Thursday, January 04, 2007

An Inspiration to Goal-Setters Everywhere

My friend, college mentor, and occasional bodyguard Jason has an illness that requires him to be in front of projected flickering images for at least a few hours a day. Because of this, he sees enough movies to kill lesser men. And at the end of each calendar year, he grades all those he saw for the first time (including older movies that he rented or caught on cable). It used to be that he would send out an Excel spreadsheet with the grades to a few select friends. But now, thanks to the power of the Interwebs, he blogs it. And as always, it's a treat, as is his analysis:
My goal set last year was to view 300 new movies, and while that was in jeopardy for a while, I hit the 300 mark before Thanksgiving and strode right up to 330 on the last day of the year (one new movie every 1.11 days) which is my highest total ever. Never has meeting one of my goals made me feel so utterly useless and pathetic.

As far as goals for next year (which will be my 10th Anniversary of the list), 330 will be a mark that will be hard to beat without beginning divorce proceedings and having child protection services called upon me, thus I will not, at this time, be attempting to hit a certain number.
Sounds like he's becoming reasonable, right? Well, after listing a few modest goals for 2007, he writes:
Lastly, the words 200 movies in 20 days keeps popping up over and over in my head so I will be toying with that idea at least through January. As soon as I make a decision, you'll be the first to know.
Anyone know a good divorce lawyer?

I urge you to read the list, at least for the sheer marvel of it. It seems likely that he spent more time formatting this post than most of us spent at cinemas all of last year. But he's also asking for feedback, and despite his generally good taste (and admirable stinginess -- only two pure A's out of 330 movies), there's always a choice or two worth teasing him about. For instance, he gives Clerks 2 a B+. Kevin Smith could remake Citizen Kane frame for frame, and I would give it a D.

And then there's his least favorites, which are always fun, partly to see the mainstream releases he hated and partly to wonder where he's finding some of this stuff. This year's roll call of "F" students includes Babel, Marie Antoinette, and Running with Scissors, but it also features things called It Waits, The Hillz, and Substitute 3: The Winner Takes All.


Anonymous JB said...

I shit you not - somewhere in his possession is a VHS tape (I have seen it with my own eyes) with the following title scribbled on the spine "Summer School - Mark Harmon version"......which begs the following questions: what other versions of "Summer School" exist, how many has the man seen, and how many does he in fact own?

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to clone the man? With a mid-sized island populated with like minded souls, Hollywood could relax about the bottom line and begin to make, well, you know, really good films.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

I don't know. I question someone's judgment who gievs "Mad Max" a "C", one of the great low budget flicks of all time a vintage early Mad Mel.

3:23 PM  

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