Friday, September 13, 2013

Ranking the Friday the 13th Films

For me, this means any film featuring my man Jason Voorhees.  I'm a lifelong fan of the horror genre, and the Friday the 13th series is one of my personal favorites.  I've always had a soft spot for these gems, maybe because I grew up in the sticks and camping has always been something that I enjoy.  I definitely think Jason is better than Freddy, and though I may ultimately favor the Phantasm series, sample size is definitely a win for the Friday the 13th camp.  Anyway, here's how I would rank the movies:

1) Freddy vs. Jason (2003) - In my humble opinion, it's easily the most entertaining entry for either of these beloved franchises.  Seeing Jason play the hero in the closing reel is pretty epic as well, and that throwdown rocks!

2) Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) - Brutal stuff.  It opens with the lead from the first one biting the dust and never lets up.  It's short, scary, and one of my favorite slasher films from the '80s--the decade of the slasher flick.

3) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) - Some think this is a cheesy affair, and maybe they're right, but it's also kooky and creepy.  I dig it. 

4) Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) - This one is definitely cheesy, but it's also a solid entry that I really enjoy.  Love the disco version of the theme song!!!!

5) Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) - Cheesy again, but also damn entertaining.  Thom Mathews from Return of the Living Dead shines as the hero, and this probably has the best opening scene in the series.  I'm also a big fan of the conclusion.

6) Jason X (2001) - Sorry, I love it.  Great kills, cool story, utterly ridiculous.  Sounds like a good time, right?

7) Friday the 13th (1980) - I have to give the original some love.  This is where it all began, and it's one of the most sincere and unique efforts in the series.

8) Jason Goes to Hell (1993) - This one is a lot of fun and it has some nice effects.  Some of my friends might put it at the top of their list.

9) Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) - I should probably rank this one a bit higher; it is a really good entry, and I'm very fond of it.  These lists are never easy to put together because of choices like this.

10) Friday the 13th (2009 - reboot) - I actually like it, but it doesn't quite fit and it obviously didn't rejuvenate the franchise like they had hoped.  Dude throwing down with Jason at the end doesn't quite work for me either, and the archery shit is dumb.  That aside, there are some solid kills, and the prick ranks among the best pricks in the series.  That has to count for something, right?  The opening is intense as hell, but it stumbles a lot after that.

11) Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) - It's hard for me to include this one.  It's not that good, and it doesn't feel like it belongs at all.  Truthfully, I like it much more now than I did then, but I still don't like it. 

12) Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) - Pure shit.  Maybe the worst ending of any horror film in the history of horror films.  Jason should have killed the writer and the director instead.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top 5 Elmore Leonard Books

I recently had the privilege of doing a Top 5 for the late Elmore Leonard, a man whose work I positively cherish.  I want to thank the cool people over at RVA Magazine for running it, and I encourage you to check it out:

Top 5 Elmore Leonard Books

Monday, September 9, 2013

Laughter: The Key to Enjoying a Massacre

Here are my tweets chronicling this woeful Monday Night Football game:

8:42 - Philly's guys are going to have full stat lines at the half. Washington's guys are going to have bruises.

8:45 - This isn't even fair. I feel like I'm watching Shaq go one-on-one with Ryan Seacrest.

9:00 - Pop Quiz: Who is a better quarterback? Tonight's version of RG3 or Peter Dante as Gee Grenouille in The Waterboy?

9:15 - If you're a 'Skins fan, look on the bright side: your team still has the ugliest uniforms ever. That has to count for something.

9:30 - Philly has transitioned to their "We feel bad for the other team" defense.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @jimmybdamned.  I have a feeling you're not going to take me up on that if you're a Washington fan, but I live in Southside VA.  I know enough Redksins fans. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 1 Win

It was ugly.  It was hot and humid.  Yet it was a win, and ugly wins are just as good as masterpieces in the NFL.  Kris and I were on hand to watch Seattle beat the Panthers 12 - 7 today, and we had a blast.  I knew the Panthers were tough, and playing at 1 p.m. on the East Coast is kind of like rolling the Seahawks out of bed at 10 a.m. to play some ball, but they got the job done.

I didn't expect Carolina to be able to shut down the run like they did, holding Marshawn Lynch to less than 50 yards on the ground.  I was also a bit worried as the offense was able to move the ball in spurts without getting into the end zone until the 4th quarter.  As with any game where a single score results in a lead change, it was an intense affair, and despite the baseball score it was a good game to watch.

In the end, Russell Wilson got it done, posting a regular season high of 320 yards and hitting 8 different receivers in the process.  That kid is special, and the future is bright for Seattle fans.  I'm glad I have a wife who loves the NFL (and the Seahawks) as much as I do, and I'm glad the team was able to give us a win in Charlotte today.

Go Hawks!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fantasy Football Squad

I definitely made some strange picks this year, but I'm feeling my squad.  We do Team QBs and the QB position and the Defense/Special Teams score more points than in many leagues.  We're also a PPR league, and there are 12 clubs.  I picked at the 5 spot and here's what I landed:

Team QB - Detroit

RB - Steven Jackson

WR - Danny Amendola
WR - Antonio Brown

TE - Greg Olsen

Flex (RB, WR, or TE) - C.J. Spiller

Def/Special Teams - Seattle

K - Blair Walsh

James Jones
Justin Blackmon
Daryl Richardson
Sidney Rice
Isaiah Pead
Brandon Pettigrew

I definitely wagered on what I expect in 2013, and I'm eager to see if I can cash in. The Lions will still be the Lions, but they'll sling it around, and I love my depth at RB. I'm really big on Jackson in Atlanta, I love Spiller, and both should finish the season with a lot of receptions.  Additionally, I know Jeff Fisher is going to run the ball in St. Louis, it's just a matter of where the carries go.  If my WRs stay healthy, I'm looking really good on the PPR end of the spectrum, and I have the best defense out there. I'm solid at TE, and I guess that sums it up.
That's my take, anyway.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Notes from Indiana

I spent a few days in Indiana helping a good friend with what will soon be his new home.  He recently bought the place and we were just taking a few steps toward making it nice and cozy.  Here are a few of the highlights from my grand journey with the great Rudolfo.

-Spending somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 hours in a box truck with Rudy was like combining one of the best history classes ever (topics we covered included early presidents, the Revolution, the Civil War, the Alamo, Custer, and so much more) with the Cannonball Run.

-West Virginia State Trooper interrogation:
Trooper: What are you hauling?
Rudy: Furniture.
Trooper: (suspicious) Furniture?  What kind of furniture?
Rudy: Furniture to put in a house.  Dressers, nightstands, stuff like that.
Trooper: (eyes narrow) Did you make it?
Rudy: Um, . . . no.
We got off with a warning.

-Those who know me well know that I don't dig heights or working with electricity.  So there I was, perched on a ladder, attaching a live wire to Rudy's house.

-A boy from the country operated a chainsaw for the first time.  On a roof.  While sweating bullets because I was standing on a slope.  True story.  Man, I dig heights.

-Touring Summitville with Rudy and Tabby in the convertible.  Top down? Check.  Sunglasses on? Check.  Summitville is so very Haddonfield, Illinois, and it's always growing.  It doubled in size during our little tour.

-Eating various meals with Rudy's in-laws, Tom and Lois Kilgore.  I'm a fan of corn, but fresh corn from Indiana--wow!  Also, sugar cream pie.  Boom!  My response when Lois asked if I would like another slice: "Only a fool would say no to that."  Tom and Lois really made me feel at home, both the company and the food were nothing short of fantastic.  I can't thank them enough for their hospitality.

-Mowing the grass with "Frankenstein", the riding mower Rudy cobbled together from various sources.  I think you could mow bamboo stalks with that beast.

-Bella, the pirate pug.  Awesome pet, and one hell of a road dog.

-Indiana is different, and I'm not just saying that because it's flat.  I'm not going to throw rocks at my hometown, but I was amazed that there was no litter anywhere along the road.  The yards were freshly mowed, and there was no debris anywhere.  It was so quaint and it reeked of pride, which are good things, yet it almost felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone at times.  The reason why is simple enough: the grass police are on it.  Seriously, you might be unloading a box truck and trying to get some furniture in your new house when you get your first warning. 

All things considered, it was a neat trip.  Good people of Indiana, you're doing a fine job, but stay on top of the grass situation or you'll be next.