List of lists

Posted on December 13, 2007 at 8:38 am

Some great lists from around the web:

Cinematical’s Seven Stupid Things Last Men on Earth Do (Hint: don’t get too attached to one pet and do try to get out more)

Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Best Movie Musicals — just in time for some reminders of classics for holiday viewing.

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Best DVD gifts of 2007

Posted on December 6, 2007 at 8:00 am

Gift ideas for the whole family:

For the preschooler-2nd grader

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Scholastic’s Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics is my very favorite DVD series ever for 3-8 year olds, with the very best in children’s books. The visuals, narration, and musical accompaniment are perfectly matched with stories that are funny, wise, inspiring, spooky, and always, always, an invitation to reading. Every one in the series is outstanding family entertainment and for the first time they are available as a set as well.

The latest from Veggie Tales is The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s, inspired by the story of the prodigal son. Like Dorothy, he learns that there’s no place like home.

Dora’s Christmas Everyone’s favorite explorer gives Santa a gift.

For the 3th-8th grader

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The Naked Brothers Band and the companion television series with real-life brothers Nat and Alex Wolff playing superstar versions of themselves is hilarious and charming.

Like Disney superstar Hannah Montana, life is imitating art, with the real-life performers becoming very successful as performing artists. hannahmontana.jpg High School Musical 2 continues the phenomenon that was the surprise hit of 2006.

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List: Best Movie Hitmen (and Hitwomen)

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 4:59 pm

In honor of the release of the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men,” Entertainment Weekly created a list of the greatest hired killer characters in movies. As with all lists, it’s a conversation-starter, not ender. Some good choices, of course, especially Jean Reno in “The Professional” and Travolta and Jackson in Pulp Fiction. The choices are classic, I suppose, but a little obvious. Some of the lesser-known movie hitmen who are well worth a look include William H. Macy in Panic and Lee Marvin’s Oscar-winning performance in Cat Ballou.

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Crying movies

Posted on November 6, 2007 at 11:03 am

Movies that make you cry (or sob or blubber uncontrollably)
Desson Thomson has a wonderful piece in the Washington Post about movies that make us cry, and a list of some examples sent in by readers. The usual suspects are there, from “Dumbo” to “Field of Dreams,” but some surprises, including Adam Sandler’s “Click” (“Never thought I would cry at an Adam Sandler movie — I usually don’t even admit to even going to one.”), “Star Trek: The Search for Spock,” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” I admit to tearing up at the end of that one, too. Some of the other movies that have made me cry: Waterloo Bridge, A Little Princess, Steel Magnolias, the one Thomson refers to as “that Michael Keaton movie” (My Life) and yes, An Affair to Remember.
Be sure to listen to Thomson’s graceful audio commentary on his own list, with such classic choices as “Old Yeller” and “Terms of Endearment.” I enjoyed the quotes from experts, especially Professor Mary Beth Oliver of Penn State, who said that these movies
cause us to contemplate what it is about human life that’s important and meaningful. . . . Those thoughts are associated with a mixture of emotions that can be joyful but also nostalgic and wistful, tender and poignant. Tears aren’t just tears of sadness, they’re tears of searching for the meaning of our fleeting existence.
Just reading those words made me a little damp-eyed. Sorry, I just need a minute here.

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