Amy Adams Films Ranked

I haven’t seen as many as I thought I have.  The numbers following the release years are the ratings I gave them, if I gave them ratings.  That clump of 7s and 70s probably changes its order from day to day, although I feel pretty good about the higher 7s and the lower 7s.

For a while, I was only writing full reviews and bothering to rate films I saw in theaters, but of course now I’m doing it for everything I see.  I need the reviews to remind myself of what I’ve seen and what I thought about it.  It’s one of the reasons I sometimes rent films I’ve already seen; just to get another look so I can write a review and try to nail things down in my increasingly faulty memory.

I haven’t rated Junebug, which I only saw a couple of years ago, but it’s easily a 90+.  When I rented it, I watched it three or four times (once with the commentary) before sending it back.  Need to see it again.

  1. Junebug (2005)
  2. Her (2013), 84
  3. Enchanted (2007)
  4. American Hustle (2013), 81
  5. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) 7/10
  6. The Muppets (2001), 74
  7. Julie & Julia (2009), 7/10
  8. Sunshine Cleaning (2008), 7/10
  9. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), 73
  11. Trouble with the Curve (2012), 72
  12. The Fighter (2010) 71
  13. Man of Steel (2013), 68
  14. Leap Year (2010), 66

My Ten Favorite The Brady Bunch Episodes

My Ten Favorite The Brady Bunch episodes, in order.

  1. “The Liberation of Marcia Brady.”  Season 2, Episode 19.bb1
    Marcia tries to join the Frontier Scouts. In retaliation, Peter tries to join the Sunflower Girls.  Marcia demonstrates over the course of the series that she’s a modern woman with a sense of fairness, often expressed in defense of others after correcting errors in her own judgment.  You can say whatever you want about the Bradys, but one thing they were consistent about was that fairness is worth striving for, even if sometimes it can’t be achieved.
  2. “The Voice of Christmas.”  Season 1, Episode 12.bb2
    Carol comes down with laryngitis right before she’s supposed to sing in the Christmas service.  I really, really don’t like Cindy episodes, and this one’s remembered for Cindy’s asking Santa to restore Carol’s voice.  But I forgive the cutesiness because of two moments: the scene where Mike admonishes Santa for promising something he can’t deliver, and the one near the end when Mike is awakened by the sound of Carol humming in her sleep.  “Sing!” he urges her when she wakes up.  She sings “O Come All Ye Faithful” and it’s a thing of beauty.  I never realized how pretty Florence Henderson was until much, much later, when I was in college, but now when I see this scene, it’s all I can think about.
  3. “Vote for Brady.”  Season 1, Episode 11.bb3
    Greg and Marcia square off in an election for class president, which dosen’t make sense because Marcia’s younger and not even in high school yet, as we learn later in the series when she enters ninth grade.  Not a very strong episode, but I love Marcia’s determination, and there’s a kind of dark undercurrent when Greg’s campaign manager suggests spreading rumors about Marcia.  I like that.
  4. “The Not-So-Rose-Colored Glasses.”  Season 3, Episode 13.bb4
    Jan gets glasses.  The rest of the plot isn’t great, but I got my first pair of glasses in fourth grade, and there were things here I really related to.  More importantly, Jan Brady was my first TV crush when I was a kid (years before my fourth-grade year), and I loved her in glasses.  It always made me happy to see this episode.
  5. “Juliet is the Sun.”  Season 3, Episode 7.bb5
    Another one where Marcia is uncool and then makes amends when her sense of rightness clicks in.  When I was a kid, I never thought Marcia was very pretty (I was a Jan guy), but years later, even though Jan would always be my favorite Brady, I started to favor episodes where Marcia’s prettiness and her conflicts between ambition and kindness are critical plot elements, as this list probably illustrates.
  6. “Her Sister’s Shadow.”  Season 3, Episode 10.bb6
    The famous “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” episode.  Jan continues to have identity issues.  I love Jan.
  7. “Dough Re Mi.”  Season 3, Episode 16.bb7
    Greg wants to cut a record, but he needs some money, so he recruits his siblings in a new singing group in order to raise the funds.  Peter’s voice begins to change, ruining the recordings until Greg writes a new song, “Time to Change,” featuring a voice-cracking solo by Peter.  Nowadays, I hate sitcoms where the central characters find some reason to sing together, but in the 70s I loved it.  This episode’s other song, “We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter,” is also entertaining.
  8. “Marcia Gets Creamed.”  Season 5, Episode 7.bb8
    Yeah, that’s the actual title of the episode.  I figure they can get away with this stuff since the titles of episodes were never really public when the show aired.  Marcia gets a job in an ice cream parlor.  She gets Peter a job there too, but Peter’s a goof-off, so Marcia fires him and hires Jan.  Jan’s actually better at it than Marcia, so when the manager has to cut staff, he cuts Marcia and keeps Jan.  A favorite because I like the Marcia-Jan dynamic.
  9. “Confessions, Confessions.”  Season 2, Episode 12.bb9
    Not really that great an episode, but “Mom always said, ‘Don’t play ball in the house!'” is from this one, and it’s one of those irritating lines of dialogue you can never get out of your brain.  I’m fond of it only for this reason.
  10. “Jan’s Aunt Jenny.”  Season 3, Episode 17.bb10
    Jan finds a photo of her aunt Jenny as a kid, and she looks just like Jan.  Carol invites her over, and at first Jan is horrified because she thinks Jenny (Imogene Coca) is ugly, and that Jan will grow up to look like her.  But Jenny turns out to be a lovely person, and Jan realizes she would be blessed to grow up like her ebullient aunt.  I like Jan-centric episodes.


Dustin Hoffman Films I’ve Seen, Ranked

I guess I haven’t seen as many as I thought I have. Titles are divided in tiers. Something like very good, good, okie-dokie, and just north of bad.

hoffmanAll the President’s Men (1976)
Rainman (1988)
Stranger than Fiction (2006)

Tootsie (1982)
Barney’s Version (2010)

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Hero (1992)
The Graduate (1967)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Outbreak (1995)
Wag the Dog (1997)

If Love Was so Transcendent

Rush’s Counterparts album (1993) is one of their underappreciated efforts.  Spent a bit of time this evening reminding myself of how good (and how, uh, less good) the songs are.  So for your enlightenment and for my future reference, here are the eleven songs on the album, ranked from worst to best.

11. Nobody’s Hero
10. Double Agent
9. Everyday Glory
8. Alien Shore
7. Speed of Love
6. Cut to the Chase
5. Stick it Out
4. Between Sun and Moon
3. Animate
2. Leave that Thing Alone
1. Cold Fire

The phosphorescent wave on a tropical sea
Is a cold fire
The pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor
Is a cold fire
The flame at the heart of a pawnbroker’s diamond
Is a cold fire
The look in your eyes as you head for the door
Is a cold fire

Man, I love this band.

I Got Numbers Comin’ Outta My Ears

I haven't seen Eat, Pray, Love yet, but there is something about Julia and polka-dots.
I haven’t seen Eat, Pray, Love yet, but there is something about Julia and polka-dots.

And now, an impromptu ranking of the Julia Roberts movies I’ve seen, from best to least-best. We’ll call this Draft 1, because I’m super super super tired and don’t have a lot of time to think about this with the kind of rigor it requires.

  1. Notting Hill
  2. Pretty Woman
  3. Mystic Pizza
  4. The Mexican
  5. Charlie Wilson’s War
  6. The Pelican Brief
  7. Erin Brockovich
  8. Mirror, Mirror
  9. August: Osage County
  10. Flatliners
  11. Ocean’s Eleven
  12. Ocean’s Twelve
  13. Mona Lisa Smile
  14. Steel Magnolias
  15. Larry Crowne
  16. Charlotte’s Web
  17. Something to Talk About
  18. Stepmom
  19. Money Monster
  20. Runaway Bride
  21. America’s Sweethearts
  22. Duplicity
  23. The Ant Bully
  24. Everyone Says I Love You
  25. My Best Friend’s Wedding
  26. Valentine’s Day
  27. Sleeping with the Enemy