Another Saturday Morning Poetry Corner.

Hey everyone, I was thinking about the way people come across poetry and what that initial contact was that introduced us to a poem. Growing up in the 1980’s my first feel for poetry came from Robin Williams and Director Peter Weir’s 1989 film, Dead Poet’s Society. I’m actually sure I’d enjoyed some Shel Silverstein that Mrs. Wagner read us in first grade, but Robin Williams made it epic.

Honestly, aside from a couple of good performances, notably Mr. William’s, the movie isn’t that good. It’s heavy handed and slightly derivative. William’s plays Mr. Keating, an English teacher at an all boys prep school. He’s the righteous fire brand who hopes to fuel the boys out of their ultra conservative 1950’s life. He does it with poetry. William’s is awesome at oration, no doubt benefiting from his years as a stand up comedian. He gives the boys pieces of poetry by Frost, Keats, and Dickinson and fires them up but they don’t ever analyze a damn thing. The writing is kinda weak and he totally blows the meaning of The Road Not Taken. I’ve set through a few commencement speeches that do the same. However to my twelve year old self who was thrilling on the adventures that summer of Batman, Indiana Jones, and even Field of Dreams, the climatic end of Dead Poet’s Society was pretty fantastic. Mr. Keats is being dismissed for his rebel rousing ways and in a show of solidarity, the kids that made up The Dead Poets Society climb atop their desks and break all the rules and recite Walt Whitman’s eulogy to Abraham Lincoln Oh Captain, My Captain. It was pretty cool then and even today. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend and keep up with several things considered here at Mid-American-Culture.

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

And here’s the Oh Captain ending to the film so I guess spoilers?

The Ill-Defined Ranking of the “Official” Disney Princesses

A grown man taking a crack at ranking the official Disney princesses. Continue reading “The Ill-Defined Ranking of the “Official” Disney Princesses”

My Top 10 Movies of All Time Part: II

cinephile

Last week, I listed numbers 10-6 on my list of my ten favorite movies of all time. Numbers 5-1 were infinitely more difficult. I rearranged this part of the list several times before writing this post. Fortunately, I believe that I finally have the perfect top 5. Before we get into that, here are some honorable mentions.

  • Django Unchained
  • The Godfather Part II
  • Schindler’s List
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Scarface

Without further ado, here are my top 5 movies of all time.

5. Inglorious Basterds 

basterds

Quentin Tarantino is a genius. I consider him to be the greatest writer and director in the history of cinema. Tarantino himself has labeled his history-altering war film as his masterpiece. It isn’t hard to see why. Both Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz give arguably the best performance of their respective careers. Like all other Tarantino films, the dialogue in Inglorious Basterds is perfectly written and flawlessly executed. The action is brilliant and the opening scene is arguably Tarantino’s best. This movie literally could not have been any better and I highly recommend everyone see this movie. It is a truly underappreciated classic.

4. The Godfather

godfather

According to IMDB, The Godfather is the greatest film ever made. It is incredibly difficult to argue with that. Had I been around during the time of its release to experience the vast cultural impact it had, it would probably be my number 1 too. Despite the fact that I was born over 25 years after the film’s release, I can still appreciate its greatness. Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime drama is filmmaking at its finest. The film focuses on the story of an aging mafia family patriarch and his sons. The cast includes Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and a young Al Pacino. Everything about this movie is perfect. It is an absolute must see for anyone who enjoys movies.

3. Fight Club

fight club

The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. With that being said, I am going to break that rule because everyone needs to know how epic this film is. David Fincher struck gold with this one. Fight Club is probably the only film I know of that is literally better after 3+ viewings. It takes at least that many to catch the subtle innuendos, foreshadowing, and outright clues about the film’s phenomenal plot twist. The film’s anti-capitalism and anti-materialism undertones paired with the edgy dialogue make this film equally as controversial as it is spectacular. Probably the least commercially popular of my top 5 picks, Fight Club is a cult-classic that deserves to be seen by anyone who enjoys brilliant cinema.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

shawshank

The Shawshank Redemption doesn’t have any epic fight scenes or any edgy dialogue or even any real action at all. It doesn’t need it. All it needed to become one of the best movies ever was its brilliant story and the flawless acting of its cast. If you are someone who needs mind-blowing special effects and intense action sequences to enjoy a movie, The Shawshank Redemption is not for you. I have a friend who once tried very hard to convince me that The Avengers is the best movie ever. Needless to say, The Shawshank Redemption is not for him. However, a more compelling story has never been put on the big screen. I love absolutely everything about this movie. It very well may be my most viewed movie of all time, with good reason. It is a feel-good story will brilliant cinematography and flawless acting. There was never any doubt it was going to be in my top 3, but it was just edged out to be my #1 film of all time.

1. Pulp Fiction

pulp fiction

Remember earlier when I said that Quentin Tarantino is a genius? Well, I am going to say it again. QUENTIN TARANTINO IS A GENIUS. I can not say enough about how perfect this movie is. The pop-culture heavy dialogue is as good as has ever been written. The star-studded ensemble of characters is absolutely perfect. The non-linear plot is brilliant. Tarantino’s revolutionary directing style has never been more perfectly displayed than it is in Pulp fiction. I can’t even single out one high point in this movie to talk about because it’s all amazing. The diner scene with Samuel L. Jackson’s brilliant Ezekiel 25:17 monologue, Harvey Keitel’s scenes as “The Wolf”,  the famous quarter pounder with cheese sequence, and countless other aspects of the movie deserve recognition. On the off chance that anyone reading this has not seen Pulp Fiction, I strongly urge you to watch it. Pulp Fiction is the best movie ever made.

Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

My Top 10 Movies of All Time Part: I

cinephile

I consider myself to be a massive cinephile. I absolutely love movies and I am greatly fascinated by the art of filmmaking. A few days ago, I was asked by someone I know what my favorite movies of all time are. This question threw me for a loop because while I certainly have a plethora of favorite movies, I’d never tried to put them in any sort of order. That was until now. Here is the first part of a two part series on my favorite movies of all time!

10. Seven

 seven

Seven is simply a brilliant piece of cinema. David Fincher’s thriller about a serial killer who bases his murders on the seven deadly sins features brilliant acting from a star-studded cast which includes Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. The crime drama makes the bold move of not revealing the killer on whom the movie is based until the film’s final portion. This withholding of the main antagonist’s identity makes for phenomenal suspense building. The film concludes with a controversial, yet brilliant ending. Anyone who enjoys crime dramas should immediately watch Seven, if they have not already.

9. Shutter Island

shutter island

In my opinion, Shutter Island is Martin Scorsese’s finest work. This is a relatively bold statement, considering he also directed classics such as Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi driver, and The Wolf of Wall Street. However, Shutter Island is a strong contender for the title of greatest psychological thriller of all time. Not only does the film feature one of the best plot twists I’ve ever seen, but it also has what I consider to be the greatest ambiguous ending in the history of cinema. Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as a U.S. Marshall searching for an escaped mental patient is stellar, as is the rest of the cast. The entire movie is spectacular from start to finish.

8. The Dark Knight

dark knight

Simply put, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is the best superhero movie ever made. I will happily debate anyone who disagrees. Nolan has directed several films that could have easily made this list, but The Dark Knight is just the best. No superhero movie has ever mixed action and storytelling as well as The Dark Knight does. The film also features what I consider to be the greatest movie performance of all time in Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker. I genuinely do not believe that a better superhero movie will ever be made. The Dark Knight is as good as the genre will ever be.

7. Toy Story

toy story

I know… Toy Story isn’t exactly a movie you would expect to see on a best of all time list. But please, hear me out. There is not a movie in existence that had a more prolific impact on my childhood. There is not a kid’s movie that I could fathom saying is better than Toy Story. No greater animated characters exist than Buzz Lightyear and Woody. I could watch Toy Story today and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I saw it 15+ years ago. also worth mentioning is the fact that one of the film’s future sequels, Toy Story 3, is the best sequel in the history of animation. Toy Story is a cultural icon that absolutely deserves to be in the discussion of greatest films of all time.

6.Citizen Kane

citizen kane

Moving on to a much more traditional pick, we have Citizen Kane. The film is the oldest on this list by a country mile. However, that doesn’t take away from its greatness. In fact, I think the age of the film makes it that much better because it is so ahead of its time. Orson Welles’ 1941 epic was his directorial debut. It was also his masterpiece. The film, which was written, produced, directed, and starred in by Welles himself, documents the life, death, and legacy of fictional publishing mogul Charles Foster Kane. Considered by many critics to be the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane is an example of storytelling at its finest. The film is a must see for any cinephile. I guarantee you wont be disappointed.

That concludes Part I of my two part series on my favorite movies of all time. Next week’s post will feature my top 5, as well as some honorable mentions. Make sure to check it out as well! Feel free to comment some of your favorite movies of all time as well. Thanks for reading.

Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

 

 

 

Movies to Look Forward to in 2018

Movie buffs, professional popcorn eaters, and every single annoying tween that loves to ruin a good movie, this article is for you. I personally love to watch movies and some recent titles have began to catch my eye. ‘Black Panther’ is currently in theaters and have people ranting and raving; thus, here is a list of movies I believe will be good and very successful.

Red Sparrow: March 2nd

Who doesn’t love a badass Jennifer Lawrence movie? She plays as a Russian spy/ ballerina whom uses her body to seduce secrets out of government officials and ends up in a huge predicament.

Tomb Raider: March 18th

On March 18th, we get to dive into a video game classic and in what I am sure will be a great movie. Beloved heroine, Lara Kroft (Alicia Vikander), finds clues about her missing Father and ends up in a very video game like situation

Ready Player One: March 30th

This movie has had my eye for awhile, and has a very high potential to become one of my favorite movies of all time. Film making extraordinaire, Steven Spielberg, is back at it again with his spin on Ernest Cline’s 2011 dystopian novel. This story takes place in Columbus, Ohio, and deals with a virtual reality take over and has tons of movie and video game references. In short, fellow nerds, this is a movie for you.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: May 25th

I am not going to lie. I have only watched Episode 4 in the Star Wars series, but I do plan on bingeing the rest of it soon. Something about the character, Han Solo, and term “Space Western” seems interesting and will capture the attention of movie goers everywhere.

Incredibles 2: June 15th

Did you have to even wonder? This is a sequel to an all-time Disney great that picks up right after the first movie (despite it coming out fourteen years ago) and the superfamily’s upcoming battle with new bad guy, the Underminer.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: June 22

Another piece from Spielberg, but this one is loved by nearly everybody. In my opinion, this series will never get old, and I can not wait to see this one.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: July 6th

This film takes place immediately after Captain America: Civil War (still need to watch), and this seems like it will be a badass movie although I have a little catching up to do.

First Man: October 12th

Yes, this is a fan made trailer and is being used because a trailer for this film has not surfaced. However, Ryan Gosling will be playing Neil Armstrong and capture the story from the first moon landing. This is an adaption from the novel La La Land and I personally cannot wait for this one.

Dr. Suess’ The Grinch: November 9th

My favorite Christmas movie is finally getting a new rendition. I cannot wait to see how this film turns out. However, for me, it has the potential to be great or just an absolute shit show.

Creed 2: November 21st

Image result for creed 2

Another movie without a trailer, but if you are like me, Creed 2 is a must see. The first one is in my top five favorite movies, but one thing I hope they lose is pushing the Jordan and Nike brand upon us. Other than that, I am sure this movie will be a classic.

That wraps up this article and it can be concluded that I plan to be in the movie theater a lot this year. However, what do you think? What movies are you excited for? Let us know down in the comments or on any of our social media networks. Thank you all for tuning in and spending a portion of your Friday with myself and the rest of the Mid-American Crew.

TWITTER: @M_American_C

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