As another "year-end list", I decided to get personal as I sometimes do, and share with you the unremarkable things that I did for the very first time in 2005. As I am 35 at year's end, you may be slightly shocked that I took so long to get around to doing a few of these things. (I've done a… read more!
Five years ago I made a list about the nine words that sum up 2000 - the various catchphrases and brand names that were on everybody's tongue that year. I feel that 2005 has been more about particular personalities - people you'd never heard of before, but who suddenly became big news. Chances are, you won't be hearing about most… read more!
I'm always fascinated when I find out that a hit song performed by one popular musician was actually written by another popular musician. This is especially true for these two living legends: Prince and Bruce Springsteen. Here's a list of their songs that were made famous by other people. (Note: despite rumors, current thinking dismisses the notion that Prince also… read more!
This list isn't entirely meant as a joke. Truth is, I've been a fan of The Brady Bunch ever since I was a kid, subjected to at least three episodes a day on San Francisco's KBHK, channel 44. I can safely say I've seen every single episode of this charming - if insipid - sitcom at least five times apiece.… read more!
[Note from Mark: Today's guest columnist is my newlywed wife, Miki. As a nanny, she's taken care of many different children over the past few years. She found an amusing contrast between what she got away with when she was little and what the parents she now works for will allow their own kids to do.] There are many things… read more!
As a follow-up to the previous list, here I'm focusing on famous people whose careers saw a significant upturn as a result of a homicide. They may not have killed anybody themselves, but were it not for the premeditated death of another person, none of the following would have become the successes we know them as. Truman Capote. Though he… read more!
This is a self-explanatory list with no real purpose except to compile some random trivia, both well-known and little-known. In this case, I'm excluding famous people who have actually been murdered (Phil Hartman, Sal Mineo, etc.), the well-known children of famous people who have been murdered (Sean Lennon, John F. Kennedy Jr., etc.) and, for the most part, famous people… read more!
Folks, it's not so much that I'm running out of ideas, it's just that I have a lot of unfinished lists that I'm still trying to fill out. In the meantime, I hope you find this list of unlikely, unfortunate, and entirely fictional clown names amusing. It may be the only time you laugh at a clown all year. "Pinchy".… read more!
I'm happy to say that I'm going through the best time in my life right now, but in the interest of continually coming up with fresh ideas for the List of 9, I bring you these recollections of some lower-quality moments: Worst movie screening. Born on the Fourth of July was not the worst film I've ever seen (that dubious… read more!
This isn't a particularly inspired list - but then, none of these movies were particularly inspired either. Let them serve as a symbol of Hollywood's creative bankruptcy. It's bad enough that a strident Saturday Night Live player should become a bankable movie star (Bill Murray notwithstanding). But you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when you sink millions into… read more!
Ever since the "movie people" first came to Hollywood in the 1910s, my adopted hometown has long been stereotyped as a haven for freaks. What most outsiders don't know is that LA people are just as conformist as anybody else - maybe not the way that smalltown Iowans are, but the idea is the same. However, there still exist several… read more!
The Michael Jackson molestation trial is nearly over as I write this. Possibly the only good thing that can be said about the media's coverage of this is that nobody's been calling it the "Trial of the Century" - seeing as how we're only five years in. However, that appellation was frantically used left and right during the last decades… read more!
With The Revenge of the Sith opening today - supposedly the last new Star Wars movie the world will ever see - I thought I'd weigh in on the phenomenon from a more critical point of view. I saw the original Star Wars at least a dozen times in the theater when I was a kid. I had all the… read more!
[Note from Mark: This list is written by my girlfriend Miki, celebrating her eccentric mom.] My mother is celebrity crazed. She burst into tears at Graceland... while still in the parking lot. She has a "Nash Bridges" poster signed by Don Johnson hanging in the kitchen. She considers any trip to Los Angeles where she doesn't see at least 3… read more!
I turned 35 today. In honor of the event, I was going to write a list of filmmakers whom I have outlived. But it seems as though I've picked the right vocation, if longevity is my goal - most movie directors live to a ripe old age, and I only found two (very obscure) ones who were dead before 35.… read more!
Marketing. It's what really makes a hit. If a bad movie succeeds, thank the studio's marketing department for hyping it well. If a good movie fails, blame said studio for marketing it poorly. Most people reading this already know about the surprise that was pulled on my film Claustrophobia, when Lionsgate decided the title Serial Slayer - along with a… read more!
Now that Claustrophobia (aka Serial Slayer) is out in America, it's been interesting for me to read reviews - good and bad - that say "I'd like to see what Mark Tapio Kines could do with a bigger budget." My flippant reply may be, "Then go see my first film Foreign Correspondents!" but deeper down, the comment confuses me. After… read more!
Years ago, Tower Records used to publish a free magazine called Pulse!, with a section devoted to readers' submitted lists of their "desert island discs" - the ten music albums that they would take with them if stranded on a desert island. In other words, their ten favorite records. Well, I do things in nines around here, and although this… read more!
Most so-called "love stories" are crap. Sleepless in Seattle? Titanic? Pretty Woman? Ghost? No wonder we're so screwed up, if this sentimental junk is what passes for romance today. So here's a little Valentine's treat for you lovebirds - or, perhaps, for you lovelorn - who want something different. If these films have anything in common, it's a tendency towards… read more!
This is the first time in years when I haven't seen the majority of the big Oscar-nominated films. One reason is that I've been too busy over the last two months - when all the "Oscar-bound" pictures are released - to catch them all. The other, bigger reason is that this year's crop is kind of uninspired. I mean, come… read more!