Saturday, November 24, 2012

Name That Quote #1

Testing out a new interactive feature for my blog. Listed below are random quotes from 20 different movies. Comment with your guesses. Answers will be posted a week from today!

  1. "Oorah, Class 5506!"
  2. "Average foot speed over uneven ground, barring injury, is 4 miles per hour. That gives us a radius of 6 miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, doghouse, and outhouse in that area."
  3. "I'm the thing what lives beneath the stairs."
  4. "These people aren't a ragtag buncha yahoos that drink beer and run around in sheets on Saturday night. They've got money behind 'em. They've got strong pockets of community support."
  5. Character 1: "Sarge, you got any advice on how to stay alive in Vietnam?"
    Character 2: "Yes, I do, Private. Don't go."
  6. "What are you doing? You've burned all the food, the shade, the rum!"
  7. "You throw me idol, I throw you whip."
  8. "Ladies, this is supposed to be history class, you know. Not sex education."
  9. Character 1: "So you guys usually pick up girls in the supermarket for fun?"
    Character 2: "Usually, I throw 'em over my shoulder and carry 'em down a ladder."
  10. "Sonny and my father always said when I got older, I'd understand. Well, I finally did. I learned something from those two men. I learned how to get love and give love unconditionally. You just have to accept people for what they are. I learned the greatest gift of all. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent and the choices you make will shape your life forever."
  11. "Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation."
  12. "Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal. These are principles which every man of every faith can embrace."
  13. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
  14. "Strike first, strike hard, no mercy, sir!"
  15. "Look at my driver's license. Expires 1987. Look at my birthdate for cryin' out loud. I haven't even been born yet."
  16. "Come on! We're men; we're not pinatas. And we're really hungover."
  17. "I can't stand him. He gets an idea in his head, he can't get rid of it. If I stay with him much longer, I'm gonna be a stiff in a photograph. The only chance I have is to get hellbent for leather now."
  18. "Water is for cowards. Water makes you weak. Water is for washin' blood off that uniform and you don't get no blood on my uniform. Boy, you must be outside yo' mind!"
  19. Character 1: "What the hell did we do to deserve this?"
    Character 2: "Maybe it was that stripper we sent the captain on his birthday."
    Character 1: "I told ya we shoulda sent the woman!"
  20. "If she screws it up, she can always fix your hair so your ears don't show."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Best Military Movies

6. Windtalkers (2002). Branch Represented: Marines
This movie is based on the true story of WWII's "windtalkers," Marines of Navajo descent who used their native language to send coded radio messages on the battlefield. Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater play Marines who are tasked with defending the windtalkers with their lives. I enjoyed this movie, although I felt Christian's character was too similar to the one he played in Young Guns II.
Quote: "This is no democracy. This is the Marines."

5. The War At Home (1996). Branch Represented: Army
Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, and starred in this drama about 20-something Vietnam War veteran Jeremy Collier. Following 2 tours of duty overseas, Jeremy returns to small-town Texas to live with his parents and younger sister. The movie depicts Jeremy's struggles to re-adjust to civilian life while his family tries to cope with drastic changes in Jeremy's personality. It's a powerful reminder of the unseen scars that millions of American veterans live with.
Quote: "The final battle of Vietnam was fought along an unrecognized front, far from the shellings and the smell of napalm and the sound of planes and guns. It was a battle my brother Jeremy fought when he came back."

4. The Guardian (2006). Branch Represented: Coast Guard
Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is among the Coast Guard's elite: a decorated rescue swimmer and a legend in his own time. One night, a rescue mission goes horribly awry; a helicopter crash results in the deaths of the entire crew, including Ben's closest friend. Faced with no other option but forced retirement, Ben reluctantly becomes an instructor at "A" School, the starting point for all rescue swimmers. He butts heads with a cocky recruit named Fischer and attempts to teach him what the title really means: "These things we do so that others may live." Be sure to have tissues for the ending.
Quote: "I don't care who you are, where you're from, or where you're going. I care about one thing and one thing only and that is the future victims you'll have to save."

3. A Few Good Men (1992). Branches Represented: Navy and Marines
At the Marine Corps base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Private Willy Santiago is found dead in his barracks. Two Marines in his unit are the prime suspects; both are arrested and charged with Willy's murder. Navy JAG lawyers, Daniel Kaffee and JoAnne "Jo" Galloway, are assigned to their defense.
Quote: "I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4,000 Cubans trained to kill me."

2. Uncommon Valor (1983). Branch Represented: Marines
Colonel Cal Rhodes' (Gene Hackman) world was shattered when news came home that his son had been taken as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Even as years pass with no word, he never loses hope that he will see his son alive again. The government declares it will no longer be searching for still-missing P.O.W.s, so Cal assembles his own team of Marines, all but one of whom served in Vietnam. They go to Saigon on a dangerous mission to liberate a camp in the Vietnamese jungle. This movie features an outstanding early performance by Patrick Swayze. It's equal parts action-packed, humorous, and genuinely moving.
Quote: "Most human problems can be solved by an appropriate charge of high explosives."

1. Platoon (1986). Branch Represented: Army
This is rightly regarded as one of the best war movies ever made and received an Oscar for Best Picture. The cast reads like a current who's-who of Hollywood: Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, and Forrest Whitaker. Platoon takes us into an Army infantry unit known as Tropic Lightning during the Vietnam War; its story is told through the eyes of its newest member: Private Chris Taylor. A shocking incident in a village divides the men into what Chris calls "a Civil War in the platoon." Things only go further downhill from there.
Quote: "They come from the end of the line, most of 'em. Small towns you never heard of: Pulaski, Tennessee; Pork Bend, Utah; Wampum, Pennsylvania. Two years of high school's about it. Maybe if they're lucky, a job waitin' for 'em back in a factory. But most of 'em got nothin'. They're the poor, they're the unwanted, and yet they're fighting for our society and our freedom."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Songs I Heard Too Young

Though I'm only 22, I recognize more classic rock songs than modern ones. My parents almost always listened to our local classic rock stations whenever we went anywhere in the car and I quickly developed a love for the genre.

It's only in recent years that I've realized how many dark/sexual messages I was exposed to that I didn't really understand. I have great parents, but sometimes I wonder what they were thinking. Here are some songs that sparked funny and fond childhood memories:

  • "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith. I was in first grade when this song was in heavy rotation. Because of the "hey-diddle-diddle" chorus, I thought it was a nursery rhyme. I wound up getting busted for singing it on the school playground.
  • "Lady Marmalade" by Patti Labelle. I thought it was sophisticated because of the French lyrics. I could pronounce them all pretty well for a six-year-old. My maternal grandmother was French-Canadian, spent 3 years living in Quebec, and could speak French. I decided to impress her by singing it one afternoon. Needless to say, she was horrified, but she refused to tell me what the French words meant.
  • "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel. I became a Billy Joel fan after seeing the Disney movie Oliver & Company (he was the voice of Dodger). I went to Catholic school for second grade, so I was put under strict orders not to sing it in public. What made it an even bigger no-no is that I live in the South, where Catholics aren't too popular to begin with.
  • "Ramblin' Man" by The Allman Brothers Band. Is there anything more adorable than a freckle-faced 8-year-old girl singing about a man being killed over a gambling debt, babies being born on Greyhound buses, and womanizing? I don't think so.
  • "Hotel California" by The Eagles. Not sure how I old I was, probably elementary school. I'd go into like a trance whenever this song came on the radio. When I couldn't sleep, I'd slip out of my room, take my parents' Eagles album, and put it in my Fisher-Price tape player. It and "Desperado" were my lullabies.
  • "In the Ghetto" by Elvis Presley. I was about 7 and taking a dance class. Everyone got to pick a song to perform an interpretative dance to during the last class and that was our recital. I was listening to Elvis with my grandma one afternoon and when the tape got to this song, I said, "This is my dance song." She tried to convince me to pick one of my favorite Disney songs instead, but I was a stubborn little kid. When it was my turn on recital day, I stood up and proudly danced my routine. Pretty much everyone thought I was nuts.
  • "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC. Pretty much self-explanatory.
  • "Fat-Bottomed Girls" by Queen. Or as I like to call it: the original "Baby Got Back." When I was little, my mom would turn off the radio every time this song came on. I would cry because the opening guitar riff sounds a lot like the one for Elton John's version of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King." I now understand she didn't want me asking questions about the implied pedophilia in the first verse.
  • "Renegade" by Styx. This was my favorite song for several months when I was in about first grade. I'd wear my dollar-store cowboy hat, go to whatever room my family was in, and put on this "concert" for them. The other songs in my set were "Midnight Rider" and "Ramblin' Man."
  • "Centerfold" by J Geils Band. While Riverdance was popular, I used to love copying their moves and I thought this song sounded Irish. If I wasn't in the car when this song played, I'd dance the Highland Fling to it. My mom caught me one day; I didn't know why she was so upset. A couple years later, in 5th grade, she sat me down and explained what the song was about. It's a miracle I can listen to it now without feeling embarrassed.
  •  "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC. Ah, the interesting discussions this song produced. "Mommy, why would people wear shoes made of concrete? And what's cyanide?" I remember hearing the word "neckties" as a small child and thinking, "Why are they singing about getting dressed up?" I was in middle school when I finally figured out it was about murder-for-hire.