As we continue to cross fingers that something – anything – will soon be playing at a theater near us, let's take a look at five direct sequels from 1980 to 1993 that, for me, are all significant improvements on the blockbusters that preceded them.

Here's a salute to wonderful performances – all of them filmed before the actors turned 13 – available as home-viewing entertainment: a dozen 1973-to-1999 movie portrayals (five of them Oscar-nominated or -winning) that strongly suggest that acting gifts have precious little to do with age.

Damned if this fiercely funny, inventive, thoughtful, and affecting release doesn't feel like the first movie comedy designed specifically for the pandemic era: a spiky yet empathetic commentary on modern life and modern romance in which “modern,” for once, genuinely means “this exact moment right now.”

As we continue to wait for large, semi-large, and even intimate public-entertainment venues to safely open again, here are a few more home-viewing favorites from my nostalgia cabinet: five – well, make that six – excellent works from 1979 to 1992 all focused on the business of show, with different titles for different nostalgic moods.

Terry Tilka, owner of the Rock Island Brewing Company (RIBCO) and 2nd Ave Dance Club in Rock Island, discusses the venues' operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, July 2.

Tyson Danner, Executive Director of the River Music Experience (RME) in Davenport, discusses the live-music and music-education venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, July 2.

Kevin Koster, co-owner (with wife Diane) of the Grape Life Wine Store & Lounge in Davenport, discusses the live music venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, July 2.

Ryan Lounsbury, Marketing Director for the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport, discusses the venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, July 2.

As a record of filmed theatre – especially considering Lin-Manuel Miranda's achievement is probably the greatest musical-theatre offering of the last 20 years – this Hamilton might have exactly zero peers.

As we celebrate 2020 being half-finished at long long last, let's take a look at 20 actors – all of them Golden Globe and/or Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominees – who have somehow been denied Oscar recognition despite healthy, sometimes legendary big-screen résumés.

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