2021: The Year In Movies

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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 →

Post Mortem – Awake

Awake billed itself as a procedural with a twist, and, ultimately, that is why it failed.  The twist, that Detective Michael Britton lives in two realities, one where a car accident claimed his wife and the other where it claimed his son, was likely a little too out there for the audience looking for a straight procedural.  The audience that would normally embrace a show like this was likely put off by the fact that the twist was mostly used as window dressing.  There was no mystery as to what was causing the double life, it just was, and Britton just went about his business without ever trying to figure out what was happening to him.

At the end of the day, the show managed to alienate both audiences, and what could have been an intriguing show that scratched an itch that has gone unscratched since Lost went off the air will be quickly forgotten now that its small run has concluded.

Upfronts Day 0

NBC jumped the gun and released their schedule for the upcoming fall season a day early.  Chuck returns for a 13 episode final season, moving to Friday nights.  30 Rock gets bumped to mid-season due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy.  Harry’s Law gets a surprise renewal and moves to Wednesdays. 

New dramas in the fall include Prime Suspect, starring Maria Bello as a homicide detective fighting her way through the boys club.  The Playboy Club tries to follow in the footsteps of Mad Men and goes back to the 60s at the legendary Chicago club.  Grimm tries to follow in the footsteps (notice a pattern here?) of Supernatural, following a group of hunters going after the creatures from the Grimm fairy tales.  Awake (finally a somewhat new premise) is a drama about a man who wakes up from an accident to find out he is living in two parallel worlds, one where his wife died in the accident and one where his son died.

On the comedy front, Whitney is a starring vehicle for roast sensation Whitney Cummings.  Up All Night is “a modern take on parenthood.”  Free Agents is based on a cult UK comedy and returns Anthony Head, TVs Giles, to America’s shores.  Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea is inspired by the book from late night host Chelsea Handler and stars Laura Prepon.  Best Friends Forever looks at best friends who promise to support each other.  Bent is about a couple who are attracted to each other despite not having much in common.

Continue reading →