You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yet Another Worst "Best Films" List

The Times (of London) Online has graced us with yet another embarrassing Best Films list. All 3 regular readers of this blog (that's not including pets) know my general opinion on these sorts of lists: vapid twaddle produced by berks as thick as frozen marmite. This one doesn't come within a horizon's sight of such transcendent grandeur.

A quick look at the list reveals all one needs to know. According to the film critics at the most venerable news establishment in London, There Will Be Blood is the second greatest film of all time. Yes, that There Will Be Blood, the non-Best Picture award winner at the Academy Awards, not some heretofore unknown There Will Be Blood by Welles or Hitchcock or Kurosawa or even Nicholas Ray. Obviously, the critics are fans of Daniel Day-Lewis, who would probably (and not just modestly, as Mr. Lewis is want to do) point out that the Times' choice is daft as a bean restaurant with no central air unit.

There's more. The Shining is number 5. Bloody Number Five...Above Seven Samurai, Citizen Kane, 8 and 1/2, Rules of the Game, etc., etc., etc.

What else is above the august films I just mentioned (besides The un-august, but quality The Shining)?

The Sound of Music is number 11. The hills must be alive with drunken film critics from The Times.

The Jungle Book is number 14. Surely, Kipling is rolling in his grave, thinking that the Times list must be the work of beings who "wanna walk like you and talk like you" typing in a room full of an infinite number of keyboards.

Oh, we're not finished yet. The Breakfast Club is number 22. Still no Welles, Kurosawa, Fellini, or Renoir, but plenty of room for a film featuring Judd Nelson gremming up a gob and then playing catch with it in his cake hole... A genius, that John Hughes. Better than L'Aventura, Wild Strawberries, Battleship Potemkin, Singin in the Rain, The Shop on Main Street, and Come and See.

As are also, according to the gormless dimwits at The Times:

The Empire Strikes Back (#32)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (#43)

La Dolce Vita finally cracks the list at #52, nine places after James Cameron's epic explosions fest.

Rashomon finally cracks the list at #61(!) a full 39 places behind Molly Ringwald's finest hour (all right, she was the only good thing in Sixteen Candles).

Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy finally appears at #77. (No sign of the Neorealist Italian films that inspired it at this point.)

Ozu's Tokyo Story breaks through at #80, just behind Deliverance (squeeeeallll).

Bergman's Wild Strawberries finally appears at #88, just before Touch of Evil, the first (!) Welles film on the list.

The Towering Inferno is #94. Point Break is #97. If there had been a #101, it probably would have been Bio-Dome or Ishtar in this towering inferno of a list.

This is a list to be despised and ridiculed as long as such a thing as film exists in the world. If this list were a football club, its managers would be sacked, drawn, and quartered...twice. Its stadium would be burned to the ground and the pitch salted and then seeded with ants and termites. The players would be sold to non-footballing professions for the cost of a tin of SPAM and those that couldn't be sold would be sent to prison and hard labour for life.

To paraphrase another list from a film I don't recall seeing on this list, "The list is an absolute bad. The list is death to films."

This grotty little pop-trash list reads like a school project from an institution for the terminally dim. The only way it could have been more embarrassing is if the editor decided to let the spelling errors go uncorrected. It's a colossus of ignorance, propped up by a slathering of arrogance and the blithely obtuse notion that even a list as foully rancid as this bit of tripe is can be somehow justified by saying that it exists to "stimulate argument." Bob Crane in a harem wouldn't have been stimulated in the presence of this list. I've seen FORTRAN read more lucid than this incoherent blatherous rubbish. It hangs on the virtual pages of The Times like a collection of turds, strung together like plump, fetid sausages.

It simply reeks.

Now, there are, as noted above, some great films on this list. However, they sit as window-dressing for the monumentally bad decisions of the critics, much the same as if the Nazis had hung clean curtains in the broken windows of the Reichstag after gutting it with fire.

A retraction is most certainly in order.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

That's Hedley!

Harvey Korman passed away today. He was a fabulous comic actor with far more range than most people give him credit for, and in his best parts a subliminal sense of frustration that always peaked through whatever officious facade his character had constructed, sort of an American version of the kind of thing John Cleese does so well.

He will be missed. A few choice Korman bits from You Tube are below.