Author Archives: Meghan

About Meghan

I'm a writer and entertainment junkie. I like traveling, getting tattoos, and drinking tea.

Top Five Favorite Edward Norton Movies of All Time

I like making top five lists.  I guess you could say it all started when I watched High Fidelity for the first time.  And then there was that Living Social Facebook app.  And lately, we’ve hired a bunch of new kids at my Starbucks, so I’ve been busting out top five lists to try and get to know them better.  There’s a lot you can tell about a person by asking them to list their Top Five Movies About or Involving Space Travel.  That blog will be posted soon, don’t you worry.

Now, before you get all jumpy, this isn’t going to be a Top Five blog exclusively.  But it might be for a few months.  If you’ve been reading me long, you know I have the attention span of a gnat.  A stupid gnat who is only interested in shiny baubles and senseless list making.

So, now for you friends, in honor of Our Friend, Sir Edward Norton, I have compiled a list of my favorite Edward Norton films of all time.   Follow him on Twitter and support his fundraising efforts for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. edward-norton-20040406-225

Before we begin, here are my honorable mentions.  Some more great Edward Norton films that didn’t make the cut:
Keeping the Faith – A terrific romantic comedy, but not extraordinary enough.
The Italian Job – It’s a Jason Statham movie in my mind.  I oft forget Norton’s even in it until the credits roll.
The 25th Hour – Would probably be on the list, except I still haven’t watched the entire thing.  I rented it the year it came out, watched the first half, went to work, and then returned it before I finished it.
Rounders – Sadly can’t take this one seriously after seeing Poolhall Junkies, even if Norton’s characterization of the scheming scoundrel “Worm” is nothing short of genius.
The People VS. Larry Flynt – is a breathtaking Woody Harrelson performance featuring the brilliant Norton and surprising Courtney Love.

And now, the official countdown:

5) Red DragonIMGIJY2TUA2Y3.jpg_thumb
Say what you will about this remake of an adaptation of a novel from a series that spawned a superior movie (in the eyes of the Academy anyhow, I was voting for Beauty and the Beast that year) however, I love this movie.  I think it’s beautiful.  The casting is brilliant and the story, while it can’t be credited to the filmmakers, is intriguing and appeals to me as a Law and Order die-hard.  Norton’s quiet, simmering control is a perfect foil to Anthony Hopkins’ methodical and maniacal Hannibal Lector, however both are upstaged by Ralph Fiennes as the victimized killer, Francis Dolarhyde.

4) Primal Fearprimal fear
I don’t love Richard Gere, but even he couldn’t fudge up this compelling mystery about a dual personality character.  Norton, as the character(s) in question, exhibits range and expertise rarely seen even in veteran actors, making his performance even more impressive as it’s his first role in a major motion picture.  Ever.  Again, the Law and Order nut in me is appeased by the thrilling investigation and court-room drama.

3) Death to Smoochydeah_to_smoochy1
I don’t love Robin Williams, but I adore Catherine Keener (she’s me, 20 years from now) and this film is just dark and satirical enough to pique my interest and keep it up.  Edward Norton, famous for playing characters plagued with darkness and despair, lights up the screen as Sheldon Mopes, a singer/songwriter who brings joy to all the people of the world by dressing up like Smoochy the Rhino.  It’s terrific fun.  A lesser actor would have turned this project into a cheesy spoof on Barney, but Norton manages to keep it away from broad humor (despite Williams’ best efforts) by expressing truth and naivete.  Also, it’s directed by Danny DeVito.  Awesome.

2) American History X52397477-31b787839d-o
The imagery, offensive and horrific as it may be, can’t be ignored in this disturbing and tragic tale of a confused young man who finds fault in his Neo-Nazi beliefs after serving time for the brutal slaughter of a black man.  Norton, as Derek Vinyard, scowls with rage in the first act, only to glow with the peace of an enlightened man in the last.  His transformation is made wholly believable in Norton’s relentless committment to the role.

1) Fight Club1345
Fight Club will always be one of my favorite movies.  The look, unique how it pairs flash with grunge, the creative story telling, unmatched in modern cinema, and of course, the characters.  Tyler Durden is a hero of my generation.  We all want to live on Paper Street reading back-issues of Reader’s Digest and learning how to make soap.  We all want to create mayhem and leave a legacy.  We all want to believe that we are not our fucking khakis.

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Five Saturday Night Live Sketches I Would Rather See Made Into a Movie than MacGruber

If the rumors are true, they’re making a MacGruber movie. http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/06/macgruber-movie-will-forte-jimmy-fallon-kristen-wiig.html

How they’re going to stretch a one-joke sketch based on a classically bad TV show into 80 something minutes is beyond me.

At first I started this note as a joke, but I’ve decided to take it one step further and actually come up with plotlines that would sustain each of these sketches into a feature length film.

5) Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet

Starring: Tracey Morgan
Brian does a live show from Disney’s Animal Kingdom when-OH NO!-it’s attacked by terrorists!! He uses what little knowledge he has of the world to do absolutely no good, while his assistant (Jack McBrayer anyone??) outsmarts the evil doers and saves the day! YAY!

4) Deep House Dish

Starring: Kenan Thompson, Andy Samberg, Rachel Dratch
DJ Dynasty Handbag and T’Shane open a club, like the original Studio 54. T’Shane gets really into the party scene, whereas DJ Dynasty Handbag keeps it real. They run into Tiara, whom T’Shane replaced, who has become a drug crazed groupie, and T’Shane realizes the road he’s on. They decide the scene isn’t for them, and close the club before it’s too late. They reopen it as a community centre to keep kids off the street, and teach them about making music.

3) Goth Talk

Starring: Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell
If you add up all the Goth Talk sketches from over the years, you’re almost there already. Begin with Todd as a young boy, being picked on, and eventually meeting Stephanie and becoming great friends who decide to start their own show. Things get complicated as they grow up, and Stephanie develops feelings for Glenn, Todd’s mean older brother. They drift apart after high school, but reunite for one last show before Todd moves away for college. Must bring back Steve Buscemi as the janitor.

2) Bronx Beat

Starring: Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler
I desperately want to follow Jodi and Betty home to see them with their families that they love, but complain about constantly. The movie would begin with the two of them as rivals, competing for the same co-hosting spot opposite some network golden boy, that is until they work together to reveal him as a coke addict, and a pig, who doesn’t deserve to be on TV. They win, and become the first show hosted by two women.

1) Wake Up Wakefield!

Starring: Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon
Obviously bring back Ray Ramono as Sheldon’s Dad, he ain’t doing much these days anyway. The movie starts as Megan and Sheldon are about to graduate high school. Much has changed. Jazz X 10 has not. Too everyone’s surprise, Randy Goldman asks Megan to prom. She accepts, even though she still can’t look him in the eye. Sheldon suspects foul play, and tells her as much, causing her to quit the show. Sheldon gets a new co-anchor (I’m thinking Kristen Wiig) and the show gets worse every day. Meanwhile, Megan finds out on her own that Randy Goldman asking her to prom was in fact a dare, like She’s All That. She finally gets over him, and goes back to Sheldon, who is hesitant at first but after another mishap, fires his new co-anchor, and takes Megan back. They finish the Prom Episode Special together, and then go back to Sheldon’s house to watch the Alien marathon on Space.

Heroes: It’s Arrested Development on Crack

As many of you are aware, I have been mainlining the revolutionary television show Hereos ever since seeing Star Trek and deciding Zachary Quinto and I are soulmates. At first, it seemed very new and exciting, but soon I realized that it is in fact, a carbon copy of another beloved television show. At least, the characters are remarkably similar.

Claire Bennet/Maeby Funke

She’s tough, got a thick skin, and will lie to anyone who’ll listen to her. She leads a double life, and easily switches identities to conceal her actions and motives. She dates people her parents disapprove of (or would if they knew) and there’s some speculation over who her parents actually are.

Niki-Jessica Sanders/Lindsay Bluth-Funke

She’s part loving mom, part drunk, part crazed psycho. Her kid isn’t doing great in school despite obvious intelligence (which didn’t come from her side of the family) and her husband is unemployable, resulting in marital trouble.

Gabriel “Sylar” Gray/George Oscar “Gob” Bluth

They’re actually wearing the same outfit!!
The only difference between these two is that Sylar CAN do magic (sort of), and he would never intentionally harm an animal, or give it a taste of mammal blood. Or date a high school student.

Nathan Petrelli/Michael Bluth

Ever seen either of these two NOT in a suit? I rest my case.
In Arrested Development , his wife died of cancer, and they talked about her often. In Heroes , his wife was confined to a wheelchair, and eventually forgotten about. In both shows, he’s a puppet, perfectly willing to go along with whatever his parents tell him, despite often challenging them and declaring independence, which almost never lasts. Furthermore, he’s constantly coming to the rescue of his sibling(s) as they seem unfit to care for themselves.
For example…
Hiro Nakamura/Buster Bluth
At first, you can’t help but wonder if he’s mildly retarded. Although he’s barely matured beyond the age of 10, he’ll surprise you when he appears wise beyond his years. Mostly he wants love and respect from his father, who has never invested much in his interests and activities.

Peter Petrelli/George Michael Bluth

The ultimate empath, he is regularly ignored by his father and genuinely wants to help everyone, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. He’s cute, he means well, but he’s kind of dumb.

Noah Bennet/Tobias Funketobias_funke

The outsider, always the one looking in. Not a great parent, however his daughter often helps him when she can, I think because she pities him. He’s slightly dorky (the glasses) and has poor decision making skills.

Angela Petrelli/Lucille Bluth
Angela should experiment more with color.
The matriarch, the head of everything, a manipulative powerful woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She loves her children and grandchildren, but has problems showing it other than meddling in their lives and using them as puppets.

Arthur Petrelli/George Bluth Sr.

More suits. What is it with this family?
Manipulative in the same manner as his wife, he cares less for his family than his own goals, and uses them whenever possible. Also, some debate over whether or not he is in fact, alive. At least for a few episodes.

Micah Sanders/Annyong

Sort of annoying little whiz kid, appears out of nowhere and disappears just as fast. Then comes back in a very contrived plot sequence. Rebel? Annyong?? Tell me there’s a difference there.

Flint Gordon/Steve Holt!

Big, dumb, great name. And more connected to the main family than even he realizes.

Bob Bishop/Barry Zuckercorn

If only everything Barry touched turned to gold…
Should not be in the position of power he has, as he is a bumbling idiot. Also, evil.

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Recently, my presence was requested in the great vast land of Saskatchewan. While I was indeed born there, I was in fact raised in Alberta, but have always harbored a strong loyalty to the hardest to spell, but easiest to draw, province in this country.

Perhaps, most logically, and simply, it’s because a large portion of my family (on my mother’s side) calls Saskatchewan home. They inhabit the bustling metropolis of Saskatoon, the charming hamlet of Outlook, and all manner of farmland in between.

Now, Sasktchamewan is not without its advantages. Removed almost completely from the civilised world, one can spend a weekend there, and feel as though they’ve been on a cruise, or perhaps a deserted island for weeks. Months even. And by that I mean, you’re stuck somewhere with virtually no contact to the outside world.

I jest.

I actually find the wide open spaces to be soothing. One can feel claustrophobic when constantly surrounded by mountains and ocean. It’s tiring, really. A change in scenery is a welcome shift to my overly urban existence.

While there, I had the great fortune to see the cinematic treat, Body of Lies, starring everyone’s favorite resurrected heart throb, Leo DiCaprio. Although, I’m sorry to have to report, it was nothing to write home about. Sort of plods along as well as you can expect. Not badly made, just not mind-blowing in any way.

I also dusted off my Scrabble skills and managed to wipe the floor with my opponents. Boo-yah-shuckaluckah.

So, movies, as Martin eloquently pointed out, are becoming “good” again. It is, after all, that time of the year I affectionately refer to as “Oscar Bait Season”.

Examples: The Soloist, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Australia, Miracle at St. Anna, Defiance, etc.

I believe The Duchess was an early entry, but I fear it will merely be awarded for costumes. Perhaps only nominated.

In other news, I am going to spend the month of November attempting to write a novel. My favorite film critic, Filthy, does it every year, and this is my year, I’ve decided.

You can track my progress at http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/418915 and please, don’t hesitate to sign up yourself. It’s a wonderful challenge, and one I hope to achieve. Scratch that, WILL achieve.

Happy Writing!

What’s in a Name?

My name is now, has for some time been, and will forever be, Meghan Lightle. When I was born, it was “Megan”, but I changed it when I was in grade 7 to “Meghan.” I had my reasons. They are as follows.

First, it looks better. Paired with Lightle, you get a nice symmetry of both names having a ‘gh’ in the middle. Aesthetics.

Second, my parents didn’t like it. They were resistant to the change, and as the young rebel that I was, this was simply fodder.

Third, it initially happened by accident. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time I wrote “Meghan.” As I said, I was in grade 7. French class to be specific, and I was writing my name on an assignment. Rather than look like a fool who doesn’t know how to spell her own name, I carried on as though it was intentional, and never let on otherwise. Until now.

The truth is out there.

Fourth, and finally. It sounds better. Go ahead. Say “Megan.” Now say, “Meghan.” I’ll wait.

It sounds different, doesn’t it? Rounder, fuller, the ‘g’ is softer. I’m not taking a piss, there is a difference.

Trust me.

I love the sound of my name. It really rolls off the tongue, eh? Meghan Lightle.

That’s ‘Light-le’. Exactly how it looks. Say light. Now say le, as in tab-le or bott-le. Good job.

There have been only a handful of instances in my life when someone has read my name for the first time, and pronounced it properly. More often than not, I get “Little” or “Lightly.”

Worse is when people can’t spell for shit. I’ll say, “Lightle” and they’ll start writing, L-i-t-t, and I go, “Stop, L-i-G-H-t, etc. for fuck’s sakes.”

I grew up in a relatively small town, and knew a girl a year ahead of me at school named Megan Little. It seemed Megan had recently found herself in a family way. One day, my mom rang the doctor’s office to book an appointment for me and the receptionist asked her if this was regarding pre-natal care.

Needless to say, that conversation did not go well. From then on, I’ve been trained to spell my name first, THEN pronounce it. Especially over the phone.

Megan was an exceptionally common name in my high school. At least 6 girls in the same year as me shared my moniker. We all had our own way of spelling it, but that didn’t stop people from making mistakes like the one above. It also didn’t stop our teachers from inventing clever nicknames.

One such instructor insisted on calling me “Meggie” a name I despise to this day. As I rule, I just don’t like shortened versions of my name. Full stop. Maybe three people who aren’t directly related to me are allowed to call me “Meg” or “Megs” when appropriate. I don’t love it, but I know it’s their way of displaying how close we are, so I accept it.

My parents and grandmother had their own favorites, and for years I was “Mega-muffin” and “Mega-mouse”. Could be worse. My most hated common nickname is definitely “Miss Megan” because it’s always meant to be condescending. Check for yourself, you’ll find I’m right.

I will, however, always proudly be known as “The Wild Savannah Nut Meg.” There’s a great story behind that particular term of endearment, but perhaps I’ll save it for another blog. It’s a long one.

London Calling: The Allure of British Television

I am not British, but I have many friends who pretend they are, and couple who legitimately hail from the Great Britain. They know how much I enjoy television, and often make suggestions for me of shows that I might enjoy. They have been right 89% of the time.

There is something strangely appealing about watching a foreign television series. For one thing, you get it in large chunks because it aired years ago. It’s also refreshingly diverse compared to the usual American garbage TV I’m used to.

Furthermore, I adore British slang. I don’t know why, and I may never figure it out, but I dig it, to an astounding degree. Pish, tosh, all that poppycock, etc, really gets me going.

I suppose it all started when everything else did: in my youth. My likes and dislikes were developed under heavy influence by my father, a man of the world who embraced many interests which essentially boil down to 4 main food groups: The Law, The Mob, The 60’s, and satirical comedy.

I grew up watching Law and Order, Monty Python, and David Letterman, and to this day love 60’s folk rock more than any other genre. I adamantly refuse to watch CSI, and avoid Jay Leno like the plague.

Stemming from his inherent interest in law, my dad would spend hours watching Rumpole of the Baily, and soon thereafter, Lovejoy on a regular basis.

People talk about “British comedy” like it’s another language, that you need to study to understand. I think it’s just another genre, like satire, or slapstick. You dig it or you don’t. I do.

There is the obvious, BBC’s The Office, created by Ricky Gervais, which can be sited as re-igniting my passion for British television. What’s not to like? It’s quick, it’s awkward, and the characters are endearing and quirky. From there, it was hop, skip, and a jump to Gervais’ next show, Extras, which picked up interest over here when American celebrities like Ben Stiller showed up in episodes.

The latest show a pseudo-British friend has suggested to me was a big hit. It’s called 8 out of 10 Cats, and by god, is it hilarious. I don’t know who any of the people are, and for the most part, don’t give a shit what they’re talking about, but I can’t help but be enthralled by what goes on. First off, everyone in Britain who’s been on telly once, is considered a minor celebrity, and is fair game to be mocked incessantly. They have no censors, from what I can tell, so the host and panelists just get to run their mouths all they want, it’s brilliant.

Some other shows worth checking out: Skins, The IT Crowd, (more of that “British Comedy”) and Spaced.

Hot Child in the City

I’m Lightle. I’m the slightly better looking of Lightle and Martin.

JUST KIDDING!!!

Moving on, today marks the day that I will see Jason Statham’s latest cinematic treat, Death Race. I suspect this film will blow. My. MIND.

Stay tuned for my and Martin’s thoughts on the manner in approximately 5 hours.