10 Best Movies

Of the movies I have seen and I have only seen approximately 2500 to 3000 these were my favorites back when I was writing about movies and still watched several a day. You may find I lean toward grim-mouthed films about virile men going along dark paths with the occasional woman to throw their arms around and a good buddy to watch one’s step.

1. The Searchers. In my humble opinion, this is the best John Wayne/John Ford movie there is and they made some wonderful films that could easily replace this title like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or The Quiet Man et al. I think they push this above the rest of the titles mentioned. I may have seen it ten to fifteen times. Wayne plays a bitter Civil War veteran returning home. When his brother and family are killed by marauding Indians, Wayne begins a search for the missing girl Lucy with help from half-breed Jeffrey Hunter. Wayne hates Indians and as time passes Hunter begins to wonder if Wayne is out to rescue his niece or destroy what he feel the Indians have corrupted.  This has beautiful scenery, a great performance by John Wayne holding it together and a dark, compelling plot. Last but not least is the uncertainty of it’s climax as though we ever doubted.

2. Apocalypse Now. This film has been suggested as a rip-off of Sergio Leone and there is a resemblance to certain of his films but it does not demean the source if he is one because this is a great film better than Platoon I personally feel. This film is dubiously about Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. A military assassin is sent up river to kill a colonel who has gone mad and declared himself something like king among the natives. Along the way we see the nightmare which is war. There is a massacre, a tiger jumping out of a forest and a magnificent helicopter battle scene not to mention a bevy of beauties. Robert Duvall turns in a great performance as Colonel Kilgore “who loves the smell of napalm in the morning.” Dennis Hopper is wonderfully nutty and of course there is obese, mumbling Brando at the end of the journey.

This is a brutal mythic film. There are no other films like it and though there are few answers on display ( well, maybe none) it is harrowing  at times and memorable.

3. The Big Sleep. From Raymond Chandler’s detective yarn, Humphrey Bogart plays cynical hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe in this atmospheric Howard Hawks classic. Lauren Bacall adds sizzle to a complex unwinding plot.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey. This movie is like a visual myth. The opening section of prehistoric man is realistic and one of the most amazing sequences on film. The second part is of 2 astronauts on their way to Jupiter when HAL their computer turns on them. The final part is at the far reaches of the universe where time and space are bent. With mind-bending special effects for its time though tedious too as well as uninspired in its acting it is still a visual masterpiece.

5.Rear Window. This is a potentially claustrophobic but surprisingly potent thriller from 1956  or thereabouts under the authoritatively skilled eye of Alfred Hitchcock. There are a few wonderful closeups of beautiful Grace Kelly and James Stewart is effective as usual. Truly a wonderful film from the master.

6. From Russia With Love. Made around 1963 this James Bond 007 film is my personal favorite. Yes I like it better than Goldfinger. With Robert Shaw as the villain and Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb and Danielle Bianchi ( I may have the names wrong) and of course the best Bond for many Sean Connery. The best action film ever made.

7. Casablanca. This movie which I have written about elsewhere is one of the most famous and culturally familiar films ever made along with others like Wizard Of  Oz, Gone With The Wind, and….

8…The Empire Strikes Back. Everyone practically has seen this film a number of times. If you have not you should give it a try.

9 Schindler’s List. This is one of the saddest and most grim-mouthed films ever made. It is by Steven Spielberg at his best. Perhaps the sex scenes are inappropriate an attempt by the director to be taken more seriously but one finds them unnecessary.  Still along with Apocalypse Now one of but a small number of masterpieces.

10. The Wild Bunch. This brutal nightmare has a lot of machismo to spare and excellent direction by Sam Peckinpah.  I have not seen a lot of the new movies so that is why these are such old pictures.The old ones were a lot better anyway in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Best Movies

What gives me value

For a long time all I could do was watch movies especially through whom I took to be a mentor in Roger Ebert. I read a lot of his reviews and watched many of the films he at one time or another recommended. There were other critics I followed like Kaufman and Pauline Kael but principally I was an acolyte of Ebert but that eventually wore off some years ago before he died.

Now I seem to be an aficionado of Harold Bloom the noted literary critic. A year or two ago I got rid of my TV and turned my focus exclusively to books specifically classical literature. Perhaps I have bit off a little more than I can chew. Several times I have read several hundred pages of a novel only to quit halfway through because I lost interest. I recently read 200 fantastic pages of a book called Armadale by Wilkie Collins. But it abruptly shifted gears and ground to a halt. Similarly I had read some months ago Nicholas Nickleby the first couple hundred pages by the quite famous Charles Dickens supposedly a great writer and indeed I find much to like therein but at last it faded from interest. Are these novels uneven or do I just lose interest when I proceed through a book that is taking me a while to read. Harold Bloom can read 500 pages an hour. It takes me about 20 pages an hour so it is quite an investment of time and intellect. I guess what I am saying is I need to find a new hobby. I have been volunteering at various places and am well on my way to eventually working which is a good thing.

I read 8 to 10 books this year if you don’t count the many dips into various books I am always making. Considering I used to growing up read 36 to 40 books a year and the fact that I had a New Year’s Resolution to read 50 and I only read 10 or so is quite disappointing.

Sometimes and this may come from childhood I tend to feel I don’t have value because I am not as intellectually perfect as I want to be. I tend to feel I need to read a thousand pages an hour to have value and that is just not in the offering. It is incredibly frustrating and I know in the end my only hope is Jesus Christ because I am not perfect and a relationship with him is what determines my worth and ultimate salvation. So maybe I should be reading my Bible rather than all these other authors.

 

 

What gives me value

Realistic or unrealistic fears?

There is a slight breeze wafting through the open sliding glass door and I am seated indian style on my old quilt. I am always slightly wary to keep just the screen door between me and nature and the people one could imagine to be out there wanting to perhaps violate the sanctity of my home, however, I feel this is a reasonably safe place to live and I should be able to fend off any attackers to my domicile. We live in a violent age not unlike the days of Noah but for now things in my neighborhood seem safe.

Is not that a terrible thing to say? There used to be a time when you could leave your car or apartment unlocked at least so I have heard. But maybe that time is so far gone it is ridiculous to talk about now. Maybe nostalgia is getting the best of me. Perhaps I cannot even call it my  nostalgia but the nostalgia of my parents or something I observed in old movies. Are these my memories or someone else’s? My mind has not been clear about these things for sometime. Indeed, can I really say until someone violates my house that there is even such a thing as violent brigands who would dare to enter this abode or attack me?

Perhaps what I need to think about is a balanced realism. I need to evaluate my environment and take necessary precautions within reason. So what would be a wise purview? I have heard from one of my neighbors who I do not think would lie that people walk all night up and down the street beside my house. However, in all the time I have kept my door open I have only seen two or three people in the five years I have lived here. So what need I think? I am not always looking outside when I have my door slid open with only  a screen door between me and nature so perhaps a  middle ground could be figured out. There are probably some people out at night.

So what I should probably do is choose times to keep the door open when people are probably not out and about like when it is cold or snowy or rainy or unfavorable in some way. The only  thing is I do not feel free in my own home and I prefer to have the door open when it is nice outside. So I find that there is a distortion between what I want to feel is safe and what I feel is safe. I am not sure that is real clear even to me. I guess what I am trying to say is that my thoughts about the facts are rather shadowy and indistinct. Thus fears arise which are unfounded on reality and just as illusory which take me in terrible directions. So I am learning to change my thoughts as they come along so that when a fact arises to influence a thought I will be able to change how I feel.

But how do I apply that to my situation with my fears of society?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Realistic or unrealistic fears?

Are the endtimes soon?

It has been a while since I have written anything. I have been anxious and paranoid and full of ennui and I really don’t know how I will get out of this present delirium dream. I have a new volunteer job a couple of times a week so I have been getting out and doing that. I have not read anything recently except a little of Outliers by a guy named Gladwell and the The Book of Revelations by John Walvoord.  I have been trying to intensively study something to get a grasp of some area of expertise but I am not sure there is much future for me studying Revelations because of where that is all heading macrocosmically as it were. I don’t think during the intensive work environment in the future third seal when you have to work all day to support your family just to put food on the table for that day I will be very strong a worker so they will probably just shoot me or something. Don’t want to give the government any ideas however. I don’t know if anyone has ever heard about the guillotines that are supposedly hidden all over America especially at these FEMA camps where Christians will supposedly be killed in the future. Some of the stuff I read on youtube I question some seems to have a grain of truth. Anyway, I should think of better things than this like what am I going to be doing in the future to improve the world’s lot. But the apparent proximity of Christ’s return causes me more doubts than hopes because I feel I am going to be left behind by the rapture and I don’t know how to put my mind around a world without Christians where the only people left are those serving themselves and the Devil. There are some who don’t see any hope after the rapture until Christ comes.

I guess I have not talked too much in the past about the endtimes at least in detail. This is how I understand it to play out. The rapture could happen at any time if you believe the conservative commentators and those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. The seventieth week of Daniel is sometimes called the seven year tribulation period. But actually the Bible does not give the time period a name.   These seven years whatever they are called are called in Daniel in the old testament “a week” so hence Daniel’s seventieth week because the first 69 weeks having to do with Messiah and Israel ended on Palm Sunday presumably when the palms were put before Jesus riding on the donkey entering Jerusalem. So there is a week that is not accounted for in the history so to speak and this final week will be at the end of time when a ruler from the people to come as it says in Daniel (who may or may not be the Romans or modern Europe) confirms a covenant with many and Israel. Jesus had said the generation that saw the rise of modern Israel- a miraculous rebirth of a nation whatever one thinks about the nation and I personally try to view them in a positive light-would see the beginning of these things.  People like Hal Lindsey said in The Late Great Planet Earth, the first of a number of popular books on the endtimes that he thought it would be in 40 years because somewhere in the Bible it says a generation is 40 years but like all datesetters he was wrong. According to Christ himself, even he does not know the time nor the angels in heaven only the Father.  We have been given a number of approximations throughout the Bible but no exact dates can be estimated because of subsequent interruptions in the calendar throughout the dark ages and such. We can only surmise approximately within the next score or so or more depending on the source. I realize I may be being as general as I am suggesting the dates can be. Suffice it that I have heard a number of sermons and read probably as many as 50 books on the subject so the number of examples adds up. Jesus did however say to watch and he repeated himself on that and so we can tell when things are about to come true.

According to a couple of preachers, there will eventually be a war between Israel and her surrounding nations which may or  may not be before the seven years and may or may not before the rapture.  This battle or war is not the Battle of Gog and Magog because that involves nations outside this inner ring of nations around Israel. The Battle of Gog and Magog is pictured in Ezekial 38 and 39 and maybe the beginning of Armageddon according to some or may actually happen before the seven years. This seven years I keep talking about apparently begins with Revelations 6 where a white horseman goes out conquering and to conquer. Some authorities believe that he is antichrist some believe he is Christ. Daniel says he enters in peaceably and the bow he has without an arrow possibly suggests that in 6:2 of Revelations he starts on a peace platform.

The rapture to clarify terms is a term meaning to catch up originating I believe with harpazo or to catch up in Greek I believe or possibly Latin. If you feel it is important look it up for yourself and I don’t mean to sound rude when I say that. Anyway, the rapture is where in I believe 1 Thessalonians 4 the believers are before the wrath of God is poured out taken up to the clouds where Christ is. Some think this will happen before the seven years happen perhaps several years before hand. Some think this is at the midpoint. Some think right as Jesus Christ comes at the end of this horrifying set of years that the saints will go to heaven only to come back down again on white horses with Jesus Christ.

The seven years are an unprecedented time of major upheaval. If there are saints and there are apparently some alive during that time who become Christian only to have their heads cut off which is why one should be prepared before the rapture so one hopefully can avoid these things. People talk a lot about global warming but God is about to destroy much of nature as well as man along with it because man is already destroying the earth when God judges mankind. I believe we should be good stewards and take care of the earth because at least initially God gave it to man which may have been usurped by Satan. I personally think people just want to make money on global warming truth or half-truth that it is.

If anyone disputes me please let me know what you believe concerning endtimes.

Are the endtimes soon?

Speed Reading?

I have about decided that speed reading at my normal 250 words per minute or whatever the average is which I believe my abilities are quite average is good enough for me. I have tried various techniques and found all of them quite tedious in one way or another. Perhaps photoreading yields the most interesting results but even that tires me rather easily. I tried another technique where you read the first and last paragraph of each chapter and go back and try to fill in the blanks through perusal but I just could not make that work. Perhaps with practice it would become easier but I just don’t see the use. Anyway, I think I am smarter with my 250 wpm speed than some people who can read at phenomenal rates. I am more of a browser anyway to use the former definition of the word. Why I must expect myself to be a genius which I will never be may be from youth. It does not really matter. I don’t need to be a genius. I need to accept my faculties as they are and see myself as God sees me however scary that may be for me at times because sometimes perhaps because of my low view of God I believe He is waiting in the wings to judge me. In the meantime, I am working on my view of God and if I can change anything about myself it should be morally. I should not try to be genius but righteous.

People I suppose don’t go to Hell through lack of IQ but because of foolishness. Jesus said not to call other’s fools he may have included calling myself a fool. I should not denigrate what God has established as his holy temple. I should properly evaluate myself with all reasonableness and even-temper. I should try to be perfect if I want to follow Christ’s way knowing I will only be perfect on resurrection day should I live to see it.

Should I not live to see it because of the sin in my life how will I be able to explain that to myself for all eternity? It is a very daunting question. I always end up coming back to the eternity question scaring off I am sure many readers but I cannot seem to get away from those types of questions. I believe Hell exists somewhere right now. Even if it is not a physical fire which I believe it is how will one feel without love? God is love. All that is good comes from God therefore absence of God means no goodness in Hell. This may seem very depressing but there is actually good news. God has provided a way out of Hell. Seek it out; cherish it once you find it. Never let go I would advise you. The Truth is out there.

 

Speed Reading?

Dragons there be there

I feel as if I am perched on the precipice of a final au revoir. I have felt that way every time I have seen something on the horizon like that huge beast that showed up on the Florida golf course. Is it an illusion or is it real? Will I be able to elude the monster or will I go up in flames? My fear of death is present and pertinent to me.  I would like to get people to thinking about what they wish to do before they die. Not just rehash old fears. I need to think about what I will do before I pass on.

Dragons are prevalent in Babylon after its destruction. Is this sighting of this great alligator a sign of the times? It may or may not be. Satan is called an old dragon. Perhaps he is readying himself to make a stand. Christ will surely make short work of him. I am being only partially serious about this alligator being Satan but who knows. He surely is still in the heavens with his angels accusing our brethren.

I have a lot of fear in my life I guess I am saying. I know perfect love casts out fear. Even lazy people say there are lions in the streets and do not live to their full potential. I have steadily overcome some of my fears a bit at a time. Some obviously still are there in my mind.

As I have been thinking recently I need to accept things and let them go.

Dragons there be there

L’amour and a boring day

It has been a real quiet day here in my home without the sound of a friendly voice to quicken the spirit or raise my heart from its mute rendering of unkind voiceless placidity. My back aches from the position I am sitting in but no other stance is any good for me except to lay down which I don’t wish to perpetuate because of my general lethargy and drowsiness. I guess I am saying I am bored.

I have read from three different books today besides the Bible. One was about social strategies as taken from the arts of war by Robert Greene. It is pretty good. Another is a western by Matt Braun entitled Tombstone.  The last is the Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Last Days.

Several days ago I finished The Proving Trail by Louis L’amour, which was not very well plotted but had the L’amour touch in several ways. I would still only give it 2 and a half out of 4 because it was one of his lesser efforts.

I watched Captain America: Civil War which was pretty good. A large cast is wielded to tell a decent story which has a surprise at least to me. Spiderman is a part of the cast. Ant Man is a part of the cast. Thor, Hulk and Nick Fury are missing in action. There are several good action sequences of course as de riguer for these Marvel movies now. Anyway, Robert Downey Jr. does his usual good job of acting I think. Chris Evans isn’t very good I don’t think. Maybe it is the shadow of the fact that Captain America I have heard is going to be gay now which makes me have flu-like symptoms. Anyway, ta.

L’amour and a boring day