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Friday, November 18, 2005

100 Years of Inspiration and Cheap Thrills

The American Film Institute is coming up with yet another 100 years list.

They've already run this theme well into the ground. Already we've seen:

100 Years...100 Movies
100 Years...100 Stars
100 Years...100 Laughs
100 Years...100 Thrills
100 Years...100 Passions
100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains
100 Years...100 Songs
100 Years...100 Movie Quotes
100 Years of Film Scores
100 Years...100 Brutal Onscreen Killings
100 Years...100 Nude Scenes
100 Years...100 People Who Should Never Be Allowed Onscreen Again
100 Years...100 Films by Foreigners
100 Years...100 Jack Valenti Oscar Appearances

100 Years...100 Whoopi Goldberg Cameos and Roles
100 Years...100 Movies Leonard Maltin Thought Were Garbage

Admittedly, there was a great deal of overlap on those last two lists.

So, after such a sterling run, what's the latest list to be?

100 Years...100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies

Some of the films already nominated are The Karate Kid, 8 Mile, and Rocky.

Yes, that rumble you heard was my stomach churning.

However, as I love films and appreciate the good work AFI normally does, I feel obligated to contribute a helpful list of the ten films that have inspired me the most. I hope this helps you out my film-preserving friends:

10. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - Who couldn't be inspired when William Shatner as James T. Kirk screams "Khan!!!!" at the top of his lungs? For that matter, who couldn't be inspired by William Shatner's magnificent toupee' and the fact that it almost never fell off onscreen? Also, Ricardo Montalban must surely be the most ripped septugenarian to ever appear in film. I hope to have the same trainer when I'm his age.

9. Shane - He kept walking when that creepy little boy shouted, "I love you Shane!" I can think of few scenes more inspiring than that. Alone with that obessive kid in a cabin in the plains? A death sentence for sure.

8. Titanic - A film that inspired me to do several things: Never travel by ocean liner in the North Atlantic, laugh and point at people who climb on things and shout "I'm the King of the World!", and burn my Celine Dion CD collection (except for Celine - Live in Pyongyang!, which is irreplaceably rare, since they only pressed three copies of it before North Korea's only working CD burner broke down on account of the squirrels that powered it being eaten by the technicians.)

7. The Straight Story - the most inspiring part of the film for me is the opening titles: "Walt Disney Pictures presents A Film by David Lynch." Proof that anything can happen in America, and usually does.

6. Bio Dome - This inspired me to leave the cinema immediately. Admittedly, that's not necessarily a positive thing, but the power of this film's inspiration to do just that is undeniable.

5. Empire of the Ants - The movie contains the death scene of a particularly annoying character portrayed by Joan Collins. Future generations can only marvel in wonder at her inspirational fate at the pincers of badly processed giant cinematic ants.

4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy - This inspired me to decide that, should I ever become a film producer, to hire Peter Jackson to make a movie about something really popular and grandiose, and then watch the cash flow in, especially if Liv Tyler and Orlando Bloom are two of the leads.

3. Incubus - The only film made in Esperanto. Starring William Shatner. I'm not sure this creepy film about demons is really inspirational, but it's such a completely weird idea for a film that it should be on somebody's list.

2. Enter the Dragon - Bruce Lee's most famous film movie inspired me to begin my exhaustive study and practice of Kung Fu (almost 2 full weeks), which was admittedly setback when the first style I decieded to learn was Moo Goo Gai Pan. You know, kung fu instructors are usually portrayed in the pictures as serene, even stoic individuals, full of wisdom and insight. However, from personal experience I can tell you they are capable of being really sarcastic and condescending bastards at times.

1. Benji The Hunted - I haven't seen the film, but I can only hope they caught the annoying little mutt.


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