Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

Lately, we have been watching a lot of movies. Well, I always watch a lot of movies, but lately Stephen and I have been watching a lot of movies together. The past few nights we've been looking through various 'top movie' lists (i.e. AFI's Top 100 Films, IMDb's Top Films, Netflix top rated films). We decided that none of these lists compare to our own. So, here are our lists of "Best Movies of All Time."

These movies are chosen for their overall merit (was it a groundbreaking film? was the story line fantastic? were the effects impressive?), influence (did it influence either the way movies were made after it was released, or the way the watcher perceives movies (or life) after seeing it?) and entertainment quality (was it a great movie to watch? is it one of your favorites?).

Vanessa's Top 25 Best Films of All Time

1. The Man Who Laughs (1928)
2. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
3. V for Vendetta (2005)
4. The Departed (2006)
5. Metropolis (1927)
6. Inception (2010)
7. Nosferatu (1922)
8. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
9. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
10. A Fool There Was (1915)
11. Back to the Future Part 1 (1985)
12. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
13. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
14. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
15. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001)
16. The Sound of Music (1965)
17. The Aviator (2004)
18. Charade (1963)
19. The Godfather (1972)
20. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
21. Finding Neverland (2004)
22. Hook (1991)
23. Moulin Rouge (2001)
24. Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
25. Ghostbusters (1984)

Stephen's Top 25 Best Films of All Time

1. V for Vendetta (2005)
2. Twister (1996)
3. Inception (2010)
4. October Sky (1999)
5. Apollo 13 (1995)
6. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
7. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
8. The Godfather (1972)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)
10. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
11. Back to the Future Part 1 (1985)
12. Dr. No (1962)
13. The Dark Knight (2008)
14. Ghostbusters (1984)
15. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
16. North by Northwest (1959)
17. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
18. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
19. Patton (1970)
20. Animal House (1978)
22. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
22. X2: X-Men United (2003)
23. GoldenEye (1995)
24. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
25. Toy Story (1995)

The unanimous vote for Best Worst Film of all time (the movie that is so terrible that it's great) goes to the sci-fi channel original movie, Aztec Rex. What a gem.

And the Razzie unanimously, and definitely, goes to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is undoubtedly the worst film in the history of film making. Seriously.

Vanessa's #1 Movie: The Man Who Laughs

Stephen's #1 Movie: V for Vendetta

Vanessa and Stephen

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The chinook is blowing...the smell of mold right into my house.

"I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them." 
                                                        -Algernon, "The Importance of Being Earnest"

It's a balmy, breezy 70 degrees here in Missouri today. In February! Needless to say, the windows are open and the dog is quite excited. It's nice to have warm air, but it does smell kind of musty and moldy outside.So in the interest of the ever-elusive Springtime (because undoubtedly Old Man Winter will come back with a vengeance soon), I'm going to tell you about our plans / ask for suggestions on our Victory Garden!

Q: Why we are calling it a Victory Garden?
A: Vanessa read too much "Molly" books from American Girl as a child.

Q: Where is the garden going to be?
A: The Eastern side of the house! It's kind of the unclaimed area that gets enough sun and won't be disturbed. We have a really great corner in our back yard by the house, but Anya's claimed it as her toilet, so the side of the house it is!

Q: What about the deer?
A: We don't have any in our neighborhood! (I can feel Dad's jealousy through the web)

Q: What are you planning on planting? (tongue twister!)
A: HERBS like basil, chives, thyme, mint, parsley, and VEGGIES like tomatoes and peas (and maybe some FRUIT like strawberries... if we're feeling adventurous).

Q: Why are you having a garden?
A: Because we love food, and we love fresh herbs, and they're so expensive at the store. Plus we eat lots of tomatoes and peas, so why not grow them? (Plus, Vanessa needs things to occupy her time).


Q: What else should we plant? What types of herbs do you like?

Q: When should we sow our seeds?

Q: Is a plow required? (Okay, just kidding on this one, I got a little carried away with the Little House on the Prairie scenario.)

We're also planning on growing lilies
in the front yard. They're beautiful
and they smell lovely. 

Vanessa, Stephen, and Anya

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Right Hand Yellow's February. Pretty much one of the lamest months ever.

If you're wondering why we haven't posted anything lately, well, it's because not a whole lot's been going on. Let's recap:

Snow. Lots, and lots of snow.

Work. (For Stephen, not so much for one's hardly been in school!)

90's movie marathons (Twister, Apollo 13, Jurassic Park, among others), and consideration for a Kevin Bacon movie marathon (unbelievably exciting, I know).

A Nephew! Isaac. Born January 23rd. He's pretty darn cute. We'll be visiting him in June.

We don't buy bread anymore. We bake it in our really awesome bread machine. It's delicious. Pictures to come, I'm sure.

I chopped all my hair off (well, fifteen inches of it), and sent it to Locks of Love. Now my annoyingly weird hair will be some little kid's problem. But hey, hair is hair, and weird hair is better than none. It's not like I needed all that hair.

Reading. (I most recently read "The Laughing Man" by Victor Hugo and "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay. Both of which were fantastic. Next on the list is "Rocket Boys" by Homer Hickam, Jr. More suggestions welcome, of course). I'm trying to get Stephen to read "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton, or "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell.

We played "Harry Potter Clue" with Amy and Sam last night, that was pretty darn fun. It felt like it was Malfoy with the sleeping draught every time.

We went to the symphony (thanks to a Christmas present from my parents), and that was definitely something we could get used to (even if it does make us both re-think our career choices!).

I adapted an English scone recipe (from my awesome friend, Dorell), to make buttermilk scones. They were fantastic, if I do say so myself.

And today's the Super Bowl / my sister Sam's birthday. (She's 17 - legally an adult in Missouri, but not in Oregon - bummer for her).

So as you can clearly see, not a whole lot of excitement. We're enjoying ourselves, though. Tonight, we will (of course) be hanging out with my family and the Werners. It's pretty much the same as Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. I do recall one year which was particularly fun, involving Carl, Nathan, Abby, Megan, me, and a game of twister. Probably around sophomore year of High School. Good times. Unfortunately, Megan and Nate are at school, so it won't be a "completely" Rao-Werner fete. But it should still be a good time. Chili, bean dip, and bacon dip + *hopefully* awesome commercials + our "extended family" = a most excellent Sunday evening.

Date Night at the Symphony

Vanessa, Stephen, and Anya