A three-hour tour… or lesson

Last night, CBS showed yet another of the very long American Film Institute’s Top 100 lists. This time, it was the (supposed) top 100 movie quotes of all time. On a whim, I actually checked out the 400 candidates that were originally proposed, and then saw what it got narrowed down to. I don’t have a quarrel with what got chosen, but I do have a few observations:

1) Old movies are better than new movies. The top three quotes were at least 30 years old (even older if you take out The Godfather). The newest quote that made the list was Gollum from Lord of the Rings: “My precious!” Casablanca won with 6 quotes, but the top quote came from Gone With the Wind.

2) Men can quote the Godfather Trilogy in their sleep, apparently.

3) Billy Crystal and Ray Romano are really, really funny.

4) Women don’t like Scarlett O’Hara very much at all.

5) Sports movies produce good soundbites – especially baseball movies. Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, Pride of the Yankees, and Knute Rockne: All-American made the list.

6) Only one Star Wars quote, but two Jerry Maguire ones?? Please.

7) Casablanca is possibly the best movie ever written.

8) After over 20 years, I still have E.T. issues. Oh, well.

9) Gone With the Wind is a fantastic novel, and the movie is pretty darn good too, but read the book first, people!

10) Actors, writers, producers and directors all like to hear themselves talk about how holy and blameless movies are. Yeah, right. It’s a movie. It’s entertainment. Once in a great while, a movie that stands the test of time comes along, but when the top-rated quotes come from classics (Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, On the Waterfront, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane), you’ve got to realize that not many, if any, of the movies being released today have half a shot of making it to that level.

According to reports, the box office is in the worst slump it has been in for 20 years. Apparently people just want to wait for the DVD and watch it at home. I can count on one hand the number of movies that I’ve seen in the last year in the theater. I like going to the theater, but it is expensive to do so. So unless I really want to see it, I can wait pretty easily.

So, while the Webmaster wants to see Batman Begins, I think that I can wait to go to the theater for a while. Until Revenge of the Sith gets cheaper, anyway.

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