Archive for August, 2010

The Checklist

We are T-minus 16 days from departure and what better way to celebrate than to create a “bucket list” for the upcoming school year. This list will be available on one of the tabs at the top of the page marked Checklist and is subject to change.

1. Play Ninentdo 64. Over 32.9 million units of N64 were sold worldwide. One of them must be owned by some Frog who goes to ENSA-V.

2. Introduce The Room to some Frenchmen. If you have talked to me for more than an hour in the past 9 months, chances are you know my obsession with the crap-tacular awesomeness that is The Room. This movie needs to be seen by all film lovers. Even those who don’t speak English. I’m just going to be waiting for the guy who I am watching it with actually know Tommy Wiseau — that’d be nuts.

One of the greatest Wikipedia articles.

3. Go to a concert. It is very possible I and a few others will be going to see Arcade Fire in Lyon in late Novemeber. More on that later.

4. Get schooled in soccer. I would say play soccer with some Europeans but lets face it, I’m going to get my ass kicked. Still doesn’t change the fact the French embarrassed themselves during the World Cup. I wonder how many times I’ll use that card…French TOASTED.

5. Learn Eurail and/or travel internationally via Train. I just hope it’s more like going to Hogwarts and less like Eurotrip.

“This isn’t where I parked my car.”

6. Go to the movies. I am very curious to see what the French theatrical movie experience is all about. What are their commercials/trailers like? Whats a bag of popcorn cost? Will Harry Potter have a french accent?

7. Suit Up! “Because chicks dig suits.”

8. Find Mexican tortillas. Because what kind of Mexican moves to France? Honestly.

9. Make it to Africa. Whether its crossing the Straight of Gibralter or hitting up the Pyramids like the Weasley Summer Vacation of ’93, stepping foot on the African continent would be quite memorable.

10. Catch a soccer game. It doesn’t even have to be the major league of football. In fact, I’d be just as satisfied seeing the equivalent of a Kane County Cougar’s Game or even the Shaumburg Flyers for that matter.

11. Find some Cubans and smoke them. Cigars people!

13. Buy a Shamwow. They’re made in Germany so you know they’re good.

12. Understand the European fascination with Hasselhoff. This came about after watching The Roast of David Hasselhoff and I am still confused about the European fandom phenomenon that is the Hoff. Someone has to get to the bottom of this!

That book doesn’t even have a quote on the back. Nor does it deserve one…


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Top 10 Favorite Films

Being a movie buff, there are certain rules and guidelines that one must abide to, including making a pretentious top 10 movies list. Alas, here is mine for the time being.

10.  ONCE. What can I say? I like romance and I like music. Once has one of the best soundtracks of recent memory but more importantly it is one of the best feel good movies in recent memory. Plus, who doesn’t like Irish accents?

“When your mind’s made up. There’s no point trying to stop it.”

9.  Motorcycle Diaries/ Y Tu Mama Tambien. I was torn when I had to chose which one of these films I liked more but could not decide. And since they're both in Spanish, I figure'd why not group these movies together -- I too dislike it when critics do this. Both movies focus on the open road and young people discovering their identity, while interweaving themes of  social and economical injustice in Latin America. My Latin American Studies T.A. would be so proud.
“¿Cómo es posible sentirse nostalgia para un mundo yo nunca supe?

“La vida está como el oleaje, así que le da quiere lejos el mar.”

8.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Michel Gondry's trick editing and cinematography is a reason within itself to watch this film but the movie's theme (albeit not subtle) of "It's better to have love and lost, than to never have loved at all," is something everyone can relate to.
“My crouch is still here, just like you remembered it.”

7. Magnolia. Not Paul Thomas Anderson's best film (that will go to either Boogie Nights or There Will Be Blood), but certainly his most ambitious. This movie is packed with lots of really great performances, it's difficult to find any loose links in the chain. Magnolia may be alienating to many but if you are tolerant towards 3 hour long movies about troubled characters to epic proportions, then Magnolia is certainly worth checking out.
“And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that strange things happen all the time.”

6. Dazed & Confused. I've always loved this film and it happens to be my favorite teen movie. It isn't flashy like Superbad, nor too preachy like the Breakfast Club. Instead what you get is an honest portrait of what being a teenager is all about -- getting blitzed and not worrying about tomorrow ma'an.

5. Almost Famous. A must-see for anyone who loves classic rock, or music in general for that matter. To me what makes AF a truly great film is that not only does it have a lot of heart and soul but it is also a really funny movie. You’ll be surprised how many quirky moments there are upon first viewing and you’ll be surprised by how many you miss after several viewings. Simply put, Almost Famous is a truly wonderful film about good company and music. You’ll never listen to Tiny Dancer quite the same ever again.

“And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were… I’m on drugs!”

4. Pulp Fiction. Best movie of the 90s. Period. Well..Maybe Schindler's List.
“Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face!”

3. The Shawshank Redemption. Also arguably THE best film of the 90s. Almost everything you want to know about life is in The Shawshank Redemption. It’s almost criminal Shawshank lost to the fam-friendly Forrest Gump at the ’94 Oscars. But then again, I’ve recently come to the recent revelation that the Oscars suck hard.

“I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.”

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In my opinion, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a better trilogy than Star Wars with or without the taintful Episodes I,II, & III. Sure Star Wars may have been way more influential (we wouldn't have awesome films such as the 5th Element now would we?) but LOTR is a more polished trilogy. Also no Ewoks!
“Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.”

1. The Graduate. Upon my first viewing, I thought The Graduate was overrated. The love story between Ben and Elaine is spontaneous and doesn’t seem too believable. But the story remains timeless even to this day– and may actually mature with age as white suburbia continues to grow. Good day bad day, rain or shine, I can watch this film any day of the week. Plus what’s not to like with a soundtrack comprised of Simon & Garfunkel? And for fans of Boy Meets World, does Mr. Feeney ever age!?

“Wood or Wire? They have both.”

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, There Will Be Blood, American Beauty, Children of Men, Memento, The Departed

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