Category Archives: Poll

Liebster Award Blogathon!

Andrew at A Constant Visual Feast awarded me the Liebster on August 15th, for which I thank him.  What does it mean to win the Liebster?  It means I have to perform the six following feats of heroism–much like Hercules, but less physical:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
  5. No tag backs
  6. Go to their page and tell them.

Put simply, Andrew gave me homework.

I.  Eleven things about me

  1. I’m married in my Church, but not legally.
  2. I’m a born and bread Miami-an of Cuban heritage.
  3. My day job is Construction Management.
  4. I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering, but at different points in my academic career dual majored in Film/Art History and Math/European History.
  5. I was in Swimming & Water Polo in High School, Crew (Rowing) at University, and have done sporadic Triathlons since.
  6. I love to travel.  I have backpacked through Europe multiple times, and more recently started doing trips to National Parks.
  7. I co-wrote a screenplay that I am in the process of shopping, and plan to start a new screenplay after my Utah trip.
  8. I’m the Co-Programming Chair for both the Miami and the Ft. Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals.
  9. When I’m home alone for an extended period of time I make a large vat of Chili, load up on the saltine crackers, buy ice cream, increase my Netflix subscription, and plop myself in front of the TV every night eating, drinking, and catching-up on some movies or shows.
  10. Back in the days of Mom & Pop video stores, I once bugged the poor woman answering the phone every half hour inquiring if the person who rented Star Trek II had returned it so I could go get it.
  11. I endured the ABC version of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick as a sign of my attraction/affection for my husband to be.  All that effort falling on deaf ears and blind eyes at the time.

II.  Eleven questions from Andrew

  1. Why do you write about film?  I love films and have an opinion about them.  My friends would regularly ask me about films and what I thought.  A few suggested I write reviews.  Thinking about it one day I thought it was a good idea.
  2. Who are your biggest influences in film writing?  I can’t point to any critic and say they have influenced me.  The professional critic I most read is Rene Rodriguez from The Miami Herald, and I like his objectivity and knowledge of film history.  As for the film reviewers whose blogs I follow, I am impressed with the different styles each person has and the point-of-views they look through.
  3. What is your least favorite cinematic fad of the day?  Found footage films.  I think the style has a place, but its more recent uses have not been the best–with the exception of Chronicle, but they used some creative cheats.
  4. How often do you attend film festivals?  Typically three:  Miami & Ft. Lauderdale LGBT Festivals, and the Miami International Film Festival.  This year is an exception.  My husband co-produced & directed a documentary–Unfit:  Ward vs. Ward–that has been accepted to multiple festivals.  Including the three previously mentioned I have also attended Frameline in San Francisco and will attend DocUtah in September.
  5. What’s the last movie that you saw, whether you’ve reviewed it or not?  In a theatre, The Dark Knight Rises–second time.  At home, Night of the Iguana.
  6. Do you have an aversion to films made before 1980?  No.  I actively watch classic films, as well as go on star binges–I’ve watched almost every film of Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford.  A great script makes a great film no matter what the year.
  7. How far are you willing to go to catch screenings of your annual must-sees?  There are certain films I must watch opening weekend because I want the communal experience.  Opening weekend for Star Wars III:  Revenge of the Sith was the same weekend I was leaving to Greece for two weeks–I was at the midnight showing Friday morning and then at work four hours later.  I forgot to bring the correct credit card to get my Fandango Tickets for TLOR:  The Return of the King and the showtime was sold-out.  The screening starting in fifteen minutes still had some seats and we saw it sitting on the floor in the handicap space.
  8. How much do you consider the music you listen to in a film as part of the experience?  I consider it greatly.  The song choice and score add to the film, as well as the lack of them.  Lack of music makes the Bela Lugosi Dracula chilling and erie.  Can you imagine the montage of murdered mobsters in Goodfellas without Layla?  Or the ironic choice of Orinico Falls as the song of choice for Martin Vanger to murder his victims to?  Or how the entire score from Tim Burton’s Batman elevated the character and genre to a whole new level.
  9. Do you have a favorite genre?  Not really, though I tend to watch comedies as rentals, and I am not as into Sci-Fi as some think.
  10. What do you think about a world where celluloid no longer exists and everything is shot on digital?  Tough question.  The reality is it will happen, and we all will accept it–we already have.  When was the last time you bought film for your camera?  developed pictures? held negatives in your hand?  We let go of all these things and went on just fine.  We’ll let go of celluloid as well–some already have:  Michael Mann.
  11. What are your most overrated and underrated films of all time?  Overrated:  Some Like It HotTaxi DriverStar Wars, X-Men, Vertigo.  Underrated:  Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock, Collateral, Witness, Stardust, Mosquito Coast.  As a clarification, overrated does not necessarily mean I did not like it but more I didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

III.  Eleven Questions

  1. What’s your favorite film from 1982?
  2. What’s your favorite Peter Seller’s film?
  3. What’s your favorite pre-Little Mermaid Disney film?
  4. Based off their 70’s films only, who’s your favorite:  De Niro, Hoffman, or Pacino?
  5. What’s your favorite sports film?
  6. For Scorcese, what’s his most overrated, underrated, and your favorite film?
  7. What film impressed you the most with its dialogue?
  8. What film impressed you the most with its musical score?
  9. Of filmmakers, actors, writers, etc. that have passed away, whom would you have liked to met and interviewed?
  10. What film would you have loved to watch in a theatre with an audience when it first came out?
  11. Goodfellas or The Godfather?

IV.  Tag, Your It!

  1. Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews
  2. Myfilmviews
  3. Dave Watching Stuff
  4. annoyingfilmperson
  5. Centrefolds & Empty Screens
  6. Fandango Groovers Movie Blog
  7. FilmVerse
  8. Andy Watches Movies
  9. Cinemaniac Reviews
  10. The Focused Filmographer
  11. Another Plot Device

V.  No Tag Backs.  But I’ll thank A Constant Visual Feast again.

VI.  Go to there page and tell them–in process.


To my chagrin I realize too late that wordpress was not showing me all the blogs I read on the “Reader” tab, so I missed that FilmVerse gave me a Leibster back on August 9th.  So here are my answers:

  1. What movie would you consider changed your life?  I can’t say any movie changed my life, but there have been a few that have had a great emotional impact.  E.T. because of my age when I saw it, and Big Fish because my Father was dying of Lung Cancer when I saw it.
  2. What genre do you avoid like the plague and why?  Slasher Horror.  I’m not a fan of the Freddy and Jason movies; they’re to gory for me–I don’t like blood.  I prefer more suspenseful Horror films.
  3. If you had a choice, would you prefer to watch a film in a traditional theater, on an IMAX screen, in 3D, or at home on HDTV?  Typically a traditional theatre.  If something was made for a specific format, then I’ll watch it in that format.  The Dark Knight Rises had many scenes filmed with IMAX cameras, so I watched it in IMAX.  The same for Avatar in 3D.  I do tend to avoid 3D screenings, though.
  4. Are you guilty of talking during a movie?  Not carrying a full conversation, but I do make the occasional comment about something that happened on the screen.
  5. Is there a particular actor who you would see in a movie regardless of what the film is?  I tend to watch anything with Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood.  More recently Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hatheway have moved into that category as well.
  6. Do you read the end credits?  Yes.  I have fun reading some of the nicknames and positions.
  7. Who is your favorite author?  Who knows.  Before he got to verbose Michael Chabon.  From the past Harold Collins and James D. MacDonald.
  8. Do you believe that the film/TV/video game industry is responsible for violence in our society?  People are responsible for violence in our society.  The Middle Ages and the Inquisition happened before any of those were invented.  There are plenty of examples of human barbarism all throughout history.
  9. Should celebrities be involved in the political process to use their fame as an agent to push specific agendas?  I have  no problems with the celebrities getting involved and voicing their opinions.  I have a problem when people give them too much weight on something they are not expert in because they are a celebrity.
  10. If cosmetic surgery and Botox were outlawed, would that be an improvement for Hollywood or a detriment?  No Botox would be an improvement, because people just look weird with it.  Plastic Surgery is fine in small quantities, but like everything else too much of anything is a bad think.  Neil Patrick Harris having his ears clipped back is fine, what Melanie Griffiths did to herself is a horror.
  11. What classic film would you like to see remade with modern filmmaking techniques?  My goto answer for this is Rosemary’s Baby.  The dream sequence is so dated it takes me out of the film.

5 Best James Bond Movies (and some other things)

I referenced Octopussy in my review for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and it got me reminiscing about the world’s favorite spy.  Thinking of the five best Bond films proved to be more difficult than I thought.  The main reason being the reboot of the franchise with Daniel Craig (disclaimer, I have not watched Quantum of Solace).  Before Casino Royale Bond films were stereotypical, and I would make comments such as, “It’s good for a Bond film.”  Now you must compare them to movies-at-large. The only criteria I had for this list is that it must be an official James Bond movie which means the 1967 David Niven Casino Royale spoof and the 1983 Sean Connery Never Say Never Again do not qualify.

#5 – Octopussy – 1983

Click on image to view trailer

Stars:  Roger Moore, Maud Adams

Though much maligned, I really like Octopussy.  Roger Moore is a little campy in it, but otherwise I was well entertained.  The story kept me involved, there were many locales, the Soviets were the bad-guys (though the main Russian was in it for the money), and there was a circus.  What’s not to love.

#4 – From Russia with Love – 1963

Click on image to view trailer

Stars:  Sean Connery, Robert Shaw

A down and dirty James Bond before all the typical conventions had been established.  It had the first appearance of Q–though he wasn’t called that–and the first appearance of the pre-title set piece.  Constant Bond enemy organization SPECTRE is the bad guy.  Nothing to do with the actual movie, but it also has my favorite poster.

#3 – Casino Royale – 2006

Click on image to view trailer

Stars:  Daniel Craig, Judi Dench

Casino Royale is a great movie and an excellent reboot to the Franchise, but it is not the best Bond Film.  In effect, the elements–or lack thereof–that helped introduce this franchise to a younger audience and allowed it to become relevant again are the same things that prevent it from being #1 on this list. The movie just isn’t James Bond enough.

#2 – Goldfinger – 1964

Click on image to view trailer

Stars:  Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman

I know, I know, “blasphemy”, “sacrilege”, how is Goldfinger not #1?  The first Bond film which had all the elements that make a Bond film:  action set piece before the main title, maniacal villain, villain sidekick, great gadgets, great car, “Bond, James Bond”, “Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred”, and a Great Bond Girl with the best name of all time–Pussy Galore.  But what keeps it out of the #1 slot is a weak story.  Think about it.  If you know the bad guy’s plan, why would you allow them to bring their weapons and a nuclear device into Ft. Knox after you pretend to be knocked-out by their nerve gas.  Shouldn’t you take them out before you allow them to secure their positions and arm the bomb?  The good guys had the opportunity.

#1 – For Your Eyes Only – 1981

Click on image to view trailer

Stars:  Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet

Roger Moor’s least gadgety Bond movie, and the one where he is actually called upon to show some emotion.  The story is also the most realistic:  vital piece of military equipment goes missing, get that equipment before the bad guys, use any means and/or people necessary.  It also has the best looking Bond Girl ever:  Carole Bouquet.

Which is your favorite?  All the bond films are listed below in release order.

Bonus:  Below is the trailer for the 1967 Casino Royale.

Click on image to view trailer

“Conan” vs “Conan”: You Decide!

Remakes and me don’t always get along, but sometimes they work.  Do you think it will work with Conan?  Those will be some mighting big shoes to fill.  Below are links to the respective trailers.  Take a look and cast a vote.

Click on image to view trailer
Click on image to view trailer