Thursday, December 28, 2023

2023 Movies I've Seen (and still need to see)


A Haunting in Venice
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Theives
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny
Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Shazam: Fury of the Gods
The Flash
Super Mario Bros. the Movie
Haunted Mansion

Still Need to See

Killers of the Flower Moon
John Wick 4
Equalizer 3
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1
The Boy and the Heron
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
The Marvels
Blue Beetle
The Creator
Rebel Moon
Asteroid City

Friday, November 03, 2023

Texas Rangers win their first World Series

 My life is complete now that both the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers have won a World Series championship.

That leaves four teams that have yet to win a World Series at anytime during their franchise history - San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays.
Of those four, I will pull for the Padres to win next (provided they are not playing against the Astros or Rangers) since not only have the Padres franchise never won, neither has the city of San Diego. 
In the case of the Brewers, while the franchise has never won, the city of Milwaukee did have a championship winning team in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves, before that team moved to Atlanta.
If you want to know which teams are next in line to feel sorry for, here is the list of the rest of the teams in order of the longest time since winning a championship.

1948 Cleveland Guardians 
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates
1983 Baltimore Orioles
1984 Detroit Tigers
1986 New York Mets
1989 Oakland Athletics
1990 Cincinnati Reds
1991 Minnesota Twins
1993 Toronto Blue Jays
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks
2002 Los Angeles Angels
2003 Florida Marlins
2005 Chicago White Sox
2008 Philadelphia Phillies
2009 New York Yankees
2011 St. Louis Cardinals
2014 San Francisco Giants
2015 Kansas City Royals
2016 Chicago Cubs
2018 Boston Red Sox
2019 Washington Nationals
2020 Los Angeles Dodgers
2021 Atlanta Braves
2022 Houston Astros
2023 Texas Rangers

Saturday, August 19, 2023

My Life Watching Television (pre-streaming)

 Bozo the Clown
Cowboy Bob
Captain Kangaroo
Sesame Street
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
The Electric Company
Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show
Scooby Doo Where are You?
The Flintstones
The Jetsons
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Speed Racer
Pink Panther Show
Jonny Quest
Land of the Lost
The Banana Splits
Dudley Do Right
Harlem Globetrotters
Hong Kong Phooey
Schoolhouse Rock
Star Trek Animated Series
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
Mighty Mouse
Rocky & Bullwinkle Show
Yogi Bear Show
Woody Woodpecker
Mister Magoo
Popeye the Sailor
Wonderful World of Disney
Wild Kingdom
Wide World of Sports
The Carol Burnett Show
Hee Haw
Rowan & Martin's Laugh In
Beverly Hillbillies

Gilligan's Island
Mayberry RFK
Gomer Pyle USMC
The Munsters
The Addams Family
The Brady Bunch
Hogan's Heroes
Little Rascals
Leave It To Beaver
I Love Lucy
Kung Fu
The Waltons
Sanford and Son
Star Trek
Twilight Zone
The Six Million Dollar Man
Good Times
All in the Family
The Jeffersons
Starsky and Hutch
Little House on the Prairie
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Planet of the Apes
Chico and the Man
Welcome Back Kotter
Charlie's Angels
Happy Days
Laverne and Shirley
One Day at a Time
Three's Company
The Incredible Hulk
Mork and Mindy
The Dukes of Hazzard
Benny Hill Show
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Doctor Who
The Cosby Show
Crossfire (CNN)
Firing Line
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show w/ Johnny Carson
60 Minutes
MTV (1980-85)

Pee Wee's Playhouse
Danger Mouse
The Simpsons
Northern Exposure
Beverly Hills 90210
Melrose Place
The X-Files
Party of Five
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Nash Bridges
Just Shoot Me
Judging Amy
The Lone Gunmen
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Boston Legal

Life on Mars
Terra Nova
Rachel Maddow

Love it or List it
American Gladiators
River Monsters
Ben 10
Teen Titans Go!
Star and the Forces of Evil
Gravity Falls
The Masked Singer

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Streaming Revolutionizes Television

 I've seen a lot of technological advancements with our television viewing habits over the years, from remote controls and VCRs to the explosion of cable channels and digital video recorders. But I think streaming may be the biggest change yet. 
Not only can you watch dozens, if not hundreds, of traditional TV shows, both old and new, at whatever pace you like, but much of the best television content comes from original programs airing for the first time - sometimes dumped all at once for immediate binging or doled out slowly, one per week, just like old times. 

Here are the shows that I have watched all available episodes so far...

Stranger Things
Luke Cage
Jessica Jones
Iron Fist
The Defenders
The Mandalorian
Only Murders in the Building

Umbrella Academy
The Rings of Power
Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Book of Boba Fett
Obi Wan Kenobi
Moon Knight
Ms Marvel
She Hulk
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Slow Horses
Outer Range
The Old Man
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Tulsa King
The Good Place

And streaming shows I am not finished with

His Dark Materials
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Crown
Ted Lasso
The Witcher
Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek: Picard
Better Call Saul
The Chosen
Alaska Daily
Abbott Elementary

Older TV series I am watching

Downton Abbey
Walking Dead
Boston Legal

And a few I have finished

West Wing
White Collar
Lie To Me

2022 Movies I've Seen

 It's getting harder and harder to compile this list every year. I used to be able to go to one website listing all the Hollywood Box Office stats and come up with my list. But now I have to also go to half a dozen other sites and find all the original streaming movies that I might have seen during the year. So here is my best effort at compiling my list for this year...

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
Minions: Rise of Gru
The Batman
Thor: Love and Thunder
The Lost City
Ticket to Paradise
Bullet Train
The Bad Guys
Turning Red
Sing 2
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Death on the Nile
Don't Worry Darling
Marry Me
The King's Man
The 355
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Adam Project
The Sea Beast
The Gray Man
The Princess
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Enola Holmes 2
Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Hocus Pocus 2

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Avatar: The Way of Water
Top Gun: Maverick
Strange World
The Fabelmans
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

And now the movies that I still plan to see at some point...

Black Adam
Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Menu
She Said
Triangle of Sadness

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Oscar Gripes

 I'm not even sure where to start with my Oscar gripes this year.
The snub of Lady Gaga for Best Actress is galling. House of Gucci was one of the few Oscar-hyped films I made a point of seeing this year - along with Being the Ricardos - and both were shut out of the Best Picture category. But I really thought Lady Gaga was a lock for another Oscar nod this year. 

Then there is the Original Song category where you could have just picked every song from Encanto and left it at that. But while Encanto is filled with wonderful songs that are tearing up the pop charts like the sensational "We Don't Talk About Bruno" and "Surface Pressure," what song does the tone-deaf Academy nominate? - the Spanish language "Dos Oruguitas," which is a wonderful song, but nowhere near the best song in the movie. 

And then there is the Best Director category where it seems we are setting up for the 12th year in a row where a non-American director will win the statue. The last American director to win an Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. This year there are only two American directors nominated - Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson - while the Oscar is likely to go to New Zealand's Jane Campion.

And we also seem to have a new requirement where the Academy has to nominate a foreign language film every year for Best Picture. This is the fourth year in a row where one of the precious Best Picture slots goes to a foreign language film - in 2018 it was Roma, in 2019 it was Parasite (which even won the Oscar that year), in 2020 it was Minari, and this year it is Drive My Car.

Meanwhile, the Academy continues its long-standing policy of ignoring movies that are popular with people who actually spend money going to the movies. If a film earns more than $100 million at the domestic box office it is guaranteed to be ignored by the snooty voters of the Academy. This year it is Spider Man No Way Home that got snubbed after raking in an incredible $572 million in a Covid year! 
The whole point of expanding the Oscar nominations from 5 to 10 was to make more room for popular films like SpiderMan to get some recognition and maybe attract more viewers to watch the annual shindig. Instead, Academy voters now just fill all 10 slots with art-house cinema that few people have (or will) see. The most popular nominee this year is Dune which earned just under $100 million at the box office which seems to be the Academy's cutoff point. Any film making over $100 million is only eligible for the Best Visual Effects trophy. 

Dune is also the only nominated film that I have seen so far. I may get around to seeing a few others at some point like King Richard, Don't Look Up and Nightmare Alley. But most of the other films just aren't all that appealing. They are not "popcorn" films that you would want to see again and again. They are more like "eat your vegetables" films. You know they are good for you, but you still don't like it. I've seen a lot of Oscar-winning films that are like that - where the reaction is 'Yes, this was a very good film. Please don't make me watch it again."

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Rock Hall of Fame nominees 2022

And here are the 17 nominees....

-Pat Benatar
-Kate Bush
-Duran Duran
-Judas Priest
-Fela Kuti
-New York Dolls
-Dolly Parton
-Rage Against The Machine
-Lionel Richie
-Carly Simon
-A Tribe Called Quest
-Dionne Warwick 

I should just accept that all of my favorite rock bands are never going to make it into the Rock Hall of Fame.

I'm sure you could make an argument that each of the 17 nominated artists this year deserve induction, but none of them would have made my personal top 5.
I bought albums by Devo and Duran Duran when I was in high school. I bought CDs by Beck and Rage Against the Machine post-college. Pat Benatar and Eurythmics were MTV staples. And Lionel Richie was everywhere when I was in college. And, of course, who doesn't love Dolly Parton? I would be happy to see any or all of them in the Hall of Fame. Even Eminem, who I came to appreciate later on.
I don't have anything against the others on the list, just indifferent. I am least familiar with the music of Kate Bush and A Tribe Called Quest. I know who Carly Simon and Dionne Warwick are, but I don't listen to their music enough to have a fair opinion of it. Same with Fela Kuti, MC5 and New York Dolls. And I was never a big metal fan so I am kind of indifferent to Judas Priest.
I would rather listen to albums by Boston, Foreigner, J. Geils Band, Los Lobos and Peter Frampton. And what about Styx, Bachman Turner Overdrive, REO Speedwagon, Kansas and B-52s? I would also like to go back further and honor some great passed-over artists like The Monkees and Paul Revere and The Raiders.
Maybe some day....

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

2021 Movies

Movies I have seen this year... 

 Black Widow
 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
 F9: The Fast Saga
 Free Guy
 Jungle Cruise
 The Suicide Squad
 Raya and the Last Dragon
 In the Heights
 The Croods: A New Age
 Wonder Woman 1984
 House of Gucci
 Red Notice
 Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street 
No Time To Die
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Being the Ricardos
Coming 2 America
The Matrix Resurrections
The Mitchells vs The Machines
Spider Man No Way Home
Tom Clancy's Without Remorse
Suicide Squad

 Movies I still want to see... 
 Ghostbusters: Afterlife
 Addams Family 2
 The French Dispatch
 Chaos Walking
 News of the World
 King Richard
Don't Look Up
The King's Man
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Ron's Gone Wrong
Sing 2
Space Jam A New Legacy
Summer of Soul
The Tender Bar
Tick Tick Boom!
The Tomorrow War
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Women in the Rock Hall of Fame


Aretha Franklin
Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson (The Supremes)
LaVerne Baker
Tina Turner (Ike and Tina Turner)
Ruth Brown
Etta James
Cynthia Robinson and Rosie Stone (Sly and the Family Stone)
Janis Joplin
Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard, Betty Kelly, Lois Reeves and Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas)
Gladys Knight (Gladys Knight and the Pips)
Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane)
Shirley Alston Reeves, Addie Harris, Doris Kenner-Jackson and Beverly Lee (The Shirelles)
Maureen Tucker (The Velvet Underground)
Joni Mitchell
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)
Cass Elliott and Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & the Papas)
Dusty Springfield
Cleotha Staples, Mavis Staples and Yvonne Staples (The Staple Singers)
Bonnie Raitt
Brenda Lee
Tina Weymouth (The Talking Heads)
Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)
Debbie Harry (Blondie)
Estelle Bennett, Ronnie Spector and Nedra Talley (The Ronettes)
Patti Smith
Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (ABBA)
Darlene Love
Laura Nyro
Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson (Heart)
Donna Summer
Linda Ronstadt
Joan Jett (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts)
Joan Baez
Nina Simone
Janet Jackson
Stevie Nicks
Whitney Houston
Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s)
Carole King
Tina Turner

2022 Inductees

Pat Benatar
Carly Simon
Dolly Parton
Annie Lennox (Eurythmics)

Early Influencers

Bessie Smith
Ma Rainey
Dinah Washington
Mahalia Jackson
Billie Holiday
Wanda Jackson
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Elizabeth Cotten


Carole King
Ellie Greenwich
Cynthia Well
Sylvia Robinson

Award for Musical Excellence

Pattie Scialfa (E Street Band)


The Chantels
The Shangri-Las
Irma Thomas

Nominated but not Inducted

Mary J. Blige
Kate Bush
The Chantels
Chaka Khan
The Marvelettes
Esther Phillips
Dionne Warwick
Mary Wells

Friday, July 24, 2020

2020 Movies (COVID pandemic)

I only saw two 2020 movies in the theater before everything shut down due to COVID-19:

Bad Boys for Life

Since then, I have seen the following movies at home via various streaming services like Vudu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Amazon Prime:

Spies in Disguise
Sonic the Hedgehog
Trolls World Tour
Artemis Fowl
The Old Guard
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Enola Holmes
Bill and Ted Face the Music
The Current War
Roald Dahl's The Witches

TV Series

Stranger Things
The Crown
The Mandalorian 
The Umbrella Academy
His Dark Materials

Binge Watching

The West Wing
The Great British Bake Off
Grace and Frankie
Star Trek (OS)
The Good Place