Archive for the 'Movies' category

The Fog Of War

November 24, 2009 5:51 am

I don’t know if The Fog of War is the best documentary ever made but it is definitely one of the most intriguing.

The Fog of War

It works on so many levels. As an historical document of the cold war it is a fascinating look behind the curtain. As a philosophical discussion  it poses many difficult ethical questions.  And as a portrait of a conflicted individual it is an engrossing look at Robert McNamara.

Overall, The Fog of War is a highly recommended documentary that leaves you feeling a little smarter for having seen it.

Amazon Product Announcement

October 4, 2007 10:43 pm

As anyone who has bought anything or even used Amazon knows, they have an active product announcement program. This is where they notify you of new products via email. Sometimes these are extremely popular items with mass appeal (e.g. Harry Potter) but more frequently they use your history to find items that you would probably be interested in. In my experience, this works very well. I can’t say for sure whether I have bought anything based on their emails but I’m usually interested in the product and will browse to find out more information.

With that said, I was really surprised to receive the following from Amazon.ca: “We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Sergio Leone by Christopher Frayling have also purchased Moments Like This by Donna Hill.”

A Moment Like This

At this point I’m confused. The cover doesn’t look like something I would usually be interested in. At the bottom of the email it indicates that the book is from the Subjects -> Romance category. Now I know I’m not interested. At all.

Then a funny thing happened. No, I didn’t buy the book! But I did start wondering how this could happen.

  • Are flocks of huge Sergio Leone fans really buying this book? If so, why? Leone films barely have any female characters let alone actual romance.
  • Maybe one person who bought Sergio Leone actually bought the book? It could have been a gift?!
  • Could it be a bug with Amazon’s software?

I’m secretly hoping that it is the third option — the other two options are too damaging to my world view.

Favorite Movies

July 16, 2007 5:12 pm

AFI. What do they know?

Well, probably more than me. But I was inspired by their omni-present lists to start thinking about my own list of great films. Like everyone, I disagree with those lists but I recognize that it’s more of a marketing thing so I don’t get my knickers in a knot (I always wanted to say that!).

The biggest decision is what criteria to use to construct the list. Since it’s my list I will use my own criteria. The criteria is simple, I would consider these to be my favorite movies. And the simple test I used to determine if the film should be on the list is: if I see the movie on TV, would I watch it. Every time. If it was on the next day would I watch it again?

Here are the first 34 in no particular order:

Almost Famous
Apollo 13
Die Hard
Gladiator
High Noon
My Cousin Vinny
Once Upon a Time in the West
Speed
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Hunt For Red October
The Matrix
The Natural
The Princess Bride
The Shawshank Redemption
The Usual Suspects
Titanic
For A Few Dollars More
Tin Cup
Bull Durham
The Fugitive
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Naked Gun
La Femme Nikita
Run Lola Run
Rocky
To Sir With Love
12 Angry Men
Aliens
Rob Roy
Conan The Barbarian
This is Spinal Tap
Airplane!
The African Queen

And number one with a bullet: Casablanca.