Saturday, February 21, 2015

Our Top Ten Favorite Best Picture Winners: Of Course, The Godfather is Numero Uno

Greetings to our faithful blog readers in Bolivia, Honduras and well as those of you in Warm Springs, Virginia, where there is 15 inches of snow on the ground!

Here is yet another entry to our blog. Today, we look at our ten favorite Best Picture winners as we prepare for Oscar Night in which J.K. Simmons will very likely win a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role as a militant, megalomaniac band teacher in "Whiplash."

But, there should be some surprises and some close races. It is reportedly a toss up in the Best Supporting Actress race between Emma Stone ("Birdman"....) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).

The American broadcast of the Oscars will occur on ABC affiliates across the country, including WCVB-5 Boston and KMGH-7 Denver as well as around the world and even on planet Neptune:)

Here is our top ten:

1. The Godfather. 1972. Francis Ford Coppola

2. Annie Hall. 1977. Woody Allen.

3. Schindler's List. 1993. Steven Spielberg

4. All Quiet on the Western Front. 1930. Lewis Milestone.

5. The Godfather, Part II. 1974. Francis Ford Coppola

6. On the Waterfront. 1954. Elia Kazan.

7. Midnight Cowboy. 1969. John Schlesinger.

8. Lawrence of Arabia. 1962. David Lean.

9. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. 1975. Milos Forman.

10. The French Connection. 1971. William Friedkin.

Honorable Mention: "The Last Emperor," "West Side Story," The Departed," "The Apartment," "12 Years a Slave," Unforgiven," "Ordinary People"......

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Top SNL Cast Members (according to The Nerve): Sorry, Tom Petty

Greetings to our blog readers in Bulgaria, Estonia and Scotland.....

Today, in honor of the 40th anniversary of "Saturday Night Live," the live American sketch comedy show which first aired in October of 1975, we provide you with a list of the top best not ready for prime time players as written by our good friend pop culture journalist/blogger Phil Nugent of "The Nerve" who will hopefully not sue us for the amount of money former cast member Joe Piscopo (Nugent ranked him 60th, we would place him higher) annually.

Here is the list:

1. Eddie Murphy (1980-84, pict. top)

2. Will Ferrell (1995-2002, pict. center)

3. Bill Murray (1977-80, pict. bottom)

4. Phil Hartman (1986-1994; he was murdered in 1998)

5. John Belushi (1975-79, he died in 1982 at age 33)

6. Dan Aykroyd (1975-79)

7. Amy Poehler (2001-08)

8. Mike Myers (1989-95)

9. Dana Carvey (1986-93)

10. Tina Fey (2000-06)

Here are other cast members as they were ranked:

Dennis Miller ( #67)

Fred Armisen (#37)

Maya Rudolph (#34)

Jane Curtin (#21)

Norm Macdonald (#26)

Tim Meadows (#12)

PS: We subtitled this entry "Sorry, Tom Petty," because the singer once made fun of Murphy and Piscopo in a song he wrote.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Last Ten Songs We Listened to on Steve-FM (Roanoke, Va.): Thank You for NOT playing Aerosmith

Greetings to our readers in Canada, Malaysia and Azerbaijan.......

Here are the last ten songs we heard on Steve-FM (!06.1FM-Roanoke, Va.) from the hour of 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., local time, on Monday afternoon (Feb. 16th, 2015). Interestingly enough, the mixed genre radio station which plays a mixture of yesteryear songs along with new hits from the likes of Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars, only played one song from the 1990s, which was "Black or White" by the late Michael Jackson, which was released in 1991. Thankfully, none of these songs are from Aerosmith, a band we really love to hate:

1) Everybody Wants You. Billy Squier (pict. top) 1982.

2) Cruise. Florida Georgia Line. 2012

3) All I Need is a Miracle. Mike and the Mechanics. 1986/96

4) Don't Bring Me Down. ELO (pict. center) 1979.

5) Centerfold. The J. Geils Band (pict. bottom) 1981

6) Black or White. Michael Jackson. 1991

7) What I Like About You. The Romantics. 1980.

8) Sister Golden Hair. America. 1975

9) Cum on Feel the Noize. Quiet Riot. 1983.

10) Happy. Pharrell Williams. 2013.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Last Ten Songs We Heard on Simon-FM Greensboro, NC: 'Play Piano Man, Man'

Greetings to our blog readers in Dubai, Greece and Panama....

And, a special hello to those of us visiting us from Portland, Oregon, where the IFC show "Portlandia" takes place; it is now 8:16 a.m. in the west coast United States, and hopefully you will get more done in the next three hours than those of us here on the east coast did this morning!

Today, also happens to be World Radio Day, so I send a special shout out to WUVT (90.7 FM-Blacksburg, Va.) where I used to play songs from the late Turkish pop star Baris Manco and Ibrahim Tatlises (who is still alive) during "The Turkish Music Hour," I co-hosted in 1994.

Manco is not in the Simon-FM (98.7-Greensboro, NC) play list, which proves they don't really play everything as their promotion touts, but they do play everything from soft core heavy metal to hip hop.

Here are ten songs we heard during the 2:00-3:00 p.m. hour on Tuesday (in reverse order):

1. M.C. Hammer (pict. bottom) "U Can't Touch This." 1990

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival. "Fortunate Son." 1969

3. Duran Duran. "Rio." 1982.

4. Aerosmith. "Rag Doll." 1986

5. Steve Winwood. "Back in the High Life Again." 1986.

6. Jet. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl." 2003

7. Michael Jackson. "The Way You Make Me Feel." 1987

8. Pat Benatar. (pict. center) "Invincible." 1985.

9. Billy Joel (pict. top) "Piano Man." 1973

10. The Offspring. "Self-Esteem." 1994

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sunday Comic Strip Survey Feb.8th from the (Greensboro, NC) Sunday News and Record: Brewster Rockit Wins Our Hearts

Greetings to our blog readers in Australia, Sweden and Lebanon.....

Four our usual Sunday comic strip surveys we are entering a new newspaper as we were able to visit North Carolina this weekend where we picked a print copy (??!!!) of the Sunday "News and Record" from a gas station near the town of Mayodan, NC (????!!!!!!!!).

I know this is soooo 1979 of us.

Our favorite Sunday strip of the week was "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy" in which one alien gave another a box of planets in which the planets looked like chocolates (top image, well actually that is of a chocolate fountain, we don't recommend that for people with diabetes) for Valentine's Day.

Second place went to the Danish import "WuMo" where piranha fish (pict. center) are being chased by a knife and fork, Salvador Dali would have loved such surrealism!

Third place went to "Ziggy," an old standard, in which this week, the title character is greeted by Twiki from the cult tv sci-fi tv series of the '70s that is "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" (pict. bottom), well, actually Ziggy is just being visted (and transfixed) by aliens who are not sure what their exact mission is. Perhaps, they should go to that gas station we visited in Mayodan, NC, and ask for directions!

Here is our top ten:

1) Brewster Rockit: Space Guy

2) WuMo

3) Ziggy

4) Foxtrot

5) Pearls Before Swine

6) Doonesbury

7) Garfield

8) Jump Start

9) Dilbert

10) Judge Parker

For the memory of Deah Barakat, Yusar Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salah, the three Syrian college students studying at UNC and North Carolina State University on Tuesday. Deah was a fan of Stephen Curry, the NBA star who plays for the Golden State Warriors.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sunday Comics Survey from Feb. 8th Roanoke Times: Pastis Goes for the Punt

Greetings to our blog readers in New Zealand, Croatia and France.......

And, our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the three Syrian Muslim college students who killed in their Chapel Hill, NC, apartment yesterday.

On a lighter note, here are our ten favorite comic strips from the most recent edition of "The Roanoke Times," the daily newspaper of Roanoke, Va.

For starters, "Pearls Before Swine," a Stephan Pastis comic strip, makes fun of Norwegian lemmings one of whom goes for a pass thrown by another lemming and well, you can guess the rest. One of the surviving lemming says (SPOILER ALERT) that he will not be going to Disneyland. Our top image of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who won his fourth Super Bowl, is used for the strip, though he is not mentioned in 'Pearls.'

Third place goes to the single-panel gem "Speed Bump" which has a male angel being presumably nagged by his wife about reading a novel instead of going to bed. For this, we chose the late Daniel Foster Wallace novel "Infinite Jest," (pict. center) which is over 1,000 pages long! Perhaps, an inmate at Red Onion Prison in southwest Virginia is reading the novel. If so, they may actually finish it. A literary major at Brown University in Rhode Island, conversely, may not get to the end!

And, fifth place goes to "Agnes" who is questioning her teacher about the overload of homework (bottom image: an algebra calculator).

Here is our survey:

1) Pearls Before Swine

2) Doonesbury

3) Speed Bump

4) Get Fuzzy

5) Agnes

6) Garfield

7) Jump Start

8) Dilbert

9) Zits

10) For Better or For Worse

For last week's "Roanoke Times" comics survey, go to our sister blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Sunday Comics Survey from "The Washington Post:" Two Perfekt Strips

Greetings to our blog readers in Bulgaria, Chile and El Salvador..........

Today, we survey our top ten favorite comic strips from the Sunday, Feb. 8th edition of "The Washington Post," for our top ten favorites from the Feb.1st edition of 'The Post,' go to our sister blog:

Among the comic strips in our top ten are two strips that we gave perfect 10s too (ice skater Ashley Wagner would be sooo proud), they are "Lio" and "Brewster Rockit," but on a coin flip, we went with "Lio," which features a Felix the Cat (pictured top) nod, in addition to six other comic strips felines, including (of course) Garfield (Bill Murray would be proud) and Krazy Kat from way, way back in the day......

The Danish import "WuMo" came in a close third with a brilliant strip about the food chain of the piranha (cent. image is of the cult classic 1978 film "Piranha"), and in ninth place, "Rhymes with Orange," which is also carried by "The Martinsville Bullletin" in Martinsville, Va., featured a rat who finally figured out a way to get out of a maze.

Lastly, we salute our day sponsors, including the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Ga., and Arena Stage in Washington, DC, now staging the late August Wilson's theatrical gem "King Hedley II." Well, ok, so we don't anyone associated with either entity (we just like making fun of local NPR stations, they won't get this in El Salvador, will they?!)....

Here is our top ten:

1) Lio

2) Brewster Rockit

3) WuMo

4) The Argyle Sweater

5) Prickly City (highest rating for strip)

6) Sherman's Lagoon

7) Foxtrot

8) Baldo

9) Rhymes with Orange

10) Pearls Before Swine

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Movies Plus Movies: Yes, We Stole This Idea from Twitter

Last week, Twitter featured the hashtag MoviePlusMovie. At first, we couldn't think of anything, but since all of us here at the public library in Providence, Rhode Island, (not really the city where we are) are ardent film fanatics, we soon came up with tons of stuff.

While we are posting this, we are listening to WETA-FM (Arlington, Va./Washington, D.C.) which is having a pledge week. Alas, we don't have the funds to call host Bill Bukowski and make a donation so we can hear more Mozart, but perhaps you can! Those of you who aren't into classical music, may know Mozart from the '80s pop song "Rock Me Amadeus" from the late Austrian new wave star Falco.

Our images of are of: 1) a bobblehead Jesus Christ, (perhaps the Rev. Johnny Robertson of Martinsville, Va., will hack our blog for doing this!); 2) Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and 3) The Toledo Walleye, a minor league hockey team in Toledo, Ohio, which resembles the one Paul Newman played for in "Slap Shot" (1977. Dir: George Roy Hill).

Here are ten MoviePlusMovie samples we came up with:

1) The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ Superstar

2) There's Something About Mary Poppins

3) Slap Shot in the Dark

4) The Maltese Falcon and the Snowman

5) The Magnificent Seven Psychopaths

6) Singin' in the Purple Rain

7) The Best Little Whorehouse in Paris, Texas (our apologies to Wim Wenders)

8) Dead Men Walking Don't Wear Plaid

9) The Man with Two Brains Who Knew Too Much (year, that's two Steve Martin films in a row)

10) A Fish Called Wanda That Saved Pittsburgh