It was in the the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now."  

The Shining (1980)
Not learning his lesson from Burgess, Kubrick once again tried the realm of a living author, this time Stephen King. Another iconic film, filled with iconic performances, filmed by an iconic visionary, iconic author, hates it. Everyone has seen the Shining, Jack Nicholson chopping down the bathroom door screaming, "Here's Johnny!" The elevator filled with blood, those creepy ass twins that want to play with Danny, forever and ever and ever. I ask that you watch the special features, specifically the documentary made by Stanley's daughter. In it we see what happens when you place a perfectionist filmmaker up against a pampered conceited bitch of an actress. I laugh every time.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)
"What is your major malfunction, numb nuts!" R. Lee Ermey was originally a consultant brought in to teach the actor what it was like to be a marine corps drill instructor. Why teach when you can do. Sargent Hartman is the most memorable Drill Sargent ever to grace celluloid. So much so that people tend to forget that there is a second half of this film, yes, they actually do make it to Vietnam. We all know that they do because we all say "Me so horny, me love you long time." and I know that there are not that many of you out there who are Two Live Crew fans. The juxtaposition in Private Joker, with his Peace sign on his helmet, reporting, and fighting to the death, in a war he doesn't believe in, and wants to act like he's not in. He tells his jokes, makes light of every situation, to escape the horrors that he has to face everyday, no more so than in the final scenes when he faces the sniper, who is a mere child, a female child. The face of war is not always what we expect it to be, and a piece of Joker's humanity died in that room with the woman.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Kubrick's final entry into history was finished a mere seven days before his death. Then married, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play a married couple who think they have a great life, until Nicole reveals that she would have given up her marriage and there entire life together, to have spent one night with some random stranger that she met in a motel. This, of course, draws up feelings of jealousy, and want for revenge, even though no actual indiscretion took place, an emotional betrayal was committed and Dr. Bill, Cruise, decided  it needed to be acted upon. We follow the doctor through the dark streets as he tries to pick up a hooker, and ends up at some sort of rich persons masked orgy. Returning home, his sexual desire unfulfilled, he tries to put together the events of the night before and starts to realize the utter insanity that took place, full of intrigue and paranoia, culminating in his wife finding his orgy mask and the tearful confession. The next morning as the story is finished being told, and both of their eyes are bloodshot from tears and lack of sleep, they take their daughter Christmas shopping. We see that, despite the wealth and social standing, their lives, now ripped asunder, continue on, shaken.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Before you start with the "That wasn't Kubrick, that was Spielberg" let me stop you, there is a very good reason that this film is dedicated to him, it was his project for years. He was just waiting for CGI effects to catch up. He read, and acquired the rights to the short story, Super Toys Last all Summer. He had all the conceptual art work done for the film and decided it would be a good idea to let Spielberg direct, talented director, but not on the level of Kubrick. The best thing that ever happened to Spielberg was Kubrick's untimely death, and the worst thing that could have happened to everyone who dreams what it would be like to see one more film by a genius.

Thus ends my passion.


#2 Greatest Director

This is the Zodiac speaking...
Work is done for the next couple of days so let us continue with the list.

#2 Alfred Hitchcock
A master of the thriller, this man needs no real introduction. We have all seen at least one of his movies, be it Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds, or any other. Universally liked and prolific with 67 films to his credit it is no wonder he made it so high on my list. I prefer to liken him to Stephen King, doubtless he probably would have directed at least a few of King's films had he lived long enough. Hitchcock is a cinematic legend and helped define the modern thriller, without brave steps that he undertook, such as killing off the top billed actress thirty minutes into the movie, our modern films would be missing something great. Almost all his films are gems, I didn't much care for Vertigo for some reason, even though it had James Stewart who I very much adore. He made movies in the time before Michael Bay could spend two hours blowing shit up while the plot had nothing to do with anything, before Lucas films redefined visual imagery and covered up the lack of acting talent by making it so a green muppet could jump all over the place fighting with a green stick, he made movies that told a story, a story told by great actors, great actors being directed by a true visionary. I singled out Rope for my "hey everybody, buy me!" ad in the corner because of all the greatness this man made, Rope is my absolute favorite. It starts with the murder of a man by his two friends, who believe themselves socially superior, and continues into a house party, partly in honor of the dead man, where they serve his friends dinner off the chest that contains his lifeless corpse. Great acting done all around with the tops going to the aforementioned James Stewart, in this film that shows that one apartment, no special effects, and just people sitting around talking to each other has the ability to create cinematic gold. Salute to you Mr. Hitchcock, you really were elite.
Watch this: go watch any of them
Skip this: Vertigo, although you'd probably enjoy it 


#3 Greatest Director

This is the Zodiac speaking...
I told you I'd be back in it today. I want to apologize for the shoddy work I did on my post earlier, I tell you I've been considering deleting it and just skipping over Welles, but my friend from Vietnam hasn't checked in to read it and I don't want him to think I can't count, what he thinks means so much to me. Now I'm just assuming that it is a man, could be a woman, maybe a sexy woman, who wants to give me kisses all over, I think I should stop there. I'm about to talk about the holocaust, this is not the time nor the place to be hitting on some hot(?) Vietnamese chick(?) who wants me(?).

#3 Steven Spielberg
Do I even need to introduce you to the man that is Spielberg? Some might think he is the third greatest director ever, to which I would agree. The man directed Hook for fucks sake. Hook, the one with Robin Williams as a grown up Peter Pan going "fuh fuh fuh, aint I funny, granny voice" and Dustin Hoffman in his greatest role since Marathon Man. "Rufio, Rufio, Ru-Fi-OOOOOO!" cause he could skateboard and such. Anybody? Maybe I wasted my childhood. Or maybe it's like I always say, Robin Williams isn't funny. I guess it would be remiss of me not to mention Jaws, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Arc, E.T., and Munich. All good films. He made some shit to, like Always, 1941, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If you've been reading my list you should have noticed that with every director there is one film that really stands out for me. Here is where we enter into our holocaust reference that I referred to earlier, Schindler's List. Over all a tale of hope for the hopeless, and overcoming ingrained racial stereotypes to see humanity for what it is, human. No one scene really carries the emotional struggle represented throughout the film but one collection shows how powerful the film maker can be with mere pictures. There is a girl, she stands out in this black and white movie namely because she wears a bright red coat. Throughout the film she is seen, never introduced, just an extra in the back ground of establishing shots. We see her journey through the ghettos, to the internment camp, and her final destination. I was amazed at the power to feel for a nameless, faceless, girl who is nothing more to the film than an extra. The Girl in the red coat made me cry, I felt for her on a level that I haven't felt for characters whose fucked up journey I witnessed for two hours. That, my friends, is why he is number three.
Watch this: Schindler's List
Skip This: any Indiana Jones after Temple of Doom

#4 Greatest Director

This is the Zodiac speaking...
It's time to go back to work tomorrow so today I'll try and knock out two. Try I say because I have a lot going on today, mostly car related, that I have to, gasp, leave the house for. Writing this is now is actually me procrastinating, but I do need to go so I'll have to make this quick.

#5 Orson Welles
The man did it all, writing, directing, acting. His most famous role was that of Charles Foster Kane, a millionaire newspaper tycoon whose final utterance was "Rosebud." Even if one hasn't seen the movie, as long as you haven't been living under a rock you know what Rosebud is. I would normally take this opportunity to talk about the real life inspiration, and the controversy surrounding the movie, but instead, for time restraints, I'll just ask you to google: Orson Welles drunk, and watch his wine commercial. Blah blah blah, War of the Worlds radio broadcast, blah, Touch of Evil, blah. Sorry to cop out like this but I've got to go.
Watch this: Citizen Kane
Skip this: Blah blah blah


#5 Greatest Director

This is the Zodiac speaking...
Chao buoi sang, Vietnam! I seem to have a follower in the country of Vietnam according to my stats, much obliged. Let us continue then with the latest update of my favorite directors.

#5 D. W. Griffith
This is perhaps my most pretentious post ever. For those of you born after the Great Depression, the one in the Thirties, not the one we are currently in, both this man, and the landmark film he made, should be quite unknown to you. In the idea of full disclosure, just so you all know I'm not one of those film critics with my head up my ass, I'll admit that of the 535 films that Griffith directed between 1908 and 1951, I have only seen one of them. The epic, 1915 silent film, Birth of a Nation, so that's what we'll talk about. The film deals with the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the formation of the group that becomes the film's heroes, the Ku Klux Klan. That's right. I'll repeat, the heroes of the movie are the Ku Klux Klan. Mind you it was made in 1915, an admittedly racist time in our country, so much so that the African American actors, were portrayed by white guys in black face. Stop now before you start thinking that I am a full blown racist, the reason this movie is iconic, is how it was filmed, not it's content. At the time the standard movie was one reel long, and didn't really follow the narrative style that we see in films nowadays, Nation was twelve reels long, and used innovative, at the time, techniques such as cross-cutting through simultaneous events, tracking action, and so on. D.W. Griffith, with his historically inaccurate view of reconstruction, single-handedly changed the way all films after were made. Even with all the flaws in content, this is a must see for anyone who love cinema.
P.S. I want to state her real quickly that this is a 190 minute, that's over three hours to my less math inclined readers, silent film. Iconic, and a must watch for anyone in love with film, but painful as shit to sit through. Only recommended for those of you who, like me, want to see the father of modern films, or if you are really masochistic, and your mother locked up all your knives.
Watch this: The Birth of a Nation
Skip this: I don't know, I've never seen any of his other films


#7 and #6 Greatest Directors

This is the Zodiac speaking...
I've had three views from Vietnam and don't want to disappoint my viewer over there so I intend to do a double drop here and knock out number seven and six on my list. No time for funny or witty banter here, let's get on with it!

#7 John Huston
Quick, what is Humphrey Bogart's greatest film role? If you said Casablanca, you would be correct. John Huston had nothing to do with Casablanca, however he did direct Bogey in other great roles. He directed the iconic Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon, took us on a hunt for gold across the Mexican wilderness in The Treasure of Sierra Madre, and made us hate, then love, Katharine Hepburn in the African Queen. As if directing wasn't enough he also acted in several movies, most notable, to me anyway, was the role of Gandalf in the animated feature The Hobbit. Maybe just because I was quite fond of the green when I was younger, maybe because it was easier to watch the movie and do a book report than it was to actually read the Tolkien tome. Sure he has made some garbage you probably will never see but the man has, without a doubt, left his mark on the cinema.
Watch this: The Maltese Falcon
Skip this: Moulin Rouge (1952) just watch the remake

#6 Martin Scorsese
Taxi Driver (1976)
Raging Bull (1980)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Goodfellas (1990)
Cape Fear (1991) 
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Casino (1995)
Gangs of New York (2002)
The Aviator (2004)
The Departed (2006)
Shutter Island (2010)
I think I just made my point.
Watch this: see any of the above
Skip this: Bringing out the Dead, they can't all be winners


#8 Greatest Director

This is the Zodiac speaking...
My apologies to all of you out there who chomp at the bit waiting for my newest posts, I'm looking at you Vietnam, but alas, this writing is just not paying the bills, so occasionally I have to go to work. In the past I have managed to post during my precious few hours off in between shifts but not this week. To make it up to you I promise that I will get this list of directors done before I again have to return to the toil that is life. With that said, where did we leave off.

#8 Joel and Ethan Coen
The Coen brothers are an Oscar winning duo that does it all, from writing, directing, producing, and even editing, under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes, who has been up for a few Oscars himself. We all have seen at least a few of their movies from Barton Fink, Fargo, O' Brother Where Art Thou, one of the best adaptations of Homer's The Odyssey I've ever seen, and the Best Picture winning No Country for Old Men. Perhaps the best way to sum up their career is a quote from the Big Lebowski:
The Dude: Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
Meaning, essentially, well shit, I don't know, however that is still a great quote. All of their movies are full of quotable moments, that's just good writing. Not to sound like a broken record here but one of the main reasons they made the list is for a movie they just made last year; True Grit. I can't wait until all those horrible John Wayne movies are remade with decent actors. Much applauding and accolades to the men brave enough to remind us that the Duke sucks ass. I'm gonna change the name of my blog to John Wayne sucks but that would be redundant.
The Coen brothers films stand for themselves, not all winners, but a definite majority.
Watch this: The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men
Skip this: Intolerable Cruelty