Film & TV on DVD: The JOpinionated Collection & Contest

At last count, I own just over 260 DVDs (not including multiple discs in box sets of TV series, trilogies and collections). You’d think that I’d have a fabulous media shelf in place to admire my babies collection, but no. You know those under-bed plastic storage bins from Target? Imagine several of those, filled to the brim with DVDs. Hidden. Sad.

When I grow up, I want a floor-to-ceiling media cabinet like this:

I am always loaning out stacks of movies to friends on maternity leave (and there have been an alarming number of those in the last two years), so I made a list to keep track. And of course it’s alphabetical.

This is my current inventory, including absolute favorites and guilty pleasures alike. You might notice that a few are marked with an asterisk; those are the ones I cannot take credit for or don’t want to admit owning, films which my better half and I disagree on.

make this a little more interesting. The first person to correctly note
both the actor and actress who appear the most in the movies from the list below will win an iTunes gift card


  • 9 to 5
  • Absolute Power       
  • Ace Ventura, Pet Detective   
  • Ace Ventura, When Nature Calls
  • Adaptation
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • All the President’s Men               
  • Almost Famous                
  • Amadeus   
  • Amelie         
  • American Beauty                             
  • The American President   
  • Anchorman            
  • Annie Hall   
  • Antonia’s Line   
  • As Good As It Gets              
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember           
  • Basic Instinct
  • Batman Begins
  • Best in Show
  • The Big Chill                 
  • Blazing Saddles           
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • Boogie Nights
  • Bounce*            
  • Bound               
  • Bowfinger             
  • Boys on the Side
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary    
  • Bridget Jones, Edge of Reason
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Bruce Almighty
  • Bull Durham
  • Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid           
  • Casablanca   
  • Casino Royale           
  • Charlie’s Angels   
  • Chasing Amy
  • Chicago        
  • A Christmas Story
  • Closer   
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
  • Contact   
  • The Contender
  • Cop Land           
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • The Cutting Edge*  
  • Dances with Wolves   
  • Dead Again   
  • Dead Calm
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • The Departed
  • Devil’s Advocate     
  • Diner         
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Donnie Brasco               
  • EdTV   
  • Election
  • Elizabeth
  • Enemy of the State           
  • Erin Brockovitch   
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Far and Away
  • Far From Heaven           
  • Fargo   
  • A Few Good Men
  • Field of Dreams
  • Finding Nemo        
  • A Fish Called Wanda 
  • Forrest Gump   
  • Four Weddings & a Funeral       
  • Freeway   
  • Galaxy Quest           
  • The Game   
  • Garden State        
  • Gattaca
  • The Gift
  • Girl, Interrupted       
  • Gladiator               
  • Go            
  • The Godfather (trilogy)
  • Gods and Monsters
  • Gone With the Wind
  • GoodFellas   
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Gosford Park   
  • Hannibal
  • Heathers
  • Heavenly Creatures
  • High Fidelity   
  • The Holiday
  • The Hours                
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Ice Storm       
  • In the Line of Fire
  • In the Name of the Father       
  • Indiana Jones (trilogy)               
  • Inside Man
  • The Island        
  • It’s a Wonderful Life               
  • Jaws
  • Jerry Maguire   
  • The Jewel of the Nile           
  • JFK
  • Juno
  • Keeping the Faith
  • Kissing Jessica Stein 
  • Knocked Up
  • L.A. Confidential               
  • L.A. Story
  • La Bamba
  • The Last Samurai
  • Legally Blonde
  • Life as a House
  • The Life of David Gale
  • Little Children
  • Little Miss Sunshine 
  • The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
  • Lords of Dogtown
  • Love Actually
  • Magnolia               
  • Mask               
  • The Matrix (trilogy)
  • Memento
  • A Mighty Wind
  • Minority Report
  • Mission: Impossible (trilogy)
  • Monsters, Inc.        
  • Moonstruck
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Much Ado About Nothing               
  • Mystic Pizza 
  • Mystic River
  • The Natural
  • The Notebook
  • Notting Hill             
  • No Way Out
  • Ocean’s 11   
  • Office Space
  • Once
  • The Opposite of Sex
  • Out of Sight           
  • The Outsiders
  • Parenthood                
  • The Pelican Brief
  • Pink Panther Film Collection (the 5 original movies)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl               
  • The Player               
  • Playing by Heart 
  • Postcards From the Edge             
  • Presumed Innocent
  • Pretty Woman
  • Pride & Prejudice   
  • Pride & Prejudice (BBC version)
  • Primal Fear           
  • The Princess Bride
  • Prizzi’s Honor
  • Psycho               
  • Pulp Fiction              
  • Rain Man
  • Rear Window               
  • Rebecca   
  • The Remains of the Day 
  • A River Runs Through It
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Romeo + Juliet
  • The Rookie
  • The Royal Tennenbaums
  • Rudy
  • Saved
  • Say Anything
  • Sense & Sensibility           
  • Shawshank Redemption   
  • Shrek    
  • Shrek 2
  • Sideways   
  • The Silence of the Lambs   
  • Silverado
  • Sin City                           
  • Six Degrees of Separation
  • Sixteen Candles                 
  • The Sixth Sense               
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Sliding Doors
  • Spaceballs   
  • Spanglish           
  • Spellbound
  • Spellbound (03)                
  • Star Wars (all 6 films)
  • Stealing Home       
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Stranger Than Fiction               
  • Strangers on a Train   
  • Stuck on You   
  • Suicide Kings   
  • Superman Ultimate Collectors Edition (all 5 films)
  • Sweet Home Alabama   
  • Swordfish
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley           
  • Thank You For Smoking        
  • Thelma & Louise               
  • The 39 Steps
  • The Thomas Crown Affair
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Thirteen Days     
  • To Catch a Thief           
  • To Die For
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Tootsie   
  • Top Gun
  • Total Recall
  • Traffic               
  • The Truman Show
  • The 25th Hour
  • Underworld
  • The Untouchables
  • The Usual Suspects
  • V for Vendetta        
  • Vertigo
  • A View to a Kill
  • The Village   
  • Waitress
  • A Walk On The Moon
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory           
  • Wonder Boys  
  • The Woody Allen Collection (8 films)
  • Wyatt Earp       
  • The X-Files: Fight the Future
  • X-Men
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • You Can Count On Me
  • Young Frankenstein   


  • 30 Rock, Season 1
  • Arrested Development, Seasons 1 – 3
  • Best of Will Ferrell – SNL
  • Damages, Season 1
  • Extras, Season 2
  • Friday Night Lights, Season 1
  • If These Walls Could Talk 1 & 2
  • The L Word, Seasons 1-2
  • Lost, Seasons 1-3
  • The Office, Seasons 1-3
  • Queer as Folk, Season 1
  • Sex & the City, Season 1-2
  • Six Feet Under, Seasons 1-2
  • The Sopranos, Seasons 1-3
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Season 1
  • Survivor, Season 2
  • Wonderfalls, Season 1

Hey, everyone has a hobby. This is mine.

So get cracking. Take a look at the lists above and see if you can figure out which actor and actress appear the most in the DVDs above. All entries must be left as comments below.

Thanks for playing! Good night, and good luck.

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Films About War: Support or Avoid?

We almost went to see Stop-Loss this weekend, but didn’t. We also intended to see the following films in the theater, but will rent them instead:

  • Grace is Gone
  • In the Valley of Elah
  • The Kingdom
  • Lions for Lambs
  • Rendition

None of the movies listed above have done well at the box-office, and people may very well be staying away due to the current political climate and war. I do think that there is something to be said about watching those films in the comfort of your own home. However, my decision to wait and rent is not political; regardless of my voting proclivities or opinion about the war in Iraq, these types of movies simply does not rank high on my list of favorite genres.

We did go see Charlie Wilson’s War, but that was much lighter fare than those above; more of a farce and character-heavy piece, and not a very successful one at that.

When I was younger, my vision of war was formed by films like M*A*S*H and Rambo. And in college, I had to compare Apocalypse Now to Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. Now THAT was quite an assignment…I think I got an A-.

I don’t really have a favorite war movie, but I suppose a contemporary choice would be Three Kings. I would count both of Spielberg’s toward the top (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), as well as The Bridge on the River Kwai. My choices from the 80′s include Born on the 4th of July, Casualties of War and Platoon. On a somewhat cinematically cheesy level, I have to admit that I also loved both The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves. But my true guilty pleasure for this genre is G.I. Jane; don’t judge me…you can’t flip past the one-armed push-up scene either. I’ll take bald badass Demi over psychotic break bald Britney any day.

I digress. And we’re back.

There have been very few films about war which I really disliked; Life is Beautiful and Cold Mountain are two of them.

Do you tend to support/attend movies about war? Which are your favorites?

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Random Friday: New Releases, Returning Shows & a Neti Pot

Is it me, or does there seem to be a serious drought in quality movies and television right now?

Usually the crap movies debut shortly after the Oscars, and the potential blockbusters and award-winners are released later in the year so they are remembered and considered. But it’s almost April, and I feel like we’re stranded in the arid entertainment desert without an oasis; no country for old men, women or children.

The only films I’m interested in shelling out $10 for in the next month or so include George Clooney’s Leatherheads with John Krasinski from The Office, and Smart People with Dennis Quaid, Ellen Page and Sarah Jessica Parker. I will more than likely wind up waiting to rent them both, but I like to pretend that I get out more than I actually do.

Obviously the Writers Strike has affected the current television landscape, and we’re experiencing a lull between new episodes of many popular shows. It doesn’t help that new series’ are being prematurely yanked after only one or two episodes or moved to a different date/time, before we’re given a chance to date and fall in love. I’m disappointed with Fox’s decision to essentially kill Canterbury’s Law by moving it to Friday nights; it is a pretty decent series and I like Julianna Margulies. And where will Cashmere Mafia wind up, if it even returns at all?

I have also been enjoying new episodes of Top Chef and The Riches while watching the unaired remainder of the canceled series Kitchen Confidential on Hulu (clearly I have a thing for Bonnie Somerville).

But enough of the gloom and doom; many shows are coming back very soon. For a complete list, see Maureen Ryan’s excellent summary.

April 3: My Name Is Earl

April 7: Samantha Who?

April 10: The Office

April 10: 30 Rock   

April 10: Scrubs

April 13: Desperate

April 14: Bones

April 20: Brothers and Sisters

April 24: Grey’s Anatomy

April 24: Lost (2nd half of Season 4)

April 24: Ugly Betty

April 28: House

If I come across as cranky, let’s blame the sinus bubble that has taken up residence behind my right eye. Good times!

Oh, and my healthy holistic friends suggest that I purchase and use a Neti Pot, which supposedly cleans up your sinuses for an entire allergy season.

Yeah…I’m probably not going to buy some hippie genie lamp to stick up my nose and filter water through the other side. Seriously.  Click on this demo with the zombie woman. It freaks me out, and I couldn’t help but create this little ditty as I watched it with morbid curiosity:

I’m a little teapot, short and stout.
Stick me up your nose, then pour your nasal out.

Um, no thanks.

Have a nice weekend!

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Is Friday Night Lights the next Jericho?


Jericho debuted in the fall of 2006. Although it was wildly popular among about 10 million dedicated viewers, CBS canceled the show after just one season, in the spring of 2007. Shortly thereafter, rabid fans created and executed an amazing grassroots campaign to bring their beloved series back to life. Just weeks later, CBS revived the series and committed to 7 new episodes. And then the Writers Strike hit. Sadly, when the new batch of episodes aired, the ratings were lower than ever. Just last week, CBS announced that the series was gone for good.

I admit that Jericho never graced my busy TiVO lineup,
but I plan to watch both seasons online. And I certainly appreciate the
fervor and perseverance of the fans who feel as strongly about that
show as I do about Lost (my #1 of ALL time) and FNL.


We’ve been treated to two seasons of Friday Night Lights, but  it has been on the brink of cancellation before, and I fear that the third season (pending an agreement between NBC and DirecTV) may be the last. The series has received critical acclaim across the board, but the ratings haven’t been as strong as the outpouring of praise. To their credit, the FNL fans also staged a very impressive and successful campaign to show their support for the show.

Frankly, NBC is to blame for some of the ratings issues. They moved FNL around to different time slots and air dates from Tuesday to Wednesday to Friday nights, ignoring those of us who appreciate appointment television. And I don’t believe that they applied the data from online viewings and downloads to the overall ratings, which I imagine would add substantial numbers.

In my opinion, Friday Night Lights stands out as one of the best shows on television, and it features not only an outstanding ensemble cast, but two Emmy-worth leads in Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. So here’s hoping that more people tune in to the series, whenever and wherever it appears for a third season.

In the meantime, I highly recommend catching up with the show on Hulu, as they are offering all 37 episodes from the first two seasons absolutely free online.

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Netflixed: Reviews of 3:10 to Yuma, Gone Baby Gone, The Nines, Shortbus

To queue or not to queue, that is always the question.

Here are a few quick rental reviews.

3:10 TO YUMA
Ben Foster is the king of creepy and a fantastic actor (look for very subtle homoerotic overtones in his performance); he stole every scene. Christian Bale’s intensity permeated through the screen, and Russell Crowe was tolerable. I enjoy most contemporary Westerns, but I was bored through most of this one. 6 out of 10.

Very disappointing. Decent direction by Ben Affleck, but the story was not woven/edited well. I much preferred Mystic River, the last movie adapted from a Dennis Lehane novel. 5 out of 10.

What a fascinating and quirky little indie from the mind of John August, who wrote one of my favorite films (Go). I liked it far more than I’d anticipated, but you have to prepare yourself for the trip…it is an existential journey. Stellar acting by Ryan Reynolds (a pleasant surprise from the pretty boy), Melissa McCarthy (from Gilmore Girls and now Samantha Who) and Hope Davis (the indie queen who is fantastic in just about every movie). 7 out of 10.

The tagline says it all: “voyeurism is participation.” I’m kind of a prude for a liberal, but I guarantee that the explicit sexual nature of this film will make you blush. Written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Watch this one AFTER the kids have gone to bed. Trust me. 6 out of 10.

In my queue:
Southland Tales (Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko)
Sweeney Todd
The Kingdom
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Margot at the Wedding
I Am Legend
August Rush

Have any other recommendations?

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