At the DM, Brian Viner lists his 100 Greatest Movies ever made.  Rather than come up with my own, let me go down his selection and simply list those with which I agree, and those I don’t (just follow along his article for the synopses).  If I think he’s missed one, I’ll put it at the end.  YMMV.

The Godfather.  No argument, although I think I and II  should be treated as a single movie, because they actually are.
The Wizard of Oz.  Agree.
Psycho.  Agree.
Jaws.  Agree.
Some Like It HotDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
Casablanca.  Agree.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Agree.
Lawrence Of Arabia.  Agree.
The Graduate.  Agree.
Citizen Kane.  I have a problem with this one because I don’t like it.  But as a groundbreaking movie for its time, I guess it’s worth inclusion.
Bonnie and Clyde.  Agree.
Apocalypse NowStrongly disagree.  It’s a weak movie — and to prove my point, the unforgettable scene with Robert Duvall is the best part of the movie even though it’s completely irrelevant to the plot.
Singin’ In The RainDisagree.  Another candidate for top 200, but An American In Paris would have been a better choice.
The Apartment.  Agree.
Shoah.  Is it important?  Yes.  Is it a great movie?  No.  Few documentaries are.
Modern Times.  Agree.
Brief Encounter.  Agree.
Double Indemnity.  Agree.
The Banshees Of InisherinDisagree.  I’ve tried to watch this movie on three separate occasions, and have still never managed it all the way through.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.  Agree.  (Although as animated Disney movies go, I prefer The Lady And The Tramp.)
The Sound Of MusicMehMy Fair Lady  was better.
Kind Hearts And CoronetsDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
The Silence Of The Lambs.  Agree.
The Maltese FalconDisagree.  Flimsy plot, bad acting.  Double Indemnity was far better, as was Farewell My Lovely (both versions).
The French Connection.  Agree.
Alien.  Agree, because it transcends science fiction (which I’m not a fan of).  I agree with the inclusion of
Star Wars for the same reason.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.  Agree.
Annie Hall.  Sorta-agree.  I don’t think Woody Allen is a good director, although his Midnight In Paris  was superb — less introspective, less gauche, much better than Annie Hall, but still not in the top 100.
Raging Bull.  Agree.  Easily the greatest biopic ever made.
Pulp Fiction.  Agree.  The only one of Tarantino’s movies I’ve ever watched more than once.
It’s A Wonderful Life.  Agree.
The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp.  Never seen it.  Maybe I should.
The General.  Agree.
The Bridge On The River Kwai.  Agree.
There Will Be Blood.  Agree.
Taxi Driver.  Agree.
The Deer Hunter.  Agree.
2001: A Space OdysseyDisagree.  Boring, pretentious and long-winded.
Seven Samurai.  Agree, and I also like The Magnificent Seven.
VertigoDisagree.  It’s Hitchcock, but it’s not what I’d consider a great movie.
All About Eve.  Agree.
Top HatDisagree.   I love me some Fred ‘n Ginger as much or more than anyone else, but they’re not Great Movies.
Bicycle Thieves.  Agree.
On The Waterfront.  Agree.
Nashville.  Agree.
Rome, Open CityNever saw it.
Duck Soup. Agree, but prefer Monkey Business.
The Searchers.  Agree.
The Conversation.  Agree.
Dr. Strangelove.  Agree.
BoyhoodHaven’t seen it.
Schindler’s List.  Agree.
The Producers.  Sorta-agree, although I can’t stand Mel Brooks.
No Country For Old Men.  Agree.
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.  Agree.
Tokyo StoryNever saw it.
The Elephant Man.  Agree.
Deliverance.  Agree.
Apollo 11.  See my rap on Shoah, above.
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?  Agree.
Spartacus.  Agree.  Grudgingly.
Toy Story.  Agree.
The Lives Of Others.  Agree.
The Good, the Bad and the UglyDisagree.  Fun movie, but definitely not “great”.
West Side StoryDisagree.  High-class camp.
The Third Man.  Agree.
Shakespeare In Love.  Agree.
His Girl Friday.  Agree.
Henry V.  Agree.
The ShiningDisagree.  Run-of-the-mill horror flick.  Ask yourself:  if it had been any actor other than Jack, would this movie make any list?
Chinatown.  Agree.
Zulu.  Agree.
Sunset Boulevard.  Agree.
City Lights.  Agree.
Gone With The Wind.  Agree.
The Best Years Of Our Lives.  Agree.
Ben Hur.  Maybe, but better than Spartacus, anyway.
Get OutHaven’t seen it, doubt that I will because I’ve already seen Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?
Night Of The Hunter.  Agree.
Rear Window.  Agree.  In truth, only Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rear Window  belong on this list.
Star Wars.  Agree.  But only the very first (third?) one.
Parasite.  Agree.
All The President’s MenDisagree.  As history, it sucks.  As a thriller, it’s boring.
High Noon.  Agree.
The ExorcistDisagree.  Compelling, frightening, but not great.  (Ditto The Omen, for the same reason.)
Shane.  Agree.
Chariots of Fire.  Agree.
It Happened One Night.  Agree.
12 Angry Men.  Agree.
When We Were KingsNever saw it.
The Vanishing.  Agree.
The Sting.  Agree.
To Kill A Mockingbird.  Agree.
This Is Spinal TapDisagree.  Loved the movie, but “great” it ain’t.
In The Heat Of The Night.  Agree.
GoldfingerDisagree.  None of the Bond movies is “great”.  Fun, yes… but not great.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  Agree.  But none of the sequels (see:  Star Wars).
Thelma And Louise.  Agree.
Oliver!  Disagree!  despite outstanding performances from Ron Moody and Oliver Reed.

Notable omissions:

The Lady Eve.  Preston Sturges, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Brilliant comedy.
The Postman Always Rings Twice.  Inexplicable omission.  The original with John Garfield or the Jack Nicholson remake would make my list.
Scenes From A Marriage.  Ingmar Bergman, ’nuff said.
Rocky.  No-hoper nearly makes it.  An American story.
Full Metal Jacket.  Another American story.
Badlands.  And a third, only this one about real people, sorta.
The Lion In Winter.  Quite easily one of the best historical dramas ever filmed.  If not this, then
A Man For All Seasons.  I’m not sure that anyone could argue against this one being on a top 20 list, let alone a top 100.  Inexplicable omission.
Notorious.  Possibly the best Hitchcock movie, and could replace either Psycho or Rear Window in the above list.
The Long Riders.  Inexplicable omission.  It and the next one could tie for “best Western ever made”, with all due respect to The Searchers.
Unforgiven.  Best Clint Eastwood movie ever made.  And let’s not forget
In Bruges.  I’d put this on the list way ahead of The Banshees Of Inisherin.  Same principal actors, even.
Pandora’s Box.  Did someone forget the early German movies?  I didn’t.
Fargo.  The Coen Brothers at their wicked best.
The Matrix.  One of the better concepts in any sci-fi / dystopia movie.  As was
Blade Runner.  Omitted?  I’m not even a fan of the genre, but it was a brilliant movie.
A Clockwork Orange.  The best Kubrick movie.
Brazil.  Leaving out this movie and the previous three makes me think that Viner either doesn’t like or doesn’t understand the dystopia genre.
Being There.  Are you kidding me?  One of the greatest satirical movies ever, not to mention Peter Sellers being brilliant.
Rescuers Down Under.  Best animated cartoon movie ever made.
Zeffirelli’s Romeo And Juliet.  Beats out West Side Story, by ten lengths.
From Here To Eternity.  Better than any three other war movies combined, excluding
Aces High.  One of the grittiest war movies ever.  And speaking of which, there’s also
All Quiet On The Western Front — the first b&w version.
Grapes of Wrath.  I guess Okies don’t play well in Britishland.
Bound For Glory.  Even though Guthrie was a Commie rat.  It’s Hal Ashby, FFS.  Also
The Last Picture Show for the same reason.
Nosferatu.  Horror horror horror.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  Brilliant sci-fi.  As is
The 400 Blows.  François Truffaut’s debut movie.  Good grief.
Fahrenheit 451.  Eerily prophetic, but not as bad as the present day.  Also notable as having been directed by Truffaut in English, when he could barely speak a word of it — and by the way, Viner seems to have forgotten or ignored all French directors, not one of whose works made his list.  So much for being a movie critic.

So I’ve disagreed with fifteen or so of Viner’s century, and suggested three dozen or so alternatives.

Finally, my total ringer:  September Affair.  And not just for its theme song.

Feel free to add your own, or to disagree with any of the above.

Search String

Here’s an interesting thing.  The other day I was asked by an old friend from Seffrica where she could find one of my novels on Amazon, so I just told her to do a search for “Kim du Toit Prime Target” on their website.  Here was the search result:

Errrr what?

Puzzled, I tried one of the other novels:

No problem there… and likewise for all the other works I’ve published at Amazon.

Then I tried again, using just “Kim du Toit” as the search string, and lo and behold, they all showed up, including Prime Target:

Of course, trying to reach anyone at Amazon who could look at the problem is like trying to decipher the U.S. tax code at opaque,  impossible and misleading.  Amazon must be the least-friendly organization on the planet when it comes to this kind of thing.

Anyway, here’s the link to Prime Target, in case anyone is still interested in a story about a government agency spying on U.S. citizens’ private data.

Okay, Wait

Here’s a headline which literally stopped me in my tracks — twice.  See if you can see where:

Actress cast as Richard III?  I thought casting men as women went out in the seventeenth century, but since when did casting women as men become a thing?  (As an aside, how will Dickless III play the seduction of Lady Anne in Act I Scene 2 without the audience breaking into uncontrollable laughter?)

And no, by all means play the hunchbacked king as a non-impaired man, which will make the “poisonous bunch-backed toad” line (among many other such insults in the play) completely meaningless.  Fucking hell;  why not just play Richard III as a frog, and have done with it?

Then again, this is Britishland, home of The Bard, where I once walked out of a dreadful performance of Macbeth (at the Barbican Theatre, by the Royal Shakespeare Company) at the halfway point.

So anything’s possible.  Expect to see a guest appearance by Willy Wonka or David Beckham in footballer kit during the final battle scene, where “Richard” utters the immortal line:

“A purse!  A purse!  My queendom for a purse!”


No Shock There

As any fule kno, I have little time for “awards” shows for anything show business, but the headlines are pretty much unavoidable, e.g.

The first part (about Barbie):  yeah, whatever.  But the second part?

As I see it, any time the brilliant Paul Giamatti wins an award, it cannot be called a “shock”.  Simply put, he’s one of the greatest character actors ever, and the only reason he’s not won every acting award is because he is a character actor and not a leading man.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just watch Sideways (on Amazon Prime) — itself an absolute gem of a movie, and for which Giamatti was robbed blind of an Oscar, although that year he did win several non-Oscar awards for his role.

A movie for grownups, an actor likewise.  And absolutely no “shock” winner.

Disturbing News

Following on from the above post:  I can see why someone at age 86 might not be interested in sex… but youngins?

A new poll found that Gen Z isn’t very interested in steamy sex scenes in their entertainment.

The survey of 1,500 respondents was conducted by researchers at UCLA. It found that almost half of Gen Zers aged 13 to 24 (47.5%) said sex “isn’t needed” for most TV shows and movies. A significant amount (44%) also said romance is “overused” as a plot device.

So what do they want instead? A majority of the respondents (51.5%) say they would like to see more stories about platonic friendship.

I can see why this is, though.  Back in the day soon after the wheel was invented (i.e. when I was at the age of the Gen Z group), if you wanted to see sex, you’d have to watch movies where a couple would kiss and the scene would cut to the next morning, showing them fully dressed and having coffee.

Or you could read a Jilly Cooper novel.

Nowadays, of course, PornHub or xHamster are but a mouse-click away for anyone to watch not just a single sex scene, but dozens upon dozens, until you are heartily sick of the whole thing.  (Or so I’m told.)

Under those circumstances, I can quite see why Gen Z doesn’t care about sex scenes in movies, and would prefer to see movies about platonic relationships.  They can have video sex anytime they want;  what they can’t get on any Internet channel is how to handle a friendship.

But platonic relationships? That’s almost as bad as “Young mother, who has just lost her only child to a terrible illness / car accident, goes back to her home town to rebuild her soured relationship with her aging father.”  Great Caesar’s bleeding eyeballs, that’s enough to make me venture over to yet another true-crime show on Discovery+.  Kill me now.

On the other hand, though, I have to defer to the late and brilliant novelist Alistair MacLean, none of whose popular novels had so much as a passionate grope in the story, let alone a full-ahead bonking.  MacLean put it quite simply:  “Sex scenes slow the story down.”  And he was quite right, of course, and the same is true for the movies.

Anyway, most sex scenes in movies are soft-core thrustings, which I’ve always found somewhat insulting.  And the ones that are “courageous” [/pretentious movie critic]  end up being horribly depressing, as though the director can’t get himself/herself to show sex as being actual fun, or loving.

And it’s still true that doing an explicit sex scene most often spells the end of the actor’s career (anyone seen a decent movie with Chloë Sevigny since Brown Bunny  was released?), so the best one can hope for is some wannabe / usetabe actor doing the dirty.

And who cares about that?  Not I and, it definitely seems, not Gen Z.

Cutting Out The Middle Man

I have to admit that I’ve never listened to a Taylor Swift song all the way through — when I’ve tried to do so, the first couple of minutes have been sufficient for me to get the message that while’s she’s reasonably attractive:

…her music sucks.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that I’m very much in the minority when it comes to appreciation of the Plastic Princess’s output.

So this article at Breitbart got me thinking:

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour broke box office records last weekend, and left-wing Hollywood didn’t make a dime. Not one red cent. Nothing. Nil. Nada.

Ha ha.

Swift Inc. knew it had a hot property on its hands with this concert film, and rather than work through a Hollywood studio to distribute this hot property, Swift Inc. made a deal directly with theater chains like AMC. The result was astonishing. Eras Tour opened like a Marvel movie — well, like Marvel movies used to open before Marvel went woketard: $93 million domestic, $124 million worldwide. That is the second-best October debut in history. After three days, Swift Inc. already captured the title of the highest-grossing concert film in history.

Eras Tour was and is, by any measurement, a smashing success, and Hollywood was shut out completely.

Did I mention ha ha?

After the theaters took their cut, Swift Inc. got all the money. Hollywood got zippo. Had Swift Inc. gone through a studio for distribution — which is how things are supposed to be done —the studio would have eaten up anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of whatever was left over after paying theaters as a distribution fee.

The message this success sends is obvious. Why not go the Swift Inc. route if you have a no-brainer box office hit? Why not produce it yourself and cut a deal with theaters to distribute it? That way, the producer keeps all the money.

I feel the same way about Hollywood as I feel about the music recording studios — “exploitative scum who should suffer a daily mass scourging” would be a decent summary — although it must be said that Hollywood’s wokism has only been a recent reason for my loathing, which goes back decades.

Aside:  I should also mention that the Eagles did the same thing with one of their albums, striking a distribution deal with Wal-Mart and cutting out the foul studio, although I seem to recall that the album sucked green donkey dicks compared with their earlier albums.


So as soon as the Taylor Swift movie appears on a streaming channel, I’ll give it a look.  Maybe I’ve been wrong — hell, there has to be some reason why TS is so immensely popular worldwide — and she’s the new Beatles or something (although I seriously doubt it).

Open-minded, that’s me though;  and I’m willing to learn.

(A baby-blue Gibson?  Oy vey.  It’s not a promising start.)