Friday, December 30, 2011
So Much To Do...
You know how it goes.
I started this blog while my wife was pregnant with our first child. Some form of movie website had been in the recesses of my mind for many years and I always intended to get it going once I moved back to The States. Knowing that it would be unlikely after my son was born that I would ever find the time to start this project, I decided to get into the habit early.
My goal was to write a review for every movie I watched whether it be in the cinema, on DVD, illegal download or in-flight movie (I've reviewed all such examples) and whether it was a film with which I was intimately familiar, a classic I was revisiting or coming to for the first time or an altogether new movie. In all this time, after 221 posted reviews, the number of films I've watched without reviewing is probably about a dozen. I'm proud of that.
Last year at this time I was making myself crazy downloading most of the year-end American releases that were up for serious awards consideration. Only a handful of them would open in Seville's original version (subtitled, not dubbed) cinema and some not until February or later (for the most part, those I'd seen on download I also paid for if they arrived in the cinema). As a teacher, I had two weeks off for the holidays. And as the baby was barely 2 months old he required (in hindsight) very little direct attention. He would often sleep for extended periods of time allowing me time to write. And when he was awake he was immobile, just hanging around in his baby chair.
This year I work full time out of the house with not time off for the holiday period and my son runs around and gets into everything. Writing or viewing movies while he's awake and playing simply doesn't work. He might play on his own for a 10 or even 15 minute stretch, but then he's understandably complaining for attention. This is no way to watch a DVD or write a review (the quality of my reviews has suffered as a result of many rushed jobs over the last six months). So I nip off to the cinema when I can - an occasional afternoon before work and sometimes a late show if I finish work early enough. Getting the writing done is the hardest part. Sometimes I'm not home from work until after 11. I'm hungry and need to eat dinner, then I'm too tired to really write even though I constantly tell myself, "I will write a review tonight."
December and January have always been stressful months for me when it comes to movie-going. But before last year I never concerned myself with writing. It used to just be about packing the movies in. In the past two weeks I've squeezed in six trips to the cinema in addition to four movies on DVD and written full reviews on six of them. On the left sidebar you can see the last ten films I've watched with links to posted reviews.
But then I look at the list of things to see and I wonder how I'll do it. Just looking at cinemas on Long Island there are 5 movies I still want to see: Sherlock Holmes; Tintin; War Horse; The Artist; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And this does not include the films currently playing in Manhattan that are on my list: Pariah; Carnage; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; The Iron Lady; Shame; A Separation. Nor does it include films that have qualified for 2011 Oscars but not yet opened in New York: Rampart; Albert Nobbs; Coriolanus. Finally there are films I missed from the first half of the year that I should like to catch on DVD now (many of these are at the very bottom of my 'to do' list): Captain America; The Tree of Life; Cars 2; Anonymous; Rango; Win Win; X-Men: First Class. Not to mention whatever documentaries and foreign films I might want to seek out.
What's that? 22+ films? Next week I'll probably knock five in one day on an epic all-day trip in Manhattan. I've done it before. Five in one day is exhausting and I recall I could barely focus on the last one after starting at about 10am and finishing after midnight. But as I do every year, I'll fret about how I'll never get it all done and somehow I will.
Keep checking back for more reviews. When things calm down for me next month I'll hopefully get back to posting more things related to older films, classic films and classic directors. For now, there's a task at hand and I have a mission.