When I wear cowboy boots, I feel like John Wayne

An oil portrait of John Wayne by Dick Bobnick
An oil portrait of John Wayne by Dick Bobnick

Not that I look anything like John Wayne, mind you. But when I’m wearing my boots (as a good Texan I have two pairs) I feel a little like the Duke on the inside. A little bit more untouchable, a little bit more confident. And I feel a responsibility to live up to the footwear, to do right by them, to make sure I follow his characters’ good-guy ways. Leaving aside the politically-incorrect stuff, of course!

Drafthouse > regular theaters. It’s the ads.

Alamo Drafthouses have downsides: people eating around you and waiters talking to you during the movie. But as I write this I’m in a regular movie theater enduring the pre-show commercials and previews for TV shows and wishing I was watching an always-entertaining Drafthouse pre-show instead. In the era of DVRs and mute buttons and internet ad-blockers, it’s strange that the one place you can’t escape ads anymore is a mainstream movie theater.


Bridge of Spies — ★★☆☆

Last night I caught up on a Best Pic nominee I hadn’t seen, Bridge of Spies. I thought it was OK, but I was disappointed by what I perceived as yet another bland tale of American triumphalism and exceptionalism from Steven Spielberg. I’m a bit of a triumphalist and exceptionalist myself in most rooms (all countries have elements that make them exceptional, and the triumph of America during its titular Century is pretty undeniable), but when Spielberg is preaching it I’m too much of a Devil’s advocate to sit in the choir and listen. (I’m plagiarizing myself, as you’ll see below.)

Continue reading BRIDGE OF SPIES debate

Birthday viewing


Pom Poko — ★★★★

Yesterday, Sunday the 17th, was my birthday, so I requested that we spend the evening watching a Blu-Ray that’s been sitting here unopened for a few months. Hold on to your hats — it’s Japan-related. Ghibli, specifically. It was the most famous Isao Takahata movie I hadn’t seen yet, Pom Poko (1994).

Continue reading Birthday viewing

An unusually relevant Reel Rumble, and today’s news

I’d like to do more Reel Rumble pieces for Flickchart that feature two current movies. It’s a good way of putting our own spin on reviews. The problem is that I’d have to see more new movies, and I prefer watching older ones. But perhaps in 2016 I’ll make an effort to do a few more like this.

The Hateful Eight vs The Revenant

Continue reading An unusually relevant Reel Rumble, and today’s news

Robert Wise article on Flickchart

I wrote up a little piece on director Robert Wise for a series we call “Directors Who Dominate.” You can see it here.

Wise did my favorite musical, my favorite Star Trek movie, and my favorite pure ghost movie, among other great films. The order of the movies in this article is not my preferred order, it’s the order of the Flickchart global chart. I’d rank them like this, speaking strictly for personal taste: 1) Sound of Music, 2) The Haunting, 3) Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 4) West Side Story, 5) The Day the Earth Stood Still.

In Memorium: David Bowie

Here is our Flickchart piece on the passing of David Bowie: http://www.flickchart.com/blog/remembering-david-bowie-1947-2016/

I’ve seen Labyrinth several times because it’s one of Karen’s favorite movies, so I knew I wanted to write about it. Rewatching (or re-listening to) the David Bowie portions of the movie on YouTube was fun. Here’s a playlist:

Outside of film, some of my favorite David Bowie-related moments are the Flight of the Conchords scenes with Jemaine disguised as the ghosts of earlier David Bowies. Those are here (this video has embedding turned off): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc4efBM_9JM

What 2016 has in store for us Flickchart bloggers


For the next three days I’ll be cross-posting some of my Flickchart stuff, since it’s been a busy time for us there. Today we put up a piece on the movies we’re looking forward to in 2016. My entry is Silence, the delayed Martin Scorsese picture that’s supposed to be finally coming out. It’s based on a novel and concerns Jesuit priests in Japan. It’s those last four words that make it a must-see for me.

Here’s the link:


Sadly, today is also the day David Bowie passed away. Our In Memorium post will go up on Flickchart tomorrow. I’ll have a little more to say about it here then.

Have a working PS3 and a copy of Studio Ghibli’s NI NO KUNI

As I indicated the other day in my post on Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography, Studio Ghibli created some of my favorite movies of all time. They did animated sequences for a couple of video games, too, in the series Ni no Kuni (“second world,” or “another world”). I’d wanted to play these games in order, but being a PC gamer I didn’t have the right systems. Thankfully, a friend of mine found a cheap Playstation 3 as well as a used copy of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and sold them to me at a bargain price. This is a movie blog, not a gaming blog, but when a game is tied to the greatest animation movie studio of all time (sorry Disney) an exception is justified!

I’m not sure when I’ll start playing it, but I got the system up and running today.