LOST S6 E8 “Recon”

Who knew we really all wanted a Sawyer-Miles police procedural?

The flash-sideways made us take a look at a different path that Sawyer could have taken.  There was not much different about our favorite redneck except that fact that he is a police detective here instead of a con man, partnered up with Miles.

I would watch Sawyer and Miles as LAPD Detectives.  It just sounds awesome.

Meanwhile, Island Sawyer is paddling the boat over to Hydra Island, by request of Locke, for recon.  And lo and behold, there was Charles Widmore.  setting up sonic pylons like those that surround the barracks.  Plus, the remainder of the survivors of Ajira 316 are all dead.

Sawyer worked out a deal with Widmore to bring Locke to him so he could kill him.  On the other hand, Sawyer is setting John up as well.  His plan is to let the two of them kill each other while he and Kate escape on the submarine.

By the way, there is a locked room on the submarine that they trotted Sawyer past that obviously contained something important.

This episode also included Claire jumping Kate and trying to stab her to death.  Locke stopped Claire from succeeding, but the entire situation shook Kate.  Locke told Kate a story about his own mother, who was crazy, in order to point out that Aaron now had a crazy mother, and to imply that Kate needed to be aware of that.

Recon was more of a set up episode on the Island, though Sawyer-Miles detective show would be a hit.

 

EYG Top 10 Denzel Washington Movies

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I like trying to guess the topics for each week by what will be coming out that following weekend.  Some weeks I am close and other weeks I am nowhere near.  This week, with the release of The Equalizer 2, I was pretty certain that the topic for the Top 10 Show would be Top 10 Denzel Washington Movies.  I did not remember John and Matt doing that topic before and it worked with the Equalizer 2 and, sure enough, that was it.

I do like the summer schedule for me because it allows me to look at a few of the movies that I may have missed that I could add to the Top 10.  Last week, after I finished listening to Matt & John, I went to watch Cape Fear, which wound up at number one on last week’s list.  This week I watched two Denzel movies, and one of them did end up in the top ten while the second one, Man on Fire, ended up just outside.

Top 10 Denzel Washington movies.

#10.  Fences.  This is a film that was adapted from a play and it was a real performance film.  What I mean about that is Fences, the movie, was not as good of a movie as the performances within the film.  However, between Denzel and Viola Davis, what a pair of powerhouse performances they were.  The dialogue was out of this world and it was carried off by this duo as well as you could imagine.  The film felt too much like a play, but you won’t ever see a better dual lead performances than what Denzel and Viola gave you in Fences.

 

#9.  Inside Man.  This is one of the films I watched today because it was recommended by the Top 10 Show.  Denzel is a police detective who is part of the hostage negotiation crew that ends up heading to a bank robbery that has resulted in hostages being taken.  The thing i… strange things are happening and Denzel does not quite understand what is going on.  This film has some touches of noir to it, and it is a heist film, sort of.  I liked the blend of genres within the movie and the mystery of exactly what was going on was a great addition.  And Denzel was sporting one awesome hat.  LOST’s Miles, Ken Leung appeared as well.

 

#8.  Philadelphia.  Denzel played opposite Tom Hanks in one of Hanks’ Oscar winning roles, but you would not have had the same strength of performance without Denzel’s support. The film, which was one of the first dramatizations of AIDS/HIV in movies dealt as much with the reactions to the disease as the disease itself.  The prejudices that came along with the insidiousness of AIDS was fully on display here and brought a real topic to the screen.

 

#7.  Fallen.  I had forgotten about this, but as I was looking over Denzel’s IMDB page, I noticed the film.  Reading the synopsis, I remembered watching the movie and enjoying it quite a bit.  The film features Denzel as a detective investigating a series of murders that he believed were copycat killings.  The killer was basic the killings on a serial killer that Denzel had witnessed be put to death.  However, there is more than just a copycat killer happening here as there is a supernatural aspect to this thriller.  John Goodman appears with Denzel and does his typically great job.

 

#6.  Flight.  Flight is the story of a pilot whose plane suffered a mechanical failure during a flight and the pilot, William “Whip” Whitaker Sr., crash lands his plane without any loss of life.  However, instead of celebrating the achievement, there are a myriad of questions about how it happened and why it happened.  Seems as though Whip may have  been drinking.  Another great performance from Denzel Washington and a strong film directed by Robert Zemeckis.

 

#5.  Training Day.  You do not often see Denzel Washington play this type of character, a cop who is crooked and downright corrupt.  He has been assigned a rookie cop to train, played by Ethan Hawke.  Denzel played the evil man with a ton of gusto and wound up receiving his first Academy Award for the role, though many people believed that he was given this award as a replacement for another one that he should have won.

 

#4.  Malcolm X.  Honestly, I have only seen this movie once and it was years ago when I was younger.  I only include it on this list because it is usually recognized as Denzel’s greatest performance.  I do not remember  a lot from Malcolm X, but it has been said that he completely transcended into this role, practically becoming the Black Panther Party co-founder.  This is another Spike Lee film on this list (the other being Inside Man).  It is a very long film and maybe one day I will rewatch it with a different perspective.

 

#3. Crimson Tide.  I love this movie with Denzel as the second in command of a nuclear sub to the captain Gene Hackman.  The sub had received orders to launch their nuclear payload, and everything was tense from that point on.  I remember being so filled with anxiety the entire time as Denzel wanted to double check the orders before proceeding and Hackman was ready to follow them immediately.  This conflict was real and sharp between the two men of principle.

 

#2.  Unstoppable.  I never thought this was going to be a movie that I enjoyed as much as I did.  Chris Pine and Denzel on a runaway train?  There was no way that was going to work.  However, I have to say, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I loved this movie and I was right with them as these two men tried to do their best to stop this train from causing all kinds of death.  Just the heroic nature of the movie really pulled me in and I found it thrilling.

 

#1.  Remember the Titans.  This is most likely my favorite football movie ever.  I loved the scenes of the football playing matched up with the story of the racial tensions within the team and the city, this was more than just your typical sports movie.  Denzel does a great job as the head coach, even though at times it seems as if this guy was just too hard.  The message of the movie was a fantastic one- if you work together, you can accomplish anything.  This is a movie of inspiration, of dedication and of teamwork, as well as one of overcoming obstacles.

 

Honorary MentionsMan on Fire, Bone Collector, The Equalizer, 2 Guns, The Book of Eli, The Magnificent 7

EYG Top 10 Families in Danger Movies

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This week’s Top 10 show is one of the more interesting topics of the last several months.  It allowed John and Matt to talk about some different movies that we don’t usually hear about.

In honor of Skyscraper, the Rock’s new movie coming out this weekend, the boys did the Top 10 Families in Danger Movies.

There were a lot of different genre of movies that worked for this topic so we have horror and we have action/adventure and big blockbusters. It took a while to find the films to work on my list.  There were many on the side list as well.

#10.  Contagion.  A great cast is involved in this film about the spread of a virus that would kill its victims in a few days.  Director Steven Soderbergh brought a high tension thriller that really provided a natural look at what would happen if there is a pandemic crossing the land.  Contagion was a very solid effort.

 

#9.  The Monster Squad.  This one might be a bit of a cheat, but there is a family at the core of the story.  Sean and his dad have a big part of the story and even the mom is involved to a sense and the little sister was the key to bringing Frank around to the good side and she was a virgin.  The Monster Squad is not the greatest movie, but man I loved that movie when I was younger.

 

#8.  Arachnophobia.  This is a fun and yet terrifying film about the little eight legged creatures that were out to kill everybody.  I just recently re-watched this film and it felt like a brand new movie to me.  John Goodman was great as the exterminator and I enjoyed Jeff Daniels as the lead.

 

#7.  The Impossible.  The true story of a family in Thailand who have to survive the massive tsunami that struck in 2004.  Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts played the parents and had to go through a tremendous amount of dangers.  Young Tom Holland stole the show with his portrayal of the young boy, one of three brothers, and he had to keep his mom alive and moving.  The reuniting of the family will certainly bring tears to the eyes of even the most rigid of people.

 

#6.  Cellular.  Here is one that no one ever talks about and it might be a guilty pleasure, but this film starred Kim Basinger as a mother who had been kidnapped and is trying to find a way to get help and prevent the kidnappers from grabbing her child as well.  She is able to get together a broken phone and contact Chris Evans on his cell phone and talk hm through to help her out.  The film uses every manner to keep the tension going and is really a fun ride.

 

#5.  Jurassic Park.  I hadn’t considered this until Rocha mentioned it this morning, but it works fine.  Maybe there is not the exact family unit, but there is a father figure, a mother figure, and two children involved here having to deal with the dangers of the island filled with rampaging dinosaurs.  The original film hit so many wonderful notes and director Steven Spielberg brought us something that would live forever.  None of the subsequent sequels matched the original’s flair and awesomeness.

 

#4.  Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  Mother and son being chased by a killer terminator and being protected by another.  Sounds like a normal family to me.  T2 turned out to be one of those rare sequels that surpassed the original as the action was off the charts.  John Connor, in many ways, was the parent in this relationship as he did a lot to take care of his slightly off the edge mother.  Sarah Connor would do anything for her son and it truly showed as she turned herself into a fighting machine to make sure that John stayed safe.  She spent time in a mental institution just to make sure her son had the best life possible. That is until she could not longer stay put.

 

#3.  A Quiet Place.  I really loved this movie.  It had one of the most intense and unlikely theater experiences.  The crowd was dead silent and the crowd could almost feel the need to stay that way.  Viewing this movie in the silence of the theater really cemented this film.  The family unit was fractured from an early film tragedy, but you could still see the love between them and, in the end, that love wound up being an important piece.  John Krasinski directs the film and he does an absolutely stunning job of it.  The acting by all involved was top notch and really worked with the tone that had been set.

 

#2.  The Shining.  The danger in this film came from within the family as Jack Nicholson, as Jack Torrence, lost his mind and began to stalk his wife and son.  There are haunting scenes in The Shining that are frightening to this day.  Nicholson is completely iconic as the out-of-control writer who cannot take it any longer.  And Danny, the young boy with psychic abilities, is creepy as well.

 

#1. Cape Fear.  This was the number one from the Top 10 guys as well, but I had never seen it, and so I decided that I would watch the film before finishing this list to see if it deserves the high ranking.  It was amazing.  Robert DeNiro was just menacing and felt like a force of nature.  Nick Nolte matched him in every scene and I am a huge fan of Jessica Lange.  The conclusion of the film was nuts and was frightening.  DeNiro, in a role that could have been over cooked in the hands of a lesser actor, is unbelievable as this convicted criminal back to exhume his vengeance on the lawyer that did not do his best to defend him.  I am very glad that I took the time to watch this film because it belongs at the top of this list.

 

Honorary Mentions:  Lemon Snicker’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Purge, Midnight Special, Beetlejuice, Lost in Space, Poltergeist, Sky High, San Andreas, The Babadook, Spy Kids. 

EYG Top 10 Comic Book Duos in Movies

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This week’s Top 10 Show is in honor of Ant Man and the Wasp that comes out this weekend and it is the Top 10 Comic Book Duos in Movies. Ironically, on a week that they are talking about duos, the normal duo of Mat Knost and John Rocha add a third person as guest to the podcast in the person of actor, writer and performer Shannon McClung.

This was a tough list for me because. honestly, I struggled to determine a number one.  To me any of the top 5-6 on this list could have an argument made for it being number one.

Of course,when thinking comic book genre and “duo” you immediately think Batman and Robin, the Dynamic Duo.  However, this is in movies, and there has never been a version of Batman and Robin that is worth anything in movies.  Certainly not that piece of crap Batman and Robin movie that was my most hated movie for a long time.

I also took the idea that we are talking about one specific movie (aka the Matt Knost argument) and not the culmination of several films.

#10.  Vision & Scarlet Witch, Avengers: Infinity War.  I wanted to include them because they were such a standout section of Infinity War and they are known to be one of the great pairings in comic history.  The fight with Scarlet Witch doing everything she could to protect the wounded Vision was excellent as was the torment at the end when Scarlet Witch had to do what she had to do, even though it turned out to be a waste.

 

#9.  Wonder Woman & Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman.  One of the best parts of the DC movie was the relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor.  The chemistry with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine was tremendous and they worked so well together.  This relationship also had to be so strong that you believed that Diana basically went into hiding for the next 70+ years afterwards, not showing up again until Batman v. Superman.  That seems as if they are adjusting it for the next Wonder Woman movie, but still, the connection absolutely worked in the original.

 

#8.  Kick-Ass & Hitgirl, Kick-Ass.  This pairing really made the movie, Kick Ass work.  Hitgirl, who was just a young teenager, turned out to be more of a mentor for Kick-Ass.  And this is the first of the list to be non-romantic.  Hitgirl was an amazing character, and showed a great deal of emotion when her father, Big Daddy, was killed.  The final scene with these two was awesome.

 

#7.  Hiro & Baymax, Big Hero 6. I wouldn’t have thought of this duo if it had not been for Matt Knost having them on his list, but I loved them very much.  It is long overdue for the sequel to that movie.  Baymax was a perfect companion and partner for Hiro, who had lost his brother and needed the help of this giant white robot.  Big Hero 6 was a surprising hit and the biggest reason was the relationship between these two characters.

 

#6.  Mr. Incredible & Elastigirl, Incredibles 2.  They might have been higher without the arguments that Matt and the guest star Shannon McClung made against them and technically, they are not a COMIC BOOK movie.  However, there has been Incredibles comics after the film, so it might be a cheat, but I think it belongs.    Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl do not spend a lot of time as a duo in the movies, with Incredibles 2 being more of a Elastigirl movie, but there is enough of it here to warrant their inclusion.  As parents, they are a duo in raising their children and they are still able to balance their super hero worlds.

 

#5.  Logan & Laura, Logan.  One of the great movies of the last few years, Logan and Laura have the relationship that carries the film, and the knock down fight at the end really cements them as a duo.  Laura is basically a clone of Wolverine, and Logan at first does not want any part of it. However, as the film continued on, she became a vital part of his life and he was willing to do anything for her.  And Laura came to see Logan as a father figure and their final scenes together are just heart breaking.

 

#4.  Dr. Strange & Wong. Doctor Strange. None of the Top 10 guys included this one on their list, which I find t be a huge omission.  Stephen Strange and Wong make a great duo in the film, working together, learning from each other and battling the forces of Dormammu together at the end of Doctor Strange.  Some of the best scenes of that movie featured the interaction between Wong and the new recruit, Stephen.  The whole Beyonce joke was worth it alone.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong were fabulous together and have set up some great future magic.

 

#3.  Rocket & Groot, Guardians of the Galaxy.  Yes, they form into a team by the end of the film, but you can see how great a duo Rocket and Groot are in the beginning of this movie.  From Rocket scolding Groot to not drink fountain water to Rocket firing the gun on Groot’s shoulder in the prison break sequence, Rocket and Groot show their camaraderie and their friendship.  As odd as it is, the tre and the raccoon are really the heart of this movie.

 

#2.  Thor & Loki, Thor: The Dark World.  This was the film that allowed Loki to show the most emotion as any of them.  I was tempted to choose Thor: Ragnarok because of where the relationship between Thor and Loki ended, but I chose The Dark World because of the loss of their mother Frigga and how much that loss affected the God of Mischief.  The Thor and Loki dynamic is always fantastic, as you can see when Loki is transforming into Steve Rogers to stick it to Thor some more. This allowed Loki to “die” in Thor’s arms as well, even though we know he was just pulling a fast one.  What else can you expect from a trickster god?

 

#1.  Captain America & Bucky, Captain America: Civil War. I specifically chose this movie for a reason.  This film was completely about Cap trying to help his friend out of trouble and dealing first hand with the sins of the Winter Soldier.  They fight Iron Man together at the end of the film in one of the most emotional brutal scenes in the MCU.  All the while, Cap was struggling to protect the friend he had knows since childhood, despite the list of atrocities that he committed.  There is some great moments between Steve and Bucky in Captain America: First Avenger, but the stakes do not get any higher than in Civil War.

 

Honorable Mention:  Evie & V (V for Vendetta), Thor & Hulk (Thor: Ragnarok), Tony Stark & Rhodey (Iron Man 2), Captain America & Falcon (Captain America: Winter Soldier), Captain America & Black Widow (Captain America: Winter Soldier), Batman & Alfred (Batman Begins), T’Challa & Shuri (Black Panther), Charles Xavier & Magneto (X-Men: First Class).

EYG Top 10 Basketball Movies

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This week’s topic was Top 10 Basketball Movies, in honor of Uncle Drew that is coming out this weekend.  I am not necessarily looking forward to this one, but the Top 10 hosts are big fans of the sport.  And they added Mark Ellis from Schmoes Knows as a special guest.

Best part of the show this week was when Rocha went to fix the AC and Mark Ellis said that he could guarantee that Rocha would have the movie “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh” on his list and then Rocha came back and it was his #10.  LOL

There were a lot more movies that were bad in this category than there were that I liked.  I worried that there would not be ten movies that I could get on this list.  However, in the end, I was able to find enough to fill it out.

I do have a couple of cheats though, starting at #10.

#10.  The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.  Yeah, this is not a theatrical release and it is not a good movie.  But it is fun and it has Gilligan and the rest of the Gilligan’s Island crew.  I know this is just a stupid TV movie, but I really wanted to put it on the list.

 

 

#9.  Hoop Dreams.  This is one that I do not remember much, but I am certain that I saw it.  The film followed Arthur Agee and William Gates, two young African American who grew up in poor neighborhoods in Chicago.  It was considered one of the best documentaries of its time.

 

#8. Space Jam.  This one is up and down for me, but I love the Looney Tunes and Bill Murray so this movie was fun.  I was never a huge Michael Jordan fan, but it balanced out for me.  Marvin the Martian is one of my favorite Looney Tunes character and he makes it in this film too.

 

 

#7.  Forget Paris.  Listening to the Top 10 Show, they mentioned this Billy Crystal film as one of their lists and I thought to myself that I had seen this movie.  So I looked into it and I had seen it.  I really enjoyed it.  Billy Crystal was an NBA referee and loved his job.  The scene where he ejects Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his farewell game is excellent.  We also see Charles Barkley among other basketball stars in the film.  It may not be that much of a basketball movie as it is more of a rom com, but the film does look through the POV of a referee.

 

#6.  Trainwreck.  Here is the next cheat.  Trainwreck is another rom com, this one starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.  Lebron James has a role in the film, and he is actually quite good.  Bill Hader plays Dr. Aaron Conners, a sports doctor.  Schumer joins up with the NBA cheerleaders to make up with him.  Sure it is a bit of  a cheat, but it was close enough for me.

 

Related image#5.  White Men Can’t Jump.  Woody Harrelson and Westley Snipes star in this film as two streetball hustlers who set up cons to make money on unsuspecting players.  The film depends on the charisma between Harrelson and Snipes.  White Men Can’t Jump deals with many of the racial stereotypes that are involved in the sport of basketball.

 

Related image#4. Coach Carter.  Samuel L Jackson played the real life Coach Carter, who demanded a lot from his group of players.  The film highlighted the time when Carter suspended his undefeated high school basketball team for low academic performance.  The film looks at the lives of many of the players, including one portrayed by Channing Tatum.

 

Image result for teen wolf fox#3.  Teen Wolf.  Michael J Fox and his charisma made this movie way better than it ever had a chance to be.  When Scott Howard (Fox) realized that he came from a family of werewolves, he suddenly becomes much more popular and successful as a basketball player.  Yes, much of the basketball scenes are not very realistic, but I enjoyed them tremendously as a young person.  And the film has a good lesson about being who you are and not get lost in the fame or the popularity.

 

Related image#2.  Finding Forrester.  This was a second film that the Top 10 guys brought up this morning when I was listening to the program and I thought, I knew this movie.  I did not remember the title, but once they started talking about it, I remembered that I really loved this film.  Sean Connery is a reclusive author who takes Jamal Wallace under his wing, helping him with his writing so he could get a scholarship to a good school.  Connery is excellent here.

 

Image result for hoosiers movie#1.  Hoosiers.  Gene Hackman is Norman Dale, the new coach of the high school team from Hickory, Indiana, but he has a questionable past.  Based on a true story, the Hickory team was a very small team and Norman was a very strict and explosive type of coach (much like Bobby Knight) whose temper gets away from him on a regular basis and he gets ejected many times.  The team struggled with plenty of issues as Norman tried to establish his control over the players.  As they continued to improve, they wound up on quite a winning streak.  Hickory went to the state and, despite being undersized and the underdog, Hickory won the 1952 Indiana State Championship.  There are some tremendous on court basketball scenes in Hoosiers.  It has the great moment where Norman measures the hoop to prove that the height of the rim was the same in the little gym as it was in this huge venue.

 

Honorable mention:  Air Bud, Like Mike, Eddie

EYG Top 10 Dads in Movies

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This week, in honor of Father’s Day this past Sunday, the Top 10 Show, featuring John Rocha and Matt Knost, did a topic listing the Top 10 Dads in Movies.  This was a topic that I actually considered doing myself as a post here on EYG on Father’s Day, but did not get around to it.  I am glad that I didn’t because now I can do it here.

Plus, I am early today as my schedule opened up this morning so I am getting this done quickly.

There are a ton of fathers on the list, and I have a healthy honorary mention section as well.   Strangely enough, a lot of the fathers on my list are fathers that might not necessarily be considered good fathers.  Fathers that are absentee or who do bad things.  Most of the really bad dads here made the honorary mentions and not the top 10, but …oh well.

#10.  Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) – Call Me By Your Name.  I hadn’t thought of this one until I saw one of the posters on YouTube after listening to the Top 10 Show, but it is a really good pick.  He is so understanding and loving toward his son who has been going through so much confusion and angst dealing with his sexual orientation that this makes you wish that everyone had a father this kind-hearted and understanding.  He is played wonderfully by Michael Stuhlbarg and was one of the standout parts of that movie for me.

 

#9.  John McClane (Bruce Willis) Die Hard.  Yeah, John and Matt poo-pooed this choice, but I love John McClane and the Die hard series and I am including him on the list.  John’s daughter was a key component in Live Free and Die Hard, which I liked, and his son was in the horrible fifth one.  Both kids were there in the first Die Hard, leading to a huge plot point, so I believe he fits here.  Sure he is a bit of an absentee father, but he brought them a giant stuffed bear, so what more do you want?

 

#8.  Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) Field of Dreams.  I would actually stick John Kinsella in this one as well.  Kevin Costner is more well known so I led with him, but the story is as much about Ray as the son and John as the father than Ray as a father.  How much better can a scene get than when Ray and John have a catch?  It encompasses everything that is great about baseball into the father-son relationship.  If you build it, he will come…

 

#7.  Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) To Kill A Mockingbird.  The quintessential Southern gentleman, but one who is willing to fight for what he believes is right and to show that belief to his daughter Scout.  Atticus always had time for Scout despite being enthralled by a major case that was causing strife across Maycomb County, Alabama.  Gregory Peck is tremendous here as well.

 

#6.  Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.  I think this is another great father.  In the final days of Spencer Tracy’s life, he got this role and he was wonderful in it.  He was a progressive father who believed in rights and dignity for all people, but when his daughter comes home with an African-American fiance, he is taken aback.  Not because of race, but because of his fear for what his daughter will have to face in the world.  The movie is spent with Matt tying to decide whether he could give his blessing to this pairing or if he had to speak out against it.  Even after making the decision, Matt was worried about it. He was a great father.

 

#5.  Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) The Incredibles and Incredibles 2.  Bob Parr was a good dad, but in Incredibles 2, he learns how to become a better dad.  Oh, and he is a super hero.  In the course of two films, Mr. Incredible had to face the reality of losing his family, getting them back, struggle with a new role in his life, fight against his own instinct to help people, learn new math, deal with his baby’s super powers and his daughter’s drama.  Oh, and Syndrome and Screenslaver as well.

 

 

#4.  Marlin (Albert Brooks) Finding Nemo.  Marlin chased his son Nemo across the Pacific Ocean to save him from the horrors of the sea.  He could not even think about the loss of his son and it spurred Marlin on to do things that he never thought he could do.  There are so many emotional beats in Finding Nemo that it is one of Pixar’s greatest films.  The father-son relationship between Marlin and Nemo is at the center of the entire movie.  Marlin also is able to learn a lesson about letting go and trusting his son, a lesson that was hard to learn after the loss of his wife.

 

#3.  Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) Mrs. Doubtfire.  Daniel Hillard went to extremes to be able to see his kids after they had been taken away from him in court.  He dressed up as a British nanny and started working for his ex-wife.  Robin Williams is amazing in this role, as Mrs. Doubtfire gives him a chance to break out his atypical humor in a family setting.  Sure the story is far fetched, but you cannot deny the heart and warmth of this movie and the humor with which Robin Williams approaches the character.

 

#2.  Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) Taken.  ” I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. ”  Any father able and willing to do this is the kind of father you want to have, right?

 

#1. Dr. Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Got to agree with Matt Knost, Dr. Henry Jones is awesome.  Certainly uncharacteristic in fatherhood, Dr. Jones was able to raise Indiana Jones to be a good man with a great mind and give him the strength to be independent.  He didn’t coddle him.  Sure, sometime Indy wished he had something different, but in The Last Crusade, you see this relationship come to the front and it is the most important relationship in either man’s life.  The moment when Henry calls him Indiana (not Junior as he did all movie long) was filled with so much subtext that it is one of the best moments in the Indiana Jones franchise.  It is sad that they only had one movie together.

 

Honorable Mentions: Vito Corleone (Godfather), Odin (Thor), Darth Vader (Return of the Jedi), Uncle Ben (Spider-man– yeah, I know he is not officially a father- but he is like a father), Howard Stark (Iron Man), Mufasa (Lion King), Gil Buckman (Parenthood), Chris Gardner (Pursuit of Happyness), Scott Lang (Ant Man), Chief Brody (Jaws), T’Chaka (Black Panther), Homer Simpson (The Simpsons Movie)

EYG Top 10 Animated Sequels

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I had this topic guessed before the actual show dropped early this morning.  I figured that with Incredibles 2 coming out this weekend, and considering that we just recently did the Top 10 Pixar movies, and how much the Top 10 love lists about sequels so animated sequels only seemed reasonable. And that is what it was!

Now this list would be totally different in a few months.  This weekend we have The Incredibles 2, and then there will be How to Train Your Dragon 3, Ralph Breaks the Internet (Wreck-It-Ralph 2).  Those all are films that I am really looking forward to, but none are out yet so they are not on this list.

#10.  Rescuers Down Under.  The Disney film took the Rescuers, voiced by Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor, down under to Australia.  And as a young fan of General Hospital, I loved the fact that one of the characters of the movie, Jake, was voiced by Australian actor Tristian Rogers (who played super spy Robert Scorpio on GH).  That was all the hook I needed, being a huge fan of Robert.  The movie itself was fine.

 

#9.  Rio 2.  I actually liked Rio much more than Rio 2, but I did enjoy the villain of the film, the returning Nigel the Cockatoo and his sidekick Gabi the poisonous dart frog.  When Nigel adopts the “phantom of the opera” look to him and performs “I Will Survive”, the film peaks in creativity and entertainment value.

 

#8.  Despicable Me 2.  Gru is a great character voiced by Steve Carell and the film shows how Gru continues on the path from super villain to super father and person.  He meets Lucy here and fall in love with her.  He gets involved in a complicated plot involving The Anti-Villain League (AVL) that tries to recruit former super-villains.  The Minions are still cute here as this is before the entire thing was messed up by taking the side characters of the Minions and trying to make them the lead of their own movie.

 

#7.  Winnie the Pooh (2011).  I loved this movie.  It caught me completely off-guard.  I had always liked Winnie the Pooh and the characters of this world, but this was the first time that I absolutely loved them.  Christopher Robin is supposedly missing and so Pooh and his friends take off on a mission to find the young boy.  There were some really meta moments here, including Pooh moving from one page of the story to another.  This was a great surprise and a film that I loved completely.  Lots of humor and heart and sweetness from everyone’s favorite bear.

 

#6.  Finding Dory.  I did not think this one was going to work.  It is always dangerous to take a side, secondary character and try to expand the role to be the lead.  There are way more examples of this failing than succeeding.  Fortunately, Finding Dory is one of the successes.  Spawning form Finding Nemo, Dory goes on an adventure of self-discovery and never felt over used.  Ellen DeGeneres is great as the voice of the forgetful fish.  Finding Dory captured the heart of the original without simply being a copy.

 

Image result for shrek 2#5.  Shrek 2.  One of the best new characters was introduced in Shrek 2…Puss in Boots.  Shrek and his new bride Fiona head back to see her parents in the land of Far, Far Away.  Of course, this leads to self-doubt about his own looks.  The film is full of humor and music and is a rollicking good time.

 

#4.  Toy Story 2.  A great sequel to a great movie.  We find more about the back story of Woody, as we discovered that he was a special toy from a TV show, Woody’s Roundup.  We meet Jesse, Woody’s horse Bullseye, and Stinky Pete.  Stinky Pete, who was still in his packaging, wanted to keep Woody and Jesse in the complete series in a museum.  Toy Story 2 was completely entertaining and fit wonderfully in the second of the series.

 

#3.  Kung Fu Panda 2.  I was surprised at the first Kung Fu Panda’s success, so I never thought that the sequel could match it.  And it might have exceeded it.  Jack Black is great as the voice of the panda Po, the Dragon Warrior.  The voice actors here are fantastic, from Dustin Hoffman to Angelina Jolie to Jacki Chan.  The villainous Lord Shen, a peacock, has a deadly new weapon that he plans on using to destroy Kung Fu.  This was a great surprise and was a second wonderful movie.

 

#2.  How to Train Your Dragon 2.  How to Train Your Dragon 2 does something that very few animated sequels do… it allowed its main antagonist, Hiccup, to age.  We see Hiccup grow and progress into a young man.  There is also a great storyline with Hiccup’s mother, voiced by Cate Blanchett.  The film also had the bravery to have a brainwashed Toothless kill Hiccup’s father Stoick.  Such a powerful moment that really pushed the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless to the brink.  This was an amazingly emotional film.

 

#1.  Toy Story 3.  This was easy.  This is one of my favorite movies of all time, let alone animated sequels.  I absolutely love this movie.  I love the villain, Lotso, because I really could understand what motivated him to do what he did.  There were some unbelievably emotional moments of this film and, in the scene where the group of toys appear to be on the precipice of the molten metal, I truly thought they were preparing to die.  When they joined hands, preparing to face their ends, I couldn’t breathe.  And the movie hadn’t hit its most emotional moment yet, as Andy gives his toys away, signifying that he has grown up.  There were so many tears and tense moments in this film that I could see some kids being really scared by it.  It is my favorite animated movie of all time.

 

Honorable MentionsKung Fu Panda 3, Shrek the Third, Despicable Me 3, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

EYG Top 10 Criminal Underground Movies

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Here we go. This week, in honor of Artemis Hotel coming out this week, John and Matt chose the topic of Criminal Underground movies for the Top 10 Show.  It took me some research this week to fill out the Top 10 list, but I got it done.

The rules this week excluded any real life mafia/ mobster type films which eliminate The Godfather & Godfather 2, Scarface, Goodfellas etc.  Of course, there may be some cheats on here and if that is the case, well sorry.  It is my list.

Image result for bonnie & Clyde movie#10.  Bonnie & Clyde.  This is one of the movies that could be considered a cheat, but the film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the real life criminal couple.  The film comes to a dramatic and shocking conclusion and makes this one a film to be remembered.

 

Image result for Gran torino movie#9.  Gran Torino.  Clint Eastwood wants you to get off his lawn.  No, just kidding, but he does play an old, grumpy man who stands up to the local gangbangers who are causing trouble in his neighborhood.  Mr. Rogers he is not.  There is a revenge aspect here as well, and it might not completely fit with the category, but, again, it is my list.

 

Related image#8.  Free Fire.  A funny and irreverent movie featuring a group of arms dealers trying to make work their black market deal.  However, things go wrong and suddenly, everyone is shooting at each other.  Very violent but also witty and funny, the cast is great including Armie Hammer, Sharlo Copley, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Jack Reynor.

 

Related image#7.  Drive.  I loved this movie when it first came out.  I found the performance of Ryan Gosling tremendous, considering he does not speak much.  The movie was very violent and deserved its R rating, but the story was very touching and showed the versatility of Gosling.  A movie that you should certainly revisit.

 

 

Image result for the unusual Suspects#6.  The Usual Suspects.  Just recently saw this for the first time and I was very impressed with the cast and the amazing narrative of the film.  It was great with how the movie made you think you were heading in one direction, only to pull a swerve that makes complete sense and that caught everyone off guard.  Amazing performances across the board.

 

Image result for the ice harvest#5.  The Ice Harvest.  This one is probably not as well known as some of the other films on this list, but it is one of my favorite sleepers around.  John Cusack is a lawyer who embezzles from his criminal boss with the help of sleezeball Billy Bob Thornton.  On Christmas Eve (in the middle of an ice storm) the pair become paranoid and hope to escape town with the money.  There are some really funny lines in this film, especially from Oliver Platt.  This one is worth the watch.

 

Image result for sin city movie#4.  Sin City.  Adapted from a Frank Miller graphic novel (almost shot for shot), Sin City tells several tales of the low lives in the town and what they try to do.  We see the story of Marv.  We see the Yellow Bastard.  And Sin City is an amazingly beautiful film.  The use of black and white really created a mood for the noir stories inside.  The sequel that the film (eventually) created could not match the original’s creativity and exquisite beauty.  The great cast included Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, and Rosario Dawson.

 

Image result for baby driver#3.  Baby Driver.  A recent film that sees “Baby” as one of the great getaway drivers in the business, working for a group of criminals to pay off an old debt.  The use of music in Baby Driver was astonishing and helped set the tone of the film.  While I was not a huge fan of the relationship Baby had, the other criminals including Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Jon Bernthal were great.  This was one of Ansel Elgort’s greatest roles and made him a movie star.

 

Image result for pulp fiction#2.  Pulp Fiction.  This is probably my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie.  It has three fantastic stories, and is told across a timeline.  We see the death of one of the main characters in part two before we see him in part three.  There are some great quotes here as well.  “A Royale with cheese.”  “That better be one charming motha**** pig.”  “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of the evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and goodwill, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper, and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!”  “I love you honey bunny.” “Zed’s dead, baby.  Zed’s dead.”  The dialogue is as good as any movie you will ever see.

 

Image result for john wick dog death#1.  John Wick.  What a great surprise of a movie.  Keanu Reeves had become a bit of a joke.  He was a great action start during his heyday with Speed and The Matrix, but he had been having some rough goes lately.  That is…until they killed his dog.  And that set him off.  I loved how everyone was just afraid of John Wick.  Even the big bad guys were like… “you stole John Wick’s car?  Are you nuts?”  And once triggered, John Wick wasn’t stopping until everyone was dead.  John Wick 2 was a strong film as well, but this first one was one of the best around.  It also introduced us to the Continental Hotel, which turned out to be as interesting a character as any in the film.  Very exciting and very violent, John Wick brought Keanu Reeves back to the forefront of action movies.

EYG Top 10 Movies on an Ocean

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Welcome back as we here at EYG follow along with the Top 10 Show, starring John Rocha and Matt Knost, by doing the same Top 10 list from their most recent podcast.  If you are a movie fan and you are not listening to the Top 10 Show, you are missing out on some really entertaining and intelligent conversation on movies.

This week, in honor of the upcoming movie Adrift, the boys are doing the category of Top 10 Movies on an Ocean.  Now, as I was thinking of this list, there were nearly as many films that I disliked or hadn’t seen as one that I did see.  For example, I do not like Titanic at all.  The Perfect Storm.  Waterworld.  And probably the most disappointing was Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea.  I was really looking forward to that one and it was not good.

Then, I have never seen films like Master and Commander, Poseidon Adventure, Das Boot, among others.

Anyway, here is the EYG Top 10 Movies on an Ocean.  Honestly, films #2-6 really could be moved around completely as I had trouble deciding on the actual order of these films.

Image result for open water#10.  Open Water.  Tense and nerve wracking.  The biggest problem is that you hope beyond hope that someone is going to come find them and they will be safe, but you have that sinking feeling that you know that isn’t going to happen.  The film builds that fear about the unknown that completely engulfs these two people and it brings the audience right along with it.

 

Related image#9.  Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.   This film might have been higher on the list, but the list of weak sequels have driven this film down.  Johnny Depp was amazing as Captain Jack Sparrow and he was so much fun.  It is a film that never should have worked since it was just an amusement park ride, but the film was really enjoyable romp.  Unfortunately, there are just too many films that have drained the fun from the series and that just cannot help but affect the original.  It is still a good film.

 

Image result for finding nemo#8.  Finding Nemo.  This is an amazing Pixar film filled with emotion and adventure.  The father and son dynamic with Nemo and Marlin is touching as can be and they introduce the great character of Dory, who is able to carry her own spin-off film.  The animation is beautiful and the character design of the under seas world is tremendous.

 

Image result for moana#7. Moana.  I wasn’t sure about this one, but it does have the Rock, so it has one major point in its favor.  Moana tells the story of a Princess who feels the call of the ocean because her ancestors were ocean travelers.  She went on an adventure to find Maui (The Rock) to bring him back and return a mystic relic to her people to save them from death.  By the way…you’re welcome.

 

Image result for crimson tide movie#6.  Crimson Tide.  I loved this film.  Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman on a submarine arguing and fighting one another.  Hackman is the sub’s captain and Washington is the XO and a nuclear launch order comes across.  Hackman is gung ho, but Washington wants confirmation.  And this results in a power struggle among the two alphas with the crew picking sides.  There is so much anxiety in the film and Washington and Hackman are just awesome in these roles.

 

Image result for hunt for red october#5.  The Hunt for Red October.  If you ask me tomorrow, this might be behind Crimson Tide.  Both of these film are wonderful.  This one is a Jack Ryan film (here played by Alec Baldwin) and starring Sean Connery as the Russian captain of the submarine that was looking to defect to the USA.  Taking place in the middle of the Cold War, there is a definite feeling of tension and anxiety that you cannot help but feel.  This is a great thriller. Maybe I need to watch Red October and Crimson Tide back to back to determine exactly which one I like better.

 

Image result for lifeboat hitchcock#4. Lifeboat.  I had never heard of this film until John Rocha brought it up and mentioned that it was done by Alfred Hitchcock.  I love Hitchcock, but, honestly, I have not seen near as many films by him than you would think.  So I pulled it up on YouTube to watch it and I loved it.  It was enthralling.  A German u-boat sinks an American ship and a handful of survivors wind up on a lifeboat together, including one of the Nazi soldiers from the u-boat.  The characters here were great and they fought and argued with one another, changing allegiances depending on the situation.  There are some great moments here. Thank you John for putting this gem on your list because I never would have found it had you not.

 

Image result for life of pi#3.  Life of Pi.  This is a marvel of animation and CGI.  The movie is beautifully shot by director Ang Lee.  Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel was in a ship with his family’s zoo animals and the ship went down.  Pi wound up alone on a boat with a Bengal tiger.  The film starts with Pi telling his story to a news reporter.  The question about exactly what happened kept the viewers guessing and the CGI was spectacular.  This was a tremendous surprising film for me.  Loved Life of Pi.

 

Image result for captain phillips#2.  Captain Phillips.  Tom Hanks has one of his best performances in the true story of a ship’s captain whose vessel is hijacked by Somali pirates.  I had no idea that I would love this movie as much as I did, but it was the number one movie of 2013 on my list.  Hanks performance, especially at the very end of the film, was unbelievably heart wrenching.  Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the leader of the pirates, also gave a great performance.  When Captain Phillips is taken hostage individually, the film becomes even more tense and anxious.  Hanks deserved the Oscar nomination (though he lost).  Great film.

 

Related image#1.  Jaws.  “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  Jaws is as close to a perfect movie as one might find.  Steven Spielberg knocked it out of the park with this first summer blockbuster.  The way he filmed the mechanical shark (which did not always work) created such a mysterious feel among the audience and it literally scared people out of the water.  The story is simple yet so tense.  The actors are fantastic.  Roy Schneider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw are unbelievable.  One of my favorite scenes of the movie is the USS Indianapolis scene.  Jaws is still one of the best films ever made.

 

EYG Top 10 Star Wars Movies

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Solo: A Star Wars Story comes out this weekend, and in honor of that, the Top 10 boys decided to do the Top 10 Star Wars movies.   There are only 10 of them (without counting Solo, which I have yet to see) so that means that there are some films in the Top 10 that I would not consider movies that I like.

Top 10 Star Wars Movies…

#10.  The Clone Wars.  The animated film that I absolutely hated.  I couldn’t believe how bad this thing was.  Now it may have spurned a solid animated series, but the animated movie itself is one of the worst things Star Wars this side of the Christmas Special.  I can’t wait for Solo to knock this thing off this list because… it has to.

 

#9.  Attack of the Clones.  How can a Star Wars movie be this boring?  Perhaps by focusing on the ridiculous love affair between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. Two actors with zero chemistry spouting off the worst dialogue possible.  The rest is nothing more than CGI clutter. There is nothing to really want to support. There are zero stakes.  And the film is the worst of the prequels by far.  The other two prequels have moments that are good or intriguing.  Attack of the Clones does not.

 

#8.  The Phantom Menace.  Oh how we were all fooled.  We came out of the Phantom Menace after so many years of no Star Wars and we were completely in denial.  The Phantom Menace was a terrible movie, but it took us quite a while to be able to accept the truth.  Little Anakin was horrendous.  No offense to the young actor, but he was not the right fit for that role.  The Trade Federation?   Boring.  Obi-Wan?  Wasted.  Qui-Gon?  Wasted.  Darth Maul?  What looked to be one of the next great villains in the Star Wars franchise… killed.  Cut in half.  WASTED!  The film that made us all eventually question the lord all mighty, George Lucas.

 

#7.  Revenge of the Sith.  The best of the three prequels, but not that good.  I had heard this one would put the Star War franchise back on the right path, but the film was not good.  It featured a way too long fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan surrounded by lava.  If they cut that fight down 10-15 minutes, things might have helped.  But it was certainly overkill.  And then… Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  Ugh.  You can never look at Darth Vader the same way again.

 

#6.  Return of the Jedi.  Here is where the films start to get better.  Sure there are Ewoks.  Ewoks that was supposed to be Wookies, but are there to make money from the kiddies.  Return also features the dramatic and emotional final confrontation between Luke and Vader and Luke and the Emperor.  Luke’s battle to reclaim the soul of his father, lost to the dark side for all these years was some of the best scenes in all of Star Wars lore.  It certainly helped overlook the Ewoks (which I did not hate anyway).  Plus, the opening scenes with Luke and his crew saving Han Solo from Jabba and the carbonite is fantastic as well.

 

#5.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  Rogue One was a real risk for the franchise.  Filling in the story of how R2D2 got the plans to the Death Star in his little droid body.  And it was done in the proper way.  The crew going after the plans went on a suicide mission.  We learned a group of great new characters that all found their way to their deaths.  Jyn was a charismatic character who you could easily get behind, but she was not escaping fate.  We met a brand new droid that stole every scene he was in…K-2SO.  But he “died” too.  A dark turn for the Star Wars universe but it showed how powerful and evil the Empire was.  Plus, it kind of redeemed Vader after the “Nooooooooo” line with one of the most kick ass scenes of all the series.

 

#4.  The Force Awakens.  After years of nothing, suddenly, there was a glimmer.  The Force was back, and this time, it was held by Disney.  After Disney purchased the Lucasfilm properties, they started the renaissance of the Star Wars films with The Force Awakens.  Sure it has some homages to the original series (especially A New Hope), but that does not make this bad.  We are introduced to some great new characters including Finn the renegade Stormtrooper,our new Jedi Rey and the son of Han Solo and Leia, the newly evil Kylo Renn.  The Force Awakens brought us back to the world of Han Solo and Princess (now General) Leia, and hinted at Luke Skywalker.  The big three back again?  It caused quite the stir among fans.  And it was really fun.

 

#3.  The Last Jedi.  Very divisive among Star wars fans, I really enjoyed MOST of the Last Jedi.  Now, admittedly, the Finn storyline here was horrendous and the entire section of this movie where Finn and Rose headed off to a casino world to find someone to hack into the ship of the First Order is completely ridiculous.  Strike that though and The Last Jedi is a very strong film.  The stuff that caused so much controversy among Star Wars fans, I liked all of it.  The ending sequence with Luke Skywalker vs. Kylo Renn… spectacular.  The film was gorgeous to look at.  The confrontation with Kylo Renn and Rey was also amazing and really had you unsure exactly what was going to happen next.

 

#2.  Star Wars: A New Hope.  The original.  The film that spawned everything that came after it. The story of Luke Skywalker, a young boy who is traveling to the stars to join the rebellion against the Empire like his father.  Along the way, we met iconic characters such as Han Solo, the rogue smuggler, the Princess, Leia of Alderaan, Chewbacca, Solo’s co-pilot- a Wookie who you should let win at chess, R2D2 and C3PO, the comedy sidekick droids who found themselves int he middle of everything, the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader, the old hermit Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, who becomes more powerful when struck down.  Star Wars continues to be one of the best, most fun films around.

 

#1.  The Empire Strikes Back.  Of course, what most people consider the best Star Wars movie ever, is my own favorite as well.  Not only did it deliver the greatest surprise in movies history (“Luke, I am your father”) but gave us an awesome new character, Lando Calrissian, only to have him stab Han and everyone else in the back by turning Han over to Vader.  We were introduced to the Frank Oz voiced Muppet, Yoda, who would become one of the greatest Jedis of all time.  The great first light saber fight between Vader and Luke was tremendous as well.  The film left us in a dark place as we were not sure what was going to happen to our heroes and it set up the finale perfectly.  Empire has been used as the barometer for all trilogies that have a dark entry in the middle of the trilogy that makes it look as if everything is going the villains way.  This will always be the case and the legacy of Empire is forever set.

 

There is no Honorary Mentions of course, until this weekend with Solo: A Star Wars Story.

As a side note, I loved listening to Matt Knost and John Rocha opening their gift from was one of the best moments of the show.  Matt Knost literally sounded like a kid at Christmas.  Big thumbs up to for his kindness.

EYG Top 10 Superheroes on Film

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Now that’s more like it.

Last week’s Top 10 Show was remarkably entertaining as it featured the Schmoedown Team Champions, The Patriots- JTE and Jeff Sneider and there has been no shortage of controversy between that team and Team Top 10 at the Schmoedown.  This was a great podcast that I enjoyed listening to tremendously.  The problem… the topic was not one of my favorites.  College Comedies.

This was one of my least favorite genre that they have had and I was having trouble coming up with a list of ten films.  I have had that trouble before, but always struggled through it.  Last week, however, I had been writing the Days of Future Schmoedown fan fiction and I had limited time to work on the Top 10 list.  Combined with the fact that I had little time and it was a category that I struggled with, I chose not to write up a list for that week.  This was the first time I did not do a list for quite a while.  (BTW, had I done the list, I do believe that Animal House was going to be my number one).

So this week came along and Mark Reilly came to join the guys on the show, and, in honor of the release of Deadpool 2 this weekend, the category was Top 10 Superheroes on Film.  This one was a category that I knew something about.

I was very excited to do my list and I was even more excited to hear the end of the episode, as the original post at YouTube was missing the final 30 minutes.

That worked out and so let’s start with the Top 10 Superheroes on Film.

#10.  Dr. Strange.  This was the toughest of the spots because it basically came down to two choices for me.  It was either going to be Dr. Strange or Wonder Woman.  First, I am much more of a Marvel guy than DC, but Wonder Woman was a historic film.  I thought the two main films were basically a wash so I went to the peripherals.  Wonder Woman was in Batman v Superman where she basically had a decent action bit in a horrid CGI fest and she was in Justice League where she really kind of fell to the background.  Dr. Strange had a funny cameo in Thor: Ragnarok and he was one of the MVPs of Avengers: Infinity War.  Dr. Strange kicked so much butt in Infinity War and that really swayed the spot to the Master of Mystic Arts.  Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast and has done an amazing job as Sr, Stephen Strange.  He has a lot of upside as a character.

 

#9.  Black Panther.  One of the biggest comic book movies of all time, Black Panther had a great deal of characters that the world related to.  Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa was certainly one of them.  Appearing for the first time in Captain America: Civil War, much of the initial set up of the character was done by the Russo Brothers. However, Ryan Coogler made T’Challa a household name with his solo movie.  It is awesome to see young children of color with someone whom they can look up to in the MCU and seeing how much of an impact culturally the character was able to make was astounding.

 

#8.  Rocket & Groot.  I packaged these two together because Mark Reilly did the same thing.  I originally was only going to have Rocket here, but once Mark did it, I figured I could do it as well.  They are a phenomenally entertaining duos from a franchise that had no business being as fantastic as it was.  I mean, Rocket is a talking raccoon and Groot is a tree.  Yet, they are the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy.  They also had one of the best sequences with Thor in Infinity War.  Bradley Cooper is unrecognizable as the voice of Rocket and Vin Diesel gives amazing emphasis to the three words that Groot ever says.  They are a true dynamic duo.

 

#7.  Batman.  Speaking of Dynamic Duos, one half of the most famous Dynamic Duo is in at number sever.  Again, I am much more of a Marvel guy, but Batman is that DC character that I always love…as long as you forget about the travesty that was George Clooney.  The World’s Greatest Detective has seen many film versions and most of them have been reasonably engaging.  Christian Bale starred in the best Batman film ever in The Dark Knight.   Going from Adam West to Ben Affleck, Batman has been one of the most popular superheroes of all time.

 

#6.  Logan.  This is Wolverine, but he makes it this high mainly on the strength of the brilliant Logan film from last year.  Hugh Jackman did great as Wolverine for years despite being in some really bad films (X-3: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine).  However, everything came together as an older Logan struggled to try and get himself and Charles Xavier away from a world that hated them, while still protecting Laura, a young girl with a surprising connection to Logan.  If this truly is the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as Logan, the film certainly provides a perfect adieu.

 

#5.  Thor.  This is a character who is considerably higher than he would have been a year ago.  Thanks to the remarkably funny and entertaining Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, and a consistently improving performance from Chris Hemsworth, Thor has really started to make his way.  Thor was another one of the MVPs of Infinity War as he had one of the greatest arcs of the film.  Hemsworth is perfect as Thor and his comedic timing is awesome.  It is as if Marvel has been searching for the proper way to present the God of Thunder and they happened to stumble on it now.  I sure hope Hemsworth’s days as Thor are not limited to Avengers 4 because I think they just started to hit his stride.

 

#4.  Hulk.  Here is a character that was never going to work.  Ang Lee’s Hulk was terrible and made things tough.  Then, The Incredible Hulk was solid, but not overly memorable.  Then, Mark Ruffalo took over the role as Dr. Bruce Banner and Hulk became one of the standouts in the Avengers movies.  Marvel Studios found out how to use the Green Goliath.  He has appeared in all the Avengers movies and in Thor: Ragnarok.  Being able to use Hulk as a co-star in an ensemble has hide the flaws of the character and has made him so much stronger.  He is another character whose story in Avengers: Infinity War was engaging, making me wonder exactly what is going to happen next.  Hulk is power and I love him.

 

#3. Iron Man.  Since this is superheroes on Film, Iron Man belongs on this list.  Iron Man would not be on my personal favorite comic book characters list (though I like him), there is no doubt that Robert Downey Jr. has dominated this role from the beginning of the MCU.  Tony Stark is funny, quippy, and a one-man-quote-calendar.  And the 19 film MCU owes a huge debt to Robert Downey Jr. If that first Iron Man had failed, would we been seeing Infinity War this year.   I highly doubt it.  Stark has also found his way into Captain America Civil War and Spider-man: Homecoming, as well as the 3 Avengers movies and his own trilogy.  Marvel knows a good thing when they see one.

 

#2.  Captain America.  There was no way that the guy who played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies was going to work as Steve Rogers.  I mean, Chris Evans was definitely the best parts of those FF movies, but he was terribly miscast as Captain America.  That is what we all thought.  Then we saw the film and now I can’t imagine anyone else taking up the mantle of the Star Spangled Avenger.  He has starred in arguably two of the best MCU films ever (Winter Soldier and Civil War) along with the Avengers movies.  He has made several awesome cameos (Thor: Dark World as Loki playing as Cap and in Spider-Man: Homecoming).  Somewhere along the line, Cap went from being a boring goody-two-shoes to becoming the heart of the MCU.

 

#1. Spider-Man.  Never a doubt.  Spider-Man is my all time favorite fictional character in any format.  Sure there are a couple of duds in his movie list, but neither of those are the fault of Spider-Man.   Spider-Man 3 was because of the villains being crammed in and a silly song and dance which is directly the fault of the Venom symbiote.  In Amazing Spider-man 2, they again tried to crush too much into the film and the Electro character was terrible.  However, the Gwen Stacy death scene was well done and Andre Garfield was never the problem (though he was too old).  Now, with Tom Holland in the role, they have finally struck total gold.  He is the perfect casting for Peter Parker.  He took a character that many people were complaining about not wanting to see anymore and made him into someone who the public could not wait for.  His scenes in Infinity War are crushing and perfectly played.  I love Spider-man and he is and will always be,  my number one superhero.

There were lots of honorable mentions too.

Honorable MentionWonder Woman, Deadpool, Ant Man, Vision, Professor X, Black Widow, Drax, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Blade, Superman

EYG Top 10 Best of the 00’s by Year

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Welcome to Top 10.  This week, the Top 10 Show highlighted a topic suggested by one of their patrons that was one of the more original ideas that they have had in quite a while.  The Top 10 Best of 00’s by Year.  So the pair were to pick their favorite film from each year, 2000-2009, and then they ordered that list of films into a top ten list.  Very fascinating and entertaining discussion as always from Matt and John.

So I went into the research and I actually found this easier than I thought it was going to be.  And I like that some of these films have not fallen into other lists that I have done.

So…

#10.  (2000) Erin Brockovich.  2000 was the year that had the most possible choices for me, but nothing specific stood out for me.  So I chose the best performance of Julia Roberts in a great story involving a woman who was a force of nature taking on a law suit that had no business of succeeding.  This was not the type of movie I typically enjoyed, but for whatever reason, I really liked Erin Brockovich.  This is a true story and Julia Roberts played the real life woman.

 

#9.  (2005) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  This is the first movie that really changed up the Harry Potter series.  It was darker.  There was a death of Cedric Diggory, played by Robert Pattinson.  This was one of the moments that really changed the series of films.  Lord Voldemort returns and becomes a real threat.  He did not just fail or was defeated.  He became a danger.  And Harry Potter took off.

 

#8.  (2006) Casino Royale.  The return of James Bond from the terrible late films of Pierce Brosnan, Casino Royale took the character back to his roots.  The original creation of James Bond was a much darker character than what he had become.  Daniel Craig came from out of nowhere to return Bond to the forefront of his own series.  Craig was fantastic in this reboot.  It was also great to see Judi Dench continue as M.  There were some brutal scenes here as well, tossing aside the campy Bond of old.  Casino Royale made the character of James Bond exciting once again.

 

#7.  (2003) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  This is the great conclusion to one of the top trilogies of all time.  The Lord of the Rings films were amazing, brought to life by Peter Jackson.  The film paid off what had been set up in its previous two.  There is a joke that the film had too many endings, but each one brought to an end something that needed to be handled.  The confrontation at Mount Doom with Frodo and Gollum is just tremendous.

 

#6.  (2009) Zombieland.  This movie was a complete surprise.  I was totally charmed by it immediately and loved everything about it.  The way the rules of Zombieland kept showing up on screen, as Jesse Eisenberg narrated it, was comedic gold.  There was great chemistry between Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson as Columbus and Tallahassee.  Of course, it also features the greatest Bill Murray cameo of all time.

 

#5.  (2002) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.  This is my favorite film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  There was just something about this movie that worked so well for me.  I loved how they went from group to group without trouble.  Every time I started wondering what was going on with Frodo and Sam, the film would switch to them.  Then, in a perfect timing, the film flipped to another scene, such as Merry and Pippen with Treebeard (who I just loved).  I was completely satisfied with this movie and was as engrossed in what was happening as I have been in any movie.  The first film was solid, but not great, but Two Towers was what really made me love this series.

 

#4.  (2001) Moulin Rogue.  One of my all time favorite musicals.   I loved Moulin Rogue so much.  It is also not necessarily a type of film that I expect to like, but the story grabbed me, the music was amazing (with everything from The Police to Kiss to Elton John), and there were amazing performances from the entire cast.  When Satine dies at the end, it is about as heartbreaking as any movie around.  So much amazing color.  There is great humor here too.  It is truly a fantastic musical that embraces the bohemian revolution.    Come What May.

 

#3.  (2008) The Wrestler. This was one of the tougher choices as there were two major possible choices in 2008 (Iron Man & Dark Knight).  However, I really loved the Wrestler and it brought a world to light of something that I love to watch.  I am a lifelong WWE fan and it makes you think about what these men and women are willing to do to put their bodies on the line to entertain me, but also how difficult it is to live that kind of life.  It shows how tough it is for these pro wrestlers to give up the crowd, the cheers, the fame.  Randy “The Ram” Robinson can be seen in so many other old real life pro wrestlers that it really makes you think.  Mickey Rourke gives the performance of his career and gets robbed of the Oscar.  The Wrestler is a tough movie, but also sows how important life is.

 

#2.  (2004) Spider-man 2.  This was one of my favorite movies for a long time and it is still a film that I look back on so fondly.  This was originally the best version of Spider-man ever (though Homecoming has since surpassed it).  There is so much tremendous action and character development in this film as Spidey starts to have power problems.  Doc Ock arrives in the movie, but he is quite different than the comics.  Doctor Otto Octavius was one of Peter’s idols and he meets him and is enthralled.  When Otto’s wife is killed in a freak accident, the same accident that causes the mechanical arms grafted to his body, drives the scientist crazy and he becomes a super villain.  The train fight with Doc Ock and Spidey is still one of the best sequences in any comic book movie.

 

#1.  Zodiac.  I love this film. David Fincher’s classic story about the Zodiac Killer that plagued San Francisco in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and about the people who were obsessed with trying to find out who this murderer is.  Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) was a real person who ended up writing a book about the Zodiac, but we see him as a cartoonist at the SF Chronicle.  Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr) is an amazing character of this reporter taking silly risks.  And Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) is great.  Then, the scene with Graysmith and Bob Vaughn (Charles Fleischer) is one of the best scenes of all time.  So intense.  So frightening.  So much anxiety.  It was amazing.  Then, John Carroll Lynch is brilliant as Arthur Leigh Allen, the man whom Graysmith believed to be Zodiac.  This is such a frighteningly tense film.  Love this one.

 

Some other possible choices:  Remember the Titans, Gladiator, Batman Begins, Dark Knight, Iron Man, X2, District 9, Inglorious Basterds, Finding Nemo, Moon.

 

EYG Top 10 Comic Book Sequels

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Welcome to this week’s Top 10.  We are under 46 hours to go until I get a chance to see Avengers: Infinity war and, honestly, there is not much else that I am focused on.  So I am ready to get this week’s Top 10 list going.  And in honor of the massive conclusion to the 10 year odyssey that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Top 10 Show featured the Top 10 Comic Book Movie Sequels.

We had a special guest this week.  His name is Mike Black, and he sounded as if he was a big time action figure guy and a stand up comedian.  He contributed well to the discussion.

This list was pretty easy to do for me as a lot of these films are ones that are my personal favorites.

#10.  X-Men: Days of Future Past.  The classic X-Men story came to the big screen as a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class.  Instead of Shadowcat, Wolverine is the character from the future that is sent into the past to warn the previous groups of the upcoming dangers of the world for mutants.  And having a chance to get rid of the continuity of the horrible films like X-Men 3: Last Stand and X-Men origins.  James McAvoy was tremendous in this film as Charles Xavier who had lost his faith.  Quicksilver appeared and stole the movie.  The film was the best of the new cast X-Men films.

 

#9.  X2: X-Men United.  This is the best of the original X-Men series as the X-Men faced off with the mutant hater William Stryker facing off with the X-Men.  Nightcrawler arrives in the opening scene, which was one of the great scenes in the series.  His teleportation through the White House was something special.  Plus, we had the tease of Dark Phoenix at the very end of the film.  Yes, it did not pay off, but how cool was it to see the firebird beneath that water?  Logan really was able to show the berserker rage in this film for the first time as well.

 

#8.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  James Gunn’s follow-up to the awesome surprise film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought an amazing amount of emotion and energy.  On my first viewing, I was a little uncertain about the jokes.  It felt like there were too many forced jokes, but the second and following viewing of the film was tremendous.  The second time I saw the film, I was able to really get into the movie more and I was able to manage my expectations.  I loved the ending with Yondu and I cried every time after the first time.  These characters felt familiar and comfortable and they fit together.  Mantis debuts.  Kurt Russell as Ego is fantastic.  The relationships between these characters really was the most important part of this movie.

 

#7.  Avengers: Age of Ultron.  This is one that gets a bad rap from a lot of people and I do not think that is very fair.  I love Ultron.  This film has some issues, but none of them are enough to dismantle this great film.  Ultron himself is wonderful with the voice of James Spader.  Some people disliked how Ultron was quippy, but since he was taking after his “father,” Tony Stark, it makes sense.  I loved the ending with Sokovia and I loved how the Avengers were shown as heroes, rescuing people.

 

#6.  Thor: Ragnarok.  The third Thor film really took the character and the film series into a new direction, thanks especially to the direction of Taika Waititi.  The film was basically a comedy, with amazing humor.  Thor winds up on the planet Sakaar wherew he finds the Grandmaster holding gladiator battles for the populace.  Thor winds up facing off against the ultimate fighter, The Incredible Hulk.  Meanwhile, Odin’s other daughter, Hela, had returned from the Underworld to reclaim her rightful role of Queen of Asgard.  And, of course, Ragnarok is the story of the destruction of Asgard, and this actually happens.  Thor: Ragnarok really reinvigorates the character without completely throwing out what was done before.

 

#5.  The Dark Knight.  This is great, but I do not find it as perfect as the rest of the world seems to do.  Yes, Heath Ledger is the Joker you never thought you wanted and now will always be the measuring stick for the character.  The story is strong, but I think it is more of a Joker movie than it is a Batman movie.  However, I will never forget the moment I saw the “Do you want to see a magic trick?” scene.  I roared with laughter, despite the theater I was in was gasping in shock.  One of the best villainous moments in any film.

 

#4.  Spider-man 2.  This was my favorite film for quite a while, before the MCU came along.  It was one of the best depiction of Spider-man ever, based on one of the most classic story arcs in comics, “No More Spider-man.”  The doubt of being Spider-man is a key attribute to Peter Parker.  Then, the train scene where Spidey fights Doc Ock and saves the train with his webbing was goose bump inducing.  I have had tears in my eyes in this scene because I loved how the crowd backed the unconscious Spidey.  Homecoming has surpassed this as my favorite Spidey movie, but it was really close.

 

#3.  Captain America: Winter Soldier.  The first example of the Russo Brothers directing a huge Marvel tenpole film, Captain America Winter Soldier became one of the great films int he MCU.  The film was a political thriller, as SHIELD was revealed as being infiltrated by HYDRA.  This is a Marvel movie that features Robert F’n Redford, for goodness sake.  Cap is great.  Black Widow appears and does a fantastic job as a supporting character.  This was really the best we had seen Black Widow in any of the films yet.  And I will always remember the gasp I heard in one theater when the Winter Soldier was revealed as Bucky. It was so cool because I thought everyone knew that the Winter Soldier was Bucky, but obviously, it was not as well known as I thought and I loved the gasp.  We also met the Falcon, who became one of Cap’s closest friend.  There is a great elevator fight scene as well.  This is truly amazing.

 

#2.  Logan.  This was heart-wrenching.  To see where our beloved Logan had wound up in his life by trying to protect Charles Xavier and get enough money to escape on a boat…only to be waylaid by the arrival of a little girl named Laura.  A wild child herself, Laura was so much like him and, despite not wanting to, he had to protect her.  Patrick Stewart was BRILLIANT as Xavier and he was truly robbed from an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.  The second half of this movie was so heart breaking.  Seeing Xavier’s death was shocking and painful, but the tears really came with the reaction of Laura when she realized that Charles had been killed.  And the final end of Logan brought me to tears every time.  This was brutal in both the physical action and the results of the characters.  As a final goodbye to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, you could not ask for a better film.

 

#1.  Captain America: Civil War.  This is my favorite of the MCU and it is right near the top of my favorite movies of all time.  This is amazing as it is not only a Captain America stand alone film, but it is an Avenger film.  The Airport scene is perhaps one of the greatest fights in movie history, but the end fight scene with Iron Man, Cap and Bucky, is just as tremendous.  There are so many stakes in this fight and you can feel both sides of the fight.  You can come into the film as a Team Cap only to leave as a Team Iron Man or vice versa.  Some complain about Zemo, but I think he is one of the best Marvel villains.  Zemo’s plan was to reveal the secret that Bucky had killed Tony Stark’s parents in a way to break up the Avengers.  And it worked!  Zemo’s plan was not as convoluted as it seemed.  He was patient.  Civil War was perfect to me…and I did not even mention Spider-man! or the Black Panther.  The second successful film from the Russo Brothers, which led to them getting Infinity War.

Honorable Mentions;  Iron Man 3, Superman 2, Batman Returns, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Kick Ass 2, The Wolverine

EYG Top 10 Comedy Sequels

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A day late this week as Tuesday was hectic.  But here we are with the Top 10 Comedy Sequels.  Joining John and Matt this week was Samm Levine, actor and Movie Trivia Schmoedown Champion of the WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD!

I really the discussion with Samm and the guys at the beginning of the episode.  This was highly entertaining and showed us a fun connection with them.  I have grown to enjoy Samm’s work in the Schmoedown and I loved the much too short show, Freaks and Geeks.  The discussion of how Samm got his role in Inglorious Basterds with Quentin Tarantino was fun as well.

Moving into the topic, this one could be a little hairy.  Many times the sequel to a comedy is terrible because either it is a rehash of the original or it has pushed the idea too far.  The Hangover was a remarkably funny film but Hangover II was a total failure.  Zoolander 2, Dumb and Dumberer, Anchorman 2 are all examples of films that were horrid sequels to funny films.

The following ten are pretty solid films that, for the most part, avoid such a trouble.

Image result for 22 jump street#10.  22 Jump Street.  I wanted to include this for a certain reason.  Though this was not my most favorite film, I, unlike most, really hated the original 21 Jump Street.  But I found this to be a superior film to the first one, and it included one of the best scenes of all- when Ice Cube found out that Jonah Hill was sleeping with his daughter… Channing Tatum’s reaction was worth the addition on this list alone.  Plus, the great ending credits for 23 Jump Street beyond.

 

Related image#9.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  I have never been a huge fan of the Vacation movies, but of the bunch, Christmas Vacation would be the one that was the most entertaining and certainly the most iconic.

 

 

Related image#8.  Ghostbusters 2.  Sure this is no where near the greatness of the first film, but Ghostbusters 2 is not without its merits.  Certainly, the cast is tremendous together and returns to bring the chemistry with them.  They go all in with the dancing Statue of Liberty as well.  Peter MacNicol brings a fantastic comedic performance as Dr. Janosz, perhaps the standout of the movie.  Yes, the inclusion of Slimer was a definite low point, but just fan service to the cartoon series.  Ghostbusters 2 is not as bad as you think.

 

Image result for a shot in the dark#7.  A Shot in the Dark.  I just finished this one.  I love Peter Sellers and this is a comedic tour de force as the bumbling Inspector Closeau.  Sellers was a master of slapstick and his constant clumsiness and pratfalls of the detective was wonderful.  The mystery itself is secondary to seeing Sellers command the screen.  And I loved how Cato kept finding ways to attack Closeau at the worst possible times.  Somehow, Closeau was able to end up solving the case (kind of) and kissing the girl (the beautiful Elke Sommer).

 

Related image#6.  Addams Family Values.  I haven’t seen this one in a while, but I can remember how much more I enjoyed this one than the first one.  Great cast and great casting brought this group of characters from the TV screen to the big screen and gave us a hilarious dark comedy with weird characters who were at one time Kooky and at another time creepy.

 

Image result for weird al in naked gun 2 1/2#5.  Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear.  Leslie Nielsen returned from his role as Frank Drebin and arrives to deal with big energy.  But, of course, there was the normal cameo from “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Though this may not have been as funny as the first one, Naked Gun 2 1/2 brought us more silliness and some great slapstick.  And Weird Al.  Oh…and OJ is there too.

 

 

Image result for back to the future II#4.  Back to the Future II.  I actually prefer this sequel to Back to the Future III.  I love the explanation of time travel that Doc Brown gives Marty and I thought it was remarkably clever for the return to 1955 and the reshooting of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.  We also got the hover board, the prediction of the Cubs winning the World Series (a year too early) and three timelines.  One could argue that Back to the Future is not a comedy, but I think it fits here as well as some of the other films on this list.

 

Image result for toy story 2#3.  Toy Story 2.  Toy Story 3 is actually my favorite of the Toy Story movies, but I consider Toy Story 2 more of the comedy than the third one.  Third one gets pretty dark at times.  Woody kidnapped by a crazed collector looking to complete the set brings the cowboy back to his roots in this clever sequel.

 

Image result for beverly hills cop 2#2.  Beverly Hills Cop 2.  Eddie Murphy returns to Beverly Hills in the sequel that sees him looking to solve the attempted murder of his friend, Captain Andrew Bogomil.  This was another of the Alphabet Murders that the Captain had been investigating and this required Axel Foley’s unique style of investigation to complete.  This film, much like the previous one benefited from great chemistry of Murphy, Judge Reinhold, and John Ashton.

 

Image result for the muppets 2011#1.  The Muppets (2011).  Though this could be any number of Muppet sequels following The Muppet Movie, I chose this film because of the great sense of nostalgia and how wonderful it felt to see the Muppets return to the screen together.  There were some great songs, including Man or Muppet, and a personal favorite, Pictures in My Head.  Starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams, The Muppets had to put on one more show at the old theater before the evil oil baron Tax Richman could get his hands on it.  Every scene brought feelings from the past and blended together into one of the best Muppet movies in years.

 

Honorable mentionsShrek 2, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Wayne’s World 2, Austin Powers: Goldmember, A Very Brady Sequel

EYG Top 10 Sword and Sandals Movies

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This week’s topic came from one of the Top 10 Show’s patrons named Matthew, who actually just had a baby girl.  It is Sword and Sandal movies.   Matt Knost talked about having a blindspot in some of the 1950s and 1960s movies and I would say that I am also in the same boat.  However, after only having six of them last week, I was able to get the whole list filled out (but no honorable mentions).

I could probably fill up a Worst Sword and Sandal match easily.   Immortals is just terrible.  The remakes of Clash and its sequel… ugh.

But… here we go.

#10.  Hercules.  Yes, John Rocha really shot this one down during the program this morning, but I did not mind this film.  Starring the Rock, I really enjoyed the odd twist that the Rock played Hercules as someone pretending to be the myth-like Hercules, but is actually normal (or was he?).  It is not a great movie by any stretch, but I think compared to some of the other sword and sandal movies, this is every bit as good.

 

#9.  Scorpion King.  Another Rock film, the Scorpion King is another not great film, but is helped by the presence of the Great One.  A sequel to one of the Mummy movies where Rock was a villain, the Scorpion King became more of a hero.  This helped send Dwayne Johnson into the stratosphere of movie stardom.

 

#8.  Life of Brian.  Monty Python is one of the great comedic troupes of all time and Life of Brian is one of the funniest that they had.  It was, of course, controversial at its release since it satires religion and it seems like sometimes senses of humor are missing.  I am sure Jesus would love the movie.

 

#7.  Conan the Barbarian.  Hear the lamentations of the women!  Arnold Schwarzenegger was perfectly cast as Robert E. Howard’s classic barbarian character, Conan.  There have been rumors about Arnold reprising the role as King Conan and that would be awesome.  Unfortunately, the sequel to this was not near the same as this one.  Great origin.

 

#6.  Ben Hur.  It has been a long time since I have seen this movie and that is why it is lower on the list than it is.  When you think about this type of movie, this is one of the films you think about.  The sad remake of this from a couple of years ago was senseless.  Why try to improve on greatness?

 

#5.  300.  Zach Snyder’s classic of the 300 Spartans holding off the massive Persian army led by Xerxes at the Battle of Thermopylae.  Gerard Butler is great and the look of 300 is like a painting.  Based on a comic book/graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 is a shot for shot adaptation of the graphic novel by Miller which is an amazing achievement considering you can draw anything on a page, but are limited to what you can do on the screen.  Another example where the sequel is considerable worse than the original, but that does not limit 300.

 

#4.  Disney’s Hercules.  One of the underappreciated Disney animated films that got lost during the hey day of the Disney animation.  The Disney tale takes the classic myth of Hercules and makes it fit their typical animated film.  Danny DeVito is great as the voice of Phil.  James Woods then stole most of the film as Hades.  Great animation.

 

#3.  Spartacus.  I am Spartacus!  No, I am Spartacus!  An iconic scene that was brought to life by a tremendous performance by Kirk Douglas.  This is another one that I have not see in years, but you cannot debate that this is one of the great sword and sandal movies of all time.

 

#2. Gladiator.  Are you not entertained?  Gladiator is one of the great movies in this genre, featuring a couple of top notch performances by Oscar winner Russell Crowe and Oscar nominated Joaquin Phoenix.  Gladiator also won the Academy Award in the Best Picture category.  It is hard to compete with its resume.

 

#1. Clash of the Titans.  This number one is one of those that I loved from my childhood.  I know for sure that this is not the best movie on the list, but I look back on it with such a wondrous nostalgia.  I loved this film as a youth and it inspired a lot of my love of mythology and story telling.  I HATED the reboot version of this.  It cannot stand up to the original even a little bit.  Some of the special effects are really cheesy, but I don’t care.  This was something that I always loved watching.  I probably watched this a bunch of times.  Harry Hamlin as Perseus is great.  All of the monsters such as Medusa and the Kraken, along with the Greek Gods… I just loved it.  And so it is my number one, even though as a movie, I know this is not anywhere near some of the others on this list.  Hard to defeat something from my childhood.