Monday, June 04, 2007

catching up with my queue

H has seen a lot of movies. Seriously, a lot. One night when I admitted I hadn’t seen any of the Terminator movies or (at that time) any of the Die Hards or Rockys, either, he seemed to be infected with a touch of cinematic superiority. He’ll deny it, but I could hear it in his voice. However, that was strictly Hollywood. As soon as we compared our numbers to incorporate Bollywood, my cumulative digits became a whole lot more competitive.

When I got a subscription to a mail-in DVD service, I felt like I could finally begin to keep up with everyone else in my demographic. Also, the "magic" mailbox in the lobby of my dungeon office made for a very fast turnaround. Back when I worked those crazy night hours, there were weeks where I'd put away a movie a day. As the statistics below show, I have used Netflix to regain the street cred I missed out on during all those formative years when I was forced to live without cable-- all the movies I'd only heard about. But really, those little red envelopes kept me sane while I couldn't hang out with any friends or family. Here’s the breakdown:

Movies that have come to my house, were seen and returned since December 6, 2004: 184

Movies to which I have awarded five stars (out of five): 20

Movies to which I have awarded 1 star: 12

Movies to which I wish I could have awarded zero or fewer stars: 1 (I'm looking at you, The Puffy Chair)

Sets of DVDS of television shows on this list (at least one season): 5

Movies that were actually released between December 6, 2004 and June 1, 2007 that I watched within that time period via Netflix: 12

Movies I watched not in English: 24

Movies I watched not in color: 16

Movies I watched that were musicals: 21

Movies I watched that were musicals not in English or in color: 6

I would sit there in the dungeon, browsing movies, rating ones I'd seen (currently at 836) and adding interesting recommendations to the queue to be sent to my house. I spent a lot of downtime doing this, which is probably why there are so many. But looking at the list, I felt guilty about having 317. So I vowed to keep it to no more than 3oo and I have culled the queue down to 294 upcoming and six that are saved for when they will be released on DVD.

I gladly work days now, but that means that my free time isn't all mine. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to pick up the phone and talk to people when they are actually awake, but it also means I have to share the remote control and must watch such interesting-but-not-what-I-would-have-chosen treats like a National Geographic's Dangerous World episode on lethal roads. Or cricket. Plus, with my hefty nightly Hindi soap-opera schedule, these days those little envelopes collect quite a bit of dust before I get to them.

But I'm not worried. Watching movies that have been out for a really long time puts distance between myself and the hype and often I've forgotten what I'd heard about them when they came out. Several old movies with twists have been killed by people because they assume everybody's already in the know. Citizen Kane is a fine example, but the worst was Chinatown, which I had to take off the list hoping that in ten years I'll have forgotten what I couldn't help but read on accident. (Putting SPOILER ALERT at the top of a list in small type isn't enough of a warning,
Wired Magazine.)

Perhaps one of these days I'll sit down and take off all the movies that aren't readily recognizable to really cut into my list. Actually, probably not. There will have been so much time between when I made the picks and when I get the films that each envelope becomes a lovely surprise-- sort of like flipping through the channels late at night and catching a cool movie I'd only heard about right at the beginning. You know, except without the threat of getting sucked into an infomercial.


Alexandra said...

great now i'm in the mood for a bolly movie!!

naechstehaltestelle said...

Netflix is an esoteric way of forming the person you wish you were. I always put very thoughtful intelligent movies into my queue, only to have them sit on my coffee table for weeks at a time. The crappy, chick flicks? I watched them the same day as I received them. Which makes me a TERRIBLE PERSON.

Lia said...

Yeah, that's me with my NYPL hold list. I haven't succumbed to Netflix yet. That's pretty serious movie-watching, though.

Also, Chinatown sat in my apartment all of last week. I still haven't seen it, but I think I sort of decided not to.

Jon said...

just so I'm clear on the math here, you've seen 184 movies in the last two and a half years, and you have about 300 in your queue right now? So you're set for the next four years or so? That's pretty impressive.

cadiz12 said...

Ale: if you can, check out Dhoom II.Even Highcon liked it, but probably for the hotties.

Chinatown is supposed to be a classic. But I hear you about not being in the mood.

I've had Close Encounters of the Third Kind on top of the tv for about three weeks now and i've watched about six chick flicks in that time. maybe we should have a terrible-chickflick-lovers' club.

Jon, I just added four more films to the list last night, even though it puts me over 300. it's like doing that first sweep of the movie rental place ahead of time. at least that's how i'm justifying it.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I'd love to have a part-time job doing movie reviews! Bliss!!!

Sphincter said...

I have only recently been forced into familiarity with the Rocky movies. And do you know what? The first 2 and the very last one (I SWEAR I'm not lying--SWEAR) are really good.

omar said...

I have never heard of it, but I can't say I'd expect much from a movie named The Puffy Chair.

And seriously, you've never seen a Bond movie?

Viking said...

I can't even remember the last movie I saw... It was probably back in December when I had Netflix for a few weeks. I went through about a dozen old samurai movies in that time. Fond memories...

And I guess I saw Fletch on TV back in May. But other than that my movie intake is dwindling.

Luisa Perkins said...

I last saw Chinatown 22 years ago, and I've completely forgotten the ending (I remember loving the movie, though). So there's hope.