Tag Archives: A New Hope

Top ten list of my favorite movies

Greetings, readers. It has been a long time since we have done a top ten list and as mentioned before my favorite movies seems to be a good topic. The choice for #1, 2, and 3 are in order, the rest are not so much. So here we go.

#10. The Village – 2004. [Bryce Dallas Howard gave a remarkable performance as Ivy Walker, the blind heroine who had to overcome her fears and travel to the town to get medicine to save her fiancée’s life.]

#9. Smokey and the Bandit – 1977. [Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed did a marvelous job in their roles respectively. This movie, as well as two others in this list, came out in the era before VHS tapes. I went to see this film 13 consecutive Friday nights in the theater. I laughed and cheered every time.]

#8. King Kong – 1976. [This is another one of these movies that I saw multiple times. This film fascinated me. This was the first film that Jessica Lange appeared in and she did very well. The special effects were above average in my opinion. Another note is that it was held over four times and was at our theatre for 56 big weeks. I saw it ten consecutive weeks.]

#7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – 1977. [As a young teenager I was fascinated by UFOs. I loved the cast’s performances and of course I was naïve enough to actually think there was a UFO landing strip behind Devil’s Tower. I saw this film weekly all 12 weeks it was playing in town.]

#6. Green Book – 2018. [I saw this film only once during a Monday afternoon film festival with a friend. It was one of those of films that you never want to end. I loved it from the first scene to the last. It told the true story of a Black musician in the 1960s who went on tour and eventually became the victim of bigotry and racism. The scene that affected me the most was when this African-American gentlemen was told he could change and eat in the broom closet.]

#5. Star Wars: A New Hope – 1977. [Anyone who was a science-fiction buff at that time would have loved this picture. As the film starts with the now-famous line, ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …’ it leads to the feeling that anything is possible. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford give wonderful performances as well does Sir Alec Guinness.]

#4. The African Queen – 1951. [I saw this film a few weeks ago when I rented it from our public library. I had heard about it for years but had never seen it. Boy, had I missed a good one all these years. It was my first Humphrey Bogart picture and both he and the impeccable Katharine Hepburn were amazing. That is a picture that I would highly recommend to anyone and I intend to watch it again soon.]

#3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – 1982. [Ricardo Montalban said in an interview once that he had to re-watch the original episode “Space Seed” to learn how to get back into his character. It worked. He gave a masterful performance as the villain Khan. After Star Trek: The Motion Picture was more or less a bust, the folks at Star Trek know that this second film had to be a blockbuster, and it was. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it.]

#2. Cleopatra – 1963. [The 1963 version of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor has fascinated me for years. Liz gave a stellar performance as did Rex Harrison and Richard Burton. It was the most expensive film made to that date, and if I have heard correctly, it actually lost money because of it. SPOILER ALERT: From the opening of the film to the intermission shortly after Caeser’s death is a marvelous and exciting motion picture. The film took on an entirely different feel in the second half, and I have never been able to stay awake through it. A real snoozer. I tried the entire film straight through as well as with a break; same outcome. I loved part one, didn’t really care for part two. Her performance is what ranks this movie so high.]

#1. On Golden Pond – 1981. [My favorite movie of all time, it stars Katharine Hepburn with Henry and Jane Fonda. The writer of the play On Golden Pond, Ernest Thompson has a cabin somewhere on Great Pond in Maine and it is rumored that Golden Pond and Great Pond are one and the same. The film was shot on Squam Lake in New Hampshire and it really captured the essence and beauty of Great Pond. I have seen that film probably over 100 times.]

If I ever do a part two of this favorite movies list, George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol will certainly be on it. That is a list to think about.

There’s our list for today. Please chime in on Facebook or here in the comments section with your list. Let’s get a debate going.

I shall try extremely hard to put up a blog entry this Sunday or Monday. So until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

Top ten list of favorite Star Wars characters

Greetings, readers. Rebecca had a good idea for the top ten list and I decided to go with it. The characters on the list were from any of the films thus far: Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and The Force Awakens. As it so happens, I did not pick any characters from Rogue One. This list is in no particular order, as with most of my top ten lists. At the bottom, Rebecca put in her list and the list from her husband Darren. There is a lot of overlap, but there are a few differences too. I think you will find it interesting.  So here we go.

#10. Rey. [From Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she is an orphan, her parents were taken away, leaving her on the planet Jakku to fend for herself as a scavenger. While living on the planet, she stumbles across the droid BB-8 and Finn, a storm trooper who turns good, and her adventure begins. I put her on my list because she is a well-developed character, who is brilliant and a strong female lead.]

#9. R2D2/C-3PO. [The droids from the original films are two classic Star Wars characters who everyone knows. Anthony Daniels plays the somewhat winey C-3PO and does a marvelous job. Though he sometimes gets in the way, he always seems to have the answer when it is so desperately needed. 3-PO, as he is referred to, interprets the beeps and whistles of his young counterpart R2D2.]

#8. Lando Calrissian. [Played by famous actor Billy Dee Williams, this character first appears in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He is caught between helping Han Solo and company and protecting his mining operation and city from the dreaded Empire.]

#7. Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. [Luke Skywalker’s trusted friend and eventual master, he sacrifices himself midway through Star Wars: A New Hope to become stronger with the Force, in order to help Luke destroy the dreaded Death Star. This character is played by the famous actor Sir Alec Guinness.]

#6. Leia Organa. [Played by the late Carrie Fisher, she was the heroine in the original movie set. The princess of Alderaan, Leia had to be rescued by Luke and Han in Star Wars: A New Hope, before fighting valiantly on Endor alongside Luke and Han as they tried to blow up the second Death Star. She will make her last appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as she completed her filming before she passed away.]

#5. Grand Moff Tarkin. [Played by Peter Cushing, a wonderful English actor, he “held Darth Vader’s leash” as stated by Princess Leia. Working closely with Darth Vader, his plan was to rule the universe with the threat of complete planetary destruction by using the Death Star in the original films. Thanks to Luke Skywalker, he was not successful. Though he was a bad guy, I always liked this one; I think it was the actor’s performance that hooked me.]

#4. Darth Vader. [Darth Vader, AKA Anakin Skywalker, was the morphed machine produced by the evil Emperor after a brainwashed Anakin Skywalker was nearly burned to death.]

#3. Yoda. [Brought to life by the late Jim Henson, Yoda was the Jedi master who trained Luke Skywalker on the planet Dagobah. He taught the ways of the Force, and quite truthfully is one of my favorite characters of all time. In the prequels done later, we can also see that Yoda can wield a mean light saber and is quite proficient.]

#2. Luke Skywalker. [The bored-to-tears teenager who lived on Tatooine was the nephew of a farmer and his wife. His big dream was to go to the academy and train to be a Jedi like his father. Little did he know who his father was. SPOILER ALERT: We have hints that Luke Skywalker is turning toward the dark side as early as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back with the black glove covering his mechanical replacement hand. There is also talk in this upcoming movie that Luke may be turning toward the dark side. Dressed in a grey cloak in the trailers, we’re not certain if Luke is struggling with inner turmoil as he fights to stay on the good side of the Force.]

#1. Han Solo. [The old space pirate, as stated by Lando, Han Solo, with his ship the Millennium Falcon and co-pilot Chewbacca, fly across the galaxy, delivering cargo as they can. He has been known to cheat some people, so his reputation is tarnished. Yet in the end, he becomes a hero in not only the original films, but in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. SPOILER ALERT: His death scene caused a few tears in the theatre when I watched it.]

Honorable Mentions: Finn and BB-8 were heroes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In a new plot twist which I loved, Finn, an Imperial Stormtrooper who just didn’t want to kill any more, turns good and helps Rey and BB-8 get where they are going, with the help of Hans Solo.

The Millennium Falcon is not a living character, but to me it has certain characteristics all its own, and as soon as you see this ship you know you are watching a Star Wars film. I equate it to the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek.

For those of you who wonder why I did not add Chewbacca, Boba Fett, or any of the other classic characters, we could only have ten. In the future I might do a part two on this topic, time will tell. Please chime in with your Star Wars characters, either here or on my Facebook page. Here are Rebecca and Darren’s picks.

Rebecca’s top ten, which is pretty much all good guys: #10. Finn. #9. Poe Damero. [A pilot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.] #8. Rey. #7. R2D2/C-3PO. #6. Chewbacca. #5. Yoda. #4. Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. #3. Luke Skywalker. #2. Han Solo. #1. Leia Organa.

Darren’s top ten, which leans heavy toward the bad guys he loves so much: #10. Leia Organa. #9. Chewbacca. #8. Luke Skywalker. #7. Lando Calrissian. #6. Kylo Ren [The bad guy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.] #5. Yoda. #4. Han Solo. #3. Boba Fett. [A bounty hunter in the original series.] #2. Darth Maul. [One of the bad guys from the prequels.] #1. Darth Vader.

I bid you a wonderful weekend, I’m going to work on my health issues to find out why I’m so tired all the time, so that I can hopefully become more productive. Writing blog entries is fun, I enjoy it, but I want to continue my novel or begin a television episode script. Remember, writers write.

Until next Wednesday, have a wonderful several days, take care, and happy reading.

Christmas things put away and creative juices flowing

Greetings, readers. For today’s blog entry, I’ve decided to share with you what I did late last night and this morning. I looked at my apartment and literally said out loud enough is enough. My girlfriend, Traci, gave me a storage bin and I used that to put my Christmas decorations in. After labeling the box, I put it in the walk-in closet. With Star Wars music playing in the back ground, I got inspired. I thought to myself, with a little work I could have this place ready for me to begin on my writing projects as early as tomorrow morning.

After putting away all the small Christmas decorations, and putting things back on the credenza where they go, I unplugged my portable speakers and attached them to my record player. Yes, I do still have plenty of vinyl. I’ve always done my best writing with John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra playing in the background. One day I will listen to Star Wars: A New Hope and the next day might be The Empire Strikes Back. I’m very excited about the prospect of creating again. The blog is so much fun, most times I don’t even consider it work, though it is writing.

After I took a short break to rest my back, I tried out the old stereo. Besides the speed being a wee bit fast, it sounds great. With all the holiday goings-on over with, such as light rides, movies, and gatherings, it is now time to sit my butt down in a chair and spend the next several months doing some good creative writing. Even if none of it gets sold, I firmly believe I will be flexing my writing muscles and adding tools to my writing tool belt.

Wednesday will be a day off for personal reasons, but Rebecca and I will be back with our usual two blog entries, one on Thursday and one on Friday.

I’ll be watching the Steelers in the play-offs on Saturday, so go Pittsburgh. I bid everyone a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.