My Top Ten John Cusack Movies

Happy Birthday to John Cusack, who turns 51 today!

I love John Cusack. I’m of the age where I had (and, okay, still have) a massive crush on Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything. Thanks a lot, John Cusack! No boy can ever live up to Lloyd Dobler. You made a generation of girls have expectations that were way too high when it came to teenage boys. Teenage boys are awful. Teenage boys are NOT like Lloyd Dobler! Certainly not any that I knew in 1989, anyway…*sigh*

Anyway – I still love Lloyd & I still love John. It’s funny how he’s tried to never be a big “movie star”, which I respect, yet I have to say that of all these many Actor Top Ten lists that I’ve done, Cusack’s is possibly the best one yet for having so many of my personal favorites in it. The Top Five kick ass! So Cusack has certainly been in some damn enjoyable movies, even though he prefers to not be a huge movie star.

As always, I’m ranking these based on the movie (not the performance). Say Anything would most definitely top the list if it was by performance but no movie can really ever top my number one on this list, which Cusack only had a small role in. So, here are My Top Ten John Cusack Movies:

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

20. Class
19. The Grifters
18. Hot Tub Time Machine
17. Eight Men Out
16. 2012
15. Adaptation
14. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil
13. The Player
12. Identity
11. Serendipity

TOP TEN:

10. TIE: 1408 & Being John Malkovich

9. High Fidelity

8. Anastasia

7. Grosse Pointe Blank

6. Con Air

5. Better Off Dead

4. The Journey Of Natty Gann

3. Sixteen Candles

2. Say Anything…

1. Stand By Me

Saw But Don’t Remember Well Enough To Include In List Without Re-watching:
One Crazy Summer, Hot Pursuit, The Sure Thing, Tapeheads, America’s Sweethearts

Some I Haven’t Seen At All:
Grandview USA, Broadcast News, True Colors, Bullets Over Broadway, The Road To Wellville, The Thin Red Line, Pushing Tin, Runaway Jury, Must Love Dogs, Martian Child, Igor, The Paperboy, Maps To The Stars, Love & Mercy, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Chi-Raq, Cell

Oh, Lloyd… *sigh*

The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988) Blind Spot Review

The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Based on The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie

Music by Peter Gabriel

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Like the novel, the film depicts the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle with various forms of temptation including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust.

My Opinion:

I’ll keep this short & I’ll be totally honest – The Last Temptation Of Christ was on my 2017 Blind Spot list mainly because I wanted to see David Bowie’s role in it. So now I can say I have! All five minutes (at most) of it, toward the end of the 2 hour & 44 minute film. I suppose I also wanted to add another Martin Scorsese film to my ranked list of his films that I’ve seen (it doesn’t quite make it into the top ten, out of the 12 I’ve seen, nor does it make the list of My Top Ten Harry Dean Stanton Movies). Not gonna lie – out of almost a year & a half of doing this Blind Spot thing, this film is easily my least favorite & was the biggest struggle to work my way through.

I won’t get into the film’s story and religious beliefs. I watched this because I’m a film fan & it’s a movie by a very respected director with some big name stars (and because: David Bowie). No, “biblical dramas” are not at all the type of genre I go for (give me sci-fi) so that wasn’t going to help but it’s definitely overlong and it didn’t feel as, I don’t know… As well put together as most of Scorsese’s other work? I know nothing about filmmaking but this just isn’t up there with the likes of something like Goodfellas (also a genre that’s not at all my type of thing but a good film is a good film, whatever the genre). Not that this isn’t a good film… It must be a decent piece of filmmaking considering that Scorsese was nominated for the Best Director Oscar for it, the film’s one & only nomination. Hmm. It’s very hard to review respected films that just really didn’t speak to you personally! That’s why I’m keeping this very short for a Blind Spot review. I’d love to instead hear from fellow bloggers who, unlike me, have strong opinions one way or another about this film. I do know it was & still is very controversial & hated by some while there are others who think it’s another Scorsese masterpiece.

The acting is solid and Dafoe does a good job but I also felt that the acting let the film down a bit. I didn’t think “Wow – so-and-so was brilliant in this film!” the way I’ve thought some of the actors were pretty amazing in the majority of Scorsese’s other films. Some felt very miscast (Keitel) while some are actors I’ve never been particularly impressed with (Hershey). Okay okay – and my beloved Bowie! I fully admit that acting was never his biggest talent… 😉 However, he did okay in his very small role & didn’t feel as out of place as some of those in larger roles. Harry Dean Stanton was a highlight, though – he’s such an underrated actor.

Overall, I’m sorry to say that this is one of those films that I won’t remember much of a year or so from now. There weren’t really any specific scenes that stood out in my mind (we all know the story already anyway so I saw pretty much exactly what I expected, although this is a somewhat alternative version). I was especially disappointed that the acting didn’t stand out for me and it seriously felt even longer than it already was, especially at the end when we’re given a long look at an alternative life for Jesus? Sorry. I didn’t love it. It’s not a bad film but I’d only recommend it to those interested in religious dramas or to serious Martin Scorsese fans who want to see all he’s done. Ugh. I feel like a bad blogger for not loving a Scorsese film.

My Rating: 6/10

Only I would review The Last Temptation Of Christ & Smurfs: The Lost Village in the same week… Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Music Video Friday: Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer 

Today’s video is Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.

This song is filthy! On My Top Ten Songs That Are Actually About Sex list that I posted yesterday, this song was my number one. I love Peter Gabriel, although this wasn’t a favorite Gabriel song of mine overall (I prefer Games Without Frontiers, Red Rain & In Your Eyes).

I don’t think I realized that this song was about sex when it first came out & Gabriel was asking you to “open up your fruitcage“. I was a little bit too young at the time but I probably realized it at least subconsciously later on. Here are the lyrics from azlyrics.com:

you could have a steam train
if you’d just lay down your tracks
you could have an aeroplane flying
if you bring your blue sky back

all you do is call me
I’ll be anything you need

you could have a big dipper
going up and down, all around the bends
you could have a bumper car, bumping
this amusement never ends

I want to be your sledgehammer
why don’t you call my name
oh let me be your sledgehammer
this will be my testimony

show me round your fruitcage
‘cos I will be your honey bee
open up your fruitcage
where the fruit is as sweet as can be

I want to be your sledgehammer
why don’t you call my name
you’d better call the sledgehammer
put your mind at rest
I’m going to be-the sledgehammer
this can be my testimony
I’m your sledgehammer
let there be no doubt about it

sledge sledge sledgehammer

I’ve kicked the habit
shed my skin
this is the new stuff
I go dancing in, we go dancing in

oh won’t you show for me
and I will show for you
show for me, I will show for you
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I do mean you
only you

you’ve been coming through
going to build that power
build, build up that power, hey

I’ve been feeding the rhythm
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
going to feel that power, build in you
come on, come on, help me do
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you

I’ve been feeding the rhythm
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
it’s what we’re doing, doing
all day and night

Feed that rhythm, Peter!

The ENTIRE SONG!!! Every line is ABOUT SEX. Yet he never says anything blatantly dirty. I love it.

Anyway, I think everyone has seen this award-winning video. I also just read at Wikipedia that “As of 2011, Sledgehammer is the most played music video in the history of MTV.” Here’s a little more info from that link:

The song’s music video won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards.

“Sledgehammer” had a widely popular and influential music video commissioned by Tessa Watts at Virgin Records, directed by Stephen R. Johnson and produced by Adam Whittaker. Aardman Animations (of Wallace and Gromit fame) and the Brothers Quay provided claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation that gave life to images in the song.

Interesting to know that Aardman Animations was involved. I also looked up the video’s director, Stephen R. Johnson, to see what else he’s done. Besides Sledgehammer, he also did the videos for Gabriel’s Big Time & Steam plus Walk Of Life by Dire Straits & Road To Nowhere by the Talking Heads (another huge favorite band of mine! I’ll feature them one of these Fridays. Love David Byrne). But, on top of these great videos, he also directed the first season of Pee-wee’s Playhouse!!! Well, that’s just awesome. That show rules, man. And I still think that even at my current age. 😉 I’m not ashamed!

Anyway, here’s the video for Sledgehammer which you’ve of course all seen. Luckily it’s not filthy like the lyrics (not that it would’ve mattered to MTV considering the pervy videos they’ve played over the years…). 🙂

My Top Ten Songs That Are Actually About Sex

I think everyone knows that most songs are either about sex or drugs, right? I usually pick up on the sex ones but never the drug ones (I was shocked that Golden Brown by The Stranglers was about heroin! I’m so naïve).

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about doing this list for a while but there are so many dirty songs that it took me ages to put this together. I’ll have missed plenty! This time, I needed some help online. I did manage to verify that most of these are indeed about sex (Dave Grohl – you naughty boy! He’s a big fan of doing what his is about, apparently). But some are my own interpretation (or dirty mind, maybe). I’m happy to hear from anyone who disagrees with any of these! I looked at a lot of different websites for these dirty songs but the site I probably looked at the most was songfacts.com.

For the most part, I’ve tried to choose ones that are slightly more “subtle”. I think the subtle ones are so much better than the really blatant songs about sex (rap is so blatant!). I especially like my number one – it’s subtle yet also so obvious if you give it the slightest bit of thought. I was just too young to give it much thought at the time it came out! Filthy.

I’ve decided to eliminate certain artists who seem to sing about sex in the majority of their songs. Filthy bastards! And most are really blatant anyway. So I’m leaving out songs by Aerosmith, Prince, Kiss, AC/DC, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and The Rolling Stones. Oh, and Led Zeppelin– all their songs are either about sex or Hobbits. And as there are so many, I’ll count down from 20 once again. Yeah, but I’ll still call it a Top Ten to be annoying. 😉

So here are My Top Ten Songs That Are Actually About Sex (counting down from 20):

Top Twenty:

20. Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory
What It’s About: Orgasm
Lyrics: I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge. I’m on the edge of glory, and I’m hangin’ on a moment with you. I’m on the edge with you.

19. Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
What It’s About: Sex (not having to masturbate)
Lyrics: Wake me up before you go go. ‘Cause I’m not plannin’ on going solo. Wake me up before you go go. Take me dancing tonight. I wanna hit that high, yeah, yeah.

18. Madness – House Of Fun
What It’s About: Buying condoms for the first time
Lyrics: Good morning Miss. Can I help you son? Sixteen today, and up for fun. I’m a big boy now, or so they say. So if you’ll serve, I’ll be on my way. (Thanks to the conversation on my review HERE). 😉

17. Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute Of It
What It’s About: A Vibrator
Lyrics: I’m not man or machine, I’m just something in between.

16. Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You
What It’s About: Masturbation
Lyrics: I can dream about you. If I can’t hold you tonight. I can dream about you. You know how to hold me just right.

15. Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper
What It’s About: Sex
Lyrics: Pull up to my bumper baby, in your long black limousine. Pull up to my bumper baby, and drive it in between.

14. Bryan Adams – Summer Of ’69
What It’s About: Sexual awakening and, literally, “69”
Lyrics: It was the summer of ’69, oh, yeah. Me and my baby in ’69, oh.

13. The Beatles – Ticket To Ride
What It’s About: German hookers (the medical card German hookers had to prove they had no diseases was called a “ticket to ride”)
Lyrics: She’s got a ticket to ride. She’s got a ticket to ride. She’s got a ticket to ride. But she don’t care.

12. Bloc Party – Banquet
What It’s About: Oral Sex
Lyrics: She’s got such a dirty mind and it never ever stops. And you don’t taste like her and you never ever will.

11. Duran Duran – Save A Prayer
What It’s About: A one night stand
Lyrics: Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise.

Top Ten:

10. Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died In Your Arms
What It’s About: Orgasm (as in the Shakespearian meaning – no actual dirty lyrics. Nice job!)
Lyrics: Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said. I just died in your arms tonight.

9. Melanie – Brand New Key
What It’s About: Sex
Lyrics: Well I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key. I think that we should get together and try them out you see.

8. Madonna – Like A Prayer
What It’s About: Sex
Lyrics: When you call my name it’s like a little prayer. I’m down on my knees I wanna take you there. In the midnight hour I can feel your power. Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there.

7. The Vapors – Turning Japanese
What It’s About: Masturbation
Lyrics:
I’ve got your picture, I’ve got your picture. I’d like a million of them all round my cell. I want the doctor to take your picture. So I can look at you from inside as well.

6. Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun
What It’s About: Masturbation. Although the Violent Femmes deny this.
Lyrics: Let me go on… like I blister in the sun. Let me go on… big hands, I know you’re the one.

5. Foo Fighters – All My Life
What It’s About: Oral sex
Lyrics: Hey don’t let it go to waste, I love it but I hate the taste.

4. Faith No More – Epic
What It’s About: Masturbation
Lyrics: It’s dark, it’s moist, it’s a bitter pain. It’s sad it happened and it’s a shame.

3. The Cure – Close To Me
What It’s About: Masturbation. Or Sex. Who knows for sure – it’s Robert Smith!
Lyrics: Just try to see in the dark, just try to make it work. To feel the fear before you’re here.

2. Billy Idol/Generation X – Dancing With Myself
What It’s About: Masturbation
Lyrics: When there’s no-one else in sight, in the crowded lonely night. Well I wait so long, for my love vibration. And I’m dancing with myself.

1. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
What It’s About: Sex
Lyrics: Open up your fruitcage, where the fruit is as sweet as can be.

I’ll talk more about Sledgehammer for tomorrow’s Music Video Friday. This is the kind of filth that I like – clever innuendo that kids wouldn’t pick up on. Plus I love Peter Gabriel. 🙂

Okay – there are way too many dirty songs. Here are some more & what they seem to be about:

Hozier – Take Me To Church (Sex)
Kelis – Milkshake (Shaking her boobies)
Missy Elliot – Work It (Sex)
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (Mick Fleetwood’s penis)
Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box (Uterus)
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me (Sex)
The Pointer Sisters – Slow Hand (Sex)
ZZ Top – Pearl Necklace (Orgasm)
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again (Masturbation)
Cyndi Lauper – She Bop (Masturbation)
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah (Orgasm)

And, okay – here are just a few of the thousands of blatant ones:

Sheena Easton – Sugar Walls (Vagina)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (Sex)
Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever (Sex) (Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand…)
Nina Simone – I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl (Sex)
Azealia Banks – 212 (Oral Sex, possibly in a 3 way)
Salt-N-Pepa – Shoop (Sex) (I’ll forever think of Deadpool now)
Warrant – Cherry Pie (Sex)

Finally, I’ll end with the video for a f*^ked-up song that I’ve found bizarrely fascinating since the first time I heard it & which still pops into my head when making sandwiches. It’s clearly not about making sandwiches…

Detroit Grand Pubahs – Sandwiches

My Top Ten Color Songs

I’ve been meaning to do this list for a while but there are just SO many songs with colors in the title. I decided to not go overboard like when I did My Top Ten Devil & Hell Songs and spent ages making sure I hadn’t missed any favorites with “Devil” or “Hell” in the title. There are too many color songs (or colour in the UK – I wish autocorrect would stop correcting me) so I’ve not spent ages doing an exhaustive list and am sure I’ve missed a favorite that’ll have me kicking myself.

However, there are too many to narrow it down to only ten so I’ll count down from 20 to my favorite. And, okay – I have honorable mentions too. Sorry! 😉 But I’ve still left out loads of songs. Would love to hear what other Color Songs are the favorites of fellow bloggers!

Here are My Top Ten Songs With Colors In The Title (based, of course, on how much I like the song):

My Top 20:

20. Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
19. Red Alert by Basement Jaxx
18. Rainbow Connection by Kermit
17. Black History Month by Death From Above 1979
16. Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys
15. White Unicorn by Wolfmother
14. Blackbird by The Beatles
13. Behind Blue Eyes by The Who
12. Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix
11. White Room by Cream

My Top Ten:

10. Back In Black by AC/DC

9. Crimson And Clover by Tommy James & The Shondells

8. Pretty In Pink by The Psychedelic Furs

7. Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra

6. Blue Monday by New Order

5. Fade To Black by Metallica

4. Rainbow In The Dark by Dio

3. Red Rain by Peter Gabriel

2. Golden Years by David Bowie

1. Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath

By the way – I already had the argument with the hubby on if “Rainbow” could be included or not. As always, I won. It’s my blog, after all. 😉 I’ll now do my best to not list 1,000 honorable mentions…

Honorable Mentions:

– Green Onions by Booker T. & The M.G.’s
– White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It) by Grandmaster & Melle Mel
– Fool’s Gold by The Stone Roses
– Fade To Grey by Visage
– Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan
White Wedding by Billy Idol
– Black by Pearl Jam
– Golden Brown by The Stranglers
Green Hell by Misfits
– Gold Lion by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
– Violet by Hole
White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane
– Colours by Donovan (also, Turquoise & Mellow Yellow…)

In Your Eyes (2014) Review

In Your Eyes (2014)

Directed by Brin Hill

Written by Joss Whedon

Starring: Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Steve Harris, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Two seemingly unconnected souls from different corners of the United States make a telepathic bond that allows them to see, hear and feel the other’s experiences, creating a bond that apparently can’t be broken.

My Opinion:

How did this movie so completely pass me by? It’s fantastic. I’m usually pretty informed about this sort of thing but I don’t think I’ve even seen this one mentioned by any fellow bloggers. I added it to my Netflix list ages ago after reading what it was about & thinking “that sounds sort of interesting – I’ll watch that by myself one night if it’s one of those very rare occasions where I’m in the mood for some girly chick flick“. But it’s not just another girly chick flick… It’s GOOD. And, I never thought I’d say this but I think I have my new Say Anything. I think I have my new Lloyd Dobler! Here he is – the perfect boyfriend:

He’s so boy-next-door cute and so sweet in this movie. Yeah, I’m old now but I can still have a crush on a movie character! Anyway, I’m not one of those girls who’s a big fan of romantic movies. Most of them make me want to puke because the characters are so unbelievable & usually so goddamn attractive that they don’t seem real & I can’t relate to them in any way or buy into their love story. Not that Zoe Kazan & Michael Stahl-David are exactly unattractive but they felt like real people and I loved their unconventional romance.

So, like the synopsis says, these two have a telepathic connection that they feel at various points throughout their lives but which fully comes into effect one day when they’re adults. It allows them to see through each other’s eyes and to talk to each other whenever they want. I really loved the concept – it’s very simple yet works perfectly in this film (probably, again, mainly due to the characters being so fully believable and the film being well written).

Yes, this was written by Joss Whedon & I didn’t know that until I started watching it. I’m sure that has probably piqued the interest of those reading this who are fans of things like Buffy (I never watched that – I was too old for it) or Firefly (great show) or even The Cabin In The Woods. I’d say that this movie has the same sort of overall feel as all of those but is a little more grown-up (I’m not sure of the characters’ ages but I’m guessing around 30).

I liked that they didn’t spend ages explaining the “telepathic” thing. There was no need to. These are just two people with a great connection having chats & sharing their lives with each other the same way any good friends would in normal circumstances. I’m a big fan of good dialogue & characters that don’t feel fake or forced and I instantly bought into the way these two talked to each other as though they were just having a normal long distance chat on the phone with a good friend. It’s like any long distance romance movie, I suppose, but with a more unique twist and with characters I actually believed & cared about.

Summary:

I’ll wrap this up before I ramble on and just keep saying the same things over & over. What can I say? I loved this film. It’s rare that a romance works for me but, as with Say Anything as well, I guess that’s the difference a good writer and strong characters makes (and it certainly didn’t escape my notice that this movie shares its name with the Peter Gabriel song made so famous by my beloved Lloyd Dobler & his boom box). 

I won’t pretend there aren’t cliché moments (he’s a poor ex-con living in a trailer in sunny New Mexico, she’s a well-to-do doctor’s wife living in snowy New Hampshire) but it doesn’t matter when the movie is actually good. And the contrast between their two worlds was quite beautiful – there are so many lovely shots of New Mexico that I want to move there right now. Into a trailer with Michael Stahl-David’s character! But, seriously – don’t write this one off just because it’s a romance. I almost did and I’d have missed out on a new favorite if I had.

My Rating: 8/10