The Favorites

If I'm going to be writing reviews of queer themed movies and books, I imagine it would be helpful to people to know what movies/books/other stuff I like and why, even if there are not any queer themes within.

The Movies

My favorite movie of all time is Fight Club. Black humor, brilliant acting and writing all combine to create one of the greatest movies of my generation.

Runners up would include:

American Beauty - Will probably get to writing around to writing a review of this someday as it's essentially gay propaganda. It features one normal, happy gay couple, while the two straight families are highly dysfunctional.

Watchmen - Already reviewed it here.

Black Snake Moan - Has my favorite movie soundtrack. Black humor and great acting come together to tell the story of the chains pulling us together and tearing us apart.

The Matrix - Great as a stand alone movie, the reputation was really ruined by the vastly inferior sequels. A re-imagining of Plato's cave gives this sci-fi action flick unexpected depth.

V for Vendetta - 1994 re-interpreted for a modern audience. Hugo Weaving, his face obscured throughout the entire movie by a mask, is still able to give a searingly intense performance as the enigmatic main character.

The Hours - Another movie I need to re-watch, so I can write a proper review of it.

Notable Directors/Series:

Peter Jackson
Director of Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Lovely Bones. Lord of the Rings is definitely one of my favorite series of fantasy movies. My opinion of The Lovely Bones and King Kong is higher then the mediocre reviews that many critics gave them, although I will admit that both are flawed.

Quentin Tarintino
Kill Bill: The first time through, I catagorized these movies as "nicely entertaining, but not something I want to see more then once". However, I saw them again when they were airing on some cable channel. Each viewing has raised my opinion each time. Ditto for Pulp Fiction. I really liked Inglorious Basterds the first time though. Waiting for a chance to buy DVD. Resevoir Dogs is a study in how to develop a tense modern crime thriller. Death Proof was okay, but really does fall into "nicely entertaining but..." category. Although who knows what might happen when if I came across it again on TV...

The Coen Brothers
Of there movies I've seen, I've liked No Country For Old Men the best, but Burn After Reading has to be one of the funniest movies of the past decade. A Serious Man is also a good find, for those who don't mind extremely dry humor or ambiguous endings.

Star Wars
The Original Trilogy: Probably will always remain among my favorite movie series.
The Prequals: I have a higher opinion of these then most fanboys. I think people don't realize how many of the flaws that they claim make the prequels inferior (bad acting, dialog) apply even more so to the original. Nostalgia simply makes people forget the bad acting and dialog of the original trilogy. Jar Jar is a mistake. Period. Without question. A special edition with him being deleted and replaced with anything else would be more appreciated then any of the other versions. Hans shot first.

Harry Potter
The first two episodes were a bit weak, due to the stilted direction and unwillingness of the scripts to break away from the plots. Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince were both weakened by their insistence on focusing on character melodrama. Prisoner of Askaban and Order of the Phoenix are the best of the series.

The movies - the first two of which were directed by the openly gay Bryan Singer - can be seen as an allegory about the fight against bigotry. After, Bryan Singer left to direct Superman Returns (the best Superman movie ever, I think) the third movie got a new director. Whilst not terrible (it has it's moments) it was a bit of a let down overall. After seeing the third movie, I could not muster the energy to see the Wolverine prequel.

TV Shows

The X-Files
Some greats just can't be topped. This is one of those greats.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Started watching towards the end of the second season as it was airing on Logo. Became hooked and just had to watch all the way through. Haven't seen much of season one or the beginning of two, although I intend to when I get the chance. Season 3's The Mayor is one of the best villains of all time, although Season 5's Gloria does give him a run for his money. Season 4 was the weakest of the series, in my opinion, when they kill of the most interesting character, and replace her with a ho-hum villain Adam whose part human, part machine, part demon and 100% boring.

Be warned, this will make for one of the most depressing viewing experiences ever. Created by Jose Whedon, who also did Buffy, this series was canceled midway through it's first season. In what amounts to a rather amazing writing feat on Whedon's part, the movie Serenity was able to tie up most of the loose ends, but this series deserved a better fate, as I would say it had the potential to be even better then Buffy.

Favorite Writers

I've been reading any book I could get my hands on for as long as I can remember, picking my one favorite book out of the hundreds that I've read over the years, is virtually impossible. Instead, I'll start out with my favorite writers.

Barbara Kingsolver
Brilliant and passionate, I would not hesitate to call her the greatest writer of our time. The Poisonwood Bible probably is the closest I come to having a "favorite" book. The problem is that she's also written many other books as well.

Wendell Berry
A highly conservative Kentucky farmer, his sensibilities will probably piss off many the liberal academic. However, his pragmatic thinking, down to earth writing abilities are unparalleled. Perhaps of those writers I've read, he is probably only equaled by Kingsolver. I agree with him perhaps less then I do Kingsolver, but there is no denying the intelligent thought that always goes into his positions.

Bruce Coville
A children's writer, whose creative genius is seen in such works as My Teacher is an Alien and Armageddon Summer.

Roald Dahl
His works have been made into numerous movies (James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and and can certainly be seen as having provided inspiration for J.K. Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter SeriesDark and twisted, exactly the way books aimed at kids should be.

Steven King
Not exactly a favorite of mine, he's probably the most inconsistent writer I can think of. A lot of his work is pure genius, (see, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon) a lot of it is also good and entertaining but otherwise disposable (see Bag of Bones, The Shining and then a lot of what he does is also pure crap (see Pet Semetary, Dreamcatcher).

Top Favorite Books/Series (In no particular order)
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis
Harry Potter J.K Rowling
Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk
Invisible Monsters Chuck Palahniuk
White Fang Jack London
Hearts in Atlantis Steven King