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.

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 18

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 18 covers the summer of 1995, my first working at the bank, and the lead up to the first of my two senior years of college.

Side A

Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days

A radio hit despite never being officially released as a single, the Led Zeppelin cover more than doubled its impressive total over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 27 plays, most recently on 8/28/2018 

PJ Harvey – Down By The Water

The surprise mainstream hit for the indie darling, which hit #2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, added a mere 3 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 16 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

REM – Strange Currencies

Nearly left off the Monster album due to its rhythmic similarities to Everybody Hurts, the song more than tripled its number of plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 2 plays 7 plays, most recently on 7/18/2018 

Live – All Over You

Hitting #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart despite never being released as a single in the US, Live’s latest has doubled its plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 5 plays 10 plays, most recently on 6/24/2018 

Soul Asylum – Misery

Originally recorded off of Q101, the debut single from Soul Asylum’s follow-up to their breakthrough album nearly tripled its listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 4 plays 11 plays, most recently on 12/15/2018 

Collective Soul – December

Peaking at #20 on the Billboard charts, the second single from the band’s second album nearly tripled its output over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 8 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

Elastica – Connection

The first US hit from Elastica, peaking at #53 on the Billboard charts, added 6 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 11 plays 17 plays, most recently on 12/17/2018 

Juliana Hatfield – Universal Heart-Beat

Hitting #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks charts, the solo release from Juliana Hatfield garnered 5 additional listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 8 plays 13 plays, most recently on 1/2/2019 

Side B

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Post Mortem – Episodes


After 5 seasons, Episodes drew to a close last October.  The fictionalized tale of Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends career was a joint production of Showtime and the BBC.

While the show had a ridiculous premise, it was mostly entertaining.  It probably could have hung on for a few more seasons, but if those Brits are good at anything, it is getting off the air before they overstay their welcome.

Top 200 Albums – #129 – 140

itunes_imageNearly 4 years ago, we first counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2018.

We continue things with the next batch of 10 albums that rank between #129 and 140, including 7 studio recordings and 3 soundtracks.

#140: Tegan and Sara – Sainthood
iTunes stats: 55 plays
Previous Ranking: 67

A big drop here, despite 11 of the 13 tracks on this album make up the total.

#136: Various Artists – Friends – Music From The T.V. Series
iTunes stats: 56 plays
Previous Ranking: 149

This soundtrack compilation, released following the smash first season of the television show, has 7 songs, from the likes of Joni Mitchell, The Pretenders, and, of course, The Rembrandts, to make up its total.

#136: Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
iTunes stats: 56 plays
Previous Ranking: 131

The 3rd studio album from the Seattle grunge band, and the last that I purchased, uses the totals from 4 different tracks.

#136: Various Artists – More Music From Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion
iTunes stats: 56 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

A strong debut, thanks to 6 80s hits from the likes of Tiffany and Rick Astley, for the second soundtrack album from the semi-hit film.

#136: Various Artists – Reality Bites
iTunes stats: 56 plays
Previous Ranking: 141

The soundtrack to the early 90s alternative movie hit uses 3 songs to make up this total.

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Book 8 (of 52) – TV (The Book)

TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick The Greatest American Shows Of All Time – Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz

Lamenting the lack of serious television criticism in book form, like there has been for years for film, former newspapermen Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz team up to rank the 100 greatest American television shows of all time, giving their explanation on why each one deserves its spot in the American cultural landscape.  Aside from The Simpsons, which has been on the air for 50 years or so and took home the top spot after much deliberation, currently airing shows were not eligible for consideration.

Separated into 4 categories, The Inner Circle, No-Doubt-About-It Classics, Groundbreakers and Workhorses, and Outlier Classics, the list runs the gamut from television’s earliest days, with classics like I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners, to today’s (well, yesterday’s) biggest hits.  As we are living in the golden age of Peak TV, the majority of the list is certainly from the past 20 years or so.

My television watching has had me watch all or a good portion of 24 of these classic series, either in first run or syndication.  Those shows are:

The Simpsons
Cheers
Seinfeld
MASH
Louie
The X-Files
Lost
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
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Most Watched Actors – The Late 1990s

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 the most prolific actors that have starred in the movies that I have seen in the last half of the decade of the 1990s, corresponding with the end of college and the transition into adulthood and real life.

1996

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Gil Bellows 3
Alyssa Milano 3
Bill Pullman 3
Liv Tyler 3

A four way tie that covers a lot of bad movies, most of which I don’t even remember.  Gil Bellows starts things off with Miami Rhapsody, Love And A .45, and Black Day Blue Night.  Alyssa Milano made her case by doffing her top in Poison Ivy II: Lily, Deadly Sins, and the cult classic Embrace of the Vampire.  Bill Pullman shows up thanks to legitimate big screen blockbusters in Independence Day, Sibling Rivalry, and While You Were Sleeping.  Rounding things out is Liv Tyler, who appeared in That Thing You Do!, Stealing Beauty, and Heavy.

1997

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Patricia Arquette 3
John Cusack 3

The number of leaders is cut in half, as Patricia Arquette appeared in the classics Daddy, Lost Highway, and Flirting With Disaster.  John Cusack plied his wares in City Hall, the tremendous Grosse Pointe Blank, and The Grifters.

1998

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Jennifer Aniston 3

The Friends star makes her move to the big screen with starring roles in The Object Of My Affection, Picture Perfect, and Dream For An Insomniac.

1999

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Janeane Garofalo 4
Gwyneth Paltrow 4

A strange pairing, with comic Janeane Garofalo starring in Sweethearts, Mystery Men, Larger Than Life, and The Matchmaker.  Meanwhile, the glamorous Gwyneth Paltrow appeared in A Perfect Murder, Shakespeare In Love, Great Expectations, and Hush.

2000

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Maria Ford 5
Tori Spelling 5

As we wrap things up, your first question is probably who the hell is Maria Ford?  If you were perusing the late night offerings on Cinemax back at the turn of the century, you might be very familiar with her body of work.  Tori Spelling, however, was a constant presence on Lifetime, appearing in Death Of A Cheeleader, Coed Call Girl, Deadly Pursuits, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?, and Perpetrators Of The Crime.

CBS Upfronts

bbtFor the first time this century, CBS announced a new fall schedule this week without a version of CSI in the mix.  Instead, the Tiffany network looked to other familiar properties, and stars, to fill the holes in their lineup.  With the network again airing football on Thursday nights for the first 2 months of the season, there will be much juggling going on, starting on Monday, where The Big Bang Theory returns until football ends.  It will be followed by Kevin Can Wait, a new show featuring former CBS star Kevin James.  Once football ends, James moves up a half hour and will be followed by Man With A Plan, starring former Friend Matt LeBlanc.  2 Broke Girls, The Odd Couple, and Scorpion round out the night.

Tuesday wraps two versions of NCIS around Bull, a new drama starring former NCIS star Michael Weatherly as, and you can’t make this up, a young version of Dr. Phil.  No changes on Wednesday night, where Criminal Minds returns for its 12th season.  Thursday, starting in November, starts with The Big Bang Theory, followed by the new Joel McHale-helmed The Great Indoors.  The night finishes with Pure Genius, a new drama from the creator of Parenthood.

Friday sees a new version of MacGuyver, followed by the returning Hawaii Five-O and Blue Bloods.  Sunday adds another version of NCIS to fill the hole left by The Good Wife.

Gone and never to be seen again are The Good Wife and summer staple Under The Dome.  Gone and destined to be seen again is Supergirl, which is moving to the CW.  Gone and maybe seen again is Limitless, which didn’t make the schedule but is not officially cancelled and is looking for a new home.

Post Mortem – Cougar Town

cougar-town-cast-tbsAfter 6 seasons, split evenly between ABC and TBS, the poorly-named Cougar Town drew to a close this spring.  Originally featuring Courteney Cox as a divorced cougar (hence the name) trying to navigate the dating world, the show quickly pivoted to focus on Cox and her family and friends, far surpassing any juice in the original premise.

After 6 years, the show was starting to show its age.  Brian Van Holt had left the show as a regular during the last season, and the rest of the cast also seemed ready to move on.  At the end of the day, Cougar Town was the most successful post-Friends attempt by any of the Friends and certainly brought an audience to TBS, along with Conan, that might not have gone there otherwise.

Mix Tape Monday Revisited – Volume 18

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 18 covers the summer of 1995 and the lead up to the first of my two senior years of college.

Side A

Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days

The Led Zeppelin cover nearly doubled its impressive total over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 7 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 13 plays, most recently on 6/28/2015

PJ Harvey – Down By The Water

The surprise mainstream hit for the indie darling also nearly doubled its total in the last 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 7 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 13 plays, most recently on 2/4/2015

REM – Strange Currencies

I finally listened to this tune from the Athens, GA boys.

2012 iTunes stats: Never played

2015 iTunes stats: 2 plays, most recently on 7/12/2015

Live – All Over You

Live’s latest has gone unheard in nearly 4 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 5 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 5 plays, most recently on 8/15/2011

Soul Asylum – Misery

Only one new listen for the follow-up from Soul Asylum over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 3 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 1/2/2013

Collective Soul – December

A slight increase for Collective Soul’s latest, which hasn’t been heard in nearly 2 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 2 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 3 plays, most recently on 9/10/2013

Elastica – Connection

The debut hit from Elastica added 4 listens in the last 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 7 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 11 plays, most recently on 6/17/2015

Juliana Hatfield – Universal Heart-Beat

The first solo release from Juliana Hatfield more than doubled its number of listens in the last 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 3 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 7/12/2015

Side B

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