Tag Archives: Hannibal Lecter

If These Movies Are On Television, Then I Will Watch Them

30 Jul

The other day, I wrote a post about the BBC and its list of the 100 best American films, and a commenter said that I should provide my own list of top movies. Unfortunately, I am not a movie critic and cannot delve into the intricacies of acting and directing. I only know what movies I like and do not like.

With that in mind, I decided to take this challenge into a different direction. When I am scrolling through the guide, there are some things that I will automatically click on and watch for a while. This includes a few movies with different levels of quality. If I cannot make a list of the greatest movies of all time, then I can make a list of the 10 movies I will always watch if I see them on the television guide.

They are coming at you in the order that I thought of them.

Manhunter (1986) – This was on last night and led me to write this post. It is the first movie about Hannibal Lecter and is directed by Michael Mann. In other words, it is Silence of the Lambs meets Miami Vice. You may have seen its remake, Red Dragon, but this one is a lot more entertaining.

Flash Gordon (1980) – Let Dino de Laurentiis try to capitalize on the Star Wars phenomenon, and this is what you get. It has some great actors and some not-so-great actors, but they are all having a good time. It would have been awesome to been in the room when Flash attacked Ming’s guards by playing football. On top of that, Ornella Muti is there in all her glory.Ornella

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) – Two stars of the 1980s, Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke, try to make their transition into the next decade. They ride motorcycles. They go after drug dealers. They act cool. Well, acting might be too strong of a word. I have already written about this one and will move on down the line.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – When I become king, a new law will make its way across the land. As a testament to its greatness, everyone must watch this movie. Clint Eastwood is awesome, and it is filled with awesome quotes. I should know because I have them all memorized. In the early days of this blog, I wrote an extensive post about this one.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – As with the previous movies, I have already written about this one. Burt Reynolds is at his peak. Jackie Gleason is hilarious. I saw it five times when it was in release and can never watch it too many times. The only problem is that television cleans up the language and, in the process, destroys a lot of the laughs.

El Dorado (1966) – I could have listed a ton of John Wayne movies, but I think I click on this one more than any other. It could be because this one is on regularly. Anyway, it is a script that was filmed several times, but it never gets old. Oh yeah, there is one other thing. As I have written before, it is a poetic movie.

The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) – This is a terrible movie. Klinton Spilsbury never made another movie. Heck, he did not really make this one. James Keach was brought in to dub his lines. However, it has some redeeming qualities. Merle Haggard sings the theme song, and part of it was filmed in Monument Valley.

Logan’s Run (1976) – I am a big fan of dystopian movies, and this is one of my favorites. How can post-apocalyptic life be bad with scantily clad women everywhere? On top of that, a push of a button can make one of the scantily clad women appear instantly in your apartment. The only thing that could go wrong is that Carrousel ride at the age of 30. On second thought, it would probably be better to live with a bunch of cats in a destroyed Washington, D.C.Cats

For Love of the Game (1999) – This is a movie that used to hit me on a deep emotional level. As the years pass, it does not have the same effect. Despite that, it is still a good movie. Kevin Costner has made a bunch of sports movies, but this is my favorite one. It could be because Vin Scully is calling the game.

Legends of the Fall (1994) – This is another movie that reaches me on an emotional level, but it is also interesting in a historical sense. Obviously, it is about a family that goes through years of heartache. However, it is also about rum-running during Prohibition. They talk about the Volstead Act and smuggling alcohol across the Canadian border. I could go deeper into a historical analysis, but I may need that for another post.

Now, let us analyze the list by decade.

1960s – 1

1970s – 3

1980s – 3

1990s – 3

Interestingly, nothing made in the past 16 years has knocked a movie off this list. I wonder what that means.

Then, there is this. Over half of the list was filmed between 1976 and 1986. Those must have been formative movie years for me.

Anyway, those are the movies that I will always watch if I find them on television. What are a few of the movies that would make your list?

Expanding the Palate

10 Apr

In my last post, I mentioned an episode at F. Scott’s, a very nice restaurant in Nashville. This post goes into a little more detail.

For a couple of years, I dated Anna, a professional woman who considered herself an expert of fine cuisine. Now that I think about it, she considered herself a wine expert, as well. She always wanted us to dine at the best restaurants and always said that I should expand my palate. I am always up for a good meal, and my palate was already well expanded. I’ll eat anything that doesn’t involve mushrooms.

Anyway, she was no more of a food and wine expert than I was. In fact, I would classify her as a food snob, and there was nothing better than to watch her stumble over her perceived expertise. However, it was embarrassing at times. She once made the wine guy bring out ten tastings before she found one that paired well with her meal.

Another time, we were at a new restaurant, and Anna kept going on and on about the Charleston influence in dishes. She asked to meet the chef and asked him where he worked in Charleston. He said that he had never been to Charleston. He earned his chef’s hat in Los Angeles.

Speaking of Los Angeles, Anna used to live there and always talked about the wine collection that she left behind. One night, we went to a wine tasting and were seated with some other folks. I learned that the man next to me once owned one of Nashville’s most famous restaurants. During our conversation, he asked what I thought about the wines. I was honest when I said that I didn’t like wine and they all tasted the same to me.

Anna quickly stepped in and said that I was new to wine and had not developed the proper appreciation. Then, he asked her about her favorite. She started a monologue about how she used to live in L.A. and had a wine collection. He interrupted her and said, “I don’t give a damn where you lived. I only want to know which wine you like the best.” Apparently, he liked my answer better.

I write all of that to set up what happened at F. Scott’s.F Scott's

Anna had been wanting to go forever, and we finally got the opportunity. We were seated and the waiter arrived to take care of us. In the process, he described the evening’s special appetizer – sweetbread covered with honey.

Anna jumped right in and said we would order that. It suited me. I had no problem trying it and was sure that she knew what she was ordering. After all, she was a food expert. He brought a sweetbread for each of us, and we dug in. I thought it was good. Sure, it was a little chewy, but that was fine. The look on Anna’s face told me that she didn’t think it was so fine.

“Are you ok?”

“This isn’t what I thought it would be.”

“You mean that you don’t know what it is?”

“No, do you?”

“It’s pancreas or something. I figured you have had it before since you have dined all over the world.”

That’s when the hives began to appear. They started at her neck and spread from there. It was all I could do not to laugh.

“Mine’s good. Do you not like it?”

“I can’t eat this.”

With that, Anna spit out the pancreas into her napkin. That was pretty much the end of her meal. However, I was determined. I ate mine and the rest of hers. Then, I went on to the enjoy the rest of my meal.

It took forever for the hives to go away. On the way home, Anna kept talking about how I knew something about food that she didn’t. She really couldn’t believe it.

“How did you know what that was?”

“I heard Hannibal Lecter talk about eating sweetbreads in one of his movies.”Hannibal Lecter

Anna’s hives came back.

“Why didn’t you tell me what it was?”

“You’ve dined all over the world. I thought you knew. Besides, you need to expand your palate.”