Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category


This afternoon I took the kids to Thornton Place to see the 12:50 showing of Godzilla.


I’ll await my forthcoming Father of the Year nomination.

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My favorite four-day span of the year has come and gone. Thanksgiving weekend 2011 is officially behind us.

Family Joffe joined ...

We got it off to a great start on Thursday with the traditional Thanksgiving fare — lots of football and lots of food. This year the family Joffe joined us at casa de Jenkins. Regrettably Uncle Cole, who had been staying with us, opted out of the proceedings. Nevertheless the seven of us had a great time — although no one was particularly successful at keeping their food intake down. With Ronnie again doing a fantastic job in the kitchen (and Beth bringing some goodies of her own), that was understandable.

family Jenkins for Thanksgiving 2011.

(Black) Friday was basically a lay around day. Ronnie made it to Target by 7 am — why, I don’t know. I read a lot and parented. I also made it to my second-ever Sharkey poker night — this one at Rainier Golf and Country Club. I played for all of about thirty minutes — and made $156. I think that’s the key to poker — just don’t play.

One year on and we still can't get all the kids to look at the camera.

On Saturday I joined Harald and Isabel up at Snoqualmie Summit for the first skiing of the season. It was my first time out on my new skis and poles. Worked well if I do say so. Unfortunately Cole decided he’d had enough of Seattle — or more particularly, living in casa de Jenkins. We wish him well back in Phoenix.

First pic with my new iPhone 4s.

On Sunday we attended Cookies and Cocoa with Mrs. Claus at Sand Point. The kids got their pictures taken with Mrs. Claus and we all decorated cookies and had hot chocolate in the dining room. I wound the weekend down by watching the Seahawks give one away to the Redskins and then saw George Clooney’s “The Descendants” with Jeff Benezra at The Guild 45th. Prediction: Clooney and his co-star Shailene Woodley will receive Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

The kids with Mrs. Claus at Sand Point CC.

Save the Seahawks’ debacle, not a bad weekend if I do say so.

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Since my ill-fated prediction that Inglorious Basterds would clean up at the Oscars, I’ve shied away from guessing the awards. I don’t really know what Hollywood thinks makes a great movie, and I’m not so sure greatness matters so much as personal popularity — or lack of it. (See Mel Gibson’s Passion of The Christ.)

Best movie I've seen in a long while.

But I’m going to go out on a limb again. Sarah’s Key, the amazing story of a reporter (Kristin Scott Thomas) who traces her would-be Paris’s home back to Nazi-occupied France in 1942, should make at least some noise at the next Oscars. I saw it last night at The Guild on 45th, and afterwards I literally raced home to hug my kids. Always a good thing.

If I were in the Academy I’d vote it Best Picture.

Unfortunately, given what I know about these things, that means it probably won’t win.

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My buddy Carl Hicks’ post on Facebook last night in re: his top ten favorite movies of all time has, of course, prompted me to make my own similar list. I did thirty — there are just too many good movies out there to cut the list off at ten.

Note that these are my favorite movies ever. I do not suggest that they are objectively the best movies ever — no doubt, for example, Gone With The Wind (not on my list) was a better work of filmmaking than, say, 28 Days Later (my number 14). Nor do I include movies like Ken Burns’s The Civil War or The War — while these were undoubtedly “movies,” they were never released at the box office and thus aren’t typically thought of as movies as much as they are documentary films.

That said, my list is as follows:

1. Schindler’s List (1993). IMHO the best movie ever made by a fair margin.
2. Inglorious Basterds (2009). True justice … could have watched it again and again.
3. Shawshank Redemption (1994). Probably in most peoples’ top 30 — and for good reason.
4. Midnight Express (1978). Best argument against smuggling drugs out of Turkey I’ve ever seen.
5. Saving Private Ryan (1998). Best opening scene in movie history.
6. Platoon (1986). I remember leaving the theater after I saw this one in 1986 and seroiusly wanting to kill someone.
7. Glory (1989). Denzell at his best.
8. The Reader (2008). Kate Winslet at her best.
9. Defiance (2008). You can see I like movies where the Nazis get their asses kicked.
10. Apocalypse Now (2009). Saw this with my grandparents in 1978; grandma walked out when the cow met an unceremonious ceremonial end.
11. The English Patient (1996). Elaine got it wrong on this one.
12. Downfall (2004). Bruno Ganz’s performance as Hitler was one of the best acting performances ever — and he didn’t even get nominated.
13. Full Metal Jacket (1987). The drill sargeant deserved better.
14. 28 Days Later (2002). I’ve probably seen this movie more than any other movie ever made. I have to be approaching twenty-eight times.
15. Unforegiven (1992). This probably should be higher on the list, but I haven’t seen it in a while.
16. Forrest Gump (1994). You either loved it or hated it. I loved it.
17. The Holiday (2006). If that’s what England’s like, why did The Beatles leave?
18. Love Actually (2003). As good as romantic comedies get.
19. Jaws (1975). Quint’s tale of the Indianapolis prompted me to read no fewer than three books on the subject.
20. The Sixth Sense (1999). Has anyone ever met anyone who didn’t like The Sixth Sense?
21. Mississippi Burning (1988). I guess I also like flicks where the bad guys end up hanging.
22. Passion of the Christ (2004). Caviezel should have won Best Actor for this — and Best Supporting Actor for Thin Red Line. But I digress.
23. Lost in Translation (2003). Approaching double-digit views of this one, I think.
24. Avatar (2009). One of those rare movies where I thought “man, I just saw something really exceptional.”
25. The Others (2001.) One of the best plot twists ever.
26. Amelie (2001). For feel good points this one’s off the charts.
27. Planet of the Apes (1968). “Get your dirty paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” Used that one with the ladies from time to time.
28. As Good As It Gets (2003). Jack Nicholson’s character is among the best ever. Of course, maybe it’s just Jack Nicholson.
29. A Few Good Men (1992). See what I said about As Good As It Gets.
30. Cloverfield (2008). I might be losing some credibility with this one (assuming I have any left after 28 Days Later), but I quite enjoyed it.

Honorable mention: Notting Hill (1999), First Blood (1982), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Breakfast Club (1985), Something’s Gotta Give (1997), Swingers (1996), and Alien (1979). NOTE: 28 Weeks Later would have made my honorable mention list, but the last fifteen minutes are just too dark (like literally, too dark).

Up next: favorite TV shows.

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I thought I was pushing it last month when I paid $13 to watch

At eighty-nine minutes, that was almost fifteen cents per minute. I doubt they keep stats on such things, but that had to have been the most expensive movie ever on a per minute basis.

The record didn’t last long.

Last night I spent $17.50 to watch

in Imax. Ninety minutes, or almost nineteen and a half cents per minute. Ouch.

Thumbs up on Piranha 3D, thumbs down on Resident Evil. I always like a good apocalyptic movie, but this one had too much of that Matrix-ie, guys-in-black-suits-and-sunglasses-climbing-on-walls stuff. Should probably add The Matrix to my “Things I Don’t Get” list.

Oh, and Netflix is $18.95/month.

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Last summer I predicted on this blog that Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds would clean house come Oscar time. Had Betcha.com still been up I would have put a wager or two out on it.

Well, it isn’t and it didn’t. Inglorious, which no doubt had the best ending of any move in ’09, was good for only one trophy, that of Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor.

Christoph Waltz took home the only trophy for my favorite movie of 2009.

For the record, I also predicted that Avatar would bomb at the box office.

Predicting movie performances may not be my next calling.

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Last week I had the great, uh, original idea of writing a sequel to The Breakfast Club. Sort of The Breakfast Club meets The Big Chill. I was going to write a screenplay, sell it to Hollywood, and make millions. My pal Roy rightly dissuaded me from that idea — seems Universal owns the rights — so I quickly ditched my effort.

As with most of my great ideas, it seems that someone else already came up with it. I did a quick Google search for “sequel to The Breakfast Club” and did not come up empty handed. Lots of people have come up with ideas for a sequel — Joel Mathis on Lawrence.com developed his somewhat.

It was a good thought, but my idea for writing a sequel to The Breakfast Club ain't gonna happen.

It was a good thought, but my idea for writing a sequel to The Breakfast Club ain't gonna happen.

Apparently the chances of a TBC 2 happening aren’t great. According to this report, Emilio Estevez had no interest in the project a few years back. Perhaps he will change his mind after the death of John Hughes.

For now, however, I think we’re stuck watching TBC over and over and wondering what could be … sorta how I feel about Deadwood.

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