Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

I enjoy Quentin Tarantino’s movies, most of them are very good, if not excellent.

Since his first movie in 1992, Reservoir Dogs, and his huge follow-up in Pulp Fiction, he’s only directed seven more movies.

So it makes it easy to rank them.

I also recently re-watched them all (within the last couple years) and finally got around to witnessing the turd that is Death Proof.

Let the sparks fly!

Not Good
9) Death Proof – Nope.

8) Jackie Brown

Very Good
7) Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Enjoyable, but I’m not a fan of over the top battle scenes. (Never got into martial arts B movies.)
6) The Hateful Eight – This gets a bit long in the tooth, but the scenes are great to re-watch a second time when you already know the twist.

5) Kill Bill Vol. 2 – A slow burn, the final requiem is a treat.
4) Django Unchained – Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio are all just great.
3) Reservoir Dogs – Still enjoy putting on the soundtrack, and will never get the scene with Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck In the Middle With You” out of my ear (oops, sorry).

2) Pulp Fiction – Bring out the gimp! Ah, memories of college.
1) Inglorious Basterds – Did I like this more than Pulp Fiction? Yes, yes I did. One of my favorite scenes is Brad Pitt trying to pass as ‘Eye’talian at the final chapter’s Nazi movie premiere and Christoph Waltz gleefully exposing him.


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(Update: I got 7 of 11 correct!)

You have come to the right place for my 9th annual Oscars predictions!

I’m not that good at it, but I’m consistent. In that I make predictions. If you copy any of these, just know…I’m sorry.

How have I done in recent years?

I typically only predict what I consider to be the major categories.

So coming March 4th, the 90th Annual Academy Awards will be awarded and my predictions will come true. Believe it.

Interestingly (okay not really), in recent years, I’ve made it a point to see as many of the movies nominated for Best Picture before the ceremony as possible. And I typically get around to watching all of the Best Picture nominees at some point. I was curious how well I was doing on that front, so I did some research (gasp!). I know, I know, pulling things out of thin air is more my speed, but this time I let the statistics be the story. #NotFakeNews

For the five years between 2012-2016, I’ve seen all but one of the Best Picture nominations (42/43 movies). And since the Academy expanded the number of nominations from five to more in 2009 (often nine), I have yet to see five of the nominations (67/72). Lastly, since 2000, I missed a mere 10 Best Picture nominations in total (107/117). So. Not bad. I guess.


Best Picture – I’ve seen 6 of 9 of these so far. This comes down to The Shape of Water and Three Billboards. I liked The Shape of Water well enough, and I struggled a bit with Three Billboards. Yet I kinda, sorta think Three Billboards will actually win. The Post was the best, and Dunkirk is amazing, but more as a sound/visual experience than a Best Picture.
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water (Winner!)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (My pick)
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Frances is mean and angry and going to win Oscar gold!
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (My pick)
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post
Best Actor in a Leading Role – No contest!
  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (My pick)
  • Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Lady Bird gets lots of acting buzz, so this will be the consolation because Three Billboards will win two acting awards.
  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya (Winner!)
  • Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (My pick)
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Angry and racist is the winning combination!
  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (My pick)
Best Director – Nolan may win and would deserve to, but I think del Toro wins!
  • Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
  • Get Out, Jordan Peele
  • Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
  • Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro (My pick)
Adapted Screenplay – I want Mudbound to win. It won’t.
  • Call Me by Your Name (My pick)
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound
Original Screenplay – Probably will coincide with Best Picture.
  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out (Winner!)
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (My pick)
Best Animated Feature Film – The only one I’ve seen is The Boss Baby, and it is brutal (aka not good)! I think Pixar notches another win!
  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco (My pick)
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent
Cinematography – Blade Runner would deserve a win here, and it’s likely the only chance for Mudbound to get a win, but The Shape of Water IS going to win some of the 13 categories it was nominated for.
  • Blade Runner 2049 (Winner!)
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • The Shape of Water (My pick)
Best Foreign Language Film – ¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva women!
  • A Fantastic Woman (Chile) (My pick)
  • The Insult (Lebanon)
  • Loveless (Russia)
  • On Body and Soul (Hungary)
  • The Square (Sweden)

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In the year that just whizzed past us, I acquainted myself with 115 movies. Here is a peek at the best and the worst of the lot.

In other news, welcome to the new year.


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(Update: I got 7 of 11 correct!)

I relentlessly present with you my 8th annual Oscar predictions!

As always, I suck at this so if you copy me in any way, shape or form, you will do no better than the average monkey. Average monkeys are smart on occasion, especially in how they acquire and fling feces, so don’t fret too much.

For evidence of my suckage, see my results over the last 3 years:

  • 2016: 4 (correct)/11
  • 2015: 8/11
  • 2014: 10/11

I only predict 11 categories (of the 24 total), or what I consider the major categories.

So coming on February 26th, we have the 89th Annual Academy Awards!

You’ll be pleased to learn, I’ve seen all 88 of the previous Best Picture winners…so might as well make my way through this year’s nominees.

So far, I’ve seen 5 of 9.


Best Picture – Up for 14 nominations (tied for most all-time with Titanic and All About Eve), it’s not a stretch to say La La Land is the favorite. Plus it’s filthy with music and dancing and hope and heartbreak.


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Something, something movies.

With 2016 I got back into the swing of watching movies. I saw over 100 movies, the most since 2009. Get it.


11. Brooklyn – A women finds love and a new life in America, but will Ireland draw her back?

10. Eye in the Sky – This moves more like a legal, ethics class, but I found myself fascinated by the drama and lengths they went to decide of ‘should they’ or ‘should they not’ launch a missile strike. And no real feel good results.

9. Creed – Maybe all the boxing movie tropes have been done and re-done by now, but watching Rocky become the mentor/trainer for his dead friend’s son, it still feels okay to watch them.

8. Captain America: Civil War – Punch, Pow, Pop! Superheroes mildly fight each other over a difference of opinion. It’s a total geek out, and you will be entertained.

7. The Shallows – So the premise is Jaws vs. Blake Lively. But what you thought might be a throw-away horror movie is nothing to throw away and is highly suspenseful.

6. Hell or Highwater – Chris Pine is basically in everything these days. With Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger chasing them, two brothers join together to rob banks to save their farm.

5. The Jungle Book – I didn’t expect all that much from a Disney re-make, but this is actually a damn fine movie. Bill Murray as Baloo? Idris Elba as Shere Khan? Scarlett Johansson as Kaa? Christopher Walken as King Louie? Heck ya.

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Good, I’m tempted to buy all the toys like I had as a kid for the first three movies. Darth Vader’s castle is cool. Now I need to see it again in IMAX 3D.

3. The Martian – Matt Damon on Mars! I need to watch this again, I just decided.

2. Spotlight – Wow, the Best Picture winner is the true story of the exposé of the Catholic Church in Boston. Haunting and sad and it makes you angry.

1. Sicario – Gritty, with a dark, underlying tone, this movie looks at US-Mexican border policies and how the US fights the drug cartels, but all is not as it seems. All is not rosy.


5. Scary Movie 5 – Let this franchise die. It’s not funny. Maybe if they made an actual funny parody movie (not that the first one was brilliant but it had its moments), we can keep it alive. But now please let it be offed in the most horror movie cliché possible.

4. Gymkata – Hahaha! I watched this during a ‘bad movie’ night. It was fun to pick it apart and laugh at all the WTF moments. Watch it with a group of snarky people, and you will find fun where there should be none.

3. Zoolander 2 – Don’t do it. Okay, you will if you saw the first Zoolander. But you will still regret it. And I will have told you so.

2. The Lobster – I hate this movie. I’ve often been annoyed with Colin Farrell as an actor and the films he’s been in (yet there are good ones like In Bruges), but this takes the cake. Weird, oddball, strange are words you could use to describe this movie. I choose the word ‘terrible’.

1. Joysticks – I listen to a podcast called Stack of Dimes. They started a new series of episodes to review bad movies that somehow made it to Blu-ray. They featured this one, which is supposed to be a Porky’s knock-off from 1982. Not so bad it’s good. Just so bad.


Stats on Movies Watched

  • 111 movies watched in 2016
  • 26 on a plane (whoa, I must have lived on a plane…)
  • 27 repeat viewing (and therefore not eligible for the best/worst list)
  • 3 Bill Murray movies
  • 6 Liam Neeson movies (I went through a phase…)
  • 11 movies in the theater (Haven’t been going to the theater that much…)

Extra Special Bonus Time (All 111 movies)


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Epilogue: I picked 4 out of 11 correct! 64% wrong! Fantastic and amazing results! 

It is time.

The moment you’ve been waiting for!

My Oscar picks. The best 8.8 seconds of your day.

I know this is a celebratory moment of epic proportions, but calm down. Please.

Hold still long enough to read the rest of the this post.

It’s just the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony hosted by Chris Rock.

Last year I picked 8 of 11 correctly. (I don’t do them all…that’s too much work!)


Best Picture – When they are big and short, we like the odds.

  • The Big Short (My pick)
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight (Winner)


Best Actress in a Leading Role – Let’s see what Brie is doing in that room.

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Brie Larson, Room (My pick) (Winner)
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn


Best Actor in a Leading Role – Matt shined as a Martian, but Leo was the king of the wilderness.

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (My pick) (Winner)
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl


Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Danish girls deserve the spotlight.

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl (My pick) (Winner)
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


Best Actor in a Supporting Role – The Italian Stallion wins for his second acting nomination for the seminal role of Rocky.

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (Winner)
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed (My pick)


Best Director – Maybe Alejandro could win two years in a row…but actually there’s something Mad about the Oscar race this year.

  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (My pick)
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, The Revenant (Winner)
  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight


Adapted Screenplay – I only read one of these books, so that has to win, right? Right.

  • The Big Short (Winner)
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Martian (My pick)
  • Room


Original Screenplay – Rapper’s paradise.

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight (Winner)
  • Straight Outta Compton (My pick)


Best Animated Feature Film – Pixar dominates! Never doubt!

  • Anomalisa
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out (My pick) (Winner)
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There


Cinematography – Hard to say, but I think there is some Mad Max fury to be had.

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (My pick)
  • The Revenant (Winner)
  • Sicario


Best Foreign Language Film – I can only embrace the inevitable pressure of failure.

  • Embrace of the Serpent (My pick)
  • Mustang
  • Son of Saul (Winner)
  • Theeb
  • A War
Things will only escalate from here.
Feel free to witness picks from previous years here.

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It is the holiday season once again. Ho ho hum.

And almost time for my annual sojourn to Washington state!

Let’s start a new tradition. Every December, a new To Do List. Okay, I say that now, but check back with me in 3 years.


Goal for December: Do all 13 items (for luck) on my specially curated To Do List.


December 2015 To Do List

  1. Go skiing – Last year I hurt my back, so did not get to ski. This year that situation is rectified.
  2. Attend three Seattle Seahawks games – Boom! One in Baltimore and two in Seattle.
  3. Visit Portland, OR – I hear they could really use a force like me.
  4. Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maybe even up to five times if it’s good…
  5. Visit two new breweries – There are so many new ones, so let’s get it on!
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – This will go on every future To Do List forever and ever.
  7. Enter a cabin – Preferably one that we rent, but I’m not adverse to a little B&E if that’s what it takes.
  8. Try 12 new beers – Burp.
  9. Hike a hike – I need to get outside!
  10. Eat at one of Seattle’s best restaurants – According to this list here or even this one.
  11. See Book of Mormon – Want to. Will try.
  12. Attend and write-up two concerts – Minimum.
  13. Wild Card – Something fun or dumb, that I can’t think of right now.


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