Lists

My Picks For The Best 25 Films of 2008

It's a full two weeks into the new year and I've finally assembled my list of the best films of the past year. It may be a bit late, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a list of 25 must-see new films; films that helped make this such a phenomenal year for a movie nut like myself.

The 25 Greatest Dylan Songs of The Past 20 Years

"You think I'm over the hill
You think I'm past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin' good time"

      - Bob Dylan, "Spirit On The Water"


Some might say that Bob Dylan is way past his prime and that all of his best work is well behind him, but anyone who would say such a thing clearly doesn't know much about good music. Either that or they've just been awoken from a 20-year-long coma.

"What I'm doing now, its a whole other thing. We're not playing rock music. It's not a hard sound. I don't know what it is." That's a quote from Dylan during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions back in 1965, but it just as easily could apply to the brilliant work of his Second Coming. That is, his resilient resurgence of the past 20 years, starting with the release of Oh Mercy in 1989 and continuing right on up until this fall and the release of Tell Tale Signs,

You Got A Lotta Nerve: Dylan Named One of The Greatest Singers of All Time

"So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear"

       - Bob Dylan, "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"

"Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while"

       - Bob Dylan, "Visions Of Johanna"


Bob Dylan as one of the greatest singers ever? I know from many a heated discussion that this confuses, confounds and perplexes a lot of people. And even enrages a few others. But, as I've argued for years now, particularly in my earlier piece The BOB ON BOB Rave ("This Old Man"), there's just no denying the greatness of Dylan as a singer. That's right, contrary to popular perception, Bob is indeed one of the greatest singers of all time. And now I've got a major music magazine backing me up on this.

The "Eternal Sunshine of Charlie Kaufman's Mind" Rave (Featuring My List of The Top 5 Comedies of All Time)

There are lots of good, even great, films out there, even a few amazing ones, but what's especially exciting, at least for a film buff like myself, is when you come across a completely original piece of filmmaking. Which is exactly what "Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind" is - completely original AND totally amazing. I just watched it again, for the first time in four years, and, like so many other great films, it blew me away even more on second viewing.

It's Called Conservativitus: The Pity The Conservatives Rant

Your old road is
Rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'

- Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin'


We know that throughout history conservatives have constantly fought tooth and nail against equality and justice? But the question remains, why? Could it be a sickness?

What's up with conservatives anyway? Time after time they have been shown to have been on the wrong side of history, standing strong, tall and proud against justice, equality and progress. Yet in the present they always seem to stubbornly cling to their bankrupt way of thinking, as they insist on opposing all progressive change, whatever it may be. Of course today's typical conservative wouldn't defend slavery or deny women the vote, but, in the end, it's the same mindset and, without a doubt, today's conservatives, had they been around back in the day, would have supported the status quo then, just as they do today. The conservative mind remains the same, it's just the topics under discussion that change.

My Picks For The Best 15 Albums and 40 Songs of 2007

Here they are, finally, My Picks For The Best 15 Albums and 40 Songs of 2007. I'm not necessarily claiming these are "The Best" albums and songs of the past year since there were thousands of albums and tens of thousands of songs released over the year and I simply haven't heard them all. What I am claiming, however, is that the selections you'll find below are my favorite tunes and discs from the past 12 months - damn good music, all of it. Enjoy! And let me know anything I've missed.

My Picks For The Best Films of 2007

Here they are, finally, My Picks For The Best Films of 2007. I may be a few days late with this, but, hey, cut me some slack. I mean, you've gotta understand that it's taken me this long to recuperate from all those holiday parties, especially since they've continued right into the New Year.

Bill Maher's "Dickheads of The Year" List

If you're into lists - and who isn't at this time of year - then you're certain to enjoy Bill Maher's most-appropriate of year-end lists: The "Dickheads of the Year" list from Rolling Stone magazine. From Michael Vick to Rudy Giuliani, the man simply tells it like it is.

Five Lists of Absolutely No Interconnected Relevance: Bob, Woody, Michael, Chris and Bruce

1 Most Favorite and Hilarious Christopher Guest Film:
   1. Best In Show

2 Favorite Michael Ondaatje Books:
   1. The English Patient
   2. In The Skin of A Lion

3 Greatest Angry Bob Dylan Songs:
   1. Idiot Wind
   2. Positively 4th Street
   3. Hurricane

4 Favorite Woody Allen Movies (in no particular order):
   - Crimes and Misdemeanors
   - Hannah and Her Sisters
   - Annie Hall

The Michael Ondaatje Rave ("Divisadero" Is Magnificento!)

I just finished Michael Ondaatje's latest book, "Divisadero", last night and it was, like all of his books, fantastic. He certainly makes us wait a long time between novels, but when they finally do come out they're never disappointing. The man's writing is simply mesmerizing, mysterious, magical and moving (and, why the hell not, magnificent, marvelous and majestic too).

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