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 →

You Ought To Be In (11) 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 10 actors that have starred in 11 movies that I have seen, the same number at this level as 3 years ago.

Jim Carrey

There has been no change for Carrey since I last encountered him back in 2009, when I saw the previous year’s Yes Man.

Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio first appeared on my movie screen in 1996, with The Basketball Diaries.  After a three year run to start, I had a gap of 8 years between his films, from 2002-2009.  2011 was his most prolific year, with 3 different films.  The most recent film of his that I’ve seen was last year’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, which I saw earlier this year.

Carla Gugino

A nice debut for Gugino, who first showed up on my radar in the mid-90s thanks to her role in the Pauly Shore classic Son-In-Law.  She appeared in 2 films that I saw in 2001, 2016, and 2020, with 2011’s Hide and 2017’s Gerald’s Game.

Helen Hunt

2006 remains the last time I saw a starring role from Helen Hunt.

Hugh Jackman

After replacing Dougray Scott as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men, Hugh Jackman has been a steady presence on my movie screen.  7 of those appearances have been in the X-Men universe, including his last appearance, in 2017’s Logan.

Anna Kendrick

Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (11) 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 continue with the 10 actors that have starred in 11 movies that I have seen, down 1 from the number at this level 3 years ago.

Jim Carrey

There has been no change for Carrey since I last encountered him back in 2009, when I saw the previous year’s Yes Man.

Woody Harrelson

No starring roles for Woody Harrelson on my screen since 2011, when I watched 2009’s Defendor.

Katherine Heigl

The one-time romantic comedy sweetheart has seen her movie career falter, which is part of why I haven’t seen her in anything since 2011.

Helen Hunt Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (11) 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 11 actors that have starred in 11 movies that I have seen.

Jim Carrey

I first encountered the rubber faced comedian in his breakout film, 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  For a while there, Carrey became one of the biggest stars in the world.  I took in 2 films featuring him in 1997, 1999, and again in 2008.  Then, a funny thing happened and Jim Carrey wasn’t much of a star anymore.  The last film I saw him in was back 2009, when I saw the previous year’s Yes Man.

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas made his first impression upon my movie-going consciousness with 1989’s War of the Roses.  My big Douglas year was 1995, when I saw him in Basic Instinct, Disclosure, and 1978’s Coma.  Things have been quiet for Douglas here in the 21st century, with the last film of his that I’ve seen, The Sentinel, was in 2006.

Woody Harrelson

In 1992, I headed to the theaters to see White Men Can’t Jump, where I first encountered Woody Harrelson in film. 7 of Harrelson’s films came between 1992 and 2000, after which there was a long lull.  Harrelson came back in to my world in 2008, then added 2 more in 2010.  2011 was the last time I saw one of his films, 2009’s Defendor.

Anne Hathaway

Like most of America, I first saw Anne Hathaway back in 2003 in The Princess Diaries.  In the intervening 11 years, she has been a steadfast presence on my movie (or television) screen, including 3 films in 2005 and 4 in 2009.  In 2011, I saw my last starring vehicle starring Hathaway, 2010’s Love And Other Drugs.

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl burst on to the scene in 1994’s My Father, The Hero, which I took in the following year.  She dropped off my radar, went through puberty, and came back in 1999.  After achieving television stardom, she leaped back to the big screen in a big way in the mid-2000s, including 4 films in 3 years between 2006 and 2008.  The last time I saw a Heigl starring vehicle was 2011, when I took in both Life As We Know It and Killers.

Helen Hunt Continue reading →

Oscar Night

As they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with a look at the acting categories and the big one:

Best Picture

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

The early money was on either Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty taking home the big prize, but Argo has been raking up Best Picture wins starting with the Golden Globes and has momentum on its side.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

While Lincoln may have fallen out of favor in the Best Picture race, this is still Daniel Day-Lewis’ trophy to lose.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

In my mind, this comes down to Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence. Not having seen either performance, my gut tells me that the backlash against Zero Dark Thirty hurts Chastain here and that Jennifer Lawrence brings home the Oscar.

Continue reading →