Archive for September, 2017

Movies Since Last Post:

VHS Massacre
South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
Wind River
The Boy
Hell or High Water
Nocturnal Animals
The Wall
Magnificent Seven
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Batman & Harley Quinn

It’s been a month since my last post, and I think I have some serious ground to make up. Because of a vacation and some other family stuff, I have watched only 11 movies in that span, and didn’t watch any between August 11th and August 24th. I feel I am sort of entering the home stretch, and I am at a rather sorry 114 movies for the year. Better than my total of 20 years ago, when I had no internet to aid me, but way off my desired goal. I can probably get to 150 if I really work at it, but 200 seems unattainable at this point. I mean, I could do it if I watch a movie almost every day for the rest of the year, or actually sequester myself in my home and do nothing else, but that seems like a stupid thing to do for this silly quest (even sillier than buying every Nintendo game, in fact.) Let’s face it; are there 86 movies available to me that I actually want to watch?


How have I not used this before?

This is the problem I find myself with, in fact. When looking over the list, for every movie I find that I really enjoyed and felt enriched by, and wondered why I didn’t see it before (like Nocturnal Animals or Hell or High Water), I probably watched three that made me wonder why I wasted my time (The Boy). Or more importantly, why the people that made the film wasted their time (Magnificent Seven. Seriously, was that whole movie just an excuse for Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington to hang out?).

What I’ve discovered this year is that watching movies is a fun activity and a great distraction, naturally. And a movie like Wind River was something I would have seen, anyway. But forcing yourself to watch a movie to add another one to a list is not the way to go about the movie experience. It’s almost like those bars that have a mug club that you can only get into when you drink 50 different beers. It sounds like a fun little venture until you realize that a lot of the beers aren’t something you would ever drink if you had the choice. And I’m not even getting a mug at the end of the year. Maybe I’ll buy myself a movie poster or something to commemorate the occasion.

I have very often (like almost daily) found myself having some spare moments and scrolling through movie titles in the hopes of finding one that is around 90 minutes so that I can fit it in a small window of time. This is, of course, ridiculous because I can always pause it and come back to it at any time (unless it’s a rental and expires in 48 hours.) Naturally, the optimum viewing experience is to watch a movie in one sitting, and I’m sure the filmmakers are hoping that you’ll be so engrossed that you won’t want to shut it off, but let’s be honest here; out of the 114 movies I have watched this year, other than seeing them in a theater, how many times have I actually done that?

This is the psychological aspect of this experiment that I did not predict in January (well, it might have crossed my mind.) I figured I might be pressed for time, or that the opportunities to see movies themselves would dry up (I also didn’t predict that Amazon would have that many), but the fact that I would just burn out, and so soon, was something that I did not anticipate. Now, it’s not like watching a movie is hard work. All it involves is sitting there and looking at a screen. I could literally be doing it right now instead of writing this. But I wasn’t planning on changing my whole lifestyle just to see if I could watch a lot of movies a lot of different ways. I mean, I still enjoy watching baseball, and Game of Thrones, and Fargo, and sometimes crap reality TV. And I enjoy going out to dinner, and sometimes even having conversations with people. I guess I sort of have this old-school mentality that dictates when I decide to watch a movie, I am making that commitment to that movie, and if life happens and I have to pause it, so be it. But I have started that thing and I’m going to finish it, by God.

I hope, in the end, it will actually be worth something, because as I look at the list, I see a lot of movies that I will probably never think about again, will probably never come up in conversation ever, or I will barely remember, unless I actually meet Brie Larson one day. And yet I watched them because they fit into my window and they were available for streaming. I guess that’s one lesson I can take away from all this, and maybe something we can all learn from this experiment: with all these streaming services, just because a movie is there doesn’t mean you need to watch it. Or perhaps Jeff Goldblum, playing one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, said it better in Jurassic Park:


I guess I’m just saying that movies, uh, find a way.