C'mon everyone loves a good list, don't they? This is the place to find links and commentaries on lists of all sizes and merit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Lights Are On...
But we have the worst flu known to man. Back as soon as typing more than two sentences doesn't sap us of what little energy we have.>

Saturday, November 22, 2003

"No! No! Make That Cat Go Away
Still up to my eyeballs in work, but I was hoping to take a break tomorrow and take the kids to see "The Cat in the Hat." The trailer looked pretty bad, and considering what the same team did to the "Grinch," my expecatations were low, but I really haven't had time to monitor the critical reaction (one commercial did seem to have some nice quotes from semi-legit sources). Thank god, though, for Metacrtic. According to their scoring system, the only two movies that have recieved a worse critical reaction in the last four months or so have been "My Boss's Daughter" and something called "House of the Dead."

Don't take my word for it though, go check out the list of what the critics had to say. Just to entice you, here are a few prime quotes:
Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "If the producers had dug up Ted Geisel's body and hung it from a tree, they couldn't have desecrated the man more."

Gregory Weinkauf, Dallas Observer:
"Such a remarkable rift between its charming source material and its heinous cinematic realization that the producers may as well have skipped the hassle of securing licensing rights and simply called this mess Mike Myers: Asshole in Fur."

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: "Someone (Myers?) came up with the bright idea of turning the Cat in the Hat into the worst Vegas nightclub spritzer of 1958. He's become a furry version of Rip Taylor: a walking, talking vaudeville idiot box."

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: "Comes scarily close to being the most unendurable Hollywood creation of the last dozen years."

Now the trick is trying to make my kids forget the movie was released.>

Friday, November 21, 2003

No List for You
Crushing deadlines...horrible back pain...no time to post...last day of full-time employment...cold coming on...co-worker hopefully arriving with burrito soon...missing OSU-UM game because of some kid's birthday party.

In all seriousness, though, if you're looking for someone to do some writin', editin', or whatnot, the shingle is officially out at 5 p.m. today. Write me at alistady--the at symbol goes here--yahoo.com and I can provide you with details of my career beyond the sparkling prose and numerous typos you've come to expect from this blog.>

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Move Over Gene and Bill
In case "Fresh Air" has yet to air in your market yet, Terry Gross takes on Triumph the Insult Comic Dog today. If you missed it, the audio link goes up later in the day. It's really some great radio...for me to poop on. >

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Thrill That’ll Getcha
The Knot weighs in on Rolling Stone's big 500 best albums of all time list with The Top 500 Reasons Rolling Stone Still Doesn't Matter.
Link via Gawker.
Do You Like American Music?
Information Leafblower has a response to The Guardian's recent list of the 40 best current bands from the States. Leafblower goes with the Strokes at No. 1, while The Guardian picks the Flaming Lips.
If I had a vote, my top 10 might be:
1. Tom Waits
2. Bob Dylan
3. Wilco
4. Beck
5. Eminem
6. The Shins
7. Outkast
8. Dan Zanes
9. R.E.M.
10. The New Main Street Singers

Obligatory Howarding: Link via prolific nipple herder Uncle Grambo, who also comments today on The Guardian's recent list of the top 40 directors.>

Monday, November 17, 2003

Sorry, But the Pizza's Gone
It's the one-year anniversary of Throwing Things. Normally we'd toss all sorts of praise Adam's way, talking about his great takes on the world of pop culture. We'd call Throwing Things "Entertainment Weekly meets Vanity Fair meets Spy meets Sports Illustrated crossed with your favorite Muktuk recipe book as seen through the eyes of an autistic child looking at a snow globe," but there's been talk--as you no doubt have heard--that the blogosphere is too cozy, so we'll just say, in a cold, stern voice, "We are A List a Day, and we approve of the above link." >
Sun Rises in East This Morning
OK, so introducing a cliche with another cliche isn't the cleverest way to introduce an item, but what else can you do when "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" lands at No. 1 on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, as chosen by a panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone? Those with a passing knowledge of the pantheon of the rock greats can pretty much predict the rest of the top 10. (We'll give you the artist, you name the album: Beach Boys, Beatles, Dylan, Beatles, Marvin, Stones, Clash, Dylan, and Beatles.) One album apiece from the '80s and '90s make the second 10, with "Nevermind: coming in at No. 17 and "Thriller" at No. 20. And the most recent album to make the list is the White Stripes "Elephant" at No. 390.

The last time RS undertook such a huge task was in 1987 when the mag named the top 100 albums from its first 20 years. I pretty much expected the lists to look the same, but to my shock, the 1987 list was much more adventurous, diversified, and intriguing. The difference, I think, says a lot about RS then and now. Then RS, though hardly in its prime, was still expected to define music criticism and taste. Today, RS merely reinforces conventional wisdom. While it's hard to argue with any of the top 20 from the 2003 list, that's precisely the trouble with it.

Here's the top 20 from 1987 (those in the 2003 top 20 have their rank in parenthesis):
1. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1)
2. The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
3. The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street (7)
4. John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band
5. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced? (15)
6. David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
7. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (19)
8. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (18)
9. The Beatles - The Beatles (10)
10. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (6)
11. Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
12. Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks (16)
13. Bob Dylan & The Band - The Basement Tapes
14. The Clash - London Calling (8)
15. The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
16. Patti Smith - Horses
17. The Beatles - Abbey Road (14)
18. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
19. The Band - The Band
20. Prince - Dirty Mind

Granted, the 1987 list more closely reflects Jann's twin obsessions with the Stones and Lennon and several of the 2004 albums ("Revolver," "Pet Sounds," "Kind of Blue") were not eligible for the 1987 list, but the earlier list just seems less ossified.


Sunday, November 16, 2003

A Presidential Committee Had Recently Discovered That DiMaggio Was Credited With a Hit in Game 30 of the Streak That Clearly Should Have Been Scored an Error
As we close in on the 40th anniversary of JFK's death (or is it?), the AP helpfully lists all the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination, including one that puts Mr. Coffee up in the Book Depository.

DiMaggio doesn't get the blame though for planting the bones that became known as Piltdown Man, a.k.a. the Missing Link, but Arthur Conan Doyle is among the list of potential pranksters. On the 50th anniversary of Piltdown being revealed as a hoax, The Guardian has a list of the 10 best scientific scams.
Thanks to Radosh for the tip. Come for the naked pictures of Arnold, stay for the humiliation of Easterbrook.>

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Raise a Heineken, er, Pabst
The Guardian picks the 40 best current directors in the world, and in case you haven't guessed who No. 1 is, "He is our spooky tour guide through a world of dancing dwarves, femme fatales and little blue boxes that may (or may not) contain all the answers."
Link via Gawker.>

Friday, November 14, 2003

From the Canadian Bureau...
A special warning to those of you who live in Edmonton and may have accumulated, say, 44 speeding tickets or traffic violations. You may want to start driving a bit more cautiously, lest you end up on this list.
At first this story sounds kind of creepy, especially by Canadian standards:
"In a program that has never been tried in North America, the police have compiled a secret list of 100 drivers to watch, and they intend to watch them closely...Photographs of the drivers on the list, their addresses and the descriptions of their vehicles will be posted on police charts and computer systems.
Officers are being encouraged to park outside the homes of listed drivers."

But then you come to the criteria for being included on the list:
" 'To be on this list, you've got to have 45 or 50 speeding tickets or traffic violations,' said Sgt. Tom Bell. 'You have to have been charged with a criminal driving offence, impaired driving several times, impaired driving causing death.' "
Feel the Heat
If I'm Andy or John Taylor, I'd be calling my doctor for a full physical this instant.>

Thursday, November 13, 2003

No. 26, If the TV Seems Too Loud, You Can Use the Volume Control on Your Remote Control to Turn the Volume Down
It's 25 tips for better TV watching from the The Southern Illinoisan.
Link via TV Tattle>

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Hall Has Eye for the Punter Guy
Ray Guy has survived the cut and is on the list of the 25 semifinalists eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime ALAD readers will remember us blogging on the subject on Oct. 10--and if I could permalink I could send you there, but alas. >
Conrad's Bane
A list of things we have learned about Paris Hilton in the past 24 hours:

1. E! Online has some of the best reporters in the business as this passage proves: "A search for "Paris Hilton Sex Tape" on the file-sharing site KaZaa leads to clips of everything from large naked women doing provocative dances to a monkey drinking his own urine." Calls to the monkey were unreturned.
2. Paris Hilton may be an alien.
3. The video's other star, Rick Solomon, is endowed--with a great business sense.
4. David Spade needs a job.
5. "The Simple Life" is going to do huge ratings.


Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Sentimental Hogwash
The Old Hag has been busy accepting lists of movies, books, songs, and whatnot that make you cry. Among my many weaknesses is a tendency to get a little misty-eyed. Off the top of my head, these things were worth the salt in my tears...
1. A Prayer for Owen Meany
You know it's coming and still that ending gets to me. It's also tears of relief, because you finally realize that all that nonsense about the basketball shot had a purpose. If the ending of Irving's books seem a little too perfect, btw, here's the reason: He writes his books backwards. While I can see the advantages and disadvantages of this method, it may be the reason there are rarely any subplots in his book that just disappear. In the hands of less-skilled writer, I can see this being a bad tactic, but Irving seems to more often than not pull it off with perfect marksmanship.
2. "Field of Dreams"
Kevin Costner "having a catch" with his dad. You have no soul if that doesn't get to you.
3. "Rudy"
The only thing that keeps this from being my favorite movie of all time (seriously) is that Rudy was a Golden-Domer. I am a sucker for most sports movies with an underdog overcoming the odds (are there any other kind?), but this one stands out above them all for me. The look on Rudy's dad's face (Ned Beatty) as his son takes the field is usually where I lose it. As you can tell, the whole father-son thing is my Waterloo.
4. "It's a Wonderful Life"
One day around the holiday season I was sitting around washing (pre-cable) TV with my brother when we stumbled upon the scene where Harry plunges into the icy water and George has to save him. We were transfixed. After watching the whole movie, we starting flipping around and strangely it was on again on another channel. That year we must have watched it a half-dozen times, going so far as tuning in a station from Milwaukee. We thought we had stumbled upon some forgotten classic. Twenty years later, "watching" is, of course, a part of the holiday fabric, and even though I own it on DVD, if I stumble upon one of the few-NBC sanctioned telecasts, I will still drop what I am doing to watch. The whole ending is obvs. a weepaplooza, but there's a shot in particular where after everyone is dumping the money on the Bailey's table where George gives Mary a glance and she has a look of absolute love in her eyes that does me in.
5. Various TV Scenes
From Radar announcing the death of Col. Blake to Ed deciding on Carol over Frankie, the small screen has had an unusual and impropriety over my tear ducts over the years.

I'm sure there are a ton more, but these ones come to mind first. Now please excuse me while I get a tissue. >
It's the Lists That Got Small
There's a disturbing trend in the world of lists, with magazines giving us mere morsels of their list features online and then forcing us to go over to Borders to read the rest of the list or, heaven forbid, actually expecting us to go through the bother of getting one of those $4 subscriptions that litter the Internet.
Two prime examples are Men's Journal's list of the 50 Best Guy Movies Of All Time and Maxim Goes to the Movies's list of the 50 Funniest Movie Scenes of All Time. At least MJ gives us the top 10, as opposed to MGTTM's strategy of allowing us to see Nos. 41-50.

Thanks, by the way, to everyone's favorite Michigan football fan, Detroit booster, and chronicler of celebrity nipples, Uncle Grambo for thinking of us when he saw the MJ list.

Update: Rolling Stone gets in the act with a list of the top rock movies on DVD. "Spinal Tap" is a slam dunk at No. 1, but why isn't "Purple Rain" in the top 12?

Monday, November 10, 2003

Let's Work, Be Proud...
I'd stand tall, touch the clouds if I was pulling in the jack the people on this list of the 10 most overpaid jobs in the U.S. were. Hell, after finding out on Friday that my position at my company was being eliminated, (Anyone need a writer and/or editor, freelance or full time? send me an email at alistaday--at--yahoo.com) maybe a career change is in order. Is it too late to try and go into orthodontics at 35?
Link via The Modulator>
First They Cancelled the Mini-Series...
On the heels of successfully squashing the Ronald Reagan biopic mini-series on CBS, The Hartford Courant reports on the Republican National Committee's chilling list of additional films it is looking to eliminate lest they harm the reputation of our 40th president.
Link via TV Tattle>

Thursday, November 06, 2003

You're Out
Sports Illustrated, whose issue incidentally this week is a must-buy for any of those of you who have let your subscription lapse because it features thumbnails of every cover and lists a plenty about cover trivia, features a list today on the occasion of the death of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson of players who died during their careers. Some of the names and stories like Darryl Kile, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, Lymn Bostock, and Thurman Munson, you know, but luckily Adam over at Throwing Things has collected some of the bizarre details behind the deaths of some of the forgotten names. And I have new favorite athlete name, thanks to the list, Urban Shocker (or as his parents called him after he popped out of the womb, Urbain Jacques Shockcor ). Geez, the guy could pitch. Also of note, is every decade since the turn of the last century has been marked by at least one baseball death, save the '80s. It must have been all the coke.>
He Guided Me to File Suit
Is Todd "Speech" Thomas of the once popular rap band Arrested Development reading the comments on other pop culture blogs? Speech is now suing Fox over the title of its sitcom "Arrested Development" claiming the show's title "will dilute the meaning of the band's name in the eyes of its fans" (plural?).
"Fox has no more right to use 'Arrested Development' for its show than a band would have to name itself after one of Fox's sitcom," Speech says, causing Fox's lawyers to send out a flurry of cease-and-desist orders to a list of other acts including: King of the Hill, Jessica Simpson, Ashford and Simpson, Malcolm McLaren, and Herman's Hermits.

Link via Rocktober.>

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Take Five
Lists seem to be taking a backseat this week to Vernon God Little reviews, CBS wussying out on "The Reagans," poetic movie reviews, and the pubic hair comeback, but we've dug deep (actually just procrastinated) to find you five fine lists today.
1. Low Culture has a list of three people God himself (and not some Mel Gibson facsimile of) shall be smiting very soon.
2. At About Last Night there's an entry about an oblique reference in a magazine about a blog entry about a book that asks readers to list the crowning cultural achievements of the past 50 years. (Just click on the link.)
3. For you house hunters out there, Dong has a typically hilarious list of "features" listed by real estate people that you should be wary of.
4. Your old Uncle Grambo has a list of reasons "The Human Stain" tanked, which is essentially a theory that no one wants to see Anthony Hopkins do anything but play Hannibal Lecter.
5. Per our earlier post on the Dustin Hoffman's awful post-"Tootsie" career (Oct. 31, I can't get the permalink to work), Fametracker has a list of his assets ("We still say "I'm walkin' here!" whenever we cross the street in front of a cab") and liabilities (" He's on the wrong end of that famous funny story about Laurence Olivier saying to him, after seeing his intensive Method preparations for a scene in Marathon Man, 'Why not just try acting?' ") in its patented Fame Audit.

Don't they get Simpsons reruns in China?>

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

We Haven't Seen an Eerie Transformation Like This Since Gregor Samsa
Confirming what many have speculated, the current conservative incarnation of Dennis Miller is in fact a second Miller, much like the way the "comedian" Gallagher has franchised himself. While the sudden ideological shift was the first sign that this Miller was in fact version 2.0, the lede of this USA Today piece is the smoking gun.

"Dennis Miller, comedian, former football analyst and Boston Public guest star, adds talk-show host to his credits in January when he kicks off a nightly gig on CNBC."

Miller 1.0, of course, had some experience with the talk-show genre. >

Monday, November 03, 2003

They're Just Following Ancient History
USA Today tries to make a trend story out of the fact that three A-List actresses--Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nicole Kidman--are currently showcasing their assets (and breastets) at the multiplex. While this news may result in teens sneaking into "Sylvia" after "Scary Movie 3" let's out, Mr. Skin weighs in that the trend is nothing more than an illusion. "It's definitely a momentary thing," says Mr. Skin. "In the summer everything is PG-13, because the people who go to the movies are kids. Then fall comes, and you get all of your R-rated movies and all your movies with nudity." Mr. Skin also helpfully saves everyone $20+ by point out that all three actresses have appeared nekid in previous work (Nicole in several films, Meg in "The Doors," and Gwyneth in "Shakespeare Gets Busy").

And as if that wasn't enough, the paper gives us a list of stars who have yet to bare it all including Nia Vardalos and Queen Latifah, plus unusual naked appearances including Meryl Streep's incredibly erotic turn in 1983's "Silkwood."


Sunday, November 02, 2003

Daniel LaRusso Is Going to Fight…
His inclusion on the list of the cheesiest films of all time which has just been released by the British entertainment mag "Empire."

The entire top 10:

1 - Independence Day
2 - Top Gun
3 - The Karate Kid
4 - Four Weddings and a Funeral
5 - Pearl Harbor
6 - Stepmom
7 - The Postman
8 - An Officer and a Gentleman
9 - Patch Adams
10 - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Since cheese tends to become camp and then sentimentalized, the list in heavy on recent films. Still, you have to love the magazine's assessment of Robin Williams' recent oeuvre: "[He] was singled out by the magazine who likened his work to 'being dipped in a churning vat of Camembert'."

We have to protest the inclusion of "The Karate Kid," which we feel earns an “the Rocky exemption,” which clearly states that "any movie in which an underdog defies all the odds to triumph in a sporting event or similar competition, be it a true victory or not, must by its very nature be cheesy and thus cannot be singled out as thus." Got a movie you think should be on the list? If only there was a comments link at the end of this and every entry for you to add your two cents…
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