***You can find the original, 200+ movie rating list here.***

*As list 1 became laggy with length, I decided to begin a new list of movie ratings and mini-reviews.

All rankings are personal and combine my own enjoyment, my opinions on the quality of acting, story, effects, visuals, dialogue, etc.

Movies are rated on (1)–(99) scale.

RT = Rotten Tomatoes, a shorthand I frequently use. The critic/audience score is displayed as (75/63) (for example), and is the score at the time I am writing the rating.

To put the scale into the “stars system,” think 90–99 = 5 stars. 80–89…

A Short Story

By Ben D’Alessio

The biggest lie you’re ever told is that America loves a comeback story.

Dr. Martin Donagle had held his Spring semester, Senior Capstone seminar in room 103, just down the hallway from his office, for the past thirteen years. An intimate classroom in Josiah Hall, a building constructed with Pennsylvania blue-marble that marked the literal cornerstone of Benezet College in 1846 — it was one of the three edifice-gems on campus featured on postcards, laptop backgrounds, and college brochures for the seventh-ranked “Most Beautiful Small College Campus in America,” sandwiched between Vassar and Wellesly.

By Ben D’Alessio

It’s April, and that means it’s time to get my (way too early) summer reading list together. The following picks are books I’ve read since the last list and think deserve notoriety for any number of reasons. Besides #1, they aren’t in any particular order.

Leave a comment for more info on any of the books.

Also, feel free to check out any of my novels, which can be enjoyed any time of year.

  1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)

(Chapter Excerpt)

  • This is the first chapter of my new novel, 6 Harlots: Rebirth of a Nation. You can find my other novels and short stories on my website. All of my books are available in paperback and ebook formats.
  • *This excerpt contains explicit content.*

Razor Jane

On the fringes of the horizon, across the sprawling pink poppy fields of Battle-Zone II, Jane watched through her binoculars as the gaunt viro stumbled and fell to the dirt, far away from the pickup point. …

By Ben D’Alessio

Dear Andrew,

It wasn’t love at first sight, I have to be honest. You wanted to give me free money (you wanted to give everyone free money!) and I was skeptical about that. You were in the way, I was told. You shouldn’t be taken seriously. You were new, fresh, an outsider, and they were frightened of you because of it. Well… I have a thing for outsiders and I wanted to give you a chance. That’s how you won me over (it didn’t bother me that you sound like Kermit the Frog). And when I fell, I fell…

By Ben D’Alessio

Kamala Harris is the villain in those crime documentaries you all love so much. I have a general distaste for politicians but can overlook most issues and hypocrisies — especially when they are deep in a candidate’s past — when it comes time to vote. Oftentimes, the moral purity being pushed in our culture simply does not, should not, and cannot apply to politics — vote for least-bad and hope for the best.

But Kamala Harris has played a significant role in ruining too many lives, using her power as the District Attorney of San Francisco and…

By Ben D’Alessio

The saying goes: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The lesser-known saying (lesser-known because I just made it up) goes: “Pain and suffering is the evil uncle of change.”

For too many a Saturday and/or Sunday morning, I curled up on my couch, the steam from my coffee twirling into the air, as my head pounded and stomach turned over. …

by Ben D’Alessio

Kenosha, WI

It was a pleasure — and morally right and just — to burn. From the ashes of not just Minneapolis, Portland, and Kenosha, but all of the (former) United States, a new society can be constructed that will address systematic racism and other systems of oppression. The new to-be-named society (I like “Progressium”) will not have police brutality because there will be no police.

This ambitious plan is attainable, but only if the proceeding blueprint is followed in a precise and unrelenting manner.

The first, and probably most popular step, is to GET RID OF WHITE PEOPLE…

by Ben D’Alessio

Facemasks are in right now. And although June is about as far away from football season as you can get, even talks about canceling the 2020 season apropos the coronavirus has me itching under the arms. Not only that, but March Madness was canceled, Baseball will begin who-knows-when (late July? I’ll believe it when I see it), and no, NASCAR and Celebrity Golf outings won’t do it for me. So, to quench my sports thirst I have been shoving my face into the large vats of old football footage that NBCSN (“The Vault”), conference-oriented channels like the Big Ten Network, and SEC Network have been putting out there day and night. At one point, I basically had every New Year’s Eve Bowl Game from the mid-80s to early-90s saved in my queue.

Watching these option-oriented, Power-I formationed, under-center five-step dropping, titans of the Reagan-era gridiron provided me with a faux-nostalgia I never actually experienced — I wasn’t born until 1990, after all.

But even deep into the 2000s, the bulky-shouldered padded, mid-riff exposed, fingers-taped, members of the blue-chip schools served as the prototype “football player” in young imaginations. And for this kid, obsessed with knights and gladiators — I celebrated many a birthday at the Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ — the most appealing part of the whole get-up was the helmet, the final piece of armor strapped onto your head before marching into battle.

When I hit the 3rd Grade and was finally allowed to get my own pads, I didn’t care what was in front of my face — I believe that except for a couple of players who bought their own, we all had the same matching, plastic cage with the vertical bar going down the center, it didn’t matter if you were a quarterback or guard.

By Ben D’Alessio

Step 1: Everyone takes a 23andMe.

It was a fun experiment. We Americans started as a collection of pious pioneers (who hanged the occasional witch or two) and cash-crop entrepreneurs who continued to grow inedible tobacco over food even when our settlements were starving to death — it’s called an investment. We took a loose collection of colonies and united them to kick some English ass and then un-united them to kick our own asses. Eventually, after teaming-up with the English (and their associates across the pond), we began our world tour to Europe, Asia, and even…

Ben D'Alessio

Author of the novels: Binge Until Tragedy, Lunchmeat, The Neon God, & 6 Harlots: Rebirth of a Nation | Linwood, NJ https://www.bendalessio.com/

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