Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Every Movie I Saw in 2022

 We know you can't wait! Here it is! The official list of every movie that I saw last year.

  1.  Don't Look Up (2021)
  2. Being the Ricardos (2021)
  3. Gleason (2002)
  4. Nothing in Common (1986)
  5. Dennis the Menace Strikes Again! (1998)
  6. Encanto (2021)
  7. Betty White: A Celebration (2022)
  8. The Proposal (2009)
  9. Holy Man (1998)
  10. Legally Blonde (2001)
  11. Romancing the Stone (1984)
  12. Oliver and Company (1988)
  13. The Wrong Guys (1988)
  14. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
  15. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)
  16. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  17. Spencer (2021)
  18. Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
  19. The Fallout (2021)
  20. Heathers (1988)
  21. Fame (1980)
  22. D.C. Cab (1983)
  23. She's the Man (2006)
  24. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
  25. The Lonely Guy (1984)
  26. All of Me (1984)
  27. Pennies from Heaven (1981)
  28. Roxanne (1987)
  29. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  30. Mixed Company (1974)
  31. Bring It On (2000)
  32. Kimi (2022)
  33. Marry Me (2022)
  34. Valentine's Day (2010)
  35. Strike! (1998)
  36. Sex Appeal (1986)
  37. Get Over It (2001)
  38. Console Wars (2020)
  39. Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996)
  40. Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (2020)
  41. Jackass 3D (2010)
  42. L.A. Story (1991)
  43. Spice World (1997)
  44. Tyler Perry's A Madea Homecoming (2022)
  45. The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979)
  46. 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animations (2022)
  47. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978)
  48. Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)
  49. The Road to El Dorado (2000)
  50. Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1991)
  51. Killer Tomatoes Eat France! (1992)
  52. The Super Bob Einstein Movie (2021)
  53. Lucy and Desi (2022)
  54. Blackpink: The Movie (2021)
  55. The Last Starfighter (1984)
  56. 17 Again (2009)
  57. Turning Red (2022)
  58. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
  59. Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018)
  60. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)
  61. Grand Canyon (1991)
  62. Leap of Faith (1992)
  63. Housesitter (1992)
  64. Juno (2007)
  65. Munchie (1992)
  66. The Adam Project (2022)
  67. Munchie Strikes Back (1994)
  68. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
  69. A Simple Twist of Fate (1994)
  70. Sgt. Bilko (1996)
  71. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
  72. Mixed Nuts (1994)
  73. The Invisible Woman (1983)
  74. The Big Scary "S" Word (2020)
  75. The Day My Parents Ran Away (1993)
  76. Better Off Dead (1985)
  77. Morgan Stewart's Coming Home (1987)
  78. A Very Brady Sequel (1996)
  79. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
  80. The Jerk, Too (1984)
  81. National Security (2003)
  82. The Out-of-Towners (1999)
  83. Father of the Bride (1991)
  84. Gilbert (2017)
  85. The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)
  86. The Jerk (1979)
  87. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
  88. Gidget Gets Married (1972)
  89. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)
  90. White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch (2022)
  91. She's All That (1999)
  92. Polar Bear (2022)
  93. Burglar (1987)
  94. Bowfinger (1999)
  95. The Last Dragon (1985)
  96. Baby on Board (2009)
  97. Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
  98. My Favorite Martian (1999)
  99. Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Diff'rent Strokes (2006)
  100. Leave It To Beaver (1997)
  101. Vice Versa (1988)
  102. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
  103. Mansome (2012)
  104. The Bad Guys (2022)
  105. Electric Dreams (1984)
  106. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)
  107. Pump Up the Volume (1990)
  108. Senior Year (2022)
  109. The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971)
  110. Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)
  111. Jurassic Park (1994)
  112. History of the World: Part 1 (1981)
  113. The Meaning of Life (1983)
  114. Life of Brian (1979)
  115. Silent Movie (1976)
  116. Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth (2000)
  117. Ernest Goes to School (1994)
  118. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *but were afraid to ask (1972)
  119. Coyote Ugly (2000)
  120. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
  121. Loverboy (1989)
  122. A View to a Kill (1985)
  123. Hard to Hold (1984)
  124. Sweet Sixteen (1983)
  125. Ernest Goes to Camp (1987)
  126. Pandemonium (1982)
  127. Crush (2022)
  128. The Last Tourist (2021)
  129. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
  130. Wedding of Dreams (2018)
  131. Gordy (1994)
  132. Tall Girl (2019)
  133. Back in the Day (2014)
  134. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
  135. Father of the Bride (2022)
  136. Lightyear (2022)
  137. Tangled (2010)
  138. Cha Cha Real Smooth (2002)
  139. The Van (1977)
  140. My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception (1999)
  141. Rollercoaster (1977)
  142. The Bank Dick (1940)
  143. Horse Feathers (1933)
  144. The Cocoanuts (1929)
  145. A Day at the Races (1937)
  146. Clean Slate (1994)
  147. Pure Luck (1991)
  148. Fraternity Vacation (1985)
  149. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
  150. Coffee Date (2006)
  151. Rabbit Test (1978)
  152. So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)
  153. Hot Rod (2007)
  154. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)
  155. Stewardess School (1986)
  156. Grease (1978)
  157. Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022)
  158. Xanadu (1980)
  159. Two of a Kind (1983)
  160. Hell of a Cruise (2022)
  161. Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)
  162. Confess, Fletch (2022)
  163. Armed and Dangerous (1986)
  164. The Munsters (2022)
  165. The Mummy (1932)
  166. Saturday the 14th (1981)
  167. My Best Friend's Exorcism (2022)
  168. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (2022)
  169. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
  170. Bring It On: Cheer or Die (2022)
  171. Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! (2022)
  172. The Blob (1958)
  173. Multiplicty (1996)
  174. The Anthrax Attacks (2022)
  175. Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
  176. The Cheerleaders (1973)
  177. Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
  178. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
  179. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
  180. Finding You (2020)
  181. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)
  182. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  183. A Magical Christmas Village (2022)
  184. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
  185. Son in Law (1993)
  186. Moving Violations (1985)
  187. Stop! Look! and Laugh! (1960)
  188. Falling For Christmas (2022)
  189. DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
  190. Is That Black Enough For You?!? (2022)
  191. Studio 666 (2022)
  192. Christmas at the Golden Dragon (2022)
  193. The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story (2014)
  194. Blue's Big City Adventure (2022)
  195. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
  196. Santa Camp (2022)
  197. Spirited (2022)
  198. Mickey: The Story of a Mouse (2022)
  199. Christmas on Mistletoe Farm (2022)
  200. A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)
  201. A Christmas Mystery (2022)
  202. Holly and the Hot Chocolate (2022)
  203. A Holiday Spectacular (2022)
  204. A Christmas Karen (2022)
  205. Holiday Affair (1949)
  206. Violent Night (2022)
  207. Bros (2022)
  208. Jingle All the Way (1996)
  209. Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas (2022)
  210. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  211. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)
  212. Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! (2011)
  213. Encino Man (1992)
  214. Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)
  215. Jingle Bell Rocks! (2013)
  216. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
  217. A Very Brady Christmas (1988)

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Area Fifth Graders Get a Taste of the "Prairie" Life - 4/3/86

 My mother was a grade school librarian for more than 20 years. One of the lessons she taught was a unit on Laura Inglalls Wilder that concluded with a big party where students made food from the period of Ingalls' life. The party was a popular event on the school calendar and on a few occasions, drew the attention of local media. Here is an article from the April 3, 1986 edition of The Howard County Times:

Area fifth graders get a good taste of the 'Prairie" life

by Donna Ellis

While it's true that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't pen a book called Little Library in Howard County, she would nonetheless have felt "right to home" recently at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Ellicott City. Indeed, the works of the woman whose writing inspired the popular television series "Little House on the Prairie," was the subject of a three-month study by the school's 29 fifth graders-a study culminating in a tasting of foods Wilder wrote about in her nine books and which also appear in the The Little House Cookbook.

    With dark, paneled walls, wooden shelves and windows (yes, windows), the library itself provided a pleasant backdrop for this time capsule event. Even the students-their "modern" parochial school uniforms notwithstanding-were refreshingly eager to be a part of the learning (and eating) experience. 

    The experience -the second annual and fast becoming a much-anticipated tradition-is the brainchild of Our Lady of Perpetual Help librarian (for two years) Judy Bouligny of Columbia. Herself enamored of the Wilder books, she deemed them perfect subject matter as a special project for Grade Five students.  (If you delve deeper, Judy will even admit she negotiated a side-trip to DeSmet, S. Dak.-site of Little House on the Prairie-as the price of her accompanying her husband and two sons to the Expo in Vancover this summer.)

    Meanwhile, she's been getting herself and her students, of course, into a back-to-the-past mood by having each of them read and report on one of the nine Wilder books. Students' favorites are Little House on the Prairie, Little Town of the Prairie, The Golden Years (the latter two about Laura's teen years and the early years of her marriage) and Farmer Boy, about husband Almanzo's boyhood.

    But today the work is done-at least for the students. They're here to sample the food they've been reading about, to find out first hand, for example, if a breakfast of popped corn (no butter or salt) with milk can stand up to a bowl of Count Chocula.

    The library this afternoon is redolent of frying bacon, to which onions and apples are being added.  And baked beans. And venison.  Warming trays, an electric skillet, even a microwave aid Bouligny and Sharon Evans (aka A Parent Volunteer, aka "Allison's Mother") in keeping hot foods hot. And even though it's just after lunch, expressions are avid on students' faces as Bouligny describes the items on the menu.

    The 14 or so offerings include the very popular Vanity Cakes, Corn Bread ("not as high as you get from the Jiffy Box," notes Judy) and Sour Dough Biscuits fried in bacon drippings.

    There's hard candy, a special treat back then. And Hardtack, an indispensable and indestructible traveling companion, which Judy cautions students to dip into liquid before attempting to chew. Oh, and one of the great favorites - crisp leaf lettuce, dipped lightly in vinegar, sprinkled with brown sugar, rolled into cigar shapes and happily munched.

    For dessert, there's a re-creation, thanks to Sharon Evans, of Laura Ingalls' wedding cake - a dense, not-too-sweet, buttery "pound" cake with a delicious "crusty" egg white glaze that was designed to keep cakes fresh and mosit in dry weather. And all washed down with homemade lemonade, presented authentically without ice.

Time Machine
    Since January, through Laura Ingalls Wilder's words and with Judy Bouligny's help, these fifth graders have learned something of what life was like back a century or so ago. And today, they've sampled what the food was like, as well. Does all this inspire in them the desire to turn the clock back to simpler, more hard-working and some would say better-fed times?

    Allison Evans is so inspired. "The food's better than the food we have now," she opines. And Beth Pegel allows as how it has "a more homemade taste. I'd like to live back in those days, even though I'd have to work hard."

    Despite the fact he's broken a brace on the hardtack, Todd Newell likes the food from "back then. But not the work," he adds decisively.

    Kiauhna Braddy deems everything "delicious. I'd like to live back then, even with all the hard work. Hard work. That's what gets you through life."

    Janelle Thomas thinks living back then would be "neat." And Brian DuVall considers that life a "challenge."

    Some students are a bit more cautious. N'Hari Patters says he'd like to live in the past "for about a year and a half. Then if I don't like it, I could come back."

    And Rhonda Lee would go back but only for a little while. "It's like New York," she quips. "It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there..."

    To get your own taste of the past, try these...

Fried apples 'n' onions
    This dish is mentioned in Farmer Boy, the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband, Almanzo: "They had talked about spareribs, and turkey with dressing, and baked beans, and crackling cornbread, and other good things. But Almanzo said that what he liked most is the world was fried apples 'n' onions..."

    The recipe is from The Little House Cookbook, which is available through bookstores offering special-order services.
1/2 pound bacon or salt pork, sliced
6 (2 pounds) yellow onions
6 (2 pounds) tart apples
2 tablespoons brown sugar
    Fry bacon or salt pork slices in skillet until brown and crisp. Set aside on a warm serving platter.
    While meat is frying, peel onions, leaving stems to hold for slicing. To prevent eyes from watering, hold a slice of bread in your teeth while you slice onions as thin as possible. Discard stems.
    Core apples and cut into crosswise circles about 1/4 inch thick. Apple skins help slices keep their shape and add color to the dish, so don't peel unless skins are tough or scarred. 
    Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet, then add onion slices. Cook, over medium-high heat, for about 3 minutes. Cover with apple slices in an even layer. Sprinkle brown sugar over all, cover skillet nd cook until tender, a few minutes more. Stir only to prevent scorching. Remove to the warm platter with bacon or salt porch slices. 
    Makes 6 servings.

Vanity cakes
    Laura's mother named them such because the batter for these treats puffed up like a vain person when it was fried. They are mentioned in On the Banks of Plum Creek. The recipe is from The Little House Cookbook.
1 to 2 pounds lard
1 large egg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
A shakerful of powdered sugar
    Using enough lard in a deep fat fryer or kettle (more authentic) to produce a depth of 3 inches, heat it to 350 [degrees]
    In a bowl, beat egg and salt for a full minute. Beat in thoroughly 1/4 cup of the flour. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until batter is too stiff for beating but too soft to roll out. 
    Cover a dinner plate with flour. With a teaspoon, spoon batter onto plate in 6 seperate portions. With a knife, turn each spoonful of dough over to flour it, then drop it into the hot lard. Aim for a limp but compact dough mass that will not string out when it leaves the knife. If working with a mini-fryer, cook no more that one at a time.
    Cook each cake for at least 3 1/2 minutes, during which time it may need help in turning. If it darkens quickly, the fat is too hot. Drain cakes on brown paper and dust with powered sugar.
    Makes 6 cakes

Friday, January 28, 2022

Every Movie I Saw in 2021

 Every year I say I'm going to try and watch 365 movies in one year and every year I fall behind in that pointless endeavor. I've made it to September on-track before but then fell behind.  This year thanks to multiple January and February quarantine fueled movie heavy weekends, I pulled out of the gate way ahead of schedule and kept that momentum going through a mostly open calendar 2021. I crossed the finish line with more than 365 movies and the applause and admiration of nobody.  Fun Pandemic Side Note: Going to the movies is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, but we took a long break thanks to covid. I saw Pixar's Onward on March 17, 2020 and did not step foot into a theater again until we went to a screening of National Lampoon's Vacation on June 23, 2021 - that's 462 days away from the theater. Easily a record for me since my parents dropped me off to see Police Academy 5 back in 1988.

Picasso Trigger (1988)

  1. The Flintstones (1994)
  2. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
  3. The Karate Kid (1984)
  4. The Way I See It (2020)
  5. Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (2020)
  6. Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant (2015)
  7. Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)
  8. Beat Street (1984)
  9. Wild Style (1982)
  10. After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020)
  11. Greener Grass (2019)
  12. Krush Groove (1985)
  13. Brave (2012)
  14. Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy (2021)
  15. The Parent Trap (1998)
  16. Assault of the Killer Bimbos (1988)
  17. Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)
  18. Belushi (2020)
  19. Richard Jewell (2019)
  20. Like A Boss (2020)
  21. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017)
  22. Hail Columbia! (1982)
  23. Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show (2017)
  24. The Stuff (1985)
  25. Miracle Mile (1988)
  26. Explorers (1985)
  27. Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
  28. Thank God It's Friday (1978)
  29. I, Tonya (2017)
  30. The Apple (1980)
  31. Recruits (1986)
  32. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
  33. WarGames (1983)
  34. Earwig and the Witch (2020)
  35. The Lovebirds (2020)
  36. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  37. Senior Week (1987)
  38. Spirited Away (2001)
  39. Link (1986)
  40. Twenty Bucks (1993)
  41. Picasso Trigger (1988)
  42. SpaceCamp (1986)
  43. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  44. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
  45. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)
  46. Thor (2011)
  47. Soapdish (1991)
  48. Ninja III: The Domination (1984)
  49. Crossroads (2002)
  50. When Marnie Was There (2014)
  51. The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (2018)
  52. Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (2020)
  53. Tom and Jerry (2021)
  54. Hiding Out (1987)
  55. Mr. Soul (2018)
  56. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
  57. Crystal Heart (1986)
  58. Pretty in Pink (1986)
  59. Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  60. The Pick-up Artist (1987)
  61. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)
  62. Coming to America (1988)
  63. 76 Days (2020)
  64. Roll Bounce (2005)
  65. Coming 2 America (2021)
  66. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  67. Schlock (1973)
  68. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
  69. Kid 90 (2021)
  70. Heart and Souls (1993)
  71. Moxie (2021)
  72. Xanadu (1980)
  73. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
  74. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)
  75. The Mole Agent (2020)
  76. Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island (1983)
  77. The Last Blockbuster (2020)
  78. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
  79. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
  80. Yes Day (2021)
  81. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)
  82. The Craft: Legacy (2020)
  83. Fear of a Black Hat (1993)
  84. Pootie Tang (2001)
  85. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
  86. Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
  87. You Can't Hurry Love (1988)
  88. Three Men and a Baby (1987)
  89. Bad Trip (2021)
  90. Just the Way You Are (1984)
  91. Fireworks (2017)
  92. Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
  93. Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)
  94. The Gong Show Movie (1980)
  95. Okko's Inn (2018)
  96. Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story (2020)
  97. 2021 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation (2021)
  98. Little Darlings (1980)
  99. Cocktail (1988)
  100. Red Dawn (1984)
  101. That's Dancing! (1985)
  102. Mark Twain and Me (1991)
  103. Operation Varsity Blues (2021)
  104. Take Me Home Tonight (2011)
  105. The Day After (1983)
  106. The Cat Returns (2002)
  107. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1988)
  108. Cool as Ice (1991)
  109. The Smurfs 2 (2013)
  110. Boys and Girls (2000)
  111. Yogi Bear (2010)
  112. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  113. Firestarter (1984)
  114. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  115. Less Than Zero (1987)
  116. Weathering With You (2019)
  117. Sailor Moon R: The Movie: The Promise of the Rose (1993)
  118. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
  119. Spies Like Us (1985)
  120. Promising Young Woman (2020)
  121. 18 Again! (1988)
  122. Into the Night (1985)
  123. Oscar (1991)
  124. The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)
  125. Some Kind of Heaven (2020)
  126. Playing For Keeps (1986)
  127. Violets Are Blue (1986)
  128. Ping Pong Summer (2014)
  129. The Endless Summer (1965)
  130. The Starving Games (2013)
  131. Jamboree! (1957)
  132. Diner (1982)
  133. Your Name. (2016)
  134. First Strike (1996)
  135. Hold On! (1966)
  136. Out to Sea (1997)
  137. My Science Project (1985)
  138. Summer Fantasy (1984)
  139. Just One of the Guys (1985)
  140. 200 Cigarettes (1999)
  141. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  142. Here Come the Nelsons (1952)
  143. A Whisker Away (2020)
  144. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
  145. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
  146. Three Amigos! (1986)
  147. S.O.B. (1981)
  148. Shanghai Surprise (1986)
  149. Caveman (1981)
  150. Outrageous Fortune (1987)
  151. The Bad News Bears (1976)
  152. Repossessed (1990)
  153. Yes, God, Yes (2019)
  154. Sailor Moon Eternal (2021)
  155. High School Confidential! (1958)
  156. Country (1984)
  157. Splash (1984)
  158. Tough Guys (1986)
  159. Stakeout (1987)
  160. The Donut King (2020)
  161. Tin Men (1987)
  162. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  163. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
  164. Ruthless People (1986)
  165. Big Business (1988)
  166. Going Ape! (1981)
  167. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)
  168. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
  169. Footloose (1984)
  170. Dead Poets Society (1989)
  171. Pokemon The Movie: The Power of Us (2018)
  172. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
  173. She's Out of Control (1989)
  174. The Color of Money (1986)
  175. Brain Donors (1992)
  176. The Rescue (1988)
  177. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
  178. The Regan Show (2017)
  179. America: The Motion Picture (2021)
  180. Luca (2021)
  181. Vision Quest (1985)
  182. Dark City Beneath the Beat (2020)
  183. About Last Night (1986)
  184. Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)(2021)
  185. D.O.A. (1988)
  186. Teen Wolf (1985)
  187. The Secret of My Success (1987)
  188. In the Heights (2021)
  189. Maid to Order (1987)
  190. Disorganized Crime (1989)
  191. Happy Together (1989)
  192. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
  193. Black Widow (2021)
  194. An Innocent Man (1989)
  195. Beaches (1988)
  196. Heartbreak Hotel (1988)
  197. Mr. Mike's Mondo Video (1979)
  198. UHF (1989)
  199. Turner & Hooch (1989)
  200. The Delta Force (1986)
  201. Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)
  202. Irreconcilable Differences (1984)
  203. Meatballs 4 (1992)
  204. Mystic Pizza (1988)
  205. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020)
  206. 9 to 5: The Story of a Movement (2020)
  207. Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage (2021)
  208. Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street (2001)
  209. My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1987)
  210. Problem Child (1990)
  211. Problem Child 2 (1991)
  212. Here Come the Munsters (1995)
  213. Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run (2015)
  214. Trailer War (2012)
  215. Bumblebee (2018)
  216. Aquamarine (2006)
  217. Summer Rental (1985)
  218. High School U.S.A. (1983)
  219. Gross Anatomy (1989)
  220. No Small Affair (1984)
  221. Three Fugitives (1989)
  222. House (1985)
  223. This Changes Everything (2018)
  224. Gidget Grows Up (1969)
  225. Turtle Power: The Definite History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  226. Stir Crazy (1980)
  227. Pleasantville (1998)
  228. Night Shift (1982)
  229. Off Beat (1986)
  230. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
  231. It Came From Hollywood (1982)
  232. Say Anything (1989)
  233. New York Stories (1989)
  234. National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
  235. Modern Problems (1981)
  236. Grizzly II: The Revenge (1983/2020)
  237. The Emoji Story (2019)
  238. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  239. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (2021)
  240. American Graffiti (1973)
  241. Going Bananas (1987)
  242. The Good Mother (1988)
  243. Vacation Friends (2021)
  244. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
  245. The Allnighter (1987)
  246. Blaze (1989)
  247. He's All That (2021)
  248. PAW Patrol: The Movie (2021)
  249. Fantastic Fungi (2019)
  250. Racquet (1979)
  251. Class Cruise (1989)
  252. Spirit Untamed (2021)
  253. Cinderella (2021)
  254. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  255. Mars Attacks! (1996)
  256. Jackass: The Movie (2002)
  257. The Great Mom Swap (1995)
  258. Seven Minutes in Heaven (1986)
  259. Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)
  260. Penn & Teller Get Killer (1989)
  261. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)
  262. We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)
  263. Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls (2021)
  264. Shoot to Kill (1988)
  265. The Invisible Man (1933)
  266. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
  267. Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)
  268. More American Graffiti (1979)
  269. Beverly Hills Cop 3 (1994)
  270. Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
  271. Party Line (1988)
  272. Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story (1997)
  273. And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird (1991)
  274. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
  275. Jackass Number Two (2006)
  276. Roller Boogie (1979)
  277. Britney vs Spears (2021)
  278. Secret Admirer (1985)
  279. Lake Placid (1999)
  280. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  281. Cracking Up (1977)
  282. Pretty Woman (1990)
  283. Every Which Way but Loose (1978)
  284. Supercop (1992)
  285. Fauci (2021)
  286. Mean Girls (2004)
  287. The Muppets (2011)
  288. Queenpins (2021)
  289. The Addams Family 2 (2021)
  290. What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
  291. Sixteen Candles (1984)
  292. Fun Size (2012)
  293. The Fly (1958)
  294. Return of the Fly (1959)
  295. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
  296. That Darn Cat (1997)
  297. Addams Family Reunion (1998)
  298. Christine (1983)
  299. Cat's Eye (1985)
  300. Goin' All the Way (1981)
  301. The New Kids (1985)
  302. Curse of the Fly (1965)
  303. Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016)
  304. The Addams Family (1991)
  305. Beetlejuice (1988)
  306. Ride Your Wave (2019)
  307. The Old Dark House (1963)
  308. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
  309. Runaway Christmas Bride (2017)
  310. Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)
  311. The Love Boat: Alaska Wedding Cruise (1979)
  312. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  313. Sweet & Sour (2021)
  314. The Mini-Munsters (1973)
  315. Labyrinth (1986)
  316. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
  317. Dance Flick (2009)
  318. A Fine Mess (1986)
  319. Just Between Friends (1986)
  320. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
  321. Free Guy (2021)
  322. Christmas Wonderland (2018)
  323. Love Hard (2021)
  324. Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
  325. Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
  326. K-On! The Movie (2011)
  327. Striptease (1996)
  328. Father Christmas is Back (2021)
  329. The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
  330. The Santa Stakeout (2021)
  331. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  332. Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021)
  333. Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)
  334. Funny Farm (1988)
  335. Private Benjamin (1980)
  336. Julie & Julia (2009)
  337. Wish Upon a Christmas (2015)
  338. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
  339. King Richard (2021)
  340. Next Stop, Christmas (2021)
  341. Jungle Cruise (2021)
  342. The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (1976)
  343. Deck the Halls (2006)
  344. Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1985)
  345. Return to Green Acres (1990)
  346. Osmosis Jones (2001)
  347. 8-Bit Christmas (2021)
  348. Saving Silverman (2001)
  349. Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas (2021)
  350. Julia (2021)
  351. Single All the Way (2021)
  352. Dairy of a Wimpy Kid (2021)
  353. A Clusterfunke Christmas (2021)
  354. Strange Wilderness (2008)
  355. You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
  356. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
  357. Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014)
  358. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
  359. Blending Christmas (2021)
  360. Closed For Storm (2020)
  361. Basic Training (1985)
  362. Elfette Saves Christmas (2019)
  363. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  364. Mistletoe in Montana (2021)
  365. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
  366. Jingle All the Way (1996)
  367. Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas (2021)
  368. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  369. Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! (2011)
  370. A Castle for Christmas (2021)
  371. A Very Brady Christmas (1989)
  372. Gremlins (1984)
  373. 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas (2021)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ultimate Guide to Streaming Betty White

 When Betty White passed away on New Year's Eve she left behind a body of work that dates back to the beginning of television in this county and goes all the way through to a recent blockbuster movie. Thanks to steaming services, we can sample a large portion of her filmography. Here's a sampling of some of the incredible legacy of Betty White that you can easily find and enjoy...


The crowning jewels of Betty White's filmography are the two most popular sitcoms she was involved with: The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. Luckily, the entire run of both of these classic shows can be found on Hulu. Betty White joins the cast of Mary Tyler Moore in Season 4, appearing sporadically and then becoming a permanent fixture on the show for Seasons 5-7. The best introduction to her character Sue Ann Nevins the "Happy Homemaker" is S4E1 "The Lars Affair." Betty is also present for S6E7 "Chuckles Bites the Dust" which is often considered one of the single funniest episodes of a sitcom ever. 

The Golden Girls features Betty White's most memorable performance as Rose Nylund. The show ran on NBC from 1985 to 1992 and was a big hit for the network. Reruns of The Golden Girls have become a staple of late night television over 30 years after it's debut, running on several cable outlets all night - every night. Watching the show on Hulu not only gives you the opportunity to watch every episode in order but my experience has been that the commercials are dropped in the right places. When the show is on television now, it is a re-edited syndicated package where the episodes are slightly trimmed and the pacing is off due to shifting the commercial breaks around. Sitcoms are written and edited with the commercial breaks in mind and having these shows in their pure original form is the best way to experience the brilliance of The Golden Girls, or any sitcom for that matter. 

Hulu has also recently blessed us with The Golden Palace, a 1992-1993 spin-off/continuation of The Golden Girls. When Bea Arthur left the show, the producers switched up the setting and had the remining girls buy a hotel and run it. It aired for one season on CBS before getting canceled and since then has only showed up briefly on Lifetime in the mid 2000's. I loved this continuation when it was originally on and I'm currently making my way through all 24 episodes on Hulu. Many people dismiss this show simply because Dorothy is missing and the first few episodes are a bit unusual and clunky as the show finds it's footing. But by the seventh episode, the show is running fully as an 8th season of The Golden Girls. It's a great show and another 24 funny episodes that most people haven't seen.

While we're on Hulu, let's talk about To Tell The Truth. Betty was known as the Queen of Game Shows, not only did she love playing games but she's appeared on dozens of game shows since TV's earliest days. One of her first game shows to guest on was To Tell the Truth, which was recently rebooted in 2016 with host Anthony Anderson. Betty White is a panelist on the first 5 episodes and those along the rest of the series can be found on Hulu.

Mrs. White also did guest spots on dozens of episodes of shows including the Damon Wayans family sitcom My Wife and Kids. I've never really seen this show before but I just watched S4E26 "The Maid" (guess who Betty plays) and I found it not only very funny but it's also kind of a tribute to the magical nature of Betty White. It's definitely worth checking out. Now is also a good time to mention Hulu is the streaming home of Family Guy and Betty can be heard in S4E24 "Peterotica."

We mentioned Betty White's love of game shows and a cool find to stream is a week's worth of the classic game show Password Plus. Amazon Prime and it's spinoff service IMDb TV has all five episodes from the week of 2/5/1979 available listed as Season One episodes 20-24. Here you'll see her play her favorite game along side her favorite game show host, husband Allen Ludden. I love finding old game shows, especially when they feature celebrities, and these episodes are very fun to watch and play along with, plus you get to see Betty unscripted. 

Another unique find in the Betty White catalog is her 1999-2001 CBS sitcom The Ladies Man, which popped up on free streamers CRACKLE and PLEX late last year. The short lived show stared Alfred Molina as a husband and dad living in a house full of women. The sitcom all-star cast included Sharon Lawrence, Stephen Root, Dixie Carter, Park Overall and even Kaley Cuoco. Watching pros like White and Carter bounce off each other with precision comedic timing is an absolute joy to behold. This show is pretty good although the storylines always revolving around sexual politics gets a little tiresome.

A much more polished and successful sitcom is Hot in Cleveland, the first original sitcom from cable channel TV Land. The series ran from 2010-2015 and stared Valerie Bertinelli (One Day At A Time), Jane Leeves (Frasier) and Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) as three middle aged women who make the move from Los Angeles to Cleveland, OH. Betty White originally singed on for a guest appearance in episode one and had so much fun she ended up as a regular for all 6 seasons. Every episode can be found on Paramount+, and what I really love about this show is that Betty White's character, Elka, is usually not at the center of the storyline which allows every single line she delivers to be absolutely hysterical. Pamamount+ also carries The Roast of William Shatner. This off-color 2006 Comedy Central special is credited as the key element in jump starting the resurgence of Betty White's career in the later part of her life.

It's that pop culture breakthough that led her to host a legendary episode of  Saturday Night Live on May 8, 2000. This is a fantastic episode from start-to-finish with Betty appearing in every single sketch including Weekend Update. Although you'll only find an edited version to stream, S35E21 can be found on both Hulu and Peacock.

Life With Elizabeth is a 1953 sitcom staring Betty White. Each episode consists of three vignettes of very gentle humor. It's currently available on Prime Video, The Roku Channel, Tubi, PlutoTV and Plex. There's another 50's sitcom she stared in, Date With the Angels, which I find to be very entertaining. It's on Roku Channel and Tubi.

There's a pretty solid biography called Betty White: First Lady of Television, currently on Peacock. You can learn about Betty's love of animals in the documentary Betty White: Champion for Animals found on Tubi and Hoopla. Betty hosted a talk show about animals in 1971 called The Pet Set, where celebrities would visit with their pets. The series has been unavailable until it was released on DVD and digital earlier last year. You can stream the show for free on Tubi, Crackle and Plex. There's also a 2013 television special Betty White Goes Wild, which deals with Betty's love for lions, tigers and other big cats. The National Geographic special was recently added to Disney+.

Disney+ is also home to a vast library of Betty's voice over work. She played Mrs. Claus in the charming animated short Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa. She also lent her voice to the elephant movie Whispers: An Elephant's Tale and animated series Hercules S1E52 "Hercules and the Fiff on Olympus" and Teacher's Pet S2E19 "The Turkey That Came To Dinner". Two episodes of The Simpsons feature Betty, S11E15 & S18E16. Betty plays the old toy Bitey White in both Toy Story 4 and her final credited performance in an episode of Forky Asks A Question S1E5 "What is Love?"

There's another animated oddity you can find over at Peacock, the adult series Father of the Pride about Sigfried and Roy's White Lions. Betty White guested on S1E4 "Donkey" which also features Eddie Murphy reprising his Shrek role.  

Betty White made numerous appearances on The Carol Burnett Show. Tubi carries the syndicated edited episodes, I was able to find Betty hanging out in S10E12 and S11E21. She was also the guest of honor on an episode of Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast S1E4 available on Prime Video.

My last crazy, cool find from the amazing life of Betty White is, what appears to be the only surviving episode of, her brief talk show The Betty White Show. I found the November 29, 1954 episode streaming on a Roku channel/app called ZP TV Direct. Do with that information what you may!

And here's some of Betty White's movie credits that I found streaming...

*Hard Rain (1998) Cinemax

*Dennis The Menace Strikes Again (1998) Hoopla

*Holy Man (1998) Hulu

*Lake Placid (1999) AMC+

*The Retrievers (2001) Peacock, Tubi, Prime

*Bringing Down the House (2003) Prime

*Annie's Point (2005) Up Faith & Family

*Ponyo (2008) HBOMax

*Love N' Dancing (2009) Roku Channel, Tubi, Plex

*You Again (2010) Disney+

*The Lost Valentine (2011) Hallmark Movies Now

*The Lorax (2012) Peacock

*Dog Gone Trouble (2019) Netflix

A new special Celebrating Betty White: America's Golden Girl airs on Monday, Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and will be available to stream on Peacock the following day.

As we all know, things come and go from the streaming services on a monthly basis. These listing are correct as of 1/19/2022

Monday, December 06, 2021

Top 10 Holiday Movie Favorites

For this list, instead of listing the holiday movies that I think are the best I thought about the Christmas movies that play in our home almost every year. Sure, I love It's A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn and a whole slew of other classic Hollywood yuletide flicks but this here are the ones that I can watch year after year!

1) ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS (1988) I love this movie so much! I often site it as my favorite Christmas movie and then a few years ago when I realized it's just one of my all-time favorite movies. I love this movie so much I tracked down several of the filming locations in Orlando, Florida. I saw Ernest's house, guys!  This movie is the second of nine Ernest films and it certainly has the most heart, I think it's the funniest and has the best story which actually places Ernest as a secondary character to the main story of Santa Claus arriving in Florida to find his replacement. Just an absolutely delightful film from beginning to end.

2) NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989) I was already a huge fan of the first two Vacation films when this classic was first released. I actually won tickets to the local premiere of Christmas Vacation on the radio so I'm actually among the first people to ever see this hilarious masterpiece. It's been amazing watching this film morph from being just a silly comedy to a bona fide Holiday classic of the first degree. I love that you can buy Christmas Vacation merchandise of every variety now and when people decorate their house with motifs from the movie - that's just the best. This is one film that the entire household watches every single year Christmas week, and it's been the first PG-13 movie for all of my kids.

3) THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992) When the Muppets take on the classic Dickens tale was first released, I was a bit disappointed that the movie wasn't wackier. As time has marched on, I've come to appreciate that the further apart the jokes occur makes each crazy Muppet moment all the more fantastic. This too has become a pretty widely loved Christmas movie as it is not only a fun time with Kermit the Frog and friends, but it is also a pretty faithful adaption of the original story.

4) A VERY BRADY CHRISTMAS (1988)  From Wikipedia: "When A Very Brady Christmas first aired, it was the highest rated television film of the season with a 25.1 rating and a 39 share but ultimately finished as the second highest rated television film of the season." I didn't even watch this when it first aired but I remember everybody talking about the film at school the next day and I eventually caught it in a rerun. It wasn't until a few years later when I had a job where there was a TV on all the time that I started to watch the Brady's Christmas movie repeatedly. It would air several times over multiple weekends each holiday season and I saw it so many times that it started to become a tradition with me. It was easy to find the film on TV for many years after I left that job, but eventually I had to resort to watching it on YouTube. Then I plunked down the $70 for the deluxe Brady Bunch box set which was the only was to get a DVD of the film. The following year Paramount released a stand alone disc for $10.

5) JINGLE BELL ROCKS! (2013) I love a good documentary and this independent film about off-beat Christmas music and Christmas music collectors just seems to scratch every itch I have for a good deep dive into Christmas music. Funny, fascinating and filled with good music...I've been able to track down most of this music on Spotify and the songs, too, have become part of my holiday traditions. 

6) GRUMPY CAT'S WORST CHRISTMAS EVER (2014) Easily the most bizarre Lifetime Christmas movie, I believe this film is also credited as being the first movie based off an internet meme. What shouldn't be any good, turns out to be a rollicking Christmas caper when a young girl befriends the sourpuss cat and the two end up trapped in a mall overnight and involved in a burglary. Grumpy Cat's inner thoughts are voiced by Aubrey Plaza a la' Garfield and there are a few mildly familiar faces among the human cast. Yes, this movie is kinda dumb but my kids and I love it and we've watched it 5 out of the last seven years. They've already asked when we are going to watch it again this year.

7) GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, IT'S CHRISTMAS! (2011) I've never seen the Disney Channel sitcom that this film is based on but I'm always a sucker for a movie version of a sitcom. The movie follows the sitcom Duncan family on a half-cross country Christmas week trip from Chicago to Palm Springs. My middle son was in kindergarten when this movie debuted and we watched it one afternoon and enjoyed it well enough. That same year it was playing late Christmas eve and I put it on while prepping the house for Santa's arrival. The following year it aired again late night on Christmas eve and I had it on while getting things ready. At this point, I decided it was to be a tradition to watch this movie on Christmas eve while doing prep work so I secured the DVD and have now literally seen this movie 11 times...and it won't be Christmas without viewing #12 this year.

8) JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996) From the director of The Flintstones movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger battles Sinbad for 89 glorious minutes in order to obtain the hottest toy of the Christmas season. Phil Hartman is in it and there is a very brief cameo from Harvey Korman. Like a fine wine, this movie only gets better with age.

9) A CHRISTMAS STORY (1982) It took me about 30 years to finally come around on this film. I saw it the very first time it played on HBO - didn't like it. I showed it to my kids when they were little - still didn't like it. I gave it another chance somewhere in the last 10 years and something clicked - I loved it. Now, it's still fairly fresh for me and my kids because we never watched it on an endless loop on Christmas Eve. 

10) MICKEY'S TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS (2004) A follow-up to 1999's Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas, this movie isn't even as good as the first one but it made this list because we've watched it so many times it's now a personal favorite. The first movie is beautiful and in my opinion, one of the very best things Disney has ever done with their classic characters. My kids really liked this second effort and I've now seen it so many times I'm not sure if the other one is still my favorite. In a brief 68 minute running time, this film offers up 5 short stories featuring the Disney gang. This was the first time Disney used Mickey and gang in 3D animation and the result is different from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse which premiered a year later. Of the 5 segments, Donald Duck trying to get some peace and quiet to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa is our favorite, although Pluto running away a joining up with Santa's reindeer is a house favorite too!

***Movies come and go from the streaming services but for the 2021 holiday season all of these movies are available on one of the major platforms; Grumpy Cat you'd have to rent from Amazon and Jingle Bell Rocks! appears to only be found on the public library supported service Hoopla. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Top 25 Favorite Christmas Animations

 When we were kids, the very idea of a cartoon airing on television at night was insane! That's probably when my love of holiday specials started and now many, many years later I still love watching those cartoons year after year that have become one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Most of these are older affairs that I've seen dozens of times, some are newer specials that I've grown to love through watching with my children. Get ready for some doozies here in my list of 25 personal favorites of holiday animations.

1) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) This is the gold standard by which all other Christmas specials are judged. Every single second of this cartoon is perfect.

2) Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) This 26 minute short film is technically not a TV special but after appearing in theaters alongside The Rescuers it aired on network television and The Disney Channel for many, many years. A new Mickey Mouse cartoon for the first time in almost 30 years blew my little 10 year old mind at the time. Mickey's Christmas Carol is both a celebration of Christmas and Disney not to mention it has some pretty solid gags that still make me laugh. Mickey and Charlie Brown have always been required Christmas Eve viewing for as long as I've had a VCR and the tradition continues to this day with my family, although we often have to move it a few days earlier due to family visitations.

3) Christmas Flintstone/How The Flintstones Saved Christmas (1964) This is a superb season 5 episode of the classic Flintstones prime time series although for years it has also aired as a stand alone special. The VHS release of this episode was the first video cassette I ever bought. Hanna-Barbera remade this episode in the 70's with an expanded hour long special, and there was another Flintstones Christmas special in '93 and a tv-movie in '94 which are all fun but this original episode is extra magical. 

4) A Pink Christmas (1978) I was a huge Pink Panther fanatic when I was a kid. This dialogue free half hour is a retelling of the classic O. Henry story The Cop and the Anthem", which I never realized until I was in a high school play of that story and said, "Hey, this is just like the Pink Panther Christmas special.

5) A Chipmunk Christmas (1981) I used to think this was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. Alvin's attitude was a bit more irreverent than more cartoon characters back then. Also, it wouldn't be the holiday season without me telling one of my kids they're getting a Golden Echo harmonica for Christmas.

6) He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1985) Let's face it, the old He-Man cartoons weren't exactly overflowing with creativity but when they made this stand-alone special featuring characters from both the He-Man show and She-Ra's show, Filmation might have created their most wonderful product. When Skelator learns all about Christmas and has flashes of cheer and holiday spirit come over him, it is hilarious and heartwarming.

7) Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989) Before the entire universe of Springfield was built out over the next 30+ years, you have this very first outing where Homer gets a job as a mall Santa and then blows his earnings at the dog track. Everything we've come to expect from The Simpsons is on display in this holiday special/series pilot. Probably the first animated Christmas TV special to have "cursing" in it.

8) How Murray Saved Christmas (2014) It's hard to expect my kids to be as passionate about the old specials as I am since they are used to more modern animation and pacing but this fairly recent NBC special is one of their top favorites and we've all come to adore it after multiple screenings. There's some catchy songs as well as some off-color humor just inappropriate enough to make the kids giggle but you don't have to reach for the remote.  (Streaming on Peacock in 2021)

9)  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) It took me a long time to come around to the Grinch special. I never really cared for it as a kid but after watching it with my kids I've come to respect his game. The Chuck Jones animation is amazing for a television special and of course almost every aspect of this story has become an official part of our holiday pop culture landscape. I've even added Whoo-Hash to our Christmas morning breakfast tradition. 

10) For Better or for Worse: The Bestest Present (1985) One of a number of specials that aired on HBO in the pre-VCR mid-80's, These holiday specials were the first that I was able to watch multiple times in one season. Some of the HBO specials were so forgotten about over time that I wondered if my memories of them were even real. The day I discovered that this cartoon was available on DVD, directly from the original comic strip's creator Lynn Johnston...I've never ordered something online so fast before in my life. It was wonderful to be reunited with this lovely piece of animation about the youngest member of the Patterson family losing her stuffed bunny at the department store and the kind old janitor who finds the toy and reunites it with it's owner. I probably watched this dozens of times on HBO back in the day, and have watched it every year since I got my hands on the DVD a decade ago.

11) Ziggy's Gift (1982) As far as I know, the only animated outing for Tom Wilson's comic strip character. Gorgeously animated by the acclaimed Richard Williams, he won an Oscar in 1973 for an animated Christmas Carol short and then was awarded an Emmy for Best Primetime Animated Program for this special. 

12) A Walt Disney Christmas (1982) Not so much a special, as a VHS collection of various holiday themed vintage shorts from the Walt Disney studios. Chip n Dale in the Christmas tree, Donald and his nephews have a snowball fight, the whole gang ice skating...these are the Christmastime cartoons that Disney has repurposed in various television airings, specials and home video compilations. I got this tape from Santa the same year I got a VCR for my bedroom when I was younger.

13) The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree (1979) There's no reason I should love this special so much except that it was on HBO a bunch and I watched it every chance I got. The bear family goes into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree. Papa Bear thinks bigger is better but the cubs teach him the true meaning of Christmas. I paid top dollar for a beat-up old VHS of this show many years ago and then it was released on DVD. I refused to upgrade my copy but eventually found the DVD for a dollar at a thrift store. I can't get rid of the VHS though.

14) Prep & Landing (2009) An absolute modern classic from Walt Disney animation about the elves who prep your house for Santa's arrival. The take on the North Pole adopting modern technology is both clever and hilarious.  My kids adore this special and we've watched it every year since it first aired. The first few years, my kids would watch this everyday after school for the entire Christmas season. 

15) 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) If memory serves me, this traditionally animated Rankin Bass special aired long into the 80's and I remember watching it numerous times. Since it wasn't based on a popular character I was never really into it much but then years ago I started thinking about "that mice in the clock" cartoon and found a DVD of the special. It's still not terribly fantastic but it's the perfect amount of nostalgia I need each Christmas season. 

16) Raggedy Ann and Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper (1978) I don't remember every seeing this on network, I would always have to seek this Chuck Jones helmed gem out on a local independent channel. The siblings Raggedy save Christmas from the modernization of Gloop-Stick, a plastic varnish that protects toys from being broken...or played with. 

17) Shrek the Halls (2007) I'm definitely not a Shrek fan (don't get me started on how Shrek ruined kids movies for the next 20 years) but this brief 22 minute cartoons hits just right for me. Each of the little supporting characters from the world of Shrek get a moment to shine and that's just about the perfect amount for me in regards to German accented pigs, high-pitched gingerbread men and farting baby ogres.

18) The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982) The Smurfs were such a huge, important part of my childhood that even though I can hardly sit through an episode of their 80's cartoon show today, I still love the little fellows. Their Christmas special is pretty decent with the Smurfs helping some lost children find their way home. This entry could be included on this list just for the earworm song "Goodness Makes the Badness Go Away."

19) Frosty The Snowman (1969) I've always been a Frosty over Rudolph kinda guy. Classic line in our house, "No Money! No ticket!"

20) The Little Rascals' Christmas Special (1979) Animated revival of the classic live-action shorts served as a pilot to an unproduced Saturday morning series is a sentimental and sweet story of Spanky and his brother Porky trying to raise money to buy back the coat their mother sold in order to buy them gifts. As kids, my brother would repeat the line, "Ho, Ho, Ho. Keep moving. Merry Christmas! Keep Moving! Ho, Ho, Ho!" over and over again. He would now either have no memory of or deny ever seeing any of these specials.

21) B.C.: A Special Christmas (1981) Another one of the HBO specials that I watched an endless amount of times, also based on a comic strip and also lost to the march of time - although it did pop up on Amazon Prime not too long ago. The comic cavemen make the first attempt at commercializing Christmas. There are some out-of-date attitudes towards women in this cartoon, but considering when this takes place - that's to be expected, I guess. Another beloved special that I reconnected with years ago after paying way too much money for an old VHS copy from eBay.

22) A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) The original airing of this special was when I recorded it, it was one of the first Christmas specials I taped and watched a million times. To this day, It's just not Christmas until I hear The California Raisins singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

23) Have Yourself A Goofy Little Christmas (1992) A Christmas themed episode of the Goof Troop TV series, which aired in a separate package in syndication. Goofy's son Max is embarrassed by his dad, as always but the family's holiday traditions are too important even for a moody teenager. The pacing in this episode is a little different than the weekday afternoon TV show which gives it a nice cozy feel. You can hunt this one down on Disney+.

24) It's a Spongebob Christmas! (2012) I'm not much of a Spongebob fan, but when you make a stop-motion special and then air it on actual network television (CBS) in prime time - I'm there! And it's really good. 

25) Christmas Comes to Pac-Land (1982) The night this came on ABC, we had a Christmas pageant at school and I missed it! I had to anxiously wait a whole year to see it and it was so worth the wait! Actually, this Hanna-Barbera cartoon is pretty bad but the fact that it exists is enough for me to have seen it a dozen or so times!


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Every Movie I Saw in 2020

 It's time for my annual ilst of every movie I saw the previous year. You would think with nothing to do but sit home for the majority of the year, I would have seen more movies than any previous year but in fact I saw 59 less movies than 2019! Somedays with the news as grim as it's been, a movie seems like a chore to get through.

  1. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019)
  2. Hacksaw (1971)
  3. Cats (2019)
  4. The Biggest Little Farm (2018)
  5. Brittany Runs A Marathon (2019)
  6. Bye Bye Love (1995)
  7. 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017)
  8. Super Size Me (2004)
  9. Emil and the Detectives (1964)
  10. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
  11. Shazam! (2019)
  12. Little (2019)
  13. The Sound of Music (1965)
  14. Grown Ups (2010)
  15. Private Parts (1997)
  16. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
  17. Grown Ups 2 (2013)
  18. Good Boys (2019)
  19. The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
  20. I Am Big Bird: The Carol Spinney Story (2014)
  21. Doctor Dolilttle (1998)
  22. 2020 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation (2020)
  23. Maiden (2018)
  24. Miss Americana (2020)
  25. Stuber (2019)
  26. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)
  27. Parenthood (1989)
  28. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2020)
  29. Marriage Story (2019)
  30. For Sama (2019)
  31. The Groove Tube (1974)
  32. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
  33. Valentine's Day (2010)
  34. Family Plot (1976)
  35. The World's Greatest Athlete (1973)
  36. A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
  37. The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)
  38. The Private Eyes (1980)
  39. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
  40. Joe Dirt (2001)
  41. Onward (2020) (last movie in the theater for the year)
  42. ZOMBIES 2 (2020)
  43. Stargirl (2020)
  44. Who's Harry Crumb? (1989)
  45. Six Pack (1982)
  46. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
  47. The Night Before (1988)
  48. After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020)
  49. The Jungle Book (1967)
  50. The Muppet Movie (1979)
  51. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
  52. Elephant (2020)
  53. The Boy Who Talked to Badgers (1975)
  54. Snoopy Come Home (1972)
  55. Top Secret! (1984)
  56. Dolphin Reef (2018)
  57. Going Berserk (1983)
  58. The Good, the Bad and the Huckleberry Hound (1988)
  59. Peter Rabbit (2018)
  60. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  61. Tommy Boy (1995)
  62. Kazaam (1996)
  63. The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
  64. Mr. Wrong (1996)
  65. Bombshell (2019)
  66. Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1991)
  67. Charlie's Angels (2019)
  68. The Wedding Singer (1998)
  69. Scoob! (2020)
  70. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
  71. The Cannonball Run (1981)
  72. St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
  73. Wall-E (2008)
  74. Becoming (2020)
  75. The Wrong Missy (2020)
  76. Baby Mama (2008)
  77. Noises Off (1992)
  78. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  79. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)
  80. The Benchwarmers (2006)
  81. Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
  82. Oh, God! (1977)
  83. Hamilton (2020)
  84. Hero at Large (1980)
  85. Back to the Future (1985)
  86. Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  87. Back to the Future Part III (1990)
  88. Opportunity Knocks (1990)
  89. Blended (2014)
  90. D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
  91. Movie Movie (1978)
  92. Athlete A (2020)
  93. Little Nicky (2000)
  94. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)
  95. Trolls World Tour (2020)
  96. The Animal (2001)
  97. Meatballs Part II (1984)
  98. Mr. Deeds (2002)
  99. 50 First Dates (2004)
  100. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  101. Tron (1982)
  102. Click (2006)
  103. Murder Mystery (2019)
  104. The Master of Disguise (2002)
  105. The Longest Yard (2005)
  106. Howard (2018)
  107. The Hot Chick (2002)
  108. Magic Camp (2020)
  109. Sisters (2015)
  110. One Crazy Summer (1986)
  111. The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show (2020)
  112. Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe (2020)
  113. Never Been Kissed (1999)
  114. The Mighty Ducks (1992)
  115. RBG (2018)
  116. John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)
  117. Jasper Mall (2020)
  118. Secret Society of Second Born Royals (2020)
  119. Big Top Pee-Wee (1988)
  120. Ponyo (2008)
  121. I Want My MTV (2019)
  122. Spaced Invaders (1990)
  123. Valley Girl (2020)
  124. The Go-Go's (2020)
  125. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)
  126. Class Action Park (2020)
  127. The Addams Family (2019)
  128. The Munsters' Revenge (1981)
  129. Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
  130. The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown (2015)
  131. Murder By Death (1976)
  132. Downhill (2020)
  133. Last Christmas (2019)
  134. Slay the Dragon (2019)
  135. BlackPink: Light Up The Sky (2020)
  136. Hubie Halloween (2020)
  137. Gamemaster (2020)
  138. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
  139. Beetlejuice (1988)
  140. Senseless (1998)
  141. Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)
  142. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
  143. Holidate (2020)
  144. The Smurfs (2011)
  145. Mr. Boogedy (1986)
  146. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
  147. Heavenly Bodies (1984)
  148. Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014)
  149. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
  150. 12 Dates of Christmas (2011)
  151. Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
  152. Prancer Returns (2001)
  153. The Christmas Star (1986)
  154. Happiest Season (2020)
  155. Father Knows Best: Home For Christmas (1977)
  156. Elf (2003)
  157. Christmas on the Square (2020)
  158. Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
  159. Scrooge (1970)
  160. Totally Under Control (2020)
  161. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  162. Jingle All the Way (1996)
  163. Dear Christmas (2020)
  164. The Prom (2020)
  165. A Very Brady Christmas (1988)
  166. A Christmas Story (1983)
  167. Jingle Bell Rocks! (2013)
  168. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
  169. Desperados (2020)
  170. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  171. Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! (2011)
  172. The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977)
  173. Soul (2020)

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