My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies

Happy Birthday to Tom Cruise, who turns 55 today. Wow… Does he ever age??

To be honest, I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan. I mean, look at him in that photo up there… How annoying would it be to work with someone who goes around smiling like that? Can you imagine someone so goddamn happy sitting at the desk next to you?! Ugh. However, I have to say that I admire how Cruise treats his fans. He’s always happy to hang around & sign autographs and that’s cool. I hate stars who seem like conceited assholes in real life. He also seems to enjoy making movies and doing his own stunts and all that. So, yeah – I suppose he smiles like that because he does seem to be a pretty happy dude. Which is better than a grumpy famous person. I guess.

Anyway! I figured now would be a good time to finally do a list of My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies. He’s of course been in loads of films but he does a lot of action dramas, which aren’t really my type of thing. That’s why my number one was a huge surprise… His best movie in years & a genre I love! And number two deserves more credit – It’s a classic. I admit to needing to re-watch some of those outside of the top ten & they’d probably move up the list. How about I shut the hell up & do this list. Is Cruise still smiling like a loon in that photo up there…??

Here are My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies, counting down to my favorite (ranked by film, not performance):

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

25. Tropic Thunder
24. Cocktail
23. Eyes Wide Shut
22. Born On The Fourth Of July
21. Days Of Thunder
20. Austin Powers In Goldmember
19. War Of The Worlds
18. The Firm
17. Interview With The Vampire
16. The Mission Impossible Films (Think I’ve only seen 1 or 2… Should re-watch & am sure they’d rank higher)
15. Legend (I’m lying. I barely remember this.)
14. Risky Business
13. Endless Love
12. Oblivion
11. Vanilla Sky

Top Ten:

10. A Few Good Men

9. The Color Of Money

8. Collateral

7. Magnolia

6. Jerry Maguire

5. Minority Report

4. The Outsiders

3. Rain Man

2. Top Gun

1. Edge Of Tomorrow

Some I’ve Not Seen:

Taps, Far And Away, The Last Samurai, Lions For Lambs, Valkyrie, Knight And Day, Jack Reacher, Rock Of Ages, The Mummy

(Is he still fucking smiling up there??)

My Top Ten Patrick Swayze MoviesΒ 

It’s hard to believe that, as of yesterday, it has been seven years since Patrick Swayze passed away. I was never one of those girls to worship things like Dirty Dancing so didn’t quite appreciate Swayze in the same way that other girls my age seemed to at the time. But I was transformed into a bit of a Swayze fan after finally witnessing the genius that is ROAD HOUSE for the first time last December. πŸ˜‰

Here are My Top Ten Patrick Swayze Movies, counting down to my favorite (these are the only movies of his that I’ve seen):

10. Three Wishes

9. 11:14

8. Red Dawn

7. Youngblood

6. Dirty Dancing

5. The Outsiders

4. Donnie Darko

3. Ghost

2. Road House

1. Point Break

My Top Ten Rob Lowe Movies

Happy Belated Birthday to Rob Lowe, who turned 52 on, um, March 17th! Okay, I had this post scheduled for that day but posted something else instead. So Rob Lowe got bumped! (Sorry, Rob) πŸ˜‰

Rob Lowe’s movies were kind of in that generation just a little before my time so I didn’t really grow up seeing most of them (just like Diane Lane’s – I did my Top Ten of her films HERE). Those who know me may be shocked to know that I’m not even sure of the first time I saw St. Elmo’s Fire but I’m thinking I was at least 18 or 19. It didn’t connect with me in the same way the John Hughes films did. 

As for Rob Lowe, I’ll admit he’s never exactly been a favorite of mine or anything. He’s also been in a lot of dodgy movies but, hey, that almost makes it more fun to choose my ten favorites. I did like how he didn’t take himself seriously in my number one film – I think a lot of people saw him as being similar to that character & I think doing that sort of role was the right kind of move for him. 

So now, counting down to my favorite, these are My Top Ten Rob Lowe Movies (not roles):

10. TIE: Class & About Last Night…
(I barely remember either of these but think they were probably equally crap so I’m sticking them at ten) πŸ˜‰

9. Tommy Boy

8. Contact
(Rob Lowe was in this???)

7. The Austin Powers Movies

6. Square Dance (aka Home Is Where The Heart Is)
(I had no idea how obscure this movie was until I saw it only has about 600 votes at IMDB. It also stars Winona Ryder – I recorded it off TV when it came out & watched it over & over. I wish I still had it!)

5. The Stand

4. Youngblood

3. St. Elmo’s Fire

2. The Outsiders

1. Wayne’s World
(I’m obsessed with Wayne’s World – ask anyone who knew me in 1992. Or my hubby, who calls me the female Garth Algar)

My Top Ten Coppola Movies

Happy Birthday to Francis Ford Coppola, who turns 77 today.

This is a part of my Coppola Week. I’ve been reviewing movies directed by Francis Ford Coppola & his daughter Sofia (ones that I’ve seen for the first time this past year). So far, I’ve reviewed The Bling Ring, The Outsiders & Marie Antoinette.

I was going to make this a Top Ten including all of the members of the Coppola family who are in the movie industry but, after looking into how many that would involve, I decided it would be a pain in the ass! Besides, I’ve already done My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies HERE. I’ve also never seen the Rocky movies, so there’s no point including Talia Shire. And Jason Schwartzman is mainly in those Wes Anderson movies I can’t stand so screw that. And then there are loads of other family members who do lots of behind-the-scenes stuff such as cinematography so, after researching the Coppola family more than my own ancestry, I decided to make this a list including only Francis Ford & Sofia.

So here are My Top Ten Movies Directed By Francis Ford or Sofia Coppola, counting down to my favorite:

**Updated April 2018 to add The Beguiled remake**

(I’ve seen a total of fourteen so here are 14-11):


14. Jack
13. Somewhere
12. Peggy Sue Got Married
11. The Beguiled (2017)

10. Dracula

9. The Bling Ring

8. Marie Antoinette

7. Apocalypse Now

6. The Conversation

5. The Virgin Suicides

4. The Outsiders

3. Lost In Translation

2. The Godfather: Part II

1. The Godfather

FYI: If they’re not listed, I’ve not seen them. No, I never even bothered to watch The Godfather: Part III. The one I really need to see is Rumble Fish now that I’ve finally watched The Outsiders…! 

I’ll finish Coppola Week tomorrow with a review of The Conversation.

**I recently participated in Ruth from FlixChatter’s Five For The Fifth, in which she asks fellow bloggers five movie or TV-related questions. The fifth question is from a guest blogger & I was this month’s guest with the question “Which character would you most like to see killed off in a current TV show?“. I chose this question knowing I’d be seeing The Walking Dead season finale the next day & now I’d really love to bitch about that ending with fellow bloggers!! Grrr. Have a look at Ruth’s Five For The Fifth post HERE. Thanks again, Ruth! πŸ™‚

The Outsiders (1983) Review

Welcome to Day 2 of Coppola Week, in which I’ll be reviewing four movies I saw recently directed by Francis Ford or Sofia Coppola. Yesterday I reviewed Sofia’s The Bling Ring (it wasn’t my favorite). So now I’m reviewing one from her father (it’s easily my favorite of the four I’ll be discussing). Let’s talk about The Outsiders! πŸ™‚

The Outsiders (1983)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Based on The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Leif Garrett, Tom Waits

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

My Opinion:

I still can’t quite believe that I had never read The Outsiders or watched the movie until recently, especially as the movie contains so many well known actors from my generation. I should have had a crush on every single one of them! None of them were really favorites of mine, though. The only one I’d have possibly had a crush on was the one who kind of went on to do the least after The Outsiders – C. Thomas Howell, which is weird as he’s the main star of this one. He was pretty cute! And pretty hot now. I like how he keeps popping up in small roles in things like The Amazing Spider-Man. Well, he did star in Soul Man… Bet he’s not thrilled about that one now!

Sorry to go on about “cute boys” but I was just pointing out that I’m not sure why I never saw this. I read the book a couple of years ago and really liked it (it was my second favorite book read in 2014). It’s less surprising that I never read it since I was never really encouraged to read much when I was younger (I’m glad I decided to become a reader anyway). I have to say that I was perfectly happy with the film and think it was a good & faithful adaptation. I was worried when I looked this up on IMDB as it has a really low “metascore” (which is a collection of reviews from critics) of 38 out of 100 while it has a respectable user rating of 7.2 out of 10. Are you kidding me on that metascore?? I didn’t actually read the critic reviews to see what their problem was with this movie. I don’t care. This is why I don’t read reviews from actual critics – I trust the opinions of us regular movie-loving bloggers more. I’m usually somewhere in between the metascore & user rating (user ratings are always WAY too high on current mainstream movies) but I agree with the user rating this time. It’s a good film, not a great film. But those who love the book and those who love the amazing assortment of hot young 80’s actors that Coppola got together for this will be big fans of the movie. I’m sure it’s a favorite film of some people my age & I’d possibly have the same nostalgia for it if I’d seen it around the same sort of time that I became obsessed with Stand By Me.

As for the acting, I can’t fault anyone. They all felt like genuine teenagers/early twentysomethings and fit the characters from the book very well. Although, knowing of the movie and who played who, I may have been picturing the actors as I read it. That’s why I hate reading a book after seeing its movie… I especially liked Ralph Macchio & C. Thomas Howell, who were the two most important characters to get right from the book. Patrick Swayze & Rob Lowe were also great as Howell’s protective older brothers. Yes! Even Rob Lowe was good!

I also loved seeing Diane Lane, with the most gorgeous shade of red hair, as I’ve become more of a fan of hers in recent years (this movie is pretty high on my list of My Top Ten Diane Lane Movies). It’s quite a small role as boys are very much the stars of this story but, hey, that’s how it was written. By a girl. Speaking of its author, S.E. Hinton, I still love that the book was written when she was only 16. I think that’s so impressive. Imagine a teenager today managing to do that! Or anything, really. Apparently, Hinton played a nurse in this. Cool! I didn’t even know that until looking at the credits for this review. Also, Sofia Coppola played a “Little Girl” and Heather Langenkamp(!) is listed but not given a character name so I have no idea where she was in the movie (okay – I did some Googling & her scenes from the drive-in movie part were deleted).

Hey – look at Patrick Swayze being all tough & sexy like he was in Road House! He’s gonna rip that guy’s throat out. Yes, I’m still obsessed with Road House after seeing it for the first time over Christmas. Road House!! I wish Sam Elliott had been in The Outsiders… That would’ve been awesome. 

Of course, Sam Elliott was too old to be in this as there are hardly any adults to be seen throughout the whole movie. That’s what’s so great about it – it was written by a teenager about teenagers, which is probably what helps make the characters feel so genuine and why so many young people have fallen in love with the book over the years. I totally understand the story’s appeal, even though I experienced it too late to appreciate it as much as I would have as a teenager. It’s one of the first true “young adult” books (back before the young adult genre was this huge thing with the somewhat bad reputation it has these days) so maybe that’s what some critics don’t like about it? I don’t know but it’s a classic story with some very rich characters and I’ll most definitely be passing the book onto my daughter to read as an early teen. Perhaps she’ll fall in love with it in a way that I wasn’t fully able to at my age. And then we can watch the movie together! It’s one I’d definitely watch again sometime. πŸ™‚

My Rating: 7.5/10

My Top Ten Diane Lane Movies

Happy (belated) Birthday to Diane Lane, who turned 51 on January 22nd. I’ll be honest – I never really noticed Diane Lane that much when I was younger as she was mostly in movies that were just a little bit too old for me. Heck, I’ve only just watched Streets Of Fire and The Outsiders for the very first time this past year! Shame on me.

I think that I first started paying attention to her after the movies Unfaithful and Under The Tuscan Sun. Although I’m not normally into movies aimed at “middle-aged women” (even though I AM one), I think I just really appreciated how sexy the late-thirties Lane was in those films. And she’s still gorgeous at 51! Hollywood has always been obsessed with youth, especially when it comes to actresses, so I love seeing those such as Lane still in the acting game.

I decided to fully explore her older films after watching and thoroughly enjoying the obscure Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. So I’ve now seen just over ten of her films, which means that two not-very-good ones are included at 9 & 10.

So here are My Top Ten Diane Lane Movies, counting down to my favorite film (not ranked by performance. no, I’m not saying I prefer her as a cartoon – number 1 is just an excellent film). πŸ˜‰

10. Man Of Steel

9. Jumper

8. The Perfect Storm

7. Under The Tuscan Sun

6. Streets Of Fire

5. Unfaithful

4. Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

3. The Outsiders

2. Chaplin

1. Inside Out

My Top (Seven) Books Read In 2014 (and mini-reviews!)

Happy New Year everyone!!! πŸ™‚

I’ve been doing my end-of-the-year top ten lists (My Top Ten Movies Of 2014 & My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2014). I can’t do a top ten here as I only managed seven so here are My Top (Seven) Books Read In 2014. I’ve never been great at writing book reviews and, of these, I only managed to review The Giver. As I probably won’t ever get around to doing full reviews of most of these, I’ll do a brief mini-review of each of them now.

7. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend

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I mainly read things like Stephen King, a tiny bit of sci-fi, and Young Adult fiction. This book isn’t very “me” but I thought it would be good to read the type of book that women my age are MEANT to read. Well, this is why I don’t fit in amongst women of my age, I guess… πŸ˜‰ I’m sure most middle-aged women absolutely adored this book and I do think Townsend wrote some truly funny & witty bits. However, the characters are SO hateful, including the “heroine” at times. You’re meant to feel for her & you do at first but, by the end, you just think “Get out of bed & the HELL away from your horrible family full of assholes!” It’s well-written and I assume Townsend probably has better books with better characters? As always, it’s hard to enjoy a book if you don’t like at least ONE person in it but it does have its funny moments (although it’s a very British sense of humor).

My Rating: 2.5/5

6. Paper Towns by John Green

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I know John Green is a very big YA author and I did really like The Fault In Our Stars book (which I reviewed HERE). I’m also kind of a sucker for a decent-looking book cover and Green’s books always look so good sitting on the shelves in book stores (shallow, I know). Unfortunately, I found Paper Towns quite disappointing. Like The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, this was full of characters I didn’t really like. The main boy was fine, at least, but the object of his affection (and obsession) is extremely selfish and it’s very hard to understand why he would feel so strongly about her. I also didn’t like how it ended – it just sort of fizzled out. However, I’ll still give more Green books a shot as I know Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger is a fan but she also didn’t like this one so much. She’s done a good full review of the book, which you can read HERE. Yep, we agree on this one, Zoe!

My Rating: 2.5/5

5. The Night Rainbow by Claire King

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This is another one that’s not exactly “me” but I thought it was fairly good. However, it’s totally heartbreaking. I don’t really want a book that’s going to make me cry and leave me horribly depressed by the end of it. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this to be as sad as it was after reading the description on the back and, when something quite obvious finally hit me toward the end of the book, I felt stupid for not realizing sooner and also incredibly sad about the situation as I think it’s probably a somewhat common thing. I know that was incredibly vague but I always try to stay spoiler-free. It’s very much another “middle-aged woman” book but, if you’re of that age and especially if you’re a mother and you like bittersweet dramas that may make you weep (a lot of women seem to like that sort of thing – I’m not sure why!), this book may be worth a read for you.

My Rating: 3/5

4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

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Yeah… 2014 really was a year of me reading books that aren’t very “me”. This is another one. πŸ˜‰ I just can’t get into these “older lady books”! I was also once again taken by the cover of the book plus I liked the sound of the “fairytale” aspect of the story. It’s inspired by a Russian fairytale of an old childless couple who build a daughter made of snow who comes to life. It’s no Stephen King so was never going to be my favorite book in the world but I thought it was actually very good and I can see a lot of people (okay, women) loving it. It would make a great movie. It’s also a little heartbreaking, although it didn’t leave me nearly as sad as The Night Rainbow did. If it sounds at all like the type of story you’d like, I do recommend this one.

My Rating: 3.5/5

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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I won’t go into this one much as I’ve already done a full review HERE. “Young Adult dystopian future” book! Much more my type of thing. Plus this is one that came along years before the current trend of copycats. It’s aimed at a younger age than things like The Hunger Games (probably about age 11) and is a book I’d happily give to a kid of that age to read before they read the more current books in the genre. Anyway – I really liked The Giver and highly recommend it over the movie, which changes quite a lot of the story.

My Rating: 4/5

2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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I’m actually not sure what to say about this one other than: Can you believe I’d never read it until now?! I know it’s such a HUGE teen classic for people of my age and the generation before mine. I’m not sure if it’s as popular with teens these days as well but it does deserve its status as a classic. I LOVE that Hinton was only 16 when she wrote this and I wish that teenagers still had this same sort of ambition and creativity these days. I don’t know… Maybe some of them do? Anyway, I’m not sure why I never explored Hinton’s stuff plus I’ve also never seen Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of this. This is shocking as, even though it’s not had the best reviews, it’s from 1983 and full of so many famous actors from my generation. Okay, I’ve actually managed to not say a thing about this book. I plan to watch the movie sometime this year so I’ll try to do a full review of the book at the same time too.

My Rating: 4/5

1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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Of course this was going to be my favorite… No, it’s not as good as The Shining but I think it’s a decent enough sequel. I liked re-visiting characters from The Shining and liked the main girl, Abra, and her relationship with Danny plus I thought the “villains” (The True Knot) were very effective, especially their leader Rose the Hat. This was the first book I read in 2014 so I finished it quite a while ago. I of course thoroughly enjoyed it while reading it but it’s already fading from my memory a bit as it just didn’t grab me in the way other King books have. I’m not sure why… It’s good but I think King has written better books in recent years. I think 11/22/63 is a better book overall plus I possibly enjoyed Duma Key and even Cell slightly more than Doctor Sleep, although I’m sure I’m very much in the minority there. (I also had a lot of fun with Joyland, the only King book I’ve ever reviewed so I suppose I should mention it). Doctor Sleep is certainly one of King’s better books overall but it’s probably not QUITE up there with my very favorites although I was hoping it would be. By the way, Brian, I’ve given it some thought and The Dead Zone is possibly my favorite King book although I also love Salem’s Lot, The Long Walk, The Shining, The Green Mile, and I love his short story collections almost more than his full novels sometimes. It would be possibly be a big favorite except for ONE bit I really don’t like in it. Night Shift was the first thing of his that I read and that’s what got me hooked. I’m sure you all wanted to know my Stephen King history, right?? πŸ™‚

My Rating: 4/5

I got a load of books for Christmas & they’re much more “me” than most the stuff I read in 2014. I can’t wait to read them and, so far, I have to say that I’m LOVING Ready Player One. Has anyone read any of these?

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