Saturday, 22 January 2011

50 Movies in 20 Days: COMPLETED

I am now, as you would expect, frankly sick of watching movies. An idea which at the time of conception seemed both challenging and fun turned out to be both gruelling and enthralling. I have learnt so much in so little time, and forgot it all so much quicker. My nights have been long, my days a great deal longer. My friends, I have floated through the clouds of Heaven and crawled through the fires of Hell. I have watched 50 movies in 20 days!

Regardless of the tales that I could tell, or the horrors of which I could speak, there’s something that everyone asks for above all else… lists! It appears that my journey of enlightenment, justification and self discovery, can be summed up into just two lists: The Best 5 Movies and The Worst 5 Movies. Unbelievable!

I’ll give you your list, but do amuse me briefly.

The First Movie. The First Day.

In hindsight, knowing I intentionally filled The Final 50 with hits, misses and maybes, it would have certainly made sense to have kicked things off by watching a sure bet miss with my spirit still excited by the challenge. However, as I had spent the day stuffing my face and boozing my brain at the office Christmas do, I opted for an easy watch and early night.

I got the ball rolling on day one with Black Dynamite – think Shaft, Super Fly, Dolemite, but more action and more comedy. It’s a modern day parody of the 70s blaxploitation genre that produced, among others, the aforementioned. It was funny, it was entertaining, and it was time to go to bed.

One down. A job well done, I thought. Only forty-nine to go.

The Fiftieth Movie. The Twentieth Day.

[See opening sentence]

ONLY FORTY-NINE TO GO!? What was I thinking!?

By now I wasn’t thinking, by now I couldn’t think. If you had offered me a penny for my thoughts you would have come out shortchanged. My brain had been fried and the pan had been left out on the kitchen worktop for days. By now the last thing I wanted to do was fortunately the last thing I had to do to complete this challenge. Some solace at last found.

The original plan was to watch Sharktopus (I left this till last as I knew it would require little-to-no concentration to follow) with a couple of friends. However, one had decided he had better things to do, and the other had decided that Facebook is an unreliable messaging service if you don’t check your Facebook for messages – which he of course hadn’t. So I finished as I had begun; tired, alone and set for an early night.

Sharktopus, as expected, is quite difficult to enjoy on your own. It’s one of those movies that are (intentionally?) made for you to laugh at, and not with. So although the entertainment value is higher than The Aviator (pun, not comparison), all of the fun is lost when there’s no one to go head to head with on in-film commentary slights.

Sharktopus ended, and with it so did the challenge. I informed the World and the World replied, ‘Good job. Now get back to work.’ No speech, no nominations, no awards. Not even an invite to a show where they recognise and award movie brilliance. Just the self satisfaction of knowing that if I can watch 50 Movies in 20 Days, I can do ANYTHING!

Your lists, you bastards.

The Worst 5 Movies

5. Mirrors
4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
3. Superman Returns
2. Dorian Gray
1. The Box

Dishonourable mention: Beauty Shop; Cool as Ice; Coraline; Jennifer’s Body; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The Best 5 Movies

5. Gridlock’d
4. Pan’s Labyrinth
3. Magnolia
2. Chicken Run
1. Good Will Hunting

Honourable mention: A Beautiful Mind; A Simple Plan; Chopper; Citizen Kane; Dead Poets Society; Rescue Dawn; Schindler’s List; The Aviator; The Curious Case of Benjamin; Button; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

A to the . . .