You Ought To Be In (24) 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 3 actors that have starred in 24 movies that I have seen, a position that was left empty 3 years ago.

Ben Affleck

The first Ben Affleck starring role that I saw was in 1997, when I saw both Going All The Way and Chasing Amy.  In 1999, he kicked off a 6 year run where I saw 11 of his films, including 3 films in both 2000 and 2003.  There were 5 years total where I had seen multiple Affleck outings, most recently in 2011.  He’s picked up 2 additional films since the last time we did this, the most recent being Jay And Silent Bob Reboot from earlier this year.

Sandra Bullock

Scoring the highest total for a woman, Sandra Bullock burst on the scene in 1994’s Speed, but Dennis Hopper took home the second starring slot in that one, so her starring role the following year in The Net was likely her first entry on this list.  That kicked off a 9 year run where I saw a movie where she had a starring role.  I have seen multiple films starring her in 6 different years, first in 1997 and most recently in 2019.  Her most recent entry was the second of 2019’s flicks, the 2018 effort Ocean’s Eight.

Robert Downey Jr.

My first experience with Robert Downey Jr. was likely 1987’s The Pick Up Artist.  Things were a little slow after that, as I racked up only 7 films through the mid-2000s, likely in part due to Downey’s notorious partying.  Things picked up in starting in 2007, thanks to his taking on two classic roles in literature adaptations, Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes.  Those franchises have contributed 10 films to his total.  His greatest output in one year was 2008, when I saw four of his films.  My most recent experience with Downey’s work was last year, when I saw his final entry in the MCU, Avengers: End Game.

You Ought To Be In (21) 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 lone actor that has starred in 21 movies that I have seen, the same number, and actor, as 3 years ago.

George Clooney

George Clooney was bouncing around Hollywood for a while before becoming a superstar on a little show called ER, whose pilot movie was his first entry on this list.  That launched him to great film success.  2 films is my high water mark for Clooney, one which I have reached 5 different times, most recently in 2012.  My most recent Clooney experience remains to be Money Monster, which I saw back in 2017.

You Ought To Be In (20) 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 21 movies that I have seen, an increase of three from 3 years ago.

Samuel L. Jackson

26 years ago, I first made the acquaintance of Samuel L. Jackson in 2 polar opposite films, Pulp Fiction and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1.  After 1994, I also saw 2 Jackson films in 2000, 2006, 2019, and 2020.  There was a 6 year break between Lakeview Terrace, which I saw in 2010, and Kingsman: The Secret Service, which I saw in 2016.  The last starring roles of Jackson’s I took in earlier this year were 2019’s Shaft and 2015’s Barely Lethal.

Scarlett Johansson

I was first introduced to Scarlett Johansson in 2001 when I saw the comic-book adaptation Ghost World.  Starting in 2004, there was a 6 year run where I saw 11 of the 14 films that make up this total, including 5 in 2006 alone.  Another 3 films came in 2014.  She is riding an active 3-year streak, with my most recent experience with her coming last year in Netflix’s Marriage Story.

Eddie Murphy

It’s hard to believe now, but at one time, Eddie Murphy was the biggest star in the land.  My first experience with him was likely Beverly Hills Cop.  7 of his films were seen before I started my database, so I can’t be entirely sure of when I first saw them.  Of the 7 years since that I have seen an Eddie Murphy film, 5 of them have been multiples.  After a 15 year absence, Eddie Murphy returned to my screen in 2019, when I finally took in 2003’s Haunted Mansion.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts burst on to the scene in 1990’s Pretty Woman, which was one of 2 films of hers I saw in 1991.  I’ve seen multiple films from her in 1991, 1994, 2000, and 2017, with her big year for me being 2000, when I saw 4 different films in which she starred.  My last Julia Roberts vehicles, 2016’s Money Monster and 2011’s Larry Crowne, were seen in 2017.

You Ought To Be In (19) 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 6 actors that has starred in 19 movies that I have seen, two additional from what was seen 3 years ago.

Jennifer Aniston

The former Friends star first burst through onto my movie screen in 1997, with a double feature of She’s The One and Leprechaun.  In years since, she has been a pretty steady contributor until 2014, with multiple films in 1997, 1998, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2013, with a high water mark in 1998, when I saw her in 3 starring roles.  Her most recent entry came in 2014, when I saw 2013’s We’re The Millers.

John Cusack

Local boy done good John Cusack entered my movie-watching consciousness in 1988 when he portrayed disgraced White Sox third baseman Buck Weaver in Eight Men Out.  After a 9 year dry spell, Cusack came back with a vengeance with 3 films in 1997 which started a run of 8 films in 4 years.  After 97, he notched multiple films in 2000, 2004, and 2010.  His most recent film that I’ve seen was 2012’s The Factory, which I watched in 2015.

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 2019, when I saw 2017’s Downsizing.

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton burst on to my movie going radar with 1983’s Mr. Mom.  He had 2 different years, 1995 and 2000, where I saw 3 of his films.  After a 9 year absence from my screen, he returned in 2015 to increase his total once again.  The last time I saw him in a starring role was last year in Spotlight, from 2015.

Sylvester Stallone

My first exposure to Sylvester Stallone was through the Rocky franchise, whose 8 films make up over 42% of this total.  Add in the Rambo franchise and that number jumps over 50%.  My biggest Stallone years were 1991 and 2007, when I took in a grand total of 2 films each.  I am on an active 3 year streak, with my most recent experience with his films coming earlier this year in 2019’s Rambo: Last Blood.

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington first appeared in my life in a starring role as Tom Hanks’ homophobic attorney in Philadelphia.  There have been four years, starting in 2000, where I have seen 2 of his films.  2002 started a 5 year run where I saw 7 of his films.  After a 6 year absence, he returned to my screen earlier this year in Ricochet, released in 1991.

2020 Final Standings

In the summer of 1984, I was 9 years old and that is the earliest summer that I’ve been able to identify a specific baseball game that I attended.  For the next 36 years, I’ve been to a least one game and, in more recent times, it has become one of the defining activities of my summer.  Until this year, when the corona virus shut down the season for nearly 4 months and the remaining 2 went off without fans.  Of course, it also was the first season both Chicago teams made the post-season since 2008.

Now that both teams have been eliminated, it is fair to say that they are moving in opposite directions.  After 7 straight losing seasons, the White Sox rebuild finally started to show the promise that had been promised, finishing in second place and posting their highest winning percentage since 2005.  There is still some room for improvement, especially in the starting rotation, and the way the last week of the season went down is a valid cause for concern, but the future does look a whole lot brighter on the south side than it has in quite some time.

On the north side of town, you get the feeling that the contention window is closing rapidly.  After missing the playoffs last year, Theo Epstein said that major changes would be in play heading in to 2020.  For various reasons, the only big change was in the manager’s office and the team that ultimately took the field in 2020 was nearly identical to the 2019 version.  As this shortened season went on, the results didn’t look all that different either.  Thanks to early season success and a COVID outbreak for the Cardinals, they were able to coast to the division title, which again masked some of the team’s hitting problems.  Those problems came to the forefront in the quick 2 game series against the Marlins.  With big pieces of the core heading towards free agency in the next 1-2 years, and coming off a season with crashed revenues and even lower offensive production, it may be difficult to make any substantial moves while getting reasonable value back in return.

All Time Playoff Team Records

For the first time since 2008, both the White Sox and the Cubs are in the post-season following this abbreviated 2020 season.  The expanded run to the World Series will start with the White Sox facing A’s in Oakland for a best of 3 series starting tonight, while the Cubs welcome the Marlins to Wrigley starting tomorrow.  Winners will advance to the LDS and enter a playoff bubble, with the AL moving to California and the NL to Texas.

With the AL Wild Card Series set to kick off today, it’s time to take an updated look at the team records for the now 30 playoff contests I have attended. These contests come from the 2018 Wild Card game, the ALDS in 2000, 2005, and 2008, the NLDS in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the NLCS in 2003, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the ALCS in 2005, and, of course, the 2005 and 2016 World Series.  Sadly, I won’t be adding any games to this list this year.  Thanks, corona virus.

Post-Season Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Florida Marlins 3 0 1.000
Seattle Mariners 2 0 1.000
New York Mets 2 0 1.000
Colorado Rockies 1 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 0 1.000
Chicago White Sox 5 4 0.556
Los Angeles Dodgers 3 3 0.500
Atlanta Braves 1 1 0.500
Cleveland Indians 1 1 0.500
Los Angeles Angels 1 1 0.500
Washington Nationals 1 1 0.500
Tampa Bay Rays 1 1 0.500
Chicago Cubs 9 13 0.409
San Francisco Giants 0 2 0.000
St. Louis Cardinals 0 1 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 2 0.000
Houston Astros 0 1 0.000

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.

2020 Predictions Revisited

The shortened 60 game 2020 baseball season wraps up today.  2 months ago, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what, not really knowing what a shortened season during a global pandemic would entail.  Now that the season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Yankees

Well, that’s one down.  The Yankees looked to be on cruise control, until a plague of injuries knocked them off course.  The Rays, meanwhile, took home their first division crown since 2010.

Central: Twins

The Twins take their second consecutive division title, thanks in part to the White Sox crapping down their pants leg over the last week of the season.

West: Astros

The A’s came through in a big way, dethroning the Astros after their 3 year reign atop the division.

Wild Cards: White Sox, Rays

Well, these predictions were made before the current playoff structure was put in place.  The three second place teams are guaranteed a post-season slot, with the next two best records earning a wild card spot.

AL Champion: Yankees

While they didn’t win the division, the Yankees do seem primed to make a strong run.

Cy Young: Blake Snell

Indians ace Shane Bieber pretty much has this wrapped up.

MVP: Yoan Moncada

Moncada has struggled after contracting COVID-19 back during summer camp, but I think I was in the right ballpark.  Jose Abreu looks to be the clubhouse leader for this award.

National League

Continue reading →

2020 New Fall Season – Thursdays

old-tv-set1Thursday night is traditionally the busiest night of the week for my television viewing habits, but, like everything else since the corona virus shut down the world in March, not this year. Here’s what’s on the slate for this season.

7:30

Connecting – The first pandemic-based comedy arrives on NBC.

8:00

Grey’s Anatomy – The medical drama enters its 17th season, picking up where the abbreviated 16th season left off.

9:00

Star Trek: Discovery – The first season of the CBS All Access show moves to CBS proper.