Tag Archives: Tommy Lee Jones

The Set of 400: #61 – My Favorite George Washington Anecdote

Today! Because nothing will make an Englishman shit quicker than the sight of George Washington –

Lincoln (2012)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x10)

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis (x3), Sally Field (x2), Tommy Lee Jones (x5), David Strathairn (x4), James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (x2), Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Bruce McGill (x2), Tim Blake Nelson (x2), Jackie Earle Haley (x4), Jared Harris, Lee Pace (x2), Peter McRobbie (x3), Michael Stuhlbarg (x2), Gloria Reuben, Walton Goggins (x3), David Oyelowo (x2), Lukas Haas (x2), Dane DeHaan, Bill Camp, Wayne Duvall (x2), Gregory Itzin (x2), Adam Driver (x2), Christopher Evan Welch (x2), S. Epatha Merkerson (x2), Joseph Cross, Boris McGiver

My favorite movie from one of my favorite years, 2012’s Lincoln almost starred Liam Neeson. Wrap your mind around that for a second. For years there were stories about Spielberg trying to mount this epic Abe biopic, with his Schindler’s List star attached, and I always figured that could work. Neeson has that magisterial presence, and what more would you really need to play Lincoln? But now that we’ve seen the greatest living actor in the role, it’s pretty tough to imagine anyone else in the part. Never mind Neeson’s very recent (as of this writing) issues concerning some racist tendencies from his youth (Has this story blown over? Be sure to go look it up), which would’ve made him donning the big stovepipe a bit awkward.

If you know nothing else about me except my 340 favorite movies so far, it’s probably about time I share that I’ve got a thing for U.S. Commanders in Chief. I’m no presidential scholar – I’m too busy watching movies to dedicate the time required – but the wife and I are committed to visiting every president grave site in the country, along with their adjoining museums/libraries/road side monuments if they exist. Lincoln’s Springfield tomb was one of the few we visited before officially starting on this quest, his being the third president grave we saw, following JFK and Taft in Arlington, VA.

It’s pretty grand and glorious in Springfield, IL

Plus it has an equally classy gift shop – the wife seen here

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The Set of 400: #201 – My Favorite Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Today! Because the guy did a Peter Pan right off of this dam right here –

The Fugitive (1993)

Directed by Andrew Davis (x2)

Starring Harrison Ford (x2), Tommy Lee Jones (x4), Joe Pantoliano (x3), Sela Ward, Julianne Moore (x2), Jeroen Krabbe, Andreas Katsulas, Ron Dean, Jane Lynch (x3), Neil Flynn (x3), Daniel Roebuck, L. Scott Caldwell, Tom Wood (x2), Richard Riehle

There is obviously no way they could’ve known while filming this movie that some fifteen years later, currently thirteen-year-old Joe – playing out the string in eighth grade in North Scranton – would pack up his meager half-double (also in North Scranton) and drive 700 miles to deposit said belongings in a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, Chicago, where he would quickly adopt all films set in the big town as virtual home movies, even ones made back when he was a thirteen-year-old, playing out the string in North Scranton. This is all about me, folks, and never more so now that we’ve officially reached the halfway point – post #200 counting down! [see bottom of page for actual halfway point] Plus, tomorrow is apparently Thanksgiving, if my future calendar reading is correct, so clearly we’ve all got a lot to be thankful for! Me getting this far, you for living to see half of my favorite movies from the years 1927 to 2013 get posts! Congratulations to us all!

But really, congratulations to me

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The Set of 400: #337 – My Favorite Navy Seal/Playboy Playmate Team Up

Today! Because they can handle twenty Marines, and a hundred cooks –

Under Siege (1992)

Directed by Andrew Davis

Starring Steven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones (x3), Gary Busey, Erika Eleniak, Colm Meaney, Glenn Morshower (x2), Bernie Casey, Patrick O’Neal, Raymond Cruz, Tom Wood

I promise, this is the only Steven Seagal movie on this list. Also, let’s not even look at it that way – not as the best movie Seagal ever made, or as the terrifying combo of a Seagal/Gary Busey/Erika Eleniak picture – this is the last movie Andrew Davis made before directing The Fugitive. In a very real sense, you can make a case that without Under SiegeThe Fugitive would have been a dramatically different film, and who does that benefit? Would Davis have directed it? Would Tommy Lee Jones have played that Oscar winning role? Would it have been nominated for Best Picture? Very unlikely on all counts! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #357 – My Favorite Conspiracy Theory

Today! Because it’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma –

JFK (1991)

Directed by Oliver Stone

Starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones (x2), Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon (x2), Gary Oldman, Laurie Metcalf, Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Donald Sutherland (x2), Walter Matthau, Ed Asner, John Candy (x2), Sally Kirkland, Vincent D’Onofrio (x2), John Larroquette, Ron Rifkin, Bob Gunton, Michael Rooker, Jay O. Sanders, Brian Doyle-Murray, Wayne Knight, Beata Pozniak, Gary Grubbs, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Frank Whaley

Like most eighth graders, I had a big JFK assassination phase. It was probably prompted by this movie, but there also was a lot of new press swirling around the event at the time of movie’s release, so maybe a combination of the two. Figure, even though the movie very directly covers the trial of Clay Shaw, it also proposes a lot of theories regarding the assassination that maybe hadn’t been widely disseminated, or widely considered, before then. So the press around it was crazy, and 12-year-old Joe got sucked in. I distinctly remember prowling Holy Rosary’s dinky library trying to uncover all the details I could find, in encyclopedias, mostly (shoutout to my long closed middle school!). Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #376 – My Favorite Swamp Gas From a Weather Balloon

Today! Because Elvis is not dead, he just went home –

Men in Black (1997)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, Jon Gries, Carel Struycken, Siobhan Fallon, David Cross, Mike Nussbaum, Willie C. Carpenter

Ah, that epic summer of 1997! With mediocre sequels (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Batman and Robin), fair-to-okay star-driven actioners (Con Air, Air Force One), decently performing kids fluff (Hercules, George of the Jungle), and the okay start to the worst two-thirds of a film trilogy ever (Austin Powers), came the apex of Will Smith, the zenith of his ’90s run, that in reality was only like five movies long. He’d continue with hits for years to come, but would only top the gross of MiB once on his own, ten years later in I Am Legend.

But what a fun film to solidify Mr. Fourth of July’s stranglehold on the holiday (a grip completely lost two years later by the Wild Wild West debacle). Smith and Jones made such a great comedy team that they even buoy the utterly average sequel that followed in 2002. Vincent D’Onofrio is marvelously unrecognizable as the alien in the Edgar suit, the subject of the men in black man/bughunt through New York City. It’s a movie that fully explores the comic angles of aliens living among us, while not getting too bogged down in the nuts and bolts of the whole thing. Light, goopy, and very funny, Men in Black is kind of the perfect formula for a summer blockbuster. Oh, and Men in Black 3 is okay too. Continue reading

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