📺 Watched Varsity Blues

Watched Varsity Blues from Paramount, January 15, 1999
Directed by Brian Robbins. With James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Ron Lester. A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured.
One of those times that I get wrapped up in a cheeseball movie just because it happens to be on cable.

📺 "Blue Bloods" Genetics

Watched "Blue Bloods" Genetics S7 | E11 from CBS, January 6, 2017
Directed by Alex Chapple. With Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou. When Eddie and Jamie become overly involved in a complicated adoption case between the birth and adoptive parents, they ask Erin to help them settle the dispute without going to court. Also, Frank looks into reports of NYPD cadets cheating on their psychological exams, and Danny learns that Jack plans to enlist in the Marines after graduation.
Biological parents come back 5 years later to try to get their adopted son back?!

📺 Watched The 128th Rose Parade Presented by Honda

Watched The 128th Rose Parade Presented by Honda from KTLA
KTLA’s live-stream of the 128th Rose Parade Presented by Honda in Pasadena occurred Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. It marked our 70th consecutive broadcast of the parade, which this year had the theme “Echoes of Success.” KTLA's live-stream of the 128th Rose Parade Presented by Honda in Pasadena occurred Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. It marked our 70th consecutive broadcast of the parade, which this year had the theme "Echoes of Success." Our "band cam," a raw feed of the parade’s bands, presented by Jack in the Box, is below:
Missing Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards…

Somehow I overslept and missed the B2 Bomber flying over the house on the way to kick off the parade.

📺 Watched Meet the Patels

Watched Meet the Patels from Independent Lens | PBS
Actor/filmmaker Ravi Patel explores trying an arranged marriage in this charming comedic documentary.
This was cute and hilarious. Surely a feat of patience, editing, and storytelling. It reminds me of an Indian version of 20 Dates (Fox Searchlight, 1999), but with Indian parents instead of Elie Samaha pressuring the lead.

🎞 Watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story from Walt Disney Studios, December 16, 2016
Directed by Gareth Edwards. With Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen. The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
Some good entertainment all around, but not as gripping as past installments. Definitely worth the trip to see it on the big screen though.

The Tarkin CGId character was a bit distracting, but not so terrible because of the dim lighting in most of his scenes. His eyes never seemed to connect with his interlocutors which was annoying. He wasn’t as horrible as the Leia CGI character which went deep down into the uncanny valley in large part because of both the close up as well as the bright lighting.

The casting for the older characters from Chapter IV was reasonably good otherwise. The comedic conceit for the robot stole the entire show. I also wish there’d been more of Mads Mikkelsen who is just awesome in almost everything he does.

After a bunch of skin-of-the-teeth escapes throughout the movie, I am left wondering why the lead characters are left to fate at the end. Was it just to completely leave no thought of additional sequels for them?

Pacific Theaters 18, 322 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210

Screen 03

Seat: Row F, Seat 27a

 

🎞 Watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from Warner Bros., November 18, 2016
The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Directed by David Yates. With Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler.
Significantly different from the Harry Potter films, but still set in the same world. I’d watch it again, but it wasn’t as solid in story as the original series. I saw the twist at the end coming from a mile away, so sadly that wan’t a surprise.

I initially pegged Eddie Redmayne as the British Johnny Depp and wondered why they didn’t cast the latter only to realize why later in the picture.

Having seen the movie Sing earlier in the day, I note that this was the second movie of the day to feature a major structure which was demolished and then rebuilt in a timelapse sequence.

Edwards Alhambra Renaissance 14 & IMAX, E Main St., Alhambra, CA 91801

Screen 9

Seat: Unassigned

 

🎞 Watched Sing

Watched Sing from Universal Pictures, December 21, 2016
A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition. Directed by Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings. With Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson.
Highly entertaining. Some of the portions reminded me nostalgically of my salad days when I had my own theater.

Pacific Theaters 18, 322 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210

Screen 17

Seat: Row H, Seat 11

 

🎞 Watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Warner Bros., 2005
When Harry Potter's name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, he becomes a competitor in a grueling battle for glory among three wizarding schools - the Triwizard Tournament. Starring: Eric Sykes, Timothy Spall Runtime: 2 hours, 37 minutes
Coming down the Christmas homestretch. Nothing better than watching Harry Potter movies through the holidays.

🎞 Watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from Warner Bros., 2004
Harry, Ron and Hermione return for their third year at Hogwarts, where they are forced to face escaped prisoner, Sirius Black. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Runtime: 2 hours, 21 minutes
Watched again this afternoon while making an apple pie for Christmas eve dinner.

🎞 Watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from Warner Bros., 2004
Harry, Ron and Hermione return for their third year at Hogwarts, where they are forced to face escaped prisoner, Sirius Black. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Runtime: 2 hours, 21 minutes
The best in the series is great via streaming in HD from Amazon through Roku. Watching while I wrap up Christmas presents.

🎞 Watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets from Warner Bros., 2002
Harry returns to Hogwarts, still famous and a hero, when strange thingsstart to happen... people are turning to stone and no-one knows what, orwho, is doing it. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Runtime: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Definitely one of the least interesting in the series, but nice to watch a fresh HD copy without any commercials.

🎞 Watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from Warner Bros., 2001
Based on the wildly popular J.K. Rowling's book about a young boy who on his eleventh birthday discovers, he is the orphaned boy of two powerful wizards and has unique magical powers. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Runtime: 2 hours, 32 minutes
I’ve been watching an HD DVR’d copy from ABC Family from 5 years ago. I traded up for a high def version from Amazon and was impressed that it’s even clearer. Who can resist a family favorite during the holidays?

Dear Santa (TV Movie 2011)

Watched Dear Santa from Lifetime, TV Movie, 2011
Directed by Jason Priestley. With Amy Acker, David Haydn-Jones, Emma Duke, Patrick Creery. Beverly Hills 90210 alumni Jason Priestly takes the helm for this warmhearted romantic comedy about a die-hard party girl struggling to change her frivolous ways. Crystal (Amy Acker) comes from a wealthy family. She loves spending money. Her parent's money. When they decide it's time for her to make something of her life they give her until Christmas to clean up her act. Should Crystal fail to ...
The Christmas movie marathon continues. This one isn’t quite as sappy as one might hope, but a good up-the-middle heart warmer. The concept is actually much more interesting and subtle and not as lite-comedy fare as the cover image would belie.

It’s interesting to see some of Amy Acker’s early work. I’ve been a fan of hers from her many television series. It’s nice to see her playing the lead rather than playing 3rd or lower fiddle.

A Cinderella Christmas (TV Movie 2016)

Watched A Cinderella Christmas from ION Television, TV Movie, 2016
Directed by Tosca Musk. With Emma Rigby, Peter Porte, Sarah Stouffer, Marc Barnes. Angie works hard to run her uncle's events business while her cousin Candace takes the credit. When Angie takes a night off to have fun at the Christmasquerade Ball, the mask and gown allow her to let loose, and she quickly catches the eye of Nicholas, a wealthy local bachelor. But then Angie has to go before revealing her identity, leaving Nicholas searching for his mystery woman in this modern take on the classic fairytale.
So, yeah, my sappy holiday movie marathon on the Lifetime/Ion networks continues. This one isn’t quite as sappy and dreadful as most and may be one of the better one’s I’ve seen in the genre. Despite a few small soft spots in the plot this one is relatively redeeming. Dare I admit I’ve seen it twice in almost as many days now??

As I look at the credits after the fact, it dawns on me that I tangentially knew the director back in the day through a friend at Hopkins.

Watched Barry on Netflix

Watched Barry from Netflix Originals
A young Barack Obama forges his identity while dealing with race, divergent cultures and ordinary life as a New York City college student.
I wish I could say I liked this more, but there was no real drama or tension in the picture at all. The characters were all flat and seemingly one dimensional. I can’t even say it worked as an art-house film. Perhaps if I hadn’t known it was Barack Obama being portrayed and his signing the letter “Barack” at the end was the kicker, then perhaps it may have had some impact, but the whole affair was just flat.