By Lee Hester, owner of Lee's Comics of California.

Monday, October 06, 2008


If you don't know by now, I'm a huge movie buff. I like old ones, new ones, silent movies, foreign films, blockbusters, independent movies, westerns, serials, documentary's, musicals, cartoons, you name it,as long as they are good.

One trend that I haven't embraced is the habit of seeing deliberately bad movies, such as the films of Ed Wood. I don't seek out stuff that is supposed to be bad, as I figure that in my efforts to see good stuff, I see plenty of bad stuff by accident.

So, I have been seeking out movies that are particularly noteworthy. I have a book called "1001 Movies That You Must See Before You Die", and I have been reading it with interest. A smaller list is contained on the Internet Movie Database. It's the list of the Top 250 films as voted on by the readers of that site.

I made a list of films from that list that I have not yet seen. I've been checking out these films from the library, or seeing them on Comcast on Demand.

Since I started the list, I have seen the following movies.

Best Years of our Lives (Excellent, chocked me up in several places.)
Brief Encounter (Very interesting early David Lean film.)
Elephant Man (Loved it.)
Glory (Well acted, but a bit clich├ęd.)

So, 2 that I liked a lot, and 2 that I loved. Not bad at all. Some people like to ignore critics, and lists like these, but life is short, and I want to see as many masterpieces as possible. I can't die before seeing all the great movies that I must see before I die, can I?

From the list, here are the remaining films that I have yet to see.

400 Blows (1959)
Alien (1979)
Aliens (1986)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
American History X (1998)
Amores perros (2000)
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Battle of Algiers (1966)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Counterfiters (2008)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Fa yeung nin wa (2000)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Frankenstein (1931)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Great Expectations (1946)
Haine, La (1995)
Harvey (1950)
Howl's Moving Castle
Ikiru (1952)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Infernal Affairs (2002)
Into the Wild (2007)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
King Kong (1933)
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
Lives of Others
Magnolia (1999)
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Night of the Hunter (1955)
Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Oldboy (2003)
Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Pan's Labyrinth
Princess Mononoke
Psycho (1960)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Rope (1948)
Samouraï, Le (1967)
Seventh Seal
Stalker (1979)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Umberto D. (1952)
Wild Strawberries (1957)

Tell Me now, What is YOUR favorite film?
Tell me why it moves you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I was reading today's San Francisco Chronicle and came upon this item in Leah Garchick's column.


Keeping in mind the name of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Larry Gonick looked up the derivation of the word palindrome and discovered that the Greek root "palin" means going backward.

After much pondering, Gonick, who's obviously got a knack for putting his writing brain in reverse gear, came up with "Wasilla's all I saw," which not only works alphabetically but is actually relevant to Sarah Palin.

What Leah does not mention in the column is that Larry Gonick is the brilliant creator of all those wonderful Cartoon History books.

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Imagine a World with no comic books. Not worth living.

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