Top 100 Movie Review: #60 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Good Fun with No Story.

Absolutely ridiculous at times — too ridiculous.Screen_Shot_2015-06-26_at_9.26.15_AM.0.0.png

American Film Institutes Ranking: #60/100
Awards: Nominated for nine winning the ones for sound and effects.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I can’t recall ever actually seeing this film, but somehow I knew quite a few bits and pieces. Maybe the Simpsons are to blame.

This movie cheesed me out. The movie continues to expect more and more suspension of disbelief until you are reach an apex of phantasmagorical hallucination. Like a rich dessert, I was satisfied at first, but by the end, I reached a saturation point where I didn’t want anymore.

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Top 100 Album Review: #76 – Imagine, John Lennon (1971)

Extremely Eclectic.

Lennon throws everything at the wall and finds things that sticks. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #76/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

We are now entering the uncharted realm of post-Beetles work. I have discovered so many hidden finds in Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be that I’ve only written one review on those works so far; I’m just not ready to put those experiences into words. There is so much material. I need more time to let it sink in.

I was wondering how everything would work when they split up. It’s evident as a group that they covered each other’s blind spots. Lennon was iconoclastic and not afraid to tread into weird domains, but McCartney kept him honest and found ways to use lyrics and traditional pop to keep him grounded. Lennon’s second solo album is a solid go, but you can’t help but Imagine what some of the songs could have been With a Little Help From His Friends*.

*I hate myself for making this joke. 

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Top 100 SNES Review: #16 – Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Symbiotic Relationships.

An Animal Kingdom Lesson in Teamwork within Opposing Forces.

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Surf and Turf.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #16/100
Developer: Rare
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

This is the traditional way we view our animal counter parts: a hierarchy of classification, labeled and lined for our own purpose. What Aristotle started, we finished. But, what if there is more to our DNA resembling brothers and sisters?

Donkey Kong teaches us that there is an endowed balance within the universe, and the tension between these opposites can produce profound effects.

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Top 100 NES Review: #25 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1988)

No Safe Spaces Allowed.

This game should be renamed to Zelda II: The Adventure of Microaggressions.

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #25/100
My Rating:smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

I just listened to a podcast with Joe Rogan and Jonathan Haidt. The topic was the culture of college campuses and the creation safe zones — places where you are free from discomfort. Haidt, a psychologist, thinks this is creating fragile personalities, ones that can not withstand the stresses of living in a functioning society when these students enter post-college life.

When looking at other reviews for this game, I saw people saying Zelda II is too hard, unfair, confusing, petty, cruel, and cheap. Was it this same sanctuary attitude churning out gamers unwilling to be challenged? I decided to play this game guide free* to see if the standards were truly unreasonable.**

* It didn’t happen.
**They were. 

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Top 100 Movie Review: #24 – Raging Bull (1980)

Lacked Intrigue.

The most exciting part of this movie was watching Robert De Niro get fat.

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Robert De Niro with a BMI <25.

American Film Institute Ranking: #24/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for eight while winning two for Best Actor (De Niro) and Best Film Editing.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This film has a lot of pieces: a boxing angle, character study, beautiful black-and-white cinematography, artistic flare. All of this is crammed into a predictable trite: the amazing boxer who is both protagonist/antagonist because of his inner demons.

While the individual pieces are solid in their own way, they never really coalesce into something bigger due to the overall narrative missing a hook.

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Top 100 Album Review: #25 – Rumors, Fleetwood Mac (1977)

What a Top 100 Album Should Be.

Multiple good songs with great lyrics in a unique sound that impacted culture along with high record sales. BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #25/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Not every Rolling Stone Top 100 Album is a good listen. There seems to be cognitive dissonance about having too much music that’s enjoyable to listen to, as if heralding it will encroach on the art form itself and cause it to self-destruct. So albums that have some “high art” angle get elevated, even if the work as a whole isn’t good (take the inclusion of Frank Sinatra’s “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” over his better albums because it’s “artsy”).

Rumours is a rejoiceful reminder that music that has memorable compositions with ear-worm hooks can be every bit as impactful as some avant-garde release, and hell, it might even be enjoyable to listen to!

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Top 100 Movie Review: #57 – The Third Man (1949)

Sensational Cinematography.

The story was okay to good, but the visuals made the film. 

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Joseph Cotton and Orson Wells.

American Film Institute Ranking: #66/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for three winning best cinematography.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

A whodunit wrapped around a historical time piece, “A Third Man” is another entry into the catalogue of film noir. It relies on tension created by relationships rather than overt violence. This doesn’t always keep the pace up, but the shots within the film are so intricate that it adds an artistic crust that makes up for the lack of action.

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