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The 2009 Steve Awards
The 2008 Steve Awards
The 2007 Steve Awards
The 2006 Steve Awards
The 2005 Steve Awards
The 2004 Steve Awards
The 2003 Steve Awards
The 2002 Steve Awards
The 2001 Steve Awards
The 2000 Steve Awards
What I have learned from watching the movies
Separated at Birth?
Movies that I have on tape
Favorite foreign movies
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Buried treasures (why aren't these on TV or more often?)

The 2009 Steve Awards

The Equal Time award goes to Baby Mama. Since another Live Free or Die Hard movie came out in 2007 with Bruce Willis as John McClane (a subliminal salute to John McCain), it was only fair in 2008 to release a movie that sounds like Barack Obama.

The Equal Time (runner-up) award goes to Frost/Nixon. In the credits, we see that Man at Disco is played by John Kerry.

The Slow Learners Class award goes to Swing Vote. The kids have been in school for months, but their teacher Mrs. Abernathy still has her name on the chalkboard.

The Let's Plug His Other Movie award goes to Eagle Eye. Billy Bob Thornton says "You plan on becoming a farmer?", an obvious reference to The Astronaut Farmer.

The Wheel of Fortune award goes to Kit Kittredge an American Girl. With its steal-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor theme and Chris O'Donnell in the cast, we can clearly imagine Pat and Vanna arranging "Batman and Robin Hood" as a Before and After puzzle.

The Freudian Slip? award goes to Meet Dave. Eddie Murphy tells Elizabeth Banks that he knows that the BeeGees were Robin, Barry, and Maurice, except that he pronounces Maurice as "More-Reese" instead of the correct "Morris". Then, it turns out that Elizabeth's cat is Morris.

The Yes, We Get the Inside Joke award goes to What Happens in Vegas. The card-gamed themed movie featured a Jack (Ashton Kutcher's character) and a Queen (Latifah).

The What Do You Get When You Cross 2 Nicolas Cage Movies? award goes to What Happens in Vegas, which combines Honeymoon in Vegas and It Could Happen to You (another movie where the male lead promises to split his potential winnings. And, both What Happens in Vegas and Honeymoon in Vegas has its male lead named Jack.

The City of Brotherly Love award goes to Mark Wahlberg. He appears in another movie set in Philadelphia (The Happening), following Shooter from 2007 and Invincible from 2006. Continuing in the brother theme, he also had appeared in Four Brothers, and has 5 brothers in real life.

The City of Brotherly Love (runner-up) award goes to Greg Kinnear, who appeared in Baby Mama, set in Philadelphia, and had also appeared as the Eagles' coach in Invincible.

The All the English Teachers Just Cringed award goes to Definitely, Maybe. Ryan Reynolds says "Let me tell you the true story of how me and your mother met".

The All the English Teachers Just Cringed (runner-up) award goes to Last Chance Harvey. James Brolin says "I'd like you to join Harvey and I in a toast".

The Picky, Picky, Picky award goes to Definitely, Maybe. Ryan Reynolds tells his daughter that he met a girlfriend in 1992, but the flashback shows that they met just before midnight on New Year's Eve, so technically, it was in 1991.

The In High School Literature, We Called this a Foreshadow award goes to 27 Dresses. In the early scene at the airport, we see someone holding a sign with "Miller", to meet an arriving party. At the end of the movie, Katherine Heigl is at a Miller wedding. Is it same Miller? More important, do you even care?

The Prior Experience Required award goes to Sigourney Weaver in Vantage Point, who was in another movie (Dave) that involved a substitute for the president.

The NOT Nominated for Best Achievement in Film Editing award goes to Yes Man. In the Nebraska football game scene, just before the teams take the field, we can see that the play clock is counting down, as if the game is in progress.

The Are All Harvard Students This Sharp? award goes to The Great Debaters. When the students from Texas are holding a sign that has "Wiley College" while waiting for their contact in Boston, the contact arrives and asks: "Wiley College?"

The 2008 Steve Awards

The Alliteration Aside award goes to Breach. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, we get Chris Cooper, Laura Linney, the book "Catechisms of the Catholic Church", and a Palm Pilot.

The Take That, HBO! award goes to the Starz network for No Country for Old Men. The sign outside the motel has "Free HBO", but Starz won the rights to show the movie on premium cable.

The Don't Leave Home Without It award goes to Enchanted, in which Edward from the animated kingdom of Andalasia seems to have no problem buying lunch and renting a room in New York City.

The Recycled Wardrobe award goes to Fred Claus. Kevin Spacey must have kept the Superman cape that he wears from the Superman Returns inventory.

The Recycled Wardrobe award (runner-up) goes to Shooter. Mark Wahlberg must have kept his Eagles jacket from his role in Invincible.

The For Those of You Who Like an Arithmetic Challenge award goes to Shooter. Whereas most movies would have had the graphic "3 years later" on the screen, Shooter has "36 months later".

The Soccer Still Hasn't Caught on in the USA award goes to Superbad. A player says "We're down 2 points", instead of "we're down 2 goals".

The Proof of Global Warming award goes to The Game Plan. It's New Year's weekend in Boston, and the fans at the football game are in short sleeves.

The Most Mismatched Team Name Since the Utah Jazz award goes to The Game Plan. The name of the football team is the Boston Rebels?? What, the Boston Gators was already taken?

The We Got the Inside Joke award goes to Gracie, the soccer-themed movie which starred a pair of Shues (Elisabeth and Andrew).

The And You Thought that he was Naturally Creative award goes to Robin Williams in August Rush. He picked out the name August Rush from a truck billboard, similar to when he picked Mrs. Doubtfire from a newspaper headline.

The Separated at Birth? award goes to Robin Williams in August Rush and Bono in Across the Universe.

The Crystal Ball award goes to Mr. Woodcock. It had a character using a cell phone during a flight, which is not legal yet.

The Only Their Hairdressers Know for Sure award goes to The Hoax, which has the normally blonde Hope Davis in black hair, and Marcia Gay Harden as a blonde.

The Subliminal Tribute to Michael J. Fox award goes to Knocked Up. It has a reference to Back to the Future, has its lead character named Ben Stone (which was Michael J. Fox's character's name in Doc Hollywood), and mentions the actor Matthew Fox. As if we wouldn't notice.

The I'm Ready to Take a Chance Again (Again) award goes to Ben Stiller, who appeared in his second movie (The Heartbreak Kid, following Keeping the Faith) that has this Barry Manilow song.

The Latest Entry in the Alphabet Film Festival award goes to W, joining G (2005), M (1931), Q (1982), and Z (1969).

The You Just Can't Trust Answering Machines These Days award goes to Premonition. Sandra Bullock presses the Messages button and hears "you have no new messages", even though the digital display shows zero.

The 2007 Steve Awards

The Alliteration Aside award goes to Lindsay Lohan, who completed a trifecta. First, her name is alliterative. Second, she had starred in an alliterative movie (Freaky Friday). And finally in 2006, she had an alliterative character name, Ashley Albright, in Just My Luck.

The Alliteration Aside (runner-up) award goes to The Lake House. As Simon and Henry leave their Visionary Vanguard office, Henry says "It's Valentine's Day, and I have a date with Vanessa". Of course, the director Alejandro Agresti adores alliteration.

The Subliminal Plug for PBS award goes to My Super Ex-Girlfriend. A dialogue goes: "How's your boyfriend, Rick?"/"Steve ... he just got back from Milan". Reading between the lines, it's obviously a plug for Rick Steves' Europe.

The He's Ready to Jump to the NBA award goes to Corbin Bleu in High School Musical. The number on his basketball jersey is 8; however, only in the NBA can jersey numbers can have a digit higher than 5.

The All the English Teachers Just Cringed award goes to John Tucker Must Die, which had the lines "Things didn't quite work out with Alex and I" and "There is only one guy out there for me, and you are not him".

The Subliminal Salute to the Bob Newhart Show award goes to Keeping up with the Steins. The cast includes Larry (Miller), Daryl (Hannah), and Daryl (Sabara).

The Not-So-Subliminal Salute to the Kill Bill movies award goes to Keeping up with the Steins. Benjamin says "His parents wouldn't go for a Kill Bill theme" for a bar mitzvah; Darryl Hannah is in the cast; and in one scene, Gerry Marshall draws a sword.

The Only The Baby Boomers Got the Inside Joke award goes to Nacho Libre. In one scene of the Jack Black movie, the background song is the 1960s hit Black is Black, in Spanish.

The It's All Greek to Me award Goes to Date Movie. During the parody of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Grant says "I like pie" ... or was it "I like pi"?

The Do as I Say, Not as I Do award goes to Lucy Liu in Lucky Number Slevin. She is a stickler for details, but she comes into Josh Hartnett's apartment asking for a cup of sugar and leaves with less than a cup.

The Even the Umps are Second Rate award goes to (we have a tie!) The Benchwarmers and Employee of the Month. One of the umpires says "You're Out!", when umpires are taught to say "He's Out!".

The Shameful Use of Competitors award goes to Talladega Nights, which had scenes in both an Applebees and a Bob Evans restaurant.

The It Should be a Double Feature with Fast Food Nation award goes to Click, which has one scene with a Wendy's and another with a McDonalds visible.

The They May be Fast, but They aren't Smart award goes to Invincible. In the Philadelphia Eagles' camp, Mark Wahlberg runs a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash, but in the pickup games in his neighborhood, he is not significantly faster than his buddies. If his buddies were that fast, why didn't they all try out for the Eagles?

The Subliminal Casting award goes to Hollywoodland, the movie about George Reeves as Superman. The cast has Lois Smith and Diane Lane. As Wayne Campbell would say: "Lois .... Lane ... as if we wouldn't notice".

The Tribute to Comedy Teams award goes to Accepted. Lewis Black plays Dean Lewis as the dean of the university, 20 years after Back to School had a dean named Dean Martin. As Wayne Campbell would say: "Lewis .... Martin ... as if we wouldn't notice".

The Would You Like Some Science to go with That Fiction? award goes to Stranger Than Fiction, for injecting science and math references. Obviously, the reason for having the actor John M. Watson, Sr. in the cast, and a character named Harold Crick is to salute the DNA pioneers Watson and Crick, and the reason for having a character named Ana Pascal is to honor the mathematician Blaise Pascal.

The Is This Your First Trip to a Store? award goes to Click. Adam Sandler meets Christopher Walken, who is wearing a jacket with "Morty" above the pocket, and he asks him what his name is.

The Kreskin award for the best use of ESP goes to the call center operator in Little Children. Kate Winslet calls a catalog company and says that she is Sarah Pierce, without spelling Pierce. How would the operator know if it were Pierce or Pearce? More important, do you even care?

The He Has a Fixation on Her award goes to Robin Williams. In RV, he refers to his daughter as Sacajawea, and in Night at the Museum, his Teddy Roosevelt character flirts with the come-to-life Sacajawea.

The 2006 Steve Awards

The He Also Guesses People's Weight at the Carnival award goes to Robert DeNiro in Hide and Seek. Upon meeting Elisabeth Shue and her daughter for the first time, he says "I have a daughter the same age".

The Kreskin award for best use of ESP goes to Ice Cube in Are We There Yet?. Nia Long agrees that he can give her a ride to work, but he doesn't ask when to pick her up.

The Kreskin award for best use of ESP (runner-up) goes to to Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch. As Lindsay, she tells Ben that she is taking him to Paris tomorrow. How did she know that he had a passport?

The Math Teachers Don't Deal With Trivial Matters award goes to Fever Pitch. Ben says "Every year during Easter vacation, me and my friends, we go down to Florida" for the Red Sox spring training. Gotcha! Some years, Easter is as late as April 25, long after spring training is over.

The And, All the English Teachers Just Cringed award goes to Fever Pitch, when Ben said "Me and my friends, we go down to Florida".

The Alliteration Aside award goes to Two for the Money, which starred Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, and Armand Assante. Fittingly, "Two" is part of the title.

The Honestly, We Didn't Copy That Other Movie award goes to Are We There Yet?. Whereas Planes, Trains, and Automobiles took place at Thanksgiving, involved only 1 train, and had a plane ride scene, Are We There Yet? took place on New Year's Eve, involved 2 trains, and the characters didn't actually get on the plane. And, it had an additional mode of transportation (a horse). No chance of that being a copycat plot!

The The Only 2 People in the World Who Never Heard of Google award goes to Derailed. Winston asks Charles to help him win $100 by answering a baseball trivia question, and it never occurs to them to use Google.

The Subliminal Plug award goes to Fantastic Four. Early in the movie, Victor Von Doom tosses a copy of Wired magazine onto a desk. Michael Chiklis, who plays Ben Grimm, played John Belushi in the 1989 movie Wired. As if we wouldn't notice.

The Our State Motto: There's Magic in the Air award goes to the state of Ohio for its Bewitched theme. Agnes Moorehead (Endora in the TV show) attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Paul Lynde (Uncle Arthur in the TV show) was born in Mount Vernon, and Steve Carell (Uncle Arthur in the movie) is a graduate of Denison University in Granville. For the record, Ohio has a city called Salem.

The He'll Supply the Rice at the Wedding award goes to The Perfect Man, which had a character named Uncle Ben.

The Somewhere, Dick Vitale is Going Nuts award goes to goes to Coach Carter. The clock shows 1:20 left in the game when they take a time-out, but it shows 1:22 when play resumes.

The Somewhere, Dick Vitale is Going Nuts, Part II award goes to goes to Coach Carter. When one of the players fouls out, the sub enters the game without reporting to the scorer's table.

The Somewhere, Dick Vitale is Going Nuts, Part III award goes to Rebound. The tall kid holds the basketball in the lane for the last 10 seconds of the game before scoring the winning basket, and the officials do not call a 3 second violation.

The Comedy is Easy, Math is Hard award goes to goes to The Bad News Bears. One of the kids chides Billy Bob Thornton for his major league stats of an ERA of 36 in 2/3 of an inning. As we all know, that is mathematically impossible for 2/3 of an inning. If he had given up 2 runs, his ERA would be 27.00, and if he had given up 3 runs, his ERA would be 40.50.

The They Don't Know Their Right From Their Left Award goes to Rumor Has It. In the high school yearbook, Beau Burroughs appears as the first of 5 names identifying the students, but his picture appears on the far right.

The Car Wars, Part III: Revenge of the Shift award goes to Herbie Fully Loaded, the third in a trilogy of movies about a car with a mind of its own, following The Car (1977) and Christine (1983). Coincidentally, Star Wars movies also came out in 1977, 1983, and 2005.

The Thinly Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Guess Who?. In Meet the Parents, the couple is of different religions, the couple comes to the parents' house in a rental car, the future husband must sleep in the parents' basement, the future husband and father-in-law share an awkward moment when listening to music on the car radio, the future husband and father-in-law have a car race, and the future father-in-law comes to his senses and intercepts the future husband at the airport. In Guess Who?, the couple is of different ethnicities, the couple comes to the parents' house in a cab, the future husband must sleep in the parents' basement, the future husband and father-in-law share an awkward moment when listening to music on the car radio, the future husband and father-in-law race go-karts, and the future father-in-law comes to his senses and intercepts the future husband at the train station. As if we wouldn't notice.

The Thinly Veiled Remake in Disguise award (runner-up) goes to The 40 Year Old Virgin. Peewee's Big Adventure had its main character who loved to ride his bike and make elaborate breakfasts, a scene where the main character plays with a fake ear, an actor named Paul (Ruebens), and an actress named Elizabeth (Daily) who had a thing for the main character. The 40 Year Old Virgin had its main character who loved to ride his bike and make elaborate breakfasts, a scene where the main character plays with a fake ear, an actor named Paul (Rudd), and an actress named Elizabeth (Banks) who had a thing for the main character. As if we wouldn't notice.

The 2005 Steve Awards

The Prior Experience Required award goes to the husband and wife team of Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor for Dodgeball. Since the plot called for flying balls that strike people on the head, the producers chose Ben Stiller, who was over-zealous playing water volleyball in Meet the Parents and Christine Taylor, who was struck by a football in The Brady Bunch.

The It Runs in the Family award goes to Kurt Russell in Miracle. In Miracle, Kurt Russell played a coach who drilled his players to death to make a point, and won the gold. In real life, he won the Goldie (Hawn), who played a coach in Wildcats and ran her players to death to make a point.

The She Has a Thing for Guys Who Climb Walls award goes to Kirsten Dunst. She "hangs out" with Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2, and with Paul Bettany, who scales the wall of her house to visit her in Wimbledon.

The All the Football Coaches Just Cringed award goes to Friday Night Lights. On 4th down and inches, a coach calls for the tailback dive play and loses yardage, when everyone else in America would have called a quarterback sneak.

The All the Math Teachers Just Cringed award goes to Mean Girls. Aaron says to Cady "sometimes the product of two negative integers is a positive number". Sometimes??

The Kiss a Little Longer, Sponsored by Big Red Chewing Gum award goes to The Prince and Me. The library scene starts at night time, then Julia Stiles and Luke Mably head to the stacks to smooch while daylight streams through the windows, and ends with the couple running outside in a daytime shower.

The Don't Know Much about History award goes to Princess Diaries 2. Hector Elizondo, whose parents are from Puerto Rico, says "I have diplomatic immunity in 46 countries, including Puerto Rico". As we all know, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, not an independent country.

The I'll Take Cities and Governing Locations with the Same Name for $200, Alex award goes to The Terminal. We learn that Tom Hanks' character is from the country of Krakozia, but late in the movie, we see on the flight monitor that Krakozia is the name of the city, too. So, he flew from Krakozia, Krakozia to New York, New York. Where else in the world do these duplicate names exist? More important, do you even care??

The Surely, You Can't Be Serious award goes to The Terminal. Stanley Tucci says to Catherine Zeta-Jones "He has a Planters Peanuts can, what do you make of it?", and she says "peanut butter". If Steven Spielberg really wanted to pay tribute to the Airplane movies, she would have said "oh, I can make a hat, or a broach, or a pterodactyl".

The Thinly Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Just Married. In Meet the Parents, Ben Stiller has a blonde girlfriend, meets her disapproving father and her ex-boyfriend, the father calls his daughter "shortstop", and he lets the family cat run away from the house. In Just Married, Ashton Kutcher has a blonde girlfriend, meets her disapproving father and her ex-boyfriend, the father calls his daughter PeeWee (as in shortstop PeeWee Reese), and he lets her dog jump out the window to an untimely death. As if we wouldn't notice.

The He's Still the King (not Don King) award goes to Million Dollar Baby. Director Clint Eastwood subliminally pays tribute to Elvis twice -- in one scene, he and Morgan Freeman talk about Tupelo, Mississippi, and in another, he receives letters bearing the "Return to Sender" stamp.

The Thinly-Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Big Fish. In Forrest Gump, the lead character is Forrest Gump (first name 2 syllables, second name one syllable), who lived in Alabama, wore leg braces, ran the ball playing football, and had a romance with Jenny, played by an actress who goes by 3 names (Robin Wright Penn). In Big Fish, the lead character is Edward Bloom (first name 2 syllables, second name one syllable), who lived in Alabama, was bedridden in braces, ran the ball playing football, and had a near-romance with Jenny, played by an actress who goes by 3 names (Helena Bonham Carter). In Big Fish, Jenny and Edward made a point about their 10 year age difference; Big Fish had its main release 10 years after Forrest Gump. As if we wouldn't notice.

The 2004 Steve Awards

The Case of the Disappearing Wall award goes to Mystic River. In one scene, the cops are facing Sean Penn and Laura Linney, who are sitting in a cafeteria booth that is against a wall. When the scene switches its camera angle to the left of Sean and Laura, we can see that there is walking room where the wall should be. Director Clint Eastwood should put Dirty Harry on this case.

The Let's Plug His Next Movie award goes to The Recruit. In one scene, Colin Farrell calls Al Pacino, and Al says "You know that Phone Booth you're calling from?".

The These Guys are Professionals? award goes to The Italian Job. The good guys eavesdrop on Ed Norton calling the cable company for service, the cable company says they will send someone in a week, Mark Wahlberg calls Ed Norton's security guard, pretends to be from the cable company and says that they have someone in the area and will be right over. But, Mark Wahlberg doesn't call the cable company to cancel the order. And, the security guard apparently didn't have Caller ID, or he wasn't suspicious about the caller.

The Trading Spaces award goes to Lindsay Lohan for Freaky Friday. In The Parent Trap, she traded places with her sister, and in Freaky Friday, she traded places with her mother. At this rate, in her next movie, she will trade places with her grandmother. She must have been influenced by Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays the mother and appeared in the movie Trading Places.

The The You're a Good Man, in Japan award goes to Charlie Brown, whose name was referred to in both Lost in Translation and Kill Bill, Vol 1 (which had a an actress named Lucy, to boot).

The Perfect Opportunity to Capitalize on My Name Gone Astray award goes to sportscaster Jack Arute, who failed to land a role in Kangaroo Jack.

The They Don't Know Their Right From Their Left Award goes to Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Uma Thurman's voice over says "The pretty lady on O-Ren's right is Sofie Fatale", but Sofie is on O-Ren's left.

The Perfect Opportunity to Sponsor a Movie Gone Astray award goes to the Dell Crossword Company. For the movie Elf, they could have designed a poster that had:


The Thinly-Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Old School. The City Slickers movies had 3 middle-aged men trying to re-discover themselves, a character named Mitch, a character named Curly, and a character who quotes from The Godfather. Old School has 3 middle-aged men trying to re-discover themselves, a character named Mitch, a character with curly hair (Will Ferrell), and a character whose nickname is The Godfather. As if we wouldn't notice.

The 2003 Steve Awards

The Hey, I'm Making Progress award goes to Tom Cruise for Minority Report. After 2 movies in which he had to wear a mask (see The 2002 Steve Awards), Tom's character only has to wear a blindfold.

The Spend More Time on Your Homework, Young Man! award goes to Minority Report. A tour guide says "the District of Columbia is now the safest city in America". As we learned in the 4th grade, the District of Columbia is not a city.

The Well, FBI Agents Aren't Graded on Their Notetaking award goes to Catch Me if You Can. When the agents visit Frank Abagnale's mother, one of them asks "Did you two meet during the war?" But later in the movie, the agent reads from his notepad: "Question: You met your husband during the war?"

The hmmm, May Be Time to Retire? award goes to James Bond in Die Another Day. When someone knocks on his hotel door, 007 opens it without even thinking of getting a weapon.

The Just My Luck, the Only 2 Helpful People in New York City award goes to Richard Gere in Unfaithful. While carrying the dead body out of the apartment building, a stranger opens the door for him, and when his car trunk door won't close because of the body in it, an associate keeps insisting on helping him.

The He May Have Amnesia, but He's Not Dumb award goes to Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity. After surviving a shootout with the bad guy who breaks into his apartment through a window, Matt says to Franka Potente: "We can't stay here. It's not safe."

The She Doesn't Have Amnesia, So What's Her Excuse? award goes to Ashley Judd in High Crimes. Despite having had her life threatened, she wanders aimlessly on a street while a car creeps up on her.

The She's Blonde, So She Has an Excuse award goes to Rebecca Romin-Stamos in Femme Fatale. With one dead body and another bloody one on the restroom floor, and the cops closing in, she says to Rie Rasmussen: "You better get out of here, go!"

The Yeah, But the Rest of the Movie was Believeable award goes to Like Mike. Calvin's first play in an NBA game lasts 44 seconds, flaunting the 24 second rule.

The Takes a Licking but Keeps on Ticking award goes to Hard Cash. The bad guy crashes into a lake in his car, and standing waist-deep in water, he takes his cell phone out of his pants pocket, and it still works. John Cameron Swayze would have been proud.

The Yet Another Freudian Theme award goes to Analyze That. Robert DeNiro makes a call on a phone outside his cell to Billy Crystal's cell phone.

The They Don't Make Tranquilizers Like They Use To goes to XXX. Vin Diesel is knocked out by a tranquilizer dart, comes to in a diner and asks "how did I get here?", yet somehow he knows that it's Sunday.

The On the Other hand, Tranquilizers Must Give You ESP goes to XXX. Vin Diesel, waking up in the diner, says "there's no way a career waitress comes to work in high heels". How did he know that it wasn't her first day on the job?

The Thinly-Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Big Fat Liar. In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris takes his girl friend on an adventure, has Cameron phone the principal pretending to be Sloan's father, while a teacher rambles on in an Economics class, claims to be the sausage king of Chicago, and dons sunglasses to avoid being recognized; and a dissheveled Mr. Rooney gets on a bus after his car is towed. In Big Fat Liar, Jason takes his girl friend on an adventure, phones his teacher pretending to be his father, while a teacher (played by Ted Rooney) rambles on in an English class, claims to be the biggest furcoat distributor in the midwest, and dons sunglasses to avoid being recognized; and a dissheveled Marty Wolf gets on a bus after his car is smashed up. As if we wouldn't notice.

The 2002 Steve Awards

The Are They Trying to Tell Me Something? award goes to Tom Cruise. For the second year in a row (Eyes Wide Shut and Vanilla Sky), his character had to wear a mask.

The Even the Producers are Trying to Drive Me Crazy award goes to Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. One of his tormentors in the movie is played by Noah Taylor, who co-starred with Nicole Kidman in Flirting.

The Does Anyone Ever Really Know What Time it is? award goes to In the Bedroom. In one scene, the clock shows the time as 6:38. Moments later, it shows 6:18.

The Encore! Encore! award goes to Steve Zahn. After playing Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr. in Happy, Texas (see The 2000 Steve Awards), he plays a character called Wayne in Saving Silverman.

The Yeah, Sure, Just a Coincidence award goes to The Mummy Returns, which opened on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek's birthday.

The Eight Years in Medical School, and I Still Get it Wrong award goes to Cate Blanchett in Bandits. Her character says "The heart is a mysterious organ". She should have listened to Bill Murray in Charlie's Angels; he said "The heart is a muscle".

The All the English Teachers Cringed award goes to Jena Malone in Cheaters. Her character says "We're just as smart as them!".

The Apple of My Eye award goes to Sophie Guillemin in With a Friend Like Harry. Her character's name is sometimes Prune, other times Plum.

The NOT Approved by the American Dental Association award goes to Sugar and Spice. James Marsden's character scores the winning touchdown without wearing his mouthguard.

The Thinly-Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Riding in Cars with Boys. Drew Barrymore plays a woman with relationship issues in the 1980's, there is a Billy Idol song in the soundtrack, there is an actress named Rosie (Perez), and a character named Christina. In The Wedding Singer, Drew Barrymore plays a woman with relationship issues in the 1980's, Billy Idol has a cameo role, there is an actress named Christina (Pickles), and a character named Rosie. As if we wouldn't notice.

The 2001 Steve Awards

The That's Why He's Not a Doctor award goes to Scott Glenn in Vertical Limit. Scott says to Chris O'Donnell: "Look at you, you can barely stand up". Moments later, Chris, carrying nitroglycerin on his back, takes a running start and leaps across a 100 foot opening, then clings to side of the mountain.

The So Much for Fire Safety award goes to Remember The Titans. While his neighbors are applauding Denzel Washington after a big win, we can see a car parked by a fire hydrant across from his house.

The For a Mother, You Don't Know Much About Household Safety award goes to Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Michelle uses her computer while an electrical storm is raging outside.

The For Someone Who is Filthy Rich, Shouldn't You Have the Latest Software? award goes to Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. We can see that Dr. and Mrs. Spencer's PC still runs Windows 3.1.

The How Did She Know That? award goes to What Lies Beneath. When Michelle Pfeiffer sees a list of missing persons on a website, she figures out that clicking on a name links her to the person's picture, even though the names don't have the underline for a hyperlink.

The Tribute to Gregory Hines award goes to Disney's The Kid. When the boy walks down the stairs wearing sneakers in Bruce Willis' home, the enhanced sound effects make it sound as if he has tap shoes on.

The Proof of Global Warming award goes to Finding Forrester. The movie starts in the fall and ends in the spring, and the weather in New York City stays the same.

The Root, Root, Root for the Home Team (whoever they are) award goes to Any Given Sunday. In one of the games, both teams are wearing their home colors.

The Forecast: Occasional Storms, Heavy in Some Areas award goes to Second Skin. In one scene, the wind is strong enough to make the rain come down diagonally, but it has no effect on Natasha Henstridge's hair.

The 2000 Steve Awards

The Is There an Echo in Here? award goes to Eyes Wide Shut, where the typical dialog was "He checked out this morning"/"He checked out this morning?". This constant filler dialog probably comprised an hour of its 2 hour, 39 minute length.

The How Soon They Forget award goes to Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. After his William Thacker character has his picture appear in every publication in England, he walks through town, through a movie set, and a press conference without being recognized.

The You've Got Mail award for best use of an independent bookstore goes to Notting Hill. Runnerup: The Love Letter.

The Fab Four award for illustrating that teenage boys succeed best when working in a group of 4 goes to October Sky. Runnerup: American Pie. Inaugural winner in this category: Breaking Away. Other notable winner in this category: Stand By Me.

The Lemmy Caution award for best name for a character in a movie goes to Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr. in Happy Texas. Inaugural winner in this category: Lemmy Caution in Alphaville. Other notable winner in this category: Ned Beatty as Dean Martin, the dean of the College of Business, in Back to School.

The Kreskin award for best use of ESP in a movie goes to Double Jeopardy. When Ashley Judd asks a guy in a library to use the Internet to locate Angela Green, the guy immediately knows that the name is spelled GREEN, and not GREENE.

The Who's In Charge of Security Here? award goes to Double Jeopardy. Ashley Judd's character is able to fly to New Orleans with a gun in her possession.

The Bob and Ray Slow Talkers of America award goes to Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. Rachel's character has to quickly find in a book the magic words that will destroy the mummy, who is beating Brendan Fraser to a pulp. When she finds the key words, she wastes time by saying "wait, I've found it", thereby allowing the mummy to get in a few more good licks.

The Inspector Clouseau Award award for ineptitude by a detective goes to Ewan McGregor in Eye of the Beholder. Ewan's character follows Ashley Judd on the sidewalk, wearing a bright red jacket that makes him totally conspicuous.

The Perfect Opportunity for Product Placement Gone Awry award goes to Run, Lola, Run. Lola (Franka Potente) runs through town without breaking a sweat. You would think that the anti-perspirant that she uses would have appeared prominently in her room.

The Thinly-Veiled Remake in Disguise award goes to Chill Factor. In Speed (1994), a man and a woman must use their wits when a terrorist plants a bomb that will explode if the bus goes below 50 MPH. In Chill Factor (1999), two men must must use their wits in transporting a biological chemical weapon while keeping its temperature below 50 degrees, with the terrorists hot on their heels. Want more proof? Patricia Tallman was a stunt actress in both movies. As if we wouldn't notice.

What I have learned from watching the movies

Anyone can land an airplane.

Any contact with a plate glass window will cause it to shatter.

Every game of touch football will result in an injury or someone getting humiliated.

If you are at a game, you should immediately place a bet with your friend on the margin of victory, because you know that the final score will be decided by 1 point, 1 run, 1 goal, etc., decided on the last play of the game.

Every workaholic dad will come to his senses, tell his boss to blow off, and race to his kid's game. The kid will see dad arrive, smile, and score the winning point, run, goal, etc., on the last play of the game.

The underdog's odds of winning the big game or big race will greatly increase if a key player or key supporter is in the hospital, listening to the game/race on the radio.

If you begrudgingly become the coach of a rag-tag team, the more rag-tag the team, the more likely the team will win the championship.

The people who select the coach to take over a rag-tag team are incredible judges of character. They intuitively know that despite the coach being an unemployed single slob with relationship problems, he has the potential to transform into someone who can clean up his act, relate to kids, and fall in love with the mother of the worst kid.

Every tattoo is a symbol for a cult, and is the clue for solving a mystery.

If you have just missed your train, you will acquire Carl Lewis-like speed and catch up to it, then a Spiderman-like grip to pull yourself onto the train.

If you are a mayor/sheriff/business mogul at a resort/ski area/beach town, you will be in denial that the avalanche/volcano/wild fire/earthquake/shark attack/tidal wave will happen, until the bitter end.

The US government, with its multi-trillion dollar budget, must be cutting costs by eliminating signs for its buildings. Lacking these signs, movie editors are forced to show captions such as "CIA Headquarters, McLean, Virginia" on the screen when the camera pans on to the building.

If you are on the run from the law for a crime that you didn't commit, the one truck driver in the country who did not see your face on TV will give you a ride. After he discovers that you are wanted, he will intuitively know that you were framed.

If the good guy gets shot, it will only be in the fleshy part of his non-shooting arm.

If you and the bad guy are fighting on a balcony, and the bad guy knocks you over the railing, you will land safely in a clump of bushes.

If you are being chased by a bad guy who keeps ramming his car against yours, it will not occur to you to hit the brakes and let him run off the road.

If you are being chased by a bad guy in a high rise building, and you try to get away in the elevator, punch the floor button repeatedly. The elevator will move in the nick of time, just after the doors close on his arm.

If you are being chased by a bad guy on a train, lure him to the top of the train, and think of a ploy to get him to stand up facing the rear of the train seconds before the train goes through a tunnel. You'll need to factor in the time you will spend dangling by one arm on the side of the train when you try to hide from him.

If you are hiding from a bad guy, make sure to have a cat with you. When he hears you make a noise, you will nudge the cat out into the open. That will satisfy him that the cat made the noise, and he will leave.

If you are a cop and you leave a suspect alone for even one minute in the squad car, with his hands cuffed behind his back, you can be assured that he will free himself and escape.

If you want to break out of prison, volunteer for ditch-digging duty along the highway. Or, make sure to be on the prisoner transport bus.

If your boss is Donald Sutherland, James Cromwell, Donald Moffatt, Jon Voigt, Josef Sommer, Bob Gunton, or Ben Gazzara, you can be assured that he is corrupt.

After a frightening dream jolts you into waking up, run to the bathroom and splash water on your face. All will be well.

If you are walking on the sidewalk and see a familiar face, when you catch up to him/her, it will turn out to be a total stranger.

If you have your credit card rejected at a restaurant, don't bother trying a 2nd or 3rd credit card. Realize that you are a victim of a government conspiracy or a hacker, and resign yourself to washing dishes to pay the bill.

Astronauts always make their appearance at the Kennedy Space Center in slow motion. This is part of their training to prepare for weightlessness in space.

In junior high school, a guy will know who his future girl friend will be because she will make her first appearance in slow motion.

When the new kid shows up for his/her first class, there will always be exactly one desk available, in the middle of the classroom, the next to last row.

If you bash your professor while talking to a co-ed you would like to date, the professor will turn out to be her dad.

If your professor says "no one ever gets an A in my class!", you will pull all-nighters and raise your mid-term C average to an A.

When your wife/girlfriend/mother starts talking as if she has discovered your secret, and you start to confess, you will realize in time that she was talking about something else completely harmless.

If a guy is supposed to meet someone named Alex, or if he overhears his girlfriend saying that she she will be hanging out with someone named Alex, Alex will turn out to be a woman.

Teenage girls go to the mall only in groups of 4.

If your boss invites you to his home and shows you his prized possession, when he leaves the room, you will manage to burn, break, or otherwise destroy it. Then, you will scurry to either replace it, or cover up the damage.

When you realize that you really do love her and don't want her to take that job in Europe, when you race to the airport and get to the gate only to see the plane take off, after your suffering, you will turn around and see her. She realized that she really does love you, too.

Separated at Birth?

Helen Mirren and Loreena McKennitt
Jennifer Beals and Keisha Castle-Hughes
Rowan Atkinson and Eddie Kaye Thomas (Finch in American Pie)
Linda Fiorentino and Wendie Malick
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Clint Eastwood
Julia Roberts and Monica Potter
Elisabeth Shue and Julie Bowen
Sharon Stone and Virginia Madsen
Jennifer Tilly and Joey Lauren Adams (voice only)
Helen Hunt and Leelee Sobieski
Demi Moore and Jordana Brewster
Lori Singer and Daryl Hannah
Annette Bening and Judy Davis
Catherine Keener and Sofia Coppola
Catherine Keener and Camilla Belle
Ellen Barkin and Martha Stewart
Ione Skye and Amy Brenneman
Calista Flockhart and Rachel Dratch
Maureen McCormick and Christine Turner
Gretchen Mol and Terry Polo
Sarah Jesica Parker and Patricia Wettig
Janine Turner and Dana Delaney
Jean Reno and Daniel Stern
Ralph Macchio and Jeff Goldblum
Marc Singer and Kevin Bacon
Sean Connery (Entrapment) and Burt Reynolds (Mystery, Alaska) Dan Hedaya and Al Michaels
Richard Lewis and Rick Pitino Charlie Sheen and Ron Livingston
Will Ferrell and baseball player Adam Dunn
Pierce Brosnan and basketball coach Steve Alford
Fred Thompson and former football coach Phil Fulmer (must be a Tennessee thing)
Keanu Reeves and Temuera Morrison (must be something about appearing in Speed movies)
Keanu Reeves and Chris Klein
Henry Gibson and Joseph Lieberman
Johnny Depp and Skeet Ulrich
Nathan Lane and Sean Hannity
Jason Segel and Brendan Fraser

Here are the movies that I have on tape:

Ferris Bueller's Day Off ("In ... what ... way ... does the author's use of the PRISON ... symbolize...")
A Fish Called Wanda ("Are you totally de-ranged?")
Honeymoon in Vegas ("Please sir, get back in line, or ..."/"Or what? I'll be arrested? Put in airport jail?")
My Cousin Vinny ("Eggs and Grits. I like grits, too. How do you cook your grits? Do you like them regular, creamy, or al dente?")
Home Alone ("I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll have to buy one when I go out today.")
Clueless ("Should I leave a note?")
City Slickers ("I just thought I'd mosey over. I never mosied before, I hope I did it right.")
Ed Wood ("No, it's fine, it's real. Actually, Lobo would have to face that situation every day.")
Breaking Away ("He was as normal as pumpkin pie. Now look at him. His poor parents.")
Baby Boom ("Isn't this place cute?"/"The whole state is cute.")
Raising Arizona ("'Welcome home son' ... where's he been?")
Raiders of the Lost Ark ("Oh come on, Jones, show a little backbone!")
Quiz Show ("So pure it floats?")
Catch Me if You Can
I'll Do Anything
Sleepless in Seattle
Silent Partner
House of Games
Street Smart
Runaway Train
The Grifters
Forrest Gump
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The Conversation
The French Connection
The Player
Three Women
An Unmarried Woman
The English Patient
Electric Dreams

Favorite foreign movies:

Shall We Dance?
Before the Rain
Closely Watched Trains
The Shop on Main Street
The Bicycle Thief
Life is Beautiful
Seven Beauties
Ciao, Professore!
Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Ju Dou
King of Masks
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Jesus of Montreal
Small Change
Day For Night
The Wages of Fear
The Edge of Heaven
The Lives of Others
The Counterfeiters

Movies that I almost passed on but turned out to be great:

The Professional
Strange Days
Raising Arizona
V for Vendetta
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Favorite directors:

Alfred Hitchcock
Woody Allen
Joel Coen
Robert Redford
Lina Wertmuller
Zhang Yimou
Robert Altman
Francis Ford Coppola
Ron Howard
John Hughes
Spike Lee
John Sayles
Steven Spielberg
Francois Truffaut
Mel Brooks

Favorite actors ... I enjoy character actors:

Richard Farnsworth (check out his voice in The Natural)
Rip Torn (Scully in Summer Rental)
Ben Stein ("Anyone? Anyone? Something D O O Economics? Voodoo Economics" (Ferris Bueller's Day Off))
William H. Macy ("Ma'am, I answered your question ... I'm cooperating here!" (Fargo))
Alan Arkin
Paul Bartel (Eating Raoul)
John Cleese
Ben Stiller
Will Ferrell
Bruce McGill
Michael McKean
Fred Willard
Holly Hunter
Marisa Tomei
Janeane Garofalo
M. Emmett Walsh
Roberts Blossom
Colleen Camp
Tommy Davidson
Randy Quaid
R. Lee Ermey
Harold Ramis
Harry Dean Stanton
Wallace Shawn
David Strathairn
Griffin Dunne
Paul Dooley
Sam Elliott
Pete Postlewaite
Ed O'Neill
Anna Farris
Parker Posey
Lisa Kudrow
Shelly Duvall
Carol Kane
Gleanne Headley
Dan Hedaya
Sidney Pollack
Richard Libertini
Christine Taylor
Damon Wayans
Johnny Depp, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Emma Thompson are a favorite big-name stars.

Some of my favorite comedic scenes:

Gene Wilder freaking out when he is sentenced to 125 years in prison in Stir Crazy: "WHA! ... WHA! ... "WHA! ... "WHA!".

The look of panic on Jeffrey Jones' face when Edie McClurg tells him that Ferris Bueller is on line 1 in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Ben Stein explaining the Laffer Curve to a zoned-out class in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Darryl Hannah saying her name in her native tongue in Splash.

Macaulay Culkin slapping on after-shave in Home Alone.

Macaulay Culkin playing 20 questions Dragnet-style with John Candy in Uncle Buck: "I'm a kid, that's my job."

John Candy telling the other enlisted men why he joined the army in Stripes, and Harold Ramis mugging after each anecdote.

Peewee Herman dancing to "Tequila" in Peewee's Big Adventure.

Peewee Herman rolling his eyes while the tour guide at the Alamo does her spiel in Peewee's Big Adventure.

Peewee Herman bickering with Francis in Peewee's Big Adventure.

Joe Pesci interrogating the witness in My Cousin Vinny: " ... and these bushy things between the trees?"/"Bushes?"

Steve Martin walking on the sidewalk with Lily Tomlin's spirit in control of half of his body in All of Me.

Richard Libertini bantering with the face drawn on his hand in The In-Laws: "Pepe, do you like the man?"/"Oh si, si, very much".

Janeane Garofalo shrieking "NO!" when Randy Quaid suggests that he should order dinner for her in Bye Bye Love.

John Belushi as Bluto Blutarsky trying to cheer up Flounder after banging up his car in Animal House.

Alice Cooper explaining the early history of Milwaukee ("It comes from the Algonquin word Meel-a-wau-kee, 'the good land'") in Wayne's World.

Sam Kinnison going on a tirade in Back to School.

My favorite comedic performances by actresses:

Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona ("We got us a child now, everything's changed!")
Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny ("Oh yeah, you blend.")
Fran Drescher in The Beautician and the Beast ("Is one of your sideburns long than the other?")
Janeane Garofalo in The Truth About Cats and Dogs ("She's not HERE here")
Mindy Sterling as Frau Farbissina in the Austin Powers movies ("Send in the GUARDS!!")
Diane Keaton in Baby Boom ("I can't have a child, I have a lunch date.")
Alicia Silverstone in Clueless ("Dionne and I were both named after famous singers of the past, who now do infomercials.")
Jenna Elfman in Krippendorf's Tribe
Parker Posey in Party Girl
Jada Pinkett Smith in Woo

Buried treasures (why aren't these on TV or more often?)

The Stunt Man
The Dresser
The Gambler (1974)
Gregory's Girl
Kill Me Again
Head Above Water
One from the Heart
Electric Dreams
Eating Raoul
Stop Making Sense
The Matchmaker
Sweet Liberty
Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Fatal Instinct
Shallow Grave
Mortal Thoughts
The Milagro Beanfield War
The Mambo Kings
A Soldier's Story
Star Struck
Between the Lines
Movie Movie
Hearts of the West
Runaway Train
Silent Partner
Shy People
Born in East LA
Waking Ned Devine
What Planet Are You From?

A BIG THANKS to my friend Susan, who made the graphics for me. You can see her website at
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