Movies I Saw in 2016

As with the previous two iterations, this is in reverse chronological.1

The tl;dr version is pretty short this year:
Arrival.2
La La Land.3
Honorable mention? “The Nice Guys”.

Honestly not the greatest year…4

(Hit up the footnotes for my brief thoughts on each)

The full list:

La La Land5
Rogue One6
Allied7
Edge of Seventeen8
Doctor Strange9
Arrival1011
Inferno12
Keeping Up With The Joneses13
Jack Reacher 214
The Accountant15
Deepwater Horizon16
The Girl On The Train17
Sully18
Kubo and the Two Strings
War Dogs19
Sausage Party20
Bad Moms21
Star Trek Beyond22
Jason Bourne23
Suicide Squad24
Ghostbusters (2016)
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates25
The Shallows26
Finding Dory27
Neon Demon28
Warcraft29
Independence Day: Resurgence30
The Lobster31
X-men: Apocalypse32
The Nice Guys33
Money Monster
Neighbors 234
Captain America: Civil War35
The Jungle Book
Everybody Wants Some36
Batman vs Superblegh37
The Huntsman: Winter’s War38
Greenroom39
Midnight Special
Criminal40
10 Cloverfield Lane41
London Has Fallen42
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot43
Where To Invade Next44
Ip Man 345
Deadpool46
Hail Caesar47
The 5th Wave48
13 Hours49
The Big Short50
The Revenant51

  1. This time, listing new releases only.↩︎
  2. for the thinker↩︎
  3. for the artsy sentimentalist↩︎
  4. …in movies. I’m talking about movies. … What were you thinking of…?↩︎
  5. I now want a sign that reads: “Seb’s.”↩︎
  6. I approve of Felicity J.↩︎
  7. Sandstorms will never be the same.↩︎
  8. Okay so the part of me that was charmed by “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl” also enjoyed this one. Or maybe it’s just because an Asian dude played the hero. ::shrug::↩︎
  9. Okay, this was good but really, do we expect any less from Marvel? I distinctly remember thinking to myself about 5 minutes into the movie, “Why can’t DC think up anything half this good?”↩︎
  10. I maintain: Everybody ought to see this movie. Everybody.↩︎
  11. I wish they would have made this a series on Netflix. Two hours of film hardly did this one justice.↩︎
  12. I approve of Felicity J.↩︎
  13. PSA: This movie has nothing to do with Felicity Jones.↩︎
  14. I’m secretly hoping that J.K.’s “Cormoran Strike” novels get turned into movies, and that Tom Cruise stars in them. It’ll never happen, with his height and lack of English accent… but I’m still hoping.↩︎
  15. Did you like John Wick? I suspect Ben Affleck did…↩︎
  16. Super powerful. Gave me a similar degree of feels as “Lone Survivor”↩︎
  17. Entertaining but disjointed↩︎
  18. Typical Tom Hanks↩︎
  19. Typical Jonah Hill. Or is it typical Miles Teller…↩︎
  20. There is nothing typical about this movie↩︎
  21. Yeah, I watched it.↩︎
  22. The motorcycle bit felt odd…↩︎
  23. Sorry, but this sucked. The Jeremy Renner one was better, IMO.↩︎
  24. Just don’t DC.↩︎
  25. I feel like this was a free showing…↩︎
  26. More than just Blake Lively in a bikini. Oh and Galveston looks nothing like that…↩︎
  27. Get your feels-shields up for this one.↩︎
  28. Weird. Hope you’re not eating anything towards the end.↩︎
  29. If you told me that this was the fourth “Hobbit” movie, I would not have been any less confused.↩︎
  30. Be skeptical of any movie that makes it its namesake of the holiday on which it releases.↩︎
  31. Artsy charm↩︎
  32. How did this one end up so bad after the first two of the trilogy?!? It felt like such a waste.↩︎
  33. I really enjoyed this one.↩︎
  34. Chloe G. M. did better than par on this one.↩︎
  35. Basically “Avengers 2.6”↩︎
  36. Apparently Lea Thompson — the mom in Back to the Future — has a daughter that also acts.↩︎
  37. Would you believe me if I told you this was autocorrect? Well I’m not fixing it either way. They should’ve just called the movie “Martha!”↩︎
  38. It was free screening. Jessica C though…↩︎
  39. The shots of Oregon were cool.↩︎
  40. I actually don’t remember if this was good or bad. I didn’t even remember that Gal Gadot was in it until I checked just now!↩︎
  41. Unbelievable 11th hour plot twist.↩︎
  42. If they make a third, it should go straight to XBox↩︎
  43. Tina Fey’s finest hour, it is not.↩︎
  44. Another one that I’d classify in the “everybody should watch this” category. Worth watching.↩︎
  45. Not as good as the second… definitely not as good as the first↩︎
  46. They did well considering the budget.↩︎
  47. George Clooney’s finest hour, this is not.↩︎
  48. I kinda feel bad for Chloe Moretz. I’m pulling for her but she can’t seem to hit a good movie…↩︎
  49. I don’t know what this one scored on Rotten Tomatoes… but if I had to guess, I would guess somewhere in the 50’s or 60’s. And I would say that’s about right.↩︎
  50. Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie for ‘best supporting actress’!↩︎
  51. The first Leo movie that I thought even deserved an Oscar nomination↩︎

Goodbye, Craig

When I was a kid growing up in SoCal, I begged my parents for years to get cable TV so that I could actually watch the Lakers’ home games on Prime Ticket.1

My folks finally decided to give in during the summer of 1991 — just in time for Magic’s retirement. But it was about that time when I learned that there were two cable channels called TNT and TBS that showed a lot of NBA games, and that they had this eccentrically-attired sideline reporter by the name of Craig Sager. He wore weird suits and was kinda… weird. But he’s been reporting since I started watching the NBA.

I just got out of giving my last final exam and hit up a spot I frequent to eat and drink to celebrate the end of a fantastic semester… only to see the sad news of Craig Sager’s passing. If there’s anything I take away from his journey, it’s that he did it his way – and everyone respected him for it.

RIP, Craig.

  1. We were otherwise limited to just watching the road games on KCAL channel 9.↩︎

A peek into the “vault”

Since a particular social media post of mine didn’t quite hit triple-digits, I shall not be posting a picture of every single pair of shoes that I own.

Here, however, is a “good faith” look at a handful of items from said stronghold (less than half of my kicks, but mostly the less uninteresting half).

Disclaimer: Almost all of these are Kobes, and some are not very interesting. But if my home was on fire and I could only save a half-dozen, some of these would make the cut.

Zoom Kobe I (DS) [Feb 2006]

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Nike’s first official Kobe signature sneaker (not counting the 2k4’s and 2k5’s). One of 4 pairs I keep in deadstock. I still have the receipt for these, which tells me that a dude named Andre at Niketown Chicago processed my order on February 23, 2006. Nike decided not to make this colorway available at local stores, hence the phone order.
Nike was supposedly planning on releasing a white colorway with purple and black accents… until he went and scored 81 points in those.

Zoom Kobe I – Minneapolis [Summer 2006]

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These I actually played in. Grey suede, crinkled white leather. I guess these were the colors the Lakers wore when they played up in the tundra in the 50’s. My grail is a PE colorway of these that Kobe wore once – in Game 6 of the Phoenix series that year.

Zoom Huarache 2k5 Laser “City Maps” [Winter 2005/06]

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Though the 2k4’s1 and 2k5’s were designed to be Kobe signature shoes, Nike decided to make them a generic release due to the Colorado proceedings. This was a limited release with the map of downtown Los Angeles laser etched into the uppers, with his number 8 on the front strap. Also the first shoes to feature the “Hattori Hanzo” black mamba logo. In hindsight, I wish I had deadstocked these immediately. Instead I played with them a few times at Gregory. Fun fact: this was when Google Maps was in its infancy.


Zoom Huaraches 2K5 [Black (DS) – May 2005]

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The black/purple colorway is in deadstock. They’re not actually that remarkable, other than that Nike designed these to be Kobe’s road playoff kicks for the 2005 NBA Playoffs. (Google “Lakers 2005 playoffs” and you’ll get the dig…)
The white/purple/gold was the colorway he debuted on Christmas Day 2004 in his first game against Shaq.

Zoom Kobe IV – “Carpe Diem” (DS) [January 2009]

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Grails that I actually own. A limited release of the first low-top Kobe’s. Snagged two pairs of these – and after these pics, this pair will go back to slumber. Released in the year of the bull to celebrate a dozen years in the league. Patent leather fanciness, and the first Kobe’s to use flywire to shed some mass. The Lakers went on to win their first post-Shaq title this year. Next to the Jordan V’s, this is my favorite pair in the “vault”.

Zoom Kobe IV [Spring 2009]

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A more general release of the IV’s which I wore all over the place. Came with three sets of laces – white, black, and yellow. You can see my preference.

Zoom Kobe V – “Miles Davis” [Spring 2010]

IMG_4462
Because the blues. Out with the leather, in with the full-on flywire all the way around. There were a pair of special colorways that Kobe wore in the Finals against the Celtics (“Big Stage”) that I still long for…

Zoom Kobe VI – “Glass Blue” [March 2011]

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Colorful and sparkly. Worn casually a small handful of times.

Zoom Kobe VI “Lightbulbs” [April 2011]

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Nike was cranking out the crazy colorways to capitalize on another potential Lakers three-peat (which didn’t happen). I get to wear these once a year *if I’m brave*.

Zoom Kobe VII “Poison Dart Frog” [Spring 2012]

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Released on Easter Sunday, 2012 (don’t ask me for the significance). Black mamba, poison dart frog. All about quick lethal strikes against opponent. Worn a couple of times for… uh… “casual” wear.

Kobe X Elite [2015-16]

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They’re… well… purple. Flyknit over a solid frame. Not much story to these as Kobe sat out most of the year after tearing his shoulder.

Air Jordan V – Retro OG

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Back in 1990 these were the first – and only – pair of Jordans I ever owned. I remember the societal scoffing at paying north of $100 for a pair of sneakers. Oh, if they could only see us now. Took a few pics and promptly sent these babies straight to the vault.

  1. By the way. If anyone ever spots the black/yellow laser 2k4’s in a size 10, drop everything and message me immediately.↩︎

Imperfect Subtleties

I appreciate a good story. Be it in the form of TV/film, a good book, a long video game,1 or an equally long Netflix binge, I live for a good story.

Closing Book

We all have ideas about how the stories in our lives ought to end, and about the timing with which they ought to end. This week has been a personal reminder that life does not always respect one’s personal opinions about the how’s and when’s with which these stories ought to end.


I’m a fan of intelligent writing, witty characters, and carefully measured subtleties. It’s why I’m a huge follower of Chris Nolan (and simultaneously despise Zac Snyder).

One day I’ll walk into a coffee shop and I’ll spot Neil Caffrey and Mozzie sharing a table and sipping lattes with Alicia Florrick and Carrie Agos. Or so goes the dream.2

White Collar is my favorite TV show of forever. The Good Wife — which I have followed since the start,3 and which ends this weekend — is a very close second.


This week has also reminded me that — at times — having a personal life4 and being a teacher are akin to oil and water. There are maybe a day or two in each campaign5 where you just don’t want to put on your professional daytime facade… and while doing so is sometimes nigh impossible, refusing to do so simply isn’t an option. And having to continually brush everything aside and not being able to properly deal with things until Summertime is… less than ideal, to say the least.


Yet another story comes to a close this Thursday, when our students take the Statistics AP Exam.6

When it comes to guiding our cherubs towards the finish line, the anxiety-riddled portion of my soul fears that this is one of those things where you can do everything right and execute flawlessly from week one all the way to week 35… only to have things fall apart just short of the ribbon. No, the numbers from the previous five campaigns don’t really back up these irrational fears… but perhaps that is what makes them irrational.

image

Five days~

  1. Uncharted 4 comes out this week… but it’ll have to wait ’til after Thursday’s AP exam…↩︎
  2. The closest we got was when the character who plays Alicia’s son was a student in a White Collar episode that went to Peter and Neil for help… that was a fun episode. Season 3, episode 12: “Upper West-Side Story”.↩︎
  3. I was never big on Will G. I do miss Kalinda. I wish Finn would have stuck around longer. Lamont Bishop was a bit overplayed but he’s better off as Luke Cage. I think Jason’s a cool cat. Lucca was underutilized – her rant on polar bears and baby seals was all-time greatness. This show and — to a lesser degree — Suits almost made me wish I’d gone into law…↩︎
  4. or rather, trying to have one↩︎
  5. Only one or two, of course… not any more than that… -_-.↩︎
  6. number six, on my watch.↩︎

Sideways Infinity

Kobe VI Lightbulbs

My morning class noticed my kicks1 and one of the kids joked,2

Mister Youn’s retiring? 34


Tomorrow our students take major exam number nine.5 This one focuses on inference with means, and shouldn’t be nearly as tough as our last major exam a month ago. Invariably though, students by-and-large perform worse on this exam. The two main culprits, by my estimation:

  1. Lack of urgency — the last exam was just before the end of the devilish fourth six weeks,6 thus it demanded their honest best. This time around, the end of the marking period is another month away. A LOOOOONNNNNNGGGG month before any second semester high school senior dares to flip their brain on…
  2. Spring break starts later this week. 7
  1. Kobe VI’s… maybe the third time I’ve worn them out.↩︎
  2. I think he was joking…↩︎
  3. Kobe is retiring after next month… in case you don’t get the reference…↩︎
  4. And as for the title – I will always associate Kobe with the number 8. Twenty-four forever belongs to Keifer…↩︎
  5. of ten↩︎
  6. good gosh how many blog posts can I write that reference the fourth six weeks?↩︎
  7. For some it started a moon ago, based on the way they’re acting…↩︎