You Ought To Be In (19) Pictures


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.

2019: The Year In Movies


The return of my annual long December vacation, with very little to do otherwise, saw a big increase in movie watching for me, with my highest total since 2011.  I managed to watch 89 movies last year, my eighth 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.

Life Of The Party (2018)
Melissa McCarthy joins her daughter at college after her husband leaves her.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Eddie Murphy tackles a movie based on the Disneyland ride.

Downsizing (2017)
Matt Damon shrinks himself to 5 inches tall, gaining wealth but losing a wife.

Knight And Day (2010)
A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name.

Keep Watching (2017)
A gang of intruders takes a family hostage and forces them to play a game.

The Space Between Us (2017)
The first human born on Mars heads to Earth to find his long-distance crush, even if it will kill him.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
A choose-your-own-adventure film about a young kid trying to make it in the video game industry.

Bird Box (2018)
A woman tries to save her two children in a world where seeing things leads to death.

Hereditary (2018)
A grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Aliens take over the human race. Continue reading →

And The Academy Award Goes To…

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for Sunday’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions, which are based on not having seen any of the nominated films, with a look at the acting categories and the big one:

Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge Of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Having seen none of these films, I don’t have any real idea of which should win.  I’m going to go with Spotlight for no particular reason.

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

It seems that this is Leonardo DiCaprio’s year to take home his first Oscar.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

As a fan of Brie Larson, I’m hoping that she’ll take home this award.

Continue reading →

Predicting The Non-Acting Oscars

side_oscarThe 88th Academy Awards are scheduled for Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I likely have seen very few of these movies, so I will mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth.

Best Original Screenplay

Matt Chapman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen, Bridge Of Spies
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, and Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Out
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Wenkus, Straight Outta Compton

I haven’t seen any of these films yet, but if I had to guess, which I guess I do, I’m going to say that, partially thanks to the outrage over the relative whiteness of the acting nominees, Straight Outta Compton will take home the prize.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, The Big Short
Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donoghue, Room

Another category where I have not seen any of the nominated work. I’m guessing, based on very little, that The Big Short will win this one.

Best Animated Feature

Boy & The World
Inside Out
Shaun The Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

No clue here either, but Inside Out was the only one I had heard of.

Best Cinematography

Ed Lachman, Carol
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
Roger A. Deakins, Sicario

Well, I’ve almost seen one of these, since I have Mad Max home from Netflix.  My guess is that Emmanuel Lubezki takes home the Oscar for capturing the rape of Leonardo DiCaprio by a bear.

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell, Carol
Sandy Powell, Cinderella
Paco Delgado, The Danish Girl
Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road
Jacqueline West, The Revenant

The odds do seem to be in Sandy Powell’s favor, but I’m guessing Paco Delgado brings home the prize for The Danish Girl.

Continue reading →