Thursday, July 23, 2015


Throughout cinema's history, one thing that carries a great story is conflict. There are many different forms that conflicts can take, but the most visceral and memorable conflicts are the ones between 2 people, or groups of people. Of course, we all want to route for the good guys. We may not come out and say it, but we all want the hero to win by the end of the film. The most obvious ones are the comic book movies. Most people who watch these comic book movies are rooting for the good guy to beat the bad guy.

Sometimes, however, you get movies where the good guys DON'T win. Sometimes, in very rare situations, you find yourself rooting for the bad guy. That is when you know that you have a great villain on your hands. I really appreciate it when the villain in the movie is always 3 steps ahead of the good guys. It brings a fearing sense of realism to the character, and it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I love that.

In today's day and age, we are starting to see a lot of posts talking about how great these bad guys are. Now, I think that we should always keep rooting for the good guys to win, but here's a list of the greatest villains ever written for the silver screen. 


Biff Tannen, played by actor Thomas F. Wilson, is the lead protagonist in the blockbuster Back to the Future trilogy. He is one of those guys that I'm sure everyone who grew up in that time period(s?) recognized. It seemed as though no matter what Marty McFly did, he could never escape the bullying wrath of Biff Tannen and the rest of the Tannen family. He wasn't the smartest tool in the shed, but he always seemed to put himself in the right situation to ruin everything for Marty.


This guy is a relatively newer villain that was created in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. His ruthless interrogation tactics as a Nazi officer sent chills down my spine. His sinister smile made me hate him even more. What made him the scariest was the fact that he was so smart. There was never a point in time (until the end) where he was not 10 steps ahead of the Basterds. I think that Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson should always do Tarantino films because I have never seen 2 actors who read his scripts as perfect as them. 


Mr. Potter, played by Lionel Barrymore, is the main antagonist in the holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life. If you are like me, You have watched this movie every Christmas season with your family, and every year, I not only walk away with tears of joy, but also an ever-growing hatred for this man. As George Bailey puts it, he sits there and spins his little webs like a scurvy little spider. He makes it his personal vendetta to destroy all of the good that the Bailey family creates in the little town of Bedford Falls. There really is no redemptive quality to him. He is just a "warped, frustrated old man," which is why he has made this list. 


Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, is the psychotic serial killer that murders everyone who comes and visits the Bates Motel in the Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller Psycho. His calm and cool demeanor gives us a very unsettling feeling in the pit of our stomachs. Also, the fact that he dresses like his dead mother (who is still in his basement) and kills people is also very unsettling. I've only seen this movie once, and I think that is enough for me, thanks to Norman Bates. That is why he has made this list.


Nurse Ratched, played by Louise Fletcher, is the cold and manipulative antagonist in the Oscar-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for this film, and deservedly so. She gives a bad name to nurses everywhere. I think the reason for why she made this list is her deadpan delivery of her sentences. She would be so conniving and cruel, but she wouldn't change the level of her voice. She is a heartless and cold woman.


You can never look at a kitchen knife the same after seeing Michael Myers. He is the evil, psychotic murderer out to kill his entire family in the famous Halloween franchise. John Carpenter tried to create the series with a different story for each film, but people refused to watch it if Michael Myers was not in it. Now, I know that some people might prefer Freddy Krueger as their favorite slasher villain because of his humorous jokes, but there is nothing that raises the hairs more than the silent stalking of Michael. That signature theme music will always make me look over my shoulder, and that is why he has made my list.


Now, when it comes to The Joker on the silver screen, you have 2 (soon to be 3) clear options to choose from: Jack Nicholson's gangster version, or Heath Ledger's anarchist version. I figure, since there is a constant argument as to which Joker people prefer, I might as well go with both. The Joker is probably the most recognizable villain from any comic book series, Marvel or DC. He has no superpowers, which is why he is so fascinating. Whether you want to look at Jack's version as a Gotham City gangster or Ledger's psychotic anarchist, you get the sense that this could actually happen in the real world. That is why The Joker has made my list.


Even to this day, people are still frightened by the Wicked Witch of the West from the classic film The Wizard of Oz. If you have read other blogs that I have posted, then you know that I love this movie, and love to talk about it. The Wicked Witch of the West had to make my list, but I don't think a lot of people would disagree with me. The Wicked Witch is the essence of pure evil in the merry old land of Oz, and she would do anything in her power to destroy Dorothy and get those magical ruby slippers, even if she has to drug her with heroine (the poppies). 


Of course Vader had to make my list. He is the main villain in Episodes 4, 5, and 6 of the epic Star Wars saga. Of course, he redeems himself when he kills the emperor in Return of the Jedi, but I don't think that quite makes up for slicing his own son's hand off, killing Obi-Wan Kenobi, and, oh yeah... BLOWING UP AN ENTIRE FREAKIN' PLANET! His sinister delivery, provided by the wonderful voice of James Earl Jones, has been imitated for years by children and adults everywhere. Any time you hear that signature symphonic march, you know he means business. Don't get on his bad side, because he will force choke you into submission. He is one bad dude.


Never in my life have I ever seen a more compelling character than Dr. Hannibal Lecter. You know what's the funny thing about him? He's not even the bad guy in The Silence of the Lambs. But no one remembers Buffalo Bill because all people want to talk about is Hannibal. Sir Anthony Hopkins received the Academy Award for Best Actor, and he was only on screen for 16 MINUTES!!! That's how scary he is! His calm and collected demeanor and sinister smile will always haunt my dreams, but it makes me want to watch this movie over and over again. You wouldn't think by looking at him that he actually eats people. He is so smart and so calculating, he has been put on the very top of my list as the #1 Movie Villain.


  • AGENT SMITH - The Matrix Trilogy
  • BILL THE BUTCHER - Gangs of New York
  • ANTON CHIGURH - No Country for Old Men
  • HANS GRUBER - Die Hard
  • THE SHARK - Jaws
  • JACK TORRENCE - The Shining
  • KEYSER SOZE - The Usual Suspects
  • AURIC GOLDFINGER - Goldfinger
  • KHAN - Star Trek Franchise
  • JIGSAW - Saw Franchise
  • EMPEROR PALPATINE - Star Wars Franchise
  • JOHN DOE - Se7en
  • OZYMANDIUS - Watchmen
  • LEX LUTHOR - Superman Franchise
  • FRANK COSTELLO - The Departed
  • GORDON GEKKO - Wall Street
  • SAURON - The Lord of the Rings
  • GOLLUM - The Lord of the Rings
  • LOTSO - Toy Story 3
  • MALEFICENT - Sleeping Beauty
  • CRUELA DE VIL - One-Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • SCAR - The Lion King
  • GASTON - Beauty and the Beast
  • VOLDEMORT - The Harry Potter Franchise
  • COL. TAVINGTON - The Patriot
  • SHOOTER MCGAVIN - Happy Gilmore
  • JAFAR - Aladdin
  • HAL 9000 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • ALEX DELARGE - A Clockwork Orange
  • MAGNETO - The X-Men Franchise
  • MEGATRON - The Transformers Franchise
  • PRESIDENT SNOW - The Hunger Games Franchise
  • COMMODUS - Gladiator
  • DET. ALONZO HARRIS - Training Day
  • TYLER DURDEN - Fight Club
  • REGINA GEORGE - Mean Girls
  • MIRANDA PRIESTLEY - The Devil Wears Prada
  • JUDGE DOOM - Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Hey, everyone (and by everyone, I mean all 6 people that probably still check this thing.)

It has been quite a long time since I have posted a blog (August 9th, 2013, almost 2 years!) on this site. I feel that it is time to resurrect the ever-popular MIKE'S FAVORITE THINGS segment of the new and improved: Stealin' The Spotlight with the Real Mike Barry!

And, of course, this one will be all about something that I love, MOVIES!

So, over the years, people have often asked me what my favorite movie of all time is. It used to be a very simple answer for me. But, the more that I have thought about it, the more I have come to realize that it is not quite as simple as it used to be.

Now, those of you that know me are aware that I go and see quite a lot of movies. In fact, for the past 3 years, my wife and I (Oh yeah, did I mention I got married?!?!) have made it a point to go and see every single motion picture that is nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. Of course, we don't limit ourselves to just those movies. We do go see other movies, but we do hold the films we go to see to a high standard. Every once in a while, we'll go slumming and see a movie that we know will be bad, but we just want to see it anyway because why the hell not, right?

I guess you can say that we are both movie snobs. I like to think of us more as movie enthusiasts.

But, there are certain movies out there that, despite what critics and moviegoers may say, make me want to watch over and over again. I know that some of them are not great movies. I know that. But for some reason, I find them to be awesome.

That's when I realized that there IS a difference between the best movie that you have ever seen, and your favorite movie of all time. They may coincide with one another, but they are 2 separate yet equally important opinions.

So, first I am going to post a movie that is on my list of Top 5 Greatest Movies That I Have Ever Seen, and then I'm going to follow it with a movie that is in the same spot on my Top 5 Favorite Movies Of All Time list. So here it goes:


For those of you that have never seen this movie, it is an adaptation of a novel by the same name written by Ken Kesey. The story is centered around a prison inmate by the name of Randall P. McMurphy whose sentence was commuted from a work labor prison to a mental hospital. Basically, he wanted to slide through his prison sentence without doing any hard labor, so he pretended to be mentally insane so they would move him to a place where he wouldn't have to do any work. He immediately starts trouble with the establishment, particularly with the manipulative and hard-hearted Nurse Ratched, and rallies the other inmates to rise against her and the rest of the hospital. The film was released in 1975. It was directed by Milos Forman, and was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, winning 5 of them, including Best Actor (Jack Nicholson, Best Supporting Actress (Louise Fletcher), and Best Picture.

Not only was I incredibly impressed with the acting performances in this movie (particularly by Jack Nicholson), but I was also moved by it's story. It's incredible to see how one man could get more out of those patients in just a few months than the nurses and doctors could in several years, just by treating them like they are normal human beings. I feel the best scenes in the movie are the scene where Mack is denied access to watch the World Series games, so he decides to pretend like he's watching it and gets all of the other patients involved, and the scene where they steal the school bus to on a fishing trip.


This film, based on the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption written by Stephen King, is all about the hard times of Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) while serving a prison sentence at the Shawshank Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, which we find out later he did not commit. The film was released in 1994, and was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Actor (Morgan Freeman) and Best Picture.

Now, this movie might also be on a lot of people's greatest films of all time. It's not in my Top 5, but definitely in my Top 15. I absolutely love watching this movie. The reason why I love watching it so much is because for people who have never seen it before, the ending is AMAZING! It takes you completely by surprise (unless you read the novella). It's one of those movies that has reached marathon status on AMC. Now, some people may get sick of that after awhile, but I sit and watch it every time, and every time I always enjoy it. That's what it means to be a favorite movie, and not just the best movie.


Now this film was also released in 1994, and it centers around 4 different tales of crime, violence, and redemption, and how they are all woven together in the gangster streets of Los Angeles, CA. The plot jumps around between these 4 stories, and does not go in chronological order. This brilliant film nabbed the Oscar for Quentin Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay, along with several acting nominations from its tour-de-force cast (John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman) and a Best Picture nom.

This film is very close to making my Top 5 Favorite Movies, as well. I love this movie. I used to be able to quote most of it, but I haven't seen it since my movies got stolen from me when I was in college. I also am a huge fan of Quentin. He may be an arrogant S.O.B., but he sure knows how to make great movies, this being the best one, in my opinion. What I admire most about his movies is that they are original. So many movies and story plots are so unoriginal, but he, even to this day, makes tells such unique and amazing stories. I will watch any movie that he makes. I haven't seen them all, but I've seen most of them.


Of all the films that came out in 1994, this movie walked away with the Best Picture win, and rightfully so. We all know the story by now of old Forrest Gump. It is the fictitious story of a man who, through blissful ignorance and purity, winds up getting mixed up in some of the most iconic historical moments of the second half of the 20th century. It is also the story of his never-ending love and devotion to his beloved Jenny, and how he will stop at nothing to make sure that she is happy. The filmnot only won Best Picture that year, but also gave Tom Hanks his 2nd Academy Award win for Best Actor, making him one of only 2 male actors to win the award back-to-back years. Some might even say that it is Hank's crowning achievement.

I have been watching this movie for as long as I can remember. Not only has Forrest Gump become such an iconic movie character in my household, it has also provided my family with many laughs and tears over the years. It is one of those movies, for me, that can should be considered timeless. Some people say that it is dated because of all of the historical references that are made. But I think that since they will always be in our history books, people will still know about them, and hopefully they will continually watch this movie as I do.


This movie gave many generations nightmares about swimming in the oceans around Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, It is about one town's nightmarish encounter with a Great White Shark off the coast of Massachusetts and the 3 men attempting to end that nightmare. It is arguably considered to be one of the most influential films of all time, destroying the box office records of it's time. For anyone who is scared to go swimming in the ocean, this film is probably not for you.

Now, this film is also on my Favorite List as well, which you will see in just a moment. My dad used to show me this movie when I was a kid, and ever since then I have always been leery of swimming at the beach. It used to scare the crap out of me. But when I grew older, I started to appreciate the story of it so much more. What puts it on my list of Greatest Movies is the fact that this movie had such a cultural impact on our society. It not only was the basis for so many more shark-related horror films to come, but it also was a major reason for the Great White Shark population to drop in the 70's and 80's. IT LITERALLY ALMOST COMPLETELY WIPED OUT AN ENTIRE SPECIES. That's how impactful this movie was. Also, John Williams created one of the most terrifying scores in movie history as the sweet cherry on top.


Like I said, I told you that this movie would make this list as well. I have seen this movie so many times in my life. There's really only one other movie that I have seen more, and it is the at the top of this list. I have seen it so many times, I even created the rules for the drinking game to this movie. Not only is it full of quotes, but it was also filmed in my home state of Massachusetts, which is just an added bonus. So yeah, it is also one of my favorites.


Now, I am not referring to the rest of the movies in the 6-part (soon to be 7 part) saga. Only the original movie could make my list of Greatest Films I Have Ever Seen. Released in 1976, our country's bicentennial, it is the Cinderella story of one man from Philadelphia who gets the chance to change the course of his life with one opportunity to show the world that he has what it takes to be a champion boxer. Apollo Creed gives him the chance of a lifetime to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship in his home city. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also snagged some nominations for a few of it's performers (Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young).

The original movie is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. I mean, Stallone has done some really horrible flicks over the years, and they have unfortunately defined his career, but I will always remember him as Rocky Balboa. Let me put it this way: Philadelphia built a statue to Rocky Balboa which stood on the top of those famous steps for years... A friggin' statue! To a made up character! You know, Joe Frazier, former World Heavyweight champion, is from Philadelphia! But still, this movie is a movie that has inspired me over many years, especially during my athletic high school years playing football. That signature theme song will always play in my heart.


This movie has proven to be a timeless classic. It was released in 1939 as an adaptation of the L. Frank Baum story. I'm not going to explain the plot to you because you should know it by now, or at least have a general sense of what it is about. It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards, and only won in the music categories because, unfortunately, another timeless classic, Gone with the Wind, came out that same year and won Best Picture. It launched Judy Garland's career, and is one of the most iconic movies of all time.

I'm not afraid to admit it: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MOVIE! It has been a staple in my family home for as long as I can remember. Not only have I seen this movie, but I have also been able to live out my dream of playing The Cowardly Lion in a production of the staged musical back in 2011. It holds a special place in my heart. My wife and I saw it in 3D when it was re-released a couple of years ago, and it is remarkable to see how well it still holds up, even in today's modern age. If I ever have kids, this will be one of the very first movies that they will see because I never want the magic of this movie to fade.



Talk about iconic. This is arguably considered to be the greatest movie ever made in a lot of critic's eyes. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo, it tells the story of Michael Corleone, a man who never wanted the life that his father, Vito, and his brothers had of being in one of the most powerful mafia families on the east coast of the US. Due to some circumstances, Michael gets brought into the mob world when his father was attacked by another rival family. Before he knew it, Michael would end up rising to power and taking over the family business. The film came out in 1973, and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning only three, including Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and Best Picture.

The first time I saw this movie, it took me many years to watch it again. That wasn't because I didn't like it, and it wasn't because it scared me, or anything like that. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I loved the movie so much that I was afraid to watch it too much. I was afraid that I would get sick of the movie if I watched it too many times. I didn't want to ruin this movie. I have really only seen the movie in its entirety about 3 times. In my mind, this is the greatest movie that I will ever see. I have never seen a more perfectly made movie in my lifetime, and probably never will in the future. From the acting, to the cinematography, to the story itself, it will always be the greatest movie of all time, in my mind.


This film, directed by Roland Emmerich, was released in 1996. For those of you that have yet to watch this movie, the plot is about a worldwide alien invasion on the weekend of July 4th, Independence Day. That's it. That's all you need to know. Simple as that. It stars Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Harry Connick, Jr., Harvey Fierstein, and aliens. It didn't win any of the more notable Academy Awards, but it did win for Best Visual Effects, obviously. If you haven't seen it yet, please do.

Now, a lot of you are probably thinking that this is coming out of left field compared to the rest of my lists. But, those of you that know me well know that couldn't be farther from the truth. You can go ahead and make fun of me all you want for my love of this movie. Go ahead. I will never change my mind. My feelings for this movie go beyond love. Love just doesn't cut it. I know this movie, basically, line for line. Every time this movie is on television, I will watch it, regardless of what my plans are for that day. I have also created the perfect drinking game to this movie, and have played that game more than any other. I have seen this movie more times than any other movie. I really wish that they had this movie on HBO because I wouldn't mind if they showed it 400 times in a row. I would watch it each and every time. I don't care. So go ahead with your comments. I can take it. They do not bother me at this point.


So, there you have it, folks. My first blog post in 2 years. Hopefully, I can have more opportunities to write more blogs and keep it updated for you all. If you would like to share your opinions of this list, or if you would like to post your own Top 5's, please do so. I look forward to reading what you put down.

Just remember, at the end of the day, this is just one man's opinion. Don't take this as FACT or that I'm telling you that what you think is wrong. That's what makes this country, and this world, so great!

Friday, August 9, 2013


It's my favorite time of the year...


Boy, do I LOVE Shark Week on The Discovery Channel! It's almost like Christmas, only it's better because you don't have to get anyone gifts, and the holiday lasts an entire week! It's that special time of year when everyone can snuggle up on their comfy couches and watch 3,000 pound Great White Sharks rip the shit out of some seals.

Okay, so I may be over-exaggerating this a little bit. It is pretty cool, though. I would say that after the Super Bowl, this is my favorite television event. I have watched it every year ever since its beginnings. The one program that really caught my attention was the popular series called AIR JAWS! I think that is everyone's favorite program to watch during Shark Week. Since it is already Wednesday of Shark Week and they haven't shown it yet, I am going to assume that they are saving it for last. It better be impressive!

Like I said, we are about at the halfway point of Shark Week 2013, and this whole week has got me thinking: Why don't they do weeks with other animals? My friend Jenny from England brought this up to me yesterday. You see, over in the other countries, they don't get Shark Week (I know; pretty depressing, eh?). Anyways, she asked me why don't they talk about other animals? Why is Shark Week such a big deal?

Well, first of all, sharks are awesome! Second of all, I think it's because The Discovery Channel wants people to have a better understanding of sharks, particularly the Great White. They want people to realize that these animals can be dangerous, but as long as you have a general respect for them, they will leave you alone. We are in their home, and we should respect their territory. When the film Jaws was released, the Great White Shark population decreased dramatically. People were so scared, they went out in hoards and started hunting them all down. The Discovery Channel decided to make this week to try and keep these sharks protected.

But Jenny got me thinking: what other animals would make a great week of television? And so, I figured I would give you a list of my top 5 choices for animals that would make a great week of television. HERE THEY ARE:


You see, The Discovery Channel has done a lot of shows about lions. I think that you should do ALL of the big cats in the animal kingdom. Lions are not the only interesting big cat out there. You very rarely see shows about mountain lions. I think the mountain lion is my favorite big cat of them all. Then, of course, there are tigers. Tigers are always fascinating. You could also talk about cheetahs, panthers, jaguars, leopards, and bobcats. I think you could make a whole week about this. You could do slow motion video of these big cats taking down their prey. I think what would be really cool would be watching a mountain lion take down a moose. THAT WOULD BE EPIC!


I think that doing a Birds of Prey Week would really be entertaining. I would love to see a collection of Hawks and Eagles and Falcons grabbing fish out of the water. Also, you could do a program called Falcons: No Holds Barred, and it will be a collection of Falcons and Eagles and Hawks fighting with one another in mid-air! I think this would make a very entertaining week of television. With birds of prey, along with all of my other ideas, you can make the week very informative and educational, as well. I feel that doing an entire week of nature's most ferocious birds would be pretty cool.



I think that these animals would really make a very interesting week of television for The Discovery Channel. Alligator hunting seems to be a very popular trend with the television audience. So, we already know that's going to work out just fine. But no one ever does anything on snakes! I was thinking of trying to add all of these animals onto my list, but since it is only 5, I figured, "Why not just combine them all together in one week?" That is what I decided to do. I don't think I need to explain this one any further. Everybody knows deep down that this would be a great idea for a television week.


Whales are definitely a very interesting creature. Most whales are harmless, but other whales, like the Orca (or killer) Whale, are known to be extreme killers. I think that having a Whale Week on The Discovery Channel would actually be incredibly entertaining. One of the Orca's main diets is the seal, much like the shark. One of the programs that you could have could be Air Willy! I can see it now! Anyways, whales, much like sharks, are very misunderstood animals. Whales have been hunted down and killed for hundreds of years. You could do a segment on all of the old whaling communities around the world, and talk about the history of those towns and the stories that accompany them. Being able to do a full, all-inclusive, week-long study on whales would not only be informative, but also entertaining. 


I think the bear might be my favorite wild animal. It is also one of those animals that people have a lot of theories about; theories about how to avoid being attacked. A lot of people get attacked by bears all over the country, which leads a lot of people to believe that they are a dangerous. Well, they are. But if you treat them with respect, they will leave you alone. They are actually afraid of you, believe it or not. If you make a lot of noise and try to make yourself look bigger, they will actually turn around and run away. Anyways, I will let the experts tell you all the different ways to avoid getting eaten by bears when they turn this into a television series! One of the greatest things about bears is that they are one of the most ferocious beasts in the animal kingdom, but most of the time, it's pretty chill. I think my favorite bear might be either the Polar Bear or the Black Bear. Unlike sharks, they also produce really cute babies. Sharks have the unfortunate curse of looking scary. I think bears are one of the most fascinating animals in the animal kingdom, and they would make the best week of television (other than sharks) on The Discovery Channel.


Tell me what animals YOU think would make good weeks on The Discovery Channel!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Disney Movies

When I was a little kid, I used to watch all the Disney movies. I couldn't wait to get the newest Disney movie on VHS for Christmas every year. For quite a while, my family and I had quite the collection going of Disney VHS tapes. After a couple of floods in our basement, the number seemed to drop quite considerably. I still have a small collection of them somewhere, I just don't want to dig through them in my basement.

Even today, I still see as many of the new Disney movies as I can. The most recent one that I have seen was Wreck-It Ralph. Even though the film was in CG, I still really enjoyed it. I don't really care what people think. I LOVE DISNEY! I always have, and I always will.

So, in the spirit of Disney, I have compiled a list of my top 10 all-time favorite Disney movies. Now, this list will not include any Disney/Pixar film, nor will it include any live-action Disney movies. It will just strictly be the Disney animated films. So, I don't want to hear anyone complain about me not putting any Disney/Pixar films!


10.) DUMBO

This movie is a classic. It is one of Walt Disney's first films that he ever made. In fact, it was number 3. It is also one of the most clearly racist Disney films. Everyone always remembers the black crows (one of them went by the name of "Jim Crow"). That was pretty racist. But there was also that slave scene that not everyone remembers. All of these men pour out of the locomotive in the middle of the night. It is pouring rain, and they have to set up the circus tent. Well, all of the men are black and don't have faces. Then, they start singing this really racist song about being roustabouts who don't have time to read and write because they have to work. Sound racist to you? Either way, it is a really touching story about a mother elephant who wants nothing else but to be with her son, and visa-versa, and learns how to use his disability as a weapon. Who doesn't like that kind of story?

This movie is a great film about how a human boy grows up with a pack of wolves in the (African?) jungle. The film is actually an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's popular novel. Of course, as Disney does with everything, they definitely made it suitable for children. Everybody loves the laid back, easygoing bear by the name of Baloo. His classic Disney hit, The Bear Necessities, is one of the greatest Disney songs ever written. It made you want to eat a whole bunch of prickled pears, whatever the hell those things are. I always like to try and emulate myself after Baloo. 

Peter Pan is actually my fiancee Stephanie's favorite Disney movie. Who doesn't love Peter Pan? This is ALSO a film version of a classic children's novel written by J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan is the boy who doesn't grow up because he lives in Neverland, where no one ever grows up. For some reason, he is the only one that can fly. He gets his flying ability from the fairy dust from his bitchy companion, Tinkerbell. Why he never gave any fairy dust to the rest of his lost boys was always kind of weird to me! If he did, he would have a whole army of kids who can all fly! Maybe he wanted to make sure that he would not be overthrown by any of the other Lost Boys? I don't know. Stephanie's favorite character is Wendy. She always wanted to be Wendy when she was working down in Disney. My favorite is probably Captain Hook. I liked Dustin Hoffman's version a lot better, but I liked the cartoon version too. 


I do love this movie. It is the movie that introduced Eddie Murphy to the voice acting world. Then, he started doing all the Shrek movies, and lost all of his awesomeness in my eye. Anyways, he was the best part of this movie. This movie also introduced me to Stevie Wonder. I had never heard of him before this movie. If you remember, at the end of the VHS, he sang the song "True To Your Heart" with 98 Degrees. It also introduced the world to Christina Aguilera who sang the hit song "Reflection." Of course, my favorite is "Make a Man Out of You," which was sung by none other than Donnie Osmond. It was a movie that really shed a badass light on the stereotypical "Disney Princess" (even though she wasn't really a princess).


Now, when I first started telling people that this was one of my favorites, I was met with a lot of opposition. Then I realized that all of that opposition came from the female perspective. You see, most females (most, not all) do not like this movie. When I asked my guy friends (meaning the ones who like Disney movies), they told me that they also thought that it was a good movie. I don't know what it is about this movie, but ever since I was a kid, I have always found this movie fascinating. The story of King Arthur and how he came to be brought to life by Disney. I think my favorite character is probably Archimedes, the pet owl of Merlin. 


My buddy Jed and I may have sang "Colors of the Wind" when drunk at a party one night. The weirdest thing about it was not the fact that we knew every word to the song, but the fact that we both sang with such passion in our voices because we loved the song so much! I do really like this movie. I think that it is one of those movies that was passed over because it came out the year after The Lion King, and people were still kind of getting over the amazement of that movie. I think one of the reasons for why I liked this movie so much is because it deals with American history, for which I am a huge fan of. Yes, I know that this movie is not historically accurate at all. If it were, then it Pocahontas would have been much younger, which would have made John Smith look like a total creeper. Another amazing thing about this movie it that the character of Tom, the young screw-up who shoots and kills Kocoum, Pocahontas' preordained husband, is actually voiced by none other than CHRISTIAN BALE! I know! Crazy, right?


This is one of the most under-appreciated Disney movies of all time, as well as being in my top 5. Every time I watch this movie, I get the chills. Not a lot of movies can actually do that. I also think that "Hellfire" is one of the most badass songs that Disney has ever produced. Of course it is. The entire score was written by Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken. ENOUGH SAID! The content level is actually pretty heavy, even watching it as an adult today. I think that they did a good job with Victor Hugo's classic tale of the deformed bell ringer from Notre Dame. I think that Frollo is one of the most villainous villains that Disney has ever created. I think I've said enough about this movie. If you haven't seen it, you really should go and see it!


Of course, this movie had to be on my list. I think everyone agrees that this is definitely one of Disney's best films, although my fiancee would disagree. She thinks that the movie dates itself with all of the pop culture references that Genie makes. I think that she is probably right. I don't really think that people will remember this movie in about 20 years, nor will the newer generations appreciate it as much as I did. This movie is one of the first movies that I remember going to the movie theaters to see. I went with my Uncle Billy. He used to bring us to the movies all the time. Even to this day, I can sit and watch this movie and still laugh my ass off. I think that Robin Williams is the perfect voice actor. 


This movie is probably at the top of everyone's list when it comes to Disney movies. It may even be at the top of your list for greatest movies of all time. I mean, it is the first Disney movie that was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It is also the only animated movie to be nominated during the time when it was only 5 movies that were nominated. That is freakin' impressive! I also have a tiny secret... Belle is my FAVORITE Disney princess. If I was a cartoon prince, I would find Belle the most attractive. I mean, she is not only pretty, but she is also extremely smart! Being smart is kind of important for me. I mean, it's a tale as old as time, bro!


Hands down, The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie of all time! I can literally watch this movie over and over again. I think this is the only Disney movie in which I know all of the lyrics to all of the songs in the movie. Not only is it my favorite Disney movie, it also has my favorite Disney song, "Be Prepared". I love this movie. This movie has also become the cause of a lot of controversy on this blog site. You see, a lot of people say that this movie is actually BASED off of William Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet. I happen to disagree. Apparently, this pisses a lot of people off. I am not changing my opinion, so stop your whining! Anyways, this movie is awesome. They tried to make a couple of sequels, but I did not see the 3rd one. I was not a big fan of the 2nd one, so I didn't want to see the 3rd. Nothing can match the awesomeness of the original. Whenever I think of the history of Disney movies, I always refer to it in my mind as movies that are made before or after The Lion King. That's how much I love this movie. 


So, there's my list. Tell me what you think on facebook, twitter, linked in, or on this very blog post!

Monday, June 10, 2013



I would just like to mention that not only is this the 50th blog post, which has been around since August of 2011, but that Stealin' The Spotlight with The Real Mike Barry has just eclipsed the 10,000 page view milestone! 

This tells me that people not only like what I am writing about, but also that they want me to write more! So, my goal now is to reach the 25,000 page view mark by the end of this summer. If my blog can reach that milestone by the end of this summer, then I will give you all a big round of applause and a figurative pat on the back (because I do not have any money to be giving out prizes and things. I'm only an actor, for pete's sake).

Keep reading, and I'll keep writing! If you have an idea of any sort that you would like me to write about this summer, or any time, then please email me at, or post a comment on THIS blog. Just as a bit of advice, if you haven't figured it out by now, I like to post about movies; just FYI.

Thank you to all of my dedicated readers out there that have been reading my blogs since the beginning. I do this for fun, and you guys make it fun to do. So, thank you!

Friday, June 7, 2013


So, as some of you may know, I work for a touring company out of Cambridge, MA called Cambridge Historical Tours. What we do is give you guided, historical tours of the town of Cambridge, and of the country's oldest college, Harvard University. What makes us special and different from all of the other tours in the area is that we are all professional storytellers. Most of us are actors that have been trained to be historians, or are historians that are trained to be actors. We know how to not only tell you the stories, but somehow get you to also experience the stories, as well. Also, the stories that we tell on our tour are not the boring ones that you learned in school. We tell only the most exciting stories on our tours! They are the stories that Harvard doesn't want you to know, or is too afraid to tell you. Also, we are the best dressed in Harvard Square. Just look at our incredible costumes:

Along with the wonderful historical tours that we give, we also do a Haunted Harvard tour, a delightfully spooky ghost tour lead by our hauntingly spirited guides around Harvard University and parts of Old Cambridge. We tell you which dormitories and class halls have been (or still are) haunted by ghosts.

We also lead spirited Pub Crawls around some of the most notable bars and pubs around Harvard Square. You get drinks and appetizers at all of our stops, along with some hilarious stories of Harvard and Cambridge old.

Why am I posting about this right now? Well, I am doing this to ask you a favor. If you read this, I could really use your help.

A local television and radio station, WGBH, is doing a contest called THE BOSTON A-LIST. There are a number of different categories to vote on. You go on the web page and vote for which company you think is the best in their respective category. The winner and finalists will be featured on WGBH throughout the year, which will eventually create more business for your company.

Well, we have made the list. We are nominated under the category of Best City Tour.

What I am asking of you is to VOTE!

Cambridge Historical Tours would greatly appreciate your vote in this competition. In our second year, we have already grown in our business more than we could have imagined. People are finally realizing what a gem this actually is. With your vote, we may see a jump in numbers for this summer on our tours, plus some well-deserved exposure. We would really appreciate the vote from you readers. We are currently in 2nd Place behind The Boston Duck Tours.

Click on this link to vote:

We thank you very much for your kind vote! If you don't think that you can vote blindly, then that is completely understandable. How do you remedy that situation? COME TAKE ONE OF OUR TOURS! We are out in Harvard Square every single day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We take off from right in front of the Harvard Square T-stop. We will be the ones wearing the top hats and hoop skirts. go to our web site to buy a ticket, or just come out to Harvard Square, and buy your ticket there. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I have to say that this blog post comes to you with a little bit of anger and frustration.

Over my short acting career, I have gone to quite a lot of auditions; as one would do if they were an actor. Most of these auditions have been good experiences. Not only is it fun to go and audition, it is also a great opportunity to network yourself with the other auditioners (if you have read one of my past posts, then you know my opinion on that). Most of the time, the people who you are auditioning for are pretty cordial. Whether they are sincere or not, they still act as if your audition is very important. I think that this is quite important to an actor. It lets the actor know that you are at least trying to give them the time of day when they walk in the room. Often times, the director has already made his decision about casting you the second that you walk in. I'll get more into this idea in a little bit.

Now, the reason that I am so angry right now is that I just had 2 auditions in 2 consecutive nights. Here is what happened:

At the first audition (I am not going to say where), I waited around for about 3 hours to finally get seen. I walked into the room. One of the guys behind the table said, "hello," the very second that I walked in the room. Things were looking pretty good for me. I thought, "These guys seem pretty cool!" I said hello right back. I then went right over to the accompanist. We figured out how the song was going to go, and I turned to get the okay from the producers.

I saw that they were talking with each other. I waited. A good 20 seconds, I waited. I then noticed that they were not going to stop talking. I asked them, "Are you all set?" They looked up from their conversation, and one of the men said, "Ya! Sorry. Go ahead." I sang my song. I said thank you. They responded, "Ya, thanks," and they continued their conversation. I took my music, and left.


At the second audition (again, I am going to leave names out of this), I didn't have to wait as long. It was only about a 20 minute wait. I had to do a song and a monologue. They called me in. I walked into the theater. This time, I had to start the conversation on my own. I said, "Good evening!" There was a slight pause before I got a response, "hello". (This probably wasn't the correct response that they should have given, but that is not the point)

I gave my music to the accompanist. We figured out the logistics of the song together, and then I took my spot under the spotlight. I introduced myself this time. I figured that maybe it was my fault the night before that they didn't pay attention to me. I started my audition.

Now, mind you, during both of these auditions, I was really feeling it. If you are an actor, you know what I mean by that. When you have a great audition, you can just feel it.

Well, I was really feeling it during this particular audition. After my song, I noticed that they did not take their eyes up from their laptops. I started my monologue. I nailed the monologue. THEY STILL DIDN'T LOOK UP FROM THEIR LAPTOPS!


The reason for why I am posting this blog is because I want to make people aware of how insanely rude this is! I am not the only person who thinks this either. Other people with whom I have spoken to about this have also told me how insanely rude they think this is.

I understand. If you are a producer or a director, and you are running an audition all day, it can get really tiring. It can be a rather long day.

But this is your JOB. No matter how long the day can get, you need to treat every person you see with the same respect that you gave the first person that walked in the audition room. Whether you mean it or not, you need to treat the last person you see just as special as the first person you see. These actors put in the hard work to prepare for this audition. They did THEIR job. What if this is audition was something that they really needed? I know that even if I don't get cast in a show, it makes me feel better if I think that I have a chance. I'm sure that other actors definitely feel the same way.

These 2 auditions are not the only times that this has happened to me. Now, you may want to tell me, "Well, maybe you should have a better audition. MAKE them give you their attention!" I can tell you that is not the point in what I am trying to make. The point is that it should not matter how bad the audition was or is, you should still give that actor your undivided attention. Because THAT IS YOUR JOB.

I hope that if you are a director or a producer and you are reading this, you take this bit of advice to heart. Coming from an actor, we definitely notice, and we DEFINITELY don't appreciate it.

If you agree or disagree, or think that I am a jerk who needs to just shut his mouth, please let me know! I would love to hear some feedback from this, especially if you are an actor and have some other horror stories.

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