The Acadamey Award Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, I’ve actually seen one or two of these. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

Ford V Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Parasite

I’ve seen a grand total of two of these, so I’ll go with 1917, since Hollywood seems to love a war epic.

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain And Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

I’ll pick one of the two performances I’ve seen and go with Adam Driver.

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saorise Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renee Zellwegger, Judy

I’ve only seen one of these, so I’ll go with the talented Saorise Ronan from the perennial favorite Little Women.

Continue reading →

2019: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_22158 different people starred in the 89 movies I saw last year (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 whopping 9 of them were in more than 1 film. Those 9 thespians are:

Films Per Actor Per Year
Actor Name Films
Liam Neeson 3
Sandra Bullock 2
Tom Cruise 2
Samuel L. Jackson 2
James McAvoy 2
Melissa McCarthy 2
Ryan Reynolds 2
Kiernan Shipka 2
Bruce Willis 2

Now let’s take a look at the remaining movies that I saw in 2019, following up on last Friday’s post.

The Silence (2019)
A very similar tale to A Quiet Place, but apparently based on a book which pre-dates last year’s hit movie.

Eighth Grade (2018)
A coming of age story for a young girl trying to navigate the last year of middle school and the social pressures therein.

The Captive (2014)
A father suspected of killing his young daughter continue to look for her years later, and eventually finds her.

A Simple Favor (2018)
A woman befriends another mother at her child’s school and finds herself drawn into mystery and intrigue.

Can You Keep A Secret? (2019)
A woman starts dating her boss after accidentally telling him all of her secrets on a flight.

Broken Star (2018)
A woman under house arrest has an interesting neighbor.

The Curerd (2018)
When a cure is found for a zombie outbreak, not everyone is willing to forgive and forget.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
A high school girl becomes popular after “maturing”, but her new friends start dropping like flies.

Horns (2014)
Based on the book by Joe Hill, a man grows horns and gains powers when his girlfriend is murdered and everyone assumes he did it.

Free Solo (2018)
A documentary about a crazy man who likes to climb mountains by himself without ropes. Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

The loss of my annual long December vacation saw a slight downturn in movie watching for me, with my lowest total since 1988.  I managed to watch 55 movies last year, my seventh consecutive year under 100 and my lowest total since 1993.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching, the greater effort made towards going out for walks, and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

The French Connection (1971)
Hailed as one of the best films of the 70s, I can’t say it plays well here in the 21st century.

Cobra (1986)
Somehow I missed this Stallone “classic” back in the day.

Table 19 (2017)
The misfit table at a wedding bands together to settle scored, both old and new.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)
The classic board game moves to the video age in this sequel.

Patriots Day (2017)
Mark Wahlberg plays the hero of the Boston Marathon bombing.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
It certainly took me a while to see the latest installment in this franchise.

Life (2017)
A team of scientists find proof that life once existed on Mars, potentially dooming life on Earth in the process.

Snatched (2017)
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn go on vacation together and hijinks ensue.

People Like Us (2012)
When his father dies, Chris Pine learns that he had another family that needs some help.

The Layover (2017)
Two friends compete over a man when a hurricane turns their flight in to a road trip. Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (17) 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 take a loot at the 4 actors to have starred in 17 movies that I have seen, up 3 from 3 years ago.

Matt Damon

Moving up 2 spots, Matt Damon added films in 2016 and 2017, where he resurrected his Jason Bourne character in the movie of the same name.

Robert DeNiro

Robert DeNiro moves up 2 spots thanks to dual action in 2016, appearing in Joy and The Intern, both of which were released in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson

A 3 spot increase for the ingénue, who added an additional 2 films in 2014 plus Lucy, which I saw in 2015.

Michael Keaton

After a 9 year drought, Michael Keaton moves up one spot thanks to his comeback role in Birdman, which I saw in 2015.

Most Watched Actors – The Early 2010s

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 first half of this decade.

2011

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Natalie Portman 4

2011 was a big year for Natalie Portman films, as I took in nearly a quarter of her starring roles that I’ve seen overall thanks to The Other Woman, Black Swan, Thor, and No Strings Attached.

2012

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Jonah Hill 3

Jonah Hill scored the top spot with starring roles in Moneyball, The Sitter, and 21 Jump Street.

2013

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
James Franco 3
Joseph Gordon-Levitt 3
Jennifer Lawrence 3

A 3 way tie for 2013 thanks to the stunning work of James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jennifer Lawrence.  Franco hit with roles in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spring Breakers, and This Is The End.  Gordon-Levitt made a splash with Looper, Premium Rush, and 50/50.  Lawrence more than doubled her starring roles to date in Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and House at the End of the Street.

2014

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Emily Blunt 3
Scarlett Johansson 3
Liam Neeson 3
Shailene Woodley 3

For the first time in a decade, we have more than a 3-way tie for the top spot.  Emily Blunt leads things off with her roles in Edge of Tomorrow, Your Sister’s Sister, and The Five-Year Engagement.  Scarlett Johansson makes the list thanks to Don Jon, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Under The Skin.  Liam Neeson utilized his particular set of skills in Unknown, Non-Stop, and Taken 2.  Shailene Woodley finishes things off Divergent, The Spectacular Now, and The Fault in our Stars.

2015

Films Per Actor Per Year
Name Films
Jason Bateman 2
Ashley Bell 2
Tom Cruise 2
Karen Gillan 2
Kevin Hart 2
Leslie Mann 2
Paul Rudd 2
Sharon Stone 2
Aaron Taylor-Johnson 2
Shailene Woodley 2

A 10-way tie for the top spot as nobody managed to star in more than 2 films that I saw last year.

Most Watched Actors – The Late 2000s

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 second half of the first decade of the new millennium, the 2000s.

2006

Films Per Actor Per Year
Last Name Films
Scarlett Johansson 5

Scarlett Johansson ties Tori Spelling and Maria Ford for the record of most films seen in a single year by starring in An American Rhapsody, Match Point, The Island, A Good Woman, and Scoop.

2007

Films Per Actor Per Year
Last Name Films
Bruce Willis 3

Bruce Willis returns to the top of the heap for the first time since 1985 with his starring turns in Alpha Dog, Live Free Or Die Hard, and 16 Blocks.

2008

Films Per Actor Per Year
Last Name Films
Robert Downey Jr. 4

Robert Downey Jr. returned to leading man status in a big way in 2008, culminating in his roles in Gothika, Tropic Thunder, Charlie Bartlett, and, of course, Iron Man.

2009

Films Per Actor Per Year
Last Name Films
Zooey Deschanel 4
Anne Hathaway 4

The ladies took over in 2009, with Zooey Deschanel and Anne Hathaway tying for the top spot with 4 films apiece.  Deschanel appeared in Yes Man, (500) Days Of Summer, The Happening, and The Go-Getter.  Hathaway made her mark with Rachel Getting Married, Bride Wars, Becoming Jane, and Passengers.

2010

Films Per Actor Per Year
Last Name Films
Amy Adams 4
Nicolas Cage 4
Mila Kunis 4

A 3 way tie for first place, with 4 films apiece for Amy Adams, Nicolas Cage, and Mila Kunis.  Adams got things going with her roles in Julie & Julia, Leap Year, Sunshine Cleaning, and Standing Still.  Cage attempted to pay back the IRS with his roles in Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans, National Treasure, Knowing, and National Treasure: Book Of Secrets.  Kunis had a good year with Moving McAllister, Extract, After Sex, and Boot Camp.

 

2015: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_22

2015 was a bit of a letdown after last year’s improvement in movie watching for me, with the vacation over the past 3 weeks of December helping to greatly boost my total.  I managed to watch 69 movies last year, 9 less than last year and my fourth consecutive year under 100.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching, the greater effort made towards going out for walks, and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

Labor Day (2014)
A bit of a dud of a film and a poor way to start the year.

Bachelorette (2012)
This received nowhere near as much publicity as the similar themed Bridesmaids, but I enjoyed it much more.

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
Turns out I never saw the first one, which could explain why this made little sense to me.

The Factory (2012)
John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter team up to do cop stuff.

Godzilla (2014)
A much better remake attempt than the Matthew Broderick endeavor in 1998.

Drinking Buddies (2013)
An interesting indie film about a Chicago brewery and the people that work there.

Life After Beth (2014)
The latest zombie rom-com.

Butter (2011)
Who knew butter carving could be so entertaining?

Devil’s Due (2014)
A newlywed becomes impregnated with a hellspawn.

Tusk (2014)
Kevin Smith’s latest makes me think it may be time for me to stop watching Kevin Smith films. Continue reading →

2014: The Year In Movies Part 2

Movie_Reel_22134 different people starred in the movies I saw last year (starring in being the first two named stars, a tradition dating back to the old Chicago Tribune TV guide), and a whopping 16 of them were in more than 1. Those 16 thespians are:

Name Films
Emily Blunt 3
Scarlett Johansson 3
Liam Neeson 3
Shailene Woodley 3
Kristen Bell 2
Lake Bell 2
Sandra Bullock 2
Bradley Cooper 2
Rob Corddry 2
Melissa McCarthy 2
Julianne Moore 2
Elizabeth Olsen 2
Chris Pratt 2
Jason Segel 2
Amanda Seyfried 2
Bruce Willis 2

Now let’s take a look at the remaining movies that I saw in 2014, following up on Tuesday’s post.

Her (2013)
Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an operating system, and lives in a world where that isn’t considered odd.

Oculus (2014)
Karen Gillan stars in this horror tale about a mirror that makes its owners kill themselves and their loved ones.

Under The Skin (2013)
I’m sure some film buff will tell you that there was something worthwhile here, besides Scarlett Johansson’s first nude scenes, but I certainly didn’t get it.

Delivery Man (2013)
What would happen if a sperm bank oversold one man’s donations, leaving him the biological father of over 500 children?

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
This adaptation of Chris Claremont’s famous storyline mixes the casts of the old films and the new ones to great effect.

Liars All (2013)
Continue reading →

You Ought To Be In (14) 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, 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 look at the 6 actors that have starred in 14 movies that I have seen.

Samuel L. Jackson

20 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.  Aside from 1994, I also saw 2 Jackson films in both 2000 and 2006.  The last starring role of Jackson’s I took in was in 2010, when I saw Lakeview Terrace.

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.  My most recent experience with her was earlier this spring, when I headed to the Arclight Theater in Pasadena to take in Captain America: Winter Soldier during my California adventure.

Winona Ryder

I first became aware of Winona Ryder in the hit film Beetlejuice, but her first starring role that I saw came in 1990, when I saw the dark comedy Heathers.  My biggest Ryder year was 2000, when I saw 2 of her films.  The last films of her’s that I saw was 2002’s Mr. Deeds, which I finally got around to watching in 2011.

Adam Sandler Continue reading →

Goodbye, iPhone 4S – Music Edition

A little more than a week ago, I upgraded my phone from the iPhone 4S to the newly released iPhone 5S.  The biggest difference, aside from a slightly bigger screen, is the jump from 3G (or 4G, if you believe AT&T’s hype) to LTE.  I had the 4S for a little under 2 years, and in that time, we traveled the world together (well, at least going back to the UK) and have listened to a lot of podcasts and music. Here is every song (all 2079 of them) I’ve listened to on the phone, with some (ok, very little) bonus commentary.  Godspeed.

 

Let’s Go-Go-Go White Sox Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers 33
He’s a Pirate Klaus Badelt Pirates of the Caribbean (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) 32
Take Me Out To The Ballgame Harry Caray 31
Thunderstruck AC/DC The Razors Edge 31
Gordon Beckham Intro 29
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye Steam Billboard’s Top Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits: 1969 29
Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey Journey’s Greatest Hits 27
sox05_montage 27
We Are The Champions Queen Queen: Greatest Hits I & II 27
Your Love The Outfield Play Deep 27
2008 White Sox Central Division Champs Montage Chris Tannehill WSCR 670 The Score 25
Take Me Out To The Ballgame Nancy Faust 25
Harvester Of Sorrow Metallica …And Justice For All 20

You would hope that these numbers would have been higher, but this past season’s miserable performance by the White Sox has put the songs on their playlist out of mind more often than not.

Cannonball The Breeders The First 1000 Years- Rock 19
Man Or Muppet Jason Segel The Muppets 15
It’s Time For Our Song Miss Piggy The Muppets 14
Get Out There And Help Those Guys Jason Segel The Muppets 13
Main Title LOST Soundtrack LOST Soundtrack 13
Are You A Man Or A Muppet? Amy Adams The Muppets 12
How Charming, A Finale Uncle Deadly The Muppets 12
I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain) The Lonely Island Incredibad 12
Down At The Ole Barbershop Kermit The Muppets 11
Me and Drugs David Cross Bigger and Blackerer 11
The Antichrist Howard Stern Private Parts: The Album 11
Continue reading →