Monday, March 18, 2013

Popcorn, Movies and Dragon


I am far from movie expert and it is really rare that I get one correct answer in the movie trivias Ninja Captain makes at his site. Nevertheless, my dwarves thought it would be fun to sign up for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest. The real trick was to have one hundred and fifty dwarves, two muses and one dragon to come to an agreement. We all watch movies for different reasons and like different genres, except horror. The only monster allowed in the Dragon Cave is the murderous Chihuahua dog and probably Tassin.

Anyway, several popcorn packs later, these were the results. I know some people find it just obnoxious but my family loves to find some sort of lesson and philosophical messages in the movies. Sometimes we find them, sometimes we don't. It's the ones we learn something from that have a special place in our hearts.
10. ARMAGEDDON. This is my favorite Bruce Willis' movie. Yes, beyond Die Hard 3.1416, the Return of the Ancient Ones. I love absolutely everything in this movie and it still glues me to my seat every time I see it and I have seen it A LOT.  My favorite quote: "American components, Russian components, all are made in Taiwan!"
9. STAR WARS (IV, V, VI). Moment of confession: Father Dragon played with light sabers, so what? One is never too old or too big to play, even if you're 800 years old and dragon size big. Yet, it was Darth Vader I cheered for first. Must have been James Earl Jones' voice; sounds like mine, hahaha. But later, Yoda's wisdom brought me to the good side of the Force. My mother, my brother and I would spend endless hours in philosophical discussions over the whole Jedi stuff. My favorite quotes: "Great warrior, hmm? Wars not make one great." "Do or do not. There is no try." "No. No different. Only different in your mind."

8. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. It's kind of encouraging to think that even Shakespeare got writer's block. And I like how he gets the inspiration to write one of his greatest plays. Somewhere I read that inspiration was not inside the close doors of one's house but in the world outside. Do not write about living. Live! so you can write. That's what this movie tells me, and I love it for that. My favorite quotes have to be "It all turns out well. - How? - I don't know. It's a mystery."

7. RED CLIFF. This movie stole my breath away. I love strategy games and sharp minds. Just the kind of things this movie has. I could spend a life time observing the thinking process of such intellects. The why's, what's and how's behind the actions of bright generals trying to best their opponent and knowing how to use everything they have in order to reach their goal. I found a lot of Sun Tzu's Art of War logic in here and each time I see it, I learn something new.

6. THE NEVERENDING STORY. It is like the best example of Mother Dragon's century-distilled wisdom. "The fact that something lives in your imagination doesn't mean it doesn't exist." The power of imagination and creativity is endless as long as it is not sucked away by the "Nothing"; which in the end has a lot to do with fear, with hopelessness and limitations. And of course, who doesn't like a luck dragon? He's cousin of mine, but "that's another story and shall be told another time."
5. LORD OF THE RINGS. If there's one author I bow to, that has to be Master Tolkien. His work never fails to amaze me, no matter if it is in book or in movie. He would be the perfect author if not for the fact that he sent the dwarves to kill the dragon of the Lonely Mountain but I forgive him. I mean, nobody is really perfect. Anyway, the LotR trilogy is awesome and I could watch it over and over again for ages. My favorite quote: "So do all who live to see such times. But that's not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

4. 300. Once again it is the message I get from this movie what really puts it here. The dilemma of doing the right thing even against the will of those you intend to protect and against better advice. Stand for what you believe, facing the consequences of your choices. In a situation where all odds are against you, the determining factor is the attitude, the conviction, and of course, the preparation. As you know, not all battles involve spear, shield, sword or gun, but one can still learn a lot from the Spartan king. Favorite quote (besides HA-ROOH!) "No retreat, no surrender. This is Spartan law. And by Spartan Law we will stand and fight...and die."
3. EAT PRAY LOVE. I guess by now it is evident I'm a sucker for all those movies that send the message to put aside all bullshit and embrace life. I have always said there are three greatest pleasures in life. One is eat, the other is love, and the third...well, that's not the point here. While my personal war has deprived me from these pleasures at one time or another, the important thing is to not to close yourself to opportunity. And pray, for me, is more about attaining inner peace than convincing my neighbor of the old "I'm right, you're wrong" lousy line. So this movie -and book- are gold in my standards. My favorite quotes: "Maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic. It's just the world that is and the only real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation." "Smile with face, smile with mind, smile with liver."

2. RUN MELOS RUN. Only the one who understands the full meaning of trust and honor would understand the transcendence of this movie. Once I read a man's value is not higher than the value of his words. I do assess men by their words and if they are consistent with their actions. Words speak of one's heart, values and intellect. That's why I don't take my word lightly and if I commit myself to do something, I'll do all in my power to keep my word and never betray someone's trust. One never knows if that trust is all a person has to hold on to. My favorite quote: "Why are you killing yourself like this? - Because there is someone who trusts on me, do you understand? Someone who trusts..."
 
1. KUNG FU PANDA 1-2. The Dragon Warrior by excellence had to be my number one. There is more to this movie than meets the eye but since I can't start a philosophical lecture here, I will summarize it in my favorite quotes: "You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There's a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why it is called 'Present'"
"There are no accidents."
"One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."
"You just have to believe."
and the greatest of them all: "To make something special, you just have to believe it is special."

"You got to let go of the stuff from the past - because it just doesn't matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now." 
"Everything is possible when you have inner peace."
"But once I realized the problem was not you, but within me, I found inner peace. And was able to harness the flow of the universe."


And the best of them all and our most favorite: "Skadoosh!"

So what are your favorite movies? Do you like pandas? Do you like dragons? (Well of course you do. Otherwise you wouldn't be here, reading one, hahaha) Would you like to discuss movie philosophy with me someday?



102 comments:

  1. Red Cliff... simply amazing! So many great parts, my favorite was "needing more spears"...

    Jeremy [Retro-Z]
    Howlin' Wolf

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    1. So glad to find another Red Cliff lover!

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  2. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why it is called 'Present'" I painted a life-size Po on a wall in my son's room, we both Love Kung-Fu Panda and Secrets Of The Furious Five". Also the Never Ending Story, great movie! Excellent choices Father Dragon. (:

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    1. Too much awesomeness and attractiveness, isn't it? hahaha.

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  3. You have such broad interests. It's fun to see all the different things you enjoy. "Armageddon" is one of my favorites, too. :-)

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  4. Love Mung Tu Panda! We watch it with the kids about once a month. Great list. I have yet to see 300.

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    1. Ah yes, the kids can make you watch movies even once a day, hahaha. I know about that.

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  5. I chose Star Wars and 300 as well. Kung Fu Panda is brilliant. "There is no charge for awesomeness" - gotta love that movie!

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    1. It's great, isn't it? I saw your list, we have similar tastes.

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  6. Kung Fu Panda! Too funny. You Dragon Warriors need to stick together.
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

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    1. That's true. All dragon warriors together! :)

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  7. kung fu panda!
    you are a true warrior, father dragon!

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    1. although I don't wear white and black. ;)

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  8. How could I have forgotten 'Armageddon', 'Neverending' and 'Shakespeare'. Great list.

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    1. It's just that 10 was very short list. There were many that were left out because of space.

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  9. I have not seen any of these movies. (Not really true, I watched Lord of the Rings, but fell asleep, so I don't remember it.)
    Rhonda
    Laugh-Quotes.com

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    1. hahaha, well you should try one not so long as LotR, like Kung Fu Panda. :)

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  10. Someone who likes Kung Fu Panda as much as me. Awesome! Great list. I should check out Melos. :)

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    1. You should. I am sure you'll like it!

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  11. No movie expert here either. Nice to see Eat Pray Love made your list.

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    1. Just your kind of movie, I bet. :)

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  12. Al, this is a great list for no other reason than The Never-Ending Story is in it. I love the Luck Dragon and it has a great twist with the mirror.

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    1. A cherished movie for many, no doubt. Thanks!

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  13. Honestly, I didn't think I'd see Armageddon on anyone else's list. You are, truly, a dragon of distinction! :)

    Great list.

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  14. 300 and LOTR are two movies that I would see over and over again...Lovely choice of movies :).

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    1. Thank you. I just saw them all last week. Movie week. :)

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  15. Do or do not. There is no try.
    I love that line and hold it up as my motto. :)

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    1. Master Yoda and Master Oogway are my favorite masters. That might mean I have a thing for green hahaha.

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    2. Uhm...would that include Kermit - or is he dragon food? ;)

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    3. hahahaha, Kermit the frog? oh mine! Nah, too fun to eat. :D

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  16. Second time I've seen Shakespeare in Love on a list today and it makes me smile, I love that movie. But I kind of thought I was the only one since there was such a backlash when it won the Best Picture LOL.

    Great list, Dragon. Hope you're feeling better!

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    1. It is a great movie and I am never tired to see it. And I do feel better, thank you!

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  17. Very interesting choices. A couple of those I haven't seen yet. And yeah, it's not easy to do much better than Tolkien.

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    1. Impossible, Sir. It's just impossible.

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  18. Oh, I love Shakespeare in Love and Lord of the Rings. I'm giggling about Kung Fu Panda--it's definitely cute.

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    1. Lord of the Rings was a favorite on the lists today. :) And dragon warriors are always cute, haha. :)

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  19. I totally forgot about the Neverending Story. It was my absolute favorite movie when I was a kid!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. What kid could say no to Fantansia, right? :)

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  20. love Kung-fu panda, all kinds of awesome! I'd also like to hear about your cousin in "The Never Ending Story" Sounds awesome :)

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    1. Awesomeness runs in the family, hahaha. Thank you J.A.

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  21. Oh gosh, this fest is giving me the itch to watch Shakespeare in Love again. It's one of those films I sort of forgot about until just now.

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    1. Yes, see it again. It's always a joy to watch. :)

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  22. Yay! Another fan of Shakespeare in Love. I just watched it again recently and it was still so good. And, of course, Lord of the Rings should have been on my list. Duh.

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    1. The list should have been longer L.G. It was quite a challenge to choose.

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  23. Never Ending Story freaked me out when I was younger but I grew to adore it. The kids and I watch Kung Fu Panda weekly cartoon - gotta love Pandas!

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    1. My little nephew cannot stop saying "I love Kung Fuuuuu" with just the same pouting lip. It's hilarious.

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  24. I really must watch Shakespeare In Love again sometime, it's brilliant!

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  25. I love all these movies you mentioned! pretty much 11-20 in my top 20 movies!

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    1. I said we needed a longer list, :)

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  26. Replies
    1. Yeah! Another one who knows quality, hahaha. Welcome to the Dragon Cave.

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  27. "I do assess men by their words and if they are consistent with their actions. Words speak of one's heart, values and intellect. That's why I don't take my word lightly and if I commit myself to do something, I'll do all in my power to keep my word and never betray someone's trust."

    This is one of the many reasons I adore you, Father Dragon. The world needs more men like you.

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    1. You are too kind, Melissa. *Blushing already* Thanks! :)

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  28. I watched Neverending Story the day before yesterday - looks very dated nowadays. Still a fun movie to watch though :)

    Jamie

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  29. Great list. I'd forgotten about ARMAGEDDON That's a great one!

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  30. Yay, Neverending Story! I can't remember if I remembered to put this in my honorable mentions or not. One of my favs. I'll always love Falcor and Atreyu, and I seriously considered the name Sebastian (Bastian) if my daughter had been a boy. What's not to love?

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Totally agree with you. You thought on Bastian, I thought on Atreyu, hahaha. Good I didn't have offspring. :)

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  31. I've never seen the Red Cliff. I'll have to check that out sometime. Happy Monday, Nancy :)

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  32. Make that, Father Dragon :-O

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    1. HAHAHAHA, now M Pax you have made me laugh hard. I was wondering who Nancy is. Lol. Happy Monday to you too.

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  33. You've got a nice mix here. And everyone who mentioned Star Wars specified episodes 4 - 6. I love that.

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  34. Red Cliff and 300, great movies. Nice job on the list. Star Wars should be on everyone's list.

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    1. Well, I think it is in 90% of the lists, hahaha.

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  35. Kung Fu Panda is awesome! And I really need to watch 300. I have the movie, but I just haven't sat down to watch it yet.

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  36. I LOVED The Never Ending Story!! I haven't seen that one today.

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    1. I taped it from the TV many years ago. I think I need to renew it.

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  37. Great list! The Never Ending Story gets my vote too. I've never heard of Red Cliff. Liking all your other choices, I'll have to add that one to my Netflix list.

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    1. If you like strategy, it's a great movie, believe me.

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  38. Armageddon was on my list too! =) The father/ daughter story always gets me. Great list. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Wonderful story. Welcome to the Dragon Cave!

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  39. I've heard of all of your movies (some really great picks there) except Red Cliff. I'll have to go looking for that one. :)

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    1. To me, that's a master piece. I hope you enjoy it as much.

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  40. You have such a fun variety! I loved the book the Never Ending Story, but wasn't as crazy about the movie. Great choices.

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    1. Well, yes. The book is another level, definitively. I first saw the movie and later read the book. It took me a while but I really enjoyed it.

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  41. I haven't seen all of these, but did love the ones I've seen. Someone else mentioned Shakespeare in Love too and I had forgotten all about it - love it though. I also have Armageddon in my collection and it's a slightly guilty pleasure :)

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    1. Guilty? Why? Now you've got me curious.

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  42. Saw 300 on the big screen - so, so incredibly beautiful. Visually stunning.

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  43. I like that you are a deep thinking Dragon, and that your family appreciates movies with meaning! I've never seen The Neverending Story, and now I'll be on the lookout for it.

    Julie

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    1. It's really good to explain certain human attitudes to kids...well, at least when you hear it from a dragon hahaha.

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  44. High fives that you chose the Darth Vader Star Wars films. They were awesome and I remember when they came out in the theaters and waiting hours to see them. 300 was incredible, Queen Gorgo one of my fave badass ladies.

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    1. Perfect queen for a man like Leonidas.

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  45. Neverending Story: thats not a Dragon, Father Al; its a puppy dog! The story was cute, however.

    Nice that an agreement was reached with all the minions :)

    ......dhole

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    1. It's the ears, isn't it? That was on his mother's uncle side of the family. Very misleading, hahaha.

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  46. Kung Fu panda is a deserved number one! And I'm glad you came over from the Dark Side. A Jedi dragon benefits all mankind.

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  47. Wonderful movies, FD. The Neverending Story...one of my all-time faves. The concept of the kid reading the book that was happening in his life...excellent. Could you imagine getting to that point of a book and it "speaking" (so to speak) directly to you? Using your name, describing the events taking place at that moment.

    And I always like it when the underdog wins.

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  48. Love Shakespeare in Love... so romantic and poetic! Lots of great titles here Father D. :D

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  49. The one I haven't seen on your list is Skadoosh, and I love Pandas! Who doesn't?

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  50. Such a romantic, your choices made me smile! Although the surprise was Eat, Pray, Love! Did not like that movie at all -- but I'm not sure why? :)

    I don't care for talking animals, especially if they're chickens, but my husband bought me that really silly talking chicken cartoon -- Chicken Run or something along those lines as a joke, I was not amused. And yet, as a child my favorite cartoon was Mighty Mouse!

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  51. Gotta love the Panda!!!
    and Neverending Story.. (I'm such a big kid!)

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  52. THE NEVERENDING STORY!!! oh my you just rehashed major MAJOR memories!! use to wear that vhs out. i was always creeped out by the scaly part of the big dragon dog's body.

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  53. I haven't seen a handful of the movies on your list, but I'll have to make a point of them. I also forgot about "300" (I know, WTH?) and while I love the movie it doesn't make my top 10 list, but certainly my top 20. :3

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