Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Survivor




The 17th Season of Survivor finished on Sunday. It was one of the few times where I didn't dislike any of the final four people (though # 5 Kenny was a huge cry baby wiener). And I was pleased with the winner. That doesn't happen often either. It was a decent season.
But, wow, 17 seasons! That is a bit misleading, because you have two seasons per year, but still a lot. Lots of memories. Haha. My favorite show. So I decided to RANK THE 17 SEASONS OF SURVIVOR , based mostly on how much I like them. Nice. I'll also include so of the cool parts of the season and such. Holler!

RANKING THE SEASONS OF SURVIVOR

#17 Fiji
Why 17? Boring. Predictable. Few likable people. Few attractive women. Even the twists were predictable. Even I didn't watch it all
Rundown: Don't remember much about this season. Sorry. It just wasn't good.
Cool People: Yau-Man
Cool Stuff: Yau - Man
Random: I remember one guy just berating only for being weak and womanly. It was bad.

#16 Survivor All-Stars
Why 16? This one sounded great. People were excited for it. They got to see all their old favorites - Rudy, Colby, Ethan - and old enemies - Richard, Jerri. But it quickly became evident that this would be way different because the people already knew each other. The dynamics of the game would be TOTALLY different. So they game became lame. The best players would be voted out and mediocre players would raise to the top.
Rundown - All the previous winners were voted off rather quickly. Same-season alliances were sniffed out and an alliance of Rupert, Jenna, Rob, and Amber over took the Lex, Tom, Kathy alliance. Seriously, all the good people were voted off in the first half of the season.
Cool People: Colby, Richard (he is entertaining), Colby
Cool Stuff: Lex getting mad at Rob, Ricard catching a shark, beginning with 3 tribes was cool
Random: I believe Sue threatened to sue (haha) CBS after Richard allegedly rubbed his wiener on her during a challenge.
Two people quit - Sue and Jenna M. Oh, and Sue's tirade at Jeff Probst was was pretty funny. She ended each sentence with a load JEFF!
Oh, and I forgot the worst part of the season, the end. Rob asked Amber to marry him. C'mon this is Survivor, not The Love Connection!
Where was Tony? Sophomore in college, but didn't watch this one religiously. I think I actually had a Tuesday/Thursday night class this semester.

#15 Survivor Africa
Why 15? Africa is hot. Very hot and very Dry. This was the major downfall of this, the 3rd season of Survivor. It caused uninteresting challenges and people pretty much to lie around all day. A few new twists here, but alliances stuck.
Rundown: Anticipated season. This is when alliances worked and remained. Not much back-stabbing yet. It started as old/young alliances and then for the 1st time Survivor switched up tribes. That changed things up for a bit, but the alliance of Ethan, Kim, Lex, and Tom.
Cool People: Ethan, Tom
Cool Stuff: Hmm
Random: Rigid military man Frank and flamboyantly gay Brandon had to share a reward together - a drive in movie. Pretty nice.
Ethan was cool cuz he played soccer
Where was Tony? Senior year of high school. Wow, long time ago.

#14 Survivor China
Why 14? It seemed a cool place, but the cast was kinda lame. Really very little memorable about this one. And a professional wrestler? Really?
Rundown: Lots of twists, changes, backstabbing, alliances, immunity idols, but not very exciting
Cool People: James
Cool Stuff: James
Random: James was a gravedigger. I also believed in interview he said he would possibly bang Denise if she were younger and not married. Hmm I did not like Courtney or PG
Where was Tony? First few episodes in Milwaukee living with parents. Rest of Season in MT.

#13 Survivor Thailand
Why 13? This season wasn't that bad, but in hindsight, yes it was. Predictable and I don't recall many likable characters. Very methodical.
Rundown: Brian ran things, made his alliance, back-stabbed when necessary. Jan made it to the final three, possibly the oldest female contestant in show history
Cool People: Ted?
Cool Stuff: Ok, I admit it, I kind of liked Brian. I believe he called Survivor "a business trip". I also liked all his "skating" comments.
Random: Gandia accused Ted of grinding with her. Ted denied it yelling "I'm not even attracted to you!" Ha
Where was Tony? Freshman year of college. I remember watching with my roommate who had never previously watched Survivor.

#12 Survivor Panama aka Exile Island
Why 12? Cool premises with the first Exile Island and having 4 tribes - young men, old men, young women, old women. I don't think there was anyone I really rooted for though. Oh, and you got Terry, who dominated the game, but did not win. I think that puts a sour taste in some people's moths.
Rundown - Like I said, 4 tribes, pretty even, switching of tribes left one pretty dominant and Terry became the dominant player from the underdog tribe, winning 5 straight immunity challenges and having the hidden immunity idol. He did not win the final 3 challenge, though and Aras was the winner.
Cool People: Sally, Bruce
Cool Stuff: Lots of cool challenges. It helps to be on an island.
The challenge where you get to choose to eat or play was first done here I think. I enjoy that one. I give props to Aras because he was the only one in the leading alliance that decided to play and not eat.
Random: Bruce was an interesting cat and had to leave for medical reasons. Also he went to the loser tribe after teams were already picked.
Where was Tony? 2nd semester senior year of college. I believe the finale was actually on graduation day

#11 Survivor Guatemala
Why 11? I might have this one a little low actually. It's the first one on the list I can call a good season. The cast was good. I think the lack of attractive women or a really likable person in the last 8 or so made me not rate it as high.
Rundown: This one started with a bang! Bobby Jon and Stephanie from the previous season are revealed as players for each team. And then, the game instantly begins with a 12 mile trek with all the supplies through the think jungle, with the winning tribe getting the better camp. People were vomiting and didn't recover for days. I think the temperature was extreme for most of the show. And the people couldn't bathe due to alligators. (Read my lips: Al-ee-gay-tors) A few twists and turns, including the first hidden immunity idol. Oooh.
Cool People: Bobby Jon, Stephanie, Rafe, Gary
Cool Stuff: The start was nice - caused vomiting, dehydration, people passing out.
Contestants you like to dislike are always good - Jamie and Judd.
Bobby Jon/Jamie feud. I like the passion.
Good challenges.
Random: Gary was an NFL QB. That was weird. And Danni was a sports talk radio show host. Coincidence?
Lydia was useless.
Jamie was voted off solely because he kept asking if he was going to be the next one voted off.
Cindy won the car challenge and was given the option of keeping the car for herself or giving one to the 4 other tribe members. She decided to keep it, and was voted off at the next Tribal.
Where was Tony? 1st semester Senior year of college

#10 Survivor Amazon
Why # 10? Cool season, cool location, but no water challenges and the final people were not very cool.
Rundown: First battle of the sexes season. I think they were really trying to increase sex appeal on this season. Makes sense after Thailand I guess, but pretty much all young attractive people.
I actually remember very little about this season, just that I didn't like most of the girls.
Cool People: Butch, Dave
Cool Stuff: Piranhas
Random: I remember Butch burning down the hut including his flag he got from his school children saying something like "Do your best"
I remember after drinking wine from some reward, there were allegations that Butch peed his pants in his sleep.
Rob was a pretty good player
Where was Tony? In the dorms, Freshman year of college, met some other people that loved Survivor too.

#9 Survivor Pearl Islands
Why 9? Good cast - Rupert as the lead, Johnny Fairplay as the villain . Darrah as the female interest. Lots of good challenges. Some weird twists, though. Didn't like any of the final three.
Rundown: This was the pirate themed Survivor, even had pirate tribe names, raiding, planks, and booty. Rupert was an animal! Amazing in challenges. Amazing. The big twist was two already voted off contestants got to come back, and one, Lille even made it to the final. That is what keeps this season from being very high. Sandra won and I guess deserved it.
Cool People: Rupert, Darrah, Burton was ok
Cool Stuff: Bartering to begin the game. Raiding the other tribes camp. Some cool challenges. One where the team had to support the weight of a single tribe member hanging over the water. One where you had to sink the other tribes boat, which resulted in Rupert pretty much sinking the other team's boat on his own.
Random: Tie-dyed tank top. One dude straight up quit. Oh and Johnny lied that his grandmother died
Where was Tony? 1st semester sophomore year of college.


#8 Survivor Marquesas
Why 8? So this was the 4th season. The 1st was figuring out alliances. The second was trying to best form them. The third was just straight alliances. This season seemed to be going that way, but nope, a big twist/switch/back-stab.
Rundown: One tribe kinda sucks and loses a lot. Tribes switch. Them merge. The good tribe picks off the bad. The lower half of the good tribe figure out the pecking order and align with the remaining members of the weak tribe.
Cool people: Pappy, Sean
Cool Stuff: awesome waterfall, Pappy pushing the rock, "Purple Rock"
Where was Tony? Senior year of high school, last semester, woo

# 7 Survivor Gabon
Why 7? Good season, good people won. Good challenges
Rundown: Just happened
Cool People: Bob, Matty last two episodes Sugar
Cool Stuff: Fake immunity idols, elephants,
Where was Tony? On the bus for the beginning of the season, so I ended up one night drinking beer and watching the first 7 episodes of the season

# 6 Survivor Micronesia aka Fans vs Favorites
Why 6? Ok, so again we have people we already know. This time I liked most of them, and this time there were other people as well. Cool location. The fans vs favorites worked and the later combining of the tribes worked. Intense season.
Rundown: Pretty unpredictable. Lots of people getting too comfortable, then getting sucker-punched. Lots of over thinking things
Cool people: Take your pick
Cool Stuff: I remember the big guy Joel dragging the gay guy Chet in a challenge where they were tied together. I remember James absolutely dominating in the challenges. Dumb use of idols, real and fake.
Random: Lots of attractive women, who totally manipulated some of the men. One person quite and two left due to injury. Lots of back-stabbing and feelings hurt. I did not like Natalie.
Where was Tony? partially on the bus, but mostly on Montana

#5 Survivor Palau
Why 5? We are getting to the real good ones now. This season was very interesting. One tribe DOMINATED, won every single immunity challenge. This made you really, really root for the underdog. It was fascinating to see if they would finally win, and what would happen if they did not. I thought it would be cool then to see the winning tribe have to tear each other apart in the end, but that was not really the case. They had people they did not like and people who did not deserve to be there so late in the game. So in this season, the first 8 episode were much more fun and interesting than the last 6.
Oh, and the winner Tom, also DOMINATED. He was a man-child.
Rundown: See above
Cool People: Tom, Bobby Jon, Stephanie
Cool Stuff: Bobby Jon vs. Stephanie to be the sole Survivor of their tribe. Lots of cool challenges. One that sticks out in particular - All tribe members were tied together with 20 pound bags of sand each. Tribes were on opposite ends of a track which was in shallow water. One tribe had to catch the other, but when one tribe member dropped out their weight had to go to someone else. In the end, it was three on three. Some people were carrying 80 pounds, attempting to run through knee high water. Intense! Watch it if you want.
Random: The final challenge was real weird. Ian let Tom win after a 12 hour challenge to regain the friendship of the other two people. WTF? Seriously? Oh, and the 2nd place person, Katie sucked. She pretty much had everyone in the jury rib the shit out of her at final tribal.
The southern redneck James was funny pretty much a cartoon character.
This season started with a school yard pick, one of Jeff's favorite terms and the two people who weren't picked just were done. That sucks for them
Where was Tony? England. I had a friend of mine tape each episode (he might have missed one) and watched them when I moved into my new apartment senior year of college. I would watch two or three episodes a night with my roommates. It was great!


# 4 Survivor Vanuatu
Why #4? This might not be too high on some people's lists but it is high on mine. Awesome location, battle of the sexes, good people, against the odds winner, lots of hot women.
Rundown: This was another battle of the sexes, and was probably the inspiration for the Panama season, as in each tribe it was kind of old against young. The women held the edge, and the older men voted out the younger men. I think in the end, it was 6 women left and one man, and the man, Chris, won. The women started cat-fighting. Chris was real weak, but must've been good at lying to people.
Cool People: Chad (one leg), Julie (hot), Ami
Cool Stuff: Volcano, great challenges
Random: Somehow Twila made it to the final two, and Scout to the final three.
Chad had one leg. The season started with one of the men having to climb up a greased poll get a Vanuatu good luck rock.









# 3 Survivor Borneo aka Survivor


Why #3? The one that stared it. When you talk about Survivor, this is it. The people from this season are now embedded into American pop culture. It was very new. People didn't really know what they were doing. Alliances were not in play until later. Very amatuer almost.
Rundown: 16 castaways. One Survivor. Two tribes, merge, cool people, things were very even. Then Richard put together an alliance and it was all over from there.


Cool People: Greg, Gervase, Collen, RUDY!


Cool Stuff: Rudy, unknown elements of the game


Random: Rudy at the story/memory challenge, Sean voting alphabetically, Gervase in the swimming challenges, Gervase becoming a father while in the game, Rudy losing the last immunity challenge, BB


If you watch these episodes now, they are very simple. The challenges are much less extravagent, there is much more footage of just small talk which you do not see these days, and even the intros/outros/B-roll is much more simple.


Where was Tony? If you remember correctly, this season took place during summer. I missed some of the episodes and I remember I missed the first tribal council because my dad locked his keys in the car. This is the "Where were you when....?" for our generation, ok not really, it's 9/11, but this is close, sort of.




#2 Survivor Cook Islands


Why #2? This was the "Race Season", but that is not why it is number 2. Here it is all about the triumph of the underdogs. There was a clear good guy/bad guy split. It was just all coincidence that all white people were the bad guys.


Rundown: Divided by race for like the first two episodes, then a tribe switch. The the voluntary tribe switch. Then the underdogs won and played a great game. That alliance held very strong and Yul edged out Ozzie in the final.


Cool People: Yul, Ozzie, Cao-Boi


Cool Stuff: Yul's use of the idol, Yul using Jonathon, Ozzie dominating challenges.Underdogs




Random: Jonathon and Candice switched tribes when given the choice. Cao-Boi getting rid of the other Asian dudes headache. Despite being a d-bad. I did enjoy Jonathan.

Where was Tony? In Philly. I worked Thursday nights, so remember watching all these episodes on a the computer.






#1 Survivor Australia



Why #1? This season was a great mix of personality, people you root for and root against, drama, strategy, and good challenges. This was hype. Everyone was talking about it and everyone was wathcing it. It was still early, so there wasn't too much strategy talk and over thinking.

Rundown: Two equal tribes, tied at the merge and then it went to previous votes, that is really what won it for the winning tribe. Tina won when Colby was dumb and took her instead of Keith. That is my one complaint of the season.

Cool People: Colby, Rodger, Elisabeth, Nick


Cool Stuff: Better challenges, better prizes, camp got flooded bad, ran out out of rice.


Michael Stupen, possibly the best Survivor contestant ever. He killed a pig! Then he fell in the fire. Man, that was hardcore! Another thing that changed the game. Jerri was a good villian and Keith was also easy not to like.


The first individual immunity challenge took 12 hours I believe. Man.


Random: Kel got voted off because there was a rumor about him having jerky. Rodger couldn't really swim. Mitchell was 7 feet tall. This was the height of the show. Every Friday the Encore section of the paper would have a brief rundown of the previous day's episode. That's how popular this was.
Where was Tony? Junior year of high school. Man. I remember this season had extra hype because it premiered after the superbowl. It was a weak Superbowl - Raven/Giants I believe and everyone really just wanted to watch Survivor.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Anatomy of a Power Hour (Part II)

Here is the second half of the power hour. Did you know the FDA defines binge drinking as having more than 4 drinks at one sitting? Yes, so anyone how does a power hour is then a binge drinker. We here at Big Dunc neither support or oppose binge drinking, so, there are many ways around it. Drink for every other song. Drink when black people sing. Drink when only women sing. Yes, that will work. Anyways, here is the rest of the hour.




Song 31 – More Than a Feeling

Slow, but a good slow. Some people may even put their arms around each other and sing. Yes 80s!

Song 32 – I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones

Yes, not much I really need to say about the greatness of this song and how it works so well in a power hour

Song 33 – The Next Episode – Dr. Dre and Snoop

You know who’s back up in this muthafucker?!!!!!!! Getting things going for a big push. Again, points for those who can spit all the lyrics.

Song 34 – Jammin’ – Bob Marley

Slowing it down, but a good slow. Maybe not the best place for this song, but it works ok.

Song 35 – Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

Yes, STDs! This is another good slow one, but a good slow one. Everyone my age seems to love Johnny Cash, lots of singing along.

Song 36 – Since You’ve Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

I love Kelly Clarkson! I am not ashamed to say that. This song could be 1, 36, or 60. It is all gravy. For some reason whenever my friends and I (usually 4 or 5 guys) would go somewhere in Montana we would always play this song. Yes.

Song 37 – We Be Burnin – Sean Paul

Sean Paul my not be the most moving music or the most complex lyrically (cuz you can’t understand him) but his music is definitely party music

Song 38 – Let’s Stay Together- Al Greene

Contrast again, a slow one people will surely like

Song 39 – I Want You Back – The Jackson 5

Whoo! Young MJ. A great underrated song. This one had people standing up and dancing. And Grab Another Beer please.

Song 40 – Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Great song, even in one minute form

Song 41 – The Whole World – Outkast

A great hip-hop song. I think it was originally released on a Best of Album, so kinda flew under the radar, but it fits in nicely right here.

Song 42 – Superstitious – Stevie Wonder

Bad Call, don’t really like it here, or anywhere

Song 43 – Stripper’s Song – Wyclef

Another bad call by me. Man. I love Wyclef and really wanted to put something of his on this, but couldn’t find a good one. This is a good upbeat song, but not in the first minute.

Song 44 – Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

So we had a few bad choices in row, drink more beer if you have to.

We’re back on the wagon with this one. One for the ladies, but enjoyed by all.

Song 45 – P.I.M.P. – 50 Cent

Oh Snap! We are in the thick of it now. Nearing the end, this is the beginning of our final push forward, our final climax.

This song is pretty banging if you don’t remember. C’mon it begins with a steel drum and some phat bass.

“She feed them foolish fantasies, they pay her cause they wanna
I spit a little G man, and my game got her
A hour later, have that ass up in the Ramada”

Song 46 – Dancing Queen – Abba

Ok, you can raise your eyebrows. I was skeptical, but I trusted my girlfriend with this one. And she was spot on. College girls 3,4,5 beers deep went crazy when they heard this, just as planned.

Song 47 – Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

Need a song that people know and like? Go with the Beatles. I believe this is the most power hour fitting of the three.

Song 48 – Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson

Another unexpected one, but one that works well, keeps the momentum going higher (and higher)

I believe this song was used in Ghostbusters II to make the Statue of Liberty become alive, due to the joy of the people of NYC. WTF? Yes. This movie was horrible, specially after the original was SO great. Maybe I should watch this one again and give it another chance. I mean with that same cast, it can’t be that bad. Right?

Song 49 – I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans

A heartfelt one here. Good tune.

Song 50 – Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Another one for the ladies, another one picked out by my girlfriend. And again, the girls loved it.

Song 51 – SuperFreak – Rick James

We are getting close, grab one last beer. The variety continues. I’m Rick James Bitch!, will be inevitably shouted by someone. And as people are feeling the beer now, most will laugh.

Song 52 – Changes – Tupac

Another classic for our generation. I think this one will have everybody signing along.

Song 53 – I Feel Good – James Brown

By this time, everyone will be feeling good.

Song 54 – I Will Survive – Roberta Flack

One last one for the ladies, but the boys will join in. I know I did.

Song 55- Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly

Yes. I love this song right now, just imagine being 5 beers deep in 55 minutes.

“Now I'm not trynna be rude
But hey pretty girl I'm feelin' you
The way you do the things ya do
Reminds me of my Lexus coupe
That's why I'm all up in ya grill
Trynna get you to a hotel
You must be a football coach
The way you got me playin' da field”

Song 56 – You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling – The Righteous Brothers

Classic for sure, I think everyone knows the lyrics to this one and will sing alone proudly.

Song 57 – Stronger – Kanye West

Maybe this one won’t hold up in the long run, but it works here right now.

Song 58 – Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

One last slow down, this is more all the couples out there. Maybe a bit too late, but I think it fits in very well between songs here. Slows it down for the inevitable crazy finish.

Song 59 – Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

So this may be my biggest mistake of all. I put this song on, but I actually only have it from itunes, so this song was rejected from the list. So actually my great power hour is one song short. Man. That last shot of beer people really needed.

Song 60 – Shout – Otis Day and the Knights (The Isley Brothers)

We made it. It has been a great journey, fitting to end with the greatest party song ever. People will be dancing, jumping, shouting (obviously), flailing around on the floor. It will be glorious.

And after 60 shots of beer (give or take a few for breaks) people want more .

Always leave them wanting more!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Anatomy of a Power Hour (Part I)

Power Hour – the best form of drinking around.


For those of you that do not know, a power hour is a drinking game/activity where one drinks a shot of beer every minute for an hour. If you do the math, that comes to 5-7 beers in an hour, so the average drinker probably should be wary of the power hour.

The power hour is by far my favorite form of drinking – better than Beirut, flip-cup, BBQs, or even drinking at a bar. It is great fun.

You are probably asking yourself what makes the power hour so great. Well, it is the music. You don’t just stare at a clock in drink every minute. You have music going. And not just any music, but a special CD, which plays each song for one minute. There is a special method, even an art to making these CDs. It is pretty easy. You can just download a simple program online. Mine only allows the first minute of your selected song to be played, but others allow you to choose the specific minute. Below I will give you some insight into the methodology of making a fine power hour CD mix. And remember, it is for the people

Ok, so I made this CD this past summer with the help of my girlfriend. We had limited resources – just the music on my computer and itunes downloaded are not allowed to be reformatted to change the time- so this is by no means the greatest power hour ever, but using the materials we had, it is a fine example and tool and a damn good time!

Song 1 – I Wanna Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

The first song is definitely the most important of the 60, even more so than the last, because people are already drunk by then and will like just about anything. You need something that will get people excited and let them know what they are in store for. The other two previous power hours in which I have experienced can show you the type of 1st songs that work. Oh, the previous two were themed 80s and 90s, but mine has no theme, just all over the board as you will see. But # 1 80s – Take on Me by a-Ha and 90s No Diggity by Blackstreet. Nice.

The Beatles was as simple choice. Can’t go wrong. Everyone will know it and it is upbeat. A good start

Song 2 – Let’s Get Retarded

May also be known as “Let’s Get it Started”, get retarded was the original version. Again, it is the beginning, so let the people know that they will have some fun, maybe even get a little retarded. Oh, this song was the first song after the Bride and Groom dance played at my sister’s wedding. But not the Retarded version.


Song 3 – Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

Slowing it down here a bit, but still something with a likable vibe and a hook (chorus) people will know. The power hour should fit the classic story pattern with a long build up ending with a climax and contain a very smaller build-ups and climaxes within the larger. Make sense? So slow building up to a climax, then slow building up to a bigger climax, with the last climax being the most intense. And like a book or a movie, people should want to keep going to find what is coming next.


Song 4 – Sitting on the Dock of a Bay – Otis Redding

Nice chill vibe here. You don’t want to go too strong yet, people have only had 4 shots of beer at this point and won’t really be singing along. Yet.

Song 5 - The Weight – The Band

Keeping the chill vibe going. This song, very underrated, is one where people just sit back and enjoy life.

Song 6 – The A-Team Intro

Ok, this one is a bit experimental. I was super excited about it, but at this power hour’s premiere, only one other person get real excited. I still stand by it’s inclusion. Just check out the spoke word intro

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escape from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles Underground. Today they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ….The A-Team

Queue gun shots, queue music, queue explosions.


Maybe the second best spoken TV intro after Quantum Leap

Theorizing one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Dr Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping that each time his next leap would be the leap home.

Damn that is dramatic!

Song 7 – No One – Alicia Keys

Great song. It was overplayed for a while there, but great for a power hour, keeping it slow, but adding a little beat.

Song 8 – Hound Dog – Elvis

Picking up a bit. Everyone loves Elvis. This will get a few people to start dancing. A little early for that, but we like it.

Song 9 – Pimping All Over the World

Contrast is also good for a power hour. This is a prime example. You don’t want people getting bored. It won’t be as exciting, even if you have all great songs, if they are all the same type. Oh, this is also the first rappish song. There will be more.

Song 10 – Beat It- Michael Jackson

You obviously need some MJ. If Elvis didn’t get a few random dancers this one will.

Song 11 – Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

I really don’t like this song, but lots of people do. Thanks Will Ferrell. More Cow Bell! A bit slow, so a great time to crack open another beer.

Song 12 – For What It's Worth – Buffalo Springfield

Slowing it down again here, but people may start singing along.

Song 13 – Walk This Way – Aerosmith

Bringing it back up again. Good contrast again.

Song 14 – Make it Rain (Remix) – Every rapper from the past 5 years

Ok, this one is not a good power hour song. There is a 30 second intro, so that throws away half your time. But it is so great. And the good thing about rap/hip-hop songs is instead of starting with the first verse, they start with the hook, so you will always get to the part everyone knows.

Song 15 – That’ll Be the Day – Buddy Holly

A definitely change-up, but still a pretty good tempo, and, lots of people like Buddy Holly. This one was a risk, but it paid off.

Song 16 – Last Night – The Strokes

Increasing the tempo and excitement again. This one could work for just about any minute of the power hour. It is fast and people like it.

Song 17 – Break on Through – The Doors

I am uncertain if this is a good power hour song. It keeps the tempo up and people know the words, but for some reason it doesn’t quite fit. Too much instrumental maybe.

Song 18 – Hate Me Now – Nas (Puff Daddy)

You always need some Diddy. This one is similar to 14, long intro, but you get the hook. Also, this lets people get some of that thug out.

Song 19 – Paradise City – Guns n Roses

Contrast again, a sing along one, at least for those white people out there. Remember the scene in Can’t Hardly Wait? Well, this one probably won’t be as exciting.

Song 20 – I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett

This one works very well at number 20. People are starting to get a buzz and this song is oh so singable. This will be the first climax. No doubt. Great song. Try not singing it.

Song 21 – Push It – Salt n Pepa

Bringing it down a bit after the previous song. Push It. Yes. A good time to get another beer.

Song 22 – Mr. Jones – Counting Crows

Classic for our generation

Song 23 – First of the Month – Bone Thugs n Harmony

Oh yes, a song about welfare. This one most people like, and you can really see the wanna be thugs when someone busts out rapping not only the hook, but the verses as well. These cats rap very fast if you do not know.

Song 24 – I Can’t Get No – Rolling Stones

Good song, people like it, nothing too special, though

Song 25 – Kiss – Prince

Yes, a great tune, people should be singing. Possibly a suggestive dancer or two.

Song 26 – Who’ll Stop the Rain – CCR

This one was a bit of an error. I knew I need a CCR song, but this one is too slow for this time of the power hour, especially after Prince was picking things up again.

Song 27 – Eminem – Back Again

Need contrast? Here it is. Picking it up again. I don’t care what you say, everyone knows Eminem and most people like him. People will be buzzed and will get excited at this one, especially after the previous few songs were not to hard hitting.

Song 28 – Help – Beatles

Yes, trying to keep the people excited. Keep them on their feet. Keep them singing. The Beatles will do that for you.

Song 29 – Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet

Slowing it down again, but people are drunk or buzzed now, and will sing this one just like Jimmy Buffet wants them too. Good mid-point song. Get another beer! Obviously a drinking song

Song 30 – The Thong Song – Cisqo

Bet you haven't heard this one in while. People will be surprised. People will smile. Dumps like a truck, thighs like what, baby make the booty goooooooooooo!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Best Movie Deaths

Time for another Tony Brown Movie list. This time we are going for best movie deaths. Death is one of the most used devices in movies and literature. It is often times very moving whether it is inevitable or a surprise.
For my list, we are not looking for the saddest deaths, the most gory, or the most impactful. Here I am looking for the best and for me the best is a combination of those but more so surprise, emotion, and effect. Think of it like a punch in the stomach. You get that feeling during the movie death.

A little different this time too, I'm not going to go 10-1 or have a countdown. That would be too hard. Instead, I will be using a tiered system. Some deaths don't really compare, but are equally good, and some are just too hard to differentiate the strength of the punch in the stomach. This system works well in fantasy sports as well.

Tier 5 or honorable mention:
The Guardian - very honorable and a surprisingly good movie
A Walk to Remember - poor Jamie, poor Landon
Star Wars - I think Ben's death was a bit over-rated, Darth Vader's was ok, and I have to admit, I really liked Qui-Gon Jinn, his death was a great scene and it was sad.
Remember the Titans - great movie, and remember, it started at a funeral
The Shining - Jack's death was cool, as was his axing of Scatman Crothers.
The Patriot- Man, the dandy Brit killed two of Mel Gibson's sons. Both were pretty hardcore.
Top Gun - Goose, aka Dr. Greene

Tier 4 - These are all very cool, but not necessary sad.

Priest Vallon - Awesome scene! Totally got me addicted to the movie. Liam Neeson, Daniel Day Lewis, John C. Reilly, Mad-Eye Moody. Wow. His death was pretty fierce. Plus his little son was there. Sad (2nd Liam Neeson Death already. A third movie of his makes the list, can you guess what it is?)

Carrie - Wow. She killed the entire prom and was covered in blood. That is great.
Taxi Driver - He went pretty f-ing wild. I just remember the old fat guy, who I think had his fingers shot off with a Magnum, yelling "I'm gonna kill ya!" over and over again.

Full Metal Jacket - Damn. Did you see that coming?

Scarface- That was pretty badass. I was rooting for him. He took out A LOT of people and I don't even need to quote the line, it is that famous.

Jaws - OK 3 great ones to choose from, the shark, the swimming girl (great movie poster), but Quint is by far the coolest, maybe the coolest on the list. Eaten by a shark, oh, and after the USS Indianapolis story too. Ouch.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Another very visually awesome one. What does it do - melt, fry, suck their soul - whatever it is, man. Keep your eyes closed! Oh and the death ("He chose poorly") from Last Crusade haunted me as as child. Still remember it vividly.

Last in Tier 4 and very close to tier three - Boromir in Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring. It is redemption and honor. It is sad and also pretty cool. He takes a lot of arrows, and can die with his head held high.
"I would have would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king."

Tier 3 - These are all very big deaths, high on emotion and impact.

Cedric Diggory - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Ok, so you may not all be Harry Potter Fans, but it is pretty great stuff. Who saw this coming? I like Cedric, maybe even a little man crush, but this is the defining moment for Harry Potter. There is no turning back after this.
"Cedric Diggory was, as you all know, exceptionally hard working, infinitely fair -minded, and most importantly, a fierce, fierce friend."

Roberto - Life is Beautiful
Great movie. Here it is not the death, but the sacrifice. He did so much so his son could live, and in the end, it cost him his life.

Andrew Beckett - Philadelphia
Again, this one isn't so much the death itself, but the build-up, the fall, the disease. There is the combination of triumph and sadness, but what does winning the case mean when he is dead?

Last of the Mohicans-

this is one of my favorite movie scenes. Great music, lots of running. We have TRIPLE death here. Pretty epic. First Magua kills Uncas. Then his girlfriend jumps off the amazingly huge cliff. The Uncas's father Chingachgook kicks the shit out of Magua, who was as huge d-bag. Magua got served! It was all very epic, and the music definitely helped. Here is the final scene
(sorry the video is too long, it would slow down this page too much. And I forgot about the death of the British soldier, burn at the stake then shot)


Million Dollar Baby -
Wow, this has made the Best Sports Movies List, the Biggest Movie D-Bags list, and now the Best Movie Deaths list. WOW. But assisted suicide is bad. Still very dramatic. She tried to repeatedly bite her tongue off. Damn.


Tier Two - Almost the best, Just on the fringe.
The Deer Hunter -
Russian Roulette. Need I say more?

Edward Scissorhands- Actually surprised this one did not make the top tier. Very sad. The creator dies, and Edward loses the chance to get hands. Damn, that blows.

Glory-
Awesome final scene. One of the best. They have to march down a beach and lead the assault on this fort and lots die right there. The final assent up to the fort is pretty much suicide. Matthew Broderick dies. Denzel Washington Epically picks up the flag and dies too, they keep going, they get to the fort in looks like they are gonna do it, then the turn the corner and there are just more soldiers and this time they have cannons. The look on Cary Elwes's face says it all. Definite punch in the stomach.

Apollo Creed - Rocky IV -
Dang. Dude got punched to death by a large Russian. Man. Step up Rocky. Train in the cold. Lift logs. Run in the snow. Punch meat. Pay back this large blond Russian. Seriously, though, it was sad.

Tom Robinson - To Kill a Mockingbird
I remember this one from Junior High. You obviously get to see the movie version of the book you just read for class. It is a great reading day. Saw the play as well. But yes, I was angry and still am that he was convicted and then to top it off, he tries to "escape" before the appeal and is killed. Sad. Another punch in the stomach.

The Shawshank Redemption - The punches just keep on coming. Brooks hangs himself then the warden shoots the kid that can get Andy off. Man, this is NOT Fair. Sad for Brooks. Angry for Tommy.

The Mission -
This one starts with a bang! You see some Amazon Indians strapping a priest to a cross, and sending it down a river. You don't really know what is going on, but then there is a giant waterfall and the priest goes down. Damn. Way to start a movie. Amazing visual. Then at the end you have the contrast in how Diego and Gabriel die. Really, check it out if you have already not.
"So, your Holiness, now your priests are dead, and I am left alive. But in truth it is I who am dead, and they who live. For as always, your Holiness, the spirit of the dead will survive in the memory of the living. "


Maximus - Gladiator
This one was epic, but did not tear my apart like most of the other ones. I was surprised he died, but he got to go see his family in the afterlife.

Tier One - We have made it to the top. These are the most gut-hurting movie deaths of all.

Leon - Leon (The Professional)
Yes. This is a great movie. Pretty awesome. Great death scene - cool, sacrifice, and sad, has it all.

Braveheart - I actually am not going with the death of William Wallace here. I'm going with the death of his wife. Of course it set everything in motion, but to me, it was so unexpected. It's like "Holy S---! He just slit her throat. It was very vivid and realistic and after that, it's like "Damn, we're on. Ain't no playin' in this movie."
(Historical note: In the moive, the homosexual lover of the Son of the King (Edward II) was killed by being thrown out a castle window. Kind of cool. But the real-life mode of death of even cooler, or to a normal person, more horrible. Edward I had him killed by shoving a red-hot steel fire rod in his anus, burning his intestines. Ouch.)

Thomas - My Girl
This one was a hard punch to the gut. Was this a kids movie? Dang. So sad and unexpected. The toughest part is not the death itself, but the funeral. Seriously, I am getting sad. video

The Brother - American History X
Punch in the Stomach wise, this is the biggest blow. What a great movie!! It was very harsh, then lessons were learned by the older brother and younger brother. We wrote this great report, things were looking up, then he gets brutally gunned down in the high school bathroom. Damn. WOW. Ouch. And when Edward Norton finds him, wow. Man. And then you think and look back, due to the way the story was told, and see that it was all inevitable from long before. That's all I have to say about that.

Mufasa- The Lion King
I did not know I could get so sad over a cartoon lion. Man. But watch the video and tell me you do not want to tear up. The part at the end where Simba goes under Musafa's paw to cuddle after he realizes he's dead- SO sad. And, to top it off, scar blames it on him and send him away.
Sad.

video





So there you go kids, the best movie deaths. Great list!!! As always, comments are appreciated and let me know what I left off.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Favorite Muppets

You know what is vastly under appreciated and under rated?
The Muppets.

The Muppets are great. Hilarious. The Muppet Movie is classic. Here is my countdown of the best Muppets. And to all of you out there raising your eyebrows, the Muppets are fucking tight!
(Oh, and I'm not counting Sesame Street Characters) video

Last - Miss Piggy - she sucks, almost so bad she makes me not want to make this list. The best thing she brought me was Charles Grodin singing.

18.) Robin - I like Robin from the Batman much better. This Robin is a little whiner. But the Muppet Babies version was funny - tadpole.

17.) Sweetums - Too big to be a Muppet? Yes, it's not a puppet, it's just a guy in a costume. Boo-urns.

16.) Zoot - Not really a big character. But one good line I remember.
Fozzie: [going over check list] Wax lips?
Zoot: [checking his pockets] Man, I just had them!
Dr. Teeth: Did ya leave 'em in your other pants?
Zoot: I don't have no other pants!

15.) Dr. Teeth - Not that funny. Leads the band, though.

14.) Lew Zealand - I'm not sure if his character is homage to anything, but the boomerang fish are pretty funny. And he did bring the paper towels.

13.) Sam the Eagle - Yeah, he is a bit stiff, but I like his style. Easily annoyed, though. Maybe needs to work on his sense of humor.
video


12.) Sgt. Floyd Pepper - So I get the Beatles thing now, didn't really know that 15 years ago. A good character. Works well with Animal.

11.) Kermit - So, he is the star, the main man, the leader, but he is not that funny. Sorry Kermie. It ain't easy being green.

10.) Janice - Pretty funny. One of two female muppets? (also not many human muppets) Is this true? I'm not counting the chicken. Best scene in the Great Muppet Caper when everyone is talking at once. Then Kermit or Fozzie says quiet and everyone is quiet except for Janice and she says this "Look, Mother. It's my life. OK. So if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked... Oh."
videoAlso, I need to watch that movie again. I vaguely remember Kermit and Fozzie dressing up as Italian Pizza delivery boys. Wow, that is funny.

9.) Swedish Chef - This Cat had his own cereal. Damn. I hope someday I can have my own cereal or at least make it on a box. I remember an old Muppet show we have on tape where he is trying to kill a turtle. Pretty funny.
video

8.) Crazy Harry - So I had this motherfucker barely making the list, then I watched the Muppet Movie when I was home and this motherfucker is funny! Real funny. All he wants to do is blow shit up. Amazing. I feel in this post- 9/11 world there is not enough senseless blowing up of stuff. Is it wrong of me to say that? Watch the movie, look for Harry, and let me know if you agree or not. Funny. Just look how happy he is.
video


7.) Animal - Now we are getting to the heavyweights, Animal only coming in at #7. Wow. Animal is a great character. Also a great singer. The John Denver/Muppet Christmas album is by far my favorite Christmas album. It is the only Christmas album I own. "WON'T GO! WON'T GO!"
But animal has many great moments on film as well, particularly becoming a giant.

6.) Gonzo - Again, tough rankings, Gonzo would be number 1 for a lot of people. I only go 6. Pretty good. Pretty funny, but just not top material for me. GaGa. Likes a chicken.

5.) Beaker - Mee-Mee-Meep

4.) Dr. Bunsen Honeydew - Funny, interesting, obviously works well with Beaker. (Steve or Lindy, can you please send a picture?)
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew: I suggest we jump.
Fozzie: Are you crazy? That's about a hundred feet!
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew: I didn't say it was a *good* suggestion.


3.) Fozzie - Wacca, Wacca, Wacca. I love it.

2.) Waldorf and Statler - Hilarious. I like their style. The just make fun of other people. It is great.


Perfect with timing and ribs. Gotta love 'em.
Statler: I guess all's well that ends well.
Waldorf: Doesn't matter to me, as long as it ends.

Statler: Hey, Waldorf. Wake up. Here come the bikinis!
Waldorf: Oh, boy! We better synchronize our pacemakers.

Statler: I like the movie fine so far.
Waldorf: It hasn't started yet.
Statler: That's what I like about it.

Statler: Well, how do you like the film?
Waldorf: I've seen detergents leave a better film than this.

Ah, grumpy old men.

1.) Rowlf - This may surprise people, but yep Rowlf is my favorite. I'm not sure why. He isn't as funny as Statler and Waldorf or Fozzie or Animal, but he is # 1. I think I just liked dogs a lot as a little kid, so he's been my number one since then. He is very consistent and steady.

Rowlf the Dog: You bet. I finish work, I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk and go to bed.
Oh, and below is my favorite Christmas song. Yes!
video







Shoot, I forgot Scooter. He probably would come in around #13 or 14, but I don't wanna redo the whole list.