August 20, 2013

Can You Guess the 10 Highest Grossing Martin Scorsese Films?

In this 1990 interview, Martin Scorsese talks about the future of movies and how he hopes, one day, one of his movies will make a lot of money. I was curious to see if any had so I looked up the box office of his films. Using $100 million as an arbitrary measure for success, only three of his movies have been commercially successful.
  • The Departed: $132,384,315
  • Shutter Island: $128,012,934
  • The Aviator: $102,610,330
  • Cape Fear: $79,091,969
  • Gangs of New York: $77,812,000
  • Hugo: $73,864,507
  • The Color of Money: $52,293,982
  • Goodfellas: $46,836,214
  • Casino: $42,512,375
  • The Age of Innocence: $32,255,440
Does the result surprise you? Does it matter?

January 18, 2013

Part Time Author


I'm a regular (Friday) contributor to, a blog started by 4 of the best dudes I know.

To see what I have to say each week, please give it a visit. The posts from me will be more regular there than here.

January 4, 2013

My Favorite Music and Books of 2012

Here's the music I loved and listened to the most this year. Also, I read a few books.

Gossamer - Passion Pit
It came out, I started listening to it and when I stopped it was 3 weeks later. It is brilliant.
Recommended tracks: "Take a Walk," "Carried Away," and "Love is Greed"

Bloom - Beach House
It's slow but beautifully enchanting.
Recommended tracks: "Myth" and "The Hours"

Shields - Grizzly Bear
Understandably not for everyone but I love this sort of thing: acoustic instruments, layered vocals, and found sound.
Recommended tracks: "Speak in Rounds" and "Yet Again"

Port of Morrow - The Shins
Will always have a soft spot for these guys.
Recommended tracks: "It's Only Life" and "No Way Down"

Heaven - The Walkmen
Still one of the most unique-sounding bands around.
Recommended tracks: "Heartbreaker" and "The Love You Love"

Swing Lo Magellan - The Dirty Projectors
Again, not for everyone. In fact, I don't like much of this album. But when it's good, it's better than most music out there.
Recommended tracks: "Just from Chevron" and "Dance for You"

Now, with books, I can't list stuff that came out in 2012. I can only list the stuff I read. I don't read as much as I used to but I read more in 2012 than I did from 2006 to 2011.

"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien - Worthy of its reputation. Although, it is a little anti-climatic.
"Bossypants" by Tina Fey - Laughed so much.
"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card - You think you know where it's going and then it smacks you in the face.
"The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" by John le Carré - Gets your heart pumping.
"World War Z" by Max Brooks - Sad, funny, intense, warning of what might happen in a global crisis.
"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek - Inspires you to do what inspires you.
"Writing Movies for Fun and Profit" by Thomas Lennon and Robert B. Garant - Helpful?
"Improv Wisdom" by Patricia Ryan Madson - Day-to-day application of improv techniques.
"Managing Content Marketing" by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi - Good stuff for my work.
"Content Rules" by Ann Hadley and C.C. Chapman - Great stuff for my work.

Favorite TV of 2012

Here is a summary of the TV I watched in 2012. There's a lot.

My Favorite Comedies in order:
Parks and Recreation
Ben and Kate
New Girl
30 Rock
Happy Endings
Bob's Burgers
Modern Family
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The League
Saturday Night Live
South Park

My Favorite Dramas in order:
Doctor Who
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Downton Abbey
The Walking Dead
Falling Skies
American Horror Story & American Horror Story: Asylum

My Favorite Shows to Watch with the Kids:
Gravity Falls
The Legend of Kora

Shows I Want to Start/Finish Someday:
Vampire Diaries

Best Movies of 2012

Here's all the movies I saw in 2012 that came out in wide-release in 2012. I've organized them by my Top 10 and then in descending order based on the price of the ticket they warrant. Each of the Top 10 has a quote from a critic that sums up my feelings about the movie, where possible.

Top 10
1. Argo
"Argo has that solid, kick-the-tires feel of those studio films from the 70s that were about something but also entertained. Only it's as laugh outright amusing as it is sobering." - Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

2. The Avengers
"It really is an astounding achievement - a film that juggles an unenviable number of elements; combining what we've seen before, slotting them together and then adding enough depth, action and humour to make this a remarkable standalone film." - Matt Looker,

3. Looper
"This is the real deal, folks – intelligent, humorous, exciting entertainment that happens to be sci-fi but is by no means limited to that genre’s target audience in terms of appeal. Anyone who appreciates good fiction, science- or otherwise, will find much to enjoy in what amounts to the latest proof that Rian Johnson is one of the best up-and-coming filmmakers in America." - Eric D. Snider,

4. The Cabin in the Woods
"The ideal audience for Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s ingenious deconstruction of horror movies is people who have seen a lot of them, and who have thought about their tropes and cliches ... for those of us who are into this sort of thing, “Cabin in the Woods” is the most exciting shake-up in the horror world since Scream.” - Eric D. Snider,

5. Skyfall
My number one or number two favorite Bond film ever.
"Skyfall epitomizes what a Bond movie should be, and its director, for once, justifiably deserves much of the credit." - Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt

6. Zero Dark Thirty

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"Painfully, piercingly honest and vulnerable. So, while it's not a perfect movie ... I really loved it, and it brought me back to a time when hearing "Heroes" by David Bowie for the first time was a discovery." - Davey Morrison Dillard,

8. Moonrise Kingdom
"With its deadpan dialogue and damaged characters, Moonrise Kingdom casts a unique and charming spell and is surprisingly hopeful." - Eric Melin,

9. Les Miserables
"A brilliant adaptation of the long-running stage musical, it raises the goose bumps like no other theatrical presentation of its kind, film or stage." -David Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan

10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
"A marvel of filmmaking wizardry and engrossing adventure storytelling ... marks another triumph by director Peter Jackson who once again takes J.R. Tolkien's words and brings them to life with skilful, passionate expertise." - Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews

Full Price
The Impossible
The Amazing Spider-Man
Django Unchained
Wreck-It Ralph
Premium Rush
Pitch Perfect
The Secret World of Arrietty
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Jack Reacher
The Raid: Redemption

The Dark Knight Rises
The Bourne Legacy
Cloud Atlas
21 Jump Street
This is 40
Hotel Transylvania

Red Box
Mirror Mirror
The Grey
Snow White and the Huntsman
The Hunger Games

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Men in Black 3

Skip It
Total Recall