Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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27 Responses

  1. Fisher King is on my list of movies to see someday, but I haven’t seen it yet.

    As for my favorite movie….it’s hard to isolate. I’d probably say Remains of the Day. Or maybe About Schmidt. (In both cases, I liked the movies much better than the book.)Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    My favorite movies are Stolen Kisses and The Last Metro by Truffaut, The Last Days of Disco by Whit Stillman, After Life and Still Walking by Kore-eda Hirokazu.

    My current read is Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker. The book is a non-fiction book as written by an experimental novelist. So it is more evocative of feeling, mood, and emotion than a typical history. Baker’s sources seem to be newspaper articles and journals. A typical passage is like this:

    “CHURCHHILL WAS in the smoking room of the House of Commons again, drinking his sherry. England has a real army now, he said. ‘We have tanks-good tanks. We have guns.’ It was April 1, 1941.
    Harold Nicholson thought he looked better than he had in years.
    ‘All that puffy effect has gone and his face is almost lean, with the underlip pouting defiance all the time.'”Report

  3. Tod Kelly says:

    My favorite movie might well be the Fisher King. Even if it isn’t, the scene in GCS is by far my favorite single scene in a movie. I haven’t seen in since it came out, so I can’t speak to whether or not it stands the test of time. But I can still feel the welts that movie left on my soul at the time.

    After that, I might at different times say that Raiders, Amadeus, Cloud Atlas, or — another Gilliam pic!!! — Brazil are my fave.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Brazil is one of those movies that amazes me that it didn’t get sent back for a different ending.

      It goes back to how Monty Python felt about finishing sketches. There’s no real punchline to the best ones. How do you pay them off? You can’t… so you just find the point where you run out of steam and you end it 30 seconds before that by killing somebody.

      Whoops, spoilers.

      Peter Shaffer, the guy who wrote Amadeus (and Equus!) passed away today, sadly enough.

      I loved Amadeus too.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        (Which is not to say that the ending of Brazil *SHOULD* be changed. It works, in a “bleak and dark as hell” sense of “working”. It’s just that I’m surprised that bleak and dark as hell made it past the guy in charge.)Report

        • El Muneco in reply to Jaybird says:

          Not sure if you’re taking the mickey here or not…

          “The film was produced by Arnon Milchan’s company Embassy International Pictures (not to be confused with Joseph E. Levine’s Embassy Pictures). Gilliam’s original cut of the film is 142 minutes long and ends on a dark note. This version was released internationally outside the US by 20th Century Fox.

          US distribution was handled by Universal. Universal executives thought the ending tested poorly, and Universal chairman Sid Sheinberg insisted on dramatically re-editing the film to give it a happy ending, cutting out the reveal that it was all in Sam’s mind, a decision that Gilliam resisted vigorously.[37] As with the cult science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), which had been released three years earlier, a version of Brazil was created by the movie studio with a more consumer-friendly ending. After a lengthy delay with no sign of the film being released, Gilliam took out a full-page ad in the trade magazine Variety urging Sheinberg to release Brazil in its intended version. Gilliam soon conducted private screenings of Brazil (without the studio’s approval) for film schools and local critics. On the same night Universal’s award contender Out of Africa premiered in New York, Brazil was awarded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for “Best Picture”.[38] This prompted Universal to finally agree to release a modified 132-minute version supervised by Gilliam, in 1985.[13][39]”Report

  4. Maribou says:

    My favorite movie in the sense you are describing is Ed’s Next Move.

    Dear god, I loved that movie.

    I’m still exceptionally fond of it.

    Stuff I watched or read or listened to this week:
    podcasts, podcasts, podcasts – new to me are Celtic Twist (yes, I apparently need 2 celtic music podcasts in my life) and the Radio Lab spinoff about the Supreme Court called More Perfect.

    Just finished watching a documentary called Faith Connections which is mostly about sadhus but also about little kids.

    Just finished reading a fun, light, but also moving book called The Big Tiny, by a PNW woman who responded to major heart trouble in her 30s by building a tiny house and moving it into her friends’ backyard in Olympia.

    A good week for media consumption, overall.Report

  5. El Muneco says:

    The Princess Bride.

    An immensely talented screenwriter with intimate knowledge of a great book went over the source material and said “This part won’t work on film, so it goes. This part the fans think will work on film, but it won’t, so it goes too. It needs a framing story, but I only have five minutes of screen time, so we’ll go with a completely different one. …” Then he put it in the hands of a great cast, top-to-bottom – the lack of star power is even a plus (no Johnny Depp as the Prince, taking inspiration from Charlie Chaplin as Hitler).Report

    • Stillwater in reply to El Muneco says:

      Jeesuss I can’t even approximate how many times I’ve seen The Princess Bride. I’d already seen it about a dozen when my girlfriend and I moved into refurbished mining shack in the middle of nowhere West Texas and only had 6 or 7 dvds. One of which was TPB, which she absolutely adored

      Later I read William Goldman’s book and was surprised by how much of the plot, sequencing, and dialogue was a direct lift.Report

    • My favorite part of this story is this: Goldman had optioned TPB to one of the big studios. When their plans to make the film ended because of studio politics[1], Goldman bought the rights back with his own money (this is unheard of), so that someday it would actually become a movie.

      1. Apparently a movie studio is like a pride of lions; when a new head comes in, he kills all of his predecessor’s cubs. The reasoning is that if a film the old guy greenlit becomes a success, the old guy gets the credit, while if it’s a flop the new guy gets the blame.Report

    • El Muneco in reply to El Muneco says:

      Reading the question slightly differently, as “What was your favorite movie when you were younger that isn’t necessarily so now?”:

      “Airplane!” and “Aliens” come to mind, along with “The Matrix” a decade later, as the high-water mark for a genre/franchise that went immediately into the crapper afterward. I can’t get back to the place when my memory was untainted, so though they’re all still great movies, the taste is somewhat bittersweet.

      So, speaking of bittersweet… “Glory”, and “Ran”.

      Both are no-holding-back gut-punchers. Both hew to their internal logic, and the characters find just the fate they deserve. Both are tragedies in both the classical and modern sense, albeit for different reasons. But I can only be punched in the gut so many times and still come back for more. They’re still great films, but I’m not sure I can still handle the experience.Report

    • North in reply to El Muneco says:

      I enjoyed the movie greatly but I loved the book so dearly that I couldn’t -love- the movie if you know what I mean. This is not to denigrate the movie which is excellent, it just reflects my feeling of the source material.Report

      • El Muneco in reply to North says:

        I understand completely – I kind of feel the same way about the book viz a viz the movie, since I encountered the movie first…

        What strikes me about the movie is that, in the hands of a different screenwriter, she might have attempted to make a Film Of The Book, and you would have hated it, and justifiably so. Some brilliant parts had to go, others had to change – and the result was always going to be a different beast if it was going to work as a film. The truly amazing thing is that Goldman was able to do that to his own work. It’s like performing surgery on yourself under a local.Report

  6. Damon says:

    The Lion in Winter with Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn

    Quartet with, among others, Maggie Smith

    Despicable Me 1 & 2-cause evil should root for evil.Report

  7. Aaron David says:

    Millers Crossing.

    There is no other movie with dialog so sharp, that doesn’t care if you can follow along, is shot so tremendoulsy, has the most beautiful actress, understands violence and doesn’t use it for cheap theatrics and remains true to the era that it describes.

    “I bet you think you raised hell.

    Sister, when I’ve raised hell, you’ll know it.”Report

  8. Plinko says:

    Casablanca. It’s so smooth and theatrical – it seems to hold up to any number of re-watches.
    Blazing Saddles and O Brother, Where Art Thou? are close in terms of re-watch-ability for me.
    I stubbornly insist Life of Brian is by far the best Python movie and may have watched it even more than Holy Grail (no small feat given how many times Grail was played at friends’ homes after gaming sessions or general hangouts).

    RAN and To Live made huge impressions on me and I love them, but I am not sure how many times I can watch them.
    I am going to sit down and stream Yojimbo now because this thread made me realize it’s been too long since I watched a Kurosawa film.Report

  9. North says:

    Ink, the little indie film that could.Report

  10. Zac Black says:

    Perhaps not surprisingly given my gravatar, my favorite is definitely The Big Lebowski. It just makes me smile every time I watch it. Unforgiven is a close second. I’ve probably seen each of those movies close to a hundred times apiece, over the years.Report

  11. Will H. says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous StainsReport

  12. Chris says:

    I really loved The Fisher King when I first saw it, too, when it came out. When I saw it again for the second time, maybe 15 years later, I was not as enamored.

    Easy Rider and 2001 both blew me away when I was a teenager, and I probably would have said they were my favorites (along with maybe A Clockwork Orange) until about age 22 (by which time I’d seen a lot more movies). I still love 2001. I don’t think I’ve seen Easy Rider in 20 years.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

      I was told that I needed to watch the movie as if it were Fight Club.

      Dude. It was Jeff Bridges’ wife who was killed in the bar!

      Then the movie would be wonderful again.

      I admit that I haven’t revisited it. But part of me wants to.Report

      • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

        I watched it a third time maybe two years ago. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered from the second viewing, but not as good as the first. It’s definitely not Bridges finest hour.Report