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2006 Bellview Awards, Part III



The finale!

Most Popular (counted by number of responses) Bellview Essay--Black, in Africa

This one was the run-away winner, although the preceding essay, Africa--The Prequel, also saw a good number of responses.  I guess when you head off for a third-world country, it makes everything else pale in comparison!


Best Xbox Game:  Gears of War (Xbox 360)

Another easy one--the single-player campaign is bad-ass and the online 4-on-4 tactical game is killer...add in the opportunity to grab a partner and play the entire single-player game online with someone you trust makes this one the perfect video game


Best PS2 Game:  God of War

Quiet year on my PS2, and 2007 will be even quieter, since I will own a PS3 and a Wii by the end of the year.  But, "God of War" is one of the best games in the PS2's tenure; with about ten hours of great action, good puzzles and still some of the best graphics any system has seen, its bargain bin $20 Greatest Hits cost makes me wonder why every since person on the planet doesn't own this puppy yet.  The sequel is set to come out later this year.


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...


"In my opinion, any movie with Scarlett Johansson automatically starts one level higher.  I think I love her.  You know, if you're in to the whole 'painfully beautiful and perky breasts' thing."

--Scott "Clean as a Whistle" Bryant


"I think you need a new category for movies. It should be know as GDS--'Guaranteed Dog Shit.'  'Annapolis' clearly falls into this. Thank god West Point knew better than to let some dumb asses come in and try to make up some life there. I didn't realize the Naval Academy was the premier leadership and military academy. Guess I should have stayed in MD for college and ask the Navy biotches how dangerous it is to fight a war in Iraq and Afghanistan while floating in the ocean."

--Chi "Nails" Szeto


"Seriously, the Tee vs. Eh essay was one of the best pieces of work ever…and not just because it included my thoughts…well okay…because it included my thoughts…but still, there are some ridiculously funny quotes throughout.  Seriously, 'cinnamon ring' effing brilliant…disgusting…but brilliant nonetheless.

"However, the best statement in that entire piece is this 'at the end of the day, I think I simply enjoy a pair of big titties in my face.'  I'm just picturing Joe Corporate coming home from a long day at the office, loosening his tie, sitting down on the couch, and then a giant pair of titties come jiggling in his face.  Kind of warms the heart.

"One thing I'd like to clear up for all of those ladies who mentioned that men must be T-men b/c of how much they talk about T's.  Here's the deal, while A's and T's both come in all shapes and sizes, 90% of the A's that aren't worth talking about.  100% of the T's are.  I'm an A-man 'til the day I die, but I will still look at, point out, and discuss every unsuspecting T when I'm with friends…it's just what we do.  We don't have them, they're one of life's biggest and generally softest mysteries, and they make for an easy and interesting conversation piece among friends.

"Oh, and whoever it was who said 'sadly for Asians and Middle Easterners, we have no idea…they are just happy they got a woman…'  Wow…stunningly funny…and wrong…but more so funny."

--Ross "Stinger" Stephenson


"I TOTALLY know where you are coming from!! [Take the Elevator, You Lazy Bastard]  I was in a similar elevator position when I was 7 months pregnant. I figured I had an excuse, bein' all huge and my lab being on the 7th floor.  Some woman got on the elevator and pushed 2 while the rest of us, getting in on floor 1, were waiting for floors 6 and 7.

"I normally would be too chicken for emotional outbursts regarding other people's laziness, but I was in a pretty bad mood. I made the conscious decision to vocalize my frustration, seeing as I could use preggers hormones as an excuse. So I did.

"There were about 7 people on the elevator. Lazychick was the last to push her button, and didn't make eye contact with anyone. Seriously, there is a stairwell RIGHT next to the elevator, and the woman wasn't saving any time waiting for the elevator.

"EXCUSE me, but SERIOUSLY, did you just PUSH TWO?" I said. Loudly."

"Honestly, everyone else in the elevator moved against the wall to get away from me and the #2 lady. She just stood there, with her mouth open, and when the elevators opened she bolted. When the elevator doors closed, some guy said 'right on.'

"I see that lady a lot. She still waits to go up one floor. I am almost sure she does not have any walking difficulty. My favorite part is when I smoke her out of the building by taking the stairs. So what did I learn?  No one is going to argue with a pregnant woman. Damn right!"

--Amy "Twitch" Handy


"Wanted to say nice work on the 'Free' essay [Free, Scorned]. I must agree I absolutely adore things that are free (free food, free drinks, free cash, free sex, even free-dom!). Hell, we're great friends but if your website weren't free, I'm not sure I'd ever visit it. Just kidding - maybe.

"Ignoring my own personal take on the immigration issue [Guess Who's Coming to (Deliver) Dinner], my initial reaction to your essay was to say okay--that's one way to handle things going forward, but what would you suggest we do about the 12 million folks who already here?  Do you want to deport them--an almost unimaginably expensive and difficult task. If not, what incentive do they have to report to INS centers as Dave suggests?  Why report and be told you have to leave in 3 months, if by not reporting you can stay here indefinitely, albeit illegally. I think your take overlooks the current situation of those folks, and focuses only on a prospective approach.

"Given all that, I think [my wife] Colleen would have an aneurysm if Chipotle were to shut down."

--Rob "Jellybean" Grant


"J-bell, you know I love you. But I hated this fucking dogshit movie ['The New World'] almost as much as I hated 'The Thin Red Line' (but not quite). Reasons why:

* More time is spent on close up shots of the fucking sun shining through the leaves than on the main character dying, such that an otherwise poignant part of the story goes by so fast we do not have time to care. In fact immediately following her deathbed there is a shot of water in a stream that outlasts the death scene by 30 seconds or so.

* The man is so fucking in love with ambient sound that the crickets drown out the voices in 85% of the movie. this does not pass for art in my book, but some sort of lack or abuse of technical mastery that just makes your movie irritable to watch.

* Shots of an Indian woman repeatedly walking VERY SLOWLY through different kinds of grass does not make you fucking deep.

* Trying to tell some 'God I am so deep' story and then force feeding the main points down our throats during voiceovers that are spoken slowly, dreamily, and lyrically recount some fucking truisms about how important love is does not count as masterful art. It's the kind of shit weak storytellers bring because they cant show you the point so they have to resort to telling you the point.

* Pan the sun coming through the trees one more time, I'm not sure I got it.

"Fuck man, this thing was a Hard Vice for me.  You couldn't pay me to watch it again.  I think if this man directed as part of a team with someone else, who could tame some of his more irritable tendencies, it could be a stunning thing. I don't deny there are some very nice elements, or the potential for some masterful and unusual treatments.  I suppose what it all comes down to is that I still think Jackson Pollack style art is bullshit, and this film is kind of like throwing paint all over the celluloid and calling it a movie."

--Erin "Please Pass the Chainsaw" McDonnell


"'Engine engine, #9, on the NY transit line, if my train goes off the track, pick it up, pic..............(SHHHHHHH - static - no signal).'

"Yes, this happened on Wednesday night. Right at the height of Black Sheep's 'The Choice is Yours!'  If I had a small dog to kick at that moment, I would have punted it. This moment summarizes the gift and the curse of XM Radio. Yes, for 10 bucks a month, you have access to hundreds of radio stations. That baseball game you want to follow up on isn't on TV - turn to XM. Want to hear BBC news - turn to XM. Most important, XM expands the true beauty of radio - the great feeling when, unexpectedly - out of nowhere, a song that you know and love just comes on the radio. Whether it's the 90s channel, Lucy, or Top Tracks, XM delivers some fire. However, the ultimate channel is The Rhyme [XM channel 65]: old school hip-hop. Not only do they play early old school, but great stuff from the early 90s. The Rhyme even has great themes (Best Hip Hop battles). I almost wrecked my car when Wu Tang Clan was doing a live concert - with a live band. Oh sweet heavens that shit was nice. Unfortunately, for all of its glory, XM is like that girl in high school you used to fool around with. You're in your parents' living room. She came over and she's looking nice. You're making out on the couch. Things are getting good. You go for the bra, and suddenly it's 'I've go to go.' How many times has XM cut out in the middle of a great song? Too many! I drove to NY and couldn't get an XM signal for most of the Jersey turnpike. Why do trees interfere with XM? It's a fucking satellite! Shouldn't I be able to get this signal anywhere on the face of the earth? Damn you XM! Like Pookie in 'New Jack City', I've gotten a taste of the good stuff, and now I'm hooked. I'll deal with your crappy signal while waiting for another Wu Tang concert."

--Gordon "The Professional" Stokes


"Spoken like a true Yankee fan.  While the Sox had a awful collapse this year, I'm cool with it.  I have another 84 years before I need to worry again.  As for you guys, Steinbrenner keeps buying players like they are going out of style, but for what?  The Tigers made you all look foolish yesterday.  They are half you age, and 1/4th your salary.  The reason the Sox fell apart is that they're whole team got hurt in August.  You guys are at full strength.  There is no excuse for the Yanks not to win it all.  Anything less would be a horrendous disappointment.  But I guess after the greatest choke job in the history of playoff baseball, you are used to it.  Go Sox."

--Ethan "Fuck the Bombers!" Susskind


"Commish, you will love this. My company is clamping down on our internet access lately so when I try to access your site, I get a restricted access message that reads: 'The Websense category 'Tasteless' is filtered.'  Isn't that great? I thought you would be proud."

--Maria Schweitzer


"Thought I'd drop a line to send a moment of actual man-sensitivity your way.  I  started wondering if I need to challenge myself a little more after recently thinking about how I'm NOT driven to step out of my comfort zone and go see the world (for various reasons I won't get into here).  I'm an adult and all, but there's no reason I shouldn't stop growing, especially since I have ~choke~ two kids who are going to need help growing themselves.

"That said, I REALLY admire your willingness to take a chance and step out into a 'foreign' zone.  It's SO easy to get fat and lazy over here in the States, so I applaud you for choosing the road less traveled.  Good work, my friend.  Good work, indeed.  (Have fun, be safe, and bring some of that black power home from the motherland.)"

--Charles "The Chuckwagon" Longer


Wow.  12 essays.  126 flicks.  80 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.  Certainly, I need to write some more essays in the '07...hopefully, you enjoyed reading some of this stuff as much as I loved writing it.  Happy 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.



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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09