Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017, Bengies, Best 10 Of, And Others Less Fortunate

Bengies 2017 Top 10 Movies and More

This year there's as long a list of movies not watched at the Bengies than watched.  Previously (e.g. top ten movies for 2016 ) I posted ten movies in the Letterman style.  In 2017, I'm adding an addendum of those that didn't make the cut, either because I didn't watch the show on purpose, or conflicting events got in the way.  Whether the weather prevented my attendance on one of those lost weekends.


  • Boss Baby
  • Hidden Figures
  • Wonder Woman
 I didn't make the opening weekend this year, though by May there were several features of interest.  Of the 3 listed, Wonder Woman definitely hit the target, great special effects and action, good anti-Nazi catharsis, and women first.

Boss Baby could have been one note or even been tone deaf.  It was enjoyable if only by surpassing minimal expectations.  Probably would have not seen it without a strong second feature.

Hidden Figures contrasts with Wonder Woman with a similarly strong plot, made stronger by being historically accurate.  With Hollywood twists such as mild caricatures and compressed time lapses.


OK, maybe we didn't see WW until June.


  •  Despicable Me 3
  •  Spider Man Homecoming

 Sequels can degrade the original experience, or just about break even.  Despicable Me is funny enough, depending on the Minions to sustain the humor.  The group singing an other-worldly version of a Modern Major General was worth the admission price.

Another Spider Day, another Spider Man.  I've lost track of the reboots, honestly.  This year's model was entertaining even with the deja vu.



Scout Camp-In

  • Cars 3
  • Pirates
  • Ferris Buellers Day Off

For the sixth year, local area Scouts (and a few from the DC area) crowded the Bengies on the first weekend after Labor Day, filling the field with tents, the snack bar line with new fans, and a crowd-pleasing line-up.  Can't please everyone of course, putting out a survey picks that can't all show, and tenting plans that mostly line up with the house rules and sight lines.


 Season Ending
  • Sandlot
  • Back to the Future
  • Executive Action

If you're keeping count, the above 3 take the season total to 11.  Which works for me even if the entire bill was pre-2017 productions.  The sum is closer to 10 since we left before the third feature ended.  I had not seen Sandlot, and so learned the origins of an oft-heard phrase (among Scouts) "you''re killing me. Smalls.").


Holiday Special
 - Holiday Affair

Icing on the cake this year was an after the fact Double Feature. Almost missed this due to being out-of-town for the originally planned date, a squallish snowstorm pushed the Bengies management to reschedule for the week after.

Always like Robert Mitchum, and this lesser-known feature did not fail to entertain. For a rare exception to standard practice, the print was shown at an aspect ration differing from the original release.  Anything cut-off was not missed.

So, a Baker's Dozen of best for 2017.

Let's leave Chevy Chase for a future rant. Not in the top.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 - 2001


The marquess below, and a few of the movies shown above that I saw part of the bill at least, are shows I did not see in 2017.  I think a few would have made the top 10, pushing one or more out of the top billing.  Others I'm good to pass.

Recent twitter thread ("Get Out":

Dec 29
pray 4 me my mom asked me what the best movie of the year was and i said get out so now....we're watching get out

 \- follow this thread.  Ir's hilarious.  Not maybe safe for work. R.


 Kong Skull Island
 Lego Batman



King Arthur
 Alien Covenant



 Guardians of the Galaxy 2
 War for the Planet of the Apes

GG2, sure, would be great on the big screen.  Would have sat through an Apes movie, maybe.  Have seen a lifetime supply, starting with Technicolor, swearing, Charlton Heston.

 Baby Driver
 The Emoji Movie

Yeah, definitely would have missed anything with Emoji in the title if I wanted to see another show on the same bill.

Baby Driver had a lot of positive feedback. Darn. But Netflix DVD for the rerun.



Now I can't remember a year where I didn't get to at least one of the all-night shows for 2 or more flicks, even staying through to the second playing of the National Anthem. But 2017 was an exception.

 Atomic Blonde


  Lego Ninjago

Two Lego movies in one year?  Yeah, peak 2017 is movies about children's building blocks.

 Blade Runner 2049

Of all the above, Blade Runer 2049 is the one I would have liked to catch.  Only played one weekend I believe, so poof and it's gone by.

Honorable Mention

On the return from total eclipse viewing, we caught a double feature at the Starlite Drive-In near Christiansburg, Virginia. The "kiddie" feature was Nut Job 2 ("nutty by nature") and the second feature the remake of The Beguiled.  Small crowd due to local sports events apparently, but a friendly atmosphere and decent snack bar food.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Workmate renewed

This gem was given to me by my parents sometime in the late 70s I would say. 

It's a Black & Decker Workmate, fairly early model thought probably not the first generation.  It folds up neatly and has a metal frame that one can lean on for small or medium cuts.  Larger ones I'd want saw horses.

The top was pressed sawdust or something and while it lasted decades, wasn't as durable as the steel frame, threaded rods, and plastic handles (though one of those died at the very end of the rejuventation when I turned it wrongway up.

I bought slices of red oak and proceded to mostly duplicate the original top in dimensions and utility.

Happy to have it workable again, and thanks to Mom and Dad!

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