The Phantom City

Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Movies (page 2 of 4)

A Reinterpretation of Star Wars

Were R2-D2 and Chewbacca the central characters of the Star Wars story?

Link courtesy of Out of Ambit.

The Phantom Stranger vs. James Bond

Or, Why We Love the Phantom Stranger VI, from the Absorbascon.

Personally, while I think “Bond…James Bond” is one of the greatest lines in movie history, I have to pull for the person who unleashes this quote while pouncing on someone:

You have touched a life and left a blistering sore on the flesh of Humanity — And you must not be allowed to do so again!

(A key difference between hero and villain is the ability to monologue while actually doing something.)

And yes, in the pictures in that article, that is the Phantom Stranger hitting a frost giant in the face with his fist, while blinding it with his cloak.

I really haven’t seen anything like that in a Bond movie, even before the opening credits. On the other hand, I did watch a nice lady bring James his defibrillator once. 😉

We will not be silent.

Chris Knight reviews Sophie Scholl: The Final Days — the story of a member of the White Rose — and finds the cover blurb “Chilling authenticity” goes further than anyone would think.

Fictional Women are hot…

The blog Girlfriend ’07 lists ten fictional women who make it difficult to date real women:

Hollywood has a tendency to create female characters who make it nearly impossible to ever be truly satisfied with real women. Because not only do these women tend to be beyond beautiful on the outside, but they’re always unbelievable on the inside too. They’re cool. They’re fun. They always know what to say. And they always have that one little thing that makes you fall in love with them. Maybe it’s because they usually have guys writing their lines and making them perfect, but either way they’re a tough act to follow.

I either don’t agree or I’m not familiar with much of their list, except for Terry Griffith from Just One Of The Guys. That was pretty cool, although disturbing for the male lead. Anyway, I decided to put together a list of fictional women that either have or do set expectations for what I expect out of real women.

Betty and Veronica (Archie Comics)
I don’t know how popular they are now, but when I was growing up a boy could be defined by his preference for Betty, the quintessential girl next door, or Veronica, the rich, hot girl. I was always more of a Betty fan, but as I grew up I appreciated how the Veronicas of the world could be really distracting. Now? Let’s see, the girl next door who’s good-looking, modest, compassionate, smart, low-maintenance, and loves sports? Definitely Betty.

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)
Intelligent problem-solver. Intuitive thinker. Independent, yet still ends up being a great daughter and a better girlfriend than her boyfriends deserve. She’s a college student who solves murders. What else do you need?

Willow (Alyson Hannigan in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Great with computers, willing to fight vampires, one of the most powerful witches in the world. For the sake of this list, we’ll ignore the lesbian part. Considering the fact she acts almost the same part in How I Met Your Mother, it just leads to the idea that maybe the character is a real woman.

Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin in Firefly)
A Companion of the future, she’s highly educated, psychologically astute, and a diplomat on a crew that needs one.

Susan Ivanova (Claudia Christian in Babylon 5)
Second in command of the most difficult outpost in the galaxy, Ivanova can charitably be described as “prickly.” That being said, she was honest, direct, and could likely kill you before you realized she was moving. There’s something sexy about that, particularly when it wrapped up a conflicted soul who had felt guilty for most of her life about tragedies she couldn’t control.

Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice)
Independent, intelligent, witty, and outspoken, during a time when women were encouraged to be anything but. Played by Jennifer Ehle in a memorable movie version, the written one is still the best.

Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby)
The best of the screwball comedies, Bringing Up Baby features Susan, a person who, if older, would probably be described as eccentric, looking for a lost leopard with an uptight Cary Grant. Sometimes you need a woman who’s a little crazy.

Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter)
Well, it is Wonder Woman, and we’ll just say there were a lot of guys who were watching this show when they first realized they really liked women.

Drusilla (Juliet Landau in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Take Susan Vance’s craziness, add to it the ability to rip out your throat, mix in a cool accent, and you’ve got Drusilla. You’d enjoy it, for a little while.

Marion (Solveig Dommartin in Wings of Desire)
Sad, lonely, only one foot in our realm, and able to draw an angel down from heaven just to be with her. Hard to argue with that.

McMurphy (Dana Delany in China Beach)
Sad, lonely, stuck in a war she didn’t start, a compassionate person who was forced to watch people die for little reason she could find, Colleen McMurphy was distant in a way that begged for people to try to get her to open up.

Irene Adler (A Scandal in Bohemia)
Only appearing in one Sherlock Holmes story, Adler is an adventuress who outsmarts the great detective. Holmes called her the woman, and one can only agree.

Rebecca (Ivanhoe)
Completely overwhelming the traditional heroine (Rowena) in Scott’s work, she keeps the protagonist alive and has the antagonist fall in love with her. A classic character, highly intelligent, resourceful, and practical.

Honorable Mention: Lauren Bacall
Real person, so she doesn’t really belong on the list, yet throughout her career she played some of the sexiest characters in film, a status she imparted to them.

Luckily, unlike the guys at Girlfriend ’07, I’ve already found a real woman that I dated and married. Note any common themes above? It’s possible to find smart, resourceful, sexy, caring, independent, a little crazy, and mysterious women in the real world, and I have, thank goodness. Otherwise, I wouldn’t want to watch much TV. 🙂

Original link courtesy of Best Week Ever.

Update: Can’t say I expect this out of real women, but I can’t believe I left out Joy from My Name Is Earl! Yeah, I’m kind of a redneck from North Carolina…Want to make something of it? 😉

Raimi’s Pulp Adventures?

Rumor has it that Sam Raimi plans to direct a movie featuring Doc Savage, the Shadow, and the Avenger.

Please, please, please let it be true! 🙂

Things I know from watching TV tonight

Apparently Brett Favre brings his own weather with him on the road. Green Bay and Seattle are playing Monday Night Football in a snowstorm, in Seattle.

When you’re watching pro wrestling, and two tag teams are competing called D-Generation X and the Spirit Squad, it’s inevitable the team named DX will be the good guys.

According to the USA Network, we shouldn’t just respect Pearl Harbor veterans for being great soldiers fighters. They were also great lovers.

Quote from a commercial for the Xbox 360 version of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2:

“9 girls…1 island…You do the math.”

What? I guess I don’t understand math well enough.

I still laugh when I see the commercials for Clerks II, even though we’re now down to the DVD release.

On the other hand, a little part of me wants to throw up when I see the commercials for Turistas.

The best female pro wrestlers are the crazy ones (Victoria and Mickie James).

Mattitude is still cool.

Diwali is the Hindu Halloween. (Okay, I’m catching up on The Office, and I don’t know if that is really true.)

It doesn’t take much effort to get an “USA!” chant started in Pittsburgh.

I still mark out completely when I see Dusty Rhodes on TV.

The presence of Jeremy Irons in a movie can only mean good things. Right? 😉

Office Space, starring the Superfriends

Good mashup.

Link courtesy of TV Squad.

Polish Movie Posters

Something in me loves these Polish movie posters…it must be something very dark. Of course, if I actually walked into a theater and saw a wall full of them, I might never go out again. The originals are for sale at

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102 Movies

If you need to see these 102 movies to be movie-literate, I’ve still got a ways to go.

Blatantly stealing from, I’ll list the movies and mark the ones that I’ve seen with an *. 🙂

* 2001: A Space Odyssey
The 400 Blows
8 1/2
* Aguirre, the Wrath of God
* Alien
All About Eve
* Annie Hall
* Apocalypse Now
* Bambi
* The Battleship Potemkin
* The Best Years of Our Lives
* The Big Red One
The Bicycle Thief
* The Big Sleep
* Blade Runner
* Blue Velvet
* Bonnie and Clyde
* Bringing Up Baby
* Casablanca
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
* Chinatown
* Citizen Kane
A Clockwork Orange
* The Crying Game
* The Day the Earth Stood Still
Days of Heaven
* Dirty Harry
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
* Do the Right Thing
La Dolce Vita
* Double Indemnity
* Dr. Strangelove
* Duck Soup
* E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial
Easy Rider
* The Empire Strikes Back
The Exorcist
* Fargo
Fight Club
* Frankenstein
* The General
The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II
* Gone With the Wind
The Graduate
* Halloween
A Hard Day’s Night
It’s a Gift
* It’s a Wonderful Life
* Jaws
The Lady Eve
* Lawrence of Arabia
* Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior
* The Maltese Falcon
* The Manchurian Candidate
* Metropolis
* Modern Times
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail
* The Night of the Hunter
Night of the Living Dead
* North by Northwest
* Nosferatu
On the Waterfront
* Once Upon a Time in the West
Out of the Past
Pink Flamingos
* Psycho
* Pulp Fiction
* Rashomon
* Rear Window
* Rebel Without a Cause
* Red River
The Rules of the Game
* Scarface
The Scarlet Empress
Schindler’s List
* The Searchers
* The Seven Samurai
* Singin’ in the Rain
* Some Like It Hot
A Star Is Born
A Streetcar Named Desire
Sunset Boulevard
* Taxi Driver
* The Third Man
Tokyo Story
* Touch of Evil
* The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Trouble in Paradise
* Vertigo
* West Side Story
* The Wild Bunch
* The Wizard of Oz

Actually, looking back on it, it seems kind of weird what I’ve seen and what I haven’t. I’m missing some foreign-language films, but otherwise it’s just a scattering of movies across the past 100 years that you’d think I would have seen by now.

Hef gives

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, reaches out and touches high-school students in North Carolina. No, not that way…

Turns out a Rockingham County High School English class noticed the film The Tragedy of Macbeth was produced by Hefner back in 1971. They were watching the film on an old television set, so students joked that Hefner could buy them a new TV.

The teacher wrote a letter to Hefner asking for a new TV. The letter signed by the students and sent to the Playboy Mansion and the Chicago headquarters. Two weeks later, a new 32-inch TV was on the way.

My favorite part is that Hefner’s aides asked for copies of the school newspaper with an article about the donation for his scrapbook. 🙂

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