The (Socially Distanced) Oscar Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tomorrow’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, not only haven’t I’ve seen these films, I haven’t actually heard of many of them. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen a grand total of zero of these, so I’ll go with Mank, since Hollywood certainly loves films about itself.

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Having seen none of these, I’ll go with the sentimental pick of Boseman in what I believe was his final performance.

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Again, I’ve seen none of these, so I’ll take a stab in the dark and pick Carey Mulligan.

Continue reading →

And The (Socially Distanced) Nominees Are

side_oscarAfter a year like no other, the 93rd Academy Awards are going down Sunday night.  Given that movie theaters were closed for the majority of 2020 thanks to the corona virus, I don’t know that I’ve heard of many of these movies let alone seen them.  So, with less basis in fact than most years, here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards.

Best Original Screenplay

Will Berson and Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder and Abraham Marder, Sound of Metal
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’ve at least heard of The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Kemp Powers, One Night In Miami…
Ramin Bahrani, The White Tiger

I don’t want to live in a world where a Borat movie wins a writing Oscar, so I’ll go with Nomadland.

Best Animated Feature

Onward
Over The Moon
A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Soul is the only one I’ve heard of.

Best Cinematography

Sean Bobbitt, Judas and the Black Messiah
Erik Messerschmidt, Mank
Dariusz Wolski, News of the World
Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
Phedon Papamichael, The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve got no clue.

Best Costume Design

Alexandra Byrne, Emma
Ann Roth, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Trish Sumemrville, Mank
Bina Daigeler, Mulan
Massimo Cantini Parrini, Pinocchio

A tale of Hollywood’s past is my choice to win this particular prize.

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2020: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_22272 different people starred in the 154 movies I saw last year (starring in being the first two named stars, a tradition dating back to the old Chicago Tribune TV guide which populated the early days of my database), and 28 of them starred in more than 1 film. Those 28 thespians are:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Actor Name Films
Charles Bronson 4
Harrison Ford 4
Katie Holmes 3
Keanu Reeves 3
Bruce Willis 3
Renee Zellwegger 3
Chadwick Boseman 2
Alison Brie 2
Jessica Chastain 2
Adam Driver 2
Jesse Eisenberg 2
Karen Gillan 2
Carla Gugino 2
Tom Hanks 2
Anna Hutchison 2
Samuel L. Jackson 2
Gillian Jacobs 2
Felicity Jones 2
Ewan McGregor 2
Kumail Nanjiani 2
Al Pacino 2
Brad Pitt 2
Issa Rae 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger 2
Will Smith 2
Kristen Stewart 2
Charlize Theron 2
Jessie T. Usher 2

Now let’s take a look at the next batch of movies that I saw in 2020, following up on last Wednesday’s post.

The Prodigy (2019)
The soul of a serial killer takes over a young boy’s body, much to his mother’s chagrin.

Alex & The List (2017)
A dog trainer is given a list of things to change about himself by his fiancé before she’ll marry him.

Hide (2011)
A Boston detective investigates the mummified remains of six women.

Pretty Little Stalker (2018)
A writer takes in a troubled girl and sees her family disintegrate.

Road To Perdition (2002)
Tom Hanks and Paul Newman star in this adaptation of the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
The kids head back into the game, this time dragging along Dannys DeVito and Glover.

Are You In The House Alone? (1978)
A supposed horror movie that turned out to be a made-for-tv movie.

My Soul To Take (2010)
A serial killer returns to his hometown to stalk the seven children born on the day he was allegedly put to rest.

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason (2004)
The second installment in the series starring Renee Zellwegger.

Good People (2014)
A couple finds themselves in a pickle after discovering, and keeping, cash in their dead tenants apartment. Continue reading →

2020: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

Thanks to the corona virus inspired shelter-in-place order that kept everyone locked at home from mid-March through my annual long December vacation, I saw a big increase in movie watching, with my highest total since 2008.  I managed to watch 154 movies last year, easily surpassing the 100 movie plateau for the first time since 2011 and my third highest total of all time.  It’s amazing what I can accomplish when I am home all day and don’t need to bother with pesky things like a commute.  Or exercise.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I watched last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

Sister Cities (2016)
Four sisters reunite following the somewhat suspicious passing of their mother.

Home Again (2017)
Reese Witherspoon takes on three boarders and finds her life change for the better.

It Chapter 2 (2019)
Now adults, the Losers Club returns to Derry to finish off Pennywise once and for all.

The Domestics (2018)
A young couple crosses a post-apocalyptic country looking for safety.

On The Basis Of Sex (2018)
A young Ruth Bader Ginsberg argues in front of the Supreme Court.

Colonia (2016)
A young woman searches for her kidnapped boyfriend.

Long Shot (2019)
A once-promising journalist hooks up, professionally and personally, with his former babysitter, who is running for president.

Overboard (2018)
The roles are reversed in this remake of the Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn classic.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
Keanu Reeves returns for the third installment of this surprisingly entertaining series.

Midsommar (2019)
A group of college students heads to Sweden for a festival and some strange shit goes down. Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In Pictures Wrap Up

Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime.  The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since.  So, given those guidelines, and thanks to a corona virus inspired uptick to my movie watching this year, it is time to look at the 100 actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1.

Two weeks ago, we wrapped up our latest look at the films I’ve seen over my lifetime.  There were 15 new actors who hit the 10 film plateau since the last time we did this 3 years ago, with Elizabeth Banks and James McAvoy making the biggest leaps, both from 5 films to 10.  An even 40 actors did not see any change in their totals, with Raymond Burr heading up the top of those actors.

Tom Cruise led all actors by picking up 6 additional firms over the past 3 years, thanks in part to his Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible franchises.  4 actors, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, and the previously mentioned Elizabeth Banks and James McAvoy, increased their totals by 5 films.

Largest Increase

  • Tom Cruise – 6
  • Tom Hanks – 5
  • Samuel L. Jackson – 5
  • Elizabeth Banks – 5
  • James McAvoy – 5

Largest Percentage Increase

  • Elizabeth Banks – 200%
  • James McAvoy – 200%
  • Elliot Page – 167%
  • Anna Kendrick – 157%
  • Jennifer Lawrence – 150%

You Ought To Be In (34) Pictures

Movie_Reel_22

Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime.  The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since.  So, given those guidelines, and thanks to a corona virus inspired uptick to my movie watching this year, it is time to look at the 100 actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1.

Today, we conclude with the actor that has starred in 34 movies that I have seen.

Bruce Willis

The actor that I have seen in the most films is Bruce Willis, who maintains a four picture lead over his closest competitor.  I first saw him in 1985’s Moonlighting, the pilot to the television show that introduced him to America.  His first big screen work that I saw was 1988’s Die Hard.  His greatest streak was 4 years from 1995 through 1998.  He is only up three films over the last 3 years, adding Glass and Death Wish in 2019, making that the 8th year that I’ve seen multiple films starring Willis, and Once Upon A Time In Venice earlier this year.

You Ought To Be In (30) Pictures

Movie_Reel_22

Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime.  The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since.  So, given those guidelines, and thanks to a corona virus inspired uptick to my movie watching this year, it is time to look at the 100 actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1.

Today, we continue with the actor that has starred in 30 movies that I have seen.

Tom Hanks

In 1984, Tom Hanks splashed on to the movie scene in the aptly titled Splash.  My biggest Tom Hanks year was 2017, when I saw 4 of his films, and there were 6 other years where I saw at least 2 of his films.  He has added 5 new films, moving into second place.  The two most recent, both coming earlier this year, were 2002’s Road To Perdition and 2019’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.

You Ought To Be In (28) Pictures

Movie_Reel_22Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime.  The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since.  So, given those guidelines, and thanks to a corona virus inspired uptick to my movie watching this year, it is time to look at the 100 actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1.

Today, we continue with the actor that has starred in 28 movies that I have seen.

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage can also point to special circumstances behind his high film total: real estate issues and IRS trouble.  After being accused of owing the government over $6.5 million in unpaid taxes and losing millions in bad real estate deals, Cage filed a $20 million lawsuit against his business manager and started taking any and every role offered to him.  7 of his films that I have seen have come since, including 4 in 2010 alone.  My first exposure to a starring Cage role was likely 1987’s Raising Arizona.  There have been 8 years since where I have seen multiple Cage films.  After a 3 year absence from my screen, Cage returned earlier this year with Vengeance: A Love Story.

You Ought To Be In (26) Pictures

Movie_Reel_22

Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime.  The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since.  So, given those guidelines, and thanks to a corona virus inspired uptick to my movie watching this year, it is time to look at the 100 actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1.

Today, we continue with the 1 actor that has starred in 26 movies that I have seen, the same as 3 years ago.

Raymond Burr

Raymond Burr is a bit of an anomaly as every single one of his appearances have been TV movies where he has played the same character.  In 1985, NBC brought back Perry Mason, Raymond Burr’s starring vehicle from the 50s and 60s, for a TV movie.   The ratings were high enough to justify a recurring series of films, 26 in fact, over the next several years, ending in 1994 following Burr’s death the previous year.