Thursday, November 22, 2012

What We're Thankful for in 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from F This Movie! Here's what we're thankful for this year.

As a husband and father with very little free time to do anything but work, do the chores, and make excuses, I am thankful for the hi-def home video that allows me to see the movies I want without having to leave the house or interact with strangers. I am also thankful that studios seem to have figured out that bringing classic films to Blu-ray requires little more than a careful eye and an understanding that digital tinkering is bad, and that grain, for lack of a better word, is good.

I look forward to a Thanksgiving in the near-future when we can roll our eyes at Uncle Frank's tired jokes about "DNR" and "edge enhancement" instead of cringing at the way he works the term "Chinaman" into general conversation. I am thankful for the gorgeous Blu-ray releases of films like Jaws, E.T., and the Universal Monster series. Mostly, though, I am thankful for friends and family. Especially the ones who buy me Blu-rays for Christmas. ...Only 32 shopping days left, people. Just sayin'.

Mark Ahn:
1. Martin McDonough
2. That they pulled off The Avengers.
3. That people like Rian Johnson are still making original science fiction movies, and he released a director's commentary for Looper that you can listen to as you watch it in the theater.
4. There will be more Star Wars films, and even though it probably won't happen, I can always dream about people like Tarantino or Spielberg or Brad Bird or J.J. Abrams or Joss Whedon doing them. Because, hey, SOMEBODY will. Because there's more Star Wars movies!
5. George Lucas donating billions of dollars to education.
6. That Skyfall was an awesome Bond.
7. Even though I didn't totally love Cloud Atlas, I'm happy that people like the Wachowskis are still making ambitious films like it.

I’m thankful for Boogie Nights, because it was one of the first movies I ever discussed with my future husband long before we were dating (we both really liked it). I’m thankful that my family liked movies and that they took me to the movie theater often. I’m thankful that my mom babysits a lot; I still get to see movies in the theater with the husband. I am thankful for documentaries. I’m thankful for family, friends, jobs, a house, a car, great kids, pasta primavera, Lou Malnati’s pizza, Junior Mints, bath tubs, Ryan Gosling, Ben Affleck’s beard in Argo (shhh… let me love it), and I am thankful for movies and podcasts recorded by nice, smart, down-to-earth people who love movies.

Mike: Cloud Atlas.

I'm thankful for pitch-perfect line deliveries:

"I thought they smelled bad...on the outside!" - Harrison Ford as Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back

"Do somethin'." - Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, Chasing Amy

"They should have put you in a glass jar on the mantelpiece." - Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

"Are we still going out?" - Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

"How, in the name of Zeus' BUTTHOLE, did you get out of your cell? I only ask because in our current situation, well, it could prove useful information MAYBE." - Nicolas Cage as Stanley Goodspeed, The Rock

1. My wife and son
2. Skyfall, the new James Bond film
3. The fact that I am not David Petraeus, Lindsay Lohan or Mitt Romney
4. The inevitable death of 3D movies in 2013 or 2014 PLEASE
5. My ability to twist young minds for evil
6. Blue Monster Energy Drink
7. The Universal Monsters Blu-ray box
8. Netflix Instant
9. The Music Box Theatre (probationary status)
10. Shrimp cocktail

Here are some things I'm thankful for in 2012 (in no particular order):
1. Joss Whedon stuck the landing with The Avengers.
2. James Gunn was hired to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy.
3. The Cabin in the Woods finally saw the light of day.
4. Scream Factory.
5. My baby girl.
6. My little man.
7. The love of my life.
8. Jean-Claude Van Damme back on the big screen.
9. Both Tim Burton and Adam Sandler had box office bombs.
10. The rise of Channing Tatum.
11. New movies from Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott, Kathryn Bigelow, William Friedkin, Rian Johnson, Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Andrew Dominik, Peter Jackson and two from Steven Soderbergh.
12. The Wachowskis.
13. Everyone who writes for F This Movie!
14. Everyone who reads F This Movie!

I'm thankful for Twizzlers and popcorn. For fixed seats in theaters (i.e., seats that don't flip up, thereby giving you an extra FOOT of legroom) and Patrick and Erika's ridiculously comfortable basement screening room (the NEW New Beverly). I'm thankful for Center Stage-era Amanda Schull and Idle Hands-era Jessica Alba. For huge multiplex cinemas (where they can't tell/don't notice if you see, say, four movies in a row) and old, historic movie palaces with Art Deco design details, artificial "twinkling stars" in the ceiling and a passionate, dedicated staff (looking at you, Patio, Portage and Music Box theaters in Chicago). I'm thankful for George Bailey and Johnny Rico. For wonderful arguments (let's call them "spirited dialogues") and learning something new about film EVERY DAY (especially from Patrick and JB). Lastly, I'm thankful for the awesome group of fans/friends of F This Movie! Thanks!


  1. A lot of my thanks center on The Avengers, including:
    1. Making the Hulk awesome
    2. Whedon directing a movie both epic and light on its feet
    3. Black Widow kicking enormous amounts of ass in her opening scene
    4. Pepper Potts
    5. That helicarrier guy playing Galaga

    6. The Bride of Frankenstein in high definition
    7. Finally seeing the Mamoulian version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    8. Revisiting my favorite Bond films

    And, since some are including things not directly related to 2012:
    9. The television miniseries of The Shining. Not because it was good (Lord, it was not). But it finally made all those fanboys SHUT UP about how Kubrick "ruined" King's story. Maybe they finally realized that Kubrick actually knew what he was doing?

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  2. You guys are great. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Stupid Canada and its stupid earlier Thanksgiving - I want the day off NOW!

    Patrick - aren't "Scream Factory" and "my baby girl" the same thing? BAM - you just got burned, little baby! Hmmm...I hope that gets interpreted as "cute" as opposed to creepy...

    Anyway, I'll give my non-state-sanctioned thanks to all you folks who are so generous with your time and provide me with much information, entertainment (I wish there was a single stupid buzzword I could use to capture those two things) and opportunity to share my thoughts about movies, for whatever they're worth! Thanks guys - you da best!

  4. Australia doesn't have Thanksgiving, so does that mean I have to be ungrateful and full of self entitlement?

    That's a coincidence.

  5. >> I am so grateful "Dexter," after two seasons of literally going through the motions in circles and buying time, has this season re-found its footing and secured its place as the best live-action American TV program of the past two decades by far. Michael C. Hall is an acting God, and this season Ray Stevenson's bad guy, Yvonne Strahovski's femme fatale and Jennifer Carpenter's sister act have made the show and the lead actor (i.e. same thing) fire on all cylinders. Every "Dexter" episode is like a Super Bowl to me, and there are still four more to go this year (16 total until the show ends :'().

    >> I am grateful that, after almost a year of waiting, saving and researching, I'm about to buy a big screen HDTV that will support 3D and finally allow me to watch the stack of 3D Blu-rays ("Titanic 3D," "Adventures of Tintin 3D," "Hugo 3D," "Avengers 3D," "Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D," etc.) that I've been getting along with their 2D versions. Because, unpopular as it might be to say around here, 3D is awesome and I hope it stays around for a long while. And high-def 2D stuff (B&W and color) is also going to kick a lot of ass on a bigger-than-47" screen.

    >> I am grateful I'm in Arizona with my folks on vacation and away for the first time from my new stressful NYC job (involving watching/working movies and TV shows all day long and sometimes on weekends) so we can watch stuff together as a family and not be forced to awkwardly talk to one another until after the movies are over.

    So far "Rushmore" bombed, "Psycho" rocked their world (found the only two people over 60 who've never seen the movie or knew what it was about... other than them loving the psychiatrist explaining to them at the end what happened it was a glorious experience for all, not to mention a preparation for them to go see "Hitchcock" on their own later this year) and "Argo" & "Terms of Endearment" went kind-of OK. I'll let you know how "Let the Right One In," "Dr. Strangelove," "Johnny Guitar" and "Manhattan Murder Mystery" go over the next few days.

    >> I'm grateful my 2.5 year old niece Eliana Sofia can say my name and talk to me in both English and Spanish (makes this 'Tio' mighty proud :-)).

    >> I'm grateful that, as of tonight (11/23/12), Mitt Romney's tallied vote percentage of the popular vote stands (and is likely to stand) at 47.35% A poetic and fitting exclamation point to an entertaining and too-close-for-comfort presidential election between mediocrity and the cast of "Big Love" taking over The White House.

    >> I'm grateful that, as good and on the money as Whedon's and Mark Ruffalo's take on The Hulk in "The Avengers" was, that I still have the entire Bill Bixby-Lou Ferrigno TV series (NOT! the horrid made-for-TV movies with Daredevil and Thor) on DVD to remind me that it's still the gold standard by which this type of story/character should be measured.

    1. VAGUE DEXTER SPOILER ALERT!!! It's hard to believe that the most visceral reaction I've had watching a series about a blood-spatter analyzing serial killer, was to the words "Love you?! I'm IN love with you!" I thought maybe it was a thread the show had dropped due to viewer reaction or something (I was finding it all pretty icky myself) but when I saw them call back to a certain scene in the "Previously on Dexter..." I knew it was coming and it STILL punched me in the gut.

      And feel free not to answer but I'm a little curious as to what you do - I have a hard time imagining where "stressful" and "watching/working movies and TV shows all day long" intersect...

    2. I'm a Spanish closed caption transcriber/translator (95% of closed captions are in English but the cable channels/studios that hire us request them in Spanish) that turns either Spanish or English versions of movies and TV shows (mostly reality TV stuff) into readable-in-Spanish closed captions for the hearing impaired to follow. Can't mention any names though, the NDA agreement I signed is quite stringent. ;-)

      And boy, has "Dexter" ever been this good? I mean, we're back to the golden era of Seasons 1 and 2 when every episode was a homerun. I can't remember a string of episodes this good since 2007 (not even the Trinity season had these many consistently good episodes). It's good to be alive. :-P

    3. Ah, well that does sound like a pretty cool gig that could also be stressful and, I'm guessing, mind-numbing at times as well. Still though, neat job! I work at a law firzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

      And boy, are you right! I did mostly love Season 4 (after a slightly disappointing S3 compared to S1 and S2) but S5 was frequently bad and S6 was pretty much entirely awful (not even Edward James Olmos could save that trainwreck), so yes, I've been very relieved to see Dexter back in very fine form!

  6. Movie-related items I'm thankful for in 2012

    1. Video on Demand for movies currently in theaters.
    2. The Music Box theatre
    3. The Music Box Christmas double features
    4. The Patio theater is saved
    5. Portage theater monster marathons and the Massacre
    6. Single performances changing your opinion on an actor/actress for the better: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street
    7. Silver Linings Playbook - it's SO GOOD!
    8. The continued flourish of Ben Affleck's directorial career
    9. Seeing Jaws and Stop Making Sense in a movie theater
    10. The score to Paranorman..actually all of Paranorman
    11. The Alamo Drafthouse and Austin, TX's love of movies and music
    12. Van Damme playing a villian and Sly Stallone's age of nostalgia
    13. My sometimes brave opinions - e.g. Cabin in the Woods is bad, Daniel Day Lewis is a robot
    14. The quality control of actors around my age like Joseph Gordan Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhall who are almost always in good (or at least interesting) movies
    15. Mark Wahlberg is a bankable commodity at the box office
    16. Anne Hathaway who I might like even more because so many people don't like her
    17. The fight sequences in The Raid Redemption
    18. F This Movie!
    19. Horror anthologies
    20. Vincent Price movies watched in October
    21. Horror movies made by Ti West and Lucky McKee
    22. Richard Gere in Arbitrage - made even more enjoyable by watching the deleted scene from The Trip where Steve Coogan talks about Gere's acting technique
    23. Elizabeth Olsen - yowza!
    24. The Master in 70mm
    25. Goon, Chronicle and other pleasant surprises
    26. Denzel Washington in Flight
    27. Skyfall being an awesome Bond movie
    28. Movies that make me tear up - Jeff Who Lives at Home, Safety Not Guaranteed
    29. Open mic scenes in Sleepwalk with Me
    30. Sara Paxton taking out the trash
    31. The Grey
    32. Moonrise Kingdom
    33. Scary Movie Month