Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Project Runway," and "Oliver!": The Randomness of Movie Watching on a Budget

I'll often used this time on my blog writing reviews of many movies I see. Most of the time, I'll try to review the most recent movies to come out on DVD, although by "recent," that can mean anywhere, from released that week, to, released within the last few months, or even up to a year behind. Why am I reviewing movies and DVDs on such a delayed schedule? Simple, economics. I'm poor, I'm often for personal reasons stuck at home, and can't afford such luxuries as going out to the theatre everytime a superhero movie comes out. (And with the all the superhero movies out, who would want to now?) I occasionally spend some me time and go to the movie theatre. The last film I saw there was, "Bridesmaids," which I saw a few weeks back. Personally, while the movie was funny, I didn't enjoy the theatre experience on that occasion. It was on a holiday, so there was too many people there for my taste (as this blog continues, you'll notice more misanthropic qualities to my personality, although I am trying to curb them), the theatre for some reason didn't pull the curtains back enough so the screen was cut off on the sides, and nobody informed them, and overall, I didn't enjoy myself, and now wish I waited 'til the movie was on DVD.

So, how do I choose the movies I will watch and discuss on this blog? Well, in reality, it will appear rather random. I have a netflix account, with three movies seen at a time, although that is often used to catch up on the latest TV series. Currently I just finished Season 7 of "Project Runway," and am about to start on the latest season of "True Blood," this weekend. Although I do often keep the latest prevalent work on my netflix, this week being Sylvain Chomet's "The Illusionist," and Mike Leigh's "Another Year", I usually prefer to go to my local library, in this case, the Gibson Library in Henderson, where I am continually maxed out on my limit of DVDs to borrow, and usually have more than the limit on hold. Sometimes, I can jump in and get a newer title. Within the next week, I'll be reviewing "Glorious 39," and "Cedar Rapids". However, usually I'm picking and choosing from the library collection, which as you might have guessed, I already have much of their catalog, organized through a series of lists, and pick relevant work, starting with things on my netflix list. Last night, after finishing watching Seth Aaron Henderson, win "Project Runway," (Deservedly so, I might add), I went to my bedroom, and surfed the net, checking my fantasy baseball update, my e-mail, and now my facebook, all while watching "Oliver!" Yes, that "Oliver!", the one that's "Oliver Twist," done as a musical. I hadn't seen it before, it was on my netflix, and at some point, I checked the library catalog to see if they had a copy, and sure enough they did. Of the film itself, other than trying hard during some of the musical numbers not to think about the "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life," parody scene to the song "Every Sperm is Sacred," I actually found the movie interesting and kind of enjoyable and despite a running time that caused me to take a couple naps before I finished, it was relatively easy to watch, which is the kind of film I want to watch when I'm working on ten other things, including whatever latest screenplay or play I'm writing, or at least start writing.

I'd like to be able to see every major and important movie that comes out as soon as it's released in theatres... well, that's not true, I don't really want to see the crappy ones. (Transformers) In that way, it's actually kind of cool that my viewing choices are limited, but it also means that I'm going to be the last person to see Malick's "The Tree of Life," or Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris". My reviews will of course be fresh to me, 'cause I would've just seen them, but they'll be dated for everyone else, and in the case of possibly thinking about writing a long-form review of a film that won six Oscars 17 years before I was born, they're really dated.  But they're new to me, for better or worse. Besides, a filmviewer or cinephile or whatever word one would call it, shouldn't be limited to the latest blockbuster that comes out each weekend, they should anything and everything and as much of it as possible.

Periodically, hopefully on a weekly basis, I'll be writing on this blog a summary of my viewing history for that week or whatever period of time I use. (We'll say week just to seem like I'm consistent.) These will be the most unusual and often the most intriguing of summaries, if for no other reason, the titles of the films themselves will be as unknown and random to the reader as they are to me as I watch them. I'll be limiting most of these reviews to a couple paragraph summaries at best, while occasionally I might devote an entire blog or two to a single movie or in some cases, a TV show, and they might not be the most recent. I don't think this is a bad thing. Some times it takes time to develop a true perspective on a piece of work. Something that we might like or dislike now, we could have the completely opposite reaction to years from now. (Michael Bay, that last part doesn't concern you.)

As the old NBC Summer Must See TV Commercials used to say, "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you."
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