I'll come up with something in a minute.

Top 40 Movies by odd connections (Part Four)



So last time we were talking about Mifune walking away…

Just keep walking, don’t let them know they’ve fazed you.

High Noon
Will walks through the whole of High Noon, walking around from place to place. The movie is about how crappy the Red Scare McCarthy crap was and those jerks who were all about selling their friends out to those Un-American cockbites in the past. At least, that’s what it amounts to. Something there for us, even today. Particularly if you don’t live in “Real” America. There is also a subplot involving his wife and his former girlfriend. They even have scene together.

Trying to come up with a joke that isn’t some sort of dirty three-way invitation, but that’s all I’ve got right now.

Wives and girlfriends, of course I’m heading for…

You kn ow that day when caption jokes just won’t come? Today is that day. Maybe I’ll be better before I post this. If you’re reading this, then I never did.

There is a bit of wives and girlfriends stuff in Highlander as well. Connor is regularly encouraged to leave all the hotties he knows, but refuses. I think he knew that Sean Connery just wanted the babes for himself. Also, there are flashbacks, lots of flashbacks. Flashbacks are a primary storytelling device in this film.

Should I insert a penitration joke? Heh, insert. Get it?


No, really. Why do I have to be pink?

Reservoir Dogs
Now there are a good deal of flashbacks in Reservoir Dogs, which is mainly about a hold up. I probably need to say more about the movie, but I’m really sort of running dry here. Hell with it, blah, blah, blah, filler, filler, filler, that’s when I noticed the DNA evidence had been tampered with.

This moment brought to you by Lucky Strikes. Remember LSMFT!

Hold up!

Harry Tuttle falls on hard times (Obscure reference for the win!)

There is a hold up in Heat. There are two actually, but one leads to a massive shoot out, which was a pretty big deal at the time and still is sort of landmark. It was a bigger deal then I think, because it’s been copied a few times now. Everyone remembers the big shoot out in downtown LA. What you may not remember is that the driver for the hold up in a guy working as a short order cook in a work release program.

In a powerful moment, Bobby DeNiro complains about his eggs being over-cooked.

Cooks on parole naturally leads us to…

The greatest egg cooking moment ever captured on film.

Maximum Overdrive
There is a cook on parole in Heat, which is JUST LIKE MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE! The same situation, only instead of being a driver, he hates the cars. My review of this movie was pretty much definitive, so I won’t rehash it here, I’ll just try to remember to link to it. They also escape the madness on a boat at the end of the movie.

Yeah, mostly we just sit in front of it at the marina.

Where do people escape on boats?

Yeah, I know you can barely tell what movie this is. I don’t care. You get 80 screen caps in one day and see how you feel about picking just the right shot after a while.

Hard Boiled
Now how many of you remember that at the end of Hard Boiled, Tony Leung’s character leaves Hon Kong on a boat, escaping the situation. This being probably the magna opus of the Gun Opera genre, I sort of had to slip it in somewhere. There is also a big fight in the middle where the bad guys ambush the other bad guys while riding motorcycles.

Both hands on the bars guys! If you fall down and hurt someone I will have no sympathy.

And who else rides motorcycles?

Wacky idea. How about I change my name to an unpronounceable glyph and stop making good music for 10 years or so?

Purple Rain
Why Prince rides a motorcycle of course. In his Musician makes good movie Purple Rain. I could say more, but I think you get the idea. Either you’ve seen this, or you don’t want to. I could try to explain why I like it, but I think it would be futile in this format.

Rocking out and cocking out.

Where else does a musician make good? Need you even ask?


Sadko is another musician makes good tale of course. We all love this movie, let’s not pretend otherwise. It’s a great film and we’ll just leave it at that. The other point being that he gets help from his friends in the undersea world to get a golden fish.

Someday I may get tired of this pic, but I doubt it.

People need a little help from their friends…

How the Peanuts Thanksgiving seating should have gone.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Another movie were friends help out is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Now Pooh’s main motivation is of course honey. Everything he does it for the food. Which leads us too our final film. Now, sometimes I’ve made jokes and I’ve stretched, but this time it isn’t. I can lead perfectly naturally from one to the next.

Time to admit you have a problem.

Food as motivating factor?


Seven Samurai
My actual number one movie. The samurai are not paid in this movie in anything other than honor and rice. The only thing the farmers can offer is a bowl of food per day while they themselves eat millet seed. It makes Kambei’s acceptance of their request that much more poignant, when he holds up the bowl and tells them he won’t let it go to waste.

Look at it. LOOK DAMN YOU!

And who do they defend the village against? Bandits. Just like Jackie Chan did all the way back in Project A.

Baddies are bad.

See? It all comes back to the beginning.

Now as I’ve said, these 40 aren’t my absolute favorite Top 40 movies. In actuality, they’re part of my Top 100 that I could link to each other in this chain to fit the format. Maybe sometime I’ll post the actual 100 list in order, but not today.

November 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Top 40 Movies by odd connections (Part Three)

Here is Part one of this trip
Then Part Two


This is known as a bad bungee experience

The Departed
The Departed is also full of them, you just have to work harder see it. One of them being the Scarface reference of and X showing up whenever someone is killed. There are a few others, but I’ll let you watch out for them yourself. That’s half the fun anyway. I prefer it when you happen to notice them, instead of having the movie elbow you in the side and as if you saw what they did there. The Departed of course being a movie filled people living double lives.

Does this pic scream “double life” to you? No? Me neither, but I couldn’t find anything else I liked.

Speaking of double lives…

Found between two former lovers, Godfrey gets a bit nervous.

My Man Godfrey
In My Man Godfrey, William Powell leads a double life, but I won’t say how. This is probably my favorite screwball comedy I would have placed it higher on the list if not for the need to connect things. If I knew flash, I would just make this a 3D cloud with lines connecting the movies and then make the names bigger or smaller depending on where they sat in the ranking. But I don’t, so I can’t, so I won’t. Anyway, about Godfrey. He’s found in a shantytown placed in a junk yard, where no man has business actually living. We keep going back there to see other men living in a place where a man shouldn’t live.

At least they get new building material delivered on site.

There are other movies of people staying where they shouldn’t…

I can’t find Deadwood on anywhere. This must really be the end of the world.

Dawn of the Dead
Another place where people shouldn’t have to live is in a shopping mall’s upper story like they do in Dawn of the Dead. There is a lot going on in Dawn, a lot of commentary and satire that I found missing from the remake. This version isn’t perfect, but the remake was a hollow shell of stereotypes by comparison. I really, really hated the remake. It was dull and annoying. However, THIS version is probably the best of the Dead series, so that’s something. The point is that instead of running off in a bus that was fitted to be a tank-bus (Really? Honestly?) the remaining heroes in this proper horror movie escape by chopper. Escaping by helicopter is very much the point here.

Again with the improper use of equipment.

Just like…

Quit singing “Suicide is Painless” Bob. It’s just not funny.

Where Charlie Sheen’s character gets away via chopper at the end of the movie. There is a certain horror element to this movie as well, but the shuddering shambling wrecks in this film are still actually men instead of zombies. I wonder if this movie counts as a “no women” film because while there are women that have lines, none of them are in English to my recollection. While things are bad for women in film, there are only a handful of movies that completely leave women out all together. I think this is one if you count non-English that isn’t translated as not speaking. Charlie Sheen’s character also writes endless letters to his grandmother, giving himself a narration to fill the dark spots of the story. The narration serves as a journal for the listening.

Dear Mom & Dad, camp is a little strange…

Where else do we find journal entries?

Oh I’d totally leave a kid with these guys, wouldn’t you?

In Kikujiro, there is a frame of a photo diary. Masao, shows us what he did on his vacation, but since he lives with his grandmother, it’s very likely he’s showing it to her. The movie is a bit episodic, but it’s not one of those films that you could re-edit into any order. The two main characters slowly grow closer together as we go along until the end. This is a little but of a strange movie, but it works for me and I’m delighted to pair it with the former choice. In the first section of the movie, the two travelers go gambling, betting on bike races.

My money’s on the one in blue. I like the color blue. Favorite color.

Gabling as a story device? Who knew you could do such a thing in a movie?

Keep your eye on the ball gentlemen, eye on the ball. Yes, the one you can’t see under the cup.

Fearless Hyena
Gambling gets Jackie Chan’s character into some problems in Fearless Hyena. That ultimately leads to the plot of him being a teacher who takes on all challengers, which then leads to the actual plot of revenge and emotional kung-fu. It’s the being a teacher that gets the attention of the bad guys, which leads to them killing his grandfather, which leads to the delicious revenge, which is cold… like gazpacho soup!

“My back is killing me.” HA! It’s funny cause he archs his back then dies. Get it? Ah, what’d you know about comedy?

Vengeance could take us anywhere, but let’s go to the most obvious place, kay?

Life altering tragedy in 3, 2, 1…

Batman of course also needs to avenge his dead parents. At least that’s his story. Let’s face it, Batman is a nut and was looking for an excuse. He’s just the ultimate emo basement dweller wearing eyeliner and putting his cutting record on LJ for all the other emo kids to read. And he wears a mask, because you gotta wear a mask to hide your identity and your fear man. Crap this guys is emo! I bet in later movies the daddy issues get really out of hand, he makes his voice all gravely, they action becomes unwatchable and a new highly over-rated Joker stuffs his girlfriend in a refrigerator. Anyway, Masks!

Oh hell, I don’t know. Fill in your own caption, I’ve been looking at this shot for ten minutes and can’t come up with anything.

Where else do we have masks?

He’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?

The Promise
There is a mask that hides identity in The Promise as well. Actually, it does more than that. The wacky misunderstanding of who exactly is behind the mask is a great deal of what drives the movie’s plot. I say plot, but really it’s a lot of scenes stitched together. It’s a fairly funny film, but it doesn’t really work. There is a lot of mythology mixed up in the story. The story is set in motion by characters from mythology showing up and being all wacky at the people. It’s quite and interesting movie, shame it’s really only useable as MST3K material.

Gonna be honest with you kid. I’m higher than you are right now, and you’re seeing me. So consider how fucked up I am at this moment.

Mythology gets you into trouble if you don’t respect it.

I did warn you about crossing the streams.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Mythology comes and bites the disrespectful in the butt in Raiders of the Lost Ark as well. The Nazis got quite messed up at the end of that movie. Now, I could go almost anywhere from here, since Raiders has it all. Again, if I were doing a flat out numerical list, this wouldn’t be here. Raiders would be number two and we’d be talking about whips and dragging behind trucks and shooting the guy with the sword and all of that. However, we’re doing this by connection, so we go from the number two movie on my list to the number five entry. And of course, Indy ends up with nothing.

In the Maytag warehouse, that repair guy hides away one of the Maytags that didn’t work. The secret must be kept!

Who else ends up with nothing?

He gives them all the gold so they can get away.

The samurai in Yojimbo of course, who ends up with nothing and walks away from the whole situation. This is a really hard movie to parse in traditional terms. There is something really wonderful about the guy who does right just to do it, but at the same time being totally out of patience with the whole world. He doesn’t seem to like anyone, he seems to be all about the money, and yet he walks away with nothing but the knowledge of having taken the town out and the feeling of a job well done. Yeah, he walks the whole time. That’ll be important next week.

Walking away, and being more badass than any 20 characters played by Bruce, Clint, Arnold or Sly.

More walking next week. Stay Tuned.

November 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Top 40 Movies by odd connections (Part Two)

Here is Part One

So where were we? Oh yes, I remember now. Luke Skywalker just had his hand sliced off at the wrist. Now, I could pretty much mention any other Star Wars movie at this point, because Lucas has a hand amputation fetish, but that’s not how I roll. Let’s see where I go from a cut off hand.

That man is serious about getting rid of hangnails.

Evil Dead 2

I think it leads quite naturally into Evil Dead II, in which Ash looses his hand. Well, looses isn’t quite the right word, he takes a chainsaw and cuts it off himself. Granted, his hand had turned totally evil, but still. You’ve got to be pretty badass to take your own hand off at the wrist with a power tool. Right hand too, you might notice. Both the Evil Dead movies have a lot of talking to the dead, which is convenient for my next choice.

Don’t take it so hard, later we can be in a nice Spider-Man movie.

The dead talk in a lot of movies.

I shouldn’t have had that last one.


In Rashōmon, the murdered man gives testimony through a medium leading to someone else talking to the dead. Yeah, didn’t see that one coming did you? Well, maybe if you’ve seen the movie recently. That part never fit with me, because of the supernatural angle, so I remember it really well. Of course Rashōmon is famous for being different versions of a single story told from multiple view points, and the tale itself is being told to someone so may have yet another view.

Um… pass! I know it seems lazy, but sometimes I honestly can’t come up with anything.

What other movies can we think of with multiple versions of the same story?

And when you really need it the most, that’s when Rock N’ Roll dreams coem true… for you!

The highly colorful Hero also contains different versions of the same story, but in a slightly different way. In this it’s just two guys telling each other how the events happened instead of several people giving evidence. Instead of never really saying how it all went down, we get closer to the truth as the movie unfolds. Of course, Hero is also contains a great deal of people fighting while flying. I wasn’t too into flying people before this movie, it always seemed a bit silly, but I liked it in this. It really was this and not Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that did it for me.

I be done seen about everything, when I see a kung-fu artist fly.

Continuing on the “thing that has no business flying” theme…

And you thought seagulls were bad.

We’ve got Dumbo. Hey, Dumbo! You remember Dumbo? Of course what else is the chief point of Dumbo? Right, getting drunk. It’s when Dumbo and the mouse get drunk that they have the Pink Elephants. Boozing it up in a Disney movie! Don’t get that these days do we? Oh no! Health and safety would have kittens over that. However, this isn’t the only Disney movie with a main character boozing it up.

So… is it okay to get kids drunk now? Mixed signals guys!

Let’s see how we get there.

Again with the hooch!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Drinking could have taken us anywhere, but I choose to take us to Eddie Valiant’s drinking problem. I did this, because Who Framed Roger Rabbit contains an important link to our next movie. Also, I like the idea of Disney movies that have lots of drinking. If I could find a Disney movie with felching, you can bet that I’d use it. Probably not going to find that though. Even if I did, how would I draw back to mainstream films? About the only thing you could really do after that is claim that the Muppet Movie is all about fisting really. ANYWAY! You might remember that the opening of the movie has a story within the story.

Look, I’m trying to symbolize the inherent nature of man here.

It’s all a story with in a story, wrapped in an enigma, covered in dark velvety chocolate…

The Grand Ole Opry just ain’t what it used to be.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Much like Baron Munchausen’s story is told on the stage, set within the confines of the movie. The Baron begins telling his story on stage, but then the tale seems to end, but it doesn’t really. The lines of where the story ends and the adventure begins is really blurred in a wonderful way. In that film, young Sally has a problem with her Father not being there for her, going so far as to say “And Son” instead of “And Daughter.”

See dads? A little bit of paste can make up for years of neglect.

Fathers and daughters have lots of problems though, as we’ll see…

It says here that pink high tops are still in fashion.

SPL: Sha Po Lang
While it was sold as Killzone in America, the movie SPL also has father’s having problems with their daughters. The end of the movie actually takes place around Father’s Day, which is a big part of the movie. Dads, sons, daughters, it all comes together here in a way that might confound some, delight others, and make fight junkies wonder where the next fight is. Don’t get too impatient, I’m getting to that. There is a great fight, an awesome fight, a fight so cool it ends with the bad guy being disemboweled with his own knife. That’s pretty hard-core right there, cutting a guy’s guts out.

GUTS! I know the screen cap isn’t perfect, so I decided to tell you.

Yeah, I’ve got another guts movie.

MORE GUTS! Same joke, different cap.

Another film in which the bad guy gets his guts cut out by the end is Rambo, which I’ve reviewed before. That would be the fourth Rambo movie by the way. I’m not going to go into the various complaints about sequel names, just understand which one I’m talking about. In that movie, some religious missionaries basically caused all of Rambo’s problems for him. They don’t listen, they go places they’re not wanted.

The girl is cute though.

Religious people just cause problems for everyone.

Here we come a wassailing along the leaf so green.

Kingdom of Heaven
Case in point. In Kingdom of Heaven, it’s religious fanatics cause all the problems for everyone. Really, religion is just a big headache as far as movies go. Pretty much, unless you’re watching something on one of those religious channels that only grandmothers ever watch, religion is going to be problematic. Best to stay away from it. However, you should get this movie, but only in the Director’s Cut format. This is one of the few times that a director’s cut is worth your time. Mostly it’s just a lot of self-indulgence, but here it actually works. There is also a scene in which Saladin give the captured Guy a chalice of ice, which is a lovely frozen treat.

Should I make an “Ice, Ice Baby” joke? Y/N?

Frozen Treats?

You ever notice how there is no way to eat ice cream and look dignified?

Hot Fuzz
Speaking of Frozen Treats, cornetto in this case, let’s talk about Hot Fuzz. That movie is a veritable roller coaster of references. Among all the comedy and mystery and murders there is a fairly constant stream of winking references, which are how I like them. I won’t even scratch that surface, since it would take too long and would bore you quickly if you weren’t watching. Just trust me, reference city, this movie is.

Pic unrelated

OKAY! Next week we’ll pick up from where we left off today with the references.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Top 40 Movies by odd connections (Part One)

Here we are, November. Here we are a list of 40 movies. Let’s have a look at them shall we?

Part One

Pirates, bandits, whatever.

Project A
In Project A, Jackie Chan and friends battle bandits and pirates in turn of the century Hong Kong. This movie was one of the first (Winners and Sinners was the first Lucky Stars Movie, but this is a Jackie production and only has the three brothers.) movie where Jackie, Samo Hung and Yuen Biao all played together. Yuen and Jackie have a rivalry at the beginning, but it sorts itself out by the end. While this isn’t the first of Jackie’s big movies, this is really the beginning of his superstar period where he did almost no wrong for better than ten years. There was a sequel a few years later, but it’s a Jackie only production. This was One of the best moments from this movie is a scene in which Jackie’s Character, Dragon, fights the bad guys down narrow alleys on a bike before making his escape on said bicycle.

This is not proper use of equipment.

Our first connective theme is “Bikes”

Still sort of improper use of equipment.

In Downfall, Traudl Junge and the kid (I forget his name) escape the madness of Nazi Germany, riding a bike before the movie fades to black. I remember there being some controversy when this movie came out, because some people claimed it made Hitler too human or something. I will agree, it made him human, but if the idea that he was a human being and not a monster from the planet Zargo is too much for you, then grow up! Yeah, the movie made him look like a human, but it made him look like a human douche. He’s such a cockbite I can’t imagine anyone actually following him. It’s like watching your best friend date a psycho and as the relationship is drawing to a close, and he really wants to leave her, he still won’t because he’s sucked into her web. You know it’s going to end with her killing him one day and then killing herself. The murder suicide of this movie isn’t Adolph and Eva, it’s the Nazi Party and Germany. Seriously Europe, you’ve gotta stop dating psychos. Another point about this movie is how no one can smoke in the bunker while Hitler is alive. As a result, people have to smoke outside the bunker and light up inside only after he’s killed himself.

You know they’re evil because they smoke!

Anyway, the smoking ban leads us to the next entry.

What? I’m just trying to have a ciggie!

Another movie with a guy who has problems with smokers would be Ronin. Sam, played by Robert DeNiro, always stops people from smoking. This movie is one of the last great old school action movies. Its main plot point is just a big old metal case full of McGuffin, and our heroes need to steal it. Then, having it stolen from them, they need to steal it back again. There are a few good action sequences, but the main reason you’d be here is the car chases, which really are something. I don’t think you’ll get a car chase as good as that in the middle of Paris again. They really use the landscape in a way few chases do.

Fast car goes fast.

Car chases factor into our next movie as well.

Rocking it in a taxi!

The Bourne Supremacy
Did I say you’d never get a car chase as good as that again? Something that comes close is the final chase scene in the Bourne Supremacy. The Moscow Chase is probably one of my all time favorite car chases. It works differently than the chases in Ronin do, being more visceral and quick moving. At the end of course, we learn that the reason he went to Russia was to apologize to the daughter of a man and woman he killed years ago. The movie goes from an action piece to an emotional portrayal of a hitman trying to make things right.

There has to be a joke here. Think damnit THINK!

Much like our next film…

Dry, flaky skin?

The Killer
Chow Yun Fat’s character fires a gun near her eyes and that strikes Sally Yeh’s character blind and does his best to make up for the fact in the rest of the movie. I know, I know, guns and action and stuff like that is a big part of the movie, but can’t we concentrate on something else for a change? I mean the whole guns and brotherhood thing has been examined I think. Can’t I talk about something not homoerotic? Just once, just so I can get through this list a little more easily? I don’t want to have to write reviews or anything, just to justify how things are connected. Okay? SO! Sally Yeh’s character coincidently is a singer. John Woo wanted a jazz singer, but the studio demanded a more traditional song instead.

I’m not really singing this song, they’re just piping in the music.

Music and singers puts us into the next movie…

He’s not really singing either.

Night at the Opera
There are lots of singers at an opera. See? Connected! WOOO! Of course our heroes try to help a female singer and a male singer as well. Now, because it’s a Marx Bros. movie, our heroes aren’t the established type, they’re your typical outsiders, which is what you need in a story like this. In fact, most of the movie is dependant on them being outsiders, and building sympathy from the audience because of their status. They rely on madcap adventure to win the day here instead of machine guns or laser beams.

If only I’d come up with a perfect scheme instead of playing Monkey Island all day.

Outsiders are a common theme in many movies, such as…

I can see the music!

Another example of outside help is the deformed mutants in Gandahar, who in the end are the only ones who can help. There is a lot here about governments casting off and hiding their mistakes, trying to pretend they didn’t happen. That behavior tends to bite you in the butt, and I’ve read that there was more than a little bit about how the French government treated some things and how it bit them in the butt. Yeah, the movie is French. You can watch the American English version if you want, but the proper version is in French.

Sometimes, you don’t need a caption for it to be funny.

It’s very, totally French.


The French Connection
HEY! There’s French people in this movie! WHAT? I said these connections might be vague and tenuous. The movie is about French people, being all French and stuff. Some of the movie even takes place in France, how much more French can you get? Around all the Frenchness there is also a subplot about drugs.

The good old days, when drug dealers enjoyed brandy over business.

Drugs! Yeah! Connections!

Uh huh, yeah, okay, gimme the drug, yep, uh-huh, I’m listening to every word you say.

Of course dugs play a large part in our next film, Goodfellas. The end of Goodfellas is one long stream, very much like the sort of feelings one has while perpetually stoned. Can you tell I’m trying really hard to talk about these movies? Not feeling very creative really, most my energy was taken up by forming the list. What’s not quite so well remembered is a little scene where they all got to Tommy’s mother’s house and have a meal with her.

Such a nice home cooked meal.

The sort of ancient person giving young folk a home cooked meal comes in at our next movie…

Not such a nice home cooked meal.

The Empire Strikes Back
Where an impatient Luke and an old Yoda share a meal before the training begins. Remember? In his hut thing? Yeah. I knew you’d remember. Of course we can hardly mention Empire without mentioning the hacked off hand. Oh yeah, spoiler, Luke looses his hand just before Vader give him the big “Whose your daddy?” speech. Did I spoil the movie? If I did, go punch yourself in the crotch. Seriously, what planet are you from? How did you even get on the internet?

A break away hand. CLEVER!

More about hands being removed next week…
Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment