When I started college, I realized I had a lot more time on my hands than I used to in high school. I had a less structured schedule than before and I wasn’t much of a partier feeling more comfortable spending my Friday and Saturday nights in my dorm room rather than at some kegger. With all that free time I started watching a lot more movies than I ever did. My best friend at another university, two states away, and I would schedule movie nights watching whatever seemed good at the moment.
Then in 2012 I started writing down all the names of the movies I watched. At first I would watch a movie a week, but then by the summer, I could watch 4 movies a day. I inadvertently started watching films just to see how many I could watch in an entire year. (By the way, I ended up watching 301 movies that year.)
Fast forward to 2015, I started writing down all the films again this time with the goal of watching 365 movies in 365 days. That seems excessive, but I made it happen. Actually, I ended watching 414 movies. Wow, I know. I’m that cool.
So what does this have to do with anything? I started a new challenge for myself this year to watch 366 new-to-me movies. Any movie that I have never seen before no matter when it was made. Thanks to Pixie Chick I can now share my progress for the year. Each month I will talk about several movies that I have any type of opinions about. The good, the bad, and the ugly. So let’s get started. We have a lot to catch up on.
As I write this I’ve watched 108 movies in 115 days. I’m not going to list each one but I’ll talk about a few.
Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa (1954): It may have been the first Japanese film I’ve ever seen. And I have to admit it, it’s long. Like really long. It clocks in at about 3 and a half hours. No matter how hard you pay attention, it gets difficult to watch a subtitled film for so long. But I get why it’s considered a classic. It has all the elements of a powerful action film. It was masterfully made to put it simply. But will I watch again? It’s the same reason why I don’t think I can sit through Gone With the Wind any time soon. Who has the time? It was good the first time around, but not great enough to really love it.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011): More like we need to talk about Tilda Swinton! This movie is quite disturbing but so well done. It’s based off a book that I did not read, but that shouldn’t stop people from watching it because it has such staying power. The images resonate so much weeks after watching it. I highly recommend it.
I’m almost embarrassed to review these two movies solely on the basis that it took me 23 years to watch them. Home Alone and Home Alone 2. There is a very high, likely chance that I had never watched either movie in their entireties in my life. That being sad, I totally missed out. They’re fun movies written by the master himself John Hughes (I can go on a rant about how much I love John Hughes films). I enjoyed them thoroughly on the basis on how cool and terrifying it would have been to be left alone by parents in my house when I was 9 and having a serious adventure. Also these films are brilliant examples of how not to parent. Like count your kids. Put them on a leash. This is the overall message of the Home Alone series.
We Need To Talk About the Oscars… 3 Months Later
For the past few years, I’ve tried to watch all the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the award ceremony. This is the first year that I actually didn’t get to accomplish that goal. I didn’t see The Revenant. I wanted to watch the movie properly and not by *cough* any other illegal means. But let’s talk about the 5 films nominated (I say 5 because I saw The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road before the year started so we’re just gonna talk about the others.)
Spotlight was good. Really good. The subject matter pissed me off greatly, but the film did a swell job at telling a real poignant story. Am I glad it won Best Picture? Yes I suppose so, though it would have been rad if Mad Max won.
I didn’t understand The Big Short. It was an entertaining movie by the director who gave us the great treasure of Anchorman, but that doesn’t mean I still understood what was the point of it all. Did I need a movie to tell me that Wall Street men are corrupt? No, I really didn’t. Did I understand exactly how they are corrupt? Absolutely not and the movie didn’t help to try to explain it better. Maybe I’ll watch it again sometime to catch all the little bits again, but that doesn’t sound like it’ll happen anytime soon.
Bridge of Spies was boring. I literally do not remember anything except the actual bridge exchange at the end. That can’t be considered a spoiler because it actually happened in real life and can be easily Googled. Moving on!
Brooklyn was cute but just as forgettable just like Bridge of Spies. I enjoyed it but I forgot everything about it quickly afterwards. Next!
Room aka the only movie that matters to be honest. Oh I cried. I teared up. Jacob Tremblay is a Canadian treasure who did an excellent job at ripping out my heart. The movie was great and had that indie heart that made it seem real and less “Hollywood”. I’m just happy this movie was even made and the world was properly introduced to Jacob Tremblay.
Because Sometimes I Should Actually Learn Things
Now on to documentaries. Watch more documentaries. They are good for your health. Trust me! Some of the documentaries I’ve seen this year are Hoop Dreams (1994), Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008), and Decline of Western Civilization, all three parts (thanks TCM!). It’s an actual sport to spend years studying these subjects and outcomes masterpieces to which we are placed in the middle of life trying to understand life better. Documentaries make real life tragic. They make it beautiful. You know that moment when you watch a documentary that forces you to emote a million different feelings for an hour and forty minutes. It’s a thrill. So you’ll be hearing about more documentaries from me this year.
My Mom Says I Need a New Hobby
So now you see my obsession with film. I love a good story. Storytelling is my passion. Humans have been telling stories for centuries. Stories are how we communicate with each other. It’s how we relate, feel, and connect. It’s escapism. It’s our reality. As many problems as there are with the film industry, it still provides us with the visual stories that connect us to one another. There are a billion and 1 stories out there. Let’s do our best to share them all.
Tune in next month for another installment of my film reviews. Check out my blog for the full always updating list of all my movies. I’m not a film critic. I’m just a girl who really likes movies. Until next time folks, live longer and prosper. Movie on!