December 2011

2011 is over. 2012 has just begun. But did I make it to 100 in time?


If you follow me on Twitter you know

I did! Just. Three films in the final 24 hours of the year, the last of them finishing just an hour before midnight, see me reach 100 exactly this year. Phew!

In addition to that, six of the finishing eight features listed below were watched in the final three days of the year. Not quite as close to the wire as I had it back in 2008 (11 films in six days, seven of them in the last three), but I didn’t think I was going to get there.


So, my closing salvo included…

#93 Diner (1982)
#94 Nativity! (2009)
#94a The Gruffalo’s Child (2011)
#95 Hotel for Dogs (2009)
#96 The Spider Woman (1944)
#97 Faintheart (2008)
#98 The Man from Earth (2007)
#99 Winnie the Pooh (2011)
#100 The A-Team: Explosive Extended Edition (2010)


Where does that leave us in the grand scheme of thi— well, this blog?

Thus, 2011 ties with 2008 as my third-best year. Hurrah! Though to put it another way, 2011 ties with 2008 as my second-worst year, so, y’know…

It does represent the greatest drop off in potential, though. At the halfway point of the year I was further ahead than I’d ever been — in my best-ever-year, 2007, I’d made it to #60; in my second-best-ever-year, 2010, I’d made it to #64; but this year I’d reached #68. In tied-with-this-year 2008 I’d only limped to #46. Clearly, I need to keep momentum up into the year’s back half.

But hey, 2012’s another year — who knows what’ll happen next time round!


But before all that…

Screw 2012, I’m not done with 2011 yet! There’s my great big long list of everything I’ve watched still to come, along with all those lovely statistics, and the list of films I didn’t see, and — best of all — the statistics.

Oh, I mentioned those? I love the statistics. But almost as good, my bottom five and top ten for the year.

And having to push hard to cross the finish line means I haven’t even made a start on any of that. This’ll be interesting… for me, anyway — you just have to sit tight ’til it all turns up. Probably not that much later than I usually get round to it.

Until then… Happy New Year!

2011’s summary posts are already available here and here.

November 2011

It’s the final countdown! Do-do-doodoo, dododododoo, do-do—

sorry.


The final countd— oh, did that already…

This year’s 100 Films is turning into a race for the finish line — always kinda fun, if not record-breaking. Back in June I reached a high for this year of 20 ahead of target (‘target’ being my running total for Where I Should Have Reached To Make Exactly 100 By December 31st… I probably don’t need to explain that every time I mention it at this point, do I?), after which it’s gradually slipped back, so that now — as I enter the final stretch — I find myself just one ahead.

To put it more plainly: there’s eight films to go to my goal. If I made that exactly, I’d equal my second-worst year… or, if you look at it another way, third best. Getting to 101 or higher (“higher” meaning “below 122”, which, c’mon, I’m not gonna get close to) will leave this year as both the third worst and third best. Right in the middle — somehow apt for a fifth year celebration. Not that apt, but shush, I want it to be.


Anyway, here’s the exiguous (thank you thesaurus) list of films that have got me to this point…

#89 Gambit (1966)
#90 Cars (2006)
#91 Beyond the Pole (2009)
#92 Cruise of the Gods (2002)


Stepping up

It’s not just film watching I need to push up a bit, but review posting too. You may have noticed this happen in the last three weeks or so… not as much as I’d’ve liked, mind, so maybe not. I’m currently thinking I’ll aim to post a review every other day, in an attempt to clear some of my large 2011 backlog before 2012 kicks in. Even at that rate I won’t get all the way through, but hopefully there shouldn’t be too many left as we go into the new year.


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

Next time I post one of these it’ll be the very eve of 2012! Will I have made it to 100?

Try not to ruin your nails biting them…

October 2011

Boo!

Cos it’s Halloween, see. Well, it was when I posted this. Just.


Quintuple X

Still not watched any of those films I’ve been aiming to watch.

Still not at 100.

I think I would have made it to 90 though, or possibly even a bit further, but I re-watched X-Men: First Class on Blu-ray last Friday night and got a burning desire to re-watch the rest of the X-Men films in chronological order (having started with the chronological first, that only seemed to make sense). So using my film viewing time for that these past few days left no room for anything after #88. Ah well.

Nearly done, though (it’s X2 in a bit, hopefully), so maybe next month… maybe…


Meanwhile, this month… er, last month…

#82 Centurion (2010)
#83 Magicians (2007)
#84 The Brothers Bloom (2007)
#85 Batman: Year One (2011)
#85a DC Showcase: Catwoman (2011)
#86 Battle Los Angeles (2011)
#87 That Touch of Mink (1962)
#88 RED (2010)


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

Maybe 100… maybe…

September 2011

By the end of September 2010 I’d made it to my goal of 100 films.

This year?


Not a chance.

Of course I haven’t. I ended last month on 77 — even at my best, 23 films in a month is madness. (Actually, I did manage it once: August 2007, when I watched between 24 and 29 films. (I wish I’d kept more thorough records of exactly when I watched things back then.) But my next highest is 18, and next 17, so…)

In January’s summary I noted that, if I could keep my viewing rate the same, I’d reach 100 in early September (and 144 by the end of the year). In May things were clearly going to that plan, as I passed #50 and noted that I should reach #100 on September 9th (and 145 by the end of the year). As you can see, that rate didn’t continue.

But hey-ho, the first part of the year always seems to go better than the back bit, and I’m not behind my schedule to reach exactly 100 by the end of the year — indeed, even if I hadn’t watched a single new film this month I’d still be three ahead. But I watched four, so that’s… well, it’s better than nothing, eh…


#78 Bringing Up Baby (1938)
#79 Holiday (1938)
#80 How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
#81 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)


Revamp

Attentive readers may note that I’ve made some changes to the ‘info line’ that starts each of my reviews. I’ve been pondering this for a while now and have finally just taken the plunge. Any suggestions for additions (or removals) from the new set of info are welcome. Changes thus far are as follows:

  • I’ve lost the year. It’s in the post title; there was never any need for it to be repeated. Never.
  • Added the aspect ratio. This one probably won’t always be available or precise, but I’ll have a go. For DVDs and Blu-rays it’s copied from the packaging (unless that’s obviously wrong), for formats where I don’t have such ‘precise’ information it’ll be my best guess from the standard sizes.
  • Added the country-of-production and primary language of the film. I don’t want these to be epic lists of funders and every language spoken on screen, so I intend to limit this to the main country/ies and one language, as far as I possibly can. So, for example, the language for Inglourious Basterds would be “English”, even though a tonne of (subtitled) French and German is spoken throughout. Probably. I may end up changing my mind on this one…

Other than that it’s all stuff that was there before. I’m not going to change all the old reviews to match the new format, though — there’s well over 500 reviews now, I’m not mad.

As I said, feel free to berate me for either including something needless/inaccurate or for leaving out something essential. I’ve tried to keep the list focused on facts that are accepted to be important (e.g. the director) or stuff that can vary depending on the viewing source (length, aspect ratio, language), which obviously might impact my experience and therefore opinion.


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

With just three months to go it’s getting close to the final countdown.

Will I make it to 100 next month? Doubt it. 90? You never know…

August 2011

Dear fans of Firefly and Serenity,

[The following was all irrelevant soon after I posted it, never mind now in 2015. But hey-ho, the repostathon rolls on…]

In case you’ve not heard of it, I just want to quickly draw your attention to Browncoats: Redemption, a fan film about a bunch of original characters in the ‘verse that takes place in the wake of the events of Serenity. What makes this one notable is that it’s been officially sanctioned by creator Joss Whedon and the appropriate Firefly/Serenity rightsholders to be sold on DVD and Blu-ray in aid of charity. But only until September 1st, which (as the handy countdown on the website tells us) means it will only ever be available for order for another 29 hours*.

I’d meant to review the film sooner to give it a proper push, but me being me I only just watched it. I’ll still aim to get a review up sometime, obviously, but for what it’s worth I’ll be giving it 2 out of 5. Hardly a glowing promotion I know, but I’m scoring this next to all the other films I’ve watched and, honestly, it’s a fan film and it plays like one. That said, as examples go it’s a pretty well-made one. Though the acting, screenplay and direction would be kindly described as “well-meaning”, some of the production values are surprisingly good: there’s a decent spaceship set, well-realised location work, solid costumes, decent fight choreography, professional music, some good-quality CGI, and so on. It’s no Serenity 2, and considering the “proper movie” quality of some zero-budget films (like, say, Primer or El Mariachi (both of which cost less)) it’s obviously a labour of love rather than of emerging talent. But for die-hard, sympathetic fans of Whedon’s series, it’s a passable little trip back to the ‘verse. Full marks for effort, at least.

Plus, if you’re interested in this kind of thing, the DVD & Blu-ray versions come with a host of extras: an audio commentary by the writer/director/producer, the best part of an hour on the making of Redemption, over an hour and a half of interviews with cast and crew from Firefly and Serenity, and a full soundtrack CD.

More importantly than all of that, and why I’m mentioning it despite my rating, is that all profits go to five charities supported by Firefly/Serenity cast & crew: Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, the Dyslexia Foundation, the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. With just 29 hours left to be able to own the film (unless you’re attending Dragon*Con, anyway), I thought that was worth a mention.


* at the time of posting, hence why this round-up is about 24 hours earlier than normal.


Now back to your regularly scheduled monthly round-up…

After that, I’ll just get on with it. Should I watch anything else in the next 24 hours I’ll sneak it on the end later.

#72 Sucker Punch: Extended Cut (2011)
#73 Source Code (2011)
#74 Glorious 39 (2009)
#75 Nirvana (1997)
#76 The House on 92nd Street (1945)
#77 Browncoats: Redemption (2010)


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

September marks the final third of the year. With under a quarter of films to go, that’s not too shabby… even if I’m still not getting very far with posting reviews.

But hey, tomorrow is another day…

July 2011

Another month over, and what have you done…

Wait, isn’t that how I begin Christmas posts?*


Failings

Every year of 100 Films seems to see at least one shockingly weak month for my film viewing. Last year it was April (three films); the year before February (two) and July (none); and so on. This year I’d done pretty well — my monthly totals so far run at 12, 13, 13, 9, 11 and 9 — but I have finally crumbled: July 2011 scores a lowly four.

Hey, at least I held the bad month off much longer than usual!

My reviews have also dropped to a trickle, as you may (or may not) have noticed — they stand at a pathetic total of two for the entire month. This isn’t a personal blog (well, it kinda is, but not in that way) so I won’t go on about it too much, but it’s not been a great year and film viewing & reviewing is just one thing to be struggling.

That said, it’s only recently my viewing’s suffered — I’m only slightly behind this point last year, which leaves me ahead of every other previous year. Maybe it’s silly, and it’s certainly counterproductive, but I find my review backlog gets in the way: having 20+ films stacked up waiting to be written about lessens my enthusiasm to watch new stuff. And it’s not as if there aren’t other distractions — there seems to be a tonne of TV worth watching these days… not that I’ve been getting on with as much of that as I’d like…


Anyway — here’s this month’s measly foursome… none of which I’ve posted reviews of yet. [Except I have now, by 2015, of course.]

#68 The Locket (1946)
#69 Tangled (2010)
#70 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
#71 Super (2010)


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

It’s August! Summer! Hot, sunny weather! The perfect time for staying inside trying to stay cool!

That’s what I always aim to do, anyway. And what better way to fill that time than watch movies?

Or TV.

Or read books.

But I’ll try for those movies.


* No, it’s (sort of) how I begin new year posts, apparently. ^

June 2011

What’s that? We’re halfway through the year, you say?

No, you’re having me on.


We’re halfway through the year

Dammit.

Anyway — It’s no news that being halfway through the calendar year sees me more than halfway through my annual goal (because that happened last month), but it’s always a good time to stop and take stock.

As you’ll see shortly, this point finds me at 67 films. A bit of easy maths suggests this route would lead me to 134 films by years’ end, which would be a new record. Experience tells me it looks this way every year — last year, for instance, numbers suggested I’d make 128 by December 31st, but I actually reached 122. I’m sure the other years tell the same story: for whatever reason, the back six months don’t see as much film-watching activity on my part as the first six. Partly because once I pass 100 I’m not quite as motivated (it becomes a good time to catch up on TV, or films I’ve already seen and would like to re-watch).

Still, whether I do make it to 134 or not, I’m well on track to make it past 100. And that’s the aim after all.


This month’s 9

#59 Jonah Hex (2010)
#60 X-Men: First Class (2011)
#61 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (3D) (2011)
#62 Ip Man (2008)
#63 Law Abiding Citizen: Director’s Cut (2009)
#64 Valley of Fear (1983)
#65 Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance., aka Evangerion shin gekijôban: Ha (2009/2010)
#66 A Study in Terror (1965)
#67 Saw 3D (2D) (2010)


No Scott Pilgrim

In my look ahead to ‘vengeance week’, I mentioned having a review of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World posted for tonight. Obviously, that hasn’t happened and isn’t happening. Maybe soon; maybe in a few years — who knows! (I didn’t get round to watching it either, y’see.)

And I’m not even going to mention Once Upon a Time in America.

…oops


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

Making promises is getting me nowhere. So, next month, I will probably watch some films, and I may review some of them, and in 31 days I’ll tell you how I got on. That last point I can guarantee.

Unless I have an unfortunate accident or something. Dammit.

May 2011

Ah, May.

In which I reach:


Two milestones

Much of watching 100 films is the long, sometimes slow, slog of getting through so many films. Oh I know some people watch far more than that in a year, especially if we started counting films seen before, but I think most would agree getting to such a number is a marathon rather than a sprint. If you watched one a day, it would still take over three months.

Assault on Precinct 13Sometimes, though, the slog (I say “slog” — obviously it’s good really!) is broken up by my arrival at key points. And this month, I reached not one but two milestones. Yay!

Firstly, I’ve passed the halfway point for 2011 — this year’s 50th film was the original Assault on Precinct 13. Hitting halfway on May 6th means I should, theoretically, reach 100 by September 9th (to be precise), and make it to 145 films by the end of the year. As ever, we’ll see how that pans out.

Secondly, an even bigger milestone: I’ve now reached 500 films in five years! And that 500th film was the remake of Assault on Precinct 13. Neat, eh? Now, I know: according to the title of this blog this milestone ‘should’ be at the end of this year, but overruns in 2007 and 2010 (tempered by 2009’s shortfall) are what make #55 the 500th never-before-seen feature film to arrive on this blog. So hurrah!


Not only, but also

They weren’t the only two films I watched this month, of course…

An Education#48 Funny Face (1957)
#49 Catfish (2010)
#50 Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
#51 An Education (2009)
The King's Speech#52 (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#53 Salt: Director’s Cut (2010)
#54 The Princess and the Frog (2009)
#55 Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
#56 Iron Man 2 (2010)
#57 The King’s Speech (2010)
#58 The Thief (1952)


Reviewtastic!

Things have been going well in the reviews department too. Though I’m still horribly backed up, I’ve finally posted all the reviews of films watched in January, making it the first month to get all its reviews up this year. Not exactly great news, but it’s something.

Plus, as I noted at the time, (500) Days of Summer is the 500th review of feature-length film to be posted on the blog (coming slightly earlier than the 500th review of a counted film thanks to the 25 uncounted features I’ve reviewed over the years).


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

Halfway! Always exciting.

Apart from the moment when you wonder where half the year’s gone.

April 2011

Spring has sprung, but the number of films watched isn’t looking so lively…


The Nine

This month I watched nine feature films I’d never seen before (plus one short). That looks a bit weak compared to previous months this year, which averaged out at (just under) 13 each.

I blame TV — lots on this month; doubly so as I decided to rush through the last series of Doctor Who before the new one started. That’s about 10 hours of viewing, or an average of five films — which, if I had watched films, would bring me more in line with previous months. There’s always a reason, eh.

To put this month’s number in further perspective: I need to watch (just over) 8 films a month to reach 100 in December — I’ve beaten that. By this point last year I’d reached #41 — I’ve beaten that. And my ‘official target’ for April (any and every April) is #33 — I’ve well beaten that. So things aren’t so bad after all.


Monsters#39 The Girl Who Played with Fire, aka Flickan som lekte med elden (2009)
#40 Monsters (2010)
#41 My Neighbour Totoro, aka Tonari no Totoro (1988)
#42 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, aka Luftslottet som sprängdes (2009)
Dog Day Afternoon#43 Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
#43a Lumet: Film Maker (1975)
#44 La Règle du jeu, aka The Rules of the Game (1939)
#45 Cameraman: The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
#46 A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)
#47 Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005)


Reviews

I was going to say that there weren’t many reviews this month either, but as you can see I’ve posted them for half of the above list — percentage-wise that’s better than the first three months of this year (at their individual ends, not to date).

That said, I’m still quite far behind overall — 22, is it? Crikey. I aim to get considerably more posted in May. We’ll see.


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

These monthly updates finally reach one year old (the first, obviously, was May 2010).

More importantly, I’ll hopefully watch enough new films to reach #55 — which will be the 500th counted film for this blog!

Exciting times.

March 2011

A quarter of the year down! Christ, where does the time go…


500 films in 5 years! …sort of

March saw me reach the 500th feature film to be reviewed on this blog. Not #500, mind you (that’ll be later this year), because I’ve also reviewed a variety of films that don’t count — hardly-different alternate cuts, a couple I’d just seen before, that kind of thing. About 25 of those, as it turns out. But still, 500 reviews — that’s a lot!

Though there’s still 13 to post before there’s actually 500 available to read…


March’s films

#26 Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
#27 Cloak and Dagger (1946)
#28 Unthinkable (2010)
#29 Let the Right One In, aka Låt den rätte komma in (2008)
#30 Let Me In (2010)
#31 The Damned (1963)
#32 Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
#33 Death Race (2008)
#34 Night of the Demon (1957)
#35 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, aka Män som hatar kvinnor (2009)
#36 High Plains Drifter (1973)
#37 Young Guns (1988)
#38 The Day of the Locust (1975)


Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

So far this year I’m keeping exact pace with 2010: reaching 12 in January, 25 in February, and 38 in March. Coincidencetastic!

But April is where I stand a real chance to take a lead. Last year, for various reasons, I only managed to see three films in April, making it to a measly 41. So even four would put me ahead, but if I manage to keep up my current rate (of 12.7 films per month, to be precise) I’ll reach 51 (to round it up). Not only would I be well ahead of last year, but ahead of 2007 too — which, lest we forget, is still my best-ever final total.

Exciting times.