2021: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

Despite working from home for the entire year and my traditional long December vacation, I saw a tremendous decrease in my movie watching, with my lowest total since 1988.  I managed to watch a mere 47 movies last year, finishing below the 50 movie plateau for the first time this century.  Despite being home all day and not needing to bother with pesky things like a commute.  Or exercise.

85 different people starred in those 47 movies (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 a single one starred in more than 1 film. That thespian was:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Actor Name Films
Kiana Madeira 2

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

I See You (2019)
I have no recollection of this Helen Hunt vehicle.

Amanda & Jack Go Glamping (2017)
An author whose marriage is failing as bad as his career decides to go on a private retreat.

Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)
Finishing up my run through the Death Wish series from 2020, with a 73 year-old Charles Bronson trying to keep the series going.

2036 Origin Unknown (2018)
Some sci-fi movie starring Katee Sackhoff.

Ma (2019)
A lonely woman lets the local kids party at her house, but turns on them when they start to pull away.

Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)
An homage and a remake of the original, but this time in 3D!

Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (2021)
A magician pulls off amazing, psychological tricks.

Spontaneous (2020)
Two kids find love when their high school is quarantined after students start spontaneously combusting.

Friendsgiving (2020)
A group of friends get together for a zany Thanksgiving dinner.

Death to 2020 (2020)
A comedic retrospective of the shit year that was 2020. Continue reading →

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 →

You Ought To Be In (18) 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 4 actors that has starred in 18 movies that I have seen, one additional from what was seen 3 years ago.

Robert DeNiro

My first experience with Robert DeNiro was back in 1988, when I saw Angel Heart.  He then went quiet to me for 8 years, coming back in 1996 with Sleepers.  2000 was my high water mark with his work when I saw 3 of his films, while he showed up twice in 2004, 2011, and 2016.  My most recent experience with him was last fall, when he was in Joker.

Kirsten Dunst

The first Kirsten Dunst starring vehicle that I saw was Small Soldiers, which I saw in 1999.  That started a 4 year run where I saw 9 of her films, including 4 in 2000 alone.  After a one year break, I returned to her films in 2004 with both Mona Lisa Smile and the first Spider-Man.  Besides 2000, there are 5 other years where I’ve seen multiple Dunst films, most recently in 2007.  After putting up 15 films in 8 years, things have slowed down considerably for Dunst in my world, with her last appearance coming in 2015, when I saw her in the surprisingly good Bachelorette.

Meg Ryan

My introduction to Meg Ryan was most likely in 1990, when I saw the previous year’s hit When Harry Met Sally.  She put together a nice 6 year run starting in 1994 which accounted for 10 movies.  Things have been quiet of late and the most recent film of hers I’ve seen remains 2009’s Serious Moonlight back in 2010.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

My initial introduction to the future governor of California was most likely 1987’s The Running Man.  2008 was my biggest collection of his films, with 3, and one of 4 years where I saw multiples.  The most recent being 2020, where I saw The Last Stand and Terminator: Dark Fate earlier this year.

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 10

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world. Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 10 covers the spring and summer of 1993, following my freshman year of college, and features the top rap and alternative hits of the summer, along with some pop and the last remnants of hair metal.

Side A

Pearl Jam – Black

Hitting #3 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart despite the band’s refusal to release it as an official single, the song was only listened to 5 times in the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 6 plays 11 plays, most recently on 5/1/2018 

Def Leppard – Two Steps Behind

The big hit from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bomb Last Action Hero, originally recorded from The Blaze during a nightly song battle, garnered 10 additional listens over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 7 plays 17 plays, most recently on 7/13/2018 

UB40 – Can’t Help Falling In Love

After going unheard for 3 years, the track, featured on the Sliver soundtrack, doubled its plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
8 plays 8 plays 16 plays, most recently on 10/29/2018 

Aerosmith – Cryin’

The first installment of Alicia Silverstone’s video trilogy, which finished as the 60th biggest single of 1993, picked up 10 new plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 6 plays 16 plays, most recently on 10/3/2018 

TLC – Get It Up

The cover of the The Time hit, created for the Poetic Justice soundtrack, finally picked up some listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 0 plays 4 plays, most recently on 7/31/2018 

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up?

The 50th biggest single of 1993 picked up a small increase of 3 listens for the ubiquitous debut from 4 Non Blondes.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 16 plays 19 plays, most recently on 11/5/2018 

whoompTag Team – Whoomp! (There It Is)

The unofficial theme to the Bulls third straight NBA championship, who showed up for 90s night at the game I attended in February 2015, added 30 new listens over the past 3 years, thanks to its use by the Cubs when someone hits a home run.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
8 plays 13 plays 43 plays, most recently on 9/1/2018 

Side B

Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (16) 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, it is time to look at all of the actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1st.

Today, we look at the 3 actors that have starred in 16 movies that I have seen, down 1 from 3 years ago.

Drew Barrymore

The most recent of her films that I’ve seen is still Music And Lyrics, which I saw in 2008.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Returning to the role that made him famous, Schwarzenegger moved up one spot thanks to 2015’s Terminator Genisys, which I saw in 2016.

Sylvester Stallone

Returning to the role that made him famous, Stallone moved up one spot thanks to 2015’s Creed, which I saw in 2016.

NBC Upfronts

good-place-danson-bellNBC announced their new fall schedule yesterday and, with something different on every night, it will look much different from the spring.  The week gets off to a familiar start with The Voice leading in to the latest from the creators of Supernatural and The Shield, Timeless, about a trio of time travelers trying to save the history of the US.

Tuesday adds This Is Us, a new show staring Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia about ” a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways.”  Blindspot moves from the cushy post-Voice slot to try and lead off Wednesday nights.  The Good Place, a new comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, arrives on Thursday, with The Blacklist moving back an hour.

Friday and Saturday remain uninspiring, with football remaining on Sundays, at least in the fall.  Mid-season shows include a new vampire series inspired by True Blood author Charlaine Harris’s books, The Blacklist: Redemption, a spin-off starring Famke Janssen, a “reimagining” of The Wizard of Oz with Vincent D’Onofrio as the Wizard, Great News, the latest comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Powerless, starring Vanessa Hudgens as an insurance adjuster in a world with superheroes, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a revival of The Celebrity Apprentice.

Cancelled shows, never to be seen again, include Heroes: Reborn, Mr. Robinson, The Mysteries of Laura, Telenovela, and Undateable.  With only 2 shows returning that I am currently watching, I guess we shall see which, if any, of the new shows stick.

Mix Tape Monday Revisited– Volume 10

Between 1989, my sophomore year of high school, and 1995, my fourth year of college, I put together a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD.  Three years ago, we looked back at all 20 volumes and which of my “favorite” songs I still listened to.  Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how things have changed in the last 3 years.

Volume 10 covers the spring and summer of 1993, following my freshman year of college, and features the top rap and alternative hits of the summer, along with some pop and the last remnants of hair metal.

Side A

Pearl Jam – Black

The first song from Pear Jam’s post-video phase, falling victim to my Pearl Jam burnout, was only listened to once in the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 5 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 6 plays, most recently on 8/3/2014

Def Leppard – Two Steps Behind

The big hit from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bomb Last Action Hero, originally recorded from The Blaze during a nightly song battle, garnered only 2 additional listens over the last 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 5 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 7 plays, most recently on 1/10/2015

UB40 – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Somehow, the big hit from the Sliver soundtrack completely escaped my notice over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 8 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 5/1/2012

Aerosmith – Cryin’

Only 2 additional listens for the first installment of Alicia Silverstone’s video trilogy.

2012 iTunes stats: 4 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 6 plays, most recently on 4/24/2014

TLC – Get It Up

I did acquire the “hit” from the Poetic Justice soundtrack at some point over the past 3 years, but still have not listened to it.

2015 iTunes stats: Never played

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up?

A large increase of 7 listens for the ubiquitous debut from 4 Non Blondes.

2012 iTunes stats: 9 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 16 plays, most recently on 5/1/2015

whoompTag Team – Whoomp! (There It Is)

The unofficial theme to the Bulls third straight NBA championship, who showed up for 90s night at the game I attended in February, added 5 new listens over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 8 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 13 plays, most recently on 2/27/2015

Side B

Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (15) 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, it is time to look at all of the actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of May 30th.

Today, we continue with the 7 actors that have starred in 15 movies that I have seen.

Matt Damon

In 1994, Matt Damon made his first appearance on my personal movie screen with his role in 1992’s School Ties.  He disappeared for a while until reappearing in 1999 with 3 different films.  From that point on, he has been a pretty regular entrant in my watched films, including a four year run from 2005-2008.  The last film of his I’ve seen was in 2012, when I saw the previous year’s Contagion.

Robert DeNiro

My first experience with Robert DeNiro was back in 1988, when I saw Angel Heart.  He then went quiet to me for 8 years, coming back in 1996 with Sleepers.  2000 was my high water mark with his work when I saw 3 of his films.  My most recent experience with him was 2011, when I saw him in both Machete and Limitless.

Angelina Jolie

The first starring role of Angelina Jolie’s that I saw was 1995’s Hackers.  2005 was my most prolific Jolie year, when I took in 3 of her films.  Her last appearance on my screen was in 2012, when I saw her in Changeling.

Steve Martin

Continue reading →

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 22 – Favorite Action Movie

80s action films had followed a pretty standard routine, with either a stone-faced Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone fighting off some foreign threat.  That all changed with 1988’s Die Hard, which introduced both Bruce Willis and a sense of humor to the action genre, changing the formula for the 90s and beyond.  This also could double as my favorite Christmas movie.  Ho.  Ho.  Ho.

Mix Tape Monday – Volume 10

Between 1989, my sophomore year of high school, and 1995, my fourth year of college, I put together a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. I thought it would be a fun exercise to look back at all 20 volumes and which of my “favorite” songs I still listen to today.

Volume 10 covers the spring and summer of 1993, following my freshman year of college, and features the top rap and alternative hits of the summer, along with some pop and the last remnants of hair metal.

 

Side A

Pearl Jam – Black

The first song from Pear Jam’s post-video phase was taped from the CD.

iTunes stats: 5 plays, most recently on 3/11/2012

Def Leppard – Two Steps Behind

The big hit from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bomb Last Action Hero was taped off the radio from 103.5 The Blaze during a nightly song battle where listeners would call up and vote as two songs “battled” against each other.

iTunes stats: 5 plays, most recently on 3/24/2011

UB40 – Can’t Help Falling In Love

The big hit from the Sliver soundtrack was taped off the radio from Lafayette’s hit music station, 96.5 WAZY.

iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 5/1/2012

Aerosmith – Cryin’

The first installment of Alicia Silverstone’s video trilogy was taped from the CD.

iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 6/7/2011

TLC – Get It Up

The “hit” from the Poetic Justice soundtrack was taped from the cassingle.

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up?

The ubiquitous hit was taped off the radio from Q101.

iTunes stats: 9 plays, most recently on 10/2/2011

Tag Team – Whoomp! (There It Is)

The unofficial theme to the Bulls third straight NBA championship was taped off the radio from what appears to be B96, as number 5 in the nightly countdown of most requested songs.

iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 3/30/2012

Side B

Continue reading →