Work and Progress

December 23, 2011

MY TOP 16 Best Underdog Movies to Watch: Split into 3 categories.

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Work and Progress @ 8:15 pm

Saw one of those Best Underdog Movie Countdown things and they got it WRONG. I disagree with the order that was chosen, as well as movies that were mentioned and not mentioned.



  1. On the Water Front,  (1954)
  2. The Bicycle Thief (1948)
  3. Rocky  (1976)
  4. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  5. Forrest Gump  (1994)


1 .The General,  (Buster Keaton 1926)

2. The Warriors (Over Frank Millers 300 any day, 1979.)

3. 13 Assassins ( a must see, 2011)

4. Karate Kid (Before Rudy or Lucas, 1984.)

5. Mad Max/Road Warrior (1981)


1. Slap Shot  (1977)

2. Rushmore  (1999)

3. Shaolin Soccer (2001)

4. 40 year old Virgin (2005)

5. Animal House  (1978)

6. Bad News Bears (1976)

Honorable Mention: 

Nacho Libre (Despite this movie being heavily influenced by Rushmore in obvious ways it still has two great things going for it, Masked Wrestling and Jack Black, 2006.)

October 28, 2010

Documentaries that will make you want to change your career.

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Work and Progress @ 3:05 pm

Director Stanley Kubric

The following are a list of documentaries (in no particular order.)about some unique and  eccentric individuals that I find to be inspiring.

(*) means heavy content, watching may be disturbing.

1. Alexander Calder (American Masters)  2004 directed by Roger M Sherman

2. Man on a Wire 2008  directed by: James Marsh

3. Between the Folds : Indipendent Lens/ PBS Directed by Vanessa Gould

4. Crumb, 1995, Directed by Terry Zwigoff (*)

5. Dog Town and Z Boys 2005, Directed by Stacy Peralta

6. Buena Vista Social Club, 1999 directed by Wim Wenders

7. Grizzly Man, 2006, directed by Werner Herzog (*)

(If your an amimal trainer you may wanna change your career after this one)

8. Stanley Kubric: A life in Pictures, 2007, Directed by, Jan Harian

9. Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America 2010, VH1 Rock Docs.

10. The Weather Underground, 2002 by Bill Siegel (*)




October 21, 2009

The Influence of a Saint

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Tags: , , , , , , — Work and Progress @ 8:06 pm


Mexican wrestling has existed since the 1940’s and is a cross between Cirque Du Soleil and Greco Roman fighting. La Lucha Libre (Free-style wrestling) is to the culture of Mexico, what Las Corridas is to Spain, a sacred tradition. In my Mexican/American upbringing I can’t remember a time I didn’t know what Mexican wrestling was. In fact I had two uncles who were wrestlers of La Lucha Libre.
I suppose that a part of this wrestling phenomenon is the competition or the grappling of opponents. Though, I have always been interested in the persona of the “masked man” outside of the wrestling ring. Does such a thing exist? Yes. El Santo, possibly thee most famous of all Mexican wrestlers, went on to have a popular career outside of the arena of wrestling. Between, 1945 and 1980, the Silver Saint tackled the silver screen and entertained audiences as a B-movie, masked, action-detective and protector of the universe. He was Spanish television’s Batman, with religion at his side.
These are pulp, action movies from another time (and another country) but they are not your typical American Super hero flick, although they do share similar characteristics. “Ass kicking” when dealing with bad guys, is involved but Invincible strength or the power of flight, no. The Saint drove a convertible Porsche Roadster and wore turtlenecks. He did have a wrestling uniform he often wore but an alter ego he did not have. The mask was his identity, that is, if there were a movie premier he would be appear as himself , “El Santo”.

August 25, 2009

Five Year Old Movie Moment

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Work and Progress @ 7:10 am

Emo and Myo


This past Friday my wife and I decided to give our son a bit of an afternoon treat. We bailed him out of school early and took him to see a movie his parents had been anticipating to see. I was really nervous because the last time I took my rambunctious 5 year old to the theatre  he was three years old, loud and distracted. Until then I didn’t realize that free snickers at the movies meant that it was the kind that came with sneers. My wife tried again when he turned four, but his interest in what was on screen was minimal.  We decided to take matters into our own hands, and so we began, family movie nights, at home. This was a type of boot camp to teach him about  “movie going etiquette”. Things like, getting snacks and using the restroom before the movie starts, no moving about once the film began and whispering when you were ready for more popcorn. It seemed to work! Kung Fu Panda was a hit, The Incredible’s, no problem. These were movies we all enjoyed and were able to watch over and over again. Soon I recalled , Open Season (Martin Lawrence Ashton Kutcher) was not something Emilio nor I could sit through even once. My wife had also tried with the big studio production of Charlotte’s Web starring Dakota Fanning (highly recommended by mothers of other 4 year olds), which was an abysmal failure. We left both movies within the first half hour, no disappointment to Emilio, not with standing the cost of movie tickets these days. You can imagine our trepidation when Emilio happened to catch a trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s new animated feature Ponyo and requested to see it.

This time around he was really ready, he was lucid and excited, Yay! Ponyo he chanted as we took to the highest seats in the theatre, eye level to the screen. The movie began and I  looked over to him, he was drawn, a blue light on his face and no expression. Periodically he whispered “More popcorn please”.  At the end of the film My wife remarked, “What a privilege to witness our child’s big movie moment.”

August 21, 2009

Martin Scorsese: An open letter to Michael Govan and LACMA

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Work and Progress @ 3:47 am

Martin Scorsese: An open letter to Michael Govan and LACMA

August 20, 2009

19 movies that will always stick with me

Filed under: 8. About Movies — Work and Progress @ 5:13 am

Stanley Kubric

1. 81/2, Federico Fellini
2. The Graduate, Mike Nichols
3. Amadeus, Milos Foreman
4. Dead Man, Jim Jarmouch
5. Red Beard, Kurosawa
6. Los Olvidados, Luis Bunuels
7. Beauty and the Beast, Jon Covcteau
8. The God Father, Francis Ford Cop
9. Sweet and Low Down, Woody Allen
10. Dr.Strange Love, Kubric
11. Clock Work Orange, Kubric
12. The Warriors, Walter Hill
13.Bicycle Thief, Vittorio de Sica
14. Strangers on a Train, Hitchcock
15. On the Water Front, Elia Kazan
16. She So Lovely, Nick Cassavetes
17. Science of Sleep, Michel Gondry
18. Rushmore, Wes Anderson
19. Amalie, Jean-Peirre Jeunet

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