Friday, May 10, 2019


So, this is gonna be an interesting blog.... Anyway, a while back, a friend of mine, asked me to one day write a blog about how I select the films I'm going to watch. He knows about my list of every film I've ever seen, which I'm posted a few times here, the latest being, this post last year:

For those of you who may have noticed, I don't get to the movie theaters, much at all anymore and I wasn't exactly the theater dweller I wanted to be to begin with, so, I have to pick and choose the movies I watch, in some manner. I haven't described the way I do 'cause, frankly, it's-, well, it's a bit elaborate and it's a bit, what I would describe as John-Nashian. As in the famous mathematician and economist John Nash who was the inspiration for Ron Howard's film "A Beautiful Mind". And it's an everchanging and revolving process so the fact that I'm describing it one way now, doesn't mean that tomorrow there won't be some other new convuluded insane way, or even just a new bizarre wrinkle to this method for which I'd be choosing those same films tomorrow for one reason or another.

Basically, once upon a time, this started as hopefully something simple so that I can try to figure out what to watch and when, preferably taking away as much agency from me as possible, since I don't want to have an implied bias that I watch some movies over others, especially as a somebody who writes film reviews and considers himself a critic, (Deep breath) and it's morphed and turned into this Frankenstein's monster of a put-together system, that pretty much, um,...- well, if I'm ever sent to a mental institution, this blogpost in particular and the corresponding lists that I'll be discussing (but not posting) they will all probably be entered into evidence as to my supposed lack of santiy (And they may not be wrong.) I'll try to explain those reasons if/when they may ever come up.

Now, before I do all this, I did explain to my friend that this is probably not something that he actually would want to know about, but he's insisted that it's something that he and perhaps might be interested it, and frankly there's nothing else going on right now that I feel like talking about. It's either this, I talk about the May Upfronts, the fact that the WGA is making me fire an agent, the fact that I never had an agent to begin with and am now seriously wondering who the hell been taking 10% of what little money I have for not doing any work for the fifteen years, or I try to pretend to care about a Starbucks cup being seen on a "Game of Thrones" episode.

(Long deep breath)

Anyway, I do want to warn everybody now though, this is gonna be, a pedantic, wordy, meticulously banal and impenetrably byzantius piece you're about to read, and it's of me explainng this process of how I select the movies I watch. This will be way too long and frustratingly convuluded or indecipherably boring, likely it'll be both, and just when you think that it's coming to an end, it's just gonna get longer. Normally, I do want to promote what I write, and tell you all to read it, but I will totally understand in this case, if you, the reader, gets to a certain point and the nonsensical and didatic minutia that I begin describing just starts taking it's toll, please feel free to give up and not read further, at any point during this. Even right now! I will not be offended in this case. There is a Nashian-like, creating patterns to solve that aren't there aspect to this that...-  like I said, I had a good friend request this, I've put it off, a good long while, last I checked he's still interested in this process. If you're not-so-interested, at any point, please feel free to, x out and I promise my next post will be shorter and way more fun and on a much more interesting subject. Okay?

Alright, now that that's out of the way, here's how I go about picking the movies I watch.

First off, I am not advocating that everybody, or anybody else do this system, I'm not even going to pretend that this is the best system of going about this, and even this system has changed so often and has so many variables, that I would be genuinely be surprised if anybody can actually follow this. So, you might be wondering why I do this at all, so I'll explain that immediately that, number one, as film person and I want to watch as much as I can. Secondly, since I starting doing this blog, I don't want to simply, go see all the movies I quote-unquote "want to see" first and then talk about them. I don't even like doing that normally. I might not be the quintessential theater-goer film buff, but I certainly have never been the "Go on the Opening Weekend" filmgoer. Once I realized that there are film critics and that I can read their reviews of movies before seeing the films, I would do that. That doesn't mean I agree with them, or that I only watch critically-acclaimed films, (Although, yeah, that's the majority of what I end watching) but that's the main thing I looked at growing up, and while I try not to read movie reviews of films I haven't seen anymore, because I write them now, mostly, I still use that metric, as my first criteria for seeing a film. It's not my soul or only criteria, but, it's a big one.

Okay, now, onto the lists, and I'm not gonna to publish them all here, but I'll cut and paste parts of them the best I can. The main list I have in determining what movie(s) I watch and when I watch is my Netflix List, which equates to my DVD queue. It's not, "My List", the streaming list Netflix has, but the, list that I've kept for, well over a decade or so now. (I do keep a "My List" as well, no, but no, I will not explain how that comes into this.) Right now, this list has, over 3,100 films/TV shows on it. You might be asking, "How is that possible? Doesn't Netflix only allow a maximum of 500 DVDs per queue? Yes, yes it does.

This list, like all of these lists I have, and I'm only giving you guys, the short version, of these lists, has several sections, and several notation or delineations to them to help me guide myself through viewing these movies through streaming and DVD options. But, we're gonna start with what I normally do, which is once a week, I check out the "Coming Soon" section on the Netflix, site. I go through each of those films, that will be released next week. Now, we're gonna use this week's example, which lsts, these films on the site.

"They Shall Not Grow Old"
"Cold Pursuit"
"Fighting with My Family"
"Happy Death Day 2 U"
"Backdraft 2"
"Never Grow Old"
"Apollo 11"
"Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase"
"The Least of These"
"Happy Valley: Season 2"
"Power: Season 5"

Okay, it's about an average week of releases. Also, if for any reason, you don't trust or can't use Netflix's Coming Soon site, (Netflix periodically decides to get rid of their section that determines New Releases and a way to delineate them by the week they're released; a decision they've made that has led me to make several phone calls to their complaint department in the past) there are other alternative sites, that might be just as helpful, if not more helpful., is a good one. So is, as well as,... I'm sure there's others too. Sometimes you need to sort through those as well, especially since Netflix has begun not collecting every DVD possible that's available. You might miss something.

For instance, "They Shall Not Grow Old" was already on my list, because either my library recently got a copy of it, so it got added automatically to my Netflix queue (We'll get to my Library list later) and/or it was added because it got nominated for some major award. Yes, one of the other major criteria pieces I use is awards. Not all of them, but I do keep lists of all major awards and film nominations that a movie gets, I'm especially keeping track during awards season or major Critics awards. Remind me, and I'll get to how the awards can also effect what I see and when, but keep in mind, the awards themselves are prioritized, and if I write down all the nominations for the major awards, I'm more likely to remember them when they come up, and sometimes I just add them automatically. It depends. For instance, obviously Oscars get the most priority, and the more nominations a film gets, the more likely it's arrive higher on my Netflix queue. Of course, right now, we're not there yet; we're just adding this week's new releases.

So, "Cold Pursuit" is next. That movie doesn't sound familiar to me, from my awards list. (Which I usually only keep to double check, and BTW, I keep an awards list for each year, going back a few years). It's not on my queue already, so, I check Rotten Tomatoes. It gives it a score of 69. Generally, if the movie, is above 50, on Rotten Tomatoes, I'll put it on my list. I know, it's not the most accurate or exact critics formula website, if I wanted to find, only the most beloved critically-acclaimed films, I might go to MetaCritic instead, but I don't want that bias either necessarily, and I like Rotten Tomatoes's formula, for this case. I might prefer to just watch the very best of the very best, but, that would limit my viewing experiences as much as if I only seeked out the worst of the worst films. So, for my purposes, Rotten Tomatoes, provides the closest approximation of what I'm looking for. It tells me enough to see it's generally recommended enough that I should watch it, but it doesn't give me any other undue expectations.

Like I said, normally, if it's higher than 50, I will put it on the list. Sometimes there's an exception or two, based on factors, noteworthy director, or the movie's too popular that it'd be a disservice from me to ignore it entirely, etc. The tricky ones for me, are when the movie has like 55 or 45 rating, range. What I do then, is, check the Top Critics. Now, this is essentially a little closer to a Metacritic score, but from there, I simply count how many of the Top Critics recommended it, compared to how many didn't. In the case of "Cold Pursuit", there was 33 Top Critics Review. (The "Top Critics" are, what you think they are, the top, most prestigious critics that write reviews for the major newspapers and websites. The tastemakers or pundits we used to call them before the word "Influencer" took over) And 22 of them recommended it. So that's 2/3, I'm pretty safe is feeling like it's a movie that I should put on the list. If the movie instead had, say a 55 RT score, but only 15 or 16 critics of the 33 Top Critics liked it, then, I might not add it. Same the other way, if the RT score were, like 46 or something like that, but 17 or 18 of the 33 Top Critics recommended it, I might add it.

Now, how do I add it, and where on my Netflix list. (Deep breath) Okay, so, obviously I can't put all 3,100 films on my actual Netflix queue, so, there are several, several, several, different parts to this list, and each one of them, has their owns quirks. Let's start with what my Netflix queue looks like, on Page 1.

1. Foxtrot (STARZ)
2. Two Trains Runnin’ (HULU?)
3. La Chana (STARZ)
4. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (HBO)
5. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (HOOPLA)^
6. Shirkers (NETFLIX)
7. Under the Sun (NETFLIX)^
8. The Death of Louis XIV (KANOPY)^
9. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (NETFLIX)
10. Those People (NETFLIX)
11. Hard to Be a God***(2015)^ (KANOPY) 
12. Williams (NETFLIX) 
13. Dolores (PBS) 
14. Green Book^ 
15. What Our Father’s Did: A Nazi Legacy
16. Risk (SHOWTIME) 
17. Ex Libris: New York Public Library (KANOPY)^ 
18. Backcountry (NETFLIX) 
19. Roma (NETFLIX)
20. Tu Dors Nicole (Hoopla, KANOPY)^ 
21. Gold (Gaghan) 
22. Bohemian Rhapsody (62) (OSCAR)^ 
23. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors^ (KANOPY) 
24. If Beale Street Could Talk^ 
25. Burning Sands (NETFLIX) 
26. Super Dark Times 
27. Vice (67) (OSCAR)^ 
28. A Star is Born (Cooper)^ 
29. One More Time With Feeling (AMAZON) 
30. My Happy Family (NETFLIX) 
31. Xenia^ (KANOPY) 
32. Mary Poppins Returns (78) (OSCAR)^ 
33. Gabrielle 
34. The Incredible Jessica James (NETFLIX) 
35. A Monster with a Thousand Heads^ (KANOPY) 
36. Soundbreaking (Miniseries) (PBS) (HULU)^ 
37. Cold War (90) (OSCAR) 3 
38. Youth (Shoval) (KANOPY)^ 
39. Spettacolo (KANOPY)^ 
40. Dave Made a Maze (KANOPY)^
41. The Ghoul (NETFLIX) 
42. Never Look Away (80) (OSCAR) 2

Okay, first of all, ignore the red and purple titles for a moment, I'll explain that aspect later.What you'll notice at the moment, is that there's a title of a movie, that's either normal or italicized & underlines, and sometimes a possible streaming service option is next to them is parenthesis. Basically, if it's normal, there's a copy on DVD of it on DVD that Netflix currently has available. It used to be that that was all this list was, and I would separate all the things that were streaming only, into it's own separate list, but at a certain point I started missing too much doing that. So, anything that's italicized & underlined, is not a deliverable DVD option from Netflix at this time. (I do check periodically if this changes) So, barring something unusual, the next DVD I should get in the mail is "Under the Sun". Now, hypothetically I could watch that on Hoopla, but there's other movies not on DVD ahead of it. Now, unfortunately I don't have availability to every streaming site all the time, the movie "Foxtrot", I have had #1 on the list, for awhile now. Netflix, doesn't have a DVD copy, and neither does my #1 main backup option, my local library, and I don't have a Starz account at the moment. I will probably get a Hulu and HBONow account, in the near future, (knocks hand on table) but when it's a Netflix day, and I don't have a Netflix DVD onhand, I go down and find the first movie I can stream. (Also I double-check the streaming options of movies regularly, especially at the top of the list, so those could change pretty regularly) Oh, and anything with a caret, this symbol: ^ , that means it's on my library list, which we'll get to later.

So, counting streaming movies/movies that aren't available on DVD from Netflix, for one reason or another, my actual, currently-on-the-list, queue of movies, goes to, about... almost 700 titles. 690 at the moment to be exact. After that, the rest of the list are titles, waiting to be added to the queue. This is where "Cold Pursuit" comes in.


This section is also, separated into two lists themselves. The first section, from around 690-810ish, are titles that, at the time I looked for them are still waiting for Netflix to have DVD copies of them. They're italicized, not underlined this time, but they are a light green color. Unless they're a red color, which means, they have priority since they were nominated for some major award. Then we get to the list where, supposedly at least, there's the DVD copies of the movies available from Netflix. This lasts currently from #811 to somewhere in the 1700s. These are all, recent movies, made within the last couple years since I've been doing this list, this way. And, right now, since I've add "Cold Pursuit", the bottom of the last page of this part of my DVD queue, page 40, for those curious, looks like this:

1781. Welcome to Mercy (82)
1782. The New Radical (N/A)
1783. Devil’s Path (60)
1784. Transmilitary (100)
1785. Then Came You (61)
1786. Acts of Desperation (N/A)
1787. A.I. Rising (N/A)
1788. Daughter of Mine (81)
1789. Mr. & Mrs. Adelman (N/A)
1790. Unknown Soldiers (N/A)
1791. Chef Flynn (73)
1792. Over the Limit (100)
1793. Carga (N/A)
1794. Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies (N/A)
1795. The Equalizer 2 (51)
1796. BumbleBee (93)
1197. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (75)
1798. Rust Creek (85)
1799. Among Wolves (100)
1800. Check It (100)
1801. Holmes & Watson (11)
1802. A Dog’s Way Home (62)
1803. Barracuda (92)
1804. Mega Time Squad (75)
1805. Touch Me Not (58)
1806. The Gospel of Eureka (81)
1807. The Charmer (aka Charmoren) (90)
1808. Anote’s Ark (100)
1809. Moynihan (100)
1810. The Last Resort (90)
1811. Dragged Across Concrete (74)
1812. Arctic (89)^
1813. The Hole in the Ground (87)
1814. Tickled (94)
1815. The Gospel According to Andre (85)
1816. Who We Are Now (95)^
1817. Mission of Honor (83)^
1818. To Dust (88)
1819. Everybody Knows (78)
1820. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (78)
1821. Cold Pursuit (69)
1822. Birds of Passage (94)
1823. Better Call Saul (3)
1824. Nurse Jackie (4)

These entreies are all bold, as well as purple or red, and they all have their RT scores in parenthesis next to them. If they're red, then they were nominated for at least one major away. They get preference for when I eventually add them to the main Netflix list above. Oh, um, the last two entries that are italicized and in dark blue, that's the beginning of the next part of the list, which is the TV shows that I have to get to, and any/all seasons that I have to watch next. That's a whole other thing I'm not even gonna get into here, but that section lasts aboug 275 spaces or so, and that keeps growing as well. So, as you can see, number 1718 is "Cold Pursuit", and now, I'm gonna add the rest of the titles on the Netflix Coming Soon page for the week, and I'll mention anything unique, unusual or different if I come across it. 

Okay, this isn't a totally strange one here, but-eh, "Backdraft 2", this one, and you can check yourself if want, has no RT score.  It has an audience score, but I don't count that. Basically not a single critic of major note has reviewed the movie. I then check the IMDB page, and just as I suspected, this movie was not released in theaters and is a straight-to-DVD movie. Obviously, I could've guessed that, but I wanted it confirmed. I'm not against putting movies on here that don't have an RT score, when you look up at the list and see the words, (N/A) next to a movie, that's what that means, and there can be many reasons for that, but I don't see a good reason of some kind to watch a movie with that sort of dubiousness behind it. Usually it's probably enough awards consideration to make me curious. "The New Radical" got recognized by the Sound Editors Guild for instance, that catches your eye. Sometimes it's a filmmaker who doesn't get his movies released in theaters in America, but might be a little bigger somewhere else in the world or has some cult fanbase. Occasionally there's a story for why a good movie doesn't make it to the theaters, Barbara Kopple's "Havoc" for instance. That said, generally, these are signs to skip a movie and I see nothing here that indicates that's not what I should do.

Okay, so I finished this week's Coming Soon. I put a few titles in purple, a couple in red, 'cause they did well at some notable film festivals, or some other notable awards and the two TV shows, "Power" was on my queue, and "Happy Valley" I think I started watching Season 1 of that and then gave up. I might check it out again, but I re-added back to my TV Shows list. And a couple titles "Backdraft 2" and "The Least of These" I didn't add, because they didn't have enough credibility in reviews or awards, or-eh, public appreciation, or had anything else notable that I thought was worth giving it a look.

Before I move onto, how and when I move movies from this waitlist to of my Netflix queue, and move them to the Netflix queue part of this list, I did want to mention what happens to older movies that come out on DVD. Well, that's what the other 1000+ entries are, older movies that I haven't gotten to yet and at some point will try to in some way. And this section is also separated into two sections. The first small section is normal, except for the color being green, there's only about a 100 or so titles in that list, and these are a group of titles, that are a little more recent, like from 2012-2016, years-wise. I forget exactly how this part of it came about, but I think it was part of another list of movies that got absorbed into this list at some point. The rest of the titles are just red. The red, are just older than, a few years ago released, titles, that I need to get to. Not everybody has watched everything yet, and I can't just watch everything that's ten mintues old, so there is a way that these titles can also go onto the main queue. I add titles to this all the time, any movie I haven't seen that's listed as important somewhere, I try to put it on this list and if there's ever an older film that's listed on the Coming Soon on Netflix thing, for instance, in a few weeks, it says, the Agnes Varda film from  1977, "One Sings, The Other Doesn't", is getting released on DVD through Criterion, so it goes on the list, in red, on the very bottom. Hopefully, I can find these films, through other means, like the library in the future, but I do have a way of putting them on the Netflix queue as well.

So, when I first started this, I would do everything possible to put as many newly-released DVD on the actual queue as I could. They'd be released that week, and then they'd be on the queue, and I'd be rushing through as many DVDs and movies as I could. Now that streaming is a major option, and I can't always rely on movies being on DVD, and just the fact that, I can't do nothing all day and just sit down and watch movies, at some point, you come up with waiting lists and systems, and no I have a system for how I even put these movies onto the queue. Cause I just can't put everything on the top, I'll miss out on everything else and I can't just, put everything at the bottom of the queue and wait four or five years to watch something that will probably be spoiled for me 100x over by then. I've yet to figure out a perfect system, but here's what I do right now.

First, I don't add any new movies, until I've been able to eliminate ten DVDs from the list. Not movies, DVDs. While I do put streaming titles in the place where the DVD copy would be, and sometimes replace them with the DVD title once/if Netflix ever actually gets a copy. I could be watching a movie that's streaming, that is a DVD waiting on my list, then I knock it out, or if I attain a copy of the DVD at the library or some other source instead, then I knock it out. On average, I'd say this takes about every two-to-three weeks for me to knock off ten films. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, it just depends on how much I'm watching, how I'm watching it, etc. Once I'm at 490 or lower, that's when I start deciding to take titles from the waitlist and moving them up to the actual queue.

Now, at the moment, I'm at 497 DVDs, so, I'm not adding DVDs to the queue at the moment, but for the sake of this article, I'm gonna best simulate what I normally do. Obviously, the red titles I prioritize first, and in last week's case, as you can tell, I prioritize Oscar nominated features. Now, that's the last week I'm gonna do that since every Oscar nominee is now on my queue, but basically what I do, is go through the list, of all the movies, both available on DVD and the ones that aren't that are on the waiting list, and then search my document, for the number 100 in parenthesis. If I see a red movie that's got a 100 RT score, that's the next one I add, so I move it up. After I am done with them, I go down to (99) then (98), etc. etc. In this case, the first ones were the Oscar nominees, and let me re-copy here:

20. Tu Dors Nicole (Hoopla, KANOPY)^
21. Gold (Gaghan) 
22. Bohemian Rhapsody (62) (OSCAR)^ 
23. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors^ (KANOPY) 
24. If Beale Street Could Talk^ 
25. Burning Sands (NETFLIX) 
26. Super Dark Times 
27. Vice (67) (OSCAR)^ 
28. A Star is Born (Cooper)^ 
29. One More Time With Feeling (AMAZON) 
30. My Happy Family (NETFLIX) 
31. Xenia^ (KANOPY) 
32. Mary Poppins Returns (78) (OSCAR)^ 
34. The Incredible Jessica James (NETFLIX) 
35. A Monster with a Thousand Heads^ (KANOPY) 
36. Soundbreaking (Miniseries) (PBS) (HULU)^ 
37. Cold War (90) (OSCAR) 3 
38. Youth (Shoval) (KANOPY)^
39. Spettacolo (KANOPY)^ 
40. Dave Made a Maze (KANOPY)^
41. The Ghoul (NETFLIX) 
42. Never Look Away (80) (OSCAR) 2

So, yeah I wrote down (OSCAR) in purple parenthesis, which is what I searched for first in this case. BTW, the reason I do that, is because I want to make sure I see all the Oscar-nominated features before I do a Top Ten List for a year, so that's the reason I'm focusing on them, and now I gotta order them somehow. In this case, I determined it, first by how many Oscars the movie won. "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Vice" in this case, won Oscars, "...Rhapsody" won three, "Vice" won one. So, "Bohemian rhapsody " is higher-place, and I always put the top movie at number 25 in the queue. (Also, "Cold War" had three nominations, compared to "Never Look Away" which had 2, which is what the "3" and "2" are there for. I think I deleted the "5" that originally came after "Mary Poppins Returns".)

Now, in this case, I decided to use the actual 25th MOVIE, not the 25th DVD, which is often something I do too. In fact, I probably will use that spot next time. I made this exception, 'cause I had to recently take a couple months off recently and I needed to catch up quick, but right now, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the 14th DVD in my queue, but the 25th movie overall. Mainly I do this, just to figure out how many movies should I get through first before I see this film, and I always start at 25, somehow. After that, the next movie if is 5 spaces off, so 30. In this case, it was a DVD and so-on and so forth, five films each.

Except, I don't.

Cause, again, I also run into the problem of, "If I'm just putting new movies every five slots, then the movies at the three or four hundreds or so, would never get to the top, 'cause I'm just adding more films in the way. Certain times when I did this, because of my viewing patterns during that time, whether or not I could stream, or what DVDs I could get and when, etc. sometimes, I couldn't even get movies like, above 30. So, the pattern fluctuates. It's rarely just 1st DVD is 25, 2nd is 30, 3rd is 35.

In this case it was, but I also went from 60, which is "Solo: A Star Wars Story" to 70, which was "They Shall Not Grow Old.". The reason for that was because I went from an Oscar-nominee to a non-Oscar-nominee that had, at that time a 100 RT score. Then, from 70, I skipped 15 spots to 85, which is where I put a film called "Bathtubs Over Broadway". I made that switch, 'cause "Bathtubs..." is not available on DVD. But then I went back to five spot difference, because "Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland" also wasn't out on DVD and had a 100 RT score like "Bathtubs..." and when something distinctive happened the next time, it went from five spots, to 20 spots difference. Basically, when there's something distinctive, I add five spots, and it's easier if you're  actually doing this regularly, but it is confusing, and sometimes I confuse myself.

And no matter what, I always reserve the last DVD spot, for one of those older movies, so that, something's always getting added to the bottom of the queue, as well as DVDs and movies being added into it and I'm not just adding new(er/ish) movies. Even if it takes a while, at least they're there.

That said, what I'm gonna do is go through my queue and turn those Red entries into the normal unboldened black numbers and delete the "(OSCAR)" and RT scores after them. Then I'm going to go through the queue as though I were adding 12 new DVDs to the queue and try to show how and where they would possibly be added onto this thing.

25. Apollo 11 (99)
35. Almost Holy (98)^
50. The Cakemaker (98)
70. Ava (Forouahi) (96)
75. In Fabric (95)
100. Sweet Country (95)^
105. Night School (Cohn) (95)
110Blaze (95)
115. Amazing Grace (Pollack) (95)
145. Tikkun (94)^
150. Parched (94)^
155. A Cambodian Spring (94)
190, Sorry to Bother You (94) (HULU)
195. 1985 (94)^
200. Tickled (94)
205. Birds of Passage (94)
245. Calibre (93)
290. A Prayer Before Dawn (93) 
702. Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

Okay, so that's 12 DVDs, all the titles that aren't italicized, are all the movies I'm adding to the list even though, at least according to this list, Netflix doesn't have on DVD. (At least it said didn't when I first put the title on the list; I do double check all this when I eventually put these titles on.) I might make adjustments to this later that I haven't discussed yet, for instance, some movies that I know are already a few years older than some of the other ones, I might alter the schedule to view them later, if I can, but mostly, I stick to some form of this pattern. Think of it like this: 

25 DVD
35 NO DVD (+10)
50 DVD (+15)
70 NO DVD (+20)
75 NO DVD (+5)
100 DVD (+25)
105 DVD (+5)
110 DVD (+5)
115 DVD (+5)
145. NO DVD (+30)
150. NO DVD (+5)

etc. etc. and so-on. Is this the best way? (Shrugs) It's the way I do it. And I'm not always 100% consistent. Sometimes I start this at the #25 DVD, and not the #25 movie, which would adjust this list greatly, sometimes I look closer at the movies with the same RT score and look through their awards and rank them based on that, and not whether they're an available Netflix DVD or not... there's other consideration and variable that perhaps come up as well. About the one thing I don't do, no matter how much outside pressure I might be under is to put a movie any higher than 25; I won't watch something immediately, even if everybody's seen it, even if I really want to see it. (In fact, my personal preference is about the last thing I consider at all, if that even comes into play, which is one of the goals of this system.) Basically, I figure that if it's gonna be good, then I can wait for it.

That said, there is an exception to this. If a DVD is out already, and already in my DVD queue and then it starts getting several major awards and nomination, then that movie will slowly be moved up. How much, depends on where it is on my queue, and what awards it wins or is nominated for, and how many does it get. The closer a movie is to the top fo the queue, then, I won't move it up much, perhaps 1 spot per new nomination, for, let's say a local Critics Circle awards. If it's a movie that was way lower on the queue, the more spaces forward it would move up. This can fluctuate as well but, I try to keep it uniform to something like this.

25 or less = +1 spot/per nomination/win
26-50 = +5 spots/per nomination/win
51-100 = +10 spots/per nomination/win
101-200= +25 spots/per nomination/win
201-250= +50 sport/per nomination/win
251-End of queue = +100/per nomination/win

It doesn't always happen, but yeah, you get the idea.

That's the basics of the Netflix list, now the major secondary list, my Library list. This is, not as complicated, but this list has a lot of parts to it as well, in regards to how it's currently organized, and several other separate lists with the list itself, and like the Netflix list, it's evergrowing. My primary is the Netflix queue, but that's limited to 500 DVDs. The library list isn't number, but there are separate parts to it. Currently it's about 117 pages long, and just like my Netflix list, it's single spaced and return strike for each entry. (Note: for those curious as to why I don't use a double-column for these lists, like I do for my list of every film I've ever seen, usually when I do, while the pages might get more condensed, it takes up the same if not more space on a USB drive or computer that it's saved on, and it's all it's just easier to find and scroll up and down if I have a single list.)

Now, in recent months, I've actually had to recreate this library list from scratch, twice after computer errors deleted them. Once I had a backup that wasn't entirely updated, but the other time I didn't, and I'm still actually it, 'cause believe it or not, it used to be longer and I'm still adjusting to this. I forget now how I used to organize the several lists there, but I imagine it was just a slightly more complicated form of how I'm doing it now.

Anyway, the first section of the Library list, is about twenty pages or so long, and all the entries in the part of the list are both bolded and green. (Some I have italicized for the time being, but that's apart of the transition I'm going through at the moment.) Mostly, this list reflects/mirrors the my Netflix list. Basically I can take off my Netflix, particularly near the top of my Netflix queue, by borrowing the movie through the library, means that I can add more movies to my Netflix queue quicker.

Also, you may have noticed on my Netflix queue, the streaming services, Kanopy and Hoopla or HooplaDigital. They are streaming services that are connected through your libraries and library cards. Not every library system has one or the other, but I'm lucky that mine currently has both. Hoopla in particular is cool because it has more than just movies; I've borrowed some books on tape, comics and CDs from there, but both sites are quite good and they're free if your library provides them, and if they don't, pressure them. My local service didn't originally have Kanopy, but that eventually changed after getting requests. At one point, I didn't count those titles that Hoopla or Kanopy have as apart of my library's catalog, but eventually that changed, so that I can keep track of them better. (And some films are streaming exclusively on these platforms, particularly on Kanopy, they have some titles that you can't legally find streaming elsewhere. You're limited to your rentals per month, but it's still a really great service.) So, I note titles now that are available on the library's streaming services as well.

The second part of the list, is basically everything else that the library has available in DVD form. (Once upon a time, I still borrowed VHS tapes from my library, but most of them are no longer subject to borrowing, and any they have left, they're trying to sell.) These are bolded and black, or red. Red are for titles that I've seen previously that for one reason or another my wish to see again. There is a way that these titles can move up to the top queue of green titles that I put on hold first without being apart of my Netflix queue, and I'll explain the current system for which I use that for in a little bit.

The third list section, is labeled "ADD WHEN AVAILABLE". Most of these titles are green, although one or two of them are purple and this is reserved for titles that my library used to have in stock, or at least they claimed they did, in either DVD, through their streaming service or in some other visual media form, that by the time I tried to borrow them and/or add them to my Waiting List, the library didn't have them anymore. So, they're separated and if my library ever attains copies of them again, I'll add them back in the appropriate spots, especially since of them might actually be in my Netflix queue.

Anyway, the first thing I do when dealing with this list, is go on my local library's website, and thankfully, mine has a section labeled "Just Added DVD's", I check that list, compare the titles to my Netflix lists, and determine where I put them. In this case, I generally don't discriminate so much, unless I've seen the movie and don't need to see it again, or it's not really a movie, like it's a ten-minute cartoon short or some instructional DVD or some other use of the media, I generally will add it somewhere, and hopefully get to it someday. (This is also why I keep a TV shows list on my Netflix queue, I prefer to get to those here, instead of, in some cases, a series taking up several DVD spaces on my queue. Not everything is streaming yet, believe me, at some point, despite everything, there are times where I have sure as shit stumped Netflix, the libraries, and rest of the internet.)

This can go on, for awhile or it can pretty quick. Today, they only had three titles, two of there were on my Netflix and they were placed on the top list. Now, I'm not done, because I'm still in the middle make sure that every title on my Netflix that my library has, is at the top of my queue, as well as, just making sure I know every title that they have, and be able to search through those titles and put them at the top of my queue as well. (Or in this case, since this is the library, it's probably more accurate to call this my waitlist or my request list) Now, my netflix list, let me remind you is 3,100 titles, which I do go through singularly on the library's website, but I don't stop there. Once I look up a title, I also look up whatever other videorecording, DVD, streaming or elsewise title that the search engine finds and I note it on my Library list. Sometimes it's already there, but many times I'm adding new titles constantly, mostly to the bottom of the second part of the list. This is guaranteed to be time-consuming, and this in particular is the part that I'm most annoyed at having to do, essentially again, because before I lost my previous library list, I was closer to the bottom of my Netflix queue than I am now. Like, when I lost the last list, I was in the 2000s, and right now, I'm not even in the 200s. So, I'm gonna do a little more today, probably until I find the next three titles from my Netflix queue that are on my Netflix, and any other titles I find, during this search, I add them where most appropriate.

Like, here's an example. I'm looking up the title, "The Son of No One" which is a movie on my Netflix queue. Now, the library, doesn't have that particular movie, but they do come up with 23 other results in ther search engines, and those are just the videorecordings, the DVDs and perhaps some movies streaming on hoopla. Since, I'm still going through this, I can't just skip all these, instead, I sort through each of these titles and see if there's one or two that I haven't seen, aren't on my list already, and perhaps should be. And looking through these results, I found, eight titles, and I swear I'm not making this up, it's purely a coincidence, but I found "Cold Pursuit". It wasn't in the "Just Added DVDs" section yet, which happens sometimes, and is another good reason to do this. I'm not sure why it pops up when I search "The Son of No One", but it did. I added that to the top list on the page, and the other seven, ended up at the bottom of the second list. The rest I had either seen, were already on the list, or weren't something I needed to see.

Now, for my purposes, I'm gonna stop here, today, well, I might do a couple more, but...- generally this was pretty easy, sorting through 23 DVD titles in a search engine, is not terrible, especially since that was the worst of the bunch, but let's take a title that's a little more generic. There's a movie I watched recently called "The Treasure" for instance. And the library has, 297 videorecording hits in the search engine. That's a lot. Well, they only got two words to go off of, and for those who aren't aware, the words "The" and "Treasure" they show up in a lot of computer/card catalog entries. And again, I'm only searching through the DVDs and streaming movies, it's ten times that if I was searching through every piece of media the library has. (You don't wanna know how many results I get when I search for a film called "The Tale".) Ideally, I'd go through them all, but I gotta stop somewhere, and usually, I stop at about 20. My feeling is that, generally, if they can't find it from the title in the Top 20, usually it won't be there. Of course, there could be an or exception or two, there's a lot of copies of "Hamlet" in a library, they're not all the same, and even among movies and media, you gotta find the specific one you're looking for.... Generally, if I can do a secondary search, I look for director's names, then perhaps, the year released if I know it, after that I might try actors or something if I still think it might be there, but that's a pretty rare occurrance.

Okay, the next step now, after I've done my searching through new DVD the library has, and gone through to see what they have that's on my DVD queue, I go to the second list of titles, and pick one of them to put on the top list. To show you, how I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna copy the top, eh, half-a-page of titles that happens to be on this list at the moment:

Trial by Jury
Enemy of the State
Ay Que Tiempos Senor don Simon
Little Women (Cukor)
Babette’s Feast
Revenge: The Complete First Season
Mission Kashmir
Nocturnal Animals
Forty Guns
The Punisher
Walking Tall, Part 2
Nevada Smith
Let the Right One In
21 Grams
Black Dynamite
One-Eyed Jacks
He Who Gets Slapped
Fun with Dick and Jane
The Land Before Time
Buffalo Girls
The 33
Green Room
Rebuilding Hope

As you'll recall, black are titles I haven't seen, red are titles I have, but want to watch again for one reason or another. At one time, I would just generally go with whatever the top title was that day, but for a few reasons this led to clogging of the titles. For instance, if there weren't a lot of new DVDs for a while, you'd get a lot of older titles in a row that I hadn't seen and many of which I probably shouldn't have, or a lot of titles that I had seen already in a row, and I'd just be rewatching, and both of these would be slowing down the titles that are on my Netflix queue that I really needed to get from the library to make room for more films. So, the way I do this now, is that I take, either the Top Ten black titles or the top ten red titles, which there's more of first, so in this example going down, I clearly hit the tenth black title first, as opposed to the tenth red titles, so I adjust the list accordingly:

Trial by Jury
Enemy of the State
¡Ay Que Tiempos Senor don Simon!
Little Women (Cukor)
Revenge: The Complete First Season
Mission Kashmir
Forty Guns
The Punisher
Walking Tall, Part 2
Babette’s Feast
Nocturnal Animals
Nevada Smith.... 

Now there's ten black titles on top. I'm not putting all ten on top, I'm gonna pick one of these. And this is harder since I haven't seen any of these, so I gotta look them up, mostly to try and determine which of these ten films is the most important one I need to watch. I usually have both the library's website and usually and tab up, so that I can go back and forth, looking up these titles, maybe one or two other tags of Rotten Tomatoes or Wikipedia or whatever else to look them up. This comes up especially handy if there's common titles and the movie you might think you're getting, 'cause it's the more famous film with that title, might not be the one they have..., etc. etc. plus, if there's any other new titles I can add that I run into in the library search, I add them to the list as well.

So far, I've added a title or two that I saw when I searched "Enemy of the State", and the library doesn't have a copy of "¡Ay Que Tiempos Senor dos Simon!", which is  unfortunate. Sometimes I eliminate these entries, but I don't love doing that, although that happens occasionally, especially with lists this long, and especially at the library; sometimes titles that were there one day are not there another when you wanted to get it. I've had that happen with me and "Galaxy Quest" on multiple occasions, I still haven't seen that film yet. (It's on my Netflix queue, I'll get to it eventually.) In this case though, since it's the long list, you never know, they might have the title later. I put titles on the third list for when I specifically was supposed to get a title and requested it, and they had it, but then, for some reason they didn't anymore and couldn't get me a copy. I haven't requested "¡Ay Que Tiempos Senor dos Simon!"yet technically, so I'll keep it on here for now. (Might also come in handy later when I add more films to the bottom of the Netflix list, by looking through the Library list, but I'm not gonna describe that aspect of this process.)

Looking up every videorecording of "Little Women" the library had was a time-consuming, but I'm finished now. There's a few titles I could reasonably pick here, in this case though, if everything else is equal, one of my criteria is that Oscar-nominated/winning films get precedent. So, I'm adding "Little Women" which did win an Oscar, the George Cukor one at least did. My second choice would've probably been either "Forty Guns" or "Mission Kashmir", both look really good and seem important to watch. (I certainly need to watch, both more Samuel Fuller and more Indian films) One of my other criteria is that if it's a Criterion film, I always put that above even Oscars but that wasn't the case here. So, "Little Women", gets cut-and-pasted into the top list, it's at the bottom of it, but it's on the main list, and the other nine, they get cut-and-pasted too, and go to the bottom of the big list. Next time, I see the next ten and chose from there.

From there on in, I just go to my account on the library's website, see what's there, renew what's late if anything, see what I need to watch next, and if there's room on my waitlist, I add films to them. I'm allowed to take out twelve DVDs at once and put a maximum of 25 on hold, I use all of them. I keep some on a delayed waitlist, I have twelve that I want right away and the rest, I disperse more staggeredly, usually 2 per week. So, right now, a season of "Call the Midwife" and "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate", won't come until at least the 18th, "The Brothers Bloom" and "Duel" are schedule for the 25th, etc. etc., unless I'm at the bottom of a long waitlist for the title already. The rest, I set up so that they come the second I'm first in line and the DVD is in. I try to go to the library once a week, although lately it's been more like, once every two weeks, which is unforunate, especially if somebody requests a title I have and have to return it quicker than I planned on. Always check your library account online often, the movies that are due the earliest, they're the ones you watch first.

On your library-watching days. I alternate, one day for library, the next day for either Netflix DVD or streaming. (Although usually, if I get a DVD in the mail, I'll try to watch that DVD as soon as possible, so I can return it as quickly as it arrived.) Ideally, I try to do the updating with the library every day, but it's more like 2-3 times a week I do this part, depending on how busy I am with other work.

And, I'm, going to finally end this. I haven't described every detail yet, believe me, I'm leaving a lot out, and I'm only describing what I do for the two big lists. There's other lists and other protocols in case this system fails for one reason or another that I'm just not getting into, 'cause I can't imagine anybody, for any reason wanting to dive any deeper into this part of my psyche than this. Whatever diagnoses you make about me from this, go right ahead; I prefer to chuck it all to me being an Aquarius, so I'm list-obsessed, maybe there's other parts of my life that I can't control, so I strain to rigorously control this, knowing it's ultimately a flawed promethean feat,... I don't know. It's how I decide what movies to watch and when...- I hope it wasn't too mind-numbingly painful to read all this.

Anyway, I gotta go now; I've got some paperwork that I'm behind on that I have to do....

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