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.

You Ought To Be In (18) 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 5 actors that have starred in 18 movies that I have seen.

Jennifer Aniston

18 is the high level mark for actresses, and Aniston is one of 4 that are tied for this lead.  My first movie experience with the former Friends star came in 1997, with a double feature of She’s The One and Leprechaun.  In the 14 years since, she has been a pretty steady contributor.  Even when she would miss a year, there would be a multi-entry year to make up for it.  The high water mark was 1998, when I saw her in 3 starring roles.  Her most recent entries, Wanderlust and Just Go With It, are from last year.

Sandra Bullock

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.  The only “franchise” in her list, other than the Speed sequel, are the Miss Congeniality films, which only make up 2 of her total.  2010 was the last time I watched one of her films, but, as of this writing, I have Gravity home from Netflix, so she should be moving in to the lead for actresses relatively soon.

John Cusack

The one male to be at 18 first entered my movie-watching consciousness in 1988 when he portrayed disgraced White Sox thirdbaseman 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.  His most recent film that I’ve seen was 2003’s Runaway Jury, which I watched in 2012.

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Book 20 (of 52) – Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series – Eliot Asinof

In the summer of 1919, the Chicago White Sox were the toast of the American League, winning the pennant by 3.5 games and becoming the easy favorite to win the World Series, their second in 3 years.  However, a few things stood in the way of the crowning of a budding dynasty: a conspiracy of two-timing, low level gamblers, a tight-fisted owner who would spare no expense for reporters and friends but would cheat his team out of bonuses, and the players who were fed up with being paid like paupers despite their success.  The end result was the first World Series victory for the Reds, a black eye for baseball, and the decimation of the White Sox organization, who would not win another World Series until the following century.

Eight Men Out is author Eliot Asinof’s tale of the whole scandal, from the agreement to throw the Series, the fallout throughout the following season, the prosecution of the 8 co-conspirators, and how they lived out their life, banned from the game they loved and the not able to use the only skill that they had.  Released in 1963, Asinof’s account had always been accepted as the one true source on how the scandal went down.  Recent research has shown that this may not be the case, with Asinof himself admitting that certain characters, and their actions, had been made up in order to protect his movie rights and independent research showing that stories of Charles Comiskey’s alledged stinginess may be apocraphyl.  That said, Asinof does provide a gripping tale of how the fix was put in place and how the players ended up being the big losers, cheated of their promised payday, facing trial over the whole ordeal and banned for life from baseball.

I first read (or started to read) this book in junior high, around the time of the movie’s release.  I picked the book up within the last few years and finally got around to it, following the (non-scandalous) collapse of yet another White Sox team.  The stain of this scandal rocked the White Sox for years, leaving them out of the post-season for 40 years and putting an awful 88 years between championships when they finally broke through and won the 2005 World Series.  There are still some scars that likely can be attributed to the Black Sox scandal.  To this day, the White Sox remain the only pre-expansion team to not make the post-season in consecutive years.  The 1920 squad was within striking distance of first place and had a good shot at a return trip to the World Series had their star players not been suspended prior to the last series of the season.  90 plus years later, they are still looking for that back-to-back trip to the playoffs.