Movies I’ve Seen

885S4Q0UVAWhenever anyone asks me about a popular movie, they’re flabbergasted that I haven’t seen it. You’d think they’d learn to just assume I’ve seen nothing, but they haven’t yet.

In an effort to accelerate that, here’s a list of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees and top 10 highest-grossing films for the last 15 years. My “I’ve seen it” ratio starts bad and only gets worse over time. Had I not seen most of the Pixar movies because I have a kid, it would be even worse. (My ratio was pretty good before 2000 because I was in high school and had nothing else to do.)

Key: Seen it, Haven’t seen it


  • Gladiator
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Traffic
  • What Women Want
  • Meet the Parents
  • Chocolat
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Mission: Impossible II
  • Cast Away
  • Dinosaur
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • The Perfect Storm
  • X-Men
  • What Lies Beneath


  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Gosford Park
  • In the Bedroom
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Shrek
  • Pearl Harbor
  • The Mummy Returns
  • Jurassic Park III
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Hannibal


  • Spider-Man
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Men in Black II
  • Die Another Day
  • Minority Report
  • Chicago
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Hours
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Pianist
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Signs
  • Ice Age
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding


  • Finding Nemo
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Lost in Translation
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Mystic River
  • Seabiscuit
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Bruce Almighty
  • The Last Samurai
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  • X2
  • Bad Boys II


  • The Incredibles
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • The Aviator
  • Finding Neverland
  • Ray
  • Sideways
  • Shrek 2
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Spider-Man 2
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • The Day After Tomorrow
  • Meet the Fockers
  • Troy
  • Shark Tale


  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Crash
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Munich
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • War of the Worlds
  • King Kong
  • Madagascar
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Batman Begins
  • Hitch


  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Casino Royale
  • Cars
  • The Departed
  • Babel
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • The Queen
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Ice Age: The Meltdown
  • Night at the Museum
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • Mission: Impossible III
  • Superman Returns
  • Happy Feet


  • No Country for Old Men
  • Juno
  • Ratatouille
  • I Am Legend
  • Atonement
  • Michael Clayton
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Shrek the Third
  • Transformers
  • The Simpsons Movie
  • National Treasure: Book of Secrets
  • 300


  • The Dark Knight
  • Quantum of Solace
  • WALL-E
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Hancock
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  • Iron Man
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian


  • The Hurt Locker
  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • 2012
  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Angels & Demons
  • The Hangover


  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Kings’ Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Shrek Forever After
  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
  • Iron Man 2
  • Tangled
  • Despicable Me
  • How to Train Your Dragon


  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
  • Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Fast Five
  • The Hangover Part II
  • The Smurfs
  • Cars 2


  • Skyfall
  • Argo
  • Amour
  • Beasts of the Southern WIld
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Misérables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • The Avengers
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • The Hunger Games
  • Men in Black 3


  • Monsters University
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Frozen
  • Iron Man 3
  • Despicable Me 2
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Man of Steel
  • Thor: The Dark World


  • Birdman
  • American Sniper
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Maleficent
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Interstellar


The Weekly Click: The Rest of the Summer Edition Top Five

twcHere’s a new thing I’m doing. You can see the full list over at The Weekly Click, but here’s my top five. Enjoy!

Culture of Guns. Culture of Death. Another happy day for America’s “well regulated militia.” A live news report in Virginia turned to horror when a gunman shot to death a reporter and her cameraman. He then bragged about it on social media before killing himself. When will the American public wake up to the fact that gun violence and gun culture is not normal? My condolences. [New York Times]

That’s Coming Out of Your Allowance. Elsewhere in the world, terrorists threaten art and antiquities, but in Taiwan tween boys holding beverages are the threat. A 12-year-old visiting the exhibition “Faces of Leonardo: Images of Genius” in Taipei accidentally tripped — drink in hand — and punched a hole into a $1.5 million dollar Italian still-life painting. Fortunately, the exhibition curator said the painting was insured and the child won’t be expected to pay for restoration costs, but he’s definitely grounded for at least the rest of the summer. [Vulture]

Where are the Knights of Stimpy? With his menacing mask, black cloak, and crackling red tri-pronged lightsaber, most people assumed Kylo Ren was the villain in the upcoming Star Wars movie, though the lack of “Darth” in his name led many to wonder whether he was a Sith. Recently, J. J. Abrams cleared up the confusion: Kylo Ren is not a Sith, but a member of the Knights of Ren. Still, its fun to speculate who his parents might be. A son of Luke or Leia? Not them together. Eww. This isn’t Game of Thrones. [Empire]

This is the Droid You’re Looking For. In more Star Wars news, Empire released an image of its subscribers’ cover and it is a thing of beauty. I have no idea if new droid character BB-8 will be important, beloved, or the next Jar Jar Binks. All I know is when it rolled on the stage at Star Wars Celebration, it showcased a remarkable piece of design and engineering. I want one. [Empire]

Who Knows? A rather outlandish trio of rumors is circulating, claiming that past Doctors David Tennant and Paul McGann will have cameos in the finale of the upcoming season, allegedly in celebration of the show’s 10th anniversary since it was revived. One rumor professes the actors play Time Lord ghosts guarding a tomb, another repeats recent talk Tennant will reprise his role as the Tenth Doctor in scenes explaining why the Twelfth Doctor shares a face with a character seen in 2009’s “Fires of Pompeii,” and a third hints the actors appear in a scene where the Doctor “de-volves,” transforming briefly into past regenerations. [Fansided]

New Miserable Experience

www.smilepolitely-1Among those who interview prospective new employees there is a new trendy question: “So, what’s your 90s jam?”  Being in high school and college firmly in the 1980s, I had a hard time coming up with a good answer until I realized “Hey Jealousy” came out in 1992. I remember really digging the Gin Blossoms in the 1990s and thinking their first two albums were pretty brilliant power pop. So, it was a nice surprise to learn they would be headlining the Taste of Champaign-Urbana festival in West Side Park.

There are six songs everyone sorta kinda knows that the Gin Blossoms play: Found Out About You, Until I Fall Away, Allison Road, Til I Hear it From You, Follow You Down, and Hey Jealousy. These six are really quite good. The band could have played these six songs twice and Hey Jealousy three times and the crowd would’ve been ecstatic. Of course, that’s not what they did.

Vocalist Robin Wilson sounded great with every song he sang and the band was incredibly tight. Unfortunately, I really wanted Wilson to work the crowd better, not complain about his mic stand, not start a song with “Hey let’s play what’s next on this sheet,” and not start an obscure cover with “Deal with it.”

There was a ton of people out there excited to hear and see them. Everyone deserved better.

Look, it was a free show so I don’t have much to complain about. Still, it costs $40K or so to book a band like the Gin Blossoms I want a professional show. It came across like a band who really didn’t want to be there and that was disappointing.

Anyway, here’s a taste of the show. One of the good parts in my eyes.