Friday 01.01.2016 (year in cinema)


The Hateful 8- Print #16 on 70mm

I saw a lot of movies in 2015. A butt numbing amount. While I didn’t log movies watched at home or at the Overground Cinema, I kept a complete list of films I saw theatrically.

From 1st January 2015 (The Woman in Black 2) to 31s December 2015 (Daddy’s Home) I saw 184 unique movies with an additional 22 second, third or fourth screenings.

I saw Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens four times theatrically, which topped the list as my #1 movie of 2015. Ridley Scott’s The Martian came in at second place and Christopher Nolan’s 35mm QUAYS short as a close third.

I made a quick trip to NYC to see the Quays at the Film Forum, presenting their work on 35mm, films curated by Christopher Nolan to accompany his short; as always they were enigmatic and fully deserving of their reputation as eccentrics.

Full Top Ten:

1. Star Wars ep VII: the Force Awakens.
2. The Martian.
3. Quays.
4. The Hateful 8.
5. Dark Star: HR Giger’s World.
6. Inherent Vice.
7. It Follows.
8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
9. Inside Out.
10. Ex Machina.

Complete List:

  1. The Woman in Black 2
  2. Unbroken
  3. Selma
  4. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  5. Inherent Vice
  6. Taken 3 (aka TAK3N)
  7. American Sniper
  8. Paddington
  9. The Wedding Ringer
  10. Spare Parts
  11. Blackhat
    & Wedding Ringer(2)
  12. Strange Magic
  13. Mortdecai
  14. Black or White
  15. The Boy Next Door
  16. Project Almanac
  17. Black Sea
  18. The Loft (2014)
  19. Jupiter Ascending
  20. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water
  21. Seventh Son
  22. 50 Shades of Grey
  23. The Duke of Burgundy
  24. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  25. 50 Shades of Grey (2)
  26. The Duff
  27. Still Alice
  28. McFarland USA
  29. Focus
  30. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  31. The Lazarus Effect
  32. CHAPPiE
  33. Unfinished Business
  34. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  35. Cinderella
  36. Cymbeline
  37. Run all night
  38. Cinderella (2)
  39. Insurgent
  40. The Gunman
  41. Rear Window
  42. It Follows
  43. A Girl Like Her
  44. Home
  45. Get Hard
  46. Furious 7
  47. The Woman in Gold
  48. Effie Gray
  49. Torture Dungeon (1970)
  50. Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970)
  51. The man with two heads (1972)
  52. Disney Nature presents: Monkey Kingdom
  53. Unfriended
  54. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
  55. Cinderella (3)
  56. Insurgent (2)
  57. Ex Machina
  58. The Age of Adeline
  59. Furious 7 (2)
  60. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
  61. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
  62. Ninja Busters (1984)
  63. Born to Kill (aka Cockfighter) (1974)
  64. Flesh Gordon (1974)
  65. Hot Pursuit (2015)
  66. While we’re young
  67. The D Train
  68. Mad Max: Fury Road
  69. Pitch Perfect 2
  70. Where Hope Grows
  71. Pitch Perfect 2 (2)
  72. Mad Max Fury Road (2)
  73. Tomorrowland
  74. Tomorrowland (2)
  75. Poltergeist (2015)
  76. Aloha
  77. Dark Star- HR Giger’s World
  78. Dark Star- HR Giger’s World (2)
  79. San Andreas
  80. Insidious Chapter 3
  81. SPY
  82. Jurassic World
  83. Inside Out (2015)
  84. JAWS (1975)
  85. Dope
  86. Max (2015)
  87. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  88. Ted 2
  89. Terminator: Genisys
  90. The Wolfpack
  91. Magic Mike XXL
  92. Self/Less
  93. The Gallows
  94. Amy
  95. Minions
  96. Ant-man
  97. Robocop (1987)
  98. The Vindicator (1986)
  99. Chopping Mall (1986)
  100. Trainwreck
  101. Pixels
  102. The Vatican Tapes
  103. Paper Towns
  104. Vacation (2015)
  105. Southpaw
  106. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
  107. Mr. Holmes
  108. Ricki and the Flash
  109. Fantastic Four (2015)
  110. The Gift (2015)
  111. The Fantastic Four (2015)
  112. Shaun the Sheep
  113. The man from U.N.C.L.E.
  114. The end of the tour
  115. Straight Outta Compton
  116. The man from U.N.C.L.E. (2)
  117. An Irrational Man
  118. In Absentia
  119. The Comb
  120. Quay
  121. Street of Crocodiles
  122. Hitman Agent 47
  123. Sinister 2
  124. Diary of a teenage girl
  125. Silence of the Lambs
  126. American Ultra
  127. A Walk in the Woods
  128. No Escape (2015)
  129. Bloodsucking Bastards
  130. The Transporter Refueled
  131. The Visit (2015)
  132. Black Mass
  133. The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner part 2)
  134. Captive (2015)
  135. The Best of Enemies
  136. The perfect guy
  137. Green Inferno
  138. Hotel Transylvania 2
  139. Everest
  140. The Intern
  141. Sicario
  142. The Martian
  143. Goodnight Mommy
  144. Hell & Back
  145. The Martian (2)
  146. Pan
  147. Big Stone Gap
  148. The Intern (2)
  149. Crimson Peak
  150. The Walk
  151. Crimson Peak (2)
  152. Goosebumps
  153. Goosebumps (2)
  154. Back to the Future
  155. Back to the Future II
  156. Back to the Future III
  157. Rock the Kasbah
  158. The Last Witch Hunter
  159. We are going to eat you (1980)
  160. Silent Rage (1982)
  161. Godzilla 1985 (1985)
  162. Altered States (1980)
  163. Terrorvision (1986)
  164. Superstition (aka the Witch) 1982
  165. The horror of party beach (1964)
  166. Saint Frankenstein.
  167. Near Dark (1987)
  168. Piranha 2 (1981)
  169. Army of Darkness (1992)
  170. Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension
  171. Jem and the Holograms
  172. Halloween (1978)
  173. Burnt
  174. Freaks of Nature
  175. Our brand is crisis
  176. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
  177. Spectre
  178. Home Alone (1990)
  179. Love
  180. Love the Coopers
  181. The 33
  182. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
  183. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2
  184. The Night Before
  185. The secrets in their eyes
  186. The Good Dinosaur
  187. Victor Frankenstein
  188. Creed
  189. The Good Dinosaur (2)
  190. Krampus
  191. Spotlight
  192. Krampus (2)
  193. In the heart of the sea
  194. Spectre (2)
  195. The Night Before (2)
  196. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (IMAX 3D)
  197. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (2) (IMAX 3D)
  198. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (3)
  199. Macbeth (2015)
  200. Sisters (2015)
  201. Hateful 8 (70mm Roadshow)
  202. Hateful 8 (70mm Roadshow) (2)
  203. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (4) (RPX)
  204. The Big Short
  205. Joy
  206. Daddy’s Home.

I tried to keep a Letterboxd diary with mini-reviews of the films I saw theatrically in 2015; I’m fairly sure I missed a few here and there but this is as complete a list as I have:

My favorite review was for one of my least favorite films of the year:

Imagine for a second that you’re getting a handjob. The giver is attractive, but more than that it’s someone you’ve wanted to give you a handjob for a really long time and now they’re doing it. Not too fast, not too slow, just enough tension and they’re hitting all the right notes. You think it couldn’t get much better but then they start talking dirty to you and it’s everything you’ve always wanted.

Now imagine that two thirds of the way through the handjob your dreamboat is replaced with your old boss. The one that smelled like mothballs and taco meat. Then imagine that your old boss, who’s now rubbing one out for you, has arthritis and calluses on their gross, liverspotty hand. They take you the rest of the way there and with a unsatisfied moan you’re done.

You still finished and the first 2/3 of the HJ were great- so do you really want to complain?That’s kind of how Fantastic Four was.

You still get yours, but ultimately you feel kind of let down and a little traumatized.

It was a really fun year for movies, and I look forward to another year of spending more time in a theater than out of one!


Thursday 12.24.2015


It’s Christmas Eve, Internet.
Well. Sort of. It’s early morning on the day that will become the Eve, but it’s close enough and I’ve got that Christmas cheer going on, so bear with me. My wife is asleep, adorable in her stripey elf pajamas and my dog seems indifferent to me at the moment so I’m watching 1980s porno (Corruption, 1981 Vinegar Syndrome) and considering going downstairs to make a pizza. My cheer not withstanding, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas here in Philadelphia. It’s 60* outside and pouring rain. I don’t need it to snow, but I’d love it if it were just a little colder and I had to wear mittens and a scarf instead of shorts and a tshirt.

Either way I’m glad that the ‘big day’ is almost here. As a godless heathen who has more than a passing fancy to proclaiming secular love for Odin and Satan, Christmas is my second favorite holiday right after the equally gaudy Halloween. There’s pagan idolatry all around, I get things from people I love, I give things to people I love and there’s cookies and candy everywhere. This year I think I did pretty good by Julia; I told her what I got her before I even bought it, ruining the surprise, but it’s something she really wanted  and the stocking stuffers and assorted little things I got to fill out the space around our tiny tree will fill in the surprise factor just fine.

I’m dying to know what she got me; one of my longest standing Holiday traditions is to try and ‘spoil’ Christmas by figuring out what presents ‘Santa’ got for me before I tear off the first piece of wrapping paper. It’s a by-any-means-necessary campaign and I’m usually quite good at it, but this year she’s managed to keep things secret and as I sit in our living room (the porn ended and I made that pizza after all) and stare at our little tree I haven’t the foggiest idea what to expect on Christmas morning. You win this year, Wife, but I’ll have my revenge.

We have to be up in a few hours to go do a work thing, then we’re going to spend Christmas Eve day in the worst possible place- near the King of Prussia Mall, eating a Christmas classic- Bahama Breeze (Im a sucker for a Cubano and Mojito) and seeing the new oh-shit-its-available-online Tarantino movie in glorious 70mm. The wife says we have to wait until Christmas morning to open presents (loophole of ‘if it’s after midnight it’s technically Christmas’ has been shot down) but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

It’s been a really great, fun, adventurous and stable 2015- Maybe I’ll get around to a New Years Post- and this is going to be a really rad Christmas. Now let’s see if I can unwrap my gifts and get the wrapping back on where she won’t notice….


Monday 11.16.2015


The essence of your partnership is guided by the ways you compliment each other. Each of you recognizes how your creativity inspires the other. Your partnership is enriched by your humor, understanding, and compassion for one another and for those around you. You support, challenge and inspire each other’s interests and goals. You dance through life not as one being but as separate individuals who support and care for one another.

The other night, when we knew she had to wake up in a few hours and go to work my wife and I laid in bed, in the dark, with our creepy dog contentedly curled up in between us, and talked. Deep stuff, and funny stuff, and serious stuff and inconsequential stuff. In the year that we’ve been married she’s never failed to stop, sit down and listen to me when I needed to talk; she’s never been shy about coming to me when she needed to.

She supports me, unconditionally. She’s my biggest fan, even when I’m not.
She allows me to be vulnerable when I need it, and she trusts me to keep her safe when she needs to do the same. She lets me have bad days and celebrates my good ones. We’ve developed our little rituals, as a couple; the cards before every trip (and sometimes just for fun) and the double kiss every morning before she leaves the house.  She’s encouraged me more than anyone ever has and I always know that no matter what she’ll be there for me.

Happy first anniversary, Jbird. I love you the most.

(text above is from our wedding ceremony, written by my sister Carmela and recited by our officiant and friend AJ)

Tuesday 09.29.2015


You can never go home again is, conceptually, something that I think about a lot. I moved to Philadelphia in August of 1999, sight unseen, and began setting up a life away from everything and everyone I had ever known. I was 25 at the time- which seems like a lifetime ago- and the me who followed some damn-fool notion to move 1,054 miles northeast has aged and greyed and despite superficial resemblances is little more than memories and old photographs tucked into honest to god photo albums in my closets.

A few weeks ago I challenged Thomas Wolfe’s edict and went home again; another trip down South to reconnect with old friends, visit the P5 and to record a few oral histories for my various archival projects, some of which may never end up publicly shared but were, at least, captured for posterity. It’s always so weird going ‘home’- the South in general is pleasantly and endearingly weird and the longer I live up North the weirder and more magical the South seems when I find myself visiting. I had very little time to think about the differences with almost every waking moment spoken for between recording the interviews, meeting up with loved ones and doing my best to process everything.

11947989_10206980148369671_5434394000941234447_oOne of my histories was with a retired body pierced named Mike Natali; formerly of the Silver Anchor and Bravo! Body Jewelry companies and a pretty influential part of my mid/late teens and early 20s. I hadn’t seen Mike in almost two decades, but after a few minutes in his Tampa apartment we found ourselves easing back into the old days via stories from our shared relationship with Jack Yount and the ‘middle school’ era of the western piercing scene; it was really the first time I’ve done an oral history with someone who’s history was so closely intwined with mine and I admit that I lost any level of distance or objectivity when we were talking about long forgotten memories. I was lucky to be able to see Mike twice in four days and was joined on the second visit by our old (mutual) friend Nolan who was kind enough to snap some photos of Mike and I after lunch. Seeing the photo (left) I can’t’ help but notice how much I’ve aged since the last time we were together.

Getting old has been on my mind a lot lately; schtick mostly but also the reality of the process that seems to be going faster than it did when I was in my twenties; how time seems to be speeding up as my life finally settles into the adventure that I share with Julia as my wife and the other half of my heart; the fancy dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant with sport coat and tie and a bundle of pre-date jitters that seems like it was only yesterday is almost three years past, following her down the red hallway at her old apartment, nervous that she wouldn’t like me now a story from long ago. It’s weird and comforting and amazing that every day we spend together- rushing around the Magic Kingdom making sure that we get to ride all of the rides on our incredibly detailed itinerary, sitting on the bed watching SVU with Mr. Bailey Papers and telling each other about our day… even the quiet moments become nodal points for a future treasured memory.

I think it’s natural to have those reality check moments about getting older; remembering all of the experiences that have brought me to where I am now and applying them to how I want the second half of this amazing, surreal and adventurous life to be.

Today has been an oddly sentimental day for me. Good sentiment; not melancholic but my brain keeps directing me back to friends and loved ones that aren’t around anymore. It’s inspired more smiles than anything.

memores acti prudentes futuri