Movie yays and boos

You know how, back in the days when people still used to buy these things, guests would stroll over to the cabinet with all the CDs and DVDs and rate your taste? It says so much about a person, don’t you think? I’ve written blogs about my musical preferences in the past, so it’s time to reveal where I stand on a filmographic scale. It was really hard to limit these two lists to just ten movies but I managed, in the end.

thumbs up

All though the thumbs-up-list was much longer than the thumbs-down-list a couple of minutes ago, I managed to bring it back to ten, with pain in my heart. The movies that survived the cuts are all movies that I recommend to anyone. They’re not the best or most complex movies I’ve ever seen but I could definitely re-watch any of these on any giving moment for the ten millionth time and not mind for a second.

I will give every movie three key words to illustrate my affection for them.

  1. Snatch
    hilarious, quotable, interesting
  2. American History X
    confronting, intense, thought provoking
  3. the Mexican
    odd, light-hearted, amusing
  4. The Dark Knight
    dark, troubled, awesome
  5. Hotel Rwanda
    tear jerking (only movie that ever accomplished that with me), important, full of love
  6. Finding Nemo
    Deep 😉 , inspiring, beautiful animation
  7. La Vita e Bella
    unique approach of WWII theme, motivating, heart warming
  8. Shrek
    Fun, amusing, clever
  9. Sleepers
    captivating, gruesome, stirring
  10. Collateral
    Surprising(ly good acting), entertaining, uncomplicated

thumbs down

The next ones are pretty bad, all though I still think I owe a special shout out to every movie ever made starring Steven Seagal… Let’s bowe our heads in sorrow for all those mistakes and hope they some day stop being aired on TV.

I’m afraid I can’t summarize in 3 words how and why these movies are so bad, but I’ll try to be brief.

  1. From Paris with love
    Oh John… I never even gave the rumors about your alleged homosexuality any thought until this movie came along. You tried so hard to be manly and bad-ass and failed so terribly horribly miserably.
  2. Saving Private Ryan
    Did we REALLY go to this much trouble to retrieve one insignificant dude from behind enemy lines? Just to save one random mother from any more grief? I.just.don’t.get.it.
  3. the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    I like Sean Connery, but wtf was this? I’m even into superhero stuff, but this was such a weak attempt that it failed in all senses. A pity, because it did have potential, imo.
  4. Lost in Translation
    Slow, boring, overrated. I want to say how much I hate Scarlett Johansen’s acting (in general, not just in this flick), but I know how guys get when I say that, so I’ll just leave it… 😛
  5. World War Z
    Apparently zombies are hot & happening, and I was prepared to embrace this fact, as I thought Brad knew his way around the undead since his stint with the vampires twenty years ago (!), but boy was I wrong. This was just disappointing, predictable and boring.
  6. Seven Pounds
    Watching Will Smith being depressed for 123 minutes is not my idea of fun. It’s a total downer. No happy ending or nothing. It doesn’t suit you, Will. I like you funny.
  7. Gran Torino
    This wasn’t even a disappointment as I kind of knew it might suck but I also kind of hoped Clint had one more good movie in him… but nope… just meh.
  8. Crash
    I actually don’t hate this movie. I actually was quite impressed with it, I just never want to watch it again as it plummeted my faith in humanity down to an all time low. I don’t need that kind of truth. I am cynical enough as it is.
  9. Pitch Perfect
    Beside the fact that the story was uninteresting, boring and predictable, the singing wasn’t particularly inspiring either. Can’t think of any good reasons to watch this again in my life.
  10. Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    All though I’ve put this movie on nr ten, it definitely doesn’t mean it’s the least bad of all of them. It’s actually the only one that actually made me angry, because I was actually looking forward to it. I wanted it to be AWESOME. I craved for another Indiana Jones movie. Bad special effects are totally OK. A little self-mockery is fine too… but this was really truly an insult to everyone. This should never have happened and I regret having spent money on it. Shame on you, Harrison, but most of all you, STEVEN SPIELBERG!

The soundtracks of my life.

I’m feeling guilty about neglecting my blogbaby, so it is definitely time feed it with something new. And when lacking inspiration, making a “top ten” is the way to go.

While listening to one of my playlists on grooveshark today, I realized there are quite a few songs that have been on my playlists for years now. So I decided to present you all with these soundtracks of my life.

Intertwined with my very first memories are two songs, or as a matter of fact, the LPs they are a part of. The first one is Paul Simon’s Graceland. Homeless is one of my favorite songs of all time, as is “Under African Skies”, thanks to the stunning performance of Ladysmith Black Mambazo in both songs. The one I am going to share here is another of my favorites, because there is no denying that I know what I know!

1.

The second album I hold very fond childhood memories of, is Tracy Chapman’s selftitled album, that came out in 1988. This woman’s voice is amazing and I wish she would have made more albums like that first one, all though I can imagine it was kind of difficult to top that masterpiece… It’s hard for me to choose just one song from that album but it will definitely not be “Talkin about a revolution” or “Fast car”. Amazing as those songs are, they are just too well known and I think there are other songs on that specific album that are at least as good, that deserve attention. This one for example:

2.

All though I am sure my parents played this music during my early childhood as well, my love for the next artist  grew exponentially a little later on in my life. Known as la negra, Mercedes Sosa is the one artist that manages to give me goosebumps every time I hear her voice. Her song “Gracias a la vida” is without a doubt the greatest rendition of that song, which in itself is one of the most beautiful songs ever. The songs I am sharing here though, is one that moved me to tears after I left South America as a kid, as it recalls the beauties of this continent and how their peoples should unite as one. I still miss her enormous presence in Latin American music. RIP Negra:

3.

As I mentioned above, I grew up in South America and the following band is therefore unavoidable. Maná is the U2 of Latin America and I was a giant fan of theirs throughout most of my life. I still kind of am, all though their songs have become a little too preachy and mushy in recent years. The old stuff still pops up in my playlists every now and then and even some of the newer stuff is pretty good, when I’m in the right mood. Their repertoire is enormous, and all though the lyrics to this particular song are kind of depressing, it is definitely one of my favorites:

4.

If I listen to the mixes I listened to during my high school years, there are obviously some things I am not particularly proud of (yes, the Spice Girls were on there and all though it’s kind of scary to admit it, I think Wannabe might still be one of my guilty pleasures. 😛 ). Some of the bands from that era kind of stuck with me though, and one of these bands is K’s Choice. A Belgian band, with Sarah Bettens’ amazing husky voice as the main attraction. All though the song I am posting is not particularly representative for their style (it’s usually a bit more rocky), it is just so hauntingly pretty I have to share it. If I run out if ideas before I reach ten, I might post another one…

5. 

The song I am putting on number six conquered much of Europe back in 1996 and anyone who doesn’t understand French (like me), and has never looked up a translation of the lyrics, should do so. Do it  now. Actually, I’m going to check if I can find a youtube version with translated lyrics so you guys can appreciate its full glory… I love this song. It is amazing and Cheb Khaled is a hero for having sung it, when he did.

6.

In comparison to the previous songs, the next one is relatively recent (2009). It is a song I had on repeat for a while when I first discovered it. All though I’m not completely sure what it’s actually about, I always imagine it is some Tower of Babel reference. It is a beautifully tender song for quiet moments or to wind down with after a long day at work.

7.

I wish I could make this transition less rough… but I can’t think of another song to squeeze in between these two right now and I guess it does kind of reflect my musical palette. So… Peter Fox! German ginger rapper with amazing talent for good beats and catchy tunes. His lyrics are pretty cool as well, but I won’t bug you guys with that right now. In the following song he is on his own, but he is also part of a band called Seeed (yes, three e’s), with a more reggaelike flavor to it, that is worth checking out!

8.

OK, only two more to go… Must. choose. wisely…

I guess my list wouldn’t reflect me properly without a song by the Cat Empire. The lead singer is such a walking, dancing, jumping, smiling hormonebomb that just listening to them just makes me blush sometimes… He isn’t handsome in a conventional way… but so friggin sexy… But we were talking about music, I believe. They do that too! And quite well, as a matter of fact. All of their music is really optimistic and happy, but with pretty profound lyrics here and there. Love them. Love them! Ch-ch-check it out:

9.

Hmmm, this last one is tough…

I looked at my recent youtube searches to see what my last song should be and I realized I have been listening to a lot of youtube cover artists. Kina Grannis, Boyce Avenue, Hannah Trigwell and of course, the one and only: Walk of the Earth (WOTE). All of these artists also have posted their originals online but their covers are what they are best known for.  WOTE in particular, excels in making other artists’ songs their own and in many cases making them so much cooler. We all know their “Somebody that I used to know”-rendition on one guitar, but they are just so awesome, I have to post something of theirs here. They have a lot to choose from, but I think I’m going with this one:

10.

And that wraps it up! I got some inspiration along the way for future blogs, and I’ll try to be better at blogging more regularly.

I am sure I am going to wake up tonight and realize I should have put in this or that other song, but that will just have to wait for a #2 of this post then. I’m off to bed!