In an effort to see just how much film, TV and books I go through on a yearly basis, I’ve decided to keep a running tally of everything I watch and read this year. I’ll keep track of the date of what I read/watched and some brief thoughts on the book or film or TV show. Hopefully I won’t hate myself at the end of the 2016 as a result.
1/1/16: Read “Sick in the Head” by Judd Apatow. Nice, easy read packed full of interviews with lots of comedy greats. A nice way to spend a a day in the car or a winter cabin (which is where I read it).
1/2/16: Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Great advice in and outside of the workplace.
1/3/16: Watched some “2016 Alamo Bowl” DVR video my friend had recorded at home. We skipped to the 3rd quarter because #GoFrogs. Almost as good as being there in person again.
1/4/16: Watched “Sleeping With Other People” starring Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis. Nicely directed, but it felt a little too much like “When Harry Met Sally…” to me.
1/6/16: Watched 2 episodes of “The Cleveland Show” on TV as I did laundry. Laughed more than I thought I would.
Watched “Django Unchained” to get ready for “Hateful Eight.” This was my second time watching “Django,” I think. It was funnier (and a lot more violent) than I remember.
1/7/16: Nothing. Played some Grand Theft Auto V.
1/8/16: Watched three episodes of Season 3 of “Always Sunny.” Great show.
1/9/16: Watched “Dazed and Confused” with some friends from college. The first time I saw it, I liked the music; the second time, the performances; and now, the third time, this film’s significance for multiple generations slapped me across the face. Like “Boyhood,” this film succeeds at being a nostalgia trip for a certain generation while also being emblematic of a greater shared experience. Now I’m really excited for Linklater’s “spiritual successor” to “Dazed,” “Everybody Wants Some!!” out later this year.
1/11/16: Watched “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” and the first episode of “Mr. Robot” on a plane. Enjoyed both. Might start watching the whole “Mr. Robot” series.
1/14/16: Worked from home, watched about a season’s worth of “Always Sunny” and the pilot episode of “F is for Family.”
1/16/16: Watched “Mad Max: Fury Road” with some friends who had never seen it before, and then watched the Adam Driver episode of “Saturday Night Live.” “Mad Max” still holds up after the fifth viewing, and I thought Driver’s hosting was the best of this season so far.
1/17/16: Saw “The Revenant” in theaters, marking my first theater experience of 2016. I was blown away. Leo deserves the Best Actor award, and Emmanuel Lubezki should three-peat his Best Cinematography awards, following “Gravity” and “Birdman.” See this one in the theater if you can.
Also caught the Tower Records documentary “All Things Must Pass” on demand later that night. Fascinating look at the rise and fall of an empire, and an era. Really sad and enlightening at the same time.
1/18/16: Watched “The Martian” on DVD. I have a feeling that’s going to become one of those movies that I’ll watch whenever it’s on TV, like “Shawshank.” I’m really excited for this one’s chances at the Oscars.
Also Watched this week’s episode of “The Bachelor” with some friends because I went to college with Olivia Caridi. I’m currently second-to-last in my prediction bracket, so I don’t know if that’s good or not.
Also played some more “GTA V.” The story is pretty good this time around.
1/21/16: Watched the Unrated Director’s Cut of “Straight Outta Compton.” Better than the theatrical version.
1/22/16: Watched “The Ladykillers” on Netflix. Not my favorite Coen Bros. film, but it was quirky and a nice rare chance to see Tom Hanks as a villain.
1/23/16: Watched “Jackie Brown”. Possibly the most underrated of Tarantino’s films. I liked the bigger emphasis on character development instead of violence.
1/24/16: Saw “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” in theaters. I was surprised at how unpolitical it was, and how much it only focused on the account of the soldiers who were there. It’s the best Michael Bay film in years, even if the direction is uninspired and paint-by-numbers at points. Plus, who would’ve thought Jim From The Office would be a great action star?
Also caught “The Book of Eli” on TV that night after watching the AFC and NFC championships.
1/25/16: Watched “The Last Five Years” on Netflix (second time seeing it); the Ronda Rousey-hosted episode of “Saturday Night Live”; this week’s episode of “The Bachelor.”
1/27/16: Watched “The Overnight” on Netflix. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, especially after seeing the previews. It’s a mumblecore comedy about swingers, for God’s sakes. But it was surprisingly more dramatic than I thought it would be. And it also is one of the few films I’ve seen that treated sex as an adult subject matter and not some pent-up teenage fantasy. I don’t agree with the conclusions the film makes about sex, but it’s worth at least one watch.
1/28/16: Watched a few episodes of “30 Rock” and “The Office.” How great was that NBC lineup?
2/1/16: Watched “Steve Jobs” online. Wow. I heard great things, but this one exceeded my expectations. Fassbender’s portrayal of Apple’s co-founder was spot-on, even if he didn’t always look like him. The film isn’t a biography as much as it is a dramatic representation of Jobs’ life. Told on the eve of three different product launches, “Steve Jobs” feels more like a play than a film. And that’s the magic here. My only complaints: Not enough Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, and at 2 hours, it felt like it could be a little longer.
Finished Spike Lee’s “Chi-raq.” It is a powerful call to arms against the gun epidemic currently sweeping America, but the film felt tonally confused to me. Samuel L. Jackson as a one-man Greek chorus and John Cusack as a social activist priest are the two highlights.
Also, as is the same every Monday, I watched this week’s episode of “The Bachelor,” where they WENT TO MEXICO OMG. It’s getting intense over there.
I also continued reading Beonhoffer’s “Life Together” for my church small group. I’m on Chapter 2 right now. I highly recommend it if you want to read more about Christian community/spiritual life/relationships therein.
2/2/16-2/23/16: I just moved to Austin, so some of my dates could be off. But here’s all I watched during that time period:
-The Larry David/Bernie Sanders “SNL” episode
-The Super Bowl (Go Broncos)
-An episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
-An episode of “Workaholics” (which included Dane Cook in a weird “Wolf of Wall Street” parody? I need to watch this show more often)
-“Horace and Pete,” Pilot Episode, which was different from what I thought it would be, but I like how it feels like if “Cheers” and “Louie” had a baby with some theater kids.
-“Burn After Reading,” which I thought was funnier this time around than I did when I was 17
-“Hail, Caesar!,” which was much better than the trailers would have you assume. It’s really a Christ figure film and an homage to Hollywood’s Golden age all rolled into one.
-Two episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”
-“Sicario” for the first time since I saw it in theaters. The border crossing scene still gives me chills.
-“50 First Dates” and “The Descendants” Hawaii movie double feature to test out my new TV setup in my new apartment
-The Melissa McCarthy/Kanye West SNL episode
-Three episodes of “The Office”
-“The Aristocrats,” which was entertaining for a movie that tells the same joke 100 different ways
-“Togetherness,” Season 2 Ep. 1 to test out my Chromecast. I still can’t decide if I love or hate this show. I do love me some Duplass Brothers, though.
-“Vinyl,” the pilot episode. Love the theme song, and the first episode looks promising.
-“Broadcast News,” the best romantic comedy/satire combo I’ve seen in a while, but I’m not sure if I “got” what it was going for…
-“Steve Jobs” again, this time with the audio commentary on the Blu-Ray from writer Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham. This film gets better every time I see it.
2/24/16: Two rounds of SportsCenter through SlingTV, an app that gives you cable TV channels that you want for only $20/month. I’m enjoying it so far. Only a few lags.
-Season 1 of “Love.” I have lots of thoughts on this one, which I will share later.
-Season 1 of “Casual” (Also a lot of thoughts about this too, since it and “Love” are basically cousins in the “sadcom” genre)
-Listened to Brian Grazer’s “A Curious Mind” book on Audible- Great stuff. Check out his interview with Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast too.
-Started listening to “The Girl on the Train” on Audible- I’ve only listened to this at work, so I haven’t followed the plot that much, but I know this much: the movie will be as batshit as “Gone Girl,” and I can’t wait.
-“Infinitely Polar Bear”: I loved this little indie. It wasn’t until after I finished the film that I realized the director actually lived most of the events depicted, and the daughter in the film is actually the director’s daughter IRL. Mark Ruffalo’s performance in this is better than the one he gave in “Spotlight,” which he got Oscar-nominated for. The film lilts and grows, expands and contracts, goes to elusive highs and depressing lows, just like Ruffalo’s character Cam. It was criminally underseen and deserves to be watched.
-“99 Homes”: This was probably the first film on this list that I didn’t like. It had an A-list cast (but then again, when is Michael Shannon not amazing?) including Andrew Garfield, Shannon and Laura Dern. And the performances, especially Shannon’s, are amazing. The setting is filmed just right, with a focus on blue-collar Florida construction workers and the homes they frequent. It was a message movie with a lot to say about the mortgage crisis of 08, but the final scene robs it of its meaning. But if you want to watch it, do it for Shannon.
-“Grandma”: Another message movie that didn’t know what it wanted to be. This one stars Lily Tomlin as a lesbian grandmother who is roped into helping her granddaughter pay for an abortion. I liked Tomlin’s performance, and Sam Elliot shows up to steal a scene or two, which is always appreciated. I enjoyed that it was a contained film with low stakes— so many movies right now rest on the fate of the world ending if the main character doesn’t win. This one just focuses on a day in the life of a grandma and her granddaughter, to great effect. The only problem is it can’t figure out if it wants to be an abortion movie, a women’s rights movie, a relationships movie, a more serious “Juno,” or an indie comedy about any/all of the above.
-“88th Annual Academy Awards: Chris Rock came, Chris Rock saw, Chris Rock slayed. And everyone can retire that Leo meme now.
-“House of Cards,” season 4, episodes 1 and 2
-“Good Will Hunting”: I still cry like a baby at the “It’s not your fault” scene. Every damn time.
-“Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland”: Everything you would want out of a BMS movie: Drugs, tits and Thad.
-A few episodes of “Friends”
-“Across the Universe”: Meh. I did like the “I Want You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hey Jude” scenes though.
-“Room,” for the second time: Still wrecked me. I didn’t know it was possible for a film to make me feel every human emotion possible, but it might have had to do with the perfect placement of this song at a pivotal moment halfway through the film.
-“SNL,” Jonah Hill episode: Jay Pharaoh can do no wrong in my eyes.
-“Deadpool” in theaters: I guess it was good? I’m not saying it was bad, it was just so overhyped that I thought I was going to see the Second Coming Of Raunch Comic Book Films. Instead I got an average comic book origin story with more F-bombs and more sex. Granted, it was funny, but not nearly as great as the fanbros would have you believe.
-I finished Season 4 of “House of Cards.” I wasn’t shocked, but I wasn’t let down, either? I was just “whelmed,” as “10 Things About You” would suggest. At this point I’m just hoping the fallout for all of the Underwoods’ crazy-ass schemes comes quick in Season 5.
-Saw “The Big Short,” which was more than deserving of the Best Adapted Screenplay award it won. I’m still tickled that the director of “Talladega Nights” went on to make a smart, sexy and funny film about the housing bubble bursting. Loved it.
-I watched a lot of HIMYM in the background as I was doing other things (dishes, laundry), and I finally got started on Marvel’s “Daredevil” on Netflix. I’m only two episodes in but I’m already hooked. Plus, it’s got Fulton from the Mighty Ducks!
-Started reading “Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales. Fascinating look into how the icon was created.
-Started playing “The Last of Us” on PS4. I know I’m late to the party on this one, but…Wow. I never knew a video game could have such a compelling, human story. Thanks to Jordan Rubio for the recommendation.
-Also I watched “Calvary” for the second time (fantastic film, by the way- like a modern-day Stations of the Cross with some really dark humor) and watched “Spotlight” for the second time at a friend’s house. The second time around, “Spotlight” became less of a movie and more of a statement of fact to me. Meaning, a lot of people criticize its direction for being uninspired or unfussy, but that’s kind of the point. The story of an entire Church covering up the systematic abuse of thousands of kids is shocking enough; all director Todd McCarthy had to do was let the actors tell the story. On the second watch, I also noticed the framing of a church building in almost every prominent b-roll shot, which added to the film’s message of the Church pervading every aspect of Boston life. It deserved the Best Picture Oscar that it got, IMO.
Maybe those two films will serve as a theme for this week (it is Holy Week, after all…)
Lots of superheroes this week.
-I rewatched the original “Batman” and “Batman Returns” films with Michael Keaton. For their time, they were really dark, but now, they’re just campy, which was a nice respite from the brooding Batmen of today. My favorite of the two was “Returns.” Danny DeVito is unhinged in that one.
-I rewatched “Man of Steel” with my girlfriend in preparation for “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I liked it way better in the theater. My God, I didn’t remember it being so long or so brooding. I still really like the Smallville portions of that film, though. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as the Kents were excellent casting choices, even if Pa Kent went all Ayn Rand on Superman about his destiny.
-Saw “Batman V Superman” in theaters. Um. I loved Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Eisenberg as Luthor grew on me towards the end. I also didn’t really have a problem with Batman killing people like a lot of other people did. But the rest of the movie was pretty average. I hope the claims that Affleck wrote his own Batman script are true, because he’s got a pretty good writing/directing track record.
-I watched about nine more episodes of “Daredevil.” I’m loving it.
-I watched “Justice League Flashpoint,” an animated DC Comics film. Highly recommended.
-I rewatched the HIMYM finale for research for this piece.
-Watched an episode of “Justice League.”
-Played some more “The Last of Us.”
-And on Friday, I watched “Dazed and Confused” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” back to back. “Everybody” had me grinning like an idiot from the first frame. Well worth the watch.
-I finally got around to seeing “Ant Man,” the only Marvel film I missed in theaters so far. I really enjoyed it as a small heist film and not a “world-at-stake” run of the mill Marvel film. Also, does Paul Rudd ever age? Another highlight: Michael Peña.
-The Peter Dinklage-hosted “SNL” episode. It was all right, nothing hilarious.
-Watched “The Hateful Eight” after missing the roadshow screening. I spent the first half of it just trying to pay attention to the various characters, so I missed most of the racial commentary that encapsulates the film. I enjoyed it a lot, and it’s better than “Pulp Fiction” in my book. Plus, Sam Jackson gets a better monologue in this one than his “Deuteronomy” speech from “Pulp Fiction.”
-Watched the making-of behind the scenes documentary for “The Force Awakens.” This Atlantic article is a good breakdown of all the secrecy that went into making the documentary and the film, and what that means for tentpole franchises in the future.
-Played a lot of “Bro Force,” “Last of Us” and “Uncharted” on the PS4.
-Watched “Trumbo,” finally. Ironically, for a film all about screenwriting, its own script jumped all over the place and the pacing was awful. I’ve heard the documentary it was based on is better. Bryan Cranston and Louis CK were amazing as always, though.
-Marathoned “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin” while doing housework. Dare I say…Batman and Robin is still a ton of campy ’90s fun?
-Watched the Russel Crowe-hosted “SNL.” He didn’t impress me as a host, but props to him for getting the words “clitoris” and “labia majora” into a sketch on network TV. Also Margo Price is lovely.
-Watched “The Passion Live” on Hulu. All I got out of it was that I noticed a TCU alum walking on Bourbon Street.
I’m all for a great religious experience through film, but you lost me when you made Jesus sing Creed’s “Arms Wide Open” in the Garden of Gethsemane.
-Tried to watch the Michael Fassbender “Macbeth,” but turned it off after 15 minutes. Wanted to like it, and it really is a gorgeous looking film, but it drug on. And on. And on.
-Capped that off with some more “Justice League” episodes.
-Watched “Superman,” the OG 70s version for the first time. Christopher Reeve, you will always be Superman.
-I watched the second season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Still funny, with a lot of madcap laugh-out-loud moments, but I had trouble with seeing it as a whole, unified story.
-Watched “Sisters” and “Big Short” again on DVD with some friends.
-Watched the Julia Louis-Dreyfuss “SNL” episode. Was ok.
-Beat “Uncharted” on the PS4 on Normal mode. Such a fun game. Going to try to beat the other two games before “Uncharted 4” drops on May 10.
-Read “The Killing Joke” and issue one of the “Invincible Iron Man” comic books. I blame Taylor. Good reads all around. Also started reading Matt K. Lewis’ “Too Dumb to Fail,” about the dumbing-down of the GOP. Very insightful.
-Watched the Prince SNL Tribute episode.
-Watched the second episode of “Horace and Pete.” I’m hooked.
-Finished all of “Horace and Pete.” I’ll be processing that ending for days…a great tragedy. Buy it on louisck.net if you have a chance.
-Watched Seasons 1 and 2 of “Silicon Valley” and am currently all caught up on Season 3. As far as I’m concerned, Mike Judge can do no wrong.
-Watched Patton Oswalt’s “Talking For Clapping” stand-up special. Really great set.
-Watched “Adult Children of Divorce” on Netflix. Meh. Adam Scott can do better.
-Speaking of Adam Scott, I started watching “Party Down” on Hulu. Great workplace comedy.
-Started watching “Game of Thrones” and I’m currently right in the middle of Season 2.
-Saw “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Keanu” and “Money Monster” in theaters. “Keanu” was funny for a full length Key and Peele sketch, Captain America was probably my favorite Marvel film so far, and “Money Monster” was a predictable but well-executed thriller.
-Finished this season of “SNL.” Really enjoyed the Fred Armisen episode.
-Watched the pilot of “Baskets” that I had downloaded for free a while back.
-Played through all of “Uncharted 2” and “Uncharted 3” and I am currently in the middle of “Uncharted 4.” Fun and addictive games that I’ll be playing for a long time.
-Watched two episodes of “Louie.” One episode oddly foreshadowed “Horace and Pete,” where he pitches a studio exec his idea for a show about a guy “whose life just keeps getting worse and worse and you think there’s hope, but really, there’s not.”
-Watched “Hannibal Takes Edinburgh” comedy special. Just made me miss Scotland more. The comedy was aiite.
-Watched all of Season 1 of “The Ranch” on Netflix, which I am almost ashamed to say. It had its moments, and I appreciated the special recognition it gave up-and-coming country music stars in the credits, but a lot of the jokes just didn’t land.
-Finished reading “Too Dumb to Fail.” Fantastic look at the GOP today and how it might change in the future.
-Read some more “Invincible Iron Man” comics as well as an “Old Man Logan” and an “Iron Fist.” Started on “Transmetropolitan” a while back as well.
-Also listened to a ton of podcasts- “How Did This Get Made?” “WTF with Marc Maron,” etc.
-Started reading “Screwtape Letters” for a church small group
-Watched “Captive” for a future podcast I’m starting. Will get back with more information.
A lot. I lost track of updating this and fell behind, but here’s what I can remember seeing/watching:
-Don’t Think Twice
-Hell or High Water
-Played through Uncharted 4
-Started playing No Man’s Sky
-Finished reading my SNL book
-Read “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
-Finished reading “Hillbilly Elegy”
-Watched Season 3 of Bojack Horseman
-Watched LBJ movie All the Way
-Watched Straight Outta Compton again
-A lot of old SNL reruns
-Season 1 of Stranger Things
-Shut Up and Sing
-Seasons 1-3 of GoT; currently on Ep 2 of S4
-All of Silicon Valley
-All caught up on Vice Principals
-2016 Rio Olympics
-Secret Life of Pets
-The new Ghostbusters
-The Bourne Identity
-The Bourne Supremacy
-The Bourne Ultimatum
-10 Cloverfield Lane
-Midnight in Paris
-Everybody Wants Some!!
-Some episodes of Catish
-Some more Always Sunny
-Some more The Office
-Some episodes of Agents of Shield
-Some episodes of Twilight Zone
-Welcome to Lieth
-Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra special
-Watched David Cross’s “Making America Great” standup special. Great preaching, OK comedy.
-Re-watched “Dope” with my brother.
-Watched “The Intern” with my parents and was pleasantly surprised. Robert de Niro needs to do more comedy.
-Veronica Mars, the film
-The Nice Guys
-Finished “F is for Family”
-Finished the first season of “Vice Principals.” What started off as a dark comedy turned into a REALLY dark comedy with a lot to say about masculinity in 2016. It’s only supposed to run for two seasons, so I’m excited for the second one when it comes out in the spring.
-All three seasons of “Veronica Mars.” I love everything about this show and how it takes a lot of noir tropes and either flips them on their head, or reinforces them expertly. I blew through the entire season in about a month with my girlfriend, who loved it as well. I’ve already ordered the follow-up books that take place after the movie to fill the noir-sized hole in my heart that was created when I realized there probably won’t be anymore of this show. I’ve also begun listening to the excellent “We Used To Be Friends” podcast about the show.
-Saw “The Magnificent Seven” and “Deepwater Horizon” as a result of some free Alamo Drafthouse tickets. Was more impressed with “Deepwater” than “Magnificent Seven,” especially since the latter was written by “True Detective” scribe and creator Nic Pizzolatto. But both were still great movies.
-After learning Rob Thomas of “Veronica Mars” fame also had a hand in “Party Down,” I started watching that again, too. It’s not easily binge-able, but there’s a lot of great “Veronica Mars” cameos in it and it’s very well written. Criminally underrated.
-Caught “We’ve Been Thinking” on Netflix, the new Jeff Foxworthy/Larry the Cable Guy comedy special. Mostly redundant bits of them trying to re-live their glory days.
-Started watching “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which is, in a word, unique. There’s no way for this to exist on network TV, and yet it does. Another one that’s not easily binge-able, but worth it.
-Saw Iliza Schlisinger’s new stand-up special “Confirmed Kills.” A+ preaching, B comedy.
-Went through A LOT of “30 Rock” again in the background. Like, 3 seasons worth. Working on my night cheese.
-Also started watching “Parenthood” again. That’s another one that’s not easily binge-able, because it hits too close to home and starts to feel like my whole family. And it’s cheese, but it’s well-written and beautifully acted cheese.
-Started watching “The Good Place” once it started airing. The trailers made it look like a cheesy show about Heaven and how you can’t say the f-word up there. The reality is it’s a Michael Schur-led show that examines morality and what it means to be a good person, all through comedy and “Lost”-style flashbacks.
-Saw Funny Or Die’s Trump parody. Johnny Depp plays the Orange Man himself. Weird.
-Saw “Neighbors 2” on the plane. For a film that never needed a sequel, this one’s pretty funny. Good movie to watch on an airplane.
-Also on the airplane, about half of “The Good Dinosaur,” which just felt like a “Lion King” ripoff.
-Started the new season of SNL, which is the strongest I’ve seen in years.
-Watched lots of football games
-A few episodes of “Parks and Rec”
-Played through the first two chapters of “Life Is Strange.” because I’ve been on a noir kick lately. The dialogue is godawful but the rest of the game is a lot of fun.
-Watched some of “Criminal Minds.”
-Started reading “Better Living Through Criticism,” which is probably the most pretentious thing I’ve ever read.
-Also started reading “The Big Sleep” because noir. Really liking the dialogue and the plot.
-Watched Martin Scorsese’s remake of “Cape Fear.” Really enjoyed de Niro’s performance, although it creeped me out.
-All caught up on “The Good Place.” If this show gets canceled, it will be a travesty worse than the sinkhole in episode 3.
-Saw the Lin Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt episodes of “SNL.” The political commentary is the best it’s been since 2008.
-Watched three episodes of “The Twilight Zone”
-Saw lots of football games from the weekend before, when I was in Tennessee
-Went on a horror film binge this weekend with my girlfriend, which included:
- “Beetlejuice”- I had never seen it before, much to Taylor’s shock. Seeing it, along with Michael Keaton’s “SNL” episode from two years ago, confirmed the man who’s getting lauded for acting these days is just a guy who loves weird roles.
- “Drag Me To Hell”- Is it supposed to be funny or shocking? I couldn’t tell, so maybe I didn’t “get” it?
- “It Follows”- Taylor had never seen it; this was the third time for me. I love the score and what the film says about growing up/adulthood, but if you think too hard about the rules of whatever “It” is, the film starts to collapse on itself. I still like it though.
- “ParaNorman”- I had never seen this one, and I can’t believe I missed it. IT had me from the cheesy B-movie-within-a-movie at the beginning, and sold me with the emotional climax.
- “Final Destination 3”- I had never seen any of these, but Taylor has seen the whole series. Thought it was fun, gory cheese. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is awesome.
- “The Wolf Man”- The 1941 original. I hadn’t seen it since a film class in college; Taylor had never seen it. I was surprised to remember how restrained this was, and how short it is. I liked the tension buildup, and Lon Cheney’s performance.
- “The Sixth Sense”- Taylor’s first time seeing it, although she knew the twist. I forgot about the “Grandma saw you dance” scene at the end with Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette. Hit me more than I thought it would.
-Not a horror film, but might as well have been: Watched the 90-minute, final presidential debate for the election. Thank God.
-Watched “Frankenstein,” the original. Book is better, but Boris Karloff is fantastic.
-Tom Hanks episode of “SNL.” David S. Pumpkins is my new favorite thing. And the “Black Jeopardy” sketch was the best sketch I’ve seen all year.
-Watched the live action “Scooby Doo” and “Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed” movies on Netflix. The second one sucks, but there’s something (nostalgia, probably) about the first one that I like. Doesn’t hurt that they were perfectly cast.
-Two episodes of “The Grinder.” This show is hilarious, and it probably got cancelled because people like me didn’t watch it. Oh well. At least it’s on Netflix.
-This week’s episode of “The Good Place” moves the show’s premise toward a resolution, but it’s costly. This show improves itself with each episode, and I have no clue where it’s gonna go, but I’ll be watching.
-“Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids” is one of the more exciting and interesting concert documentaries I’ve watched. Not enough stuff from “The 20/20 Experience,” though.
-Started reading the Veronica Mars continuation book “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line” with my girlfriend. It’s got Rob Thomas’ name on it, but technically written by Austin writer Jennifer Graham. She nails the characterization and the tone. All it does is make me want to read this book, then the next, and then hope the show comes back on Netflix.
-“The Addams Family” on Netflix.
-Finished “Better Living Through Criticism.” Still the most pretentious thing I’ve ever read.
-4 episodes of “Black Mirror”
-Two episodes of “The Good Place”
-One episode of “Twilight Zone”
-“Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil”
-Leslie Jones’ standup “Problem Child”
-“Goosebumps,” Jack Black version
-Started playing “Mad Max” on PS4
-Benedict Cumberbatch episode of SNL
-One episode of “Hellivator”
-The Good Place, episode 9
-Death at a Funeral, ’07 British version
-One episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
-A ton of Election Coverage at work
-The Heartbreak Kid
-Finished reading “Thousand Dollar Tan Line”
-A few episodes of “Black Jesus”
-Watched the Dave Chappelle episode of “SNL.” Probably the best episode of that show I’ve seen in three years.
-Saw “Dr. Strange” in theaters. Loved it, which is surprising because I didn’t think I would like it that much. Great special effects.
-A few episodes of “Drunk History.” Loved the Scopes Monkey Trial episode.
-Saw “Arrival” in theaters and thought I knew the twist, and then was wrong. So so wrong. In the best possible way. Great acting, great direction, great score, great script. This is one of the best films I’ve seen all year, and one of the best original sci-fi movies I’ve ever seen. Go see it if you have the chance.
-On that note, I also found a PDF of the short story “Arrival” is based on, “Story of Your Life.” Also fantastic.
-Finished the last two episodes of S3 of “Black Mirror.”
-Also finished the remaining 6 episodes that I hadn’t seen from S1 and S2 of “Black Mirror.” Damn. I think of all of them, “White Christmas” affected me the most.
-Watched five episodes of “The Twilight Zone”
-Watched the whole first season of “Easy.” Joe Swanberg is hit-or-miss for me. I love “Drinking Buddies,” but I’m not really a big fan of “Happy Christmas.” This show is like an anthology show of Swanberg films, all set in Chicago. Some characters are in all episodes, others come and go. But I liked it as a slice of life TV show that was funnier than its sadcom counterparts. And if you can make it past the depressing “marriage means boring sex” first episode, there’s a lot to love.
-Two Cowboys games
-Finished up the first season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
-Five more episodes of “Twilight Zone”
-Lots of college football
-Two episodes of “Drunk History”
-Michael Che’s “Michael Che Matters” standup special. Better than most of his “Weekend Update” bits.
-Saw “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
-Five episodes of the first season of “Mad Men”
-14 more episodes of “Mad Men”
-Lots of college football
-Watched “A Very Murray Christmas” special on Netflix for the second year in a row
-Finished reading “The Big Sleep”
-Watched “The Big Sleep” on DVD. Funny seeing how the Hays Code got around the novel’s grittier aspects.
-Saw “Manchester by the Sea” in theaters. Was completely blown away. An astounding portrait of grief.
-Watched the Emma Stone episode of SNL
-Watched the John Cena episode of SNL
-Watched two episodes of Always Sunny
-Finished reading “Mr. Kiss and Tell” from the Veronica Mars series
-Watched the old Disney Channel Original Movie “‘Twas the Night” starring a very young-looking Bryan Cranston at the height of his “Malcolm in the Middle” fame. Based on this performance, we all should have seen his turn as Walter White coming a long time ago. Otherwise crappy movie though.
-“The Santa Clause”
-“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
-Dallas Cowboys game
-Three episodes of “Mad Men”
-Saw “Office Christmas Party” in theaters. Was exactly what I was expecting.
-“Miracle on 34th Street”
-Casey Affleck episode of “SNL”
-Dallas Cowboys game
-An old Christmas episode of “The X-Files”
-“Brother Nature,” the direct-to-DVD flick written by and starring current SNL cast members that tries to do Chris Farley, and fails
-Saw “Rogue One” in theaters (twice). Loved it more than Force Awakens. I think my order for “Star Wars” is Empire, Rogue One, Return of the Jedi, New Hope, Force Awakens, Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones, Phantom Menace.
-Finished Season 2 of Mad Men
-Watched some Christmas movies:
- “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas,” which was much darker than the animated fare I remember watching as a kid. The Gift of the Magi segment is still my favorite.
- “Disney’s Christmas Sing-along”on YouTube, at the behest of Taylor
- Trading Places
- White Christmas
- Christmas with the Kranks
- A Christmas Story
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- It’s a Wonderful Life
-Watched about 8 episodes of “Always Sunny”
-Watched lots of college football bowl games
-Watched “Lucky Number Slevin”
-Read “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn. Not as good as “Gone Girl,” but better than “Dark Places.”
-Read “Both Flesh and Not: Essays” by David Foster Wallace