2005 Bellview Awards, Part III
Most Popular (counted by number of
responses) Bellview Essay--"AHHHHHHHHHH!!"
The only high point for me regarding UVA
sports in 2005 was a classic game, a win over Florida State; too bad
it was followed up the very next week by another shitty UVA loss
A Wedding at a Campground in Wisconsin...on a Thursday
Love: "Predator" (guest essay by Charles "Chuck" Longer)
Dear Apple, Fuck You (Love, Justin)
Stay Home, You Sick Bastard
This IS a Real Person
Best Xbox Game:
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Usually, having a movie license from
anything respectable turns into bad news...but, this Vin
Diesel-fronted game is an awesome adventure title that is a cool mix
of stealth, fighting and first-person shooter. You can get
this almost anywhere for $20 and only a few games on the system look
as good as this
Best PS2 Game:
Grand Theft Auto--San
Here's the thing: if you like old-skool
hip-hop, epic storylines and a true game where the world is your
oyster, there isn't a single video game available on consoles that
will fit you any better than the most recent "GTA" game. It's
almost too big, but when you start playing it you realize how far
video games have to go before they truly become perfect, because
this world is so big and there's so much to do in it AND you keep
wishing there was even more going on. I still don't know how
these guys keep coming up with the games, from the stellar voice
talent to a ten-album soundtrack that can be bought separately to
the 100 hours of gaming to be had in this title.
Best Picture of the Year:
Note from our winner, Beth: "After
receiving the link to your site from Erin and Terry, let me say how
much I enjoyed your synopsis of the wedding [A Wedding at a
Campground in Wisconsin...on a Thursday]. And shit, that picture
that you posted of me cutting a rug, I thought that overbites like
that were reserved for obnoxious white men on the dance floor...I'll
readily admit to regularly making fun of that facial expression.
Anyways, between reading and research today, I had a chance to scan
your website, and had a few laughs. I look forward to future
The Ten Best Bellview Responses of the Year
(in date order)
Yep, if you ever respond to one of the
essays, not only do I read them, I almost always keep them.
Out of literally hundreds of responses, here are the ten best ones;
some are positive, some are negative, some are funny and some bring
a tear to the eye...
10. "Why is Chuck Longer so
unbelievably wise? Is it having a kid that makes you wise? Now I
thought it was having a kid that gave you 'Dad strength' as well as
the ability to suddenly do extensive yard work in a polo shirt and
khakis. I mean, I always dreamed of having a kid and then
immediately running around and opening every jar of pickles I could
get my hands on, then untying even the stir craziest of knots
because of my newfound powers. But are you telling me that my
skreet smarts and Sensei-like wiseness will increase just because my
boys know how to swim?
"Please tell me CLonger was previously just
your mild-mannered video game and bad movie connoisseur with a
Luke-from-'Empire Strikes Back'-type Jedi mind (not yet at its
wisest). Please tell me so I can decide if I should go have some
illegitimate children right away or not."
9. "As a devoted reader of your site,
I write the following with love and adoration. I will always be a
fan and supporter. However, recently I have been disappointed by
some of your reviews. They have been so out of synch with my own
thoughts/perceptions that it made me question my allegiance to
"I couldn't put my finger on what was really
bothering me. That was until a fellow Bellview reader articulated
the problem. She said, 'his taste in movies is like that of a
16-year-old boy.' Now I know you're not a 16-year-old boy and
consider you to be very intelligent. However, when I did an informal
content analysis of recent reviews I noticed that most movies that
dealt with adult themes and didn't have at least one scene of ass
kicking were saddled with a matinee rating or lower. In fact, I
pondered an experiment where you and a 16-year-old boy would review
the same movies. Then we could measure the variance between them.
"I like someone who exhibits youthful
exuberance, but when it comes to movie reviews I want someone who
can relate to mature themes and doesn't discount a movie just
because he thinks there's too much dialogue. For example, your
review for 'Closer' you state, 'But, as the new film 'Closer' is
based on a play, the reliance on all of this dialogue leaves us with
a movie so chatty that it feels a fair bit exhausted, leaving me
wanting just a little bit of action.' Would a Kung Fu fight between
Clive Owen and Jude Law sated your appetite for action?
"Seriously, your reviews exhibit great film
knowledge and they're excellently written. Maybe I just have to
accept we're not going to see eye to eye. This is disappointing to
me. I thought you were my movie kindred spirit."
8. "I haven't even read the rest of
the week's Bellview, and I'm already angry.
'BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE'...without any young kids/siblings as
your excuse for viewing?!? Are you kidding me?
"You know that three-years-late knife I gave
you? Well...you need to take that bad-boy, stick it blade-up
between the cushions of your sofa, and then do a swan dive onto it.
"'BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE?' Jeez. What's
next? The Strawberry Shortcake / Rainbow Brite Snuggly Sleepover
Spectacular? Care Bears Go to Lemon-Drop Island? Garfield: The
Movie? I don't even know you anymore."
7. "Wow. Wow wow wow. I must admit
to the quick 'delete' on recent Bellviews due primarily to my
craziness at work (when I check most email). However, today I
decided to treat myself to some 'view and I wasn't disappointed.
Chuck's essay [Movies We Love: 'Predator'] was right on. I probably
saw 'Predator' once (or part of it stumbling through the channels)
over the past year and it is a classic. I can still picture Arnold
covered in mud 'paint' (funny, mud never went on me that perfectly
when I was a kid). The most impressive part of Chuck's essay--it
makes me want to go see the movie again! I still have a $10
Blockbuster gift card from Christmas--I may have just found the
right way to spend it. Thanks for helping me keep in touch with my
80's roots. Well done Chuck."
of Fallsmead" McGrath
6. "You are fucking fired. How many
fucking messages did I leave on your goddamn cell phone because I
had to walk by a huuuuuuuge fucking billboard for what was obviously
a total shit stain on the hardly clean tighty whities of Hollywood?
And you gave
'Beauty Shop'--aka 'Beauty Shit'--a fucking Hard Vice. Well
duh. BUT YOU DIDN'T DROP A SINGLE FUCKING BIT OF FUCKING
PROFANITY?!!? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? The warning label
CLEARLY states that STRONG PROFANITY will be used in ALL reviews of
Hard Vice movies. ALL, motherfucker. ALL!!!!!!! Stop making me do
your dirty work."
You, Fucker" Stone
5. "I don't believe we have ever met,
but I am a good friend of Jeannine's and she has told me much about
you. Still, I have not heard enough to know whether your message
this morning was a joke. Perhaps when I see Jeannine, she can clear
this up for me. In the meantime, I'll assume you are serious.
"Jeannine and Zak went out of town that
weekend to celebrate their anniversary, and many of us expected and
hoped that they would get engaged as well. I too received a text
message that Monday morning, but since Jeannine was still out of
town and on her cell phone, I did not in any way expect a call. I
also figured that there were other people she needed to call--like
her parents, grandparents, sister and best friend (do you fit into
any of those categories?). Also, some of her friends picked up the
phone and called her as soon as they heard the news. I figured she
may have been tired of relaying the story over and over and probably
wanted to spend the rest of her special weekend celebrating with Zak.
I figured I would hear more details in due time. And I did, the
next time I saw her. Have you called Jeannine to congratulate her
and find out the details of how Zak proposed?
"I don't know Amy and Jason, but to think
that a couple with a new premature baby on their hands should drop
everything to call you is a bit absurd. Do you think they have
nothing better to do? Do you think that having a new baby isn't one
of the most overwhelming things in the world and that you should
take precedence? Did you go visit them in the hospital? Did you
"It is NOT all about you, Justin. It was
very nice of these people who thought enough of you to include you
in the announcements that they made--even if it was brief--they
still thought of you and wanted to let you know right away as best
they could. So maybe it is your turn to do something? What kind of
person goes and craps all over two very joyous occasions like this?
You diss your friends in a public forum because they did not kowtow
to you? These people may be your friends, but you are not a friend
to them. Grow up."
4. "Oh I must take issue. I'm highly
disappointed with ONE sentence of your review of
'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith':
'Meanwhile, Anakin and Padme have
continued their intergalactic love affair and are now pregnant with
the kids that will become Luke and Leia...'
"'Are' pregnant? Dude I can't believe that
you, YOU, have fallen into the hokey p.c. b.s. trap of saying that a
Man and a Woman ARE pregnant. Newsflash: SHE is pregnant.
Unless he's also feeling morning sickness and bloated as a snake
after a meal, there is no 'they are.' Last I checked, the twins are
growing inside of HER and HER alone. This "we are pregnant" is some
cockamamy PC crapola. You don't need to pander to idiots who have
found some reason why this is more acceptable nomenclature."
3. "Yo, that [AHHHHHHHHHH] was a great
article. I read that last paragraph about nine times, laughing my
ass off. You've got talent! However, some food for thought.
"a. Bobby Bowden is old. Really old. He's
been old for a long time. I got a good glimpse of him when we were
on the field. He looked atrocious. I think that game aged him about
10 more years, bringing his real age closer to that of a California
redwood. You know "Big Trouble in Little China"? Remember the
ooooolllld guy in the wheelchair. He looked like that guy. The kind
of person you'd shield your kids from if he walked by. Eat shit,
"b. A real football field feels...special.
I've played plenty of football, but there's something special about
setting foot on a real field.
"c. The path of destruction from the stadium
to the Corner. Not that I like seeing UVA dirty, but I was proud to
see UVA dirty. I'm sick of this wine and cheese bullshit. I want to
see some couches burning on McCormick. Knowing that people were
partying and didn't give a crap about the trail they were leaving,
it made me feel like we had a real football school...just for a
2. "Just wanted to utterly concur
about the life is good thing. How often do we twenty- and thirty-somethings
take the time to sit back and reflect? We are always pushing ahead
to make sure we are succeeding or getting closer to the goal o' the
minute to validate our transitioning young lives... but as you said,
take the time to say, 'damn, life is good!' I put 'Life is Sweet'
on my screen saver a few weeks ago and it keeps me smiling!
1. "You fuckin' hit that nail right on
the fuckin' head [Dear Apple, Fuck You]. Fuck Apple and their
stylish ways. Fuck Apple for tricking me, a teacher, into dropping
three months pay, on a failing machine. Fuck Apple for making me
angry. Remind me to tell you about the time I had a run-in with the
people at the Apple store, I'd tell you now but I don't want to
spend my whole day angry."
Wow. 20 essays. 100 flicks.
119 Video Composite Units, which is my way of adding up the total
number of flicks plus TV shows I watched on TV (each VCU is roughly
100 minutes). I made the goals for the year and I must say, it
was fun. Hopefully you enjoyed reading some of this stuff as
much as I loved writing it. Happy muthafuckin' New Year!!!
Video Composite Units--this number
combines films and TV shows that I have watched by breaking them
down into total hours. For standalone films, those count as
one VCU; for TV content, they are broken down into total minutes so
that they fall within a 90-to-120-minute range and then are referred
to as a unit. For example, the first season of "Deadwood" had
12 60-minute episodes, so that breaks down into 6 VCUs, since it is
12 hours of footage.
Comments? Drop me a line at