The Decadal Monthly Update for December 2016

Happy New Year, dear readers!

And with that, 100 Films’ 10th year is at an end.

Well, apart from the fact that I’ll spend the next few days going on about it, and the blog’s actual 10th birthday is in February, so I’ll go on about it some more then. But in terms of films that will be watched within that first decade, here are the last dozen…


#185a Come Together (2016)
#186 Wizardhood (2016)
#187 Rogue One (2016), aka Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
#188 Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
#189 Partners in Crime… (2012), aka Associés contre le crime… “L’œuf d’Ambroise”
#190 Dragon (2011), aka Wu xia
#191 Our Kind of Traitor (2016)
#192 Mr. Nobody (2009)
#193 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), aka Hauru no ugoku shiro
#194 The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962), aka Zoku Zatôichi monogatari
#195 The Last Dragonslayer (2016)
#195a Suicide Squad: Extended Cut (2016)
Rogue One

Dragon

.


  • My final total for 2016: 195 new films. Slightly less than last year; way above every other year. (More on this kind of thing in the next few days.)
  • I watched exactly ten new feature films this month, making it the 31st consecutive month to reach double figures.
  • This year’s WDYMYHS / Blindspot list is rounded out by Miyazaki fantasy Howl’s Moving Castle. I’ve not even started thinking about 2017’s list yet…
  • The Jim Carrey Christmas Carol was my only Christmassy film all season — and I thought it was crap. Poor Christmas. (I guess Scrooge and It’s a Wonderful Life are going to sit on my TiVo for the next 11 months…)
  • I finally watched the second Zatoichi movie, only 38 months after the first. Hopefully this will be the start of more regular viewing, because even if I watched the rest of them at a rate of one per month it would take until the start of 2019 to finish.
  • I ended the year with the extended cut of Suicide Squad. I watched the theatrical in November but didn’t get round to reviewing it, so I guess I’ll do them both at once now.



The 19th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
It had its problems, and whether it’s better or less-good than The Force Awakens is still something that’s percolating in my mind, but the film I most enjoyed this month was definitely Rogue One.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
While the French take on Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence in Partners in Crime was certainly (shall we say) off-book, I didn’t think it was a crushing disaster like Disney’s A Christmas Carol. What most amazes me about that is the number of positive reviews online, especially those that praise the animation — I thought it looked cheap and terrible. Maybe it’s just aged badly.

Most Unrealistic CGI Human Beings of the Month
Say what you will about Tarkin, it’s bloody good CGI. On the other hand, thank goodness Robert Zemeckis has returned to live-action films — after The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol, I’ve had enough of his not-real-enough-to-be-in-the-uncanny-valley motion-captured ‘humans’.

Best Donnie Yen of the Month
Between being one with the Force in Rogue One and chopping off an arm to fight the original one-armed swordsman in Dragon, Donnie Yen is the best Donnie Yen in this and every other month.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
It looked like a certain Star Wars story was going to easily bag this award, until a pair of unexpected last-minute sweeps knocked it down to third. First its place was taken by a martial arts bear’s threequel, but that too was leapfrogged — within just a single day as well — by my review of Sky1’s The Last Dragonslayer.



The final selection from my favourites includes superheroes, comic book adaptations, and superhero comic book adaptations. Plus cartoons come to life and a moody literature adaptation.


Oh, forget January — I’ve got a bunch of 2016 stuff to post yet! There’s the full list of my 2016 viewing, my bottom five, my top ten (or so), the major new films I missed, the 36 reviews I haven’t gotten round to… and, of course, the highlight of the entire year: the statistics.

Good times.

The Climactic Monthly Update for December 2015

Happy New Year’s Day, dear readers!

The quest for 100 films has little regard for it being the first day of a new year, however — it’s still the start of a new month, which means it’s time to reflect on the last. And as it’s the last month of 2015, to reveal just what my final tally actually was…


#183 Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
#184 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
#185 Terminator Genisys (2015)
#186 A Most Wanted Man (2014)
#187 Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015)
#188 Begin Again (2013)
#189 Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
#190 Le Mépris (1963), aka Contempt
#191 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
#192 About Time (2013)
#193 Happy Feet Two (2011)
#194 Morning Glory (2010)
#195 Dreamgirls (2006)
#196 Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)
#197 AfterDeath (2015)
#198 Heaven Can Wait (1943)
#199 Slow West (2015)
#200 Dressed to Kill (1946)


  • #200 is the final Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film. It’s taken me almost eight years to get through that series — longer than they took to make — so it seemed an appropriate choice for such a momentous number.
  • With four WDYMYHS films left, I managed to watch… one. That was Le Mépris. On the one hand, not watching 25% of my list is a bit of a failure. On the other, watching 75% of it means I’ve watched nine films this year that I should’ve seen but hadn’t got round to, and almost certainly wouldn’t’ve got round to without WDYMYHS. So it shall continue next year, though I’ve not decided on the selection process yet.
  • Remember back in my October update, when I mentioned re-watching the Veronica Mars movie to get 2014 finished? Bloody well didn’t bloody happen, did it! I’ll do it in January.
  • Apropos of not very much, the version of Rawhide sung by the elephant seals in Happy Feet 2 is awesome.


The headline news here is, of course, that this year I reached #200.

That’s my highest final tally ever, by 64 films — 47% higher than the next best year! You could add together my two poorest years (2009 and 2012) and you’d still be nine films short of 2015’s solo total. Anyway, more whole-year stats in my next post — for now, let’s just look at December.

This month I watched 18 new films. Most importantly, that exceeds this year’s ten-per-month goal, making 2015 the first time I’ve done it for a whole calendar year. (It’s also the 19th consecutive month.) It’s only the second-highest December ever, just behind 2008’s 19, but it does pass the December average (10.86; now 11.75) and beats December 2014’s total of 15, the 11th month this year to beat its previous equivalent (only November let the side down). In terms of 2015, it beats the monthly average of 16.67, and is actually the third highest month of the year, settling in behind the record-breaking feats of September and October.

I always end these analyses with a look ahead to the rest of the year… which is now over. So what for 2016? Having reached 200 films in a year, will I be seeking to equal it next year? Perhaps even to better it? I can confirm that…

No. No I won’t.

There are so very, very many films that I want to see — and they keep making more of the darn things! So many that even watching 200 new films isn’t enough to make a serious dent in the “to see” list. But there are also TV series I want to watch, books I want to read, audio dramas I want to listen to — not to mention movies I want to re-watch — and the film fixation engendered by a goal as vast as 200 new films in a year is counterproductive to doing anything but watching new films. So of course 100 Films will continue, and maintaining my ten-per-month streak would be nice, but if this time next year I’ve watched 200 new films and not watched many TV series, or read books, or listened to audio dramas, then I won’t be dancing a victory dance. Quite the opposite. Whatever the opposite of “dancing a victory dance” is.

In conclusion, my personal goal for next year is… well, 100 films — that’s why it’s the name of the blog. But I’ll be aiming to maintain my ten-per-month run, making the target 120+ Films in a Year. Plus lots of TV and books and audio drama and films I’ve seen before and special features and goodness knows what else. There still won’t be nearly enough time, anyway.


Thanks to the advent calendar, 44 films were reviewed this month(!) Here’s a full alphabetical account:



The 7th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
It’s not been a bad month, but there aren’t a great many stand-out options here. Although I hugely enjoyed the new Star Wars, and some other 2015 blockbusters I caught up on weren’t as bad as expected, the winner is easily best-of-year contender Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
It’s not been a bad month, but there are still a few three-star-level contenders here. In the end, I decided to pick the film I felt I was most likely to never bother to watch again, and while there are a few I’m not likely to ever revisit, the least likely was AfterDeath.

Best Use of Time Travel
Was it to visit a wondrous future city of joyous technological advancement? Or to spend more precious time with your dying father? Or to send a cyborg to protect your mother from your robot enemy before your best mate arrives to stop that enemy murdering her before you’re born then trying to disable said robot enemy before it’s ‘born’? Or to get Emilia Clarke naked? How about using it to make Rachel McAdams fall in love with you in About Time. That and the dad thing.

Best Theme Tune
Oh sure, there’s John Williams on Star Wars… but of course there was. And I’ve already said how much I liked Rawhide in Happy Feet 2, but it’s not functioning as theme tune there. So the winner is composer Joe Kraemer finally giving Lalo Schifrin’s Mission: Impossible theme a suitable big-screen rendition not once but twice in Rogue Nation.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
When you think about it, this should come as no surprise. In a month that featured 47 new posts (it sounds a little insane when you put it like that), the most-read is one that was a hive of activity for 25 days: the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015.


…will be 31 days into 2016. Before all that, though, I’ll thoroughly look back and dissect 2015 — the largest year of 100 Films ever!

(Dog-loving regular readers will be pleased to know that (further to September’s update) Millie is still with us, and coping admirably with there already being a new Irish Wolfhound puppy in the family.)

December 2014

Friends, Romans, coun— Actually, I don’t think I get many visits from Italy, so…

Friends, readers, countrymen, lend m— Actually, apparently I get more hits from the US than the UK, so…

Friends, readers, people of the world, lend me your ears— Well, I’m not reading it to you, so…

Lend me your eyes— But not literally, that would be freaky…

Oh, let’s just get on with it:


What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

Heading in to the final month of 2014, I had two of my “one per month” films left. Well, that’s better than last year.

What’s also better than last year is how many I watched: both of them! I know it shouldn’t be an achievement to say “I watched two specific films in a month”, but, y’know.

What were they? Both acclaimed somewhat-cult-ish modern classics from the noughties: Korean vengeance thriller Oldboy, and The Bleakest Movie Ever Made™, Requiem for a Dream. Both are dark, troubling, and absolutely excellent.


December’s films in full

TintinAs well as those two, the final list for the year includes…

#122 Series 7: The Contenders (2001)
#123 Oldboy (2003), aka Oldeuboi
#124 After the Thin Man (1936)
#125 Good Will Hunting (1997)
#126 Sin City: Recut & Extended (2005)
#127 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
#128 Bill the Galactic Hero (2014)
Requiem for a Dream#129 Another Thin Man (1939)
#130 All is Lost (2013)
#131 John Carter (2012)
#132 The Lego Movie (2014)
#133 Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! (2012)
#134 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
#135 Knights of Badassdom (2013)
#136 Requiem for a Dream (2000)

(The Adventures of Tintin link will be live later this morning.)


Analysis

Reaching #136 makes 2014 the biggest year ever, finally besting 2007’s total of 129. Indeed, combining the main list with unnumbered feature reviews, 2014 also beats 2007’s total-total — making this the biggest year in pretty much every respect. Did it fare similarly well in star ratings, etc? We’ll have to wait for my full statistics post to find out. (I mean “we” literally — I have no idea yet.)

For now, let’s put December 2014 in context. With a total of 15 films, it beats every stat going: the December average (previously 10.2), the 2014 average (previously 11), and the average for my particularly-good last six months (previously 12.8). It’s also the joint-second-highest month of the year, tied with August (both sitting a little behind September‘s 17).

Further, it makes seven months in a row that I’ve watched over 10 films per month — that’s the joint-longest run of double-figure months. The previous time was from September 2009 to March 2010. It’s worthy of note because the longest such run in the four-year interim was just three months. A bit of dedication in January should see another record set, then.

Finally, to briefly look forward to next year: back in October I mentioned the potential for 100 Films 2015 to reach #1000 — for all time, that is, not 1,000 Films in a Year. With this year’s final total decided, I now know that the 1,000th film will be 2015’s #112 — if I get there, of course. The average final tally for the eight years to date is 111, so it’s certainly on the cards.


This month’s archive reviews

The 25 reviews of my now-traditional Advent Calendar took up most of my posting efforts this month, but in and around that there was still time for four archive reposts:


Next time on 100 Films in a Year…

In the next few days, my review of the past year continues. First: the alphabetical full list of my viewing, along with the absolute highlight of the year (for me) — the statistics. With graphs!

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.

December 2010

Happy New Year!

In one minute, technically. But you didn’t read this in that minute, did you.


The final tally

So here we are, the final few new films I watched in 2010. This doesn’t replace my usual pair of closing summary posts, incidentally — they’ll be along as normal at some point in the next week or two.

And, as you’ll see in just a few lines, I sadly didn’t beat my previous record of 129 films. Hey ho — I made it to 100 (and comfortably over it), and after failing last year and barely scraping through the year before, I’m more than happy with that.

Those final few films, then:


#116 The Outrage (1964)
#117 The Wolfman: Unrated Version (2010)
#118 Surrogates (2009)
#118a Verity (2010)
#119 Rambo III (1988)
#120 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
#121 A Good Woman (2004)
#122 Iron Eagle (1986)


A cancellation

You may have noticed last month that I hinted The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King would be the first film I watched this month, becoming #115d. “Where’d it go?” you may consequently have wondered.

Well, I did watch it, and it was set to become #115d, but once I sat down to write about all three Lord of the Ringses I found I didn’t have a great deal to say about them at this time, besides some vague introductions and/or conclusions to each article. I rather overestimated myself in adding all three to the roster for this year, I think, especially while I was toiling away on watching and reviewing to reach #130 (not to mention general real world stuff).

So those theatrical LotR reviews are gone, for now. Maybe they’ll turn up next time I watch them, though goodness knows when that might be.


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

It all begins again as we head into 2011, for the fifth time.

500 films in 5 years? Hopefully.

130 next year? We’ll see…

2010’s summary posts will be republished in November.

The end is nigh…

No, this isn’t a review of 2012, or any of the numerous other apocalyptic blockbusters that are foisted on us every year. Nor the Watchmen Ultimate Cut, which has that famous phrase of doom and gloom plastered over its back cover. No, this is simply an observation (and little more than that, I’m afraid) that there are a mere 31 days of 2009 left. Indeed, 31 days of this decade.

Cripes.

So, with such limited time remaining, my yearly goal is once again under threat. Long gone are the days of reaching 100 films in September, t’would seem. But fear not, faithful reader, for this time last year I’d only made it to 81, meaning I’m just one behind myself (#80 was Transformers 2. Look, there’s a review already! Isn’t it impressive that I reviewed it on Blu-ray before it was even in the shops? … What do you mean “no”?) — and last year I did indeed make it to 100… just.

20 films, 31 days. Considering my average so far (7.3 films per month) I should only make it to 87. Well, 87.3. But, what was that? Yes, I’m only one behind last year and I did it then (did I say that already?)

Heck, maybe I’ll even push it to 101 this year.

[I didn’t.]

2009’s summary posts will be republished in November.

A final push…!

So today is the final day of 2008, and so the final day of this blog’s second year. And have I made it to 100?

Not yet.

A quick look at the coming soon page reveals I’m up to #97 — only three films to go, with 24 hours left. I didn’t think that would be the case: as little as 10 days ago I’d given up on making 100, thinking to hit even 90 would be an achievement. But with a bit of motivation I’ve nearly done it at the final hurdle (which I think is an incorrect reversed metaphor, or something).

December’s turned out to be pretty good throughout, actually. While I may’ve managed just 7.4 films a month (on average, obviously) in the year’s first 11 months, I’ve already watched 16 in the last 30 days — and that’ll be 19 if all goes well. If I could keep that up all year round I’d be closer to 250 Films in a Year! (Don’t worry, I’m not crazy — next year’s aim is still just 100.)

Additionally, this year’s In Retrospect and Full List (for last year’s see here and here) will now appear by 4th January, all being well, which gives me time to factor in the final few films.

24 hours, three films. Sounds easier than it is, I’m sure.

2008’s summary posts will be republished in November.

Eternal laziness of the dreamless blogger

11 months down, 1 to go… 81 films down — it should’ve been at least 92.

It’s fair to say 100 Films hasn’t gone quite as smoothly this year as it did last, where I made it to 100 by the start of September and meandered on to a final total of 129. Rather than being in the luxurious position of just watching as much as I like to see how far I can get, I have 31 days to see 19 more films to even hit my basic target.

“Oops.”

I could reel off a list of excuses — the effort I’ve tried to put into writing much longer reviews, having an undergraduate degree to complete, starting work on a postgraduate degree, actually getting a job over the summer… but there’s also plain old laziness — yeah, isn’t watching a film such a lot of effort?

…no?

Of course, as the old adage favoured by so many teachers goes, “you’ve only let yourself down.” (I may be paraphrasing for effect.)

Still, 31 days! And 19 of them holiday-days! The end is in sight, and I might still make it.

Though, don’t be surprised if the reviews get shorter — it would be nice to complete 2008 within 2008 after all — and, if I do well, I may even get the final lists (see here and here for last year’s) online for December 31st.

Hey, a blogger can dream.

2007 | Weeks 51-52

And so here we are: my 23rd entry, the final two weeks of 2007, and the end of my quest! You can look out for summaries of the year to be posted in the next few days, and then it’s thoroughly done.

…for 2007. I’ll be starting afresh for 2008 though, right back down at #1.

After the emptiness of my last entry, I have actually watched some films this time. Three of them, in fact — my final three films of the year! And one short too.

They were…

#127 The Bourne Ultimatum

#127a Telling Lies

#128 While You Were Sleeping

#129 Piglet’s Big Movie

2007’s summary posts will be republished in November.

2007 | Weeks 49-50 (2008 Preview)

It’s the last month of the year! The winter holidays have started! There’s only a week (and a bit) ’til Christmas! And, after the fourteen-film craziness of the last entry, in the past two weeks I’ve only watched… well, NO films!

Yet there is still an entry. Why? Well, I resolved that, regardless of how many films I watched, I’d post double-week entries for both this one and the next. And I haven’t watched any films, so there’s none here. A silly resolution, obviously. Incidentally, this all means you can expect the final chapter of my 2007 quest to appear on Monday December 31st. How very appropriate.

So instead of film reviews, but in light of the fact I’m posting this anyway, I’ve decided to share with you some of the changes I have planned for 2008. I’m sure there’s nothing mind-blowingly exciting here, but maybe it’ll be of vague interest.

2008 Preview

The most notable change to the blog will be that, instead of large week-spanning multi-film round-ups, I’ll be posting reviews individually. The weekly format is a hold-over from the blog’s deviantART origins and obviously isn’t as blog-like as individual entries will be.

In a similar vein, there’ll be a few more details beyond the current year/director/format selection — for example, the running time, or the BBFC classification (perhaps the MPAA one too). These things are hardly integral to the content, I know, but it might make the whole thing feel a bit more well-informed.

In the unlikely event anyone particularly enjoys my little introductions and updates, something like these will crop up from time to time in a new format — expect ‘editorials’ scattered amongst the film reviews at imprecise intervals.

I had also considered adding in reviews of other things, such as re-watched films and TV shows, in a similar way to the editorials. I decided this would dilute the focus and clutter the blog, however… but be sure to check out my new sister blog, Smaller Screens, which will cover those things with a broadly similar ‘voice’ to this blog.

Finally, I might actually start using keywords. I tried initially for this year, but it seemed a little pointless. I’ll try to keep them general and helpful, rather than bogging them down with one-off things like the film’s title. Information like the director, the genre, the year of production, the format, and so forth, will likely go in the keywords, to create some sort of browsable thingamie on the sidebar.

Maybe one day I’ll go back and mix some of these changes into how the 2007 posts are organised, just to streamline the whole thing. But don’t count on it. [2015 note: Hahaha! Dear God, the number of times I’ve re-posted and re-formatted the 2007 entries now…]

Next Time

It’s the final entry of the year! And then two more… You’ll see.

See you on New Year’s Eve…