We – Todd & Kara – use Letterboxd (TJSNK = the initials of each member’s name in our family) to keep track of the movies watched and provide short reviews with ratings. Star ratings are assigned based how entertaining the movies are: with anything 4-star and above being RECOMMENDED.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great ——– anything rated ABOVE is recommended (as of 1/1/2021) ——- ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining ⭐️⭐️½ – OK ⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre ⭐️½ – Bad ⭐️ – Terrible ½ – Unwatchable
Weekly Schedule – average 3 posts per day Monday – Sunday – Streaming reviews, news and movie & TV discussion Wednesday – All wide opening films in theaters are profiled (examples) Thursday – Sunday – Opening films are watched, rated and reviewed (text reviews posted to Letterboxd, and video reviews to YouTube channel) Friday – FIRST LOOK Fridays profile movies coming to theaters (details) Sunday – no later than Sunday night, NOW PLAYING REVIEWS (examples)
Todd Russell is the author of all reviews and watches all movies. Some movies are reviewed with another TJSNK family member.
These are our (mostly his) opinion only and don’t expect everybody else on the internet to agree (or disagree), but love to discuss more about movies and TV.
Todd started this blog to explore from a fan’s perspective the theater-watching experience, movies, movie lists and other features that Letterboxd doesn’t (yet?) make available (why can’t we blog through there?). Also to explore the Regal Unlimited Plan (member since August 2019), streaming video channels and TV without cable. Subscribe below to get notified when new posts are made.
Having followed technology for as long as I can remember, one of the relationships I always admired was Bill & Melinda Gates. Those two met at Microsoft, married and have done great things with all that Microsoft cheddar. Didn’t think they were anything but lifelong mates.
Just saw the news that after 27 years of marriage, less than Kara and I have been married, the Gates’ are splitting.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
This was sad news at a time we don’t receive much in the way of good news. The only good news remaining is Bill and Melinda will continue working on their foundation philanthropic work together. Some might wonder how that’s going to work with them not romantically involved any longer (maybe better, maybe worse, who knows?)?
You might ask how this has anything to do with movies or TVs? Eventually there will be a movie about this couple, as biopics are all the rage. Certainly way too premature, but this doesn’t seem to have a happy ending. That is yet to be written. Maybe the happy ending is they fund the cure for cancer through their foundation? I wouldn’t put anything past Bill Gates — and I mean that complimentary.
Before this website was started, we used Letterboxd to track the movies we were watching. We still use the site every day, tracking all the movies we watch, rewatch and review. Late last year we started doing full text reviews here for movies seen in theaters, but a shorter review still appears on Letterboxd.
We’re still looking for something like Letterboxd that does TV shows. Have a suggestion? Let us know in the comments. We post all TV show reviews here currently and a list (in progress, updated periodically) is available here: TV Series Reviews.
Since there are movie and TV tie-in videgames, including Mortal Kombat which comes out in 2021 (and looks pretty good from the trailers), we also cover videogames here. However, there are way more videogames that have nothing to do with movies and TV shows. We wanted to use something like Letterboxd, and maybe you do too, hence this post, to track our videogaming.
Enter Backloggd. Completely FREE to use — just like Letterboxd — for all the features you need including game journals, logging, reviews, lists (!) and more. The one feature I don’t see available is any way to export the data you’ve created like Letterboxd. I’m hoping this is available somewhere, somehow (it’s not as of this writing, but is on their site roadmap wishlist here), because if you spend a bunch of time adding and tracking games you own and/or play and the site goes belly up, you should be able to export your data and take it elsewhere. To your own site, another site, whatever. Letterboxd has that feature and it remains one of the reasons we keep using it. We’re essentially future-proofed if the site decides to do something like this:
Anyway, one list I’m assembling are for the AtGames Legends Ultimate (ALU) v1.1 arcade (see: Arcade and Console Videogaming Heaven – Legends Ultimate Arcade). There are 300+ licensed games included, some of which I played a long, long time ago, some played in arcades, some on various console systems through the years and most I’ve never played. Wanted to add more detail on the games discovered for the first time, played, including notes for personal strategies developed and possibly even reviews of the games I play more extensively. Not really interested in the reviews part yet, but rather just to have some place to record notes on the games played, as well as the time spent playing these games. This will help me better develop a favorites list and be able to talk about these games with others interested in buying the ALU.
For other customers of these systems, this makes it easy to explore these games in greater detail, as the systems don’t tell you very much about the games themselves. You can simply click on the titles and play, but where do you record your personal notes, strategies, gaming tips, etc? You can use tools like Excel Spreadsheets or Google Docs or, well, Backloggd. This way if you’re friends ask what videogames you’re playing, you just point them to your Backloggd page.
Backloggd doesn’t do everything it could and should yet, however.
I’ve noticed one (glaring, really) weakness for Backloggd is that it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of video pinball represented in the database. This means I won’t be able to make a list for our most recent purchase: the AtGames Legends Pinball (ALP). I’m sure there is a way like Letterboxd to add games that aren’t in the database, so I fully plan to investigate that feature in the future. They seem to use IGDB.com as a source and I do see how to add games there, so that might be the ticket. Anybody who knows more detail about this process, please feel free to educate and inform us in the comments below.
Will coverage for videogames expand at this site? Probably, yes. I see how movies and TV shows have become important properties for videogames, so it seems only natural to explore that path in greater depth. Also, playing videogames is a more active hobby than watching movies and TV. It’s healthy and good to stay more active. This doesn’t mean that movies will take a backseat to videogames, here, but it does mean the site will become a little broader. Maybe 😉
In a way, every filmmaker is really just playing with moving light and color on surfaces. That’s the whole ball game, a filmic given. But Pixar takes it further, or perhaps just does it more self-consciously and systematically. Its emotionally weighty, computer-generated animated films deploy precisely calibrated color and light to convey narrative and emotion—from the near-total absence of green in WALL-E (until postapocalyptic robots find the last plant on Earth) to the luminous orange marigolds that symbolize Miguel’s trip to the magical Land of the Dead in Coco through the contrast between the cool blue luminosity of the afterlife with the warm, snuggly sepia of New York City in last year’s Soul.
While the term “hack your brain” seems mildly offensive, I get it. Pixar is almost Steve Jobs-like obsesses with quality and style and it shows. You just know what to expect from seeing one of their films and it frequently is entertaining at least.
The recent Oscars paid Soul some love. Well deserved.
The most current contract renewal conflict involves YouTube TV.
YouTube is mounting its own public relations campaign in its dispute with Roku, telling YouTube TV subscribers that it has offered the same “reasonable” terms under the current agreement for renewal to the OTT company and wants to continue the agreement. Customers are advised to cast YouTube from another device to their Roku box should Roku pull the app. The company is also urging them to pressure Roku by calling customer service or complaining via Twitter to keep YouTube TV.
Just for clarity, this isn’t the normal YouTube app, because that contract is up in December. Is it possible Google pulls all their support from Roku, including the normal YouTube app? Yes. The only losers in this battle are Roku users that use YouTube TV, and possibly YouTube.
Workarounds? Sure, they exist. Let’s hope these two companies come to some kind of agreement that doesn’t result in YouTube being pulled from Roku.
F-yes, Jonah Hill is #1 for using the most profanity used in film. Superbad star gets all the profane dialogue, it seems. F-word master Samuel L. Jackson? Third place.
Jonah Hill lands at the top, achieving a grand total of 376 swear words used throughout his career. Leonardo DiCaprio followed with a total count of 361. Interestingly, both actors had lead roles in the film with the most cussing: Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street that has 715 swear words. Finally, Samuel L. Jackson comes in third place with 301 swear words.
Hospitals? Meh. Wonder Woman doesn’t go to the hospital, she just drinks. True story.
“The early days of pandemic when you start drinking mimosas or sangria or whatever at 11 a.m., so I did that, and then I decided I’m gonna make a cabbage salad because that’s what one whats to do, so I started to chop the thing, and I chopped the top of my finger,” Gadot recalled to Jimy Kimmel Live. “Yaron went to the chopping board and he held the finger and he got so disgusted that he threw it into the garbage disposal.”
Gal Gadot cracks me up with this story. So she just decides to make cabbage salad and chops off the end of her finger? Ouch. Her husband freaks out and throws it in the garbage disposal? Why? But then they just decide to drink?
Weekend #18 of 52 (4/29 – 5/2/2021) for 2021 Picks By Streaming Service
With Mother’s Day only a week away, we should be seeing a few movies moms might enjoy bubbling up in the listings. It’s also the first of May weekend so a bunch of movies rotating in on the streaming services.
*Title with asterisk – newly released Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)
NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming services.
Headspace Guide to Sleep (Apr 28)
*Things Heard and Seen (Apr 29)
*The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Movies rotating into NETFLIX as of May 1
Back to the Future Back to the Future Part II Back to the Future Part III Best of the Best Dead Again in Tombstone Due Date Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Green Zone Hachi: A Dog’s Tale JT LeRoy Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Mystic River Never Back Down Notting Hill Open Season Resident Evil: Afterlife Resident Evil: Extinction S.M.A.R.T Chase Scarface Sitting In Limbo Stargate State of Play The Land Before Time The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure The Lovely Bones The Pelican Brief The Sweetest Thing The Whole Nine Yards (2000) Under Siege Waist Deep Your Highness Zack and Miri Make a Porno Zombieland
*Sexify (Apr 28)
*The Innocent (Apr 30)
*The Unremarkable Juanquini: Season 2 (Apr 30)
*Hoarders: Season 11 (May 2)
Disney+ Movies & TV
Adventures in Wonderland (Apr 30)
Disney Ducktales (S3)
Disney Junior Mira
Marvel Studios: Assembled
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
*Tenet (May 1)
Movies rotating into HBO MAX as of May 1
17 Again (2009) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) Anaconda (1997) Anger Management (2003) Baby Boom (1987) Barry Lyndon (1975) Black Hawk Down (2001) The Cable Guy (1996) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Cursed (2005) Daddy Day Care (2003) Darkest Hour, (2017) Darkness (2004) The Dirty Dozen (1967) Dumb & Dumber (1994) Employee Of The Month (2006) Firehouse Dog (2007) Flight of the Intruder (1991) Free Willy (1993) Frida (2002) Generation Por Que? God’s Not Dead (2014) Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) Happy Feet (2006) Happy Feet Two (2011) Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man (1991) Hercules (1983) Igby Goes Down (2002) Igor (2008) Insomnia (2002) The Interview (2014) Jackie Brown (1997) Kansas (1988) Magic Mike (2012) Menace II Society (1993) Michael (1996) Mortal Kombat (1995) Movie 43 (2013) Muriel’s Wedding (1995) My Baby’s Daddy (2004) Mystery Date (1991) Norbit (2007) Para Rosa (For Rosa) Precious (2009) Rabid (1977) Romance & Cigarettes (2007) Rosewater (2014) Rudy (1993) Rush Hour (1998) Rush Hour 2 (2001) Rush Hour 3 (2007) Save The Last Dance (2001) Save The Last Dance 2 (2006) Senseless (1998) Separate Tables (1958) Serpico (1974) Serving Sara (2002) Summer Rental (1985) Tenet (2020) The Debt (2010) The Immigrant (2014) The Kingdom (2007) The Last Of The Finest (1990) The Perfect Man (2005) The Tuxedo (2002) The Wings Of The Dove (1997) The Witches Of Eastwick (1987) Tomcats (2001) Trust Me (2014) Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (2012) Varsity Blues (1999) Welcome To Sarajevo (1997) When Harry Met Sally (1989) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Words And Pictures (2014)
Amazon Prime Video
Bound – 1996 (May 1)
*Snowpiercer (May 2)
Movies rotating into AMAZON PRIME VIDEO as of May 1
Alien Alien: Resurrection Alien 3 Aliens Almost Famous Angels & Demons Bad Company Baggage Claim Battle Of The Sexes Beloved Betrayed Bound Dear White People Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Dinosaur 13 Fascination Flight Flightplan For Love Of The Game Georgia Rule Green Zone Gunsight Ridge Hidalgo How Stella Got Her Groove Back Indignation In The Line Of Fire Jumper Jumping The Broom Knowing Leatherheads Legion Madea’s Family Reunion Madea’s Witness Protection Mr. & Mrs. Smith My Name is Earl S1-4 Nanny Mcphee Nanny McPhee Returns Nim’s Island Notting Hill Obsessed One Fine Day Open Range Priest Reign Of Fire Resident Evil: Apocalypse Resident Evil Rio Road To Perdition Roman J. Israel, Esq. Sahara Saving Silverman Scent Of A Woman See No Evil, Hear No Evil Shattered Show Dogs Soul Food Star Trek State Of Play The Age of Adaline The Best Of Me The Dalton Girls The Da Vinci Code The Day The Earth Stood Still The French Connection The Green Hornet The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia The Hot Chick The Indian in the Cupboard The Ladykillers The Land Before Time The Men Who Stare At Goats The Night Before The November Man The Outsider The Seagull The Secret Life Of Bees The Sixth Sense The Sweetest Thing The Tooth Fairy The Tourist The Towering Inferno Two For The Money Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family Warm Bodies What Happens In Vegas Unbreakable Vantage Point Your Highness
*Gundala (May 1)
Flight (May 2)
The Iron Lady
Movies rotating into HULU as of May 1
(500) Days of Summer (2009) The A-Team (2010) The Age of Adaline (2015) Almost Famous (2000) An Elephant’s Journey (2018) Any Given Sunday (1999) The Assassin (2015) Betrayed (1988) Blast From The Past (1999) Blue Chips (1994) Bound (1996) Burning (2018) The Crazies (2010) Cyrus (2009) Dances With Wolves (1990) Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (2018) Dinosaur 13 (2014) Fascination (2005) Goodnight Mommy (2015) Grace Of Monaco (2015) Grudge Match (2013) Gundala (2019) Hannibal Rising (2007) Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia (2013) How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) I Am Legend (2007) I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) The Indian in the Cupboard (1995) The Iron Giant (1999) Knowing (2009) Lost in Hong Kong (2015) Lucky Number Slevin (2006) Machete (2010) The Man From Nowhere (2010) Midnight Heat (1996) Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) One Fine Day (1996) The Outsider (1980) Predator (1987) Predator 2 (1990) Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977) Reservoir Dogs (1992) Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) Sahara (1984) Shattered (1991) The Spy Next Door (2010) Step Up 2 The Streets (2008) Step Up 3D (2010) Train to Busan (2016) True Lies (1994) Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) Vantage Point (2008) The Virgin Suicides (2000) The Wailing (2016) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2009) We Were Soldiers (2002) What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993) Zack And Miri Make A Porno (2008)
A string of LIMITED releases this week, so some/all may or may not be available for viewing in theaters in your area. Regal Cinemas are open again in our area, so that has expanded the overall number of theaters. We decided to stay with AMC Stubs A-List vs. going back to the Regal Unlimited plan, at least for another month or so. There are more Regal cinemas in our area than AMC, but there are pros and cons for each monthly movie pass service.
Regal kind of nickels and dimes their members with fees for IMAX, convenience fees and the like but does offer an unlimited amount of movies watched as long as the same movie isn’t watched more than once per day. AMC limits to three movies in any format every week and no convenience fees for reserving online or using their app.
Let’s get to this weekend’s new movies available in theaters…
Creatures that walk with dislocated bones, ewww. Yeah, I get the feeling this creature feature might be in my wheelhouse, unless it spends more time on keeping the creature in the dark vs. letting it out and doing something with it besides making only making it scary.
We’ve all seen those type of horror films: where they think it’s scary knowing nothing about the monster or obsessing over its origins.
The trailer makes me think (hope!) that this will be one of those horror films that’s in the middle, that doesn’t rely too much on cheap jump scares. Will find out soon enough!
Anybody else interested in seeing this one in theaters? Or plan to wait and see it on streaming?
Walking With Herb
An amateur golfer that is struggling with his faith. I have enjoyed watching some of these type films, so maybe will enjoy this one. Admittedly not among my top genres for films to watch, but also like seeing something different and uncommon. The problems is a lot of these stories, despite the genre, are formulaic and a little too neatly put together. I sort of prefer a more real life roughness to the stories versus working non-organically toward the happy ending. Some happy endings are OK, but in general that seems too often to be an artificial goal. We don’t always need the HE to be entertained and if we’re looking for faith on real life situations, we should have real life uncertainty — sometimes, anyway.
Then again maybe Herb won’t have a completely happy ending?
Another one of those the title a lot about what the movie is about.
Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request.
Didn’t mention Oscars 2021 here on Sunday. Didn’t watch it. Didn’t care. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as it turned out the smallest viewership ever.
Only 9.85 million viewers tuned into Sunday’s ceremony where Searchlight’s “Nomadland” took the top prize and Netflix walked away with the most wins. That’s a nearly 59% drop from the 23.6 million viewers that turned on their TVs for the program last year, according early fast national numbers released by Nielsen.
We suggested several times last year that they should just lump 2020 and 2021 into one large celebration and awards show. There just weren’t enough movie theater releases and all the major titles, with some exceptions were pushed off to 2021 and beyond. The Academy couldn’t see skipping an annual tradition and pushed on.
What the result was a playing field that favored lesser known, smaller budget films. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Nomadland was the best movie in 2020, really? I don’t know. Anthony Hopkins acting in The Father was great, but was he the best actor of every movie in 2020? Maybe.
Bottom line: it’s done, over and now we can look at 2021. It’s already off to a stronger start than 2020. There should be more interest in the Oscars in 2022, maybe.
Yes, they are a long ways from 200+ million, but the HBO Max paid subscriber count continues to inch closer to the 100+ million mark.
In its Q1 earnings report released this week, the company cited “first-quarter results that showed continuing customer growth in wireless, fiber and HBO Max and strong cash flows.” It further went on to cite 2.7 million total domestic HBO and HBO Max net new subscribers, further noting 44.2 million total domestic subscribers and almost 64 million global subscribers. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story, and buried in the fine print at the very bottom of the report, AT&T sort of breaks down how those figures work.
It’s fascinating that skeptics remain everywhere for HBO. They’ve been around since the 70s, I don’t think they’re going anywhere in the streaming race any time soon. No, they aren’t Netflix, but they have plenty of movies and TV properties to stay relevant for years to come, regardless if AT&T torpedoes them from time to time. Some people see the value in their content library (see: Tom’s Guide Article Declares HBO Max As Currently The Best Streaming Service)
Not scientific by any means, but we looked at how many movies we’ve watched across the various streaming services in 2021 so far as well as watched in theaters for comparison. Here are the numbers as of this writing (through 4/26/2021):
Watched In theaters – 21
HBO Max – 21
Netflix – 16
Amazon Prime Video – 14
Hulu – 12
Shudder – 10
Paramount+ / CBS All Access – 8
Peacock – 5
Disney+ – 5
This list above through the first four months will be interesting to revisit at the end of the year — to compare and contrast.
The movies being watched (or rewatched) and reviewed are being organically chosen based on interest at the moment. We don’t go to HBO Max first, it just has the largest library of movies, both new and older that we want to see. Netflix is higher up the list because they release more new movies than any service. Some don’t appeal to us, like the new Melissa McCarthy movie we didn’t bother to watch, but they release far and away the most new movies, usually exclusives than any streaming service. This is their way of getting on streaming subscribers organically chosen list — and clearly it works with us.
Down the list in the middle comes no surprise with Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. They share some similarities in their respective movie libraries. Amazon Prime Video has way more movies, but a lot that you’ve never heard of. Hulu has a decent library of foreign titles.
At the bottom of the list comes Paramount+/CBS All Access, Peacock and Disney+. None of these three services release many new movies. Disney+ has the best existing library, perhaps followed closely by Peacock. Despite the name change, Paramount+ still has a comparatively small streaming movie library. It’s not all about quantity, but for movie lovers, there are better choices than Paramount+.
Speaking of quantity, Shudder is also middle of the road in the list above, but for horror they would be toward the top. For a niche streaming service, they have movies other services don’t have and are worth watching — if you like horror, of course. There are other niche streaming services that deserve attention. We were subscribed to Boomerang for animated shows, for example, and that has a good library too.
The ad-supported streaming channels aren’t being tracked through our Letterboxd list, but we do record them by tag. We don’t watch many of those channels, really, you can can’t the movies watched on one hand probably through the first four months. The answer is usually to do with the ads. Peacock has too many ads for their ad-supported version. Having ads come on frequently isn’t the way we want to watch movies. We could pay $4/more a month for Peacock without ads, but the movie library will need to be much more compelling to pay more.
We probably will try the HBO Max with ads offering to see how intrusive the ads are. If they are anything like Peacock, then we’ll go back to paying for the ad-free subscription tier.
What streaming channel are you watching the most movies on?