Thursday, January 01, 2009

297

297. That's the number of movies I watched in 2008. That’s an astounding 179 fewer than I saw last year, and my lowest total since I began keeping track in 2003. My all-time record is 588 in 2004, which I hope I never equal. The number also doesn’t include all the television series on DVD I’ve been digging through this year, including SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, GET SMART, MANNIX, and others.

One reason for the low total this year is the petering-out of weekly Crappy Movie Nights, where friends would gather at my place for crappy double features. It’s happened only once since June, I’m sad to say, but I hope to revive that long-standing tradition in 2009. Also, I bought a house last year, and some time that I would normally spend watching movies, I was doing something responsible instead.

Of the 297 movies I saw, I watched 203 of them for the first time. Here are my rules. As far as the count goes, only feature films count, no matter whether I saw them in a theater, DVD, VHS, or on TV.

• TV shows don't count, unless they were presented in a format resembling a feature film (for instance, the two pilot episodes of HARRY O, which aired as full-length made-for-TV movies)
• Made-for-TV movies count
• Documentaries count
• I didn't count short subjects or feature-length making-of documentaries included as DVD extras (for instance, the 25 YEARS OF HALLOWEEN DVD)
• Movie serials count as one long feature
• Multiple viewings each count as a separate movie

These are my rules. Your mileage may vary.

DVD: 190
HDTV (my new favorite channel is MGM HD): 42
Theater: 26
TV: 20
Blu-ray: 15
VHS: 4 (while burning them to DVD-R: THE AROUSERS, SUDDEN DEATH, DEATH DRIVER and WOLFMAN)

First film of 2007: BEYOND THE DOORS (Larry Buchanan’s ridiculous biopic of Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix)
Last film of 2008: RETROACTIVE

From the 1930's: 2 (CHANDU THE MAGICIAN and DRACULA’S DAUGHTER)
1940's: 8 (same total as last year)
1950's: 8
1960's: 21
1970's: 72
1980's: 73
1990's: 26
2000-2007: 45

Even though I stopped going to theaters regularly a few years ago, I still managed to see 42 2008 releases, mostly on cable or on DVD. Outside of January’s annual B-Fest at Northwestern University, I saw a theatrical film only 12 times this year, one of which was MY NAME IS BRUCE at the Avon in Decatur, where star/director Bruce Campbell performed an entertaining Q&A afterward.

Most in one month:
January: 42
Least in one month:
July and October: 13

Films I saw more than once:
D-WAR: DRAGON WARS
HOT MOVES

The most films in any one 24-hour period:
14, when I attended Northwestern University's annual B-Fest January 18–19

Numbers in the title:
976-EVIL II
POPULATION/436
U.S. SEALS 2: THE ULTIMATE FORCE
DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN
WHITE NOISE 2
15 MINUTES
HIGH NOON, PART II: THE RETURN OF WILL KANE
SECRET AGENT X-9
THE INCREDIBLE 2-HEADED TRANSPLANT
SHARK ATTACK 3: MEGALODON
BARBARIAN QUEEN II: THE EMPRESS STRIKES BACK
DEATH RACE 2000
THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES
THE RELENTLESS FOUR
100 MILLION BC
CLOUD 9
FINAL DESTINATION 3
LOVE CAMP 7
F/X 2
DEATHSTALKER IV: MARCH OF TITANS
TIGER CLAWS III
UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY
24: REDEMPTION
SWEET SIXTEEN
JOY RIDE 2: DEAD AHEAD

Direct-to-Video Releases You Haven’t Heard Of, But You Should See:
THE AMATEURS (played 2 weeks on 4 screens)
BONE DRY
MISSIONARY MAN
THE SHEPHERD
WIND CHILL (played 1 week at 42 theaters…in April—nice work, Sony)
MR. WARMTH: THE DON RICKLES PROJECT (premiered on HBO)
CLOUD 9 (Burt Reynolds coaches a beach volleyball team of strippers)
POPULATION/436 (reminiscent of TWILIGHT ZONE)
BLOWBACK

Dolph Lundgren movies:
DIAMOND DOGS
MISSIONARY MAN

Steven Seagal movies:
KILL SWITCH
PISTOL WHIPPED
URBAN JUSTICE
THE ONION MOVIE
UNDER SIEGE
UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY

Steven Seagal movies that sucked:
KILL SWITCH
PISTOL WHIPPED
URBAN JUSTICE
THE ONION MOVIE

They Exist, and I Watched Them:
AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS BAND CAMP
AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS BETA HOUSE
AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS THE NAKED MILE

Most Delightful Surprise:
SUPERMAN REDEEMED, a fan re-edit of SUPERMAN III and SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE that’s not only better than they, but also much better than SUPERMAN RETURNS
Runner-Up: THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS

2008 Releases:
100 MILLION BC
24: REDEMPTION
THE AMATEURS
BLACK OPS
BONE DRY
CHASING GHOSTS: BEYOND THE ARCADE
CLEANER
CONSPIRACY
CYBORG SOLDIER
THE DARK KNIGHT
DIAMOND DOGS
DOOMSDAY
FLOCK, THE
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY
IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
IRON MAN
JOY RIDE 2: DEAD AHEAD
KILL SWITCH
LEATHERHEADS
MISSIONARY MAN
THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR
MY NAME IS BRUCE
THE ONION MOVIE
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
PISTOL WHIPPED
RAMBO
RED
RELIGULOUS
RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP
ROGUE
ROLE MODELS
SHEPHERD, THE
TROPIC THUNDER
UNTRACEABLE
VANTAGE POINT
WHITE NOISE 2
WRESTLEMANIAC
THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
ZOMBIE STRIPPERS!

I live in Illinois, so the best films won’t get here for awhile. I saw THERE WILL BE BLOOD, for instance, in February—too late to qualify for my 2007 Top Ten.

My Top Ten of 2008:
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY
IRON MAN
MY NAME IS BRUCE
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
RAMBO
RED
ROGUE
ROLE MODELS
THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE

My Bottom Five of 2008:
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
KILL SWITCH
THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR
RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP
WRESTLEMANIAC

How many movies did you watch this year?

8 comments:

katie said...

i'd like to think that your highest in 2004 was because i watched a lot of crap with you :)

this year i had a very low number. 199. but i was pretty busy :)

Andrew Wickliffe said...

Wow. I only did 268 (8 higher than my 260 target). I remember I once had a 365 year (in college).

John Charles said...

Just slightly beat you with 304.

KILL SWITCH was definitely the worst movie of 2008. Between this atrocity and QUANTUM OF SOLACE, the art of editing has been set back about 100 years. The AVID-happy clowns who cut these movies should be restrained, CLOCKWORK ORANGE-style, and forced BULLITT, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE SEVEN-UPS, THE WILD BUNCH, and John Woo's THE KILLER non-stop for 90 days and 90 nights.

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Farkas said...

Wow, almost neck-and-neck with you for 2008 Marty! I came in at 299, which is down from 375 in 2007, when I had set a specific goal to average a-movie-a-day for the year (a goal I will never aspire to again). For what it's worth, I did also manage to read 37 books (with an average of 170 pages each) in 2008, and I got my cholesterol under control. There's nothing wrong with delegating your time to doing responsible things! :-)

I score more-or-less the same as yourself - feature-length films only, be they theatrical releases, made-for-television, DTV, or documentaries. I don't count film serials, shorts, or TV episodes (MST3K counts for the movies they show, but not for the 2-hour TV episode), but I do count golden-era porno films that adhere to a "feature film" format (i.e. 60-90 minute running time and a commitment to a plot of sorts). If you don't think these should count then you can knock nine films off my total.

Grand Total: 299
First-time Views: 207
Rentals: 124

By Format -
DVD: 281
VHS: 3
TV/Cable Broadcast: 5
Theater: 10

By Decade -
1930s: 6
1940s: 4
1950s: 25
1960s: 40
1970s: 104
1980s: 63
1990s: 16
2000s: 41

Most Movies in a Month: 31 in August
Least Movies in a Month: 20 in both April and July

Films I Watched More Than Once:
CINDY AND DONNA (1970)
WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH (1970)
BEST FRIENDS (1975)
THE LOST EMPIRE (1985)
SAVAGE STREETS (1984)

First Film of 2008: ON THE TOWN (1949)
Last Film of 2008: FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)

Favorite Films I Discovered for the First Time Last Year:
BOUND (1996)
LA ROSE DE FER (THE IRON ROSE) (1973)
STONE COLD (1991)
MYSTICS IN BALI (1981)
LORD LOVE A DUCK (1966)
THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST (1967)
PRETTY POISON (1968)
THE KILLING OF SATAN (1983)
CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC (1980)
LES YEUX SANS VISAGE (1959)
MS. 45 (1981)
CLEOPATRA JONES (1973)
The LONE WOLF AND CUB series (1972)
MANDINGO (1975)
SUPERBAD (2007)
FACELESS (1988)
ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)
THE HUMANOID (1979)
JUNO (2007)
CLOVERFIELD (2008)
BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW (1976)
BATTLE BENEATH THE EARTH (1967)
RELIGULOUS (2008)
SAVAGE STREETS (1984)
ZOMBIE STRIPPERS! (2008)
HELL RIDE (2008)
THE BLACK-TIGHTS KILLERS (1966)
THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (1978)
OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES (2006)
P2 (2007)
JACK FROST (1996)
DIE HARD (1988)

Frankie said...

well, i only counted things i haven't seen before, and that would be 168. i only saw maybe 8 or 9 movies theatrically with JCVD, Rambo Gonzo and Mother Of Tears being the only ones worth writing home about

best films i saw this year were Ogroff, Long Island Cannibal Massacre, Satan's Black Wedding and Ex-Drummer

worst? Diary of the Dead, especially painful since it was released on my birthday :(

i read, easily, 200 books. all of the Resident Evil books (don't laugh!) a bunch of Richard Stark, a few Edgar Wallace and the amazing TNT books

Robert said...

I managed to tie John at 304. I'm confident your numbers would have been much higher had it not been for all of the series box sets. HARRY O was probably the only standard-length series I watched in full in 2008.

Movies watched theatrically: 13.
Not all of these were 2008 releases either. I didn't see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN until 2008 and the two double-bills I attend (I AM LEGEND & IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH and THE BAND'S VISIT & THE COUNTERFEITERS) were all 2007 releases.

My best films of 2008 thus far:
WALL-E, THE DARK KNIGHT, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, APPALOOSA, and IRON MAN.

First film I saw in 2008:
AMAZING GRACE
Last film watched in 2008:
300

Movies from anytime during the previous century that I watched for the first time last year & really dug:

CORNERED (1945)
TILL THE END OF TIME (1946)
BERLIN EXPRESS (1948)
THE BLACK BOOK (1949)
THE TALL TARGET (1951)
CLOUDBURST (1951)
PARK ROW (1952)
BIG HOUSE USA (1955)
THE BIG KNIFE (1955)
ATTACK (1956)
NIGHTFALL (1957)
MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS (1958)
SOS PACIFIC (1959)
BLACK ORPHEUS (1959)
TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE (1959)
THE ANGRY SILENCE (1960)
THE GIRL HUNTERS (1963)
ONCE A THIEF (1965)
THE ERNIE GAME (1967)
OTLEY (1968)
PAPER LION (1968)
THE CHINESE BOXER (1970)
CROWHAVEN FARM (1970)
RABID DOGS (1974)
RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE (1976)
DISASTER ON THE COASTLINER (1979)
SO WRONG THEY'RE RIGHT (1995)
A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER DIES (1998)

a few of the more recent releases that I finally caught up with & really enjoyed:
THE DARJEELING LIMITED
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
SLITHER
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE
EASTERN PROMISES
MOUNT PLEASANT
INTO THE WILD
ELECTION and ELECTION 2
JUNO
MICHAEL CLAYTON
BLACK BOOK
VENUS
HALF NELSON
HOT FUZZ
JESUS CAMP
KILL ZONE (aka S.P.L.)
SUPERBAD
THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN
GONE BABY GONE
THE LAST LEGION
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
ONCE
WIND CHILL
PERSEPOLIS
1408
LAYER CAKE
THE GREAT RAID
SHOPGIRL
VANITY FAIR
A GOOD YEAR
WE OWN THE NIGHT
THE OUTSIDER
RATATOUILLE
GOD GREW TIRED OF US
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
YOU KILL ME
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
STATE AND PLAY (mini-series)
THE CUCKOO
3:10 TO YUMA
ANTARES

New mini-series I enjoyed:
BURN UP
BON VOYAGE

Movies watched that I wish I had not spent the time on:
DOMINO
CRANK

Colonel Mortimer said...

293 for me. 3 more than last year. And this entry inspired further introspection into my viewing habits at my blog. Feel free to take a look if you're so inclined.