It Might Be That Time…


Well, it looks like the Rays are more than happy to gift wrap the division and happily hand it over to the Red Sox without any sort of fight. I mean it’s 13-3 last time I checked. Could we have gotten a worse start from Kazmir? Dare I say David Price takes his spot in the rotation? Yes I know… a little premature…

SO perhaps the time has come for me to start cheering more emphatically for America’s most lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs. Let it be known that in all seriousness, these guys were my favorite team before there was baseball in Tampa, and well they at least continue to be my favorite NL team. Tropicana Field, though it has grown on me (due mostly to the multi-million dollar renovations each year) can barely hold a candle to the sheer imminence of Wrigley, a park which can compete for the position of the National Shrine of Baseball.

Why I bring up the Cubs is because of this great video and information on various fans from every decade since the 1908 World Series! They have a man born in 1908 talking about his love of the Cubs! It’s a great montage, and you should check it out! I’m all for a Cubs-Rays series!

Cool Cubs Video


The heap. Presents: The 30 Most Influential Sci Fi Movies (6-10)

I know I promised you this one this weekend, but it was a jammed, sports-packed weekend for me. Plus, I needed a little bit of a break from writing. But now we’re back and ready for the home stretch of our list. I’ll give you 6-10 today, and then I’ll go one by one, but I’ll throw in two honorable mentions in each post, since there are PLENTY of movies which could have easily have been on our list. You’ve waited long enough so here we go!

10. Forbidden Planet (1956)


All I should have to say about this film is Robby the Robot. Not to mention the fact that it is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which would be reason enough for any of you English majors, Shakespeare enthusiasts, or just plain literary buffs to want to watch and see the similarities with one Willy’s more interesting plays, as well as one of the most enchanting (A Midsummer’s Night Dream wins of course). The audience is intertwined in a story of romance and artificially created (boosted) intelligence, as well as in the middle of the battle between patriarchal repressed sexuality and the desire to experiment. Another classic tale of the exotic nature of difference. Special effects were groundbreaking for a film of the late 50’s, and the music was all electrically composed. If that isn’t enough, maybe a young, pre Mr. Magoo Leslie Nielsen will make you watch. IMDB: 7.8 Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

9. Metropolis (1927)


Clearly the oldest movie on the list, Metropolis pioneers the genre, perhaps beginning the trend of sci fi films being a prominent source of social scrutiny. Director Fritz Lang constructs a world plagued by a duality of sorts. The audience encounters a heavenly utopia of skyscrapers amidst the clouds, dominating scenes at points in the film. Here, the literal upper class reside, the “thinkers.” Yet supporting this lavish lifestyle is a world dystopian in nature where the labor class work in order to support the lifestyles up above. What ensues is a brilliant critique of the capitalist system, as the city is pushed to the brink of non-existence by a revolution by the lower class, thus causing the system to collapse. Another interesting duality is that of Maria and a robot created in her likeness. And of course, there is some corporal imagery, such as the impending mediation between the hands (workers) who run the heart (the power plant to the city) and the head (upper class). IMDB (Rated #72 on 250 Greatest Films): 8.4 Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

8. Alien, Aliens (1979, 1986)


The pair of movies are probably the most popular movies from the time of the generation before us college graduates (Yes, our parents went to movies too in their heyday). These films, more than a quarter of a century later STILL have an effect on popular culture such as the AVPseries of films, cultural references to these movies, and conceptual representation of alien life. We still imagine either little green men, or the vicious intelligent creatures of Predator and Alien. This was the film that put Ridley Scott on the map as a master director, and truthfully, the film is a mastery of all aspects of film making. The cinematography is stellar, and perhaps the best of modern films. The use of color imagery, particularly light and dark, add an unique artistic touch to this sci fi – horror hybrid. Acting is believable and excellent. All you could ask for in a movie. IMDB (Rated #49 and #65 respectively, top 250): 8.5, 8.4 Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, 100%

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


A Stanley Kubrick film HAD to be on here somewhere, and you can expect it to be a biting satirical commentary on society of the late 60’s. Many critics have clamored for Odyssey to be considered as the best sci fi film of all time, and we believe that it certainly was that at the time of it’s release. It fulfills strongly our own qualifications we looked for while we made our list here. Many say that Odyssey IS sci fi, providing the definition of what a sci fi flick should be, and we agree. While the concept isn’t the most groundbreaking, it takes pieces of earlier films and pretty much perfects them, while at the same time poking fun at present possibilities, and the colossal-ness of the “space odyssey” itself. IMDB (#80 of 250 on the list): 8.4 Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

6. The Matrix (1999)


While I do like the entire trilogy, the first movie is the best one of the three and is really the one which has become an essential sci fi must see. Again, the ideas aren’t too new, as it roughly uses the premise of Terminator. BUT, The Wachowski Brothers offer the audience a twist, suggesting that the world we live in is nothing but a mechanically induced dream, and the real us is nothing but a tool, a resource for dominant beings. Highly symbolic, highly psychological, and action packed. A pleasant collusion of mythologies, and in particular, the Christian tradition. Not to mention perhaps the best possible part for Keanu Reeves- one where he can look clueless for most of the time and he doesn’t have to talk too much! IMDB (#32 of 250 on the list) 8.6 Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

So there you have it. We’re down to the final five! Our first list is almost complete here at the heap. If you have any suggestions for the next list we should tackle, feel free to leave comments!