Lazy Sunday CLXXXII: More Movies XXXV: Ponty’s Best Films, Part II

I’m back from my trip safe and sound, but I’m still a bit behind with posts.  I’ll be running my #3 pick for the best films of all time tomorrow—a week late!  That’s given good ol’ Ponty a bit of breathing room for his next review.

Of course, I must apologize to Ponts:  this retrospective of his #7-5 picks is going up fairly late in the day for a Sunday.  I like to have posts up by 6:30 AM, as it seems to help with my English readership (which is growing all the time thanks in no small part to Ponty’s promotional efforts).  Here’s hoping this short list of his picks will gain some traction regardless.

Without further ado, here are Ponty’s top picks in the lower five:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Best Films: #4: Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2 (2003-2004)

Ponty always delivers some of the most thoughtful and poignant film reviews, and this week’s installment is no different.  He’s really nailed the essence of these films, which are properly understood as two parts of one larger film.

I’m also impressed with Ponty’s rigor in making his picks; he’s much more intentional about his choices than I am.  I’m impressed with the way he considers his picks carefully, and it’s apparent that he really struggled with what to put into this #4 slot.

But, wow, what a pick!  When these flicks came out in 2003-2004 I was just starting college, and managed to largely miss them.  I always thought (and still somewhat do think) that the title is stupid, but it does say what the flicks are about.

There’s where any stupidity ends.  The Old West meets The Mystical East, all with Uma Thurman slicing and dicing through baddies.  It’s grindhouse and kung-fu and everything trashy and awesome thrown into one super-long flick.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2003-2004’s Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2:

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Lazy Sunday CLXXX: More Movies XXXIII: Ponty’s Best Films, Part I

Last Sunday we looked at my #10, #9, and #8 picks for the best films.  Now we’re looking at Ponty’s choices for the same.  So far, I think Ponty has the better list, although I stand by (most of) my picks.

His first three are all in the horror genre, but all vastly different films.  They’re also exemplars of the genre, and are must-see films:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Ponty’s Pen: Road Trips in the USA

Every now and then we get something for Christmas that really sparks our imaginations, allowing them to run—or, in this case, drive—wildly to other lands.  For a young Portly, it was receiving a copy of Sid Meier’s Civilization II from my aunt one Christmas.  That game opened up vast new worlds and incredible historical “what-ifs,” and was partially responsible for my decision to study and teach history for a living.

For Ponty, it’s an annual copy of Fodor’s Best Road Trips in the USA.

Travel guides have always been one of my favorite genres, too.  Sure, travelogues are more engaging and adventurous, but travel guides let us learn about places without a great deal of authorial embellishment.  We get the basics about an area, and then can put ourselves immediately into those places, imagining visiting the great sites and destinations—or the backwater burgs and forgotten byways—of the world.

Ponty captures that spirit of adventure and fun in this touching, personal, and engaging little piece about his imaginary—and, let us hope, someday real!—travels around the United States.

With that, here’s Ponty with some reflections on Christmas and road trips:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Best Films: #5: Rear Window (1954)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two months since Ponty’s #6 pick in our countdown of the Top Ten Best Films.  A combination of Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Ponty struggling through a gnarly sinus infection pushed back our foray into the halfway mark of his reviews until now.  We also went into reviews of two classic Christmas films across three different authors, but now we’re back!

I grew up in a house full of Alfred Hitchcock.  My mom has always been a big fan of the portly director, and issues of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine still clutter bookshelves and spare crannies all over my parents’ Queen Anne-style home (built in 1901!).

It’s a tad remarkable, then, that I have not (yet) considered any of the director’s films in my own list.  That is a massive oversight on my part.  Thanks for Ponty for expanding beyond my 1980s myopia with a classic Hitchcock gem.

As always, he delivers.  Just reading his review reminds me of how intense this thriller is—and makes me eager to watch it again.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 1954’s Rear Window:

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Lazy Sunday CLXXVII: Review of A Christmas Carol (1951)

“You there!  Yes, you, boy, reading this post in your underwear before a long day of festivities.  What day is it?”

“Why, it’s Christmas Day, sir!”

“Here—take this blog post and go buy the biggest goose in town.”

“But it doesn’t work like th—”

“Never mind—-it’s Christmas!”

And—scene.

Yes, it’s Christmas, probably the one day a year no one is reading any blog posts.  But The Portly Politico marches on, Christmas or no.

To celebrate, I thought I’d look back at the three recent reviews from Ponty, Audre Myers, and myself about A Christmas Carol (1951).  They’re pretty good:

Well, time to get dressed—it’s Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

A Very Portly Christmas: Ponty’s Review: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is one of those films that holds a special place in the hearts of millions, myself among them.  I’ll never forget watching it one Christmas night on the floor of my paternal grandfather’s den, he in his recliner, my cousins and myself on our bellies.  Implausibly, I was allowed to stay and watch it while my parents took my brothers home (we lived probably twenty or thirty minutes away at the time, and my mom loathed the inefficiency of multiple trips anywhere—a thrifty trait I have inherited), and my dad came and picked me up afterwards.  I was happy and utterly exhausted, but I’ll never forget that good old mom made me take a bath anyway, even though I could barely keep my eyes open.

Ask anyone who has seen this film, especially in childhood, and they’ll have a similar story.  Ponty relates his own tale in this wonderful review, and it’s something that contributes to the timeless and heartwarming quality of the flick.  It’s a Wonderful Life is not just a movie, but an experience, something shared across generations, and indelibly linked, for as long as film as a medium exists, to Christmas and family and love.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life:

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Lazy Sunday CLXXVI: 2022’s Top Three

It’s still two weeks to New Year’s Day, and while there’s plenty of time for some wayward posts to take off—or some new ones to exceed the three listed here—it’s the last Sunday of the year that isn’t Christmas.  As such, I decided to do the best (in terms of views) posts of 2022 today.

Before getting on to the posts, let me point out that they’re all quite different—and one of them is from our own Ponty/Always a Kid for Today—and the #1 most viewed post of the past year remains a mystery to me.  It’s a good post—I write in earnest humility—but for some reason it will randomly get dozens of views in a day sometimes.

I’m not complaining—I think it’s great!—but the mystery intrigues me.

Well, enough of that!  Here are 2022’s Top Three Posts:

  1. Driving the Georgia Backroads” (384 views) – I actually wrote this post in 2021, so I suppose it’s technically ineligible for this list… but I’ve already written the lengthy preamble about it and I’d rather not mess around with changing it (remember—it’s Lazy Sunday).  Regardless, it’s about driving the backroads to Athens, Georgia, and all the quaint little communities along the way.
  2. Monday Morning Movie Review, Guest Contributor Edition: The Purge (2013)” (176 views) – Once Ponty started writing movie reviews for the blog, his shameless whoring of the posts over at The Conservative Woman really brought in the traffic.  He’s also a great writer and reviewer, so that probably has something to do with it, too.
  3. Alone” (157 views) – True to human nature, we all love tales of woe and misery.  “Alone” was my magnum opus to heartbreak (actually, my magnum opus to heartbreak is my solo EP, Contest Winner EP).  I was at a low point, one from which I clawed myself, but I’m a bit back at square one.  Oops!

Happy Sunday—and Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

A Very Portly Christmas: Ponty’s Review: A Christmas Carol (1951)

Good old Ponty made a proposal (not an indecent one involving Tina and a million dollars, fortunately) that he, Audre Myers, and myself write reviews of two classic Christmas films, the 1951 adaption of A Christmas Carol and the 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life.  I’m dubbing this series A Very Portly Christmas.  Cue the French horns and the sweater vests.

While I imagine we’ll all have quite positive things to say about these time-honored Christmas classics, our hope is that we’ll each see and take something different from the films, and our shades of perspective will reveal to readers previously unseen hues and details.

Or we’ll end up with three remarkably similar reviews and it will make for dull, repetitive reading.  Such are the risks of blogging, eh?  But knowing these two characters, I doubt that will be the case.  All I know is I’ve got to get crackin’ on my homework—It’s a Wonderful Life is over two hours long!

But I digress.  Ponty is kicking us off this Christmas season, and, boy, what a great way to start!  I think you’ll find his review as insightful and engaging as I did.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 1951’s A Christmas Carol:

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