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Biggs’ Top 5 Christmas Movies

Top 5 Christmas MoviesIt’s not a secret among my friends and family that Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about Christmas. Therefore it makes sense for December to be the Top 5 Christmas movies. To keep things simple I’m ignoring the controversial Christmas movies: Nightmare Before Christmas and Die Hard.

I do love the Die Hard movies and I enjoy the humor of calling it a Christmas movie but this isn’t the time or place to discuss its merits as such. Nightmare Before Christmas has already made an appearance on a Top 5 list. The following Christmas movies are the ones I watch every year during the Christmas season (some more than once). So without further ado:

  1. White Christmas – an iconic Christmas movie starring the iconic yuletide crooner.
  2. Scrooged – this is an awesome retelling of the classic A Christmas Carol story.
  3. Home Alone – nothing says Christmas like a John Hughes Christmas classic.
  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – another John Hughes Christmas classic.
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) – Hollywood should stop remaking this; they can never do better than Boris Karloff.

Honorable Mentions

It was difficult to pick the top 5, just as it has been for several of the other Top 5 lists during this year. There are so many great Christmas movies from It’s a Wonderful Life to the 5 listed above. Don’t get me wrong, It’s a Wonderful Life is a … wonderful movie (see what I did there) but these are the honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the top five.

A Christmas Story is also a classic but seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of movie. I have relatives that love this movie and will watch it’s 24-hour marathon on TNT every year on Christmas. I also have relatives that wish they never heard of Jean Shepherd; personally I don’t mind the movie and I’ll typically watch it at least once every year. It helps, I suppose, that I also grew up in northern Indiana.

A Christmas Carol (1951) is my favorite of the traditional version of this movie. There are so many versions of this film that its difficult to find a good one. Granted the muppet version is awesome but I still have to go with this version that stars Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. If you haven’t seen this version, I would highly recommend you do.

Merry Christmas!

I Have Spoken!

 

Biggs’ Top 5 Martial Arts Movies

Top 5 Martial Arts MoviesI know November is Thanksgiving month but there really aren’t that many Thanksgiving themed movies (other than A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). Therefore I’m going in a completely different direction; my top 5 martial arts movies. Apparently “Martial Arts” is not a recognized movie genre. They primarily fall under the “action/adventure” and even “comedy” genres. I find that disappointing. I’m such a fan of martial arts films, perhaps because I used to be in Taekwondo (in another life).

You will find that my favorite actors in martial arts films are Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Although you cannot ignore the godfather of martial arts movies, Bruce Lee. There is also the immortal Chuck Norris (who has SIX different black belts), Steven Seagal, Chow Yun-Fat, and Michelle Yeoh (to name a few more gifted martial artists). But I digress.

Here’s the list:

  • The Legend of Drunken Master – “Monkey drink master’s wine!”, probably my all time favorite martial arts (and Jackie Chan) film
  • Enter the Dragon – the most iconic Bruce Lee and martial arts movie. ever.
  • Shanghai Noon – I love the surrealism of Indians encountering an adept martial artist
  • Kiss of the Dragon – perhaps my favorite Jet Li movie
  • Rush Hour – I love the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker

Honorable Mentions

I have three honorable mentions this month. It could be argued that Hard Boiled is more of an action movie than martial arts. Chow Yun-Fat is fun and this movie has one of the longest action sequences completed in a single take. Martial arts movies typically do not get a lot of media attention. However, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is actually a fairly renown movie. It’s over-the-top use of mid-air martial arts is really well done and really gives credence to it’s fantasy themes. Finally, Romeo Must Die is another one of my favorite Jet Li films. In fact I almost chose this for the top 5 instead of Kiss of the Dragon. The legend of the “kiss of the dragon” in the film is what won me over (similar to the “five point palm exploding heart technique” in Kill Bill).

On a final note; one question some may ask is: subtitles or dubbed? It depends on the movie. Most of Jackie Chan’s movies I watch dubbed (he voice dubs himself). Movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Brotherhood of the Wolf I watch with subtitles because that is how it was in the theaters.

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

Biggs’ Top 5 Halloween Movies

Since its the October Top 5 it only makes sense that we choose the Top 5 Halloween Movies. I’m not talking about the Michael Myers Halloween franchise films but Halloween themed movies. In fact, there won’t be any horror or slasher movies on this list; I’m not really into the that genre of movies. I’ll be honest, I’m not really into Halloween. I don’t do the Haunted House thing. I barely decorate. We hand out candy and go trick-or-treating and that’s enough for me. Be that as it may, these movies are films I enjoy watching around this time either because they are fun and/or iconic; and here they are (in no particular order).

Honorable Mentions

The honorable mentions are probably two of the most iconic Halloween characters. While there are many variations of these movies, these are my favorite versions. Bram Stroker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman as the iconic vampire is a great movie with a killer cast (no pun intended) and an awesome director. The second honorable mention is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh and Rober De Niro as “The Creature”. In fact this is probably one of my favorite Rober De Niro roles.

One more quick note about another movie that really isn’t even in my top ten but has been getting a lot of social media buzz lately. Hocus Pocus is a quirky fun film. In fact I do have fond Halloween memories of watching this movie on broadcast television as a kid. However its not really a “go to” Halloween film for me.

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

 

Biggs’ Top 5 Movie Trilogy’s

Top 5 Movie Trilogy'sBack to the movies. This time, instead of individual movies, let’s talk about trilogy’s. Another hard one to ponder as there are many great trilogy’s. I’m sure a couple of my choices might confound some people. I know at least one of these trilogy’s has been met with quite a bit of criticism but to each their own. My blog, my choice and you don’t have to agree. Also, I know a couple of the items in this list have a 4th movie or will have a 4th movie, however I chose to include them because they were originally a trilogy. So here are my top 5 movie trilogy’s.

  • Lord of the Rings – (Sans Hobbit). I think Peter Jackson did an amazing job! Extended Editions are incredible.
  • Matrix – I suspect this is unpopular but I really enjoyed all of these movies (and a 4th is apparently in the works).
  • Dark Knight – Of all the Batman movies, I think Christoper Nolan’s stands out as the better film series. Heath Ledger (RIP) and Tom Hardy are fantastic.
  • Back to the Future – These movies are so iconic and, therefore, a fairly obvious choice for this list.
  • Indiana Jones – While there are 4 of these films now and (unpopular opinion alert) I did enjoy Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the original movies are also a fairly obvious addition to this list.

As I mentioned, there are many great trilogy’s so I do have a couple of honorable mentions. My daughter loves the How to Train Your Dragon movies and, in all fairness, they aren’t bad movies. The companion TV series and books actually creates quite a bit of lore and depth to these movies. Of course, the Godfather Trilogy is the obvious honorable mention (the best for last, as it were). I’m a sucker for mobster movies and these movies are the iconic mobster flicks. They are a little slow in places, which makes them feel long, but they are classic.

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

Biggs’ Top 5 Epic Microsoft Fails

I’m going a completely different direction for the August Top Five. Technology. It’s pretty well known among my peers that I am Microsoft’s biggest critic. While I do make a living using their technology that doesn’t mean I drank the proverbial kool-aid. Granted even Apple and Google have had their technical slip-ups but their list isn’t quite as embarrassing as Microsoft’s. The lesson Microsoft seems to fail to learn is that just because someone else is already doing it doesn’t mean they can do it better. X-Box is about the ONLY success story. I digress. Here are my top 5 epic Microsoft fails.

  • Zune – MP3/Music player. This is the default fail everyone thinks of when they think of failed Microsoft products. EPIC FAIL!
  • Windows 8 – If you thought Vista was bad, that “start screen” is a dumpster fire of Teletubby vomit. FAIL!
  • Windows Phone – iPhone/Android competitor. I called this fail out back when it was first announced. Poor Nokia. FAIL!
  • Microsoft Band – FitBit/Garmin competitor. Did people even know Microsoft made a fitness tracker. Probably not. FAIL!
  • Microsoft Teams – Slack/Zoom competitor. The ONLY reason this product is surviving is the pandemic; without COVID this would be (and may still be) another pathetic footnote of failed products. FAIL IN THE MAKING.

The honorable mentions may be fairly obvious; Bing and Internet Explorer/Edge. IE has been a thorn in developers side for decades. Writing code to meet its sloppy standards has made it hated by many in the tech industry. Microsoft should have gotten out of the browser business decades ago. Bing is the Microsoft search engine to compete with Google. So few people were using Bing that Microsoft is actually trying to PAY people to use it with Microsoft Rewards. In fact you even get bonus rewards for using Edge. They are even paying you to use Edge!!! PATHETIC FAIL!

/cheers

I Have Spoken!

Biggs’ Top 5 80’s Comedy Movies

Top 5 80's Comedy Movies

For July we are back to movies. My top 5 80’s Comedy Movies. The movies from the 80’s are probably some of my favorite movies, and it’s really all thanks to John Hughes. So many of them withstand the test of time. Plus its so much fun to reminisce about a simpler time. There are so many great comedies from the 80’s, which made this list difficult to whittle down to merely 5. I had to go with which movies I find myself quoting often or seeking out a giphy or being able to still recite a specific scene from the movie. So here they are, in no particular order (BTW, John Hughes wrote and/or directed 3 of them).

Obviously, with so many movies to choose from, there are definitely some honorable mentions. I almost feel guilty leaving Caddyshack off the top 5 because it’s freaking Caddyshack. I’m sure Rodney Dangerfield is turning over in his grave. Crocodile Dundee is another one of those movies that, to this day, I would watch if TNT or TBS happened to be playing it. Hands down my favorite Paul Hogan movie, which isn’t terribly difficult since Paul Hogan didn’t make a lot of movies. So many good movies from the 80’s; I probably could have made a top 10 for my favorite 80’s movies. What are your favorite 80’s comedies?

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

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