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Prospecting For a Beer

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The cocktail for our weekly cocktail, beer and gaming night last night comes from the wonderful local cocktail blog, cocktail virgin slut :

prospect512.jpgProspector Cocktail

Stir with ice and strain into a double rocks glass. Add ice cubes and garnish with a lemon twist.

And it was a very nice cocktail, reminiscent of one of my favorite cocktails, a Rusty Nail, with the added complexity of the Chartreuse. Good stuff. I even used one of my fancy round ice cubes from the cool ice cube tray I got for being an "ambassador" for Maker's Mark bourbon. Being an ambassador just means I let them mail me tchotchkes whenever they want, which is a pretty nice job. I've gotten some cool stuff from them - letter sealer, fancy cards, and the aforementioned round ice cube maker, which makes cubes about the size of a tennis ball.

Eisenbahn LustWe followed that up with a pretty special beer. My friend brought over a big bottle of Eisenbahn Lust, which is a "champagne style" beer from Brazil. Pretty special. I'm not usually a big fan of extremely carbonated beers, but this one went down very well, even despite (or maybe because of?) the 11.5% ABV. Plenty of sediment, but a pretty light taste with plenty of feel. Really enjoyed it, although at over $30 for a 750ml bottle, it probably won't get bought very often.

And while we sipped the Eisenbahn Lust, we played some more Dead Island. It has been pretty fun. We played until after midnight, which is pretty unusual. We moved the main story line along (we finally opened up The City, which promises to be pretty tough) and solve a bunch of side quests along the way. There's still some annoying UI glitches that make me twitchy. Takes too many clicks to wield a weapon. And when you pick up a bottle of liquor (one of the recurring sidequests uses those), you for some reason "wield" it as a weapon. If you don't notice, when you swing, you swig instead. And for some reason, it wouldn't let me "set" which sidequest I was working on - kept saying I wasn't allowed to track another quest when working on the main quest in co-op mode. I have no idea what that means.

But racing along the road taking out zombies has been fun. And there have been a few tough battles, although death is far too painless. You spawn pretty close to where you died, with the only penalty being you lose a few dollars. Hardly effective, really. I would have liked for more. But it has been fun and we're looking forward playing again next week.

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On Cocktails And Serious Sam

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So we had a good cocktail and beers and gaming night last night. First up was a cocktail I got from one of my favorite cocktail books. I have a ton of books, but this one is really great. "The Martini Book" by Sally Ann Berk is much more clever and unique inside than the vanilla title would indicate. Lots of great recipes, with little interesting jokes and historical tidbits, like the Winston Churchill martini - pour a glass of ice cold gin and look at a bottle of vermouth. Or this joke:

A college professor walks into a bar. "Bring me a martinus," he says.
The bartender smiles politely and says, "You mean martini?"
"If I want ore than one," snaps the professor, "I'll order them."

Bada bing!

I had a copy for years, but glitter glue(!) got spilled on it, so it was kind of a mess. And it was out of print, so impossible to replace. But I was very excited to see it got reprinted in 2007, so I grabbed a copy.

Last night, I made a Mama's Martini:

  • 6 part vanilla vodka (Stoli in this case)
  • 1 part apricot brandy (I actually used Marie Brizard Apry, which is a top notch apricot liqueur)
  • 3-5 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 3-5 dashes of lemon juice
Shake over cracked ice and strain into a martini glass.

This was real good. Probably a tad sweeter with the Apry than the recipe wanted, so maybe I would add a little more lemon juice next time. And probably try it with the Barrel-aged Bitters from Fee Brothers too.

Then we cracked opO'Hara's Irish Stouten a beer that was recently added to my "365 Beers" Pinterest board - an O'Hara's Irish Stout. And this too was very very good. A real drinkable stout, with great flavor and only 4.3% ABV, so it went down really well while playing Serious Same 3: BFE

And we came really close to finishing it, I think. We blew through the Last Man On Earth level, after having some trouble with it last week. And then we went quite far in the final level, The Guardian Of Time. At least I think we went quite far. We played for about an hour and a half until finally getting taken out. But even after we finish, I think we may crank the difficulty (we're playing on Hard) and give it another whirl. It's been fun and the three of us have had some serious chuckles. I am working on a fan fiction retelling of our game that I need to get back to.

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365 Bottles Of Beer

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For Christmas I got a 365 Bottles Of Beer For The Year daily calender and, unfortunately, every last one of them sounds great! But for ones that really rise above the rest, I have created a Pinterest board to pin them too. Let me know if you want an invite to Pinterest. I've found it fun enough. Here's my latest entry:

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Movie Review: Inglorious Basterds

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Inglourious Basterds

Image by sdfbss via Flickr

Spoilers abound ahead - hard to write a critical review without disclosing the action and the ending...

"Inglorious Basterds" is a story of a guerrilla operation, run by Brad Pitt and a motley collection of Jewish fighters in World War 2. They wreak havoc upon the Nazis, showing no mercy, and, in a typically Tarantino fashion, graphically in some cases, including the brutal baseball bat beating (too many b's?) of a Nazi officer who refuses to divulge the location of another patrol. It also follows the story of a Jewish girl who escaped a brutal murdering of her family at a French farm house. She escapes to Paris and runs a movie theater(!). There she accidentally befriends a Nazi officer who is sort of a German Audie Murphy, who supposedly single-handedly cuts down over 100 Allied soldiers from a church steeple. He then stars in a movie based upon his exploits and the Nazi high command wants to debut the movie in her movie theater. All the German high brass, from Hitler on down, attend, drawing the attention of the Allied high command, who promptly begin plotting an attack on the theater. Can they pull it off and end World War 2 in one blow?

Cover of "The Shot"

Cover of The Shot

As you can see from the synopsis, it has a big problem it shares with other historical retellings, like "Day Of The Jackal" (about an assassination attempt on DeGaulle) and Philip Kerr's "The Shot" (a reimagining of the Kennedy assassination) - you know what really happened, so you know the ending. Well, this was true in the case of Jackal. In "The Shot", Kerr does manage to escape the historical ending straight jacket, but only just barely. In the case of "Basterds", Tarantino shows amazing chutzpah and just totally ignores real history and proclaims a successful attack that kills them all! How totally bizarre and unexplainable.

Another problem with "Basterds" is that really, not much happens, at least for the first 90 minutes or more of a 250 minute film. There is no real story building, just a few episodes that paint in the background of the two major stores, but in such broad strokes to make it kind of boring and uninteresting, despite the graphic violence.

English: SS Colonel Hans Landa in the movie In...

Image via Wikipedia

But Christoph Waltz is absolutely mesmerizing as Col. Hans Landa, the Nazi agent in charge of ferreting out Jews, and then the Basterds. The opening scene, where he interviews a French farmer who is harboring his Jewish neighbors is nearly unbearable in its suspense and its graphic, explosive finale. And he continues to amaze in the rest of the movie.

Brad Pitt is just fine as the scene chewing leader of the Basterds. Mélanie Laurent was enchanting as the bitter Jewish survivor who plots the destruction of the German high command. Her ending was just so over the top Tarantino-esque as to be amazing.

But all in all, a 2.5 or maybe 3 out of 5 star movie. I just wasn't invested in the characters or the story, and I still don't understand the ending.

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Cocktails 'n' Gaming: Sazerac


Wow, I need to do a post today before I get too far behind on my Cocktail 'n' Gaming posts!

Last week, we went Olde School again, this time with the New Orleans classic, the Sazerac, with the recipe from David Woolrich's wonderful book Imbibe!:

  • 1/2 cube sugar
  • 2 oz whiskey (must be rye. I used Jim Beam)
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters
  • lemon twist
  • splash of absinthe (I used the wonderful Spanish absinthe Obsello)

I'll quote the good doctor's mixing instructions, which came from the late Tome Handy at the Sazerac Bar :

Frappe an old-fashioned flat bar-glass; then take a mixing glass and muddle half a cube of sugar (1/2 tsp) with a little water; add some ice, a jigger of good whiskey, 2 dashes o Peychaud's bitters and a piece of twisted lemon peel; stir well until cold, then throw the ice out of the bar-glass, dash several drops of absinthe into the same, and rinse well with the absinthe. Now strain the Cocktail into the frozen glass and server with ice water on the side.


I finally came across a bottle of Peychaud's in a local grocery store, of all places, so I was dying to finally mix up a real Sazerac. To "frappe" a glass means to fill it with chipped ice and let it set a while. It didn't say to add any ice to the drink, so we didn't. It tasted real good!

IniquityBlackAleAndAmericanKriek.jpgFor beers, we had a hit and a miss. Micheal brought over a bottle of Southern Tier iniquity Imperial Black Ale, which was the hit. Really full taste with lots of things going on. A "black" ale, which is odd for an IPA but really works here.

Second beer poured was one of the Samuel Adams "Barrel Room Collection", the American Kriek. It is a red fruity beer, which uses black cherries for flavoring. It was just too fruity for us.

Finally, for gaming, we finished up the last of the "Terrorist Hunt" maps in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The last two were just "dark" versions of previous maps, including our toughest one. But we must be getting good at it, because we did pretty well on all three. Then Michael made it safely home in Yet Another Snowstorm, but that was 3 storms ago!

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Cocktails 'n' Gaming: James Bond

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The cocktail for our Cocktails 'n' Co-op Gaming night last night was an old standbye - the James Bond Martini, from one of my favorite cocktail books, The Martini Book: 201 Ways to Mix the Perfect American Cocktail:

James Bond Martini

  • 6 parts gin (the usual - Bombay Sapphire)
  • 2 parts vodka (in this case, Tito's Handmade)
  • 1 part Lillet blanc
  • Lemon Twist

WeizenAndBabyTree Beers.jpgJust shake with cracked ice and strain into a nice frozen cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon twist. Pretty refreshing, actually, even if mixing gin and vodka seems like overkill.

We followed that with a couple beers. First up was one of the more unusual kinds of beers - a Rauchbeir, which is a German beer with a heavy "smokiness". We tried the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbeir Marzen a few weeks ago and found it, interesting. It was our first Rauchbeir, so we perhaps weren't quite ready for it, because we really liked this one, the Weizen. Either we're getting more used to it, or this one isn't as overpowering, but the smokiness added to the flavor, rather than overwhelming it, like it seemed to with the Marzen.

And we followed that with a bottle from a local artisanal brewer, Pretty Things Brewery. We have really enjoyed their flagship beer, Jack D'Or and found their Hedgerow Bitter a little over the top. But we really like this one, the Baby Tree - very smooth and tasty.

Gaming last night was, again, a couple of hours playing Terrorist Hunt in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. We must be getting good, as despite the difficulty level and number of enemies cranked to the max, we cleared 3 maps. It's definitely a lot of fun to coordinate the 3 of us in the attack. Still wish we could play in story mode though.


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Patriot Punishment

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Tailgate 1Well, that was a pretty awful effort by the Patriots on Sunday, wasn't it? Sure, the Jets played a perfectly servicable game but I find more things to blame in the Patriots game plan than successes I can point to in the Jets. For an accurately painful wrapup, please check out's Making the Grades.

One thing that I think is a recent development is the insistence on sticking with the game plan when it is obviously not working. I felt it in the earlier Browns loss and again on Sunday. Maybe it's hubris, maybe there are changes too subtle for me to notice, but it was pretty obvious to most of us in the stands that things just weren't working as planned and it was time to change it up. But they get stuck in their ways and there isn't enough effort to go in different directions. What's the old Albert Einstein quote?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

That is how I feel about the Patriots when things don't work as they plan. Maybe they (and specifically, Coach B) are reading their own press clippings too closely, but things just didn't change, despite their reputation for flexibility and adaptibility. Coming out of the locker room in the second half, I would have gone to the no-huddle and worked the Jets hard. Instead, they went into a grind it out offense, taking long periods of time to get no points at all. And I also would have blitzed the hell out of Sanchez, although I can't really blame the defense much.

Tailgate 2Anwyay, we had a great tailgate. The weather was about as great as you could hope for in the middle of January - 30s, sunny with a little bit of wind. I brought my 32" flat screen, hooked it up to a little antennae and we enjoyed the opening game of the day, a Bears blowout. We sipped a very nice concoction I made from a book I got from my mom for Christmas. Called The Authentic Guide to Drinks of the Civil War Era, 1853-1873, it is a pretty cool compendium of drinks aimed at reenactors, so the quantities are often pretty large, so this was a good chance to make one. I wanted a warm one and this one really worked.

Orange Punch

  • 1/2 pint port (I used a Warres LBV)
  • 3/4 to 1 pint rum (I used Bacardi silver)
  • 3/4 to 1 pint brandy (I used Chateau des Plassons cognac)
  • 1 oz. Curacao, Noyau or Maraschino (I used maraschino)
  • 3 1/2 pints boiling water
  • Juice 3 to 4 oranges (I used 4)
  • Peel of 1 or 2 oranges
  • 3/5 lb. sugare

Add orange juice and peels to sugar & boiling water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, strain and add liquor. Add more warm water or sugar if desired weaker or sweeter (I thought it worked perfectly as is). You can make a good lemon punch by substituting lemons for oranges.

It was really really good. And the other guys at the tailgate thought it so good, they want to make it a tradition along with the hot chocolate and schnaps!

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Cocktails 'n' Gaming: Sidecar


A basic cocktail last night, for our weekly drinks 'n' gaming session. I managed to snag a few Meyer Lemons, which are so precious during these cold winter months! To keep it simple, I made a Sidecar:

Mix 'n' strain into an ice cold, sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Pure heaven.matilda_2010.jpg

Brooklyn-Local-1.jpgAnd we had a couple of brews. My co-op gaming friend and I have become somewhat addicted to artisanal brews in big bottles. First was Brooklyn Local 1 from the Brooklyn Brewery. We have had their Oktoberfest beer and while it was okay, it wasn't as good as promise from Imbibe, who put it inn their top autumn beers list. Brooklyn Local 1 is a very fizzy beer! The cork flew off when I opened it, like a champagne bottle. And it was another okay beer. A little light and too fizzy.

We followed that up with a frosty mug of Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian style pale ale. Now that was yummy - smooth, tasty and refreshing.

The beer went very well with our intense battles in the Murdercity Terrorist Hunt in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. While it is disappointing that you can't play the campaign in co-op mode, the three of us have been having fun with each map in the Terrorist Hunt mode. We crank the difficulty, max the number of enemies and give us each 1 extra life and that makes for a tough match, especially in this map. It's a close assault map, with enemies popping out pretty much anywhere, which makes it tough.

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Favorite Singles of 2010

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Over on my music blog, Vehement Flame, I posted a podcast of my favorite 2010 Singles (ie, not ones from my favorite albums, which will come soon). Give it a listen, would you?

Vehement Flame Fave Singles of 2010

00:00:23 Rill Rill (Treats) - Sleigh Bells
00:04:13 Lemon Tree (El Turista) - Josh Rouse
00:07:18 Polaroid Song (Allo Darlin') - Allo Darlin'
00:11:32 Call Me (Earth vs.The Pipettes) - The Pipettes
00:14:22 Apply (Ring) - glasser
00:19:22 Alone At The Pier (Maintenant) - Gigi
00:22:41 Hand Me Down Your Love (One Life Stand) - Hot Chip
00:27:15 You Must Be Out Of Your Mind (Realism) - Magnetic Fields
00:30:27 Giving Up The Ghost (The Seasonal) - How German It Is
00:33:49 Electricity (all the stars in your eyes) - 28 degrees taurus
00:37:39 Everyone Feels That Way Sometimes - Computer Magic
00:43:49 Revival (Halcyon Digest) - Deerhunter
00:46:01 The Original Great Recession Math Champions (Radiant City) - Good Old Neon
00:51:41 He's Not A Boy (Release Me) - The Like
00:54:16 Grace (Burying The Dead) - Richard McGraw
00:59:20 Heavy Feeling (Heavy Feeling) - Justine Bennett
01:03:07 Scissor Runner (Jenny and Johnny) - Jenny and Johnny

Martini Nirvana

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A friend recently forwarded a link to a blog post for making a "perfect martini". Of course, his credibility went far downhill when it was revealed he is talking about making vodka "martinis", but there are some good pointers. So I figured I would repost my steps to martini nirvana. You really should use a high quality gin, but if you must make a vodkatini, you can still follow these steps.

  1. Most importantly, you need cold ingredients. This is where most bars fail. Store your vodka and gin in the freezer. Store your vermouth in the refrigerator (it's a wine, so it will freeze up solid if you put it in the freezer). You don't necessarily need to store your cocktail glasses in the freezer, although I do. If you put them in the ice tray about a half hour before you need them, you'll have nicely frosted glasses.
  2. Fresh, perfectly cracked, ice. Not ice that's been sitting in your freezer for months, slowly desiccating away, absorbing strange odors. And you need it cracked just the right size. Too big, and it won't chill things

    Image via Wikipedia

    nicely. Too small, and it will water down your drink too much. Up until recently, I found the best tool for doing this was the Lewis Ice Bag. You put ice cubes in the heavy canvas bag, give it a few whacks with the wooden club, and you have correctly sized ice pieces. You can easily control how big or small the pieces are, just by how many times you whack it. It comes in a nice container, with some classic cocktail recipes, including the martini one I now use. Electric ice crushers don't work very well, as they tend to make the ice chips too small - more like slush than ice cubes, which means they melt too rapidly. But now I use the ice machine in our new refrigerator, which makes some pretty good crushed ice. Maybe a tad too small, but servicable nonetheless for making the perfect martini.
  3. Top shelf ingredients. Because there is nothing masking the taste of the liquor in a great extra extra extra dry martini, you have to use great booze. We're a Bombay Sapphire family here. Tanqueray is a solid gin, especially the No. Ten label. We also recently enjoyed a bottle of Knockabout Gin from a nearby distillery, Ryan & Wood. Its 80 proof went over easier than the much stronger Bombay Sapphire. However, gin seems to be affecting us a little more and for a little longer, as we get older, so moderation is the key here. There just isn't enough taste to regular vodka to make it all that interesting as a martini. I'm not nearly as wedded to a premium vodka brand as I am to Sapphire as a gin. We've done some taste testings in the past, and while you could taste some differences, it was more that - a difference - and not something that would create a preference either way. I've enjoyed all the big names in premium vodkas, like Belevedre, Grey Goose (what is it with these liquor web sites? Addicted to Flash and asking a stupid quest
    Noilly Prat is the company's French brand of v...

    Image via Wikipedia

    ion about how old you are, like they are pr0n peddlers or something), and the like. I also like Three Olives Vodka, for something that tastes great and is a good price. For a handcrafted vodka, try Tito's Handmade Vodka.
  4. The vermouth you use is amazingly important, despite the fact the the modern martini uses very very little (the Winston Churchill martini recipe calls for gin in a cocktail glass, and then look at a bottle of vermouth:-). This is especially true for a vodka martini, with the (dry!) vermouth adding most if not all of the flavor. I'm a Noilly Prat man myself, even with the "new" formula. I guess we use little enough that it isn't badly affected by the complaint of a yellower, more aromatic vermouth. Besides, it is still a damn sight better than other commonly available vermouths, like Martini & Rossi or Stock. Remember, vermouth is a wine, so you need to keep it cold but it can also get old, which is why I don't stock up nor do I like buying the 1 liter bottles. Don't let it sit around in your refrigerator!
  5. Okay, now that you have your ingredients, it is time to make the drink. Put the perfectly cracked ice pieces into your cocktail shaker. I love to collect cocktail shakers, but I really only use the standard stainless steel tall cup, topped with a glass mug. Like James Bond, I like my martinis shaken not stirred. I used to stir it, but then I tried this recipe from the Lewis Ice Bag and have been shaking it ever since, never mind the tale about "bruised gin". Pour your cold vermouth into the shaker, give it a couple of vigorous shakes and then strain out all the vermouth you can get out, leaving just coated ice in there. That'll be plenty of vermouth.
  6. Now add your vodka or gin that you've pulled from the freezer. Don't be stingy, add plenty, because you have nice big cocktail glasses, chilling in the freezer right? Now shake it again, until your hand gets too cold to hold the steel cup. Set it aside to let it rest.
  7. While the martini is resting in the cocktail shaker, get out your olives. I don't like fancy olives. Give me a nice Queen pimento-stuffed green olive any day. All the other kinds add more flavors I don't want in my martini - anchovy, pepperoncini, bleu cheese, etc. I have to admit, we did try almond-stuff olives once. I figured the almonds wouldn't add flavor to the drink anyway. I still prefer standard ones. Put the olives (don't be stingy here either!) on a paper towel and squeeze. Try to dry them off. Again, you don't want olive brine to ruin your perfect martini, do you? While some (like FDR) like a "dirty" martini, where you actually add extra brine on purpose, the very idea of mangling a perfect cocktail like that makes my skin crawl. Stick the olives on a colorful toothpick and set them aside.
  8. Take your chilled cocktail glasses out of the freezer. You want a clear glass, so you can enjoy the transparent perfection of your creation. Don't hide it behind a colored cocktail glass please! Now strain your martini into the cocktail glasses. Don't worry about a few ice chips getting in there; that just adds to the beauty of the whole thing.
  9. Gently place your toothpick of olives into your cocktail glass and bask in the perfection that is a martini. Take a sip. It should almost take your breath away, even a vodka one. Freezing cold on the tongue, yet with a burning warmth down the throat. Ahhhh, I can taste it now!

So that's my process for making the perfect martini. And I've never gotten any complaints, either! The main thing is to use cold ingredients, the right vermouth and to make it dry.

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Cheap Roku & Free Netflix

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If you buy a Roku box via the link below, you get the lowest price and I get a free month of Netflix - a win-win! And I love my Roku box!

Get $20 off a Roku Player!

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Movie Time

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I had time to watch a couple of movies over the weekend. My brother-in-law came over and we watched Following, Christopher (Memento) Nolan's first movie, and Die Hard (my favorite brainless action movie) to show off my sound system. I enjoyed Following, which was a very short, black and white film about double and triple crosses. The twists felt a tad forced, but it was still fun following (nyuk nyuk) the plot. It had a problem a lot of these crime capers have, in that the whole plan seems far too convoluted for what turns out to be a simple mob killing. But it definitely played lots of games with time, and foreshadows his brilliant work in Memento.

Following was a Netflix rental. I've been using Netflix since 2002, although I did stop for about six months when the mailing turn around time became unacceptable. But then they opened a new distribution center in Worcester and now the times are pretty impressive. For instance, I dropped Following in the mail about 1pm Monday, just before collection time, and I got an email yesterday (Tuesday) saying they received it, and now my return film, The Seventh Seal is already winging its way to me. Now that's impressive!

If you are a Netflix member, drop me an email so we can be Friends. With Netflix Friends, you can get recommendations from what others are watching, and see how they are rating films. I've rated 468 films, but a lot of my recent viewing hasn't been rated yet. I've let my movie reviewing blog, The Incredible Brightness of Seeing lag behind lately. I try not to rate them at Netflix until I've written a review for Brightness, and so it lags even further behind.

I have the "Three DVDs Out" Netflix plan, and the DVDs I have out, including the aforementioned The Seventh Seal also include the double feature Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, both the original James Whale productions and Ju-on: The Grudge. I've watched, and thoroughly enjoyed, Frankenstein, and started to watch Bride but ran out of time and haven't been back. Not sure why I have Ju-on, as I'm not much of a horror fan. But I think I got on to it via the Scariest Movies of All Time list I posted a while back, where it came in second to The Thing. Maybe I'll reserve this movie slot for working my way backwards through the list. I can add 28 Days Later... as a movie I've since watched on that list. I do love "apocalyptic" movies, that's for sure.

The top ten in my queue are:

Yet Another Horror List

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In honor the upcoming horror holiday, here's Yet Another list of the 50 Greatest Horror Movies of All Time, this time by the British film magazine, Total Film:

  1. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE1974 : Cutting deep: Tobe Hooper takes horror to the bleeding edge.

  2. HALLOWEEN 1978 : Hawks meets Hitchcock as the slasher cycle finds true Shape...

  3. SUSPIRIA 1977 : Sighs and whispers (and screams) in Argento’s baroque bloodletter.

  4. DAWN OF THE DEAD 1978 : George A Romero’s definitive document of the walking dead.

  5. THE SHINING 1980 : Loving family man tries to put an axe through his son’s head.

  6. PSYCHO 1960 : Come on up to the house. Oh, and don’t mind Mother...

  7. THE WICKER MAN 1973 : Creeping pagan terror on a remote Scottish island.

  8. ROSEMARY’S BABY 1968 : The horny Devil hits home and hearth...

  9. DON’T LOOK NOW 1973 : Nicolas Roeg’s clammy elegy to love and loss.

  10. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST 1980 : Horror doesn’t get any harsher than this.

  11. THE THING 1982 : Snatched bodies and reheated Cold War paranoia.

  12. CARRIE 1976 : Memo to all bullies – Stop. Picking. On. The. Quiet. Ones.

  13. THE EXORCIST 1973 : The Devil rides into the mother of all religio-horrors.

  14. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT 1999 : If you go down to the woods today... take a camcorder.

  15. WITCHFINDER GENERAL 1968 : Lyrical English landscapes are painted red with torture.

  16. THE HAUNTING 1963 : You are invited to a born-bad house. Bring your own ghosts.

  17. THE EVIL DEAD 1981 : Five go bloody in the woods in Raimi’s splatter-punk debut.

  18. PEEPING TOM 1960 : Cameraman fi lms as he kills. Such a nice young man...

  19. ALIEN 1979 : The ultimate hack’n’slash bad-boy monster.

  20. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN 1935 : Karloff’s monster lumbers towards matrimony.

  21. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1968 : A bunch of amateurs stake out a home in horror history.

  22. CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE 1944 : A haunting, shivery study of childhood loneliness.

  23. SWITCHBLADE ROMANCE 2003 : Modern horror grows some bloody big balls.

  24. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 1984 : Horny teens get fingered by the son of a thousand maniacs.

  25. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON 1981 : More than just a shaggy dog story.

  26. NIGHT OF THE DEMON 1957 : Cat People helmer brings that ol’ black magic to Blighty.

  27. HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER 1986 : String vests and death by screwdriver.

  28. BAY OF BLOOD 1971 : Everyone kills everyone else in once-banned video nasty.

  29. AUDITION 1999 : A woman’s revenge, served with relish by Takashi Miike.

  30. SHIVERS 1975 : Zombies run riot in an early slab of Cronenberg meat.

  31. THE INNOCENTS 1961 : Subtle scares in Henry James’ clammy ghost tale.

  32. THE DEVIL RIDES OUT 1968 : It’s Christopher Lee versus soul-stealing Satanists!

  33. LES DIABOLIQUES 1955 : Murderous schemes in a French boarding school.

  34. DEAD RINGERS 1988 : Love, addiction, separation. Nausea guaranteed.

  35. INFERNO 1980 : Blood and thunder in Argento’s frenzied trip of the brain.

  36. MARTIN 1977 : Growing pains for bloodsucking teen sociopath.

  37. THE HOWLING 1981 : A tongue-in-cheek werewolf pic that likes its meat rare.

  38. VAMPYR 1932 : Gather, darkness: a vampire film like no other.

  39. CANDYMAN 1992 : Dare you to look in the mirror and say his name five times! No? Thought not...

  40. THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES 1966 : City quack investigates dying country bumpkins.

  41. SCREAM 1996 : Wes Craven rewrites the slasher textbook.

  42. TARGETS 1968 : Trad horror confronts modern terror in Bogdanovich’s debut.

  43. THE SECT 1991 : Infernal pits, Devil-worship and the son of Satan!

  44. THE DESCENT 2005 : Six chicks with picks. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  45. BRAINDEAD 1992 : Quite possibly the bloodiest movie ever made.

  46. HOUR OF THE WOLF 1968 : Father Merrin must exorcise a few demons of his own.

  47. ERASERHEAD 1977 : David Lynch presents an argument for sterilisation.

  48. NEKROMANTIK 1987 : Dead and loving it in a truly sick flick.

  49. THE BEYOND 1981 : Director Lucio Fulci goes to Hell and back.

  50. HELLRAISER 1987 : Demonically kinky splatter-smut in Clive Barker’s deviant debut.

Total Film - Shock Horror!

Scariest Movies of all time

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Speaking of movie lists, put together their list of the scariest movies of all time. Now, I'm even less of a "horror" film fanatic than I am a sci-fi film kinda guy, so let's see how I do here:

50. "Arachnophobia" (1990)
49. "The Innocents" (1961)
48. "The Other" (1972)
47. "Freaks" (1932)
46. "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (2000)
45. "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971)
44. "The Wicker Man" (1973)
43. "The Blob" (1988)
42. "28 Days Later" (2002)
41. "Ghost Story" (1981)
40. "Rosemary"s Baby" (1968)
39. "The Brood" (1979)
38. "Eraserhead" (1977)
37. "Amityville Horror" (1978)
36. "The Devil"s Backbone" (2001)
35. "Jeepers Creepers" (2001)
34. "Pet Sematary" (1989)
33. "Open Water" (2003)
32. "Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984
31. "The Fly" (1986)
30. "Salem"s Lot" (1979)
29. "Gates of Hell" (1980)
28. "Altered States" (1980)
27. "Session 9" (2001)
26. "Scream" (1996)
25. "Mothman Prophecies" (2002)
24. "Videodrome" (1983)
23. "Seven" (1995)
22. "War of the Worlds" (1953)
21. "Saw" (2004)
20. "Event Horizon" (1997)
19. "Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters)" (2003)
18. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)
17. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974)
16. "Hellraiser" (1987)
15. "The Changeling" (1980)
14. "Jacob"s Ladder" (1990)
13. "In the Mouth of Madness" (1994)
12. "Jaws" (1975)
11. "The Exorcist" (1973)
10. "Quartermass and the Pit" (1968)
9. "The Shining" (1980)
8. "Halloween" (1978)
7. "Evil Dead II" (1987)
6. "Dawn of the Dead" (1978)
5. "Alien" (1979)
4. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978)
3. "The Ring" (2002)
2. "Ju-on" (2000)
1. "The Thing" (1982)

Not bad, and yes, I was wondering where "The Thing" was going to show up. Some interesting movies I'll have to give a try to.

Top 50 scariest horror movies of all time - Halloween movies -

Sci-Fi Movie list

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John Scalzi, author of The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies has a list (of course!) of the 50 most "influential" science fiction movies of all time. Now, I no longer consider myself a card-carrying member of the science fiction fan club, either in book or movie form, but I am a movie geek (see my movie / home theater weblog here), so I've seen plenty of these. I'll put them in bold:

  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
  • Akira
  • Alien
  • Aliens
  • Alphaville
  • Back to the Future
  • Blade Runner
  • Brazil
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Brother From Another Planet
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Contact
  • The Damned
  • Destination Moon
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still
  • Delicatessen
  • Escape From New York
  • ET: The Extraterrestrial
  • Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
  • The Fly (1985 version)
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Gojira/Godzilla
  • The Incredibles
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
  • Jurassic Park
  • Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
  • The Matrix
  • Metropolis
  • On the Beach
  • Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
  • Robocop
  • Sleeper
  • Solaris (1972 version)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Stepford Wives
  • Superman
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • The Thing From Another World
  • Things to Come
  • Tron
  • 12 Monkeys
  • 28 Days Later
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • La Voyage Dans la Lune
  • War of the Worlds (1953 version)

Not too bad, and a couple movies I'll have to add to my Netflix queue (by the way, if you have a Netflix account, feel free to add me to your Friends list). Mind you, several of the movies I've not marked as "Watched", I've seen bits and pieces of, including Buckaroo Banzai, whose ommission might require that I turn in my nerd membership card! I'm also pretty sure I've seen Bride of Frankenstein, another ommission that might make some question my true geekdom!

I was disappointed that T2 and not the original Terminator made the list. I'm not sure I'm interested enough in the subject to buy the book, although I am a real sucker for movie books.

I have to get back to watching more movies. As you can see from my movie blog, I've haven't been watching too many lately. Too busy, which makes me too tired to even watch a movie.

The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies -- Officially Out!


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