Top 100 Movie Review: #13 – Bridge Over River Kwai (1957)

Don’t Lose Sight of the Forest For the Trees.

A reformulation of the philosophical debate of what is morally right and lesson to be flexible in our approaches. 

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American Film Institute’s Ranking: #13/100
Awards: Nominated for 8 winning 7 including Best Picture, Director, and Actor.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

This movie is an odd one, but I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much — it’s a war movie that almost has nothing to do with war!

The movie uses the backdrop of a POW camp during WWII along with stereotypical cultural caricatures to make a commentary on virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism. Outside of one clandestine operation, there is no other action. The thrill is the interaction between the wills of the irreverent American (William Holden), the proper Englishman (Alec Guinness), and the stoic Japanese (Sessue Hayakawa).

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Top 100 Album Review: #73 – Back in Black, AC/DC (1980)

A Tasteful Hard Rock Album.

Tasteful in musical composition, not lyrics of course.

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #73/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586.jpgcropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586.jpgcropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586.jpgcropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586.jpg

Anything that fits under the genre Hard Rock or Heavy Metal is rat poison to me: the crass lyrics screamed at the decibels of chainsaws just doesn’t do it for me. Actually, it makes me shut-down, and like a nuclear reactor that’s about to explode, I begin an emergency protocol to get the hell away from it as quick as possible.

Considering AC/DC hard rock might be a joke to some — I know if you look at the Rock n’ Roll  continuum, there is such screaming, hard rock out there that in comparison they can look like a Bach coverband.  For me, Back in Black is touching the outer limits of what can be inherently pleasing to me but transcends it by reigning in the “hard/heavy” aspect along with some very good songs.

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Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #3 – Fallout 3 (2008)

Apocalyptic Amusement.

Awesome atmosphere with continued perfection of the sand-box RPG genre. 

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Game FAQs Ranking:  #3
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I took a break from most video games through college; I made the subconscious decision that drinking and dancing were more important to me. Sure, I replayed a few classics and did some Madden with the dorm mates, but I didn’t have a PS3 or Xbox 360. I missed out out on anything that came out between 2006-2010.

Then there was Chris. My first roommate post-matriculation, he introduced me to everything I missed. Fallout 3 was the first game I decided to go for, and with his dire warning (“it’s going to take up a lot of your time — a lot”), I set out into the wastelands. A work week and a half of time later, I returned a changed man. 

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Top 100 Album Review: #46 – Legend, Bob Marley and the Wailers (1984)

All You Need to Know: 500 Weeks on Billboard’s Top Albums.

This reggae album is awesome not because of the genre but because of the song writing.

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #46/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This album has achieved incredible staying power: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is the only album that’s been on the Billboards Top 200 Albums longer (another Top 100 Album selection).

What makes the album so good is that the songs themselves are so different even with the consistent reggae feel and rhythm. Put on any station dedicated to the genre and you will be lulled into lethargy as the monotonous sound waves melt into one another without distinction. Bob Marley and The Wailers, however, command your attention from start to finish with well-written songs, and this collection gives you the most powerful 15 examples of it.

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The Top 100 Album Review: #10 – The Beatles “The White Album”, The Beatles (1968)

Probably Should Have Been One LP.

But who cares — it’s still so good!

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #10/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

A favorite pastime of music critics, amateur and professional alike, is to pontificate how The Beatles could have done it better.  I mean, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band might be the best album of all-time, but didn’t you find the chord progression on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds a little lacking? Wasn’t Let it Be  a total let down with only 6 or 7  amazing songs?

The gripe with The White Album is its length. Clocking in at over a hour and half, there is so much material. I’ve had this album on rotation since October, and I finally feel comfortable writing about it. Yes, there is a lot to sift through, some of it meh, but much of it is amazing — so who cares.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #48 – Legend of the Mystical Ninja (1991)

Another Entry of Japanese Quirk.

The game is not good — no amount of Miso Soup changes that. Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.05.56 PM

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #48/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

“BUT IT’S SO JAPANESE,” says the internet.  “BUT IT ISN’T THAT FUN TO PLAY,” says me.

From deep within the south of the USA, it wasn’t until the 2000s when we really started having a diversity of culture, and by diversity of culture, I mean more restaurants. It must have been within this world before globalization that people were yearning for any type of cultural integration.

Enter Legend of the Mystical Ninja. A side-scrolling game that uses the imagery, humor, and style of Japan to try and buoy everything else. Unfortunately, that everything else is kind of important: the game is kind of boring.

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Top 100 NES Review: #18 – Crystalis (1990)

The NES Tries to Steal Perfection From Me Again.

Why can’t things just be good and wholesome on this devil of a system?

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

I always start these games with the best of intentions: no guides, embrace the grind, willing to flounder. The drama of these games are in the struggle, and if you run to a walkthrough at the first moment of adversity, you will destroy anything these old games have to offer. The joy is figuring out the puzzles both via your own skill and serendipitous discovery.

Crystalis started as the type of game you do these top 100 lists for: a complete joy of an unknown. The graphics, mechanics, and puzzles are an addictive pull to do more. It was an instant favorite, but then came the moment that happens in every NES adventure/puzzle/RPG — the inscrutable puzzle with no hints and no logic but is required for you to continue. Thankfully, it survives this moment and avoids the NES’s ultimate desire to make every game unenjoyable.

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