The Brie Larson Experiment Part XIV – Another Year Over

Posted: January 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

Movies Since Last Post:

Glass Castle
Disaster Artist
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Big Short
Rush: Time Stand Still
Office Christmas Party
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

So, here we are, January 1st, 2018, meaning my year of movies is over. I must say, as fun and enlightening as it was at times, I am a little disappointed in myself. I ended up seeing 159 movies in 2017, which is no small amount, but looking at the big picture, I realize that I did sort of limp to the end. In December, I only watched 8 movies, and that is with a lot of time off from work for the holidays. As a comparison, in March, I watched 16, and I hadn’t even started using Hulu as an option yet. Not that Hulu was a huge difference maker. I only watched 17 out of the 159 on there, and a few of them were also available elsewhere. I will say, however, if you have a Hulu subscription, definitely check out some of their originals. Becoming Bond, Batman & Bill and Too Funny to Fail were definitely three highlights of the year for me.

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While we’re on the topic, let me throw a few stats out there; the final count for Amazon was 35, which was surprisingly eclipsed by Xfinity OnDemand with 43. Google Play accounted for 13, and Netflix 16. I watched 4 DVD’s (which is just too funny to me), and one for Bad Movie Night at my friend’s, and I’m not sure which platform he used. So, by my count, I went to a movie theater (or Drive-In) 33 times in 2017. While I do still think that’s the best way to watch a movie, it’s also pretty expensive and time-consuming, so it looks like I have to give the nod to OnDemand for being the most-used platform of the year. Which is pretty interesting since so many people are getting rid of cable. Also, please note that I didn’t illegally download anything. Maybe that’s just me being a chump, but I still don’t think it’s right.

Now, I’m not going to make any bold statements about why people should or shouldn’t have cable, because frankly, even though Xfinity may have had the biggest selection when you throw in the fact that my package includes all the movie channels, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best and if you love movies then you should do what I’m doing. In fact, having the biggest selection only means that there are so many more movies to scroll through before you find one you want to watch. I mean, I know this isn’t news to anyone, but there are just so many bad movies. Honestly, one of the best parts of this quest being over is all the time I will get back because I will no longer be scrolling through pages and pages of bad movies hoping to find one that I want to watch. And after I watch that one, I’d have to go back and find another one.

Ah, time. Let us discuss this concept for a moment. I will admit that I could have, and even should have, watched a lot more, and probably a lot more quality films, were time not a factor. Of course, it always is. There’s no way around it, but I don’t think I even once clicked “Play” in 2017 without first looking at a clock and the movie’s running time. I definitely started leaning towards the shorter ones as the year went along, too. After a while, if a movie took me days to watch it, I would start to just lose interest, and once you get into that “have to finish” mode, then it ceases to become entertainment and it becomes work. Honestly, if I ever do anything like this again, I’ll probably have to wait until I retire and have all the time in the world. And even then I probably wouldn’t want to sit through anything longer than 2:20.

Still, the point of this whole thing was to think about how we watch movies and try to learn something. In fact, back in March, I wrote, “I thought that by the end of the year, it could be a cool way to examine how we watch movies nowadays (or it could just be a whole lot of nothing).” Well, it wasn’t really nothing, but I don’t know if it was something, either. But I did learn a little about myself, so that’s important. The lesson about myself that I did learn came at the very end of the year, in fact. Before seeing The Shape of Water, my final film if 2017, I saw that a Facebook friend had seen and it and wrote in his status that it was “not for the casual movie-goer.”

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That really sparked something in me. Obviously, I knew that “casual movie-goers” existed, because why else would Michael Bay still be allowed to direct movies? But that status spoke to me because I came to the realization that I am not, and probably never have been (at least since I was a teenager) a casual movie-goer. And while it is a great thing to have taste, I actually think that, if a casual movie-goer decided to take a year and watch as many movies as possible, that person could probably have watched way more than I did. They certainly wouldn’t have taken so much time trying to find one that suited them.   Now, I did watch a lot of bad movies last year (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Baywatch), and I did write in the notes on my Google Doc “Not horrible but not great” way more times than I remembered (and some of the movies I don’t even remember that well.) But when I think about all the ones I could have watched but just had no desire to, I have no regrets. I mean, I kind of regret not making more of an effort to watch some real classics, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt. Or in this case, you have to watch the movies that are available, and yeah, free. I could have paid $5 or more to watch everything that Amazon or Google have and probably enjoyed most of them, but I’d be totally broke by now. But this whole thing came about because my idiot film professor in 1997 told me that everyone in Hollywood watches hundreds of movies a year, and everyone in Hollywood is rich, so I guess that’s a pretty good lesson right there.

So, there you have it. Watching movies as a project to see how many you can see is not the way to go about watching movies. Sure, you’ll find a few diamonds in the rough, but with literally thousands of movies at our fingertips, well, that’s a lot of rough. But if you really want to see something, just fork over the dough. It saves time, and more importantly it saves you the aggravation of watching a really crappy movie like The Night Before.

Just make sure you finish within 48 hours of starting it. Another hard lesson learned.

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