Thursday, February 28, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Avatar (2009) ****

PG-13, 162 min.
Director/Writer: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Laz Alonso, Dileep Rao, Matt Gerald

It always seems that a few years after a movie like this hits it big general opinion on it seems to take a turn for the worse. It really wasn’t long after this one hit it big that people started piping up and criticizing it for just rehashing the stories of Pocahontas and “Dances with Wolves”. What really irks me about such backlash is that those are two great stories. How is it a problem that this movie tells a version of the same stories? If it does it well, who cares?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Moonraker (1979) *½

PG, 126 min.
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Writer: Christopher Wood, Ian Fleming (book/characters)
Starring: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Cléry, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell, Toshiro Suga, Emily Bolton

“Moonraker” is often thought of as the worst of all the Bond films. Perhaps it is. Its existence is certainly the result of the flimsiest inspiration for a James Bond film ever. In 1977, a little film called “Star Wars” was released. Calling “Star Wars” a “little film” now might seem absurd, but it was at the time. The studio didn’t put much money or faith into it. Lucas took what was then thought to be a ridiculous pay deal from the studio, which ended up making him rich and costing the studio fairly little. Sci-fi wasn’t popular at the time. Nobody wanted another “2001: A Space Odessey”, but after it was released, everybody wanted another “Star Wars”, and so every studio in Hollywood went green light crazy on space adventures.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Cocoon (1985) ***

PG-13, 117 min.
Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Tom Benedek, David Saperstein
Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Herta Ware, Tahnee Welch, Barrett Oliver, Linda Harrison, Tyrone Power Jr., Clint Howard

“Cocoon” was one of the many calculated steps Ron Howard took toward becoming one of the top filmmakers in Hollywood. Howard faced a much larger hurdle than most directors when it came to being taken seriously as a director. His Hollywood roots as a child actor, especially considering the smiling kid, all-American roles he’d made iconic with his Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham, might’ve held a lesser artist back when it came to building a new image as a director of important films. “Cocoon” was his first important film.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Ice Station Zebra (1968) ***

G, 148 min.
Director: John Sturges
Writers: Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink, Alistair MacLean (novel)
Starring: Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan, Jim Brown, Tony Bill, Lloyd Nolan, Alf Kjellin, Gerald S. O’Loughlin

With Snowmageddon: The Sequel about to reign down on the Midwest, “Ice Station Zebra” seems an appropriate movie for today’s Penny Thoughts. This military mystery thriller garnered two Oscar nominations for this story that is similar in nature to other popular film adaptations of Alistair MacLean’s novels “The Guns of Navarone”, “Where Eagles Dare”, and “Force 10 From Navarone”.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Ben-Hur (1959) ****

NR, 212 min.
Director: William Wyler
Writers: Karl Tunberg, General Lew Wallace (novel)
Starring: Charlton Heston, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O’Donnell, Sam Jaffe, Finlay Currie, Frank Thring

I’m not well versed in the Bible. I didn’t realize that “Ben-Hur” had anything to do with Christianity before I saw it. It was a surprise to me to see the phrase “A Story of The Christ” below the title during the film’s opening credits. It is a story of The Christ indeed. I like that Jesus takes a supporting role, however. It seems fitting considering his sacrifice.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar Predictions 2013

Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert claims that this year is one of the easiest years to predict the outcome of the Oscars being presented Sunday night by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. When the nominees were announced a month and a half ago, it seemed one of the least predictable batch of nominees in years. However, as usual the last month of near weekly awards presentations for the finest work in film over the past year has brought a good deal of focus to the Oscars picture. I don’t agree that it is one of the easiest years to predict. I can remember one a couple of years ago that Ebert claimed was one of the hardest and a record number of people out guessed him in his annual Outguess Ebert’s Oscar Picks contest.

The last few years, I have been very consistent in predicting between 17 to 20 out of 24 awards correctly, with most of my misses coming in the very obscure categories. I’m not so confident this year. I think I’ll be doing very well at 17. It wouldn’t surprise me if I don’t do that well this year.

The main reason this is such a tough year to predict is because such a wide variety of great movies reached such a great amount of audiences. It has been a while since the collection of Best Picture nominees have been seen so widely consumed by the public as they have this year. It’s been longer since that collection of films was also such a consistently high quality. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Amour” are the only two films that didn’t see a wide national release and didn’t receive good to impressive box office numbers, although for the specialty market audience they played to, they had very impressive numbers. Only one film strikes me as one that doesn’t belong in terms of filmmaking quality, but it appealed to a wide variety of audiences and I understand why.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—5 Broken Cameras (2012) ****

NR, 94 min.
Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
Narrator: Emad Burnat
Featuring: Emad Burnat, Soraya Burnat, Gibreel Burnat, Bassem Abu-Rahma (Phil), Adeeb Abu-Rahma, Ashraf Abu-Rahma (Daba)

I’ll admit right here that I don’t understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine. I’ve never understood it, and I don’t have any stake in it beyond the fact that I inhabit the same planet of intolerance that fuels it. I will offer, however, that it has always seemed to me that Israel is the bully in this. They’ve always seemed better organized with a stronger system of support behind them. Both sides are guilty of horrible atrocities inflicted on the other. No side is guiltless in this conflict that is more likely a reflection of two governing bodies with utter intolerance for the other’s existence than it is reflective of the people of their lands. The Palestinian and Israeli civilians seem to wish for peace as much as all of the free world. Perhaps, I have no right to hold these opinions, but there they are.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney (1993) *

UR, 16 min.
Director: Ben Affleck
Writers: Jay Lacopo, Kamala Lopez
Starring: Jay Lacopo, Karla Montana, Johanna McCoy

With Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort “Argo” poised as the one to beat for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, this little mistake is beginning to pop up all over the Internet. I can see no reason The Well shouldn’t jump in on the action.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—How to Survive a Plague (2012) ****

NR, 120 min.
Director: David France
Writers: David France, Todd Woody Richman, Tyler H. Walk
Featuring: Peter Staley, Bob Rafsky, Mark Harrington, Larry Kramer, Jim Eigo, Iris Long, Ray Navarro, Bill Bahlman, David Barr, Gregg Bordowitz

David France’s Oscar-nominated documentary “How To Survive a Plague” brings new understanding for those who weren’t in the trenches about the battle to find a treatment for the AIDS epidemic in the late 80s and 90s. The film profiles major players in Act Up, the AIDS awareness organization that spearheaded the movement to find some sort of functional treatment for HIV, a plague virus that was widely characterized as a homosexual related disease in the United States during that time. What it reveals is a battlefield upon which brave men, who had no hope they would survive this disease and watched helplessly as those around them died, fought a government and public unwilling to address a health problem due to the politicization of the social issues involved.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Up All Night, season 2 (2012) **

TV-PG, 11 23-min. episodes
Creator: Emily Spivey

Directors: Michael Blieden, Bryan Gordon, Eric Appel, Jennifer Getzinger, Alex Reid

Writers: Emily Spivey, Tucker Cawley, DJ Nash, Erica Rivinoja, Chadd Gindin, Austen Earl, Joel Church-Cooper, Rene Gube, Tim McAuliffe, Vera Santamaria, Kayla Alpert

Starring: Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Luka Jones, Carly Prince, Delaney Prince

Guest starring: Matthew Braunger, Jean Villepique, Sean Hayes, Chuck McGee, Rachel Dratch, Rob Huebel, Tony Hale, Tymberlee Hill, Quinn Friedman, Will Sasso, Azita Ghanizada, Jayden Maddux, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Romy Rosemont, Jerry Lambert, Joey Pollari, Caroline Aaron, Mary Pat Gleason, Blythe Danner, Bob Gunton, Mimi Kennedy

Although NBC has yet to officially pull the plug on this show, the final nail is all but in the coffin. While the recent developments of changing the format from single camera to multi camera and the departures of the show’s creator Emily Spivey and star Christina Applegate are being cited as its death knell, I think everyone knows that the show’s demise began as they entered the second season.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Mighty Joe Young (1949) ***

NR, 94 min.
Director: Ernest B. Shoedsack
Writers: Merian C. Cooper, Ruth Rose
Starring: Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Frank McHugh, Douglas Fowley

I’d never seen the original “Mighty Joe Young” and I decided to show it to my kids for our weekly family movie night. I liked it. It was fun. It doesn’t have all the heavy undertones of Ernest B. Shoedsack and Merian C. Cooper’s other big ape movie. It’s much more of a fun and, at times, funny adventure.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard / **½ (R)

John McClane: Bruce Willis
Jack McClane: Jai Courtney
Komarov: Sebastian Koch
Lucy: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Irina: Yuliya Snigir
Alik: Rasha Bukvic
Collins: Cole Hauser

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by John Moore. Written by Skip Woods. Based on characters created by Roderick Thorp. Running time: 97 min. Rated R (for violence and language).

Clocking in at just over an hour and a half, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the shortest of the “Die Hard” franchise. In fact, it’s the only one less than two hours in length. It is also the simplest of the series. It’s the simplest in plot, the simplest in character development, the simplest in set up, the simplest in execution, and the simplest in aspirations.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—American Horror Story: Asylum (2012-13) ****

TV-MA, 13 47-min. episodes
Creators: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy

Directors: Bradley Buecker, Michael Uppendahl, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, David Semel, Michael Rymer, Michael Lehmann, Craig Zisk

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Tim Minear, James Wong, Jennifer Salt, Jessica Sharzer, Jeremy Podeswa

Starring: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange

Guest starring: Chloë Sevigny, Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Clea Duvall, Britne Oldford, Naomi Grossman, Frederic Lehne, Devon Graye, Robin Weigert, Andrew Rothenberg, Gloria Laino, Mark Consuelos, Mark Englehardt, Joe Egender, Barbara Tarbuck, Matthew John Armstrong, Joel McKinnon Miller, Franka Potente, Mark Margolis, David Chisum, Amy Farrington, Nikki Hahn, Frances Conroy, William Mapother, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ian McShane, Jennifer Holland, Lana Harris, Chris McGarry, Jill Marie Jones, Dylan McDermott, Brooke Smith, Camille Chen

While the first stand alone season of “American Horror Story” told one basic type of horror story—that of a haunted house that was gathering ghost residents at a staggering rate—the second stand alone season “American Horror Story: Asylum” took on several different subgenres of the far reaching horror genre. It’s a slasher story, a mad scientist story, a possession story, a fallen faith story, and an alien invasion story, not to mention it is set in one of those favorite horror story settings, an insane asylum. They pulled out all the stops for “Asylum”. It makes me wonder just what they have left to explore in future seasons.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Penny Thoughts ’13—The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) ****

NR, 126 min.
Director: John Huston
Writers: John Huston, B. Traven (novel)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, Walter Huston, Bruce Bennett, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya, A. Soto Rangel, Manuel Donde, Jose Torvay, Margarito Luna

“Badges?! We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

…but, we do need to remember this movie, and that is not the line. How strange that a movie could be so good that it inspires a false line that everyone on the planet knows. Is Bugs Bunny to blame? Most likely.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Alex Cross (2012) *

PG-13, 101 min.
Director: Rob Cohen
Writers: Marc Moss, Kerry Williamson, James Patterson (novel “Cross”)
Starring: Tyler Perry, Ed Burns, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Carmen Ejogo, Cicely Tyson, Rachel Nichols, John C. McGinley, Werner Daehn

I am astounded at just how bad “Alex Cross” is. This is an example of filmmaking ineptitude at every level—poor direction, poor writing, poor acting, poor editing, and awful scoring. This movie is just terrible. Perhaps it was made as an example for film students of how not to make a movie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Paperman (2012) ****

G, 7 min.
Director: John Kahrs
Writers: Clio Chiang, Kendelle Hoyer
Voices: John Kahrs, Jeff Turley, Kari Wahlgren

When I saw this short presented before the theatrical presentation of Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” last fall, my primary thought was “animated perfection.” This is a brilliant animated film. And low and behold, Pixar didn’t make it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—My Life as a Dog (1985) ***½

UR, 101 min.
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writers: Lasse Hallström, Reidar Jönsson (also novel), Brasse Brannström, Per Berglund
Starring: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman, Kicki Rundgren, Lennart Hjulström, Ing-Marie Carlsson, Leif Ericsson, Ralph Carlsson

Lasse Hallström’s “My Life as a Dog” is at times a sad story, at times an affirming story. It is always true to the childhood it represents. It tells the story of a boy whose mother is very sick. She cares for him and his older brother by herself. It is said that their father is in the Caribbean working in the shipping of bananas. Bananas seem a far cry from the cold world of Sweden in this film. So far it may be just a fantasy of where their father has disappeared.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—We Have a Pope (2011) ***

NR, 102 min.
Director: Nanni Moretti
Writers: Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo, Frederica Pontremoli
Starring: Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr, Renato Scarpa, Nanni Moretti, Franco Graziosi, Camillo Milli, Roberto Nobile, Ulrich von Dobschütz, Gianlucca Gobbi, Margherita Buy

The world was shocked this morning when it was reported that Pope Benedict XVI would become the first Pope to resign the post in over 700 years. Eight years ago, I learned more about the papacy than I ever knew when the Conclave selected Benedict as John Paul’s successor. Not being a Catholic, I can have no concept of what a big deal a development like this is, but I will go into this selection process knowing the difference between black smoke and white smoke.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Identity Thief / *** (R)

Sandy Patterson: Jason Bateman
Diana: Melissa McCarthy
Julian: T.I.
Marisol: Genesis Rodriguez
Skiptracer: Robert Patrick
Trish Patterson: Amanda Peet
Detective Reilly: Morris Chestnut
Daniel Casey: John Cho
Big Chuck: Eric Stonestreet
Harold Cornish: Jon Favreau

Universal Pictures presents a film directed by Seth Gordon. Written by Craig Mazin and Jerry Eeten. Running time: 112 min. Rated R (for sexual content and language).

I heard a news report the other day about how bank robberies were becoming a crime of the past. I thought they already had. Innovations in real currency technology and other security practices have made robbing banks a high risk/low reward crime. Digital theft, on the other hand, yields higher rewards than bank robbing ever did. And, as long as you know how to spot a sucker, it’s a very low risk market.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Smokey and the Bandit (1977) ***

PG, 96 min.
Director: Hal Needham
Writers: James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer, Alan Mandel, Hal Needham, Robert L. Levy
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleeson, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams

For my entry application to Hofstra University, where I attended college, I wrote an essay about how life-plans change. My primary example was how “Smokey and the Bandit” had presented me with my first life’s calling. When I grew up, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be a truck driver. I explained that despite my determination for this to happen at the time I saw the movie, my life somehow steered in another direction, hence I could make no promises that where I was heading as I entered my higher education would be where I would eventually end up. It wasn’t. Yet, somehow “Smokey and the Bandit” still ended up having some influence over what I would do with my life.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Seven Psychopaths (2012) ***

R, 110 min.
Director/Writer: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Zeljko Ivanek, Kevin Corrigan, Linda Bright Clay, Gabourey Sibide, Michael Pitt, Michael Stuhlbarg, Harry Dean Stanton, James Hébert, Long Nguyen, Christine Marzano, Brendan Sexton III, Amanda Warren, Bonny the Shih Tzu

“Seven Psychopaths” is a great example of a movie with a plot that doesn’t concede to convention, yet finds a way to please even those who insist on convention. The story involves a screenwriter with that popular screenplay device of a writer’s block. He has an idea for a movie about seven psychopaths. Well, he has the title anyway.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (2012) **

R, 85 min.
Directors: Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett
Writers: Graham Chapman (book “A Liar’s Autobiography: Volume VI”), David Sherlock (book “A Liar’s Autobiography: Volume VI”)
Narrator: Graham Chapman
Voices: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland, Philip Bulcock, Cameron Diaz

A member of the famous British sketch comedy group Monty Python, Graham Chapman died of throat cancer in 1989. Three years before he died he wrote an autobiography with his life partner, David Sherlock, titled “A Liar’s Autobiography: Volume VI”. Many of the facts in the book were understandably questionable. Chapman also recorded the audio book before his death. This is how in 2012 we can have a new documentary based on the book narrated by the long dead comedian.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—The Paperboy (2012) **½

R, 107 min.
Director: Lee Daniels
Writers: Lee Daniels, Peter Dexter (also novel)
Starring: Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Macy Gray, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Scott Glenn, Nealla Gordon, Ned Bellamy

Lee Daniel’s new movie “The Paperboy” is one of those movies that I’m glad I took the time to see but can’t recommend. It’s a crime story that takes place in Florida in 1969. It involves a couple of journalists who look into the conviction of a man for the murder of a small town sheriff. The sheriff had a reputation for being abusive to suspects and had killed the convict’s cousin while in custody. With the help of a woman who has fallen in love with the convict and may have evidence to prove his innocence, the journalists set out to free the man.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—White Heat (1949) ****

NR, 114 min.
Director: Raoul Walsh
Writers: Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, Virginia Kellogg (story)
Starring: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran, John Archer, Wally Cassell, Fred Clark

Since TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar began again this year, my DVR seems to be collecting an amazing array of classic films. The first that I’ve taken time to sit down with is the classic crime flick “White Heat” starring James Cagney. This is one of the great criminal portraits in American cinematic history.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—The Super Bowl Ads (2013) **

NR, several 30-90 sec. ea.
Directors: various
Writers: various
Starring: M&Ms, Clydesdales, a goat, farmers, Naya Rivera, Danica Patric, Bar Rafaeli, Amy Poehler, Dwayne Johnson, The Flaming Lips, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Willem Defoe, Matthew Terry, Benedict Cumberbatch

Last year I was in no condition to review the Super Bowl ads. With my Big Blue in the big game, I didn’t really have the room for their distraction. Once it was all over, I was so elated every commercial seemed like the best I had ever seen, because it came along with the Giants’ fourth Super Bowl victory. Did it really matter if they were any good?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Samsara (2012) ****

PG-13, 102 min.
Director: Ron Fricke
Writers: Ron Fricke, Mark Magidson

“Samsara” is a documentary of beauty and sadness. In the same tradition of this documentary team’s film “Baraka”, “Samsara” is a documentary of images only. There are no interviews. There is no story to be told. There is no scandal to expose. However, the doc does seem to question our mass production of things in an indirect way.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Jumanji (1995) ***

PG, 104 min.
Director: Joe Johnston
Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain, Chris Van Allsburg (also book)
Starring: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Neuwirth, Patricia Clarkson, Adam Hann-Byrd, Laura Bell Bundy

“Jumanji” came about in that period where I had left the family movie market. I was well done with family films personally and I didn’t have kids yet, nor had Pixar had a chance to fully impact the family movie market to make all family movie more palatable to all ages.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—30 Rock (2006-2013) ****

TV-14, 139 21-min. episodes
Creator: Tina Fey

Directors: Don Scardino, Beth McCarthy-Miller, John Riggi, Michael Engler, Gail Mancuso, Adam Bernstein, Ken Whittingham, Jeff Richmond, Stephen Lee Davis, Scott Ellis, Steve Buscemi, Tricia Brock, Todd Holland, Millicent Shelton, Claire Cowperthwaite, Linda Mendoza

Writers: Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Donald Glover, Jack Burditt, Matt Hubbard, Kay Cannon, Ron Weiner, John Riggi, Tracey Wigfield, Dylan Morgan, Josh Siegal, Vali Chandrasekaran, Tom Ceraulo, Luke Del Tredici, Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Jon Pollack, Tami Sagher, Jon Haller, Paula Pell, Sam Means, Colleen McGuinness

Starring: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander

Guest starring: Keith Powell, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, John Lutz, Maulik Pancholy, Lonny Ross, Chris Parnell, Sue Galloway, Rachel Dratch, Dean Winters, Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte, James Marsden, Jason Sudeikis, Cheyenne Jackson, Kristen Schaal, Sherri Shepherd, Marceline Hugot, Subhas Ramsaywack, Elaine Stritch, Will Arnett, Ken Howard, Brian Williams, Jon Hamm, Rip Torn, Thomas Roberts, Steve Buscemi, Selma Hayek, Matt Lauer, Mary Steenburgen, Meredith Vieira, Julianne Moore, Lester Holt, Edie Falco, Jimmy Fallon, Matt Damon, John McEnroe, Michael Sheen, Tituss Burgess, Kelsey Grammer, Emily Mortimer, Chloë Grace Moretz, Alan Alda, Patti LuPone, Margaret Cho, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Billy Bush, Megan Mullally, Steve Higgins, Will Ferrell, Fred Armisen, Denise Richards, Ghostface Killah, Al Gore, Jan Hooks, James Rebhorn, Susan Sarandon, Buck Henry, Paul Sheer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Michael Benjamin Washington, Michael Keaton, Isabella Rossellini, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Matthew Broderick, Rachel Ray, Kelly Ripa

Another television show ends for good for me this year, and the year is still so young. I didn’t start watching “30 Rock” until the end of its first season. I don’t think I got a DVR until the start of the 2007 Fall season. I must’ve been busy when the show started. Anyway, once I did start watching, I never stopped.